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Daily Archives: July 11th, 2010

A World To Win

THE EDUCATION AGENDA IS A WAR AGENDA

The NEA Representative Assembly Proves the Education Agenda is a War Agenda
by Rich Gibson, July 20101

Rank and File Summary

The 2010 Representative Assembly (RA) of the 3.2 million member National Education Association offers clear proof that the U.S. education agenda is a war agenda. It is an empire’s war agenda and a class war agenda. NEA demonstrated that its massive leadership structure of 8,174 delegates approves of the U.S. education agenda and expects to be paid for it. Top NEA leaders will be paid especially well. NEA President Dennis Van Roekel will be paid more than $450,000 (less than his predecessor, Reg Weaver, who was paid $686,949 for his last year of service).

Lesser NEA officers and delegate leaders are willing to exchange support for American wars in trade for jobs and income.

The NEA RA slogan, “Hope into Action,” really means, again, “Hope into Hype.”

Given that schools are centripetally positioned in North American life, especially considering decades of de-industrialization, teachers are well positioned to struggle for equality and social justice but their largest organization, NEA, and its leaders, determined to drive that potential into the electoral arena, into voting booths, where capital’s favorite question, “What about ME?” dominates every decision- a dead end useful to labor mis-leaders as it:

* keeps the rank and file busy,

* appeals to illusions about democracy in a nation where capitalism tramples pluralism,

* and creates the appearance of powerful action in place of organizing in schools and communities for direct action, strikes, that could lead to sustainable control: real power.

The massive NEA, the largest union in the country, by far, has a budget of $357,993,880, and is going to devote its efforts to continue to support what has rapidly become a corporate state. That budget is a big win for NEA tops who exchange their control over the rank and file, thus labor peace, for dues income offered in the form of check-off operated by employers.

This Devil’s deal provides a very good life for a few. It will lead to more layoffs, wage and benefit cuts, less academic freedom, and the continued organized decay of what passes for “public education,” but is in reality segregated Race to the Top-run mis-education preparing most youths for endless war and bad jobs, or no jobs.

In 2009, the San Diego RA glowed with photos and videos of Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Indeed, Van Roekel hugged Duncan, as I reported in Substance News. There was no reminder this year of Obama Chief of Staff Emanuel’s comment about why schools exist: “They’re conveyor belts for the economy.”

This year, NEA, which poured millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of dollars into the demagogue’s campaign, erased Obama’s and Duncan faces and, dodging direct personal attacks proposed by delegates, criticized only their polices. Specifically, Van Roekel dragged out the old liberal saw:

“If we are not the activists in politics, we will be the victims of politics,” Van Roekel warned the delegates. “ We simply cannot sit it out. There is too much at stake!” Van Roekel remains proud that the White House still lets him in. Nevertheless, Van Roekel had to acknowledge a growing movement opposed to the blind canyon of electoral work, demanding organizing for substantive, to-the-root, change.

NEA competes on par with US corporations in campaign funding. The union, or “professional association,” as many prefer, raised $1,552, 585 so far in 2010. We’re but six months in.

Van Roekel’s  threat to those who created the NCLB-in-hyper-speed Race to the Top (Ratt), meaning the Obama/Duncan team? Send a post card, in fact, a lot of postcards! Power! Hope! Action?

The most glaring example of the NEA bosses’ dedication to an education program devoted to war was their determination to crush Legislative Amendment.13. The text which has been deleted from the NEA RA web site reads:

“NEA opposes any war funding bill designed to continue our military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq even if it has riders with educational components. The Rationale: The best way to fund our schools and employ our teachers is to end our wars and direct that funding to education. Submitted by Tom Wolfe, Iowa, and 50 delegates.”

That motion was defeated, overwhelmingly.

NEA offered its authoritative director of governmental relations to make the opposing case: “If this passes, we would oppose saving members’ jobs.”

NEA delegates shut down debate about every anti-war motion, and defeated several, but for one which suggests a withdrawal with no specific target date: essentially weaker than the lie Obama presents about July, 2011.

NEA rejected a call for a Day of Strikes and Action on October 7th , the call from the March 4th committees, ad hoc groups that shut down thousands of schools that day in 2010, involved hundreds of thousands of new activists with a critique of capital and war that offers a glimmer of hope.

While there were clear indications of rising dissent in the union, as with the need to hide the memory of Van Roekel hugging Arne Duncan, NEA delegates, chose to severely limit debate about war and inequality. However, they did spent a notable 24 minutes debating whether to adopt the term, “staph,” or “staphylococcus,” in one motion.

