As you can see it is Maryland behind this deregulation attempt just as it leads in corporatization of universities into global systems.
LOOK----THERE'S MIKULSKI -----MISS NEO-LIBERAL HERSELF. SHE HANDED A COOL TRILLION OF TAXPAYERS MONEY OVER TWO DECADES TO MAKE JOHNS HOPKINS A GLOBAL CORPORATION AFTER ALL.
Also at the lead is University of Maryland Chancellor Kirwan-----you know----the one Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland is taking to court for rigging the elections for governor by choosing which candidates were heard on public university campuses across the state-----all of which is illegal. Sure, we solve this corruption by fewer regulations!
WE WILL SELECT ANY CANDIDATE WE CHOSE FOR THESE ELECTION FORUMS FOR GOVERNOR SAYS CHANCELLOR KIRWAN.
Oh, that's how you keep installing legislation no one wants ----you rig the system so we cannot get people in office that will reverse these policies! THAT'S KIRWAN FOR YOU-----A TRUE GLOBAL CORPORATE NEO-LIBERAL/NEOCON. Public universities as the hotbed of democratic political debate? That's no way to maximize corporate profits!
A New Deregulatory Push
February 13, 2014
By Michael Stratford Inside Higher Education
WASHINGTON -- The last time the Higher Education Act came up for a vote in Congress in 2008, Senator Lamar Alexander trotted out a five-foot stack of cartons onto the Senate floor to show the enormity of existing regulations governing higher education.
Now that lawmakers are once again contemplating how to rewrite that massive piece of legislation -- which authorizes, among other things, the $150 billion-a-year federal student aid program -- Alexander is returning to his props.
Speaking to a group of community college leaders Wednesday, Alexander unfolded the full paper version of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which was taller than he is, to underscore his distaste for the federal government’s bureaucratic reach onto college campuses. And last week he made the same demonstration before a group of private college presidents.
Alexander said Wednesday that his goal is to “simplify and deregulate” higher education in the upcoming renewal of the Higher Education Act -- a process he has said should “start from scratch.”
“What we’re trying to do is establish a continuous process for deregulation to overcome the continuous momentum for overregulation,” he said, noting that the “inertia” for creating new regulations comes from across the political spectrum.
“The conservative senators, from my party, they’re sometimes the worst,” he said, describing how he has to remind his colleagues that they are “the party of federalism, the 10th amendment” when they want to impose conservative ideas on how colleges should be run across the country.
All of their ideas “sound good, but you know what happens when you have to comply with it: it takes time and money away from your mission,” he told a group of community college trustees and presidents.
Alexander has formed, along with three other senators, a task force to recommend ways to reduce federal regulations on colleges and universities.
That group of higher education leaders gathered behind closed doors at the offices of the American Council on Education on Wednesday to begin producing recommendations on how to deregulate the industry. The panel consists of college presidents from a range of sectors and higher education associations.
Reducing or eliminating regulations on colleges has long been a goal of the higher education lobby in Washington, though previous efforts have largely been unsuccessful.
William E. (Brit) Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland and co-chair of the task force, said he was encouraged by the Congressional interest in reducing regulations.
“What seems different this time is the very strong commitment of these four senators,” Kirwan said. “They are determined to address this issue and get our help in finding some meaningful reforms.”
Alexander and Senator Michael Bennet, a Democrat from Colorado, attended Wednesday’s meeting, and two other lawmakers -- Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, a Democrat, and Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, a Republican -- are also on board.
The panel will focus on identifying “the most egregious, excessive regulations," but will also make recommendations on the Education Department’s rule making process in general, Kirwan said.
“The hope is that we can make some suggestions that will enable us to meet our obligations and be accountable to the federal government but to do so in a way that is cost effective and not excessively bureaucratic,” he said.
Kirwan said that one example of the type of regulations that his task force would be targeting is a campus safety rule that requires colleges to collect crime information from local police jurisdictions when students study abroad or when athletes travel to an out-of-town hotel.
The task force hopes to produce a report on its recommendations within the next 12 months, Kirwan said. The group will also be coordinating with the National Research Council, which was directed by Congressional appropriators last month to conduct a $1 million study of the cost of regulations on higher education.
