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 (date is link to show): January 26, 2017 Asad Haider, author of this, on the problems of “white privilege” discourse • Lucinda Rosenfeld, author of the new novel Class, on race and class in the world of Brooklyn public schools

Matt Yglesias is not one of those union-hating liberals, he swears!

Matt Yglesias does not like my analysis of why liberals hate teachers unions (“Why teachers unions are different”). It’s all about the taxpayers, he says—and the folks who work in charter schools. If CTU members get what they want, that’s not coming out of the pocket of “the bosses” it’s coming out of the pocket of the people who work at charter schools or the people who pay taxes in Chicago. But the CTU strike isn’t mainly about wages—it’s about education policy. The city of Chicago is spending buckets of money on… 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

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