Marxism and Education

The Internationalist Group and League for the Fourth International have published several pamphlets on struggles over the capitalist assault on public education internationally. Click on pamphlet front pages below to see article lists and get selected articles.

Marxism and Education (2d. edition)

Mexico Supplement

internationalist no. 12

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Mundial Publications, Box 3321,
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Stop Privatization of Public Schools – Not Corporate Fake “Reform,” We Need an Education Revolution!
No to Teacher-Basher McCain and Education-for-War Obama
Break with the Democrats – For a Class-Struggle Workers Party
From the outset of the 2008 presidential election campaign, teachers and teachers unions have been mobilized to the hilt for the Democratic Party. While the American Federation of Teachers first backed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries, it and the National Education Association are now overwhelmingly for Barack Obama running against John McCain for the Republicans. Most teachers are going for the Democrats, but the Democrats are not going for them – nor are the Republicans, to be sure. The fact that for the first time a black man is the top candidate of one of the major parties and could likely be the next U.S. president, and that a woman was his chief opponent in the primary elections, marks a significant social shift in this country that will be widely seen as a breakthrough. Yet this does not change the fact that the Democrats and Republicans are bourgeois parties who govern by and for the capitalist class. Both candidates will continue the imperialist occupation of Iraq and both promise to escalate the war in Afghanistan. There isn’t the slightest doubt that McCain is bad news for teachers and students in every way. The issue is over Obama, who while promising to
work with teachers says he wants to introduce merit pay, increase charter schools, and remove teachers who administrators decide are “doing a poor job.” These points just happen to be the three-pronged attack plan of the corporate interests for whom “educational reform” means union-busting. No to Teacher-Basher McCain and Education-for-War Obama  (3 November 2008)

Bloomberg/Klein School “Reform” Flunks Out
“Merit Pay,” Witchhunting and Corporatizing Public Education
Close Down the “Rubber Rooms” – Reinstate All “Excessed” Teachers! For Union Control of Hiring!
The mounting attack on New York City teachers by schools chancellor Joel Klein and billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg is only the tip of the iceberg. A full-scale assault on public education being waged by the Republican White House, the Democratic state house and top capitalists like Bill Gates. They are out to reshape the workforce to “compete in a global economy,” and for that they want to put the schools under private control, push most students out by the 10th grade and bust teachers unions. The day before national test results revealed that New York City schools failed to improve math and reading scores, Klein announced that the NYC Department of Education had set up a “Teacher Performance Unit” to drive out teachers they want to get rid of. Yet instead of fighting to defeat the drive to corporatize and privatize public education, United Federation of Teachers leader Randi Weingarten negotiated the introduction of “school-based” merit pay. “Merit” or “performance” pay, however you package it, is a threat to the very existence of the union. “Merit Pay,” Witchhunting and Corporatizing Public Education  (26 November 2007)

Cops Out of the Schools! No to Mayoral Control!
For Teacher-Student-Worker-Parent Control of the Schools

NYC Teachers, Students Under Attack
In the umpteenth reorganization of the New York City schools, NYC schools chancellor “excessed” more than 700 teachers in alternative education programs, forcing them to reapply for their jobs. Hundreds of experienced teachers with excellent records ended up in Absent Teacher Reserves due to the UFT leadership giving up seniority rights in the 2005 contract. Klein told the New York Daily News that “we should be able to terminate those employees” altogether. The DOE has been trying to eliminate alternative education programs for several years. Behind this is a program to corporatize and privatize “public” education. Instead of a quality education being a right, they want to respond to “market forces” by supplying a “two-tiered” education system with good schools for a petty-bourgeois elite and stripped down, scripted 3Rs programs for future low-skilled workers. Now it is revealed that the reauthorization bill for the No Child Left Behind law includes a provision requiring schools to introduce “merit pay” or forfeit federal money.  The union should demand that NCLB be abolished, not “improved,” as UFT/AFT tops want. NYC Teachers, Students Under Attack  (17 October 2007)

NYC Department of Education: Corporatization, Repression and Union-Busting
Since taking control of the New York City schools five years ago, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his factotum Joel Klein have relentlessly pursued an agenda of corporatization of public education. This has meant top-down control by managers with little or no educational experience or knowledge; multi-million-dollar contracts for educational entrepreneurs and corporate services vendors; bullying police presence in and around the schools, including beatings and arbitrary arrests of students and teachers; massive testing, with “high stakes” tests victimizing poor, minority and immigrant students; the wholesale elimination of bilingual schools and failure to service English language learners (in a city where more than half the students come from immigrant families); military recruiters trolling school grounds looking for cannon fodder, and much more. Down with mayor control of the schools! To put a stop to the destructive disorganization of public education, New York City schools should be run by elected bodies of teachers, students, workers and parents.  NYC DoE: Corporatization, Repression and Union-Busting!  (6 June 2007)

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