Education

Australian schools affected by new coronavirus clusters

By Patrick Kelly, 3 June 2020

The cases have exposed state and federal government claims, both Labor and Liberal, that teachers, staff and children are safe to return to school.

More than half of parents defy UK school reopening:Education unions seek to demobilise popular opposition

By Chris Marsden, 2 June 2020

The Socialist Equality Party calls for the building of action committees, independent from the trade unions, to safeguard the health of children, teachers and the entire working class.

Nearly half of all teachers in Brookline, Massachusetts receive pink slips

By Will McCalliss, 2 June 2020

With a maximum $6.3 million deficit looming, Brookline lays off $20 million’s worth of teachers in the name of “flexibility.”

US universities and colleges appeal for legal immunity from coronavirus lawsuits as campuses plan to reopen in fall

By Anthony del Olmo, 1 June 2020

The American Council on Education appealed to Congress to grant colleges and universities immunity from lawsuits from students and faculty that may contract COVID-19.

“When push comes to shove to make cuts, education is on the cut list.”

Massachusetts school district gets rid of art, music and PE teachers for coming school year

By Will McCalliss, 30 May 2020

The drastic cuts at Randolph and Brookline schools are a foretaste of what will befall many districts, teachers and students across the US.

No to the reopening of schools! Build action committees to safeguard children and teachers!

Statement by the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 30 May 2020

The “phased” return of school children is a criminal policy that places children, teachers, families, and communities open to the risk of serious illness and death.

White House considers expelling Chinese graduate students and researchers

By Shuvu Batta, 29 May 2020

The Trump administration is reportedly planning to expel some three to five thousand Chinese graduate students and researchers.

With support from the teacher unions, Trump demands the unsafe reopening of schools “ASAP”

By Nancy Hanover, 29 May 2020

As COVID-19 cases continue to climb in 24 states, Trump is recklessly demanding the immediate reopening of schools, while the American Federation of Teachers has pledged its full support.

Letter from an American teacher: “In a pandemic, no one is safe unless we are all safe.”

29 May 2020

The WSWS Teacher Newsletter has received this letter from a high school AP Biology teacher in the Bay Area, California for publication.

City University of New York to lay off thousands of adjunct faculty amid financial crisis

By Elliott Murtagh, 29 May 2020

The City University of New York system is beginning to implement sweeping budget cuts triggered by New York state’s estimated $13.3 billion loss in tax revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

UK: students charged rent, threatened with eviction during coronavirus pandemic

By Peter Reydt and Laura Tiernan, 28 May 2020

Eighty percent of students are worried about how they will cope financially. Even before the pandemic, soaring rents were creating social distress.

With US states facing a $230 billion loss in education funding, Betsy DeVos channels public assets to private schools

By Evan Blake, 28 May 2020

Facing an unprecedented budget crisis in every state, the ruling class is working to impose the full burden of the pandemic on the working class through massive austerity, including an evisceration of K-12 public education.

Australian university union’s national deal collapses in face of widespread opposition

By Mike Head, 28 May 2020

Despite its debacle, the NTEU will intensify its collaboration with university managements to try and impose deep cuts to jobs, wages and conditions.

Oppose the rush to reopen Australian schools! Form safety action committees of teachers and staff!

By the Committee for Public Education (CFPE), 28 May 2020

At stake is not just the immediate public safety concerns in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, but the future of the education system.

US state and local budget crisis looms

By Jessica Goldstein, 27 May 2020

The full cost of the massive corporate bailout and the collapse in state and local tax revenues will be borne by the working class.

Reopened schools close across France as coronavirus found among students and staff

By Will Morrow, 26 May 2020

Two weeks after the reopening of schools began in France, more than 70 schools have been forced to close as coronavirus cases have been found among students and teachers.

Widespread opposition to unsafe reopening of schools and day-care facilities in Germany

By Andy Niklaus and Ulrich Rippert, 23 May 2020

Social distancing has been abandoned in schools and no safety measures such as face masks are being provided.

Detroit literacy case enters legal quagmire

By J. Cooper, 23 May 2020

In a highly unusual and partisan move, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has decided to rehear the case that has been settled between the plaintiffs and the state of Michigan.

