Fred Glass reviews Eric Blanc’s Red State Revolt: The Teachers’ Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics
An elementary teacher who helped organize Arizona educators to strike explains how their movement formed and operated, and how it can inspire other teachers’ movements.
Bob Peterson analyzes the Janus decision’s impact on teacher unions, talks with union leaders from across the country about how they are responding to it, and argues that the damage of the decision can be countered through the upsurge of progressive activism engendered by the victory of Donald Trump.
Trump supporter Carl Paladino’s racism, misogyny, and transphobia galvanized community members to oust him from the Buffalo School Board. Their struggle also laid the groundwork for new coalitions and progressive change.
SPECIAL REPORT: Education “reformers” are using the disaster in Puerto Rico to close hundreds of public schools and convert much of the school system to charters. But teachers, parents, and students are fighting back.
The wave of struggles sweeping through the United States are more than “red state” revolts. They are rebellions against the austerity and privatization that has been driving federal and state economic policy for decades. The dynamics and political landscape are different in each state. However, almost all of the states where statewide actions have occurred are right-to-work states, which have seen the steepest cuts in school funding and sharpest erosion of teacher pay and benefits. These states are less likely to have collective bargaining rights and local district contracts. This puts more focus on state budgets and state decisions about healthcare and pensions, and encourages statewide action focused on the legislature. Consequently, many of the walkouts have been more akin to mass political protests seeking broad changes in public policy. But other common factors underlying these grassroots protests are likely to keep rebellion spreading to “purple” states like Colorado (where there was a walkout in April) and North Carolina (May) and beyond. Almost everywhere in “red states” and “blue states” alike, budget and tax policy has been used to erode social services, shrink public space, undermine union power, and transfer wealth upward, all the while making the lives of working people harder.
Teaching the history of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee helps students see the Civil Rights Movement as being fueled by thousands of young people like themselves instead of a few charismatic leaders. “Without the history of SNCC at their disposal, students think of the Civil Rights Movement as one that was dominated by charismatic leaders and not one that involved thousands of young people like themselves. Learning the history of how young students risked their lives to build a multigenerational movement against racism and for political and economic power allows students to draw new conclusions about the lessons of the Civil Rights Movement and how to apply them to today.”
In the initial weeks of the 2016 football season, as Kaepernick’s fledgling protest began to take shape, critics bombarded him with insults and it was unclear what the response around the country would be. And that’s when Garfield, and high schools and students around the nation, stepped up to the challenge.
A high school teacher critiques the textbook treatment of the Cold War and U.S. imperialism. She describes her approach to the “curricular conundrum” that the Cold War presents because it lasted so long, and was so far-flung. “”If we are ever to create a different world, one in which the United States does not cast an outsized and militarized shadow across the globe, we need our students to understand how and why that shadow was created in the first place.”
The history of the Black Panther Party holds vital lessons for today’s movement for Black lives and all movements to confront racism, inequality, and police violence. But our textbooks distort the significance of the Panthers — or exclude them completely.
A teacher adapts the “Climate Change Mixer” designed for older students as a springboard for a unit on global warming and climate justice.
A high school social studies teacher centers Standing Rock Sioux history and leadership in a unit on resistance to DAPL.
Two days after the election, 21 plaintiffs, aged 9 to 20, won a critical court ruling on the constitutional obligation of the U.S. government to protect our children’s right to […]
This comprehensive 400-page book from Rethinking Schools helps teachers raise critical issues with students in grades 4-12 about the increasing globalization of the world’s economies and infrastructures, and the many […]
A look at the history of the Pledge of Allegiance and ideas for teaching students about it.