Kirwan, who also chairs the subcommittee at the NRC that will oversee the study, said that work would be focused on all federal regulations that affect higher education, while the Congressional task force would focus only on Education Department regulations.
This is what Kirwan and his group of global corporate bosses think they are going to do with our universities and deregulating gets rid of all that public justice and civil rights stuff....you know----THE US CONSTITUTION AND OUR STATUS AS AN EQUAL PROTECTION DEMOCRACY. Who in the world wants people like this deciding what is good.
That is what testing from K onward is about----the state determining how a child will be tracked and into what vocation from elementary school on. Remember, school privatization means the entity deciding will be corporations. This is already happening in Baltimore and it is nothing but autocratic.
O'Malley has made his career as Governor of Maryland building these tracking systems into our schools at every level......it is failing miserably although spin will make it sound a great success.
It is the for-profit colleges AND THAT DEREGULATION that distorted who and how students went to college last decade and it is infused with fraud and corruption so it is not our decades-old system of allowing families to decide where and what that child will pursue that failed----
IT IS THE SAME PEOPLE WRITING THESE PRIVATIZATION POLICIES THAT DISTORTED A GOOD SYSTEM.
This article is long but please glance through!
College material or not: who should decide?
College, of course, isn’t for everybody, but who should decide — and how and when — which students should go and shouldn’t? In this post, Kevin Welner and Carol Burris ask whether the decision should be made by policy makers and school officials or parents and students after young people have had equitable opportunities to learn in elementary and secondary school.
Welner is the director of the National Education Policy Center, located at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. He is the author of the 2008 book, “NeoVouchers: The Emergence of Tuition Tax Credits for Private Schooling.” Burris is the award-winning principal of South Side High School in New York. She was named New York’s 2013 High School Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and in 2010, tapped as the 2010 New York State Outstanding Educator by the School Administrators Association of New York State.
By Kevin Welner and Carol Burris
Robin should become a printer. That’s what Robin Calitri’s school counselor told his dad in 1965. Robin thought his counselor’s advice was just swell. He wasn’t a motivated high school student. But his dad, who was a professor of English Literature at Hofstra University, made it clear to the counselor that his son was going to college.
Robin later became the principal of Long Island’s South Side High School and was a finalist for the national principal of the year in 1999. He would tell that story about the counselor whenever he explained the harm done by tracking—the sorting of some students into classes that are not designed to prepare those children for post-secondary education.
If his dad had gone along with the counselor’s recommendation, his son would likely have ended up in a trade that was becoming obsolete. To his credit, Robin understood that this was precisely the situation faced by children in working-class and poor families. Research on tracking and choice confirms this; working-class and poor families, as well as parents without a college education, are more deferential to the advice of school authorities and less willing to push back on the system. Robin also understood that a young person’s future hangs in the balance when school authorities are making rules that will cut off college as an option.
Yes, we can all agree: college is not for everybody. But should school officials and top-down policy makers decide based, for example, on Common Core college readiness test scores, or should the decision be left to parents and students after schools have given them meaningful, enriching, equitable opportunities to learn?
While college is not for everybody, opportunities to be prepared for college definitely should be. When college-educated parents have the capacity to secure the college advantage, they certainly seize it for their own children. It is not unusual, for example, to see upper middle class parents spend thousands on tutoring—including tutors for the SAT and the college essay. College-educated parents understand that a four-year diploma is key to securing financial success.
That’s just one reality that Mike Petrilli, the executive vice president of the Fordham Institute, refuses to confront in his article in Slate, with the man-bites-dog title, “Kid, I’m Sorry, but You’re Just Not College Material” Is exactly what we should be telling a lot of high school students.”
The “we” who are the deciders is left somewhat undefined, but it’s safe to assume that the use of “we” does not give power and capacity to the students themselves.
