Teachers and the defense of public education
The American ruling class is carrying out a wholesale attack on public education, and teachers are a principal target.
Starved of funds, states and localities throughout the country are shutting public schools and ending critical programs. Teachers are victimized for the crisis in education and have been forced to accept mass layoffs, cuts in benefits and wages, and increased class sizes. Since 2008, more than 200,000 teaching positions have been eliminated, with hundreds of thousands more on the chopping block.
The attack on public education is part of an overall drive by the corporate and financial elite to undermine all the rights of the working class. After handing out trillions of dollars to the banks, the governments at the state and federal levels are imposing brutal cuts to education, health care, and other critical social services.
The Obama administration is spearheading this campaign. The president, through the “Race to the Top” program has given his support to all the right-wing nostrums aimed at attacking public education, including charter schools, merit pay, and the firing of teachers at “underperforming schools.”
Public education is based on the fundamentally egalitarian principle that everyone should have access to quality education. As such, it is incompatible with an economic system whose fundamental premise is inequality. The defense of education is therefore bound up with the socialist transformation of economic life.
Coverage of the Chicago teachers strike
- Vote “no” on the Chicago teachers contract! [October 1, 2012]
- Chicago school nurses speak on shortage: “Our kids deserve better” [September 28, 2012]
- Lessons of the Chicago teachers strike [21 September, 2012]
- End of Chicago strike paves way for redoubled attack on teachers, public education [20 September, 2012]
- The two paths open to Chicago teachers [19 September, 2012]
- SEP candidates discuss fight to defend education with Chicago teachers [17 September, 2012]
- Chicago teachers: Reject the contract betrayal! Broaden the fight to defend jobs and public schools! [15 September, 2012]
- Students, teachers oppose attack on public education [14 September, 2012]
- Victory to the Chicago teachers! [13 September, 2012]
- Chicago teachers discuss political issues in their strike [September 12, 2012]
- Democrats and Republicans line up against Chicago teachers [11 September, 2012]
- Teachers strike in Chicago [10 September, 2012]
From the World Socialist Web Site
Some articles from the World Socialist Web Site on the attack on public education in the United States:
- Workers should defend teacher tenure!
- US moves toward two-track education system
- Michigan cuts teacher health care, pensions
- Obama outlines plan to put higher education on rations
- Unite the working class to defend public education!
- Outsourcing education: the rise of virtual schools
- Charter schools in the US: Wall Street’s education model
- Full WSWS coverage