Tag Archives: March 4 Strike & Day of Action

Rouge Forum Update: March Madness, Spring Break and Holiday War Special

Remember Proposals are Due, April 15, for the Rouge Forum Conference

Send Your Articles, Photos, Cartoons, for the RF News to Community Coordinator Adam Renner.

On the Little Rouge School Front:

Freep Gets to the Real Conditions of DPS–Critiques Broad’s Bobb’s Moves: “What works at Ferguson is constant, intense individual attention to the students’ academic, social and economic needs.” But Bob Bobb is closing the school….

More Arrests of Detroit Public School Scammers: “Bell said his office has opened investigations in 248 cases based on 280 complaints that range from theft to mismanagement. More are to come, he said.”

From The Detroit News: Detroiters Robbed by Broad’s Bobb’s Bond Scheme: “They sold us on a dream,” Hicks-Lark said. “And I jumped on board with it, and now we’ve been crushed.”

Marion Brady: 10 False Assumptions and the Ratt: “”Race to the Top? National standards for math, science, and other school subjects? The high-powered push to put them in place makes it clear that the politicians, business leaders, and wealthy philanthropists who’ve run America’s education show for the last two decades are as clueless about educating as they’ve always been. If they weren’t, they’d know that adopting national standards will be counterproductive, and that the “Race to the Top” will fail for the same reason “No Child Left Behind” failed—because it’s based on false assumptions.

NAEP Results: NCLB Flopped–Nearly No Movement in Test Scores

March 4th Action Video

More March 4th Video

Students, Profs, k12 Educators and Community People Met in Northern and Southern California on March 27 to plan further action including a statewide meet in Fresno on April 24.

Counterpunch Ran Lies About March 4th

Substance Fought for the Truth About March 4th: “The core issue of our time is the reality of the promise of perpetual war and escalating inequality met by the potential of a mass, activist, class conscious movement to transform both daily life and the system of capitalism itself. That is the background, the social context, of the momentous actions on March 4, 2010.”

Adam Renner on M4

Greg Johnson: Medical? What Medical?

Against the Vacillating Reactionary Ravitch: “Perhaps it is because she floats around in the really thin air that is the field of education that the vacillating reactionary, Diane Ravitch, gets cheers from those who condemned her in her No Child Left Behind days.”

The Official Program For Gutting K.C. Schools by Broad’s Covington: “Covington said dramatic and aggressive changes were urgently needed. That includes longer school days. Teachers would be paid more based on how their students perform.”

UTLA Takes Concessions, Shorter Work Year

Read the full Rouge Forum Update here.

Strike! Occupy! Educate! March 4th!


The Education Agenda Is A War Agenda
An Imperialist War Agenda
A Class War Agenda

This is capitalism. It is not the highest or last stage of human development.

There is a connection between capitalism and imperialism, exploitation and war. One begets the other.

The key reasons for the attacks on working people and schools are rooted in those twins.

In the U.S. capitalism rapidly decays. The government is an executive committee and armed weapon of the ruling classes. There they work out their differences, allowing us to choose which one of them will oppress us best.

Capitalist education was never truly public, but always segregated by class and race. Beyond the call to Defend Public Education, we need to Transform Education to Serve the People.

The overwhelming majority of union mis-leaders choose the other side in what is surely a class struggle. They gain from the wars and capital by supporting those wars, winning their own high pay and benefits, and betraying workers— they’re a quisling force, organizing decay.

We can build a social movement that rejects the barriers US unionism creates, from job category to industry to race and sex and beyond.

People are more united throughout the world by systems of technology, transportation, communication, than ever before, but we are divided by class, race, nation, and sex-gender.

Why? Capitalism is necessarily a war of all on all.

Everything negative is in place for a revolutionary transformation of society:

  • distrust of leaders, collapse of moral suasion from the top down,
  • lost wars, the real promise of endless war,
  • financial crises, massive unemployment, booming inequality,
  • imprisonment of only the poor, growing reliance on sheer force to rule,
  • eradication of civil liberties,
  • corruption and gridlock of government at every level, etc.)

What is missing is the passion, class consciousness, organization, and guiding ethic to make that change. Our answer—an ethic of equality forged in a class conscious organization.

The core issue of our time is the reality of endless war and rising inequality met by the potential of mass, active class conscious resistance.

We can fight to rescue education from the ruling classes.

You are welcome to join us.

