Tag Archives: teacher unions

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.”

Alberta’s 2002 Teacher Strike: The Political Economy of Labor Relations in Education

Education Policy Analysis Archives has just published its latest issue at
http://epaa.asu.edu/ojs/article/view/697

Estimados/as lectores/as
Archivos Analíticos de Políticas Educativas acaba de publicar su último
artículo en http://epaa.asu.edu/ojs/article/view/697

Prezados/as leitores/as
Arquivos Analíticos de Políticas Educativas acaba de publicar o último
artigo en http://epaa.asu.edu/ojs/article/view/697

———————————————————–
Alberta’s 2002 Teacher Strike: The Political Economy of Labor Relations
in Education

Bob Barnetson
Athabasca University Canada

Citation: Barnetson, B. (2010). Alberta’s 2002 teacher strike: The
political economy of labor relations in education. Education Policy Analysis
Archives, 18(3). Retrieved [date] from http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v18n3/.

Abstract
In 2002, approximately two thirds of school teachers in the Canadian
province of Alberta went on strike. Drawing on media, government and union
documents, this case study reveals some contours of the political economy of
labor relations in education that are normally hidden from view. Among these
features are that the state can react to worker resistance by legally
pressuring trade unions and justifying this action as in the public
interest. This justification seeks to divide the working class and pit
segments of it against each other. The state may also seek to limit
discussion and settlements to monetary matters to avoid constraining its
ability to manage the workplace or the educational system. This analysis
provides a basis for developing a broader theory of the political economy of
labor relations in education. It also provides trade unionists in education
with information useful in formulating a strike strategy. Keywords: teachers
unions; labor relations; Canada; regional government; politics of education.

Education Policy Analysis Archives is a refereed open-access journal
published by the Mary Lou Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education
at Arizona State University

More information about becoming a reviewer or submitting manuscripts is
available at http://epaa.asu.edu/

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

opportunism

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: On to the March 4th Strike To Transform Education and Society!

Ed Not Profit Max

On to The Twenty Tens!

“When everyone is dead, The Great Game is finished, not before.” Kim, speaking for Kipling.

On the Little Rouge School Front This Week:

The Rouge Forum News Latest Edition is Now Available

The Call For Papers for the Next Edition of the Rouge Forum News

Louisville Education Dean To Plead Guilty; Those of us who have followed this case wish the dean every bad year he deserves. “…Bryant Stamford, a former faculty member who worked at U of L for more than 30 years and who has joined other former education faculty in criticizing the university for its handling of Felner, said Monday he had “mixed feelings” about news of a plea agreement.… It was good that he was finally caught and held accountable for his actions, but I think all of us still sort of default back to: How is it possible that this man was allowed to operate in such a manner for years? He wasn’t operating in a vacuum.”

The Detroit Federation of Teachers’ Contract–the Worst Ever? “The core issue of our time is the rapid rise of color-coded social and economic inequality and the promise of perpetual war, challenged by the potential of mass, class-conscious, resistance. Will we win? The best news is: we do not know. We might if we form trusting communities of care and resistance. If we do not, we can wind up alone disappearing like Johnnie Redding. It is a choice. Community or barbarism.”

Detroit Reading Corps Gears Up (Old South African Saying, “Before the missionaries arrived, we had land but no bibles; now we have bibles and no land”): “Soon the Detroit Public Schools could be overrun with thousands of retirees, former teachers, grandparents, stay-at-home moms, corporate employees and even a student from Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills.”

Charters Blossom in LA: “Even now, there are those who believe that charter schools are private (they aren’t), that they are run by for-profit companies (rarely in California), that they primarily serve affluent communities (the opposite is true) and that they are better than traditional public schools…Nearly 9% of Los Angeles public school students now attend charters, which offer great variety. Ocean Charter, a predominantly white, middle-class school on the Westside, emphasizes “experiential learning” based on the Waldorf model. The Alliance for College Ready Schools, whose 16 schools south and east of downtown mostly serve low-income black and Latino students, use a strict and structured adherence to state curriculum standards.”

