Education

Thumbnail image for A Call to Action on the Labor Crisis in Higher Ed: Colleges Are Running On the Backs of Underpaid Part-Timers

A Call to Action on the Labor Crisis in Higher Ed: Colleges Are Running On the Backs of Underpaid Part-Timers

by Jim Miller 02.23.2015 Columns

February 25th is National Adjunct Walkout Day

By Jim Miller

As I have noted here recently, the successful assault on public sector unionism has marched hand in hand with the surge of income inequality and the erosion of the American middle class. Of course, central to this is the ongoing war on teachers’ unions and the nationwide trend toward austerity budgets in state capitols across the country.

In the world of higher education, what this means is that as we have seen taxes go down for the wealthy and corporations over the last thirty years, budgets for education from K-12 to the university have suffered.

And while the growing student debt crisis has received significant attention, far fewer people are probably aware that in addition to gouging students, colleges across the country are increasingly relying on an exploited army of highly educated part-time teachers in the classroom to help keep their budgets in line.

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Thumbnail image for ‘Black Girls Matter': Report Exposes System Oppression of Often-Ignored Groups

‘Black Girls Matter': Report Exposes System Oppression of Often-Ignored Groups

by Source 02.17.2015 Education

Girls of color routinely punished by institutions and ignored by school-to-prison pipeline reformers, report finds

By Nadia Prupis /Common Dreams

Girls of color regularly face harsher school punishments than their white counterparts, while simultaneously being ignored by legislative and community efforts to close the school-to-prison pipeline, despite the proven negative impacts of zero-tolerance discipline which exposes minority girls to expulsion, violence, and arrest, a new study released Wednesday has found.

Punitive disciplinary policies “negatively impact Black girls and other girls of color. Yet much of the existing research literature excludes girls from the analysis, leading many stakeholders to infer that girls of color are not also at risk,” according to the report, titled Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected.

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Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Three Women Who Worked at Neighborhood House and Became Part of the Community

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Three Women Who Worked at Neighborhood House and Became Part of the Community

by Maria E. Garcia 02.14.2015 Activism

Miss Gertrude Peifer, Mrs. Wilfreda Brackett and Miss Julie McClure

By Maria E Garcia

Last week I wrote about three women who shaped the direction of Neighborhood House from the 1920’s to World War II. The leadership of Mary Snyder, Rebecca Halley and Anita Jones reflected the influence of the newly recognized profession of social work and the progressive era’s spirit of social reform.

There are three more women during the same time period and into the early 1950’s who deserve recognition for their contributions to Neighborhood House and the Logan Heights community.

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Thumbnail image for Community Planning Boards Have Democratic Elections Because of One Group From Ocean Beach

Community Planning Boards Have Democratic Elections Because of One Group From Ocean Beach

by Frank Gormlie 02.14.2015 Activism

The Ocean Beach Community Planning Group Was the Forerunner to OB’s Planning Board

By Frank Gormlie / OB Rag

On March 10, the Ocean Beach Planning Board will hold its annual election of Board members. It will take place at the OB Rec Center. Every resident, property owner and business-owner in Ocean Beach is authorized to vote – with ID proving residency.

One of the main reasons that this election is going forward in March – as it has been for the last 39 years – is because of the vision and diligence of a small group that existed back in the 1970s. It was the persistent push over a several-year period during the mid-70s for an election of this nature – a democratic election – to a neighborhood planning committee by an organization called the Ocean Beach Community Planning Group that was ultimately responsible for this democratic gain for communities.

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Thumbnail image for Kidnapped Student Teachers in México: An Inside Perspective

Kidnapped Student Teachers in México: An Inside Perspective

by Source 02.12.2015 Education

By Luis Villanueva Rodríguez / Draft NOtices

For many, the September killings of three and disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College in the Méxican state of Guerrero has been profoundly painful and tragic. My feelings of outrage and despair are also deep because I was educated in one of Ayotzinapa’s sister schools.

What many do not realize is that this crime was perpetrated by the Méxican government against students who had important social justice concerns and who were soon to become activist teachers. These rural teachers’ colleges are known for their progressive beliefs.

I have always understood my role as a social justice teacher and community advocate because of my education at these schools. There are important political and historical aspects to the recent events that most people outside of México are not aware of.

