Education

Beloved El Paso, Texas teacher dies from COVID-19 as Governor presses schools to reopen

By Tony Jackson, 5 January 2021

The reopening of schools across Texas, enforced by Republican Governor Greg Abbott has been a major factor behind the surge of the pandemic in El Paso and throughout the state since August.

Sri Lanka webinar: Education safety committee to discuss the fight against unsafe school reopenings

By Safety Committee of Teachers and Students and Parents (Sri Lanka), 4 January 2021

Urgent action must be taken to save lives, and secure the right to education, against the Rajapakse government’s hazardous return-to-work policies.

With 4,500 deaths in just eight days and nearly 400,000 new Covid cases

UK teaching unions call for no work in “unsafe schools” as opposition among educators mounts

By Robert Stevens, 4 January 2021

Schools have been a major vector for the spread of COVID-19, worsened by a new and more contagious variant of the disease.

Illinois high school student dies of COVID-19

By Andy Thompson, 4 January 2021

A senior at Lincoln Way East High School in Frankfort, Illinois, Sarah Simental was just a few months from graduating in the spring.

Opposition mounts in US over deadly rush to restart in-person schooling

By Jerry White, 4 January 2021

Tens of thousands of students are returning to schools in New York City, Palm Beach, Florida, and many other districts today, provoking widespread concern and opposition from teachers, support staff and parents.

Macron government refuses calls to cancel school reopenings as pandemic surges

By Will Morrow, 4 January 2021

The Macron government has refused calls by medical specialists and teacher and parent groups for the cancellation or postponement of in-person classes.

“Every death is a catastrophe. We should be angry about this.”

Curator of Earth Felt the Wound, site tracking US educators’ deaths, speaks to the WSWS

By Nancy Hanover, 4 January 2021

The World Socialist Web Site interviewed the administrator of a new website tracking educator deaths since the return to school last fall.

Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education lays off educators, closes schools

By Douglas Lyons and Samuel Davidson, 4 January 2021

As with hundreds of other colleges and universities around the country, at PASSHE the pandemic has prompted massive shortfalls in revenue, compelling school officials to lay off faculty and staff and reduce educational opportunities for students.

Opening of schools in Germany based on deliberate lies and deception

By Gregor Link, 4 January 2021

The criminality with which the campaign to open schools has been conducted was recently demonstrated by the deliberate suppression of a study from Hamburg showing massive outbreaks were taking place within schools in Germany.

As COVID-19 spreads, New York City schools prepare to reopen Monday after holiday break

By Sandy English, 31 December 2020

Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this week that schools were safe and would reopen on January 4, as the pandemic continues to spread throughout the city and the state plans massive cuts to education funding.

Biden and Democrats rush to reopen schools in new year as COVID-19 death toll climbs

By Jerry White, 31 December 2020

Dozens of large urban school districts in the United States—from San Diego, Tacoma and Denver to Chicago, Atlanta and Washington DC—plan to restart in-person schooling in the opening weeks of the new year, even as health experts predict January will see a “surge on top of a surge” of COVID-19 infections and deaths.

Chicago officials refuse teacher accommodations in order to force school reopenings

By Alexander Fangmann, 31 December 2020

While the district is ordering roughly 5,800 educators to report to schools on Monday as COVID-19 cases in the city remain dangerously high, the Chicago Teachers Union is working to prevent any coordinated and effective fight.

Emergency meeting of the Network of Action Committees for Safe Education

German high school student: “If we don’t close the schools, no one will!”

German high school student: “If we don’t close the schools, no one will!”

By Gregor Link, 30 December 2020

Faced with death tolls unseen in Europe since World War II, the Network of Action Committees for Safe Education in Germany convened an emergency meeting on Tuesday to advance the fight for school closures and discuss prospects for a general strike against the politics of mass infection with the coronavirus.

Detroit schools chief Vitti gets pay raise, as unions initial unsafe reopenings and poverty pay for staff

By James Vega and Nancy Hanover, 30 December 2020

Detroit schools are presently set to reopen for face-to-face instruction in the coming weeks, threatening countless lives as the pandemic continues to deepen in the region.