Before continuing, this is a good spot to pause and acknowledge when we are talking about other people’s children. The two of us, like Mr. Petrilli, represent families where post-secondary education is a given. Accordingly, we’re essentially debating what’s best for those “other” families. As we contemplate tinkering with their fate, it is wise to remember John Dewey’s axiom:
“What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all of its children. Any other ideal for our schools is narrow and unlovely; acted upon, it destroys our democracy.”
Perhaps we are unwise in working our tails off for our children to go to college. But unless and until we acknowledge this, we should be wary of sending other families down a different path.
The vocational education push isn’t coming from just Mr. Petrilli. As he notes, it’s also coming from a project headquartered at Harvard University (apparently with no irony intended) as well as from policymakers throughout the nation. The Education Commission of the States recently studied the “State of the State” addresses from the nation’s governors and found that “at least 13 governors and the D.C. mayor outlined proposals improving or expanding CTE [career and technical education, aka vocational education] options for students.”
Mr. Petrilli and the governors are correct to the extent that they are simply acknowledging that not all children will go to college and that those who do not should nonetheless have opportunities to thrive. It is also true that the decision to forgo or delay college should be made before graduation day.
From that point on, however, the “sort and select” advocates get almost everything wrong. Their fundamental two-part assumption is, first, that they can and should identify children who are beyond academic hope. Second, they believe that it is possible and beneficial to identify these children early, separate them from their academically oriented peers, and put them on a track that hopefully prepares them for post-secondary employment but does not prepare them for college.
Equitable schools reject such tracking policies because they believe in the American Dream and because they have learned from past mistakes. History tells us that schools should not be in the business of foreclosing children’s options. At the start of the 20th century, schools faced an influx of immigrants, and policymakers responded by creating programs for those who were called the “great army of incapables.” Vocational tracks prepared immigrants to be factory workers, while the children of well-off parents were given a college preparatory education. This pattern of separating students into different classes was repeated during the era of racial desegregation as a way to maintain segregated classrooms—and then again in the 1970s when students with special needs were increasingly enrolled in mainstream schools.
History and research show that when schools sort in this way, it is the disadvantaged children who are directed toward lower-tier tracks. No matter what criteria are used—scores, recommendations or even choice—the same patterns of stratification occur. Accordingly, when lawmakers adopt these misguided policies, they open up opportunity gaps that inevitably lead to the achievement gaps that these same lawmakers then decry.
Mr. Petrilli concedes that he understands the danger. Describing the bad old days, he writes, “Those high school ‘tracks’ were immutable, and those who wound up in ‘voc-ed’ (or, at least as bad, the ‘general’ track) were those for whom secondary schooling, in society’s eyes, was mostly a custodial function.” Yet he turns back to voc-ed because, as he contends, the odds are otherwise too long for disadvantaged students.
Beginning with the statistic that only 10 percent of these disadvantaged students earn a four-year degree, Mr. Petrilli asserts that if we work really hard as a society maybe this number would rise to 30 percent, which for Mr. Petrilli is not good enough. Since recent data show that 33.5 percent of Americans ages 25 to 29 have at least a bachelor’s degree, that sounds like a pretty good outcome to us. By the way, that’s the highest percentage ever for Americans, and it doesn’t include those who earn two-year degrees as well as certificates in our community colleges and post-secondary technical schools.
The “You’re Not College Material” approach is the same one we use far too often in schools. Too many kids hear--You’re not ‘honors’ material, or Challenging science and math isn’t for you. And every time that strategy is used, we see the same results—classes that are stratified by social class and race. It’s an approach that reinforces existing inequalities. To say in a supposedly neutral way that not all students will go to college is disingenuous without first acknowledging something else: that what’s really being said is that we should accept that college is for the already advantaged.
On some level, Mr. Petrilli grasps these concerns—when he acknowledges the past harms of tracking and that “when judgments were made on the basis of ZIP code or skin color, the old system was [deterministic, racist, and classist].” What he doesn’t acknowledge is that his new system would be the old system.