The Rouge Forum (rougeforum.org)

Lastest article roundup from HAW

To members and friends of Historians Against the War,

Here are some notes, followed by links to recent articles of interest on HAW-related topics.

1. HAW and the Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA) are planning a special session, “Remembering Howard Zinn,” at the Organization of American Historians convention in Washington, DC in early April. The session will take place at 5:30 pm on Friday, April 9. Staughton Lynd, a friend of Howard for nearly fifty years, will speak, and there will be ample opportunity for attendees to share memories and thoughts.

2. The California Faculty Association (CFA) has called for a state- and nationwide day of action March 4 “to raise awareness about the crisis in public education and the need to fully fund our schools, college, and universities.” The CFA’s March 4 web site (http://www.calfac.org/march4.html) has information about events being planned in California and in a number of other states, with contact information.

Links to Recent Articles of Interest
“The U.S. Military’s German Fetish”
By William Astore, TomDispatch.com, posted February 18
The author, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, teaches history at the Pennsylvania College of Technology

“‘Government in a Box’ in Marja”
By Andrew Bacevich, Los Angeles Times, posted February 17
The author teaches history and international relations at Boston University

“Hold Onto Your Underwear: This Is NOT a National Emergency”
By Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch.com, posted February 14
On the continuing legacy of 9/11

“The Script Calls for Victory, No Matter What: The Battle for Marjah”
By Patrick Coburn, CounterPunch.org, posted February 11

“Ending the War in Afghanistan”
By Ron Jacobs, CounterPunch.org, posted February 11

“Haiti: A Creditor, Not a Debtor”
By Naomi Klein, The Nation (March 1 issue), posted February 11
Draws heavily on Haitian history

“Preserving the Golden Rule as a Piece of Anti-Nuclear History”
By Lawrence Wittner, History News Network, posted February 8
The author teaches history at SUNY Albany

“Iraq Policy: D”
By Bonnie Bricker and Adil E. Shamoo, Foreign Policy in Focus, posted February 5

The working group for these biweekly collections of recommended articles consists of Matt Bokovoy, Carolyn (Rusti) Eisenberg, Jim O’Brien, Maia Ramnath, and Sarah Shields. Suggestions for articles to include can be sent to jimobrien48@gmail.com.

Info on March 4th Strike and Day of Action

March 4th is right around the corner and the local, national and international anticipation for this historic day is growing by the minute. Students, teachers, staff, parents and workers from all over California, the nation and the world have been organizing and building for the Strike and Day of Action. Below is a tentative list of events that will be happening on March 4th in California.

If you have any information to add to the list below, have information on events from places outside of California or have any questions about March 4th, please email march4strikeanddayofaction@gmail.com or visit http://defendcapubliceducation.wordpress.com/school-reports/ and tell us what is being planned in your school, workplace, community for March 4th Strike and Day of Action.

In Solidarity,
Jonathan Nunez
Follow-up committee of the October 24th Conference

Regional Events

Los Angeles Regional Rally
* 3 pm Rally @ Pershing Square (5th & Hill) in downtown L.A.
* 4 pm March from Pershing Square to the Governor’s office
* 5 pm Rally @ Governor’s office (300 Spring St.)

East Bay/Oakland Regional Rally
* 12 pm-4 pm Rally @ Frank Ogawa Plaza (in front of Oakland City Hall, 14th & Broadway)
* March to the Ogawa Plaza Rally from:
-UC Berkeley: 12 pm Rally @ Bancroft & Telegraph, followed by March
-Laney College: 11 am Rally, followed by March
-Fruitvale BART: Assemble @ 11 am, March @ 11:30 am
* Travel to San Francisco Regional Rally (See regional listing below)

San Francisco Regional Rally
* 5 pm Rally @ San Francisco Civic Center

Sacramento/State Capitol Rally
* 11 am-1 pm Rally @ State Capitol (North Steps of Capitol)

San Diego Regional Rally
* 3 pm Rally @ Balboa Park, followed by March to governor’s office
* 4 pm Rally @ Governor’s office (downtown)

San Fernando Valley Regional Rally
* 3:45 pm gathering @ CSU Northridge Sierra Quad
* 4:15 pm March
* 5 pm Hands around CSUN
* 5:30 pm Rally @ CSU Northridge Sierra Quad

Local Events
UC Berkeley
* 7 am-12 pm Pickets
* 12 pm-1 pm Rally/Action @ entrance to Sproul Plaza (Telegraph & Bancroft)
* 1 pm-3 pm March from UC Berkeley to Oakland’s Ogawa Plaza
* Students, faculty, workers and campus community will travel to San Francisco Regional Rally (See regional listing above)