California educators, healthcare and logistics workers: Unite to stop COVID-19 and save lives now!

By Northern California Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 29 December 2020

Urgent and far-reaching action is needed to prevent the reopening of schools and stop the spread of the pandemic across California this winter. Join our committee now!

A young Berlin teacher dies from coronavirus: An indictment of the city’s pandemic policy

By Ulrich Rippert, 29 December 2020

The death of a young teacher in Berlin following a coronavirus infection confirms the criminal nature of the official policy of keeping open businesses and schools.

Connecticut educators denounce right-wing record of Biden’s pick for Education Secretary

By Robert Milkowski, 24 December 2020

Interviews with the WSWS and comments on social media from rank-and-file educators in Connecticut upend the narrative spun by the corporate media and the teachers unions about incoming Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

Washington D.C. teachers union reaches agreement with Democratic mayor to reopen schools

By Harvey Simpkins, 24 December 2020

The deal reached last week entails the broad reopening of schools in which teachers could be required to return to in-person teaching.

Alabama doubles down on school reopenings, as healthcare catastrophe hits the state

By Emma Arceneaux, 24 December 2020

As the state death toll in Alabama surpasses 4,500, with ICU beds near capacity, Montgomery Public Schools (MPS) sent teachers a menacing memo threatening that they must be prepared to return to unsafe schools January 4.

Student rent strikers speak out at UK universities

By Ioan Petrescu, 24 December 2020

The World Socialist Web Site spoke with representatives of the rent strikes that began at the University of London and Goldsmiths University earlier this month.

Build action committees to oppose a return to UK schools and campuses in January!

By Statement of the UK Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee:, 24 December 2020

The protection of children and educators can only develop as part of an independent movement of the working class in a struggle against the capitalist profit system, which sacrifices the safety and basic needs of workers to the profit drive of the ruling elite.

Australian educators call for the defence of COVID-19 whistleblower Rebekah Jones

By Sue Phillips, 23 December 2020

Teachers and support staff at Footscray High in Melbourne met in the final days of the school year to show their support for Jones.

Biden picks Education Secretary committed to opening schools as pandemic rages

By Evan Blake, 23 December 2020

While education commissioner in Connecticut, Miguel Cardona has been a forceful advocate of reopening schools, which Biden has stated will be a top “national priority” upon taking office.

Democrats press to open schools across the US as pandemic surges

By Jerry White, 22 December 2020

In line with President-elect Joe Biden’s stated aim to reopen America’s schools, Democratic mayors and governors are moving to resume in-person teaching even as infections, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 continue to reach new highs.

Berlin teacher dies following COVID-19 infection

By Markus Salzmann, 22 December 2020

The death of Soydan A., a young teacher who taught at a community school in Berlin-Kreuzberg, is due to the reckless school opening policy amid a pandemic that has been spreading rapidly for months.

999 (12/20) CPS hires 2000 teachers to reopen

21 December 2020

New Zealand’s border restrictions leave thousands of students stranded

By Tom Peters, 21 December 2020

Around 5,200 international students enrolled in New Zealand have been stuck offshore this year and many are facing significant financial hardship due to the country’s draconian border restrictions.

“It’s like the frontlines of a war!”

Washington educators denounce Democratic Governor Jay Inslee’s plan to reopen schools

By Diana Green, 21 December 2020

Following decisions in New York City and Oregon, Democratic Governor Jay Inslee has updated the school reopening guidelines for Washington state to allow the return of at least some students in every district, regardless of the rate of infection and death.

999 Washington, DC schools reopening update

21 December 2020

Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Teachers Union advance deadly school reopening plans

By Kristina Betinis and Michael Walters, 21 December 2020

Amid record COVID-19 deaths, the Chicago Teachers Union is working with city leaders to begin bringing teachers back to school buildings January 4.

