Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
FATTENING WALL STREET — Mike Whitney reports on the rapid metamorphosis of new Fed Chair Janet Yallin into a lackey for the bankers, bond traders and brokers. The New Religious Wars Over the Environment: Joyce Nelson charts the looming confrontation between the Catholic Church and fundamentalists over climate change, extinction and GMOs; A People’s History of Mexican Constitutions: Andrew Smolski on the 200 year-long struggle of Mexico’s peasants, indigenous people and workers to secure legal rights and liberties; Spying on Black Writers: Ron Jacobs uncovers the FBI’s 50 year-long obsession with black poets, novelists and essayists; O Elephant! JoAnn Wypijewski on the grim history of circus elephants; PLUS: Jeffrey St. Clair on birds and climate change; Chris Floyd on the US as nuclear bully; Seth Sandronsky on Van Jones’s blind spot; Lee Ballinger on musicians and the State Department; and Kim Nicolini on the films of JC Chandor.
Archives by Tag 'education'
Viva Mexico! Vivan Los Maestros!
PAUL IMISON
Mexico City While President Enrique Peña Nieto gave the annual Viva Mexico! from the National Palace Sunday night, alternative “cries of independence” rang out around the country, not least at the capital’s Revolution Monument where striking public ...
Mexican Teachers Hit the Streets
PAUL IMISON
The first nine months of the Enrique Peña Nieto administration have been a cleverly-orchestrated exercise in media manipulation. But you can’t really ignore 20,000 pissed-off teachers dragging monstrous Mexico City to a halt. As the Institutional Revolutionary Party (P...
Florida’s Most Vulturous Voucher Program
MICHELLE RENEE MATISONS
For more than a decade, Florida has cultivated the largest and fastest growing school voucher program in the U.S.—shamefully targeting students with disabilities. Florida is better known for its dutiful implementation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), but the state’s Mc...
Kids Have No Seat at This Table
FRANKLIN STRIER
“It must not for a moment be forgotten that the core of any social plan must be the child.” -President Franklin Roosevelt, 1934. “There are three things I like about Italian ships. First, ...
Obama Disses Digital Promise to U.S. Kids
DAVID ROSEN
President Obama recently began a new economic offensive, a wake-up call about the Great Recession’s sputtering recovery and, in particular, the growing inequality among Americans.  As with his comments foll...
Teenagers vs. Billionaires
JONATHAN FRANKLIN
Santiago, Chile. “What day is it, Wednesday? Thursday?” asked Moises Paredes as his eyes drooped nearly shut.  Paredes, 18-years old, the national spokesman for a collective of Chilean high school students, is exhausted. On Wednesday Paredes helped ...
When Education is a Business
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER
To what extent is education corrupted when it becomes intertwined with profit-making businesses? This question becomes increasingly relevant as corporations move into key roles at American universities. In late June of this year, New York State Governor Andrew Cuom...
Corporate Welfare or Education?
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER
“Who needs the Cayman Islands?” That’s how a May 22 ...
A Victory for Secular Education in Italy
TOM GILL
On May 26-27, Italy was focused on local elections in the capital Rome and other parts of the country. But in the northern, traditionally ‘red’ city of Bologna, a different popular vote was being held: a referendum to end a policy that has seen ever more scar...
The Predatory Pedagogy of On-Line Education
BRIAN MCKENNA
“A lot of education institutions . . . has [sic] bad monkeys in ‘em” Josh Coates, CEO of Instructure, (maker of the popular educational program Canvas) at the 2012 Investor Conference More students are logging in. More teachers are check...
Criminalizing Childhood
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Beware of punishing wrongfully. — The Teaching for Merikare, c. 2135 B.C. “We have to be darn careful not to put any children into the juvenile-justice system who don’t need intensive rehabilitation.”  Those were ...
The Language Wars of France
SERGE HALIMI
Paris. A single market, a single currency, a single language? The doors and bridges shown on Euro notes already reflect the fluid nature of deals between businessmen with no home and no history. So should students be free to cross borders, using English a...
A Big Win for Seattle Teachers
DYLAN MURPHY
On Monday, May 13, Seattle Schools Superintendent Jose Banda announced that “High schools may opt out of MAP [Measures of Academic Progress Test] in 2013-14.” This announcement was greeted with spontaneous celebrations by teachers and students at Garfield High ...
A Dispatch From The Toughest Slums on Earth
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Nairobi They tell you ‘peace’, but you know you are living in a warzone. You know it from the start; you’ve sensed it ever since you were a very little boy or a girl. You wake up ev...