No Charges Filed in Attack on UC Boss’ House: “Eight people arrested after protesters vandalized the campus home of the UC Berkeley chancellor have not been charged with any crime and may never be, according to the Alameda County district attorney’s office.
“There is insufficient evidence…”

Dan Perstein on Attack on UC Boss’ House: “I believe that the university administration not only set the stage for a violent turn in protests by acts which have repeatedly raised tensions and undermined belief in its good will, but actually engaged in most of the violence that has occurred… “

Walton’s, Broad, Fund Top Brass in LA United: “Private money is paying for key senior staff positions in the Los Angeles Unified School District — providing needed expertise at a bargain rate, but also raising questions about transparency and the direction of reforms in the nation’s second-largest school system.”

Michigan Signs Up For Ratt: “Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Monday signed into law a sweeping series of education bills that give the state new power to close failing schools, dump bad teachers and administrators and measure if students are moving ahead… legislation also expects more from students, requiring them to stay in school until age 18, starting with the class of 2016. Students now can leave school at age 16. It allows up to 32 more charter schools to open each year but gives the state the power to close poorly performing charter schools. It also gives professionals from areas other than education an alternative way to become teachers and allows merit pay for excellent teachers and cyber-schools for students who have dropped out.”

Read the complete RF Update here.

Rouge Forum Update: Great Depression Halloween Special: Boo!

Below are some some links from the most recent RF Update, read the full update here.

The core issue of our time: The real promise of perpetual war and rising inequality met by the potential of a mass class conscious movement for equality and justice.

Smile of the Week:
Student asks his principal, “Where is my teacher?”.
“Citywide layoffs”, replies the principal.
“My text books?” asks the student.
“State austerity plan”, says the principal.
“Student loan?” continues the student.
“Federal budget cuts”, says the principal.
Finally, exasperated, student asks, “But how am I going to get an education?”.
To which the equally exasperated principal replies, “This is your education”.

The Education Agenda is a War Agenda and the War Agenda is an Education Agenda Featurette:

Duncan Flunked Chicago School Closing Project: “This report reveals that eight in 10 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students displaced by school closings transferred to schools ranking in the bottom half of system schools on standardized tests. However, because most displaced students transferred from one low-performing school to another, the move did not, on average, significantly affect student achievement.”

Hey Kids, Photograph that Recruiter

DFT Praises Extension Of Broad’s Bobb Contract

Detroit: An Individual and Collective Wrong–Award Winning Counselor Mr Z has to Go

NEA Loses NCLB Suit; How Many Hundreds of Thousands of Your Dues $s did NEA Waste?
“Depending on whom you ask, the No Left Child Behind Act might be described in many ways: bold, ground-breaking, noble, naïve, oppressive, all of the above and more,” Judge Sutton wrote. ” But one thing it is not is ambiguous, at least when it comes to the central tradeoff presented to the states: accepting flexibility to spend significant federal funds in return for (largely) unforgiving responsibility to make progress in using them.” NEA will do anything, like courts and ballots, to avoid educator/student alliances to control work places and communities, as those actions would make NEA as irrelevant as it already is.

NEA Bosses Escalated Their Once-Secret Effort to Boost Their Salaries and Merge With the Worst Union in the USA, the AFT and AFL-CIO, When NEA Prez Dennis Van Roekel Directed Key Committees to Revisit the Issue. This is what one researcher rightfully concluded about what would happen some time ago:

And this is what happened last time NEA tried the merger scheme

DPS Lost Millions on Corrupt Land Deals

$30+ Million Detroit Public School Fraud and Growing Every Day

Smashing Protest at Southwestern College, San Diego

Public Universities Gut Student Life, Charge More: “The stimulus isn’t a bridge; it’s a short pier…This fall, flagships still had to cut costs and raise tuition, most by 6.5 percent or more. And virtually all of the nation’s top public universities are likely to push through large increases in coming years.”..“The students are at a point of rebellion, because they’re paying more and getting less,” Flagships are attracting more wealthy and better-prepared students. At U.C.L.A., class size has increased by 20 percent over three years ..Today, UM is largely protected from Michigan’s plummeting economy. Only 7 percent of its budget is provided by the state.