It’s interesting to us that the Petrilli article’s argument relies in part on the German system of tiered schooling, where college-bound students head to the Gymnasium while vocation-bound students head to the Hauptschule or Realschule. Yes, it’s true that students attending the German vocational schools do better than voc-ed students here, in part because of a more equitable job sector following graduation. But a team of German psychologists recently published an article in The Journal of Educational Psychology on the effects of the German vocational track on the development of student intelligence—and they found that students in the academic track experienced substantial IQ gains as compared to those voc-ed students. Not only did the learning gap grow, so did the very capacity to learn between German academic and vocational students. That outcome should give us pause.
Our quarrel is not with offering vocational opportunities in high schools. Rather, we favor a smart and fair approach that works for children and families who, at the right time and place, make the choice for a career after high school. We might, for example, retool our two-year colleges so that they offer more programs in technology and other marketable areas, without making students jump through remedial hoops to stay. We might also follow the lead of Finland and prepare students with a strong and equitable academic education without tracking until age 16, and then allow them to make meaningful career and life choices. We may even look at promising models, such as California’s Linked Learning schools, which integrate career preparation while still preparing students for college. High schools have an obligation to do their best to prepare students for college and career; preparation for both has more overlap than often assumed.
We reject, however, No College for You! proposals that sort 14 year olds into vocational high schools. South Side High School, one of the best in the nation, would likely be a very different place if co-author Carol Burris’ predecessor, Robin Calitri, had obliged his counselor when he was told “Kid, you are not college material.” That counselor did not have the right to make that decision—and neither does Mike Petrilli.
Neo-liberals installed the education policy in South Korea after the Korean war that it is trying to install in the US today. The difference is that the US has a history of public education and people as citizens with the rights to legislate and equal protection laws. From Korea this policy traveled to China and Singapore and involves very autocratic and pedantic learning where parents in these countries have been fighting for decades to get rid of it. NO ONE LIKES THESE NEO-LIBERAL EDUCATION POLICIES. Look below and you see the AFT union leader Weingarten with Arne Duncan praising this neo-liberal model. Weingarten allowed the AFT to support these Race to the Top and Common Core policies for the first years of Obama's terms but the public outcry and teachers grew too large for Weingarten to follow the neo-liberal lead and as you see in the article after this one-----the AFT is now fighting Obama's and Wall Street's education reform.
IT WAS THE PUBLIC OUTCRY THAT FORCED THIS UNION LEADER TO STOP FOLLOWING NEO-LIBERALS. WE MUST HAVE THE PUBLIC PROTESTING LOUDLY AND STRONGLY TO SUPPORT TEACHERS IN KILLING THIS VERY BAD EDUCATION REFORM. NEITHER REPUBLICANS NOR DEMOCRATS WANT THIS REFORM. IT IS ONLY ABOUT MAKING EDUCATION INTO GLOBAL CORPORATIONS.
I spoke at great length about the Finland model for education that has made Finland number 1 in education. Finland embraced the American model of the 1950s and 1960s while the US was dismantling the best in the world public education to make this corporatized model they are pushing today.
THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE GOING BACK TO THE PUBLIC EDUCATION BUILT FOR DEMOCRACY AND AWAY FROM THIS AUTOCRATIC CORPORATE MODEL.
Which winning ideas could the U.S. steal from Singapore?
Singapore has one of the best education systems in the world, according to international assessments. President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talk about its performance. United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten visited in 2012 and her counterpart at the National Education Association, Dennis Van Roekel, has praised its teacher training. And in 2012, Singapore was featured in the first-ever International Summit on the Teaching Profession as a country that many places – including America – could learn from.
In light of all this hype, I spent the past week in Singapore visiting schools to find out why they are so successful. But, not surprisingly, there’s no big secret or magic trick that the United States could simply copy tomorrow. Rather, my impressions were of a nation where education is respected, where educators and administrators think critically about their jobs and the qualities they want their students to develop and where self-reflection is ingrained. Those are qualities already found in many American schools, and that reformers are trying to spur in others.