Don’t Mess with Meskins
RODOLFO ACUÑA
In West Texas, during the struggles to desegregate the schools in the later part of the 1960s, I listened to attorney Mark Smith caution a small audience that, “You may not like Meskins, but the Constitution gives them the right to equal access to schools. Things have c...
At Universities, Too, the Rich Grow Richer
LAWRENCE WITTNER
Although many Americans believe their universities are places where administrators and faculty members coexist on a fairly equal basis, the reality is that this is far from the case. According to recent surveys by the Chronicle of Higher Education, 35 priva...
Atlanta’s Pitiful Hypocrisy
DAVID MACARAY
By now most of us have heard the gruesome details of how Atlanta’s elementary and middle school teachers (and principals) conspired to falsify the scores on state proficiency tests.  The investigation not only implicated teachers and administrators, it reached all the ...
The Decline of Critical Thinking
LAWRENCE DAVIDSON
In 2008 Rick Shenkman, the Editor-in-Chief of the History News Network, published a book entitled...
Education for Sale
MYLES B. HOENIG
Thanks to Chris Nielson for this title’s line and to the nearly dozens of other speakers on Thursday and this weekend who comprise the line up of activist educators in Washington, DC for the Occupy the Department of Education 2.0. This year’s show of force is sponsore...
Priced Out of Education
RODOLFO ACUNA
When I told my father that we were going to call ourselves “Chicanos”, he responded “Chicano, Chicano, those are the people that hang around the parks on Sundays.” I thought to myself, “that is exactly why we want the name.” My generation did not have dreams o...
A Curious New York Times Article on Teacher Evaluations
ANN ROBERTSON and BILL LEUMER
A recent New York Times article, “Curious Grade For Teachers: Nearly All Pass,” finds incredulous the idea that, “In Florida, 97 percent of teachers were deemed effective or highly effective in the most recent evaluations.” The author goes on to cite s...
The Brave New World of Online Education
BARRY LANDO
Paris. A few weeks ago, I decided to apply to go back to college–to one of the 20 top liberal arts colleges in America. It turned out to be deceptively simple: No SAT exams, no mammoth tuition fees, no huge student loans, no nail-biting wait to see i...
Detroit and the International War of the Rich on the Poor
RICH GIBSON
Every Detroit teacher was fired in the fall of 2012. Apparently, the nation did not notice. Hence, this story. On March 26, 2013, 78% of the voting members of the Detroit Federation of Teachers ratified a contract which DFT president, Keith Johnson, called, ...
The Corporate Buyout of America’s Public Schools
PETER RUGH
Boos and hisses fill the auditorium of Brooklyn Technical High as the governing board for New York City’s public schools, the Panel on Education Policy, takes the stage. It’s March 11 and the PEP is meeting to consider a proposal from Schools Chancellor Dennis...
Drenched in Debt
ALYSSA ROHRICHT
I wasn’t sure what to write about today. I wrestled back and forth with different topics, knowing I needed to write something but lacking the focus to really tackle any of the topics I would normally jump at.  Truth be told, I’ve been distracted. Hugely distr...
How Chavez Changed History for the Better
SAUL LANDAU
Hugo Chavez died in early March. Heads of state came to his funeral and sent condolences to his family— except for the US President. Even in death the White House maintained a resentful tone toward a man we had names as an enemy. But what did Chavez do to us? He offered...
Why is LA So Boring?
CLANCY SIGAL
For the first time in my life, like 84% of Los Angeles registered voters, I failed to cast a ballot in last week’s election.  It was a primary to select front-running mayoral candidates and city council members, a city attorney, controller,  community college trustees...
Educational Eugenics
MARK GRAHAM
Teachers and students are having a rough time in the United States—and not just because they are in danger of being murdered in their classrooms.  Public education itself is under attack, fueled by foundation dollars, government policies and media hype.  The problem i...
Ted Cruz Weaponizes History
JP SOTTILE
Senator Ted Cruz has some peculiar ideas about history. And the newly-elected Tea Party darling from Texas didn’t bother to mince his words or ideas during confirmation hearings for former Senator and GOP gadfly Chuck Hagel. Although, he did ...
Football vs. Philosophy
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
The toe bone’s connected to the foot bone, The foot bone’s connected to the anklebone The anklebone’s connected to the leg bone, Now shake dem skeleton bones! — Children’s song November and December...
Manufacturing Poverty
CHERI HONKALA
On December 10, community leaders all across the country held vigils and rallies outside Congressional offices to defend the safety net and protest the so-called “fiscal cliff” negotiations in Washington, DC. It was part of a coordinated national campaign on Internati...
The World Bank Brings Nazarbayev University to Kazakhstan
ALLEN RUFF AND STEVE HORN
A year ago, on Dec. 15, 2011,  Kazakhstan state security forces...
What Starts Here … Accelerates Destruction?
