French Students and Workers Show the Way!
French students blockaded more high schools and universities Thursday, as the third straight day of nationwide strikes over the government’s retirement reforms snarled train travel and sent a renewed challenge to President Nicolas Sarkozy.
France’s BFM TV showed groups of students toppling trash cans in southeast France, erecting barricades in the middle of a Paris avenue, and being closely watched by police in several areas.
While the protesting students won’t reach retirement age for decades, the government is keeping a close eye on their rallies because student protests have brought down major government reforms in the past.
Little Red Schoolhouse
The Education Agenda is a War Agenda; A Class and Empire’s War Agenda: Navy Takes Over San Ysidro Schools: The Navy is teaming with the San Ysidro School District in the service’s largest initiative of its kind. Partners in Education pairs locally-based ships with schools to ensure students leave with “academic, technical, and employability skills necessary to be successful in the workplace,” Navy officials said.
Divide and Rule–California to Gut K-12 Schools, Hit State Workers, the Poor and Disabled, and Prisoners, with a Small Bribe to Colleges and Universities: California’s in-home healthcare program for the elderly, blind and disabled would shrink by 3.6%, the document says. Child-care services provided by the state would be trimmed by $48 million.Winners in the plan would be the state’s two higher-education systems, the University of California and California State University. Both would receive $200 million to compensate for cuts made last year and enough money to fully fund projected enrollment growth, according to the report.
Rhee Going Going Gone but Rotten Contract, Sellout Unions, and Racist System Hold Strong: D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee will announce Wednesday that she is resigning at the end of this month, bringing an abrupt end to a tenure that drew national acclaim but that also became a central issue in an election that sent her patron, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, to defeat.
For Those Who Thought They Could Vote In Real Social Change in DC Schools: Presumptive mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray introduced Kaya Henderson on Wednesday as the interim chancellor of D.C. public schools and vowed that reforms launched under Michelle A. Rhee would continue when he takes office in January….In Henderson, Gray inherits someone in tune with Rhee on the fundamentals of education reform, especially the belief that teacher quality is the most important determinant of student success. Rhee and Henderson worked together at the New Teacher Project, a teacher recruiting nonprofit group that Rhee founded and ran before she was appointed by Fenty in June 2007. Henderson was a vice president for the group. She was Rhee’s first appointment and was named her top deputy the day Rhee was introduced to the District. At the time, Rhee made it sound as if they had come to the District as a package. “I told Kaya, ‘I can’t do this without you,’” Rhee said at the time. “She’s everything you’d want in a leader. She has an ability to motivate people. She’s a critical thinker, and she’s an innovative thinker.”
From the Same Reporters Who Brought Us VAM (and the ACLU)–Will UTLA Dump Tenure and Seniority? “This is a shifting of the tectonic plates,” said David Gregory, a professor of labor law at St. John’s College in New York City. “If this were to move forward, every major district in the country is going to look to this as the model…. It would be the most innovative system in the country — if it comes to pass.”
You Kiddies Good and Better Do your Salutin: The Poway Unified School District clarified its Pledge of Allegiance policy after outraged parents said students shouldn’t be able to opt out of saying the pledge. Superintendent John Collins announced the change at Monday’s school board meeting, saying the district sought legal advice to make sure it was following both state and federal law. State education code says every school should have a daily patriotic exercise and the pledge fulfills that requirement. On the other hand, federal law says no one shall be compelled to say the pledge
Wall Street’s Fake Successful Charter in Harlem: The parent organization of the schools, the Harlem Children’s Zone, enjoys substantial largess, much of it from Wall Street. While its cradle-to-college approach, which seeks to break the cycle of poverty for all 10,000 children in a 97-block zone of Harlem, may be breathtaking in scope, the jury is still out on its overall impact. And the cost of its charter schools — around $16,000 per student in the classroom each year, as well as thousands of dollars in out-of-class spending — has raised questions about their utility as a nationwide model.
Ohanian And Metro Times Show Depth Of Detroit Schools’ Economic/Social Crisis: Metro Times has learned that twice in the past 10 months, the state has approved two short-term loans totaling $443 million. Department of Treasury spokesman Caleb Buhs confirms that the loans, obtained through bond sales, were approved by his department. However, no mention of the loans — $256 million in March and $187 million in August — was made on the DPS, Department of Treasury or governor’s websites. Buhs tells Metro Times the loans must be repaid by August 2011. Currently, the state is withholding $45 million per month in funding to satisfy the debt, Buhs says.
Read the full RF Update here.