Puerto Rico is devastated by hurricanes, with climate change a factor, and by the administration’s racist malign neglect, atop an existing debt crisis the masses did not create. Real solidarity came from below. .
Readers’ Views on Hegel’s dialectic and today’s retrogression; Why read N&L?; La Raza unida; Education and freedom; Racism in Burma and U.S.; Voices from behind the bars
Reports from the huge Women’s March from participants in Chicago, Ill., Detroit, Mich., Oakland, Calif., Nashville, Tenn., Memphis, Tenn., Los Angeles, Calif., and New York City.
Readers’ Views on: Racism and Revolt Put U.S. on Trial; Life and Death Under the Class Divide; Environmental Struggles; War and Atrocities; and Women’s Lives at Stake.
Detroit public school teachers and students win some needed school building repairs, but all Detroit schools need regulation, ideas and political will so that all students receive a high-quality education.
An article by a formerly incarcerated person who gives a critical review of a conference on the criminal (in)justice system that leaves out the heart of the issue because it leaves out those most impacted by incarceration.
The last quarter of 2015 was marked by a national campaign against racism at campuses across the U.S.
Colorado student-teacher-parent walkouts lead to recall of reactionary school board members; Oxford students campaign to remove images of racist imperialist Cecil Rhodes; student activism sweeps South Africa.
The expansion of charter schools comes at the expense of unionized teachers, students and public education. It is a money making venture for the few while destroying public education in the process for the many.
Excerpts of videos of Sandra Bland speaking for herself. She made the videos in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. Bland died in Waller County, Texas, after being thrown in jail there for a manufactured traffic violation.
Readers’ thoughts on “Srebrenica, Bosnia, 1995; Europe and the World, 2015”; “Struggles against Racism”; “After Cecil, People Are Next”; “Teachers and Children”; “Workers, Customers Pay.”
From the November-December 2014 issue of News & Letters
Readers’ Views, Part 1
WOMEN FIGHT RAPE, HARASSMENT AND ABUSE
When I voted, many posters reminded folks that within 100 feet of the polling place you may not “interrupt” a person, nor “harass” nor even speak about your political views. [=>]
Suddenly, a generation of new radicals was born to replace “the silent generation” of the 1950s. By winter 1964 a new form of revolt, with a new underlying philosophy, called itself the Free Speech Movement. It becomes necessary to view the moment when the student revolt culminated in a mass sit-in.
Rallies and protests were held at over 30 New York City schools on the first day of state-enforced mandatory standardized English language testing.
Mississippi pro-discrimination law; Gay rights in India’s election; sexual and gender diversity classes in Nepal.
Review by Adele of “Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels,” by Sikivu Hutchinson (Infidel Books, 2013).
NY rally demands $15 minimum wage, fast-food workers’ right to organize a union without fear of being fired.
Yesterday, a judge approved Detroit bankruptcy. Emergency manager Kevyn Orr outrageously claimed that the attack on workers’ pensions would be “thoughtful, measured and humane.” Read the News & Letters article for a view from the other side of the class struggle.
Resistance by Indigenous groups in Colombia; Indigenous Guatemalans resist Canadian mining company; teachers in Mexico protest “educational reform” law
Solitary confinement in Contra Costa County juvenile hall; New Bedford theater expulsion; Providence school makes disabled students work manual labor for little or no pay
People may imagine that teachers here hit the beach or kick up their heels poolside, sipping cocktails and working on a suntan. For me and many other teachers, though, Monday will be the kickoff to the summer routine of registering for unemployment benefits and looking for work, as, once again, a year’s contract has come to an end.
News & Letters, July – August 2013. Lead: Turkey, Syria and Iran at crossroads of world revolt; From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: ‘Russia more than ever full of revolutionaries…’; Editorial: Support striking prisoners!; Essay: Communization theory and its discontents truncate Marx’s dialectic; Workshop Talks: The boss is spying; Revolutionary from Turkey speaks; Brazil’s uprising; Teacher and school struggles; and more…
In Iran, after the Islamic Revolution the whole issue of sexual health education was forgotten. Years later, a law made it compulsory for all marrying couples to attend a one-hour session at a local clinic on family planning and genetic diseases, including thalassemia— a serous inherited blood disorder.
