Education

San Francisco Bay Area school districts push to reopen schools

By Angelo Perera, 27 February 2021

On February 7, the United Educators of San Francisco union reached an agreement to allow “limited instruction.”

“Since school has been remote, no teachers have died.”

Montgomery, Alabama uses CDC guidelines to unsafely reopen schools

By Emma Arceneaux, 27 February 2021

The district’s announcement, and the CDC guidelines they cite, blatantly ignore one of the most important factors in determining the safety of a building: ventilation and air quality.

Restrictions placed on student gatherings after massive COVID-19 outbreak at the University of Virginia

By Dan Goranson, 27 February 2021

Cases have skyrocketed in the two weeks following the reopening of the sprawling University of Virginia campus for in-person learning on February 1.

Michigan boy, 10, loses both hands, both legs to COVID-related MIS-C syndrome

By Zac Corrigan, 27 February 2021

Ten-year-old quadruple amputee Dae’Shun Jamison from Shelby, Michigan is just one of more than 2,000 children in the US to develop Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children after catching COVID-19.

British Columbia school officials order windows screwed shut to stop teachers from ventilating classes amid raging pandemic

By Alexandra Greene, 27 February 2021

The school sent contractors into the building who reputedly found “safety issues” with the windows and proceeded to seal them.

Michigan governor pushes for school reopenings as Ann Arbor school board reverses decision to remain virtual

By Sheila Brehm and James McDonald, 27 February 2021

In a press conference Wednesday, Democratic Governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer announced that 85 percent of Michigan school districts are currently open for in-person learning and that she is “pleased that 97 percent of the school districts will be reopened by March 1st.”

999 (2/25) Reopening of middle schools in NYC

27 February 2021

Major school districts press to reopen throughout Washington D.C. metro area

By Harvey Simpkins, 27 February 2021

The return to schools follows separate announcements by the governors of Virginia and Maryland calling on all schools to reopen in March.

UK government declares testing and wearing masks “not compulsory” in reopened schools

By Robert Stevens, 27 February 2021

Teachers, in poll after poll and on social media, have voiced their opposition to returning to work under unsafe conditions, but are up against trade unions who are colluding in the government’s plans.

US universities have cut 650,000 jobs, a 13 percent workforce reduction, since the onset of the pandemic

By Alex Findijis, 26 February 2021

Thousands of adjunct faculty members have seen their courses canceled and their paychecks eliminated as programs are consolidated and courses move online.

The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof demands immediate reopening of schools

By Evan Blake, 26 February 2021

The purpose of Kristof’s article is to pollute popular consciousness and pressure local Democrats tasked with enforcing the homicidal policy of reopening schools.

999 Montgomery, AL schools push to reopen as cases spike

26 February 2021

999 11-year-old suffers amputations after contacting MIS-C

26 February 2021

999 UK government to push through longer hours and summer schooling in back to school agenda

26 February 2021

999 (2/25) Reopening of middle schools in NYC

26 February 2021

999 Michigan school reopenings (focus on Ann Arbor)

26 February 2021

No to school reopenings in Turkey before the pandemic is contained!

The Rank-and-File Committee for Safe Education in Turkey, 26 February 2021

We call on all educators, parents and students who support this initiative to contact us to establish rank-and-file committees for safe education and to expand this struggle, which is vital for public health.

San Diego school districts move to resume in-person classes

By Kevin Martinez, 26 February 2021

Despite opposition from parents and the community, the San Diego Unified School District is planning to reopen schools by April.

San Francisco school board pauses reactionary school renaming campaign to focus on forcing schools open

By Renae Cassimeda, 26 February 2021

Despite widespread transmission of COVID-19 and news of more infectious and deadly variants of the virus within San Francisco, the school district alongside the educator and school worker unions are pushing ahead with reopening plans.

For a full investigation of those responsible for the disaster in Texas!

Texas Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 25 February 2021

We demand that every individual, politician and corporation responsible for the social disaster in Texas be criminally prosecuted and that all workers be made whole.

West Virginia Senate outlaws public employee strikes as state demands schools reopen

By Nick Barrickman, 25 February 2021

On the third anniversary of the historic 2018 West Virginia teachers’ strike, the state senate passed a punitive bill codifying anti-strike measures into state law.