But some of Singapore’s latest strategies go beyond or challenge some of the most popular ideas right now for improving American schools. At the same time, it’s important to remember the vast differences between the two countries that make it difficult to transfer ideas. Here are my main takeaways from my conversations with educators, students and education officials:
- Singapore is looking to revamp their standards. As most states in America continue the rollout of the Common Core State Standards, an internationally benchmarked guide laying out what students are supposed to learn in each grade in math and English, Singapore also has changes planned. But education officials there are more concerned about some less tangible skills, like collaboration and creativity, and coming up with ways to systematically introduce those into the curriculum. In theory, the end goals of Common Core and Singapore’s newest push are similar. They both aim to create individuals with critical thinking skills who can thrive in a modern economy. But as we try to copy Singapore’s methods, like their math sequencing, educators there are already moving on to new ideas.
- Lots of Singaporean students are stressed. The country is looking for ways to reduce this and trying to decrease the emphasis on grades and test scores. The Ministry of Education is trying to reduce the emphasis on the primary school exit exam, which all students have to take to determine which secondary school they will attend, for instance. But many people told me one of the biggest challenges will be changing the mindset of parents. Not all students in Singapore worry endlessly about exams, but several people said that for those that do, parents are a primary source of their anxiety.
- Singapore is small. As several people pointed out to me, if you drive for an hour in any direction, you arrive at the water. While some people told me the small size of the country has disadvantages for education – it severely limits options for field trips for instance – it also has its benefits. Most notably, the country’s size, along with the fact that the schools are run by a centralized authority, allows the Ministry of Education, the National Institute of Education – which trains every teacher in the country – and the schools to be in close communication about research and new strategies. New programs can be implemented quicker and the National Institute for Education can easily keep track of what is actually happening in classrooms to tweak its offerings when needed.
- The schools are big. Half a million students are enrolled in the island’s schools, but most schools have student populations of more than a thousand – even at the primary level. With that many students, classes of 35 to 40 are typical, but nothing seemed disorderly. The atmosphere in the classrooms that I visited switched between formal and relaxed. Students bowed to greet visitors and again to thank them for coming. They stood up to speak whenever called upon, and chatter while a teacher was talking was almost nonexistent. At the same time, though, laughter was common. Teachers would gently tease students and discussion was highly encouraged.
Not everything Singapore does would apply to our much larger, decentralized education system and not everything they do should be emulated. But there are some inspirations we could draw from the country, such as trying to get more high-performing students into the classroom as teachers or being more explicit in the character qualities we want students to develop – without obsessing over how to measure them.
As a social democrat I do not want to break from the Democratic Party-----I want to take the Democratic Party back from corporate neo-liberals. The important thing is that more and more people are understanding where this is going and know we can stop and reverse this no matter what political stance you take. We need Republicans pushing against this as these policies are written by neo-conservative and neo-liberal think tanks.
'The way forward for teachers requires a complete break with the pro-corporate trade unions and Democratic Party.
.......calling for Duncan’s resignation, saying he had championed a “failed education agenda” consisting of policies that “undermine public schools and colleges, the teaching education professionals, and education unions.”
Seeking to regain credibility, US teachers unions criticize Obama’s education secretary
By Phyllis Scherrer
22 July 2014
After spending the last five-and-a-half years collaborating with the Obama administration’s attack on teachers’ jobs and conditions, the two teachers’ unions in the US recently passed resolutions seeking to distance themselves from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and his anti-public education policies.
The National Education Association (NEA) passed a resolution at its national convention in Denver, Colorado, on July 4, calling for Duncan’s resignation, saying he had championed a “failed education agenda” consisting of policies that “undermine public schools and colleges, the teaching education professionals, and education unions.”
This was followed by a July 13 resolution at the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) conference in Los Angeles, California, which called on President Obama “to implement a secretary improvement plan” for Duncan, modeled on the punitive testing measures used to fire “failing” teachers. “If Secretary Duncan does not improve, and given that he has been treated fairly and his due process rights have been upheld, the secretary of education must resign,” the statement read.
The conventions were held just weeks after Duncan’s enthusiastic support for the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Vergara v. California case, which attacks tenure and another job protections won by teachers over decades of struggle. At the time Duncan hailed the right-wing forces behind the lawsuit, saying, “millions of young people in America” are “disadvantaged by laws, practices, and systems that fail to identify and support our best teachers and match them with our neediest students.”