999 San Francisco schools propose to remove Lincoln from school name

19 December 2020

Texas educators call for united struggle in defense of whistleblower Rebekah Jones

Texas Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 18 December 2020

We call on all Florida educators to come to the defense of Jones and the scientific principles for which she stands, and to build a statewide Florida Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee like ours in Texas.

“What they did to Jones—they’ll do to anyone who threatens their bottom line”

American workers denounce police raid on COVID-19 whistleblower Rebekah Jones

By Evan Blake, 18 December 2020

The WSWS is publishing statements of support for Jones, whose Florida home was raided last week in response to her efforts to expose the spread of the pandemic in Florida and in K-12 schools across the US.

Attacks on Australian university jobs deepen but union boasts it is “stronger”

By Mike Head, 18 December 2020

Judging by the NTEU’s annual report, the union leadership is proud of its achievement in presiding over unprecedented job losses.

German government increases military spending, cuts education and health care

By Johannes Stern, 17 December 2020

The entire budget debate underscored that the ruling class sees the pandemic primarily as an opportunity to advance its policies of militarism, repression and social austerity.

The deadly impact of US college reopenings in the fall, a balance sheet

By Genevieve Leigh, 17 December 2020

The experience over the last four months in the schools, both K-12 and college campuses, has produced incontrovertible evidence that in-person learning leads to an increase in community spread of COVID-19.

Tennessee high school coach’s death underscores dangers of school reopenings and sports

By Warren Duzak, 17 December 2020

David Picklesimer, a 55-year-old high school teacher and coach, is one of hundreds of educators that have died of COVID-19.

New York City educators, parents and students must organize a strike to close all schools!

New York City Educators Rank-and File Safety Committee, 17 December 2020

Urgent action is required to close all schools and nonessential workplaces to stop the spread of the pandemic and save lives.

Almost 1,000 daily COVID-19 deaths in Germany: The criminal outcome of keeping businesses and schools open

By Christoph Vandreier, 17 December 2020

Despite the horrific number of deaths, all parties in the German parliament continue to put profit before lives and health.

Scottish government and unions refuse to extend holiday break despite teachers' demands

By Steve James, 16 December 2020

The Scottish government and the Educational Institute for Scotland are working to ensure schools stay open as long as possible before the Christmas holiday to ensure maximum profits.

As pandemic rages

Johnson government forces London schools to remain open

By Thomas Scripps, 16 December 2020

The dangers posed by keeping schools open worsen daily. London has been leading a renewed national surge of infections since the partial November national lockdown was ended.

What is the impact of $37,000 of student debt on a worker’s life?

By Emily Ochai, 16 December 2020

Under the current conditions, in which millions of people are unemployed due to the pandemic, student debt becomes even more debilitating for young people in the United States.

British Columbia’s NDP government presiding over mass COVID-19 infections in schools

By Penny Smith, 16 December 2020

Even as infections surge in schools throughout BC’s lower mainland, the province’s NDP government and its unions allies are determined to keep kids crammed into unsafe classrooms.

999 NYC Educators R&F committee statement

16 December 2020

US teachers union “lefts” pen love letter to Biden

By Renae Cassimeda and Evan Blake, 16 December 2020

The central purpose of the letter is to congratulate Biden, endorse his plan to reopen schools amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic, and lobby for him to appoint a Secretary of Education committed to racialist policies.

999 Tennessee teacher dies from COVID-19

16 December 2020

Michigan high schooler contracts COVID-19 after being forced to take in-person SAT test

By James Vega and Nancy Hanover, 15 December 2020

The girl had repeatedly requested to be excused from the test rather than take the chance of contracting the disease or potentially infecting her at-risk mother.

“I stand with Ms. Jones, and I call on others to stand in solidarity with Ms. Jones.”

Statements of support for COVID-19 whistleblower Rebekah Jones from across the US

By Chase Lawrence, 15 December 2020

In response to this clear assault on democratic rights, there has been an outpouring of support by educators, scientists, and other workers in defense of Jones and the rights of whistleblowers.