ROBERT JENSEN
I want to suggest a slight modification of the University of Texas’ motto, “What starts here changes the world.” A more accurate slogan — while not quite as pithy and probably less effective for public-relations purposes — would be, “What starts...
Education for Profit in Detroit
TOLU OLORUNDA
“Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck.” —Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit” It seemed like a scene from an auction block. This past Tuesday ...
The Vindication of Mexican-American Studies
RODOLFO ACUÑA
I have been an activist for over fifty years so I can safely say that I have participated in my share of controversies. I remember some that were particularly acrimonious. When I first joined the faculty at San Fernando State College (now California State University at No...
Ethnic Studies and Me
RYAN MORGAN
I’m a white guy from Denver who transferred to Hunter College, in NYC, intending to major in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. In my second semester here, I changed my major to AFPRL—Africana, Puerto Rican, and Latino Studi...
America’s Degree Scam
CHRISTOPHER NEWFIELD
Student debt may succeed subprime mortgages as the next disaster in the crisis of US capitalism. It is estimated at more than $1,000bn and has doubled over the last 12 years. Average debt for graduates with student loans rose to $23,200 in 2008; public university debt was...
SJP is Crucial to Palestinian Rights Activism in the US
HANEEN ALI
This weekend, the second national conference of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) will take place at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. SJP is a nationwide network of student-led organizations advocating for human rights and equality in Palestine and Israel. T...
American Students: the Coal Miners of Today
DARWIN BOND-GRAHAM
Bob Meister isn’t the kind of man who comes across as a radical. He’s a bespectacled grey-haired intellectual who looks comfortable in the sort of suit and tie a distinguished professor would wear. That’s probably because he is a professor, a quite disti...
Black Teachers’ Revolt of the 1960s
BOB SIMPSON
Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) organizer Brandon Johnson, who is a black man, recently spoke about a conversation he had with veteran black educator Dr. Grady Jordan about racism in the schools today. Jordan told him, “Black teachers fought hard. This is a direct retaliat...
The Taliban’s Attack on a 14-year Old Activist
HAMZAH SAIF
The inhuman and criminal attack by the Taliban on 14-year old Pakistani education activist, Malala Yousafzai, has been hijacked here in the United States to provide moral patina to America’s equally devastating wars in South Asia. Instead of a focus on the political con...
Is the Dream Ending?
RODOLFO ACUÑA
A lot more thought has to be paid to the question, “why Chicana/o Studies?”  CHS are not the whim; they are not a fad. They are part of the historical reasons for the struggle of the Mexican American community to obtain equal protection.  If we forget these reasons,...
Indian Children of the Migration
PRADEEP BAISAKH
Khageswar Benya and Panchami Benya from Muribahal block of Balangir district of Odisha, an Indian state, are the children of regularly migrating parents. For last five years they have been accompanying their parents almost regularly who have migrated to w...
The Teacher vs. The Billionaire
SARAH BLASKEY AND PHIL GASPER
It’s not often that a public school teacher gets the chance to debate a billionaire “reformer” about the future of education. But events in Chicago have been anything other than ordinary since the ...
Of White Papers and History
RODOLFO ACUÑA
When anything titled a “white paper” comes across my email, I usually ignore it. Why is truth always called “white”?  Why not brown, yellow or black? Is it because black is considered negative, i.e., Black Friday, black as sin, Halloween, or death whereas white ...
Big Bird Fatwa Remix
DAVID YEARSLEY
Just when you thought American politics couldn’t get any more trite and tedious, here comes an ambassador from celebrity culture to lead us into a previously unknown sub-basement of banality. Yes, will.i.am was back on the Obama campaign trail this past week in the swin...
The Education Crisis in Sri Lanka
NILANTHA ILANGAMUWA
“Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down.” — Frederick Douglass (1860 speech in Boston)...
The Disappearance of Public Intellectuals
HENRY GIROUX
With the advent of Neoliberalism, we have witnessed the production and widespread adoption within many countries of what I want to call the politics of economic Darwinsim. As a theater of cruelty and mode of public pedagogy, economic Darwinism removes economics and market...
Fall Semester Brings New Hope for Lebanon’s Palestinians
FRANKLIN LAMB
Beirut. As fall semester begins this week for colleges and universities, Lebanon’s 12 Palestinian camps and 12 campuses, continue to swelter under unseasonably high temperatures and heavy humidity with no early relief in sight. Yet, there is final...
Seven Days That Shook the Windy City
BOB SIMPSON
“The CTU is teaching the USA a lesson in working class love and solidarity. It’s a transformational moment for the membership of the CTU and its allies. How can they transform the horn honks, the raised fists, the friendly waves and the kind words of e...