The NEA and AFT resolutions, however, were nothing more than an exercise in damage control by the unions, aimed at reviving the credibility of both unions, which have been undermined by their collaboration with Duncan and the administration’s pro-corporate “school reform” agenda. The resolutions will have no affect whatsoever on the continued collaboration of the teachers’ unions with the Obama administration.
In fact, the day the NEA convention passed its resolution, officials from the rival AFT were at the White House meeting with Duncan to collaborate on the implementation of a new “teacher equity plan,” another teachers “evaluation” plan to rid poor school districts, with the assistance of the unions, of higher paid, more senior teachers.
Duncan dismissed the NEA resolution with the contempt it deserves, saying, had NEA officials not been at their convention, “I think they would have stood with us on this” today, too. He congratulated new NEA President-elect Lily Eskelsen Garcia and added, “We’ve had a very good working relationship with the NEA in the past.”
In addition to concealing their own role, by presenting Duncan as the author of this anti-teacher agenda, the unions are seeking to protect President Obama and the Democratic Party. The teachers unions promoted the lie that Obama would reverse the attacks of his Republican predecessor. In fact, the Democratic president has gone well beyond the attacks associated with Bush’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001.
Under Obama’s Race to the Top (RTTT) the administration allocated $4.35 billion to fund a “competition” designed by the Bill & Melinda Gates, Eli Broad, Boeing, Walton Family and other Foundations. School districts were forced to vie against each other for funds already severely reduced under Bush’s NCLB—federal funds that under the War on Poverty reforms of the 1960s were allotted directly to districts serving high percentages of students in poverty.
Under RTTT “winning” districts are those who agree to fire teachers and close or privatize schools based on poor standardized test scores, which are chiefly the result of poverty and decades of budget cutting, not bad teachers. Since the implementation of RTTT, public schools have been starved of funding, 330,000 teachers and other public school employees have lost their jobs, at least 4,000 public schools have been closed, and the number of students enrolled in charter schools has doubled.
Obama and the Democratic Party have embraced the anti-teacher nostrums long associated with the most right-wing sections of the Republican Party. This is underscored by the fact that former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs and several other former Obama aides are spearheading a national public relations drive to support lawsuits in New York and other states, modeled on Vergara, to overturn teacher tenure, seniority and other job protections.
On the local level, Democratic mayors and school officials from Chicago, Philadelphia and New York to Detroit, New Orleans and Washington, DC, have spearheaded the attack on public education and expansion of for-profit charters.
The well-heeled executives who run the teachers’ unions--including AFT President Randi Weingarten and NEA President Dennis Van Roekel who received salaries of $543,150 and $306,286 respectively in the last year alone—are not opposed to the pro-corporate school “reform.” On the contrary, they are only looking to be partners in this process, as the AFT slogan, “School reform with us, not against us,” makes clear.
Both the NEA and the AFT were direct recipients of Gates’ money for the implementation of the so-called Common Core curriculum, which will be used to further attack teachers, while subordinating public education to the needs of profit-making technology and publishing companies. In 2012, the AFT accepted $4.4 million in order to “work on teacher development and Common Core Standards.” In July 2013 the NEA endorsed the Common Core and was awarded $6.3 million to assist with developing the Common Core Curriculum.
As teachers became wise to the character of Common Core, and every more disdainful of the AFT’s support of it, AFT officials tried to distance themselves from Gates last March by refusing to take any additional money from the Gates Innovation Foundation Fund, only one of several conduits of the billionaire’s money to the AFT.
Part of the grandstanding against Duncan is the increasing turf war between the AFT and NEA and their competition for dues money among a shrinking number of teachers. The AFT convention passed a dues increase by 45 cents per month this year and 55 cents per month next year, for a total monthly dues bill of $18.78 for each member by September 2015—largely to offset the loss of Gates money—and is increasingly seeking to get a foothold among low-paid charter teachers, as well as non-teaching members like nurses.
The NEA, the nation’s largest union, with just over three million members, including teachers, paraprofessionals and higher education instructors, has seen a significant drop in membership. Since the 2010-2011 school year, which coincides with the recession and the election of Obama, union membership for the NEA is down by 201,000 of its teacher members.
