Lois Weiner's blog
|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.
|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 18, 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.
|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?
|Lois Weiner November 20, 2013|
One question I’m frequently asked is what “social movement teacher unionism” looks like and how to get there.
|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.
|Lois Weiner October 30, 2013|
Bill Keller’s op/ed piece in the NY Times about the mediocrity in teacher education deserved a political rebuttal that responses in the “letters” section didn’t provide. My letter, rejected, slipped in my doctoral work at Harvard and my book on urban teaching, which in the past has allowed my radical critique to pass as credible.
|Lois Weiner October 23, 2013|
One of the most deceptive aspects of neoliberal reforms in education is that destructive policies often contain one element that is seductive for progressives who care about inequality in schools. When the Dems and Republicans rewrote federal aid to K-12 schools in No Child Left Behind (NCLB) many liberal researchers were dazzled by the legislation’s requirement that schools and states report data on student achievement broken down (disaggregated) by race.
|Lois Weiner October 16, 2013|
When I speak to teachers and education activists about my research, I am often told that the vast, well-organized project I describe could not exist without our knowing about it and that what I am describing sounds like a conspiracy. No, it’s not a conspiracy because conspiracies are, by definition, secret.
|Lois Weiner October 9, 2013|
Welcome news: The strike last week of England’s two largest unions was highly successful, gaining strong favorable publicity on social media and rallies. (Mea culpa: I was corrected by a Scottish comrade about my use of “UK” - Scotland has an independent government and educational system. Wales didn’t strike because its government nudged a bit on contract issues).
|Lois Weiner September 30, 2013|
Both teachers unions and headline-writers seem to agree that the NUT (National Union of Teachers) and NASUWT (National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers) joint strikes that start Tuesday 1 October are over pay and pensions. They’re wrong.