Education

Description/Abstract of your Event: 
This panel is intended to change the conversation about student debt in this country. As Martin Luther King Jr. advised striking sanitation workers in his final speech, student debtors must “anchor our external direction with the power of economic withdrawal”. Activists from four generations will discuss the possibility that an organized movement of student debtors could use its collective burden as leverage to demand transformational change before the 2020 presidential election, particularly the cancellation of all outstanding student debt and fully funding public higher education as a right for all Americans. We must decide whether the United States will continue to invest so much in producing indebtedness, or whether we will empower 44 million Americans to use the full extent of their education to transform society. In order to change the focus of the national dialogue on this issue, the American public must be made aware of what has been hidden in plain sight- all of the major student loan servicing companies (Navient, Nelnet, PHEAA) are gambling with hundreds of billions of dollars in federal student loan debt, and the failure of the market for SLABS (Student Loan Asset Backed Securities) may result in a systemic liquidity crisis to rival the financial crisis that caused the Great Recession of 2007-2009. The struggle for human survival past this century depends upon the ability of global movements to coordinate a strategic confrontation with the ruling class, whose malicious greed and indifferent negligence has produced the existential crises we are facing. Every day we continue to perform the status quo, greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and student loan interest accumulate. Throughout history, there have been countless movements of working class people demanding the cancellation of unpayable debts to the ruling class, and as history repeats it is a tactic we must consider. This panel will consider the notion that if the student debt bubble is doomed regardless, the most advantageous position for student debtors to take is to refuse to pay their debts and force the moment to its crisis. Given the emergencies we are in, could this tactic be effective, and is it morally righteous?
Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
This year, in contrast to the 2018 “red state” teacher revolt, strikes in Los Angeles and Oakland confronted Democratic Party bosses and rulers at every level. The strikes were militant and massive, with broad working-class community support. But the union bureaucracies, chained to the Democrats, rammed through settlements that betrayed the struggle to stop the spread of charter schools, the drive to privatize and sharply reduce class size. Class Struggle Education Workers campaigned to mobilize workers’ power – shut down the ports! – to win the strikes. In New York, an ongoing fight against adjunct poverty at CUNY poses broader issues of linking the fight to defend public education to class struggle in the center of finance capital. The key: ousting the pro-capitalist bureaucrats, breaking with the Democrats and forging a class struggle leadership. As Leon Trotsky wrote, “The independence of trade unions in the class sense, in their relations to the bourgeois state, can, in the present conditions, be assured only by a completely revolutionary leadership.”
Location: 
LA
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Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Social movements in the recent past have founded schools and universities to carry the flame of the movement in a structural context. In the first few weeks of the occupation at Zuccotti Park, a few activists did the same thing: set out to create a new university. The group has subsequently created a new institutional framework based on emergent communities of inquiry, pedagogies of emancipation, and curricula for radical knowledges. The purpose has been to create an alternative to the corporatized university using OWS practices of consensus-building. This panel will present the framework for this new university, and facilitate a discussion about the possibilities of higher education for and by the 99%.
Location: 
LA
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Description/Abstract of your Event: 
The panel will investigate some of the many ways we are pushing back against the corporate colonization of academic culture. Fighting to raise awareness of the issues through documentaries and art-making will be discussed by the writers and filmmakers on the panel. Working to return professional stature, governance and economic justice to the migrant adjunct faculty within traditional academic institutions will be discussed by members of NFM. Creating new models of higher education - like the free university movement, open sourceware opportunities and peer-to-peer educating - will be examined for its benefits and game-changing possibilities. Proposed panelists: Debra Leigh Scott and Chris LaBree Co-Producer of 'Junct: The Trashing of Higher Ed. in America, will talk about the 'Junct project, our goals and intentions in the making of the film. (Confirmed) Nathan Kleinman, The Free University of Philadelphia Working Group, and candidate for U.S. Congress, in Pennsylvania's 13th District. Kyle McCarthy, Producer of Default: The Student Loan Documentary.
Location: 
LA
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Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Working teachers from public secondary schools in the NY metropolitan area discuss what it means to have a left pedagogy and curriculum and the possibilities for encouraging organic intellectuals who can be leaders in movements for social change. Speakers view their work within the context of concepts developed by Gramsci, hegemony and organic intellectual. Schools are dialectical institutions designed to replicate capitalist social inequality, but which create space for the emergence of indigenous working-class intellectuals with ties to oppressed communities. Alan Singer provides an overview of public education today. Pablo Muriel discusses working with high school students from the Bronx who fought against the closing of their school and are now involved as social change activists. Justin Williams teaches in a suburban minority community. For Justin, teaching as a leftist means providing classroom experiences that force students to not only gain an understanding of the power structures that have been influencing their lives but to begin to think critically about them. Being a leftist educator means that whatever the standard curriculum material or the skill components of the lesson, you are always teaching for social justice. Atif Khalil is a Pakistani American from the suburbs. Because of his left perspective he chose to teach social studies in inner-city New York City communities where his students are largely either immigrants or the children of immigrants.
Location: 
LA
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Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Our young adult public school working class children are graduating into a 2013 globalized world where their Civil Rights, Human Rights and American style Freedoms and Potentials have become increasingly more dependent on their relationship to money, access to jobs, costly higher education and the economy in general. Our Public Schools have proved unable to intellectually negotiate or produce a senior high school experience rebuilt on the local and global changes, new democratic demands for informed engaged citizenship and the general confusions of who we are as a people and how we want to live, work cooperate and share into the future of America. In July of 2012, The Center for the Study and Practice of Social Studies, an independent collaboration between the Association of Teachers of Social Studies (ATSS/UFT) and the National Academy of Alternative Education (NAAE) convened the High School Students Rights Task Force, commissioned to update a 1972 Civil Liberties Union produced Student Rights Handbook for New York City. That 2012 Declaration of Student Rights for New York City Public High Schools calls for the democratic and influential participation of our senior high school students through Representative Student Government and Student Edited School Newspaper Programs in all aspects of school life with power to influence. This panel/workshop will present ongoing Social Studies reforms and generate conversation with participants over what more needs be addressed and done.
Location: 
LA
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Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Contemporary analyses and critiques of current education reform are generally absent deeper considerations of the logic of capitalism and its fundamental socio-economic tendencies such as privatization, commodification, and alienation. We will examine the current policies and directions of the so-called educational reform movement from a Marxist perspective and identify significant economic changes (dating to the 1960's) that provoked changes in education broadly considered, and in schools in particular. We will examine the concrete nature of neo-liberal changes including testing and the phenonomenon of data use, school closures, the Common Core and the increasing influence of large corporations such as Pearson and McGraw Hill, teacher evaluation and the deskilling of the teaching profession, and the undermining of unions. Finally, we will analyze the challenges facing our current Mayor as well as propose avenues for resistance and future struggle.
Location: 
LA
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Description/Abstract of your Event: 
An introduction to Diderot's "The Paradox of Acting," to shine a light on the paradox of teaching and all performing arts.
Location: 
LA
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Description/Abstract of your Event: 
A public defense of "The Divination of Truth: From the Quest for Certainty To A Search for a Method." A dissertation submitted to the Graduate Faculty in Sociology in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosopy, The City Unversity of New York, 1997.