Open schools and businesses in Germany are leading to record infections and mass death

By Marianne Arens, 14 December 2020

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported the second consecutive daily record of the pandemic on Friday, with almost 30,000 new infections registered in 24 hours and almost 600 COVID-19 patients dying again in one day.

New York Times smears COVID-19 whistleblower Rebekah Jones

By Genevieve Leigh, 14 December 2020

The Times is attempting to dig up completely irrelevant episodes from Jones’ past in order to discredit her work in exposing the state cover-up of COVID-19 cases.

School students in Germany protest and enforce online teaching to combat coronavirus infection

By Gregor Link, 14 December 2020

“With our pupils’ strike, we have achieved more protection against infection with a few hours of preparation than all of the measures taken by Bremen’s politicians in recent months.”

College of Saint Rose in New York slashes programs and tenured faculty positions

By Philip Guelpa, 14 December 2020

By December 2021, 33 of 151 full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty positions will be eliminated, as well as eight visiting faculty positions.

Texas educators demand halt to in-person state standardized testing

Texas Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 12 December 2020

Texas educators are demanding that students not be forced to take in-person state assessments as a prerequisite for graduation during the pandemic.

“We need more people in society to stand against these ‘leaders’ and speak the truth.”

Workers across the US speak out in defense of COVID-19 whistleblower Rebekah Jones

By Renae Cassimeda, 12 December 2020

The WSWS received widespread support for Rebekah Jones from educators and other workers in Florida, California, Texas, Michigan, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Hawaii.

UFCW ends 3-month Winnipeg school bus drivers' strike without a contract, as COVID-19 cases skyrocket

By Carl Bronski, 12 December 2020

The drivers' strike was the first public sector job action since a court found the Manitoba Conservative government’s antiworker wage-control law unconstitutional.

999 Texas Educators R&F committee statement

11 December 2020

Committee for Public Education (Australia) online meeting discusses global struggles of teachers and educators

By Carolyn Kennett, 11 December 2020

Panellists explained the fight for rank-and-file committees to provide the deep-seated opposition to the reopening of schools a political direction and leadership.

UK government forces schools to stay open as infections continue to surge

By Tom Pearce, 11 December 2020

Using the Coronavirus Act, the education secretary can “give temporary continuity directions requiring schools to take certain actions, including staying open”.

999 Pseudo-left teachers unions letter to Biden

11 December 2020

Private school permitting students to wear Islamic clothing closed in Paris

By Samuel Tissot, 11 December 2020

The school’s closure is only the latest provocation in a series of attacks launched by the Macron government against institutions that serve France’s six million Muslims.

“They never respected us enough to acknowledge the human lives lost.”

Montgomery, Alabama teachers demand the right to teach from home, are snubbed by school board

By Emma Arceneaux, 10 December 2020

Emotions ran high in the meeting held just three days after the burials of two beloved educators.

999 Columbia students emails taken away

10 December 2020

Pupils in Germany resist in-person classes and demand “consistent lockdown”

By Gregor Link, 10 December 2020

The Bremen school strike is part of a growing wave of resistance by students against the herd immunity policies of the European governments.

UK National Education Union calls off strike over Covid safety at primary school in Merseyside

By Margot Miller, 10 December 2020

The strike called off by the NEU would have been the first official Covid-related strike in the UK since the spring, as pressure from educators and parents mounts to close unsafe schools.

One week after wildcat sickout strike, South Carolina teacher dies from COVID-19

By Rosa Shahnazarian and Emma Arceneaux, 9 December 2020

Despite the tragic death of 50-year-old third-grade teacher Staci Blakely, the school and district remain open for in-person learning.

Teacher walkout forces closure of Toronto-area school hit by COVID-19 outbreak

By Omar Ali, 9 December 2020

Public health authorities initially refused to close the school, following directives from Ontario’s Conservative government, which is determined to keep schools open so parents can go to work and generate profits for big business.