“The US is prioritizing money above human life”

Detroit, Michigan teacher speaks on public education during the pandemic

By Nancy Hanover, 23 May 2020

Michigan is threatening mass layoffs of teachers and existential cuts to public schools while planning to reopen schools in the fall despite lack of COVID-19 safety measures.

Australian governments fully reopen schools despite intense opposition

By Erika Zimmer, 23 May 2020

The danger of sending up to a million children back full-time in New South Wales during the COVID-19 pandemic is compounded by the public transport crisis.

”We want to be back, but not at the costs of people’s lives”

UK teachers speak on government’s back-to-school plan

By our reporters, 22 May 2020

The WSWS spoke with teachers this week about their opposition to the Johnson government’s reopening of schools.

Education unions and Labour councils ready back-door imposition of Johnson government’s “back to school” plan

By Laura Tiernan, 21 May 2020

The decision to send nursery aged children—including babies and toddlers—and primary-aged students as young as 4, 5 and 6 back into schools was taken solely by Johnson and his cabinet of deranged Thatcherites.

Deaths and illness among youth raise concerns as schools plan to reopen

By Sam Wayne, 21 May 2020

Several recent deaths of youth and students due to COVID-19 demonstrate that, despite efforts by the media and politicians to downplay the danger of the virus to youth, the virus can pose a deadly threat to young people.

Letter from UK teaching assistant against reopening of schools

20 May 2020

Sarah, who works in a primary school in south Yorkshire, wrote to the WSWS about the Johnson government’s plans to reopen UK schools from June 1.

Australian universities exploit NTEU deal to slash facilities, jobs and conditions

By Mike Head, 20 May 2020

The employers are taking full advantage of the union’s role in suppressing the outrage of university workers for six weeks while it pursued backroom talks.

Australian Committee for Public Education holds online forum on COVID-19 and the universities crisis

By our correspondent, 19 May 2020

Academics, university professional staff, school teachers, TAFE employees and university students joined a critical discussion.

Growing resistance in Germany to returning to schools as coronavirus pandemic continues

By Andy Niklaus and Carola Kleinert, 18 May 2020

Resistance is growing among German teachers and pupils against this irresponsible policy, which threatens to turn schools into new hotspots of COVID-19.

New York Democratic governor enlists tech billionaires to push distance learning

By Sandy English, 18 May 2020

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced “Reimagine Education,” a partnership with Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Google’s Eric Schmidt.

At least 275,000 teachers in the US face permanent job loss as states prepare massive budget cuts

By Phyllis Steele, 18 May 2020

The growing budgetary crisis in every state poses an existential threat to public education, with untold consequences for an entire generation of working class youth.

“The idea of school and teaching right now fills me with anxiety, dread and stress... it usually fuels me with joy, excitement and happiness”

Australian teachers speak out about unsafe schools and excessive workloads

By Sue Phillips, 18 May 2020

A survey of 10,000 teachers reveals that fewer than one in four felt safe working at schools at the end of term one and 60 percent had high levels of anxiety about returning to work.

Overwhelming opposition to reopening of UK schools amid worsening COVID-19 pandemic

By Tania Kent and Harvey Thompson, 16 May 2020

The closure of schools is a key measure recommended by medical experts internationally to reduce the infection and death rate from the coronavirus.

Budget shortfalls and planned cuts threaten higher education across the US

By Alexander Fangmann, 16 May 2020

Colleges and universities across the US are announcing layoffs and eliminating programs in response to declines in state revenue and financial pressures from dormitory refunds and other costs incurred as they moved classes online.

California State University, the largest public university system in the US, closes campuses for the fall semester

By Anthony del Olmo, 16 May 2020

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, universities and colleges throughout the US are grappling with the new economic and social reality as uncertainty mounts over reopening campuses in the fall.

Committee For Public Education online public forum

The COVID-19 pandemic and the crisis in the universities

16 May 2020

The CFPE invites university workers, students and teachers to attend its online forum to discuss the pandemic and the deep crisis in the universities, both in Australia and internationally.

UK universities prepare all-out assault on staff and students in wake of pandemic

By Alice Summers, 15 May 2020

With the coronavirus pandemic leading to a drop in student numbers, up to 60,000 workers could lose their jobs as universities face a £2.5 billion funding black hole.