* 10 am Pickets
* 11:30 am Walk Out
* 12 pm Rally @ Bruin Plaza
(UCLA invites high schools and community colleges in the Westside area to join)

UC San Diego
* 11:30 Walk-out & Rally @ Gilman Parking Structure
* 12:30 pm March from Gilman to the Silent Tree outside Giesel Library and Rally there
* Students, faculty, workers and campus community will travel to San Diego Regional Rally (See regional listing above)

UC Santa Cruz
* 6:00 am Picket at the entrances to campus
* 9:00 am Rally @ main entrance to the campus (Bay and High)
* 12:00 pm Rally @ main entrance to the campus (Bay and High)
* 5:00 pm General Assembly @ main entrance to campus (Bay and High)

UC Riverside
* 1 pm gathering @ UCR Bell Tower
* 2:30 pm March from UCR to downtown
* 3:30 pm Rally @ University Ave and Market St. (Downtown Riverside)

CSU Bakersfield
* 11:30 am-1 pm @ the Student Union Patio (rain: Stockdale Room in Runner Café)

CSU Channel Islands
* Students, faculty, workers and campus community will travel to the San Fernando Valley to participate in San Fernando Valley Regional Rally @ CSU Northridge (See regional listing above)

CSU Chico
* 8 am sendoff for students, faculty, workers and campus community traveling to State Capital Rally (See regional listing above)

CSU Dominguez Hills
* Students, faculty, workers and campus community will travel to Wilson High School Long Beach and Los Angeles Regional Rally (See Long Beach details below or regional listing above)
* 11 am-1 pm students hold a fair on CSUDH East Walkway (Games to learn about public education costs, access and quality)

CSU East Bay
* 12 pm Rally/Open Mic/Speack Out @ Agora Stage
* Students, faculty, workers and campus community will travel to San Francisco Regional Rally (See regional listing above)

Fresno State
* 10:30 am March from NW corner of Blackstone and Shaw, go down Shaw to Fresno State
* 12 pm-1 pm Rally @ Peace Garden

CSU Fullerton
* Students, faculty, workers and campus community will travel to Los Angeles Regional Rally (See regional listing above)

Humboldt State
* 3 pm-5 pm Rally @ Humboldt County Courthouse-Eureka with CSU and K-12 faculty and students

Cal State Los Angeles
* 9:30 am Rally @ the USU area (Free Speech area)
* 2 pm March to Los Angeles Regional Rally (See regional listing above)

CSU Long Beach
* 12 pm-1 pm Rally @ South Campus, Upper Quad,
* 1 pm-2 pm Parade
* 4 pm Rally with K-12 and Community College (see below)

Long Beach: Wilson High School
* 4 pm Rally @ Wilson High School Gymnasium (4400 E. 10th St.)
* Music by Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, The Nightwatchman)

California Maritime Academy
* Students, faculty, workers and campus community will travel to San Francisco Regional Rally and Sacramento/State Capitol Rally (See regional listing above)
* 12 pm Street Theatre/Mock “Die-In” @ Maritime’s main quad

CSU Monterey Bay
* 11 am-1 pm Rally/March
* Followed by car-pools to Community Rally
* 4 pm Community Rally @ Colton Hall (570 Pacific St. between Madison & Jefferson)
– Contact: Kat General, 415-728-8927

CSU Northridge/San Fernando Valley Regional Rally
* 3:45 pm gather @ CSU Northridge Sierra Quad
* 4:15 pm March
* 5 pm Hands around CSUN
* 5:30 pm Rally @ CSU Northridge Sierra Quad

Cal Poly Pomona
* 1:30 pm- 2:30 pm Send off Rally @ – as CFA members, students and campus community board buses for Los Angeles Regional Rally (See regional listing above)

Sacramento State/Sacramento/State Capitol Rally
* 11 am-1 pm Rally @ State Capitol (North Steps of Capitol)
– Contact: Kevin Wehr, 916-541-2125

CSU San Bernardino
* 11:30 am March @ Marquee entrance (NW corner of University Pkwy and Northpark Blvd)
* 12 pm Rally @ Pfau Library

San Diego State/San Diego Regional Rally
* 11:30 am-12:00 pm collect video testimonials from students and campus community next to Aztec Center (Large “scoreboard” showing the loss of students, teachers and classes at SDSU due to budget cuts)
* 12:00 pm Rally by Aztec Center
* Students, faculty, workers and campus community will travel to San Diego Regional Rally (See regional listing above)