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Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Social Workers and the Progressive Era Spirit of Reform

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Social Workers and the Progressive Era Spirit of Reform

by Maria E. Garcia 02.07.2015 Activism

Mary Snyder, Rebecca Halley and Anita Jones, the early years

By Maria E. Garcia

Women had a great deal of influence and contributed to the work at Neighborhood House. A number of them did so as members of the newly recognized profession of social work. Settlement Houses originated in England and by the 1880’s they had become established in the United States. Neighborhood House came into being as part of the settlement house movement.

Settlement houses were usually established in poor urban areas and provided a variety of services to the community. Those services included cooking classes, adult education, craft and sewing classes. They also did crisis intervention and provided home health care and daycare for working mothers. The settlement house movement evolved in parallel with the social worker movement in this country. Both were unique agents of social reform during the Progressive Era from 1890-1920.

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Thumbnail image for Show’s Not Over at Che Cafe at UCSD – Its Fate Likely Rests on Students

Show’s Not Over at Che Cafe at UCSD – Its Fate Likely Rests on Students

by At Large 02.04.2015 Activism

By Andrea Carter

The struggle continues to keep the historic CHE Café facility open on the University of California San Diego (UCSD) campus. This battle over a rare public, all-ages arts, food, and music venue should concern us all as it represents the canary in the coal mine for additional onslaughts of this nature to follow.

Undergraduate and graduate student government councils, respectively the Associated Students (AS) and the Graduate Student Association (GSA) are set to soon issue reports and recommendations to the University as to the CHE Café, its facility and the other cooperatives at UCSD concerning the lease issues, upgrades and dispute resolution. Recently, the councils moved in favor of adopting a joint resolution rather than two independent ones. In the coming weeks then the councils will be synthesizing their input and accepting more from students on these issues as well as from the CHE and other cooperatives.

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Thumbnail image for What Republicans Don’t Want Us To Know About America’s ‘Failing’ Schools (VIDEO)

What Republicans Don’t Want Us To Know About America’s ‘Failing’ Schools (VIDEO)

by Source 02.03.2015 Education

By Elisabeth Parker / Addicting Info

Every three years, 15-year-old students around the world take a test called the PISA, and every three years Republicans and neoliberals see our kids’ scores and scream about America’s “failing” schools. Since the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) last held the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests in 2012, we’re due to hear that high-pitched shrieking sound in (countdown) 10, 9, 8…

The problem with our “failing” schools? Republicans love ranting about overpaid teachers who don’t work hard enough and need to be “held accountable;” lazy welfare parents who don’t care about their children’s education; and high levels of per-student spending that yield poor results.

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Thumbnail image for 5 Facts About Charter Schools the ‘National School Choice Week’ Campaign Doesn’t Talk About

5 Facts About Charter Schools the ‘National School Choice Week’ Campaign Doesn’t Talk About

by Source 01.31.2015 Education

It’s nothing more than a slick ad campaign, disguised as public service

By Laurie Levy / Alternet

Wow! Check out the fancy website for National School Choice Week. It’s polished, it’s colorful; it features kids of all races with bright smiling faces. They even have their own dance! The videos are tearjerkers, reminiscent, in emotional value, of the highly touted documentary film, Waiting for Superman, which propelled school choice advocates into the national conversation back in 2010.

I must confess that when I first watched that movie, seeing the tears of kids who lost the charter lottery and were doomed to attend terrible public schools hit me right in the gut. It struck me as so unfair that they’d have to miss out on… hold on a second. Something didn’t feel quite right. Was I being manipulated? Why did those kids and their parents have to gather in an auditorium to be publicly devastated by not being selected for their choice school, anyway? Wouldn’t a letter or email have done the trick?

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Thumbnail image for University of California Doctors Call One Day Strike

University of California Doctors Call One Day Strike

by Doug Porter 01.26.2015 Columns

By Doug Porter

Physicians at all 10 University of California student health centers will hold a one-day unfair labor practices strike on Tuesday.

They gave notice to the UC system on Friday, following the failure of 41 bargaining sessions over a year’s time to gain an initial contract for The Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD). Over 90% of the student health doctors voted in favor of striking in meetings during December.