We hypothesized that offering sexual health education to [=>]
San Francisco–What is happening at City College of San Francisco (CCSF) is something even the most avid conspiracy theorist would find hard to imagine.
Until July 2, 2012, the college had never received any sort of sanctions from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). In fact, in 2007, the New York Times named CCSF as [=>]
Lake County, Ill.—Recently, teachers in my district received a warning that the district would be undergoing “restructuring” for the 2013-14 school year. When the superintendent visited our school after the winter break, she informed us that scores were still not reaching our goal and that sweeping changes would be necessary.
She needed to submit a “bold [=>]
Editor’s note: Below we print excerpts from the News and Letters Committees panel discussion of teachers and education activists on the September strike by members of the Chicago Teachers Union. Daily mass demonstrations and solidarity from teachers and city residents extracted some concessions from the previously intransigent Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Uprisings in Egypt and Syria confront counter-revolution
Slightly over two years since the beginning of Egypt’s revolution, those heady days can seem distant. The current government of Mohamed Morsi was able to push through a reactionary Constitution. It includes anti-working class Articles allowing for child labor and forced labor, in certain circumstances; limits the right to [=>]
RICH AND DUNAYEVSKAYA: A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP
Thanks for your In Memoriam to Adrienne Rich. It revealed a dimension that many who were appreciative of her poetry and feminism may not have known—Rich’s exploration of Marx’s ideas through her reading of Raya Dunayevskaya. One piece Rich wrote was titled “Dunayevskaya’s Marx.” It was crucial how you [=>]
Parents, students and teachers have occupied Lakeview Elementary School in Oakland, Calif., since June 15 to keep it open, just one of five schools slated for closure. Under threat from police and the Oakland Unified School District, the protesters, including Occupy Oakland, nevertheless have created social justice, [=>]
by Htun Lin
Over a billion dollars has been spent in the last decade to comprehensively computerize the workplace at the nation’s largest HMO, where I work. For the executives, it’s as if the line between the virtual and the real has finally been eliminated. Not so for us rank-and-file workers, trying to provide real [=>]
Stop leeches bleeding public schools dry
New York City—”The Trial Is On! The People of NYC are gathering to put the perpetrators of education crimes and human and civil rights violations against our children on trial—in our own People’s Court!” On Oct. 15, the Coalition for Public Education (www.forpubliced.org) took testimony from parents, teachers and [=>]
From the November-December 2011 issue of News & Letters:
Chicago—Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made no secret of his contempt for City workers and his desire to weaken their unions. His attitude was perfectly captured in early September when he screamed “F—k you, Lewis!” at Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) President Karen Lewis during a meeting [=>]
From the September-October 2011 issue of News & Letters:
- REVOLUTION AND COUNTER-REVOLUTION: ARAB SPRING AS CROSSROADS IN HISTORY
- KARL MARX AND WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
- REMEMBERING CHRISTINA SANTIAGO
- THELONIOUS MONK
- CANADA AS ‘CONTESTATAIRE’ SOCIETY
- MAN-MADE DISASTERS: NUCLEAR POWER AND WORLD WAR
- LABOR STRUGGLES IN 2011
- WHY WRITE FOR N&L?
- VOICES FROM BEHIND THE BARS
REVOLUTION AND COUNTER-REVOLUTION: ARAB SPRING AS CROSSROADS IN HISTORY
The West supports any revolution where they [=>]
From the September-October 2011 issue of News & Letters:
World in View: Students awaken Chile
Hundreds of thousands of students–teenagers, and college students–have taken to the streets of Santiago, the capital, and the cities of Concepción, Valparaíso and Temuco, among others, to demand a decent public education. Hundreds of schools have been taken over. Students have been [=>]
by Erica Rae
From college level all the way down to pre-school, education is in crisis across the U.S. Teachers are made the scapegoats for why students are not “measuring up” to keep our country competitive in a global market that is falling apart across the globe. But, what is the reality?