Australian pseudo-left groups try to rescue university union from outrage over sellout deal

By Carolyn Kennett and Mike Head, 14 May 2020

The NTEU’s deal with the employers exposes the desperate efforts of pseudo-left groups to prevent a revolt by university workers and students against the union.

New York City education department, backed by teachers union, downplayed virus threat

By Sandy English, 13 May 2020

An exposé in the journal the City demonstrates that New York City officials systematically downplayed the threat of the coronavirus to New York City students and educators

US nursing students discuss impact of the pandemic on medical education

By Harry Matthews, 12 May 2020

With overwhelmed hospitals and the immense pressures now exerted on health care workers, the quality of the education of medical and nursing students has been greatly affected.

Governments globally reopen schools, ignoring scientists’ warnings of coronavirus impact on children

By Will Morrow, 11 May 2020

Governments see reopening schools as essential as a false symbol of a return to normal, and so that they can herd parents back into their workplaces.

Washington Post columnist calls for destruction of child care safety in the pursuit of “reopening America”

By Linda Rios and Nick Barrickman, 11 May 2020

Columnist Carrie Lukas demands the elimination of “burdensome” laws protecting children’s safety so that parents may quickly return to work.

The thievery in Bad Education: Capitalism “is the villain more than any one individual”

By Joanne Laurier, 11 May 2020

Bad Education on HBO concerns the largest embezzlement scandal in the public education system in US history, in Roslyn, Long Island, a crime that came to light in 2004.

Germany reopens schools, endangering thousands of lives

By Marianne Arens, 9 May 2020

Schools are being reopened in nearly all federal states and the risky measure is meeting with growing opposition from teachers.

With minimal federal relief, US states plan huge cuts to public education

By Evan Blake, 8 May 2020

The impact of the pandemic has thoroughly undermined state budgets, which is being used by Democratic and Republican politicians to dismantle and privatize public education and other vital social services.

US teachers union provides political cover to Trump’s demand for the reopening of schools

By Nancy Hanover, 6 May 2020

The AFT’s “Plan to Safely Reopen America’s Schools and Communities,” released on April 29, is entirely in line with the demands of Wall Street.

Lawsuit against US Department of Education claims wages being garnished to pay off student loan debt

By Alexander Fangmann, 6 May 2020

The lawsuit alleges 285,000 students had their wages garnished in the second half of March, despite being banned by the CARES Act during that period.

Teachers, parents and students defy order to reopen schools in Chile

By Mauricio Saavedra, 6 May 2020

The push to reopen schools is part of the back-to-work campaign waged by the ultra-right Piñera government in complete disregard of the costs in terms of sickness and death.

999 NYU graduate student sick-out

6 May 2020

Australian governments reopen schools despite studies warning of COVID-19 danger

By Mike Head, 5 May 2020

The federal government’s attack on the Victorian state premier was aimed at suppressing opposition by teachers and parents.

West Australian principal stood down for warning of coronavirus dangers in schools

By Sue Phillips and Frank Gaglioti, 4 May 2020

The victimisation of Bronwyn White is a warning that the reopening of schools is being accompanied by the suppression of opposition.

US appeals court rules literacy is “a fundamental right” in Detroit case

By J. Cooper, 1 May 2020

The decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is being hailed as a major victory. The working class deserves far more.

German students oppose reopening of schools

By our reporters, 30 April 2020

Under the slogan “average grade 2020,” students are demanding the suspension of final exams and the closing of schools so long as the lives of students, teachers and their relatives are at risk from COVID-19.

The lessons of the University of California grad student strike

By Jonathan Burleigh and Norissa Santa Cruz, 30 April 2020

Lacking any viable political strategy, the leaders of the UC grad student strike capitulated to the United Auto Workers, the same union teaching assistants rebelled against.

Citing COVID-19 crisis, Ontario teacher unions impose concession-filled contracts

By Penny Smith, 30 April 2020

The unions have sabotaged a months-long struggle by education workers that had the potential to spearhead a working-class upsurge against the hated Ford government.

Australian schools reopening as spearhead of “back to work” campaign

By Sue Phillips and Oscar Grenfell, 29 April 2020

State and federal governments are invoking dubious research to insist it is safe for teachers and students to return to schools.

As states plan billions in budget cuts to schools

Pseudo-lefts ask: “What is the least we can accept?”

By Alexander Fangmann and Nancy Hanover, 29 