The union has filed Unfair Labor Practice charges with the  California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) saying the universities are failing to negotiate in good faith. In one instance cited, the UC administration increased pension contributions without negotiating over the issue.

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Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Mary Barrios, Early Years

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Mary Barrios, Early Years

by Maria E. Garcia 01.24.2015 Education

By Maria E. Garcia

Mrs. Barrios was born in 1925. Her mother was very strict, and young Mary was not allowed to play with the neighborhood children. She says her only outings were to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Mary’s family was a blended family. Her father and her mother were both widows and came to the marriage with children. They also had children together and at one point a woman that worked at the cannery gave her mother a baby boy. This woman felt she could not return to Mexico with a child born out of wedlock. This very big family lived at 1870 Newton Ave.

At the age of 10 or 11 Mary was finally allowed to go to Neighborhood House. Her half bothers were allowed to go at a much earlier age. We have seen this double standard over and over again. Her older sister, to quote Mary, “brought English to the house.” She went to school and learned English and her young siblings learned English from her. In order to learn English her mother took night classes.

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Thumbnail image for Redefining the American Dream

Redefining the American Dream

by John Lawrence 01.13.2015 Business

By John Lawrence

The American Dream is the ideological underpinning of the middle class. Now that the middle class is disappearing, it no longer makes sense as historically defined.

Thom Hartmann (Rebooting the American Dream) and Hedrick Smith (Who Stole the American Dream) have defined the American Dream as a good job at good wages plus benefits. They bemoan the fact that this has pretty much gone by the wayside in today’s world.

Well, it’s time to get over it because the conditions that gave rise to middle class prosperity in America from 1945 to 1980 are not coming back.

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Thumbnail image for The Reality Tale of Two Education Systems: One for the Poor, and One for the Rest

The Reality Tale of Two Education Systems: One for the Poor, and One for the Rest

by Source 01.12.2015 Business

New data reveals our public—not private—school system is among the best in the world

By Paul Buchheit / AlterNet

New data reveals our public—not private—school system is among the best in the world. In fact, except for the debilitating effects of poverty, our public school system may be the best in the world.

The most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reveal that the U.S. ranked high, relative to other OECD countries, in readingmath, and science (especially in reading, and in all areas better in 4th grade than in 8th grade). Some U.S. private schools were included, but a separate evaluation was done for Florida, in public schools only, and their results were higher than the U.S. average

Perhaps most significant in the NCES reading results is that schools with less than 25% free-lunch eligibility scored higher than the average in all other countries.

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Thumbnail image for South Carolina Legislators Want Schools to Teach NRA-Approved Curriculum on Second Amendment

South Carolina Legislators Want Schools to Teach NRA-Approved Curriculum on Second Amendment

by Source 01.09.2015 Education

By Meteor Blades / Daily Kos

As diarist MNDem999 pointed out last month, three Republican legislators in the South Carolina House have introduced the Second Amendment Education Act of 2015.

The bill, two of whose originators are members of the Koch-founded and -funded American Legislative Exchange Council, sets aside each Dec. 15 as “Second Amendment Awareness Day.” If the bill passes, schools would have to sponsor poster contests for that day, with awards given to the best submissions. The bill also requires that teachers in elementary, middle and secondary public schools spend three consecutive weeks each year studying the Second Amendment.

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Thumbnail image for The Racist History of the Charter School Movement

The Racist History of the Charter School Movement

by Source 01.08.2015 Education

Touted as the cure for what ails public education, charter schools have historical roots that are rarely discussed

By Christopher Bonastia / AlterNet 

As a parent I find it easy to understand the appeal of charter schools, especially for parents and students who feel that traditional public schools have failed them.

As a historical sociologist who studies race and politics, however, I am disturbed both by the significant challenges that plague the contemporary charter school movement, and by the ugly history of segregationist tactics that link past educational practices to the troubling present.

The now-popular idea of offering public education dollars to private entrepreneurs has historical roots in white resistance to school desegregation after Brown v. Board of Education (1954). The desired outcome was few or, better yet, no black students in white schools. In Prince Edward County, Virginia, one of the five cases decided in Brown, segregationist whites sought to outwit integration by directing taxpayer funds to segregated private schools.

