Fresh audio product

Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link): April 8, 2021 Jennifer Berkshire, co-author of A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door, on teachers’ unions and school reopenings • Helen Yaffe on Cuba’s handling of COVID-19 and their impressive vaccine development (Counterpunch article here)

Fresh audio product

Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link): September 24, 2020 Frederik de Boer, author of The Cult of Smart, on dethroning academic “excellence” as the distributor of rewards in this society • Matthew Snyder on building a community land trust in the Inland Empire of California (that CLT, CLTs in general)

Fresh audio product

Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link): May 21, 2020 Vincent Bevins, author of The Jakarta Method, on the US-sponsored strategy of mass murder during the Cold War • Kyle Beckham, lecturer in education at the University of San Francisco, on schooling during the pandemic

Fresh audio product

Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link): March 22, 2018 Jennifer Berkshire, host of Have You Heard?, on teachers’ strikes, WV and beyond • Stan Collender on fiscal follies in DC

Fresh audio content

Just posted to my radio archives: Sepember 5, 2013 Greg Shupak, author of this article, on the bad effects of NATO’s Libyan adventure • Monica Potts on the declining life expectancy of poor white women • Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak on Gramsci (excerpts from an August 24 talk at the Gramsci Monument) August 29, 2013 Mariana Mazzucato, author of The Entrepreneurial State, on the vastly unacknowledged role of the state in supporting technological breakthroughs • Anna Allanbrook, principal of the Brooklyn New School, on education, progressive and otherwise

New college grads: could be worse

It’s become an article of faith lately that there’s little point in going to college—you just end up deep in debt and unemployed. That’s not really true, at least the unemployed part. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York—which has shown an unusual interest in the state of the youth lately, having also developed its own data on student debt—is just out with a presentation on how recent college grads have been faring in the job market. (It’s part of a longer presentation that begins on p. 11 of this PDF.) The… Read More

Why wait a year for it to show up in the NYT?

I have uncanny experiences reading the bigtime press sometimes. I’ve complained before about how Paul Krugman brings up the rear, sometimes years after I’d written about them. See here for some examples. Or here. The newspaper of record—do we still call it that in the post-print days?—has done it again. Catherine Rampell the other day (“Does It Pay to Become a Teacher?): The United States spends a lot of money on education; including both public and private spending, America spends 7.3 percent of its gross domestic product on all levels of education combined. That’s above… Read More

Why do so many liberals hate teachers’ unions?

A lot of otherwise liberal people really hate teachers’ unions. I’ve been wondering why they’re so singled out for contempt. It struck me last night that perhaps the thinking is that it’s ok for autoworkers or janitors to unionize because they’re pretty much interchangeable from an educated upper-middle-class perspective. Teachers, though, are supposed to be “professionals,” and any kind of solidarity among them offends an individualistic, meritocratic sensibility that believes in (often “objective”) measures of evaluation. But even “professionals” can be pushed around by bosses and need solidarity to prevent being exploited… Read More

Ontario update

Several people have written me to say that all the good stuff I described, via the OECD, about Ontario’s progressive education reform in my previous post is all over. The Liberals have gone American. Sad news. But it does make you wonder: if American-style ed reform were really about “the kids,” why abandon an experiment that was a model for the world? The suspicion that the U.S. reform agenda is about social discipline and saving money seems more justified than ever.

How much do teacher strikes hurt kids?

A Washington Post blogger named Dylan Matthews posted an attempted heart-tugging piece yesterday arguing that teacher strikes do serious academic damage to young students. This is, of course, part of the elite strategy of discrediting the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) strike against that city’s public schools: it’s a war declared by callous union bosses against schoolkids and their parents to protect their (thoroughly unearned and undeserved) job security and fat paychecks. Their paychecks are anything but fat, and the CTU is anything but a selfish, insular union. For proof of the latter, check out their… Read More

How to stop worrying about class

Today’s New York Times contains a fine example of how ideology works at the high end: report information that might trouble the established order, but conclude on a tranquilizing note that allows the comfortable reader to turn the page (or click “close tab”) without changing his or her worldview. Both functions are important. Outlets like the Times do report tons of important stuff that one would be hard-pressed to learn otherwise. But, as Alexander Cockburn put it long ago, a primary function of the bourgeois press is reassurance. The piece by Sabrina… Read More

Education policy in the USA

Golf, militarism, Jesus, and noblesse oblige. From Mike Allen’s Politico Playbook : IF YOU’RE FREE AT LUNCH: Cornerstone Schools of Washington, an oasis of rigor and stability for 220 African-American pupils in inner-city D.C., is holding its annual benefit golf tournament in Alexandria. At an 11:30 a.m. reception before the golfers tee off, students will be on hand who would love to meet you. You don’t have to golf or give: The students would get a kick out of hearing about your exciting life. The executive director and principal is Clay Hanna,… Read More

Education: how the U.S. stacks up

I’ve just posted the latest in a series of pieces on education that I’ve been doing for LBO. This one is a review of how the U.S. stacks up internationally on spending, enrollment, attainment: “In and out of school.” Capsule summary: we spend lots of money, but enrollment and attainment numbers are mediocre. It’s kind of like our health care system. We pay our teachers badly, don’t reward experience, and prefer spending money on things rather than people. Earlier education pieces: “Charter to nowhere” and “Beastly numbers ”(how poverty explains test scores). Reminder: this… Read More

Lots of new stuff on LBO website

Freshly posted to the LBO website, five articles from recent issues. If you’d been a subscriber, you’d have seen these already—and a lot more. But it’s never too late to sign up, if you haven’t already: LBO subscription info. The articles: Beastly numbers How do you explain educational outcomes? Poverty, mostly. What a damn mess Just how bad does this economy suck? Real bad. 2009: income down, poverty up, more uninsured income & poverty in the U.S. Charter to nowhere Do charter schools work, and if so, for whom? Old world, new crisis The EU melodrama

LBO 132 out

Just emailed to electronic subscribers, and on press for print subscribers, LBO #132. bouncing around the income ladder: U.S. not so mobile education spending & enrollment: U.S. not so good MONEY The austerity drive intensifies MISCELLANY mythmaking about (un)employment If you don’t subscribe, well, why not? Subscribe here. If you already subscribe, why not give a gift?