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A message from Rich Gibson

Dear Friends 
The Rouge Forum No Blood For Oil (with those good-for-the-rest of your life posters on sale!) is updated at: 
On the Madness and Boredom Front: 
Substance News is carrying reports from the National Education Association’s Representative Assembly, running through Monday, here: 
On the Educational Miracles Front: 
Substance has exposed the Chicago Miracle, the reason Arne Duncan holds his position as Ed Boss, for years. However, here is another expose, from an unexpected source: 
On the What Do You Mean We Had Something to Do With that Coup and What Do We Know About the School of the Americas Front: 
On the Everyone Can Make it in America Front, the Jobless Rate Hits a 26 Year High: 
On the Someone is Actually Doing Something About all of This Front: The San Francisco Freedom School is open for summer: 
Russian Students are Resisting:  
You can do something too. There is one organization in North America, rooted in education, that connects the wars, unemployment, de-industrialization, class struggle, and the crises in schools: The Rouge Forum. Next week we will circulate a call for nominees for this year’s Rouge Forum Steering Committee. We urge you to join us. Please spread the word. 
Thanks to all the courageous delegates at the NEA RA who spoke to me and gave me so much information. You’ll see it in print in the coming days. If you are still at the RA and we have not met, please email me asap, or we can talk when you get home. 
Thanks too to Amber, Wayne, Adam, Bob, Colleen, Tammy, Christina, Katie and Greg, Bill, Joe, Sally, Sue, Donna, Kathy Y and E, Gil, Tony, Jill, Eric, Marcie, Isabella, Victoria, Donnie, Tally, Shawndre, Teeyah, Pete, and Doug. 
Good luck to us, every one. 
Rich Gibson

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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A message from Rich Gibson

Dear Friends

Following the Rouge Forum Conference at Eastern Michigan, health issues interrupted the updates. But we’re restored to life.

The conference was a terrific success with more than 150 people attending, folks of all ages. Thanks especially to Joe Bishop and the EMU gang for pulling together a great conference. Conference videos and papers are linked here:

What follows is from RF Community Coordinator Adam Renner:

• “We are actively working on a site for the 2010 conference (sounds like we might be onto something with Faith Wilson at Aurora) and a location for the fall Steering Committee retreat (sounds like we might be onto something with Joe in Antioch)

• Two calls for papers are out for the RF News. Issue 14 will compile papers and keynotes from this year’s conference (and we are considering, perhaps, turning this in to an edited text). Issue 15 proposals are due August 15.

• We will be sending out a call for nominations for the 09-10 Steering Committee, requesting a paragraph as to why you would like to serve. We will vote on those nominations, subsequently. This call will follow the July 4 holiday.

• This steering committee will be crucial toward the formation of more intentional regional chapters. We would like to see regular meetings of the regional chapters and work toward some type of coordinated action (e.g., a one day freedom school, a teach-in, a one-day retreat for teachers, an evening panel/speaker on a coordinated topic, a protest action, etc. as a lead up to the 2010 conference and as a preview of more focused, coordinated, and regular actions in the future)

• We are working on an online program as an outlet for RF members to help shape/teach

• We are building toward a 15th anniversary conference in Vancouver, BC in 2013 (perhaps with a one day preview in 2011 as a pre-conference session to AERA which will be held there that year).”

I will be covering the National Education Association annual representative assembly here in San Diego beginning on July 2. If you are a delegate, or attending, please email me and let me know what’s up from your viewpoint.

Good luck to us, every one.

Rich Gibson

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The Rouge Forum – Update 5th May 2009

A message from Rich Gobson

Dear Friends

Less than two weeks until the Rouge Forum Conference  ( ), May 15-17, in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Join us! Come meet others whose interest in education goes to society as well. The core issue of our time is rising color-coded inequality met by the possibility of mass, class-conscious, resistance. No education organization in North America has the limited good sense and courage to say that.

The National Education Association will meet in San Diego in July, making sure no NEA member grasps this is not a tea-party but class war. Here we see how NEA pours $2million more into a campaign for a regressive California tax:

United Teachers of LA plan a one day walkout on May 15, but they don’t want to interrupt testing. Huh?