Opposition erupts at San Diego State University following decision to cancel spring break

By IYSSE at San Diego State University, 9 December 2020

The university administration, acting in conjunction with the Democratic Party, has created the conditions for the spread of the virus while providing students with no resources to cope with the stress of school and work amidst a public health emergency.

Reopening of New York City schools threatens massive spread of COVID-19

By Evan Blake, 8 December 2020

The driving force behind the homicidal campaign to open schools and nonessential workplaces is not science or public health, but rather the profit interests of the capitalist class.

Over 2,200 students at Columbia University threaten tuition strike amid economic crisis

By Elliott Murtagh, 8 December 2020

Confronting financial difficulty amid the ongoing pandemic, students at Columbia University in New York City are demanding lower cost of tuition and increased financial aid.

Plans by University of Colorado at Boulder to cut 50 tenured jobs evoke opposition

By Chase Lawrence, 8 December 2020

The threat to eliminate tenured faculty positions and hire adjuncts in their place has created a backlash among staff and students at the school.

“All teachers, plant workers, custodians, we all need to band together to be protected”

Alabama loses two more educators to COVID-19

By Nancy Hanover, 7 December 2020

A veteran teacher recalls the victims and calls for uniting workers against the deadly return to in-person schools.

“There is a war against the people, and we have to unite under a common cause.”

New York City workers condemn mayor’s plan to reopen schools Monday

By Sandy English, 7 December 2020

The working class in New York City has rejected the plans of the Democratic Party to reopen schools in the largest district in the United States amid rising positivity rates and hospitalizations for COVID-19

Student government delegates at the University of Michigan speak out against the administration’s COVID-19 policies

By Jesse Thomas, 7 December 2020

The decision to reopen the university residence halls and conduct in-person learning immediately provoked opposition from the student body, culminating in a nine-day strike in September by graduate student instructors.

999 South Carolina teachers sickout

7 December 2020

UK Tory government manipulated statistics to play down COVID-19 danger to educators

By Henry Lee, 5 December 2020

Boris Johnson’s government is attempting to rubbish any conclusion that teaching is a high-risk occupation, using a combination of manipulated statistics and outright lies.

Washington, DC public schools return students to classes amid record-breaking COVID-19 spike

By Nick Barrickman, 5 December 2020

The sudden return of students to classrooms amid a devastating surge of COVID-19 cases and deaths is based upon businesses demanding a complete reopening of the economy.

Growing protests in Germany against lethal policy of opening schools

By Gregor Link, 5 December 2020

The decision by politicians to keep schools, day-care centres and businesses open under unsafe conditions is costing the lives of hundreds of people every day in Germany alone, who die a completely avoidable and agonizing death.

Michigan educators, autoworkers and healthcare workers: Unite to stop COVID-19 and save lives now!

Michigan Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 5 December 2020

Urgent and far-reaching action is needed to save thousands of lives across Michigan this winter. Join our committee now!

UK schools facing bankruptcy during pandemic

By Margot Miller, 4 December 2020

Half the schools in Stockport anticipate going into deficit budgets this year as they struggle with the extra costs incurred by the pandemic.

Cleveland Heights Teachers Union calls off strike hours after picket lines are formed

By Isaac Finn, 4 December 2020

On Wednesday morning, many educators in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District set up picket lines, only to be informed hours later that the strike had been cancelled.

999 Washington DC school reopening plans

4 December 2020

Letter to Boycott Return to Unsafe Schools (BRTUS)/Parents United Against Unsafe Schools

Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 3 December 2020

Workers and parents must have the right to decide which political programme and perspective they wish to adopt or discuss and debate. Blocking access to this through censorship is a reactionary tool to silence opposition.

UK Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee meets as Johnson ends one-month national lockdown

By Harvey Singh, 3 December 2020

“Workers overwhelmingly oppose this calculated endangering of human life, but Labour and the trade unions are working systematically to prevent this opposition gaining a political voice and leadership.”

Mobilize the working class to halt school reopenings in New York City!

The New York City Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 3 December 2020

Everything now depends upon the building of rank-and-file safety committees in every school and neighborhood across the city, completely independent of the UFT and the Democrats who are conspiring to reopen schools.