Under conditions in which more states are enacting Republican-backed “right-to-work” laws, which end automatic dues deduction from teachers’ paychecks, and sections of the Democratic Party are openly discussing dispensing with the services of the unions altogether, the AFT and NEA are doubling down to ensure state and local officials that they can be relied on to slash costs, destroy teachers’ conditions and suppress opposition to the closing of schools and the attack on education.
Over the last five years there have been growing struggles of teachers—in Wisconsin, Chicago, Portland, Oregon, St. Paul, Minnesota, and other cities—which have led to a direct clash between teachers on the one hand and the Democratic Party and their servants in the trade unions on the other.
Well aware of the growing anger of rank-and-file teachers, a section of trade union bureaucracy and its supporters in pseudo-left movements like the International Socialist Organization, whose supporters have gained union positions in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City and other districts, are doing everything they can to refurbish the image of the teachers’ unions.
Their model of “social justice unionism” has proven to be a dead end as the betrayal of the 2012 teachers strike, by Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis and Vice President Jesse Sharkey, a supporter of the ISO, showed. The CTU shut down the nine-day strike by 26,000 Chicago teachers before it could develop into a direct political confrontation with Mayor Rahm Emanuel—Obama’s former White House Chief of Staff—and the White House.
This betrayal gave Emanuel the green light to close 50 schools and lay off 3,500 teachers and school workers. As a reward, an AFT-affiliated union was given the franchise to “organize” low-paid teachers at the Chicago United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) charter schools run by one of Emanuel’s closest supporters.
Lewis and the CTU are now promoting the idea of running “independent” political campaigns in Chicago. Far from challenging the Democratic Party and advancing any independent political strategy for the working class, these campaigns fully accept the domination of society by the corporate and financial elite and are solely aimed at pressuring the Democrats to more effectively use the unions as partners in the dismantling of public education.
The way forward for teachers requires a complete break with the pro-corporate trade unions and Democratic Party and the fight to mobilize the working class as a whole against the profit system and to defend all of the democratic and social rights of the working class, including access to high quality public education.
Below you see how other states still have democratic debates and open elections while in Maryland any politician that speaks against neo-liberals and neo-cons are censured. We must fight for free and fair elections to make sure we can vote these neo-liberals out of office.
Remember, Common Core is not about quality education.....it is about controlling what is taught. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math are already standardized and we do not want our humanities and liberal arts standardized because that is what makes the US a plurality and democracy-----differing points of view. So this is simply a policy meant to give global corporations control of what our children learn in classrooms.
We have the AFT, the CTU, and it looks like the UFT moving against these education reforms and now we need parents and communities fighting with them. It does not matter your political stance----these policies hurt all Americans.
New York Now Leads the Way in the Movement Against Common Core- At The Polls | With A Brooklyn Accent
20 Jul 2014 | Common Core · New York Share NPE News Briefs
Something truly extraordinary has happened in the New York State Gubernatorial race-something with broad national implications. A big money Democratic Governor, Andrew Cuomo, who thought he was going to make himself a front runner in the 2016 Presidential Race by ramming through legislation requiring teacher evaluations based on Common Core aligned tests, has generated so much opposition among teachers and parents that there are now three different Gubernatorial candidates who oppose Common Core- the Republican candidate, Rob Astorino, the Green Party candidate, Howie Hawkins, and the new and quite formidable challenger in the Democratic Primary, Zephyr Teachout.
There are two reasons this situation is “game changer”
First, it shows how much opposition to Common Core is emerging across the political spectrum. For the last year, Common Core supporters in the media, the corporate world, and the US Department of Education have tried to portray Common Core opponents as extremists whose views should be rejected out of hand, but the what we have in New York is a mainstream Republican, a strong candidate on the left, and a liberal Democrat all saying that Common Core is untested, undemocratic and a threat to strong, locally controlled public schools. And this position is going to be put forward strongly from now until election day. Even if Andrew Cuomo wins the Democratic primary, he will be facing two strong anti-Common Core voices in the general election.