Primer on Chrysler Bankruptcy:

Well, at least this is 1/2 good news. “Union leaders said they chose May 15 “to have the least conflict with month long testing,” including the state’s STAR tests, which are the most prominent yardsticks for a school’s academic standing. But there are Advanced Placement tests, which are important for college applicants, scheduled for that day. ”

In a week, Chrysler went under, the Sunnis rose again, the Taliban swept 60 miles from the capital–some week!

The UAW’s retiree VEBA benefits to disappear?

Who can argue that the government, the capitalist democracy in which the latter always loses, is anything more than executive committee and armed weapon of the rich? How the Banksters “own the place,” in Congress:

We note with sadness the death of William Pomeroy whose writings on the Huks in the Philippines was terrific: See his book, The Forrest, among others.

Marx on School: “The only worker who is productive is one who produces surplus value for the capitalist, or in other words contributes to the self-valorization of capital. If we may take an example from outside the sphere of material production, a schoolmaster is a productive worker when, in addition to belaboring the heads of his pupils, he works himself into the ground to enrich the owner of the school. That the latter has laid out his capital in a teaching factory, instead of a sausage factory, makes no difference to the relation. The concept of a productive worker therefore implies, not merely a relation between the activity of work and its useful effect, between the worker and the product of the work, but also a specific social relation of production, a relation with a means of valorization. To be a productive worker is therefore not a piece of luck, but a misfortune.” Marx 1977, Capital, Vol 1, translator, B. Fowkes, New York, Vintage
p 644

Thanks to Wayne, Joe B, Adam and Gina, Phillip, Tammy, Donna, Sue H, Sherry, Connie and Doug, Eric C and S, Ginger H, Don A, Virginia P, Carol, Susan and Susan, Paul and Mary, Sandy and Van.

Good luck to us, every one!
Rich Gibson

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Whatever Happened to the Education Debate? Rouge Forum Update


A Message from Rich Gibson



Dear Friends
Remember to mark you calendars: the weekend of May 15th, the Rouge Forum Conference at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti.

What with wars and economic collapse in the forefront of American
minds, it seems the hot education debate is vanished. Perhaps for
good reason as the major party candidates agree on the crux of NCLB,
merit pay, the expansion of charters, the heroification of Teach For
America’s drive-by projects in poor neighborhoods, and they must be
clear on what will be the school budget impact of the financial firestorms.

Depending on where you live, PBS and NPR plan discussions between
McCain and Obama surrogates, but really, what can be said to
demonstrate passionate disagreement? Not much. Here is Fairtest’s
examination of the candidates positions:

Having surveyed the web sites of the major unions in the US, only one
has anything to say about the bankster bailout—the American
Federation of Teachers, in support of it. The rest are pouring
millions of dollars into the Obama campaign.

Why would the huge National Education Association and AFT shower
Obama with member cash when his fundraising is already over the top, $150 million in September, within a billion dollar electoral
spectacle? In the case of NEA, it’s dues income and jobs. The early
childhood education centers Obama may set up will be contested
terrain for NEA, but rumor has it that Reg Weaver, outgoing NEA
president, is lined up for an administration job in that field.

Meanwhile, the tyranny deepens as banksters, AIG bailout recipients,
go partridge hunting on taxpayers’ nickels:



(Defarge was right)
Those who were born with the least capital will get hurt first and
worst in these crises. And the wisdom they display will often be
exemplary, a lesson for us all. Right now, people in Morelos Mexico
(named for the revolutionary) are battling the police and the
military. They are led by teachers and other school workers who are
demanding an end to school privatization, a project of the “Alliance
for Quality Education”: which also seeks to demolish teacher benefits
won over decades. The fight has gone on for more than two months,
demonstrating that educators are centripetally positioned to initiate
social change. The Morelos fighters were recently joined by comreades
from Oaxaca—a learning from all; one lesson being that their top
union leadership consistently betrays them. The Morelos educators are
good examples of people connecting reason to power, with solidarity.
Here is one of many links:

Thanks to Gil, Amber, Gina and Adam, Sandy. Bill and Bill, Greg and
Katie, Melissa, Nancy, Bonnie, Sarah, Giselle, Eva, Lisa, Liz, Betty,
Gloria and the Michigan gang, Kim, Bob, Dirty Edd, Pete, Dave, George
and family, Wayne, and Sue. H.

All the best

Rich Gibson



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Release date: 2008-10-07