The power of the chair, the ability to control NEA employees, and dangle jobs or promotions before delegates, worked well to divert attention to trivia while what can only be called fascism evolved within and without the convention hall. An organization with a culture more than 150 years deep finds old habits hard to upend.

NEA mis-leaders repeatedly urged delegates to “focus,” meaning, take on a cycloptic view that isolates schools from society and, at base, look out for yourself, be one of those thousands of forms of selfishness that keeps capital afloat. Their “focus” seeks to freeze images of emerging change and disconnect the ties of war, exploitation, requisite assaults on reason to produce obedience and loyal subjects, and schooling.

The core issue of our time is the real promise of perpetual war coupled with rising, color-coded, inequality met by the potential of mass, class-conscious resistance which will, clearly now, have to fight its way through a union bureaucracy willing to use money, deception, illusions, and force, in order to defend the system of capital, its wars, and now, demolition of the earth itself.

Tomorrow and in coming days in Substance, a detailed, day-to-day, analysis of the RA, NEA culture, and thoughts for future NEA activists and delegates.

The RA adjourned July 6th, at 7:28 on my watch. See you in Chicago for the 2011 RA. And good luck to us, every one.

Rich Gibson

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

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Work, work, work

CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF EDUCATION AND WORK – UPDATE 10th JULY 2010

 

EVENTS

COMMUNITY FORUM ON HOUSING

Wednesday, July 7
5:00 – 7:30 PM
4175 Lawrence Avenue East (at Kingston Road)
Recreation Room

Social Planning Toronto and the Centre for the Study of Education and Work’s APCOL Project invite you to this community forum with speakers Ann Fitzpatrick (Housing Action, Now), Yutaka Dirks (Housing Network of Ontario), Michael Kerr (Colour of Poverty, Colour of Change).  Learn about housing campaigns, solutions and organizing tools!  Network with housing activists and share your local stories with them.

RSVP to Israt Ahmed at (416) 431-9150 or iahmed@socialplanningtoronto.org

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GREATER TORONTO WORKERS’ ASSEMBLY – 4TH ASSEMBLY AND PUBLIC MEETING

July 16 -17 2010

The 4th gathering of the Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly will be held this July 16 -17 2010. Next week!

The Workers’ Assembly will have 3 components:

1. Friday July 16th (Evening) is a public forum on the Free and Accessible Transit Campaign. This event is open to the public. No registration required. For more info: http://www.workersassembly.ca/node/102

2. Saturday 17th (Morning) is an internal Assembly meeting. This event is for members and supportive observers only. Registration required. In order to register send an email to: workingclassfightback@gmail.com
In the subject line write: Registration

3. Saturday 17th (Afternoon) is a discussion on the G20: its meaning, and how to build strategic campaigns of resistance against its international policies here in the city. The discussion is for members and supportive observers of the Assembly. Members and observers are welcome to bring guests. Registration required. In order to register send an email to: workingclassfightback@gmail.com In the subject line write: Registration

The suggested contribution to the Assembly is $10/ PWYC (Lunch will not be provided). Contributions will be collected on Saturday.

Childcare subsidy provided to members with prior notice. If required email workingclassfightback@gmail.com  In the subject line of the email write “childcare subsidy”

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FREE OUR FRIENDS: A G20 LEGAL DEFENCE FUNDRAISER

Thursday, July 22
9:00pm – 1:00am
The Central
603 Markham Street (Just South of Bloor, Just West of Bathurst)
Toronto, ON

Show solidarity with G20 political prisoners by dancing yr face off and donating some cash in exchange for some solid musical love.

ALL proceeds at the door go to legal funds for G20 legal defence (including for our friend Illogik, who is performing), and we’ll also have some raffles and other goodies for you to throw money at. every last dime will go to paying legal bills.

Suggested Donation: $5-10 Sliding Scale

featuring:

– Hush Money: http://everyoneisdoomed.org/hushmoney/
– Illogik: http://www.myspace.com/testtheirlogik

and more bands TBA!

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TORONTO OPEN BUDGET INITIATIVE CAMPAIGN LAUNCH AND TOWN HALL

Tuesday, July 13
6:00 – 8:00 PM
City Hall, Council Chambers
100 Queen Street West

The City of Toronto’s budget is $9.2 billion and oversees programs and services for over 2.4 million people.  TOBI wants to find ways for individuals to become more involved in making the decisions about how these funds are spent.  Join us for:

– A panel presentation of TOBI principles and values
– TOBI’s recommended actions
– A chance to learn about some issues within Toronto’s current budget process
– Sharing your ideas for a more open and participatory budget process in Toronto

No registration required.