San Francisco Sate
* 7 am Campus Shutdown
* Students, faculty, workers and campus community will travel to San Francisco Regional Rally (See regional listing above)

San Jose State
* 11 am gather at San Jose City Hall
* 11:45 am March to San Jose State Tower Lawn (7th Street Plaza entrance)
* 12 pm Rally @ San Jose State Tower Lawn

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
* 3:30-5 pm Rally @ Office of state Senator Abel Maldonado (1356 Marsh St., San Luis Obispo)

CSU San Marcos
* 10:30 am-11:30 am Teach-in on State Budget @ Academic Hall (ACD) 102 (simulcast to other classrooms)
* 12 pm-1 pm Rally @ Kellogg Library

Sonoma State
* 11:30 am Student Walk Out
* 12:00 pm-1:30 pm Rally near Stevenson Quad

CSU Stanislaus
* 11:30 am-1pm Rally @ campus Quad

Original list compiled by Steve Seltzer
Modified by Jonathan Nunez

Rouge Forum Update: Valentine Smackeroo Edition

They Say Get Back! We Say Fight Back!

Strike, Educate, Agitate, Occupy on March 4th to Transform Public Education. Defend Education from the Ruling Classes!

On the Little Rouge School Front:

Call For Proposals–Rouge Forum Conference August 2-5, 2010

Detroit Federation of Teachers Uses Cops Vs Members: The DFT leadership had police greeting members coming to the February 11 meeting where rank and file dissidents hoped to present, again, a petition to remove DFT president Keith Johnson who, in December, foisted the worst teacher contract in US history on Detroit School workers. Police removed several members from the meeting in handcuffs. Below are quotes from the DFT web page (http://mi.aft.org/dft231/) demonstrating how the AFT around the country is more and more turning to force in order to whip educators into line. Force alone will never win. Meanwhile, DFT members watch as $250 vanishes from each paycheck, their insurance co-pays go from $5 to $40. In some schools, the testing schedule of preparation and bubbling-in will take up 49 of the next 100 school days. An injury to one just goes before an injury to all. Union bosses are the nearest and most vulnerable of workers’ enemies–harsh measures.

“Cameras NOT ALLOWED at Membership Meeting [2.5.10]

The Feb. 11 General Membership meeting, like all DFT meetings, is a closed and private meeting. No personal video or still cameras will be allowed. No videotaping by cellphone cameras will be allowed. Some members have formally complained to the union that their photo was taken and posted on the internet without their approval. Any person videotaping meetings will be told to cease and desist or will be ejected from the meeting…Any member who continues to disrupt the meeting will be removed by the police.”

Walmart Takes Over Four Detroit Schools: “Students will get 11 weeks of job-readiness training during the school day and 10 high school credits for the class and work experience. Sean Vann, principal at Douglass, said 30 students at that school will get jobs at Walmart. He said the program will allow students an opportunity to earn money and to be exposed to people from different cultures – since all of the stores are in the suburbs.”

Remember when the Detroit Federation of Teachers Dealt Out the Worst Teacher Contract in US History When Last December, Promising Concessions Would Save Jobs? Looky Here: “the scheduled layoff of Marc W. Haas, Orchestra Conductor and Music teacher at Detroit’s Cass Technical High School:“More than 25 music and art teachers are threatened with Feb. 28 or March 7, 2010 layoffs. In my view, the arts programs in Detroit are one of the things that have been working for decades within the Detroit Public School system despite its troubles in other areas. Losing arts teachers and programs would only serve to put Detroit’s youth in further peril.“Quite simply, I believe the arts matter. The arts provide access to success in all areas. Our nation’s arts programs not only produce talented and successful artists, but also talented and successful surgeons, lawyers, scientists, politicians, business executives, etc….leaders period. Let us not lose what has proven to contribute to greatness time and time again.”

Michigan Leads the Way (Backwards) in Call For National Standards: “Schmidt said he believes Michigan is heading in the right direction by being part of the process of developing common national standards. If more students fail the MEAP as a result, Schmidt said, that will put pressure on teachers to produce better results.In addition, Flanagan said, recent legislation that will make student growth a significant part of teacher evaluations also may spur teachers to ensure the standards are being taught. If too many kids fail, a teacher is likely to be downgraded in his evaluation. The idea is to remove ineffective teachers.”

