Rouge Forum Update: Pound on the Doors of Empire! Strike March 4th!
“All morons hate it when you call them a moron.” In Memoriam: Holden Caulfield
On the Little Rouge School Front This Week:
Outline of California Budget Cuts From New York Times: Some public school classes in Los Angeles are so crowded that students perch on file cabinets, or sit on the floor, while teachers struggle to maintain quality and grade hundreds of papers.
Pat Washington Writes On San Diego State’s Entrenched Racism (and look for nepotism, cowardice, and sheer ignorance too): Deafening Silence around African American Student Enrollment Quotas at San Diego State University SDSU never admits more than 25% of its qualified first-time African American student applicants and—furthermore—never allows the total campus population of African American students to rise above 5%? … Clearly, SDSU does not have an African American student application problem. Rather, SDSU has an African American student rejection problem… The peril is magnified by SDSU’s elimination of the local student guaranteed admissions policy… African American Student Enrollment Quotas
UCLA IDEA Report on California School/Society Crises: “More than half of the principals reported a sharp increase in student needs for health, psychological, or social services; many reported extremely high social needs — “an epidemic of hunger” — with children receiving no food when they go home for the night or weekend. Educators have responded by connecting students and families with social service providers or by contributing food and clothing, but budget cuts to social welfare programs and school services have left the system with less capacity to respond to these growing needs.”
New York City–another Bellwether in the School Closings Movement: “Since 2002, the city has closed or is in the process of closing 91 schools, replacing them with smaller schools and charter schools, often several in the same building, with new leadership and teachers. This year, the city has proposed phasing out 20 schools, the most in any year…Because the new schools, at first, accepted relatively few special education and non-English-speaking students, those students began enrolling in greater numbers in the remaining large high schools. Overall enrollment increased at many large high schools, and attendance fell. “While a few schools were successful in absorbing such students, most were not,” the report said…In Chicago, school officials closed 44 schools between 2001 and 2006 more abruptly than New York did: instead of phasing out schools by grade, the entire student body was dispersed at once. When the schools reopened the next year, there were new administrators, teachers and students. But the displaced students often went into other weak schools, adding little benefit for those students and sending those schools into tailspins.”
Alan Singer in Huff Post: What if Capital’s Schools are Working? “In a society where education is organized to achieve capitalist goals, mass public education has two primary purposes. It sorts people out, determining who will be recruited to the elite, learn and succeed, who will receive enough basic training to make an acceptable living, and who will be pushed to the margins of society. It does this through an elaborate system that includes racially and economically segregated school districts that receive different levels of funding, magnet, private and charter schools that sift-off the highest performing or most cooperative students, and rigorous testing and tracking within schools.”
Romeo and Juliet Meet the Battle in the Detroit Federation of Teachers (one of the more creative reads yet):
“We do not approve your plan.
Now listen up, you purchased man.
Your views have sold us down and out
Hear us now or we’ll just shout.
We move to stop our paychecks taken,
We move to make the presidency vacant,
We move to count our vote recall,
We move to remove you, once and for all.”
John Yoo’s Class Goes Into Hiding: “ Yoo was scheduled to begin his first class of the semester Tuesday night of this week and is the only professor in the law school whose class location is not listed on its class schedule.”
CalSters on the Ropes: “The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which lost a quarter of the value of its investment portfolio in the spending year that ended June 30, currently faces a $43-billion shortfall in the money it needs to pay future pensions. What’s worse, warns Chief Executive Jack Ehnes, the $134-billion fund could be broke in 35 years – the length of a typical teaching career – if the state Legislature doesn’t raise the employer contributions paid by school districts in the next few years.”
Arne Duncan, “Atta Girl Hurricane Katrina”: Education Secretary Arne Duncan called Hurricane Katrina “the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans” because it forced the community to take steps to improve low-performing public schools, according to excerpts from the transcript of a television interview made public Friday afternoon.”
Berkeley Rising on March 4th: “The UC Berkeley General Assembly yesterday voted to organize for militant action on the nationwide March 4 Strike and Day of Action: a campus strike 7am to noon, noon rally at Bancroft and Telegraph, followed by a mass march to join the Oakland March 4 rally at Ogawa Plaza.” (From Jack G)
A San Diego Educator Warns Against SDEA Concessions: “Why should SDEA leadership continue to prosper with their non-reduced salaries and non-reduced operating budget when all the rest of us have to “do our fair share”??”
Paul Moore on Bloomberg, Klein, and More: “The new danger appears in the rise of the seamless melding of the corporation and the state in the US. The corporate-state was certified as constitutional by the US Supreme Court in its recent decision on corporate campaign financing. The new reality is reflected in the unprecedented amount of money Secretary of Education Arne Duncan suddenly has at his disposal to undermine the public schools.”
Read more here.