Please note that campaigning on civic property is prohibited. This is an informational event. Please refrain from bringing any campaign materials, flyers or brochures promoting any municipal election campaigns.

Who is TOBI? The Toronto Open Budget Initiative is a group of residents and community organizations working in areas including housing, arts, environment, childcare, social planning, child welfare, seniors, youth, anti-poverty, gender and racial equality, and local community services.  This group formed in September 2009 and has been organizing and advocating for a more open, participatory and equitable budget process in the City of Toronto.

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RACIALIZED MUNICIPAL CANDIDATES FORUM

Come and hear from racialized municipal candidates and find out what they stand for.

Tuesday July 13th
6:00pm
31 Wellesley Street East
A Free Event
All are welcome

Event poster at http://aclaontario.ca
info@aclaontario.ca   416.347.9732

Organized by the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and the Latin American Trade Union Coalition.

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NEWS & VIEWS

JASON KENNEY’S DISPOSABLE WORKFORCE OF TEMPORARY FOREIGN LABOUR

by Usman Mushtaq, rabble.ca

Foreign students and temporary workers lose immigration and labour rights as CIC lowers their numbers and status. The restrictive immigration law announcement was made over G20 weekend.

To read more: http://rabble.ca/news/2010/07/jason-kenneys-disposable-workforce-temporary-foreign-labour

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SECRECY ABOUT ONTARIO SUPERCORP SHOULD END: CUPE

Premier Dalton McGuinty should make public the White Paper that recommends selling shares to a “SuperCorp” made up of the LCBO, Hydro One, Ontario Power Generation, and the OLG.

To read more: http://cupe.ca/privatization/stop-governing-secret-release-supercorp

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CANADIANS CRAVE FEDERAL ACTION ON STUDENT NUTRITION

85% of Canadians support federal-provincial cooperation “to provide universal access to healthy snacks and lunches for all school aged children across Canada.” This conclusion is among the findings of a representative poll of Canadians conducted by the opinion research firm Strategic Communications in April, 2010.  

To read more: http://www.foodshare.net/Foodpolicy08.htm

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MASSEY WORKERS FIGHT FOR THEIR RIGHTS

By Euan Gibb, The Bullet

Now that the G20 has left town, let’s get down to talking about the reality of maternal health in the City of Toronto. Workers at the Massey Centre for Women are entering their 11th week on a picket line. Throughout this strike, the 66 members of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 Canada have proved themselves to be courageous, dedicated and clear-minded. They are also passionate advocates for the young women that they work with.

To read more: http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/383.php

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JOURNAL ARTICLES

JOB REQUIREMENTS AND WORKERS’ LEARNING: FORMAL GAPS, INFORMAL CLOSURE, SYSTEMIC LIMITS
D. W. Livingstone  
Journal of Education and Work Pages 207 – 231. DOI: 10.1080/13639081003785732
http://bit.ly/dxmHEK

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IS THE THIRD SECTOR AN EMERGING ECONOMIC INSTITUTION? SOCIAL PREFERENCES VERSUS POVERTY TRAPS
Adalgiso Amendola, Maria Rosaria Garofalo, and Annamaria Nese
Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly published 8 July 2010, 10.1177/0899764010371232
http://nvs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/0899764010371232v1

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CONTESTED VISIONS OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY: CITIZENSHIP, PUBLIC HOUSING, AND THE INTERNATIONAL ARENA
Jo Ann Argersinger
Journal of Urban History published 8 July 2010, 10.1177/0096144210374315
http://juh.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/0096144210374315v1

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WORK-BASED EDUCATION AND TRAINING IN CHINA
Zhenyi Guo and Stephen Lamb
book chapter: International Comparisons of China’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training System
http://www.springerlink.com/content/t83567x7t86v0588/

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OLD DOGS, NEW TRICKS: TRAINING MATURE-AGED MANUFACTURING WORKERS
Erica Smith, Andrew Smith, Chris Selby Smith
Journal of Workplace Learning Pages: 277-291
http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=1865094&show=abstract

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OUR MANDATE:

The Centre for the Study of Education and Work (CSEW) brings together educators from university, union, and community settings to understand and enrich the often-undervalued informal and formal learning of working people. We develop research and teaching programs at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (UofT) that strengthen feminist, anti-racist, labour movement, and working-class perspectives on learning and work.

Our major project is APCOL: Anti-Poverty Community Organizing and Learning. This five-year project (2009-2013), funded by SSHRC-CURA, brings academics and activists together in a collaborative effort to evaluate how organizations approach issues and campaigns and use popular education.

For more information about CSEW, visit: http://www.csew.ca

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Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon Profile: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski