Obama’s New Education Policy

Did folks catch this?

Obama announced his new education policy recently (read the Mercury News article here) … The three main elements were improved early childhood education (good), lift limits on charter schools (mixed bag), and link teacher pay to students performance on standardized testing (really bad). While early childhood education would be a marked improvment, charter schools are a mixed bad in my opinion in that they are potentially open to progressive models of schooling (think Downtown College Prep), but that they are also open to non and for-profit charter school chains, many of which are funded by large corporations, that are anything but progressive and basically a move towards piecemeal privatization of education. Charter schools also are largely non-union, either being hostile to unions or tragically ignored by unions who oppose them all together. Sadly, the linking of teacher pay to standardized testing though is not an echo, but more like an amplification of Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act polices- which continues to dumb down education and punish the poorest schools.

This post started quite a reaction when I posted it up on facebook. The best response was “a jab to the right, a fake to the left.” Great words.

The Leaders We’ve Been Waiting For

Commentary to come…. 

WE ARE THE LEADERS WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR
by Sandy Perry

My people’s suffering
pierced me, entangled
my soul like barbed wire:
gripped my heart:
I went to cry out at the crossroads,
I went out to weep, enveloped in mist,
I touched the doors and they wounded me
like sharp-pointed knives,
I called out to the impassive faces
that I adored before like stars,
and they showed me their void.
— Pablo Neruda

 

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What I have been slaving over recently

 Draft: Intermodal Trucker Labor Protest in Central Valley Stockton 

 

By Adam W.

This is a polished draft of the first section and I’m way behind on completing this project for my program. Maybe they are mad at me, maybe just letting me slide so far. Dunno. It didn’t help that in the week I planned to set aside everything to work on it I came down with this horrible cold that morphed into a horrible cough that kept me up at night by the second week (when I wasn’t up tyring to work on this) . I haven’t gotten this sick since back in Dec. 2005 during the Kach truckers strike when I developed broncitis. Everyone seems to be talking about this really bad sickness going around- it must be one of those ‘super colds’ that’s developed because people use anti-bacterial handwash and take too many anti-biotics. Anyways, I feel the flow is strong but how I frame the topic, issues and theory stuff raised may change drastically. It hasn’t had a major look over by anyone yet. Leave a comment if you give it a read. 

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Say Hello To My Little Friends: The Three Spirits of Marx

 

The Three Spirits of Marx:

A Discussion on Divergent Legacies

 

The conflicting ideas present in the writings of Marx as both philosopher and social revolutionary have supplied over the last 150 years the rivers and tributaries of discussion around the contradictory elements present in his work and where we might take them. He has served as a starting point from which much of the tradition of critical philosophy springs from. Above all in developing a critical philosophy he stressed that “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it”[1]

      Moving forward with this imperative, I aim to elaborate the divergent legacies of Marx with the goal of answering which legacies of Marx are useful in building a pragmatic understanding of the world as well as libratory praxis towards radical social transformation (social revolution). I have identified three spirits of Marx, though perhaps there can be found more, which I will describe as the Determinist, Reformist and Subjective or Humanist spirits present within his writing. I also hope to speak to the role of subsequent figures who have contributed to these conceptions after Marx’s death.

 

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