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Thumbnail image for The Election of Pete Chacón: Latino Hope, Pride and a New Belief in the System

The Election of Pete Chacón: Latino Hope, Pride and a New Belief in the System

by Maria E. Garcia 01.03.2015 Activism

By Maria E. Garcia

The general public knew Peter Chacón as a California State Assemblyman who served from 1970-1992. Very few know or understand what Pete’s election meant to the Latino community.

From the time I was a small child I remember my parents going inside a building to vote. They would take turns voting as we sat in the car. One parent would go inside to vote while the other parent would care for us. Then the reverse would occur. Voting was always a special activity and in many ways a mystery.

This all changed for me the night Peter Chacón was elected in November of 1969. Pete’s victory taught us that voting does make a difference.

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Thumbnail image for Remembering Peter “Pete” Chacon, June 10, 1925 to Dec. 14, 2014

Remembering Peter “Pete” Chacon, June 10, 1925 to Dec. 14, 2014

by At Large 12.27.2014 Activism

Educator, Activist, California State Assemblyman 1970-1992

By Paul Chacon

Peter Chacon served in the California State Legislature from 1970 until his retirement in 1992 representing the urban core of San Diego. Upon his election, he became only the second Latino legislator elected to State of California public office in the past (100) years. Together with Alex Garcia, they formed the California Latino Legislative Caucus with a membership of just two.

Peter was born in Phoenix, Arizona on June 10, 1925 to Severita and Petronilo Chacon. His father had served as a commander in Poncho Villa’s revolutionary army and he passed on to his family the passion and determination to fight for what they believe in and to defend the rights of those who can’t defend themselves.

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Thumbnail image for Use “San Salvador” Replica to Tell the True Story of What Happened to Native Americans in San Diego and California

Use “San Salvador” Replica to Tell the True Story of What Happened to Native Americans in San Diego and California

by Frank Gormlie 12.22.2014 Culture

Continuing the Debate: Is the San Salvador Replica a “Symbol of Genocide” or a “Marketing Tool for San Diego”? or can it be used to tell the true story?

In the interests of continuing the debate of the controversy that has arisen over the current construction of the San Salvador , the replica of Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo’s flagship, which is being built at Spanish Landing in San Diego Bay by the Maritime Museum, we offer the following comments.

We’re certain that the building of the replica of the San Salvador, is widely known around town by now, and many even know that most of the construction is being accomplished by volunteers using the “original” tools and methods of the 16th century. There are tours, displays and some PR by the San Diego Maritime Museum.

In fact, the Museum is planning to stage the official launch of the vessel in late February 2015.

As it is a local story of interest, the OB Rag has covered the building of the ship several times, with photo essays, a focus on the volunteers – particularly the women volunteers, the craftsmanship, tools and imported wood.

Yet, our coverage has encouraged discussion, and because of our posts here and at our online media partner, San Diego Free Press, a debate has arisen – as the construction of the replica of the 500-year ship has run into a wall of controversy.

Originally Posted at the OBRag

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Thumbnail image for SDSU Students Fight Fraternity Rape Culture

SDSU Students Fight Fraternity Rape Culture

by Doug Porter 12.10.2014 Activism

By Doug Porter

Students at San Diego State University participated in a march and sit-in on Tuesday, demanding the school take action in response to sexual assaults and harassment. The protest was triggered by reports of people associated with fraternity houses yelling  obscenities, waving dildos and throwing eggs at a Nov. 21st  anti-rape march called Take Back the Night.

Their demands included an open forum with  SDSU President Elliot Hirshman during the spring semester, along with the resignations of fraternity members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon and Delta Sigma Phi from various posts on the campus. The protesters cited the need for a planned Women’s Resource Center to serve as a rape crisis center and for CSU and UC colleges to release all statistical data on the investigation, adjudication and sanction of cases involving sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking.

As is the case with police-linked killings around the country, the protests are the local manifestation of a much larger problem, and today I’ll try to give this story some context.