Los Angeles school district plans full reopening as COVID-19 outbreaks mount in schools

By Dan Conway, 2 December 2020

Despite claims that they do not intend to fully reopen schools, behind closed doors the school district is in fact planning such moves with the teachers union.

Sixteen-year-old Wisconsin high school student dies of COVID-19

By Fabian Salgado, 2 December 2020

Even though Isai Morocho’s school was not meeting in person, his father, mother and brother all work in-person jobs, allowing for endless possible encounters with the virus.

Amid pandemic surge in school-aged children

Chicago Public Schools unveils reopening plan

By Alexander Fangmann, 2 December 2020

The Chicago Public Schools reopening plan ignores the deadly reality of COVID-19 and will result in the needless deaths of even more Illinois teachers, students and family members.

14-year-old Michigan youth who was brutally treated by police dies of COVID-19

By Valery Tsekov, 2 December 2020

Fourteen-year-old Honestie Hodges has died from complications of COVID-19 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, two weeks after being hospitalized on her birthday.

Resolution in Germany: “Close schools and day-care centres and organize safe education!”

By Network of Action Committees for Safe Education, 1 December 2020

The following statement was adopted by the Network of Action Committees for Safe Education at its meeting last Friday.

The conspiracy to reopen schools

By Andre Damon, 1 December 2020

Despite a months-long media campaign claiming it is safe to reopen schools, every reputable scientific study has shown that closing schools is one of the most effective ways to contain the pandemic.

Meeting of the Network of Action Committees for Safe Education

In Germany, dozens of students, parents and teacher representatives call for school strikes and safe education

By Our reporters, 1 December 2020

On Friday evening, the network of Action Committees for Safe Education in Germany held its largest online meeting to date.

New York City educators denounce plans to reopen schools

By Sandy English, 1 December 2020

Educators throughout New York City have reacted with outrage at the plans of Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio and the UFT to reopen schools on December 7.

Cleveland-Heights University Heights School District threatens to halt health care benefits if teachers strike

By Isaac Finn, 30 November 2020

A school district just outside of Cleveland, Ohio is threatening to cut healthcare payments to 500 teachers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

New York City schools to reopen amid explosion of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, deaths

By Bryan Dyne, 30 November 2020

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement is a warning to the working class in the United States and internationally that even as numerous coronavirus vaccines are nearing completion, workers and youth will continue to be sent into workplaces and schools to needlessly get sick and die.

Despite strikes and protests over coronavirus, schools and day-care centres remain open in Germany

By Marianne Arens, 30 November 2020

Last week’s Coronavirus Summit, attended by Chancellor Angela Merkel along with the 16 heads of the state governments, demonstrated one thing: businesses, schools and day-care centres are to be kept open no matter what.

Sri Lankan government orders schools to reopen, threatening thousands with COVID-19

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 30 November 2020

In line with its dangerous and irresponsible “new normal” coronavirus policies, the Rajapakse government is sending students and teachers back to school.

Massive spread of COVID-19 in Kentucky schools and death of 15-year-old girl prompts statewide school closures

By Warren Duzak, 28 November 2020

Almost 10,000 K-12 students and 2,000 faculty members are presently in quaratine or isolation across Kentucky.

COVID-19 death of Ontario youth worker—a tragic outcome of the ruling elite’s criminal school reopening policy

By Omar Ali, 27 November 2020

Ingrid Salt was employed as a child and youth worker at a school in a low-income north-west Toronto neighbourhood.

Amid COVID-19 disaster on university campuses, students must build campus safety committees!

By International Youth and Students for Social Equality (UK), 27 November 2020

Students are being treated as little more than cash cows for a marketised higher education system and scapegoats for a programme of “herd immunity”.

Thousands of US college students return home for Thanksgiving amid surging pandemic

By Alex Findijs, 26 November 2020

After the disastrous reopening of campuses this fall led to hundreds of thousands of cases, countless college students are bringing the coronavirus home with them.