Lois Weiner's blog
|Lois Weiner April 9, 2014|
This past week I participated in a “Don’t tread on educators” workshop for NYC teachers who are fighting against having been given unsatisfactory ratings by supervisors. They shared personal stories of being singled out for punishment after years of satisfactory service and of their union, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) that will not support them and worse, often collaborates at the highest levels with the administration in pushing them out of their careers.
|Lois Weiner April 2, 2014|
One week, two precedents.
|Lois Weiner March 26, 2014|
One can’t know from old modes of media, now state or corporate-controlled in every country I know of, how extensive resistance is to the destruction of systems of public education created in the past century, through struggles of working people to improve their children’s lives. (The best chronicle of these struggles is more
|Lois Weiner March 19, 2014|
It’s hard for people who have never been on strike to understand how transformative the experience can be, especially if the job is one’s life work. All of sudden, power relations are reversed. Workers are calling the shots about what they will and will not do. Life in school is so routinized that anything new can cause shock waves, and a strike by teachers is a tsunami.
|Lois Weiner March 12, 2014|
We’re seeing social movement teacher unionism arise in the South, in NEA, in Organize2020, a hardy band of activists who intend to transform their NEA state affiliate, North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE). I was invited to speak at their first state-wide conference but when we were iced
|Lois Weiner March 5, 2014|
|Lois Weiner March 1, 2014|
The following letter, to which I have added my name, is being circulated by education faculty. Dozens of education faculty have already signed and teachers at another Chicago school, with support of parents, have now decided to boycott the test. School administrators have threatened retaliation against the teachers, and support from outside the city is essential. The Chicago Teachers Union is supporting this teacher-led boycott.
|Lois Weiner February 26, 2014|
(This blog was adapted from my remarks in a remarkable forum on Feb. 8 in NYC that critiqued current policies evaluating principals and teachers and examined possible solutions. The panel was videotaped and will be uploaded shortly. I’ll give readers the URL when that occurs.)
|Lois Weiner February 19, 2014|
There’s no single recipe for building the social movement we need to make public education what it should be, to nurture and protect democracy and kids’ well-being. But we can see essential ingredients coming together in many different places.
|Lois Weiner February 12, 2014|
In California a legal battle is being fought that has political implications for teachers everywhere. It’s being cast - incorrectly - as a confrontation between teachers’ jobs and students’ rights.
|Lois Weiner February 5, 2014|
Is the push for preschool something we should celebrate? Yes and no.
|Lois Weiner January 29, 2014|
It’s hard to overstate how frightened US teachers are in many schools and districts. We know from research that many teachers in schools now chose this career because they love kids and/or their subject matter. Some of activists in social justice causes but many have never taken an interest in what they’ve viewed as “politics,” remote from their work. These teachers aren’t prepared for the ferocity of the attack they’ve experienced, and teachers unions have been so weakened, legally and politically, that teachers
|Lois Weiner January 22, 2014|
Does appointment of Carmen Fariña signal a dramatic shift in policy for New York City public schools? Writing in the Indypendent, NYC teacher and union activist Brian Jones suggests, correctly I think, the situation is more complicated than supporters of Bill de Blasio want to believe.* On the one hand, Fariña is indeed different from her predecessors in the past decade.
|Lois Weiner January 16, 2014|
Teacher activists have been buzzing in the blogosphere about AFT President Randi Weingarten’s shift, endorsing a moratorium on linking teacher evaluation to students’ scores on standardized tests and on the new national curriculum, Common Core.
|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.