How To Become A Great Michigan School? Pay $25 Grand to the Ad Company: “The banner ad across the Lincoln school district’s website proudly proclaims it has been recognized as one of the best school districts in Michigan.The criteria for Lincoln and eight other districts being selected? A $25,000 check.

Bob Bobb Honored By Detroit Business Mag: “There are better days ahead for Detroit Public Schools,” Bobb said, adding, he thinks DPS should be under mayoral control.

Southwestern College Fights Cuts, Boss, Arrests: The blunt and confrontational Chopra has a long history of turning around troubled districts and educational systems — and of igniting brutal labor clashes. And he’s drawn more scrutiny here for accepting a pay increase while laying off long-time employees, cutting classes and for apparently boosting a paragraph from Southwest Airlines’ CEO in his Thanksgiving letter to employees. Hundreds of college employees have united against Chopra and are taking out their frustrations on three members of the Southwestern board. In the crosshairs are trustees Jean Roesch, Terry Valladolid and Yolanda Salcido.

You Tube Three Minutes Vs Merit Pay

Krashen Letter Cracks NYTimes on NCLB: “ Every minute spent testing that is not necessary bleeds time from learning, and every dollar spent on testing that is not necessary is stolen from investments that really need to be made in schools…Any new education law should result in less testing, not more.” http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/11/opinion/l11educ.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Beverly Hills: Kick Out the Kids!: “The district is changing the way it funds schools, declining state money based on student attendance and instead using property-tax revenue. Board members argued that Beverly Hills taxpayers should not subsidize education for nonresidents.”

Resistance News:
Feb 9: Building Occupation in Progress, University of Sussex: Students at the University of Sussex are occupying their university’s conference center to protest cuts to classes and employee layoffs.

Greeks Strike Against Austerity Plan: “Thousands of Greeks have rallied against deficit-cutting measures during a national public sector strike.Flights have been grounded, many schools are closed and hospitals are operating an emergency-only service.”

Rouge Forum SuperBowl SchmooperBowl Update

Suberbowl Cartoon
Spectacle Schmectacle: Remember the March 4th Strike!

Check Out Miami’s Paul Moore on the Superbowl:
“The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied but written off as trash. The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which a beggar is a reminder of nothing.” John Berger

On the Little Rouge School Front:

A Rouge Forum Broadside on March 4th, Resistance, and Fear

Call For Proposals–Rouge Forum Conference August 2-5, 2010

Critical EducationCall for Manuscripts: A Return to Educational Apartheid? >: “This current series will focus on the articulation of race, schools, and segregation, and will analyze the extent to which schooling may or may not be returning to a state of educational apartheid.”

Whose School? Our School? Occupations in Glasgow: “Parents in Glasgow occupied yet another primary school this week; the latest in a series of school occupations which have taken place over the past year.”

Harvard Initiates Educational Leadership-Business Partnership (this is new?): “ The Harvard doctorate broadens the reach of traditional programs by collaborating with the Harvard Business School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government, he said. The first year of studies is devoted to a rigorous core curriculum. The next year, students chose from a slate of courses at the three schools–such as “Managing Human Capital” at the business school or “Marketing for Non-Profits and Public Agencies” at the Kennedy school.”

What They Do With The Kiddies After High School–Pedagogy With Those Fun Loving Marines

Arne Duncan: “Atta Boy Detroit Bobb (Broad): “Duncan praised Bobb and what he’s done in the district, calling him “a breath of fresh air.”

SF City College Cancels Summer Sessions: “Thousands of students who expected to make up missed courses or simply move their education forward will have to put those plans on hold this year because City College of San Francisco is canceling its popular summer session.”
Read more:

LA Times Exams the Explosion of Charters in the Second Largest School District: “Los Angeles is home to more than 160 charter schools, far more than any other U.S. city. Charter enrollment is up nearly 19% this year from last, while enrollment in traditional L.A. public schools is down.”

Read the full RF Update here.

Pound on the Doors of Empire! Strike March 4th!


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

A Video Demonstrating the Potential of Student/Worker Campus Strike Action

Washington State Student Zine “We are All Workers”:

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.”

Mug Shots Of Billionaire School “Reformers”

Read more here.

No Chase Scenes! Mostly Print! Remember March 4th!

hand of Fate 3
Hand of Fate

Rouge Forum Update: No Chase Scenes! Mostly Print! Remember March 4th!

Read the full update here.

