Reposted from In These Times:
Nine months into the Union Power administration, the question is: Can Los Angeles teachers follow the lead of Chicago teachers and pull off a successful community-backed strike—and, in so doing, deal a blow to the corporate education reform movement?
Education reformers claim their goal is to improve public education for poor students. But education activists and teachers unions see a more insidious agenda: to render education a private good rather than a public right for all. Backed by uber-wealthy philanthropists such as Bill and Melinda Gates, Eli and Edythe Broad and the Walton family (owners of Walmart), reformers ramp up high-stakes testing, villainize teachers and unions, close public schools and open non-union charter schools.
Few urban school districts have been spared. In Los Angeles, pinching pennies in the public school system has led to crowded classrooms, underfunded counseling departments and underpaid teachers. Meanwhile, more and more tax revenue is funneled into the for-profit education sector–effectively privatizing public education.