|Lois Weiner December 31, 2013|
There’s no strict recipe we can follow to build social movement teachers unions though the process will require some indispensable ingredients, robust democracy for one. Another element is creating relationships among people who inhabit very different social spheres. While the principles on which we organize are key, so are the ways we struggle together, creating friendships.
|Dan La Botz December 29, 2013|
During the early 1990s I became involved in the national debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) then in the final stages of negotiation between Canada, Mexico and the United States. Twenty years later, it’s clear that NAFTA, the creation of a North American common market of sorts, was a watershed event, but I have to admit I had not really been paying much attention to it until I got a phone call in November 1990.
|Lois Weiner December 26, 2013|
In much of the global south, teachers are leaders of their communities. In Iran, two teachers are in mortal danger because they have defended their community’s religious freedom. Amnesty International has sent an alert for urgent action to defend them. I’ve sent an email message, reproduced below.
|Lois Weiner December 25, 2013|
One of the most confusing aspects of the last decade’s education reforms is that a reform that will do great harm often contains an element that’s useful, even progressive.
|Lois Weiner December 17, 2013|
Union City, NJ had a brief minute in the sun as the liberals’ example of good school reform.
|Lois Weiner December 11, 2013|
Illinois, which has a Democratic governor and a state legislature controlled by the Democratic Party, has just gutted its pension system for public employees.
|Joanne Landy December 11, 2013|
Patrick Bond’s piece “Mandela: Was he pushed or did he jump?,” posted At Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, graphically describes the catastrophic transition from South African apartheid to today’s neoliberalism – a sobering cautionary tale for all fighting for radical democratic change today – in Greece, in the U.S., in the Middle East, and beyond. Even though the neoliberal pressures are enormous, we all need to think about strategic alternatives.
|Lois Weiner December 4, 2013|
How should we respond to the barrage of propaganda about the latest international test of student achievement, PISA? Test data are (once again) being used to show that US schools are failing.
|Lois Weiner November 27, 2013|
Nasty exchanges about “identity politics” in Left circles on FaceBook I’ve glanced at recently haven’t seemed very relevant to my work as a teacher educator or union activist. This is curious because I know one reason education is so contested is that schools reproduce (or change) the beliefs that underlie the society’s political and economic arrangements. Schools and teachers convey how we make sense of our identity, as a society and as individuals. So why does the debate seem tangential to me?
|Dan La Botz November 24, 2013|
Hanging from a chain on a roof, that’s where I was. It’s true, as every television and radio station has been telling us over the last several days; those of us my age do remember where we were when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. And, as I think back on it now, I am shocked at the cavalier nature of my response when I heard the news and I wonder at my lack of understanding of the significance of the event.
|Lois Weiner November 20, 2013|
One question I’m frequently asked is what “social movement teacher unionism” looks like and how to get there.
|Michael Hirsch November 19, 2013|
Growing Income Disparities ‘Danger to System,’ says Former Clinton Labor Secretary
(A mixed review of Robert Reich’s documentary ‘Inequality for All’)
|Lois Weiner November 13, 2013|
The teacher activist blogosphere has been buzzing about the perfidy of the AFT’s and NEA’s endorsements of teacher evaluation tied to students’ standardized test scores and a new national curriculum, the Common Core. Both policies are key to the neoliberal dream of a national, privatized system of public education that will synchronize educational outcomes with an economic reality of growing joblessness and underemployment. (I know these are strong claims and I refer readers who want further verification and explanation to my analyses in New Politics and book.)
|Lois Weiner November 6, 2013|
It was clear from the start that teachers had an uphill battle explaining why NJ Governor Christie’s educational policies, his vicious bashing of teachers, were harmful to kids and the state. One of the most serious obstacles is that media are captive to neoliberal propagandists. Conveying a different message requires concentrated, savvy use of social media.
|Michael Hirsch November 1, 2013|
Review of The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013
This American life is a mess, argues George Packer in The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America. It’s a nation fraying, with core institutions from government and finance to housing, jobs and education dysfunctional or “unwound.”