On the Little Rouge School Front This Week:

If I Boost Your Grade, Will You Please CARE About the Tests? “They’re bribing them with grades,” said Linman, an educator who helps professors improve their instruction at San Diego State University. “If we can’t make the ethical decision about what’s best for students, we have no choice but to say we’re not going to be involved….”reputations are at stake. Valhalla High Assistant Principal Sam Lund said that education has become a competitive marketplace where schools need good facilities and booming scores to draw families. Like it or not, Lund said, test scores matter. But critics argue they matter for the wrong reasons. “Raising our grades is much too drastic,” said Mitchell Winkie, a junior at Valhalla. “It seems like the point of all this is to make the school look better.”

Detroit Federation of Teachers Reacts to Recall Petition vs DFT President: “In interpreting its governing documents the Executive Board was doing exactly what AFT locals around the country and virtually all other unions regularly do. The membership does not have the authority to reject or overrule the decision of the Executive Board on constitutional questions. If the membership could overrule the Executive Board then the Constitution would have no fixed meaning. Rather it would mean nothing more than what a majority at any membership meeting, however large or small, would decide. The membership has the authority to amend the Constitution in accordance with the terms of that document. It does not have the authority to reject the Executive Board’s interpretation and application of that document.”

Reading Corps on the March in Detroit (Beware of Benevolent Missionaries and Their Books)

Inequality Booms In California Schools: * High-poverty schools were more than four times as likely (65.6% to 15%) as low-poverty schools to experience teacher layoffs.* 70% of principals reported that summer school had been cut back severely or eliminated. High-poverty schools were almost three times as likely (48.7% to 16.7%) as low-poverty schools to eliminate summer school.

San Diego Teachers Asked to Take 8% Pay Cut (can we smell the Detroit Rat?)

NYTimes on the End of Higher Ed (Class Struggle) in California: “In 1960, he added, the state created “the gold standard in high-quality, low-cost public higher education. This year, the California legislature abandoned the gold standard.”

Paul Moore on the Corptocracy of Education and Social Life

Read more here.

Rouge Forum Update: Happy Holidays To Us, Every One! And Remember March 4th!


Dear Friends, Here’s to the 4468 of us on the Rouge Forum list who have, in one way or another, sought to fashion reason and connect that to power. Here’s to a decade that lays the foundation for a just and equitable society—fun too!

On the Education Front is a Class War Front This Week:

The Rouge Forum Newslatest edition is now available

National Call for March 4 Strike and Day of Action To Defend Public Education:

California has recently seen a massive movement erupt in defense of public education — but layoffs, fee hikes, cuts, and the re-segregation of public education are attacks taking place throughout the country. A nationwide resistance movement is needed.

We call on all students, workers, teachers, parents, and their organizations and communities across the country to massively mobilize for a Strike and Day of Action in Defense of Public Education on March 4, 2010. Education cuts are attacks against all of us, particularly in working-class communities and communities of color.

The politicians and administrators say there is no money for education and social services. They say that “there is no alternative” to the cuts. But if there’s money for wars, bank bailouts, and prisons, why is there no money for public education?

We can beat back the cuts if we unite students, workers, and teachers across all sectors of public education — Pre K-12, adult education, community colleges, and state-funded universities. We appeal to the leaders of the trade union movement to support and organize strikes and/or mass actions on March 4. The weight of workers and students united in strikes and mobilizations would shift the balance of forces entirely against the current agenda of cuts and make victory possible.

Building a powerful movement to defend public education will, in turn, advance the struggle in defense of all public-sector workers and services and will be an inspiration to all those fighting against the wars, for immigrants rights, in defense of jobs, for single-payer health care, and other progressive causes.

Why March 4? On October 24, 2009 more than 800 students, workers, and teachers converged at UC Berkeley at the Mobilizing Conference to Save Public Education. This massive meeting brought together representatives from over 100 different schools, unions, and organizations from all across California and from all sectors of public education. After hours of open collective discussion, the participants voted democratically, as their main decision, to call for a Strike and Day of Action on March 4, 2010. All schools, unions and organizations are free to choose their specific demands and tactics — such as strikes, rallies, walkouts, occupations, sit-ins, teach-ins, etc. — as well as the duration of such actions.

Let’s make March 4 an historic turning point in the struggle against the cuts, layoffs, fee hikes, and the re-segregation of public education.

– The California Coordinating Committee

(To endorse this call and to receive more information contact: march4strikeanddayofaction@gmail.com and check out www.defendcapubliceducation.wordpress.com )

Read the full Rouge Forum Update here.