At the college level: many students [=>]
News & Letters, Vol. 56, No. 5
Political spectacles cannot hide reality of deranged capitalism
At the end of a months-long political spectacle in Washington–manufactured over irrelevancies concerning what should have been a routine raising of the national debt limit before the Aug. 2 deadline–reality struck with a bombshell: the anemic “jobless” recovery in the U.S. [=>]
Chicago–On June 22 the police, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) security and construction crews showed up at La Casita, the field house on the grounds of Whittier Dual Language Academy in Pilsen (see “Chicago Latinas demand a library,” Nov.-Dec. 2010 N&L). As the construction workers set up fencing that blocked access to La Casita from three sides, [=>]
Memphis, Tenn.–On April 8, over 75 students, faculty, and staff members of the University of Memphis came out in support of a living wage for campus workers. Some workers have been employed at the university for more than 15 years, and they have not seen a raise in over four years.
The custodial staff only makes [=>]
Los Angeles–In the school district where I work, they have cut two hours per day from the non-teaching staff. It affects insurance for employees with a family. A security worker told me, “I lose $700 per month.” Teachers are losing six furlough days per year, and step increases are frozen. That is in an economy [=>]
New York–Over 100 students at Queens College City University of New York (CUNY) walked out of classes on March 31, protesting state budget cuts that would affect not only the cost but the quality of their education. Students are alarmed at the impending teacher layoffs and the curtailment of curriculum. The students marched onto one [=>]
News & Letters, Vol. 56, No. 3
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2011-2011
Revolution and counter-revolution take world stage
Revolution and counter-revolution have forced their way to the center stage of history. In Tunisia and Egypt, revolutions have opened tremendous possibilities and spread the fire of their passion all across the Arab world and from China to the [=>]
New York–Politicians are clamoring to get rid of the tenure system for K12 public school teachers. They claim tenure makes it impossible to fire teachers, even those known to have abused students. The real motivation is financial: tenured teachers earning maximum salaries and benefits “cost” districts more than recent hires.
Many people assume that senior teachers [=>]
Impelled by “Race to the Top,” New York State has mandated that by 2013, 25% of a teacher’s evaluation be based on a value-added system–which supposedly means improved student scores on standardized tests. New York City supports public release of such rankings.
The “science” behind the national race to convert teachers from professionals into producers is [=>]
New York City–The controversial film “Waiting For Superman” started with the premise that U.S. public schools are broken. It blamed the teachers’ unions and tenure, and demonized the President of the American Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten. The film ignored the facts. It held up Finland as a model but failed to mention that Finland’s public schools are much [=>]
by John Alan
Editor’s note: To highlight what is missing from current debates on education reform, we reprint John Alan’s column from the June 1993 N&L.
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This June  the New Jersey Educational Commissioner, Mary Fitzgerald, will take control of the Malcolm X Shabazz High School and the rest of the Newark, N.J., school system. [=>]
Save schools, libraries
Los Angeles–On Oct. 7, over 100 activists from many Leftist groups assembled at the Los Angeles Board of Education Building to protest continuing austerity measures against the working class. Organized by the March 4th Committee to Defend Public Education and Social Services, they demanded reinstatement of all terminated teachers, library workers and other [=>]
Stop education cuts!
FBI RAIDS–AN ATTACK ON ALL OF US
On Sept. 24, teams of FBI agents from the “Joint Terrorism Task Force” served search warrants and grand jury subpoenas on anti-war and solidarity activists in Illinois and Minne-sota. This attack on the First Amend-ment rights of peaceful activists must be opposed and we should stand with them [=>]
From the Nov.-Dec. 2010 issue of News & Letters:
Mayor Bloomberg’s schools get an F
New York–In June 2009, Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, together with the president of the Council of School Administrators and United Federation of Teachers President Mike Mulgrew, announced an increase in the four-year high school graduation rate for New York [=>]
From the Nov.-Dec. 2010 issue of News & Letters: Latina women occupying the Whittier School field house speak for themselves
Chicago Latinas demand a library
Editor’s note: Women in the Mexican-American community of Pilsen have been occupying a field house on the grounds of Whittier Elementary School for over a month to keep authorities from demolishing it. Two [=>]