Rouge Forum Update: Come to Ypsi!

Dear Friends,

Less than one week to the Rouge Forum Conference in Ypsilanti, Michigan at Eastern Michigan University. Keynote speakers include Staughton Lynd, author, radical historian, civil rights leader; Greg Queen, winner of the National Council for the Social Studies “academic freedom award,” and Rebecca Martusewicz, eco-justice educator and activist.

Education News

Students at Los Angeles’ Crenshaw High walked out of school last week in protest of budget cuts

People are being positioned so that the fight-back is almost inevitable. The question is: Will it make any sense and win?

Call it paranoid but it is not entirely coincidental that the L.A. Times is running a series of articles on “bad teachers” and UTLA (which may well be true) just days before the planned UTLA walkout on May 15. The walkout, unfortunately, is scheduled for that date in order to not disrupt district testing, but it is one of the first direct-action responses to come from any large NEA or AFT local. The walkout came to being after considerable rank and file struggle inside the union, demanding collective action.

The L.A. Times does not have much to say about the reasons for rising inequality and the real promise of perpetual war, that is, capital’s relentless quest for profits. Nor does it deal with the daily lives of children in Compton and when it does mention them, it does so in terms of being under privileged, not super-exploited.

But, come to think of it, UTLA doesn’t speak in those terms either.

Its parent body, CTA, is working with the Gropenfuhrer to pass the anti-working class tax hikes, trying to panic voters into taxing themselves rather than the rich. A recent CTA news spends most of its glossy pages telling teachers how to adjust to the financial crises, rather than how to fight back, dealing with the consequences of the crises rather than to address the causes at the root.

There are alternatives, such as the Rouge Forum.

Here is The New Yorker‘s abstract of an article touting the partnership of the American Federation of Teachers and Steve Barr, of Green Dot charter fame; and a response from Susan Ohanian.

But the fact is that the education agenda is a war agenda, and vice versa.

Industry, Finance, War, and Pedagogy

Chrysler Gets Judge to Allow The Bankrupt Company to Borrow $4.5 Billion from USA! Huh?

Don’t forget those Good For the Rest of Your Life Rouge Forum Posters.

Chalmers Johnson on the Signs of Decay

The banks behind the meltdown (Center For Public Integrity)

One-half million people are now fleeing the Swat Valley in Pakistan. Whether the guerrillas will stand and fight or melt away is yet to be seen.

In April and May, 1975, US forces fled Vietnam, the world’s most powerful empire forced out by peasant nationalists who fought imperialism for decades, making huge sacrifices. The US defeat was caused, mainly, by Vietnamese military and political operations, but also by the actions of soldiers in the US military and civilians in the anti-war movement. Here is a clip from the film, Sir No Sir, as a reminder that people can resist, under harsh conditions, and win.

May 9 is Victory Day (May 8 in the US—Victory in Europe Day) seemingly forgotten in America now. But the sacrifices of the people of the world in defeating fascism should be remembered.

Thanks to Joe B and the entire Ypsi gang for pulling together a great conference and to Adam and Gina Renner for taking the lead in developing the most recent edition of the Rouge Forum News: It is the only clear expression of education radicalism in the US.

Thanks too to Susan H and O, Amber, Diego, Ernesto, Lucy W and S, Jesus, Joseph, Amilia, Candace, Bob and Tommie, Wayne and Perry, Steve, Big Al, Nancy, Lisa, Marisol, Ricio, Chantelle, The Wailers, Harv, Ned, Ray, Earl, Sandy and Van, Mickey, Jim, Phillip and his entire gang, Selene and Frank, Carolina, Maria, Bruno, Daniel, Natalia, Nereyda, Edgar, Edwardo, and Gil

All the best and good luck to us every one.

r