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Thumbnail image for What a Difference a Few Decades Make : An Interview with Kevin Beiser

What a Difference a Few Decades Make : An Interview with Kevin Beiser

by Judi Curry 12.10.2014 Education

By Judi Curry

As a public school teacher beginning my career in the early sixties, I have seen the pendulum swing many ways in the past fifty years. (Fifty Years! My God!) Perhaps one of the biggest swings was from the professional organizations of the California Teachers Association (CTA) and the National Education Association (NEA) to the American Federation of Teachers ( AFT) and other labor organizations.

As a member of “management” later in my career, I have been disillusioned with professionals (educators) belonging to labor organizations, because I have always felt that the “product” – read children – we deal with cannot be “recalled” to put in a missing part. We get one time to do it correctly, and God help us all if we are not successful.

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Thumbnail image for How Boundaries Separating White School Districts From Nonwhite Communities Are Becoming Flashpoints

How Boundaries Separating White School Districts From Nonwhite Communities Are Becoming Flashpoints

by Source 12.03.2014 Education

By Robert Reich

America is embroiled in an immigration debate that goes far beyond President Obama’s executive order on undocumented immigrants.

It goes to the heart of who “we” are. And it’s roiling communities across the nation.

In early November, school officials in Orinda, California, hired a private detective to determine whether a seven-year-old Latina named Vivian – whose single mother works as a live-in nanny for a family in Orinda — “resides” in the district and should therefore be allowed to attend the elementary school she’s already been attending there.

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Thumbnail image for Ferguson: America’s Heart of Darkness

Ferguson: America’s Heart of Darkness

by Jim Miller 12.01.2014 Activism

By Jim Miller

Along with so many people last week, I watched the events in Ferguson, Missouri unfold with profound dismay and anger while fighting a sense of despair over the intractable nature of American racism. We all knew it was coming, but that didn’t soften the blow.

On the social media, one might also have predicted the outpouring of callousness and hate toward Michael Brown and those protesting the Grand Jury verdict, but it made it no less loathsome. Even the subsequent torching of Michael Brown’s family church was not a shock, just eerily resonant.

There have been many eloquent responses to the great injustice that was the Wilson verdict last week, and I will not try to address the specifics of the case here. Instead, I offer a few observations from the longer view informed by the history of racism and exploitation in the West.

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Thumbnail image for UCSD Administration Plans Ché Café Eviction Over Thanksgiving?

UCSD Administration Plans Ché Café Eviction Over Thanksgiving?

by Source 11.24.2014 Activism

Ché Café Media Advisory

On Wednesday, November 19, UCSD administrators decided to seek a writ of possession to enforce an earlier unlawful detainer judgment and evict the Ché Café Cooperative and any students from the café space it has continuously occupied for over 34 years. Despite a resolution by the UCSD Associated Students Council (AS) asking the Chancellor to not proceed with posting a 5-day notice to vacate, and 14,000-signature petitions and open letters demanding that UCSD stop the eviction actions against the Ché Café, delivered to the Chancellor earlier this month, action by the administration to evict the Ché Café continues rather than negotiations for a new lease agreement with the Co-op.

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Thumbnail image for The Condor and the Eagle: Part 1

The Condor and the Eagle: Part 1

by Horacio Jones 11.22.2014 Activism

By Horacio Jones

The Condor and the Eagle: Part 1

“An ancient prophecy, says when the Eagle of North America and the Condor of South America unite and fly together, the spirit of peace will awaken on Earth. After waiting for millennia, many native peoples believe the time is now.”

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Thumbnail image for Shut-Peachment: The Coming GOP Drama Over Immigration. Get Your Popcorn Ready.

Shut-Peachment: The Coming GOP Drama Over Immigration. Get Your Popcorn Ready.

by Doug Porter 11.17.2014 Activism

By Doug Porter

Congressional Republicans are bracing for executive actions on immigration by President Obama in the very near future.

The GOP apparently feels some sort of sense of entitlement coming off the mid-term elections when voters repeated their usual pattern of increased support for the party not in the White House. (The last time that didn’t happen was 1998, when Republicans were busy trying to impeach President Bill Clinton.)

The President, who has lived through six years of GOP obstructionism, isn’t waiting any longer on this issue. Today we’ll take a look at what’s likely to happen politically in the coming weeks. Trust me, it’s going to be a very entertaining holiday season if you’re into politics.

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