COVID-19 cases in New York colleges rise as state changes guidelines to keep schools open

By Alex Findijs, 25 February 2021

Facing an impending wave of temporary schools closures due to growing COVID-19 outbreaks, the New York government and the SUNY system have altered university guidelines to keep schools open despite rising case numbers.

Australian universities rush to enrol students and disregard COVID dangers

By Jack Turner, 25 February 2021

With the help of the unions, university managements are returning to face-to-face teaching and expanding class sizes amid the continuing global pandemic.

German federal and state governments’ plans for reopening schools threaten thousands of lives

By Gregor Link, 25 February 2021

Unless the working class intervenes independently to close factories, offices, schools and day-care centres, hundreds of thousands of deaths loom in Germany alone in an even worse wave of the pandemic.

Chicago elementary teachers begin returning to classrooms under near-total media blackout

By Alexander Fangmann, 24 February 2021

While local reporters and the Chicago Teachers Union maintain a wall of silence over the dangers facing educators and students, schools have become the number one potential exposure locations in the state, according to contact tracing.

Michigan teachers, students face double threat from school reopenings: contaminated water and COVID-19

By Sheila Brehm and James MacDonald, 24 February 2021

With the Democratic Whitmer administration pushing for a March 1 reopening date for public schools, teachers and students face not only the danger of the coronavirus, but lead and legionella bacteria from unflushed water systems.

999 (2/22) Educators oppose drive to reopen schools

24 February 2021

999 Bill banning strikes in WV

24 February 2021

Los Angeles Unified School District moves to reopen schools for in-person instruction

By Peter Ross, 24 February 2021

Officials in Los Angeles announced on Monday that some in-person instruction will resume next week, with a full reopening planned for next month. The announcement comes amid reports that a more contagious variant of COVID-19 has become the dominant strain in California.

Philadelphia teachers union endorses bogus claims of school renovations as cover for reopening schools

By Douglas Lyons, 24 February 2021

The PFT, while posing as “concerned” about certain elements of the reopening plans, claims falsely that schools can be made safe through updates to decrepit school buildings, in particular, improved ventilation systems.

Corporate media and both big business parties press to reopen schools in California

By Melody Isley, 24 February 2021

Despite the capitalist propaganda, parents have expressed overwhelming support for online learning, which they know prioritizes the health of their families, school workers and educators.

999 Pseudo-left and Chicago school reopenings

23 February 2021

999 (2/22) Educators oppose drive to reopen schools

23 February 2021

999 Macron doubles down on political censorship of French universities

23 February 2021

Montgomery, Alabama schools moves forward with plans to convert public schools into privately-operated charter schools

By Shelley Connor, 23 February 2021

The Montgomery Public School Board, a focal point of months of protests by teachers over COVID-19 deaths, is turning over three schools to charter operators.

UK Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee opposes unsafe school reopenings

Our reporter, 22 February 2021

The UK Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee held a lively online meeting on Saturday, just days before yesterday’s unsafe reopening of schools across Scotland and Wales, and as the Johnson government moves to reopen all school on March 8.

Teachers in US resist demand to accept “reasonable risk” of dying

By Jerry White, 21 February 2021

The Biden administration, the corporate media and the teachers unions have ganged up against educators who are refusing to risk their lives.

Reports of spread of British B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant in Michigan

Demands intensify for resumption of in person learning in Michigan by March 1

Phyllis Steele, 21 February 2021

Michigan Democrats, backed by the corporate media, are ramping up pressure to reopen schools by March 1.

Ontario reopens all schools, delays March break ignoring warnings of a third COVID-19 wave

By Jake Silver, 20 February 2021

The growing opposition among teachers must find independent political expression in a struggle to shut down all in-class learning until the pandemic is brought under control.

UK academics face investigation, prison for China-linked “military” research

By Julie Hyland, 20 February 2021

The “investigations” are politically-motivated propaganda aimed at justifying economic and military aggression against what they regard as a strategic competitor.

CUNY breaks faculty and staff contract, withholding promised pay raises

By Elliott Murtagh, 20 February 2021

Depression-like cuts are devastating the largest urban university system in the US.

999 (2/19) Texas R&F statement on Chicago & crisis in TX

20 February 2021

Learn from the CTU’s betrayal in Chicago! Build committees nationwide to stop school reopenings!

Chicago Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 20 February 2021

The effort to reopen schools in Chicago was aimed at setting a precedent for reopening districts everywhere and shifting the relationship of class forces in the US as a whole.

Stop the deadly reopening of Philadelphia Schools!

Pennsylvania Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 20 February 2021

Our committee unequivocally demands a stop to the drive to reopen the Philadelphia public school system amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

999 Pennsylvania Educators R&F statement on Philly schools

20 February 2021

Opposition mounts to unsafe opening of schools in Spain

By Alice Summers, 19 February 2021

There are growing calls by educators and parents to close schools, and strikes have broken out among students as infection rates in education centres soar.

School and day-care centre openings in Germany—a murderous herd immunity experiment

By Gregor Link, 19 February 2021

The federal and state governments are systematically creating conditions for a third wave of the pandemic. This can be seen especially in plans to rapidly return to in-person teaching.

Teachers and health workers strike amid back-to-school campaign in Brazil

By Eduardo Parati and Brunna Machado, 19 February 2021

Faced with enormous opposition from teachers, the Brazilian ruling class fears that the return to classes will provoke a nationwide wave of struggles beyond the control of the unions and pseudo-left parties.

999 Pennsylvania Educators R&F statement on Philly schools

19 February 2021

Drive to reopen schools deepens across Los Angeles as pandemic continues to rage

By Hong Jian, 19 February 2021

Despite the fact that over the past week Los Angeles County averaged 2,339 new cases and 123.1 new deaths per day, officials throughout the region are pressing to reopen schools.

Australian educators support locked out Coles workers

By Our reporters, 19 February 2021

Teachers have spoken out in support of the locked out workers at the Smeaton Grange warehouse in Sydney, and have condemned the United Workers Union’s attempts to impose a sell-out deal.

Attend online meeting on Saturday to organise fightback!

Prime Minister Johnson backed by Scottish and Welsh governments in deadly school reopenings

Thomas Scripps, 19 February 2021

The Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee calls on workers who recognise the grave danger posed by the school reopenings to attend our online meeting on Saturday to discuss the fightback

Philadelphia postpones public school reopenings to March 1

By Douglas Lyons, 18 February 2021

The decision to push back reopening is an indication that both the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and the school district recognize they need more time to bring the opposition of teachers under control.

Teachers in US state of Georgia herded back into unsafe classrooms

By Kranti Kumara, 18 February 2021

In spite of four teacher deaths and strident opposition, the state of Georgia is denying educators vaccinations and sending them back to unsafe schools.

São Paulo’s municipal teachers strike grows despite union sabotage

By Tomas Castanheira, 18 February 2021

A survey by rank-and-file teachers indicates that the strike has spread to hundreds of schools in the city, preventing many of them from reopening.

Biden falsely downplays dangers of COVID-19 in schools

By Evan Blake, 18 February 2021

At a CNN town hall event Wednesday, Biden made his most direct intervention into the campaign to reopen schools, falsely claiming that children and their families are not endangered by the reopenings.

UK government to appoint “free speech champion” to spearhead right-wing offensive at universities

By Thomas Scripps, 17 February 2021

That the most right-wing forces feel able to posture as defenders of democratic rights is thanks to the role played by the pseudo-left and identity politics on campus.

CDC school opening guidelines ignore the critical role of ventilation and infection control in classrooms

By Benjamin Mateus, 17 February 2021

The CDC has downplayed the role of ventilation in making schools safe for reopening. Efficiently operating HVAC systems are an important part of infection control for airborne pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2.

Philadelphia Teachers Union promotes pseudo-science as it prepares deal to open schools

By Douglas Lyons, 17 February 2021

The PFT is hoping to stymie any opposition from educators and parents who have compelled the district to backpedal in reopening several times already.

SUNY colleges face rapid spread of COVID-19 just weeks into semester

By Alex Findijs, 17 February 2021

Just two weeks since in-person instruction began, more than 1,200 students have tested positive for COVID-19. Such rapid transmission is a stark warning of what may come with the spread of more contagious variants of the virus.

Los Angeles officials press to reopen schools, citing bogus “threshold”

By Tom Hall, 17 February 2021

The campaign to reopen schools in the US reached its next phase Monday night, when Los Angeles County officials declared that the second-largest school district in the country has been “cleared” to reopen.

Millions remain without power in Texas, as freezing temperatures wreak havoc across the US

By Cordell Gascoigne, 17 February 2021

More than 20 deaths have been linked to Winter Storm Uri, including a woman and her three elementary-school-age grandchildren who died in a house fire around 2:00 a.m. Tuesday in Sugar Land, Texas.

Professional football testing and tracing regimens reveal further dangers for in-person teaching

By Bryan Dyne, 17 February 2021

If transmission of the coronavirus can penetrate the National Football League’s extraordinarily well-funded testing and contact tracing program, the vast majority of workers, who do not have access to such resources, stand no chance.

Mobilize educators and workers across Tennessee to stop school reopenings in Memphis!

Tennessee Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 17 February 2021

We appeal to educators and workers across Tennessee to mount a determined fight against the reopening of schools in Memphis and Shelby County, which are slated to begin on March 1.

Oregon and other US states prioritize vaccinating educators in order to boost profits

By David Fitzgerald, 16 February 2021

Numerous US states plan to vaccinate teachers in the first phase of vaccinations as a means to reopen schools, regardless of the extent of community spread.

School Success Model spearheads deeper offensive against Australian public schools

By Erika Zimmer, 16 February 2021

The new blueprint features a further narrowing of the school curriculum, and the imposition of mandatory teaching methods, learning materials, classroom content and practice.

Brazilian teachers union and pseudo-left sabotage strike against São Paulo school reopenings

By Gabriel Lemos, 14 February 2021

The APEOESP teachers union has betrayed a week-long strike against the reopening of schools, proposing a deadly return to the classrooms.

CDC’s politically motivated guidelines fuel media campaign to reopen US schools

By Benjamin Mateus, 14 February 2021

The weeks-long propaganda campaign falsely claiming that schools are not vectors for the spread of COVID-19 now has the full imprimatur of the CDC.

Karen Lewis, former president of the Chicago Teachers Union, dies at 67

By Alexander Fangmann, 14 February 2021

Lewis’ death prompted an outpouring of sympathy and praise from the corporate media, fellow union officials and the Democratic Socialists of America, but a closer examination of her record tells a very different story.

“We are being abandoned by our union and being led to the slaughter by our school system”

Teachers from Maryland’s Eastern Shore speak out against school reopenings

By Harvey Simpkins, 14 February 2021

Three teachers from the Eastern Shore of Maryland recently spoke to the World Socialist Web Site Educators Newsletter about the reopening of schools and their reasons for joining the Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee. Their names have been changed to protect them from retaliation by both their school system and union.

Who is behind the drive to reopen São Paulo’s schools?

By Miguel Andrade, 13 February 2021

A handful of representatives of the most powerful lobbies operating in Brazil’s richest state are concocting a “popular” basis for a policy aimed at restoring capitalist profits.

CDC pushes US schools to reopen “at any level of community transmission”

By Evan Blake, 13 February 2021

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released unscientific, politically motivated guidelines intended to justify school reopenings everywhere.

Boston Teachers Union signs sellout “side letter” to force teachers back into unsafe schools

By Andrew Timon, 13 February 2021

The deal sends teachers and students back into schools regardless of the city’s COVID test positivity rate, forcing teachers to choose between teaching in-person or taking a leave of absence.

Democrats push ahead with school openings in California as state’s death total approaches 50,000

By Melody Isley, 12 February 2021

Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest in the US, San Diego and San Francisco are next to face reopening, requiring opposition by workers and educators.

As Chicago teachers begin return to classrooms, new arenas of struggle emerge

By Kristina Betinis, 12 February 2021

As another wave of students, teachers and staff are returned to buildings in the wake of the union’s betrayal, new arenas of struggle are opening in Chicago and beyond.

999 Boston school reopening update

12 February 2021

Canadian educators denounce deadly reopening of schools amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Our Reporters, 12 February 2021

“Whatever the capitalist politicians and corporate media say,” warned an Ontario teacher, “scientific studies have shown that schools are one of the primary vectors of transmission for the virus.”

Lessons of the betrayal by the Chicago Teachers Union

By Evan Blake, 11 February 2021

What has unfolded in Chicago over the past month is the most damning exposure of the reactionary character of pseudo-left “social justice unionism.”

Thousands of Philadelphia teachers protest, delaying plans to restart in-person schooling

By Douglas Lyons, 11 February 2021

After educators refused to report to buildings this week, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers intensified its talks with Democratic city officials to reopen schools.

Campus police deployed to UC Berkeley dormitories as administration blames COVID-19 outbreak on students

By George Greene and Gabriel Black, 11 February 2021

Campus administrators seek to divert blame for the latest COVID-19 outbreak onto students and away from themselves.

Australian university workers support locked-out Coles workers

By our correspondent, 11 February 2021

The statements by educators are important indications of the support for the building of new genuine working class organisations of struggle, and for a broader political movement of the working class.

999 CTU rams through school reopening

11 February 2021

999 Sao Paulo municipal teachers join strike against school reopenings

11 February 2021

Form Rank-and-File Safety Committees!

Stop the criminal coronavirus policy of the corporations and trade unions! Prepare a European-wide general strike!

Statement by the Network of Action Committees for Safe Workplaces in Germany, 11 February 2021

The Network of Action Committees for Safe Workplaces fights against mass sackings, dangerous working conditions and the cover-up of the infection figures.

The Columbia University tuition strike and the fight for socialism

By Elliott Murtagh, 10 February 2021

The tuition strike at Columbia must be broadened and linked up with the struggles facing all sections of the working class.

Brazilian teachers and students support Chicago teachers’ struggle against school reopenings

By Our reporter, 10 February 2021

“It is up to workers from all over the world to coordinate this great mobilization for life. All support to the struggle of the Chicago teachers!”

Right-wing US Supreme Court majority again exempts large religious gatherings from COVID-19 safety measures

By John Burton, 10 February 2021

For the second time since the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, the court has struck down state measures to control the spread of COVID-19 that limit indoor religious services, reversing rulings earlier in the pandemic.

Johnson government’s homicidal drive to reopen UK schools justified by feigned concern for children’s welfare

By Liz Smith and Margot Miller, 10 February 2021

The Johnson government’s professed concern for children’s education and welfare is belied by decades of cuts to children’s services and rising child poverty.

Educators fight to save lives in Chicago, São Paulo and worldwide

By Evan Blake, 10 February 2021

Educators are now at the forefront of the global working class movement to contain the pandemic and save lives.

New York City to open middle schools for face-to-face instruction

By Sandy English, 10 February 2021

Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this week that middle schools (grades 6–8) will open on February 25.

999 Unions' role in deadly reopening plans

10 February 2021

As the new highly contagious COVID-19 variant spreads throughout the region

Media promotes the unsafe reopening of Ann Arbor schools and the University of Michigan

By Jesse Thomas, 10 February 2021

A barrage of articles in the Ann Arbor local news has also recently been published which uncritically echo the false claims promoted in the national media that a return to in-person learning is not only safe, but necessary.

Democrats push for reopening of Detroit schools as auto companies cite worker shortage

By James Vega and Debra Watson, 10 February 2021

The insistent calls by Democratic politicians for the reopening of the City of Detroit schools continue as auto companies complain that worker shortages have been aggravated by school closures.

Vote “No” on the CTU-CPS plan to reopen Chicago schools! Saving lives is non-negotiable!

By Chicago Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 9 February 2021

The tentative deal Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) leaders reached over the weekend with Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) officials is an abject surrender that must be rejected.

Chicago Teachers Union delegates approve deal to reopen schools, as opposition among educators grows

By Tom Hall, 9 February 2021

While the CTU leadership body voted by a wide margin to approve the deal, there is enormous anxiety within the union bureaucracy and the Democratic Party that they may be unable to force the contract through during a vote scheduled to conclude at midnight today.

999 (2/9) Boston school reopening update

9 February 2021

Faurecia Gladstone parts workers in Indiana support Chicago teachers

Faurecia Gladstone Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 9 February 2021

The Rank-and-File Safety Committee at the Faurecia Gladstone plant in Columbus, Indiana, has issued the following statement in support of the Chicago teachers.

Stop the deadly reopening of Nashville schools!

Tennessee Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 9 February 2021

Without teachers developing their own independent organizations to fight against school reopenings, the pressure from state officials and school boards will force them into unsafe and potentially deadly working conditions.

Outpouring of international support for Chicago educators’ fight to save lives

By Will McCalliss and Evan Blake, 9 February 2021

The WSWS has received dozens of statements of support for Chicago teachers from educators and other workers around the world.

Turkish government prepares to reopen schools as pandemic surges

By Barış Demir, 9 February 2021

After the government began face-to-face teaching at the end of September, the number of daily COVID-19 cases rose to 30,000.