Is collective bargaining dead? 21 Idaho districts impose teacher contracts unilaterally

The Idaho school districts’ ability to impose contracts without negotiating with unions comes under Idaho’s new but not well-known school reform laws; they  rolled back most collective bargaining rights for teachers and limited contracts to one-year terms bringing teachers closer and closer to ‘independant contract status’ or ‘at will workers’.  They also limited contract negotiations to salary […]

"I paid my taxes. Why doesn't Bank of America?" ask citizens as they plan actions at 50 branches across the country

“I paid my taxes. Why doesn’t Bank of America?” ask citizens as they plan actions at 50 branches across the country New Nationwide Effort to Make Corporate Tax Dodgers Pay Up Protests in more than 50 cities, including Washington, D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago Groups of citizens in more than 50 cities […]

Tenure, merit pay, Washington D.C. and Forida

It’s all for the kids right? Sure, ask Jerry Lewis the next time you see him at the bank, if you do. The metaphor or analogy to capture this sad sack saga would be like beating up on parents so they could parent better. But the pundits, the right wing think tanks, the billionaires who fund the mess and the political finger-puppets that legislate it all into law have no interest in raising student achievement and don’t let them ever let you believe this. Just look at their motives, their record and those for whom they valet for.

CNN Uses Massive Education Protest to Push Performance Pay

The March 4th protest scheduled to take place in 29 States across America in protest against cut-backs in the education system has been interpreted by CNN’s resident expert as an attack against the overpayment of teachers. Steve Perry, CNN’s “Education Contributor” suggests that the protests are a sign that “There needs to be some honest conversations about what’s […]

Wages, Prices and Profits

(Note: This title is borrowed from Karl Marx, who wrote a brilliant piece of this same title. Likewise for much of the content. I don’t think old Karl would mind. As the postal worker told the poet in the film “Il Postino”: “Poems don’t belong to those who write them; they belong to those who […]

Detroit Public Schools: Canary in the Coal Mine of Public Education

What was once a prospering manufacturing city has now been brought to its knees by the policies of neo-liberalism and late stage capitalism. In an article in Time Magazine, September 24, 2009 entitled “Detroit: The death – and possible life – of a great city”, the author, Daniel Okrent states the real problem succinctly: By any quantifiable standard, the city is on life support. Detroit’s treasury is $300 million short of the funds needed to provide the barest municipal services. The school system, which six years ago was compelled by the teachers’ union to reject a philanthropist’s offer of $200 million to build 15 small, independent charter high schools, is in receivership. The murder rate is soaring, and 7 out of 10 remain unsolved. Three years after Katrina devastated New Orleans, unemployment in that city hit a peak of 11%. In Detroit, the unemployment rate is 28.9%. That’s worth spelling out: twenty-eight point nine percent

The Dark Side Of Dairies: A Broken System That Leaves Workers Invisible-And In Danger

Dairy industry workers face daily dangers from injury and illness on the job.  Seven out of one hundred dairy workers were injured on the job in 2007, which is nearly double the normal injury rate for all private industries. Additionally, dairy workers breathe air laced with bacteria and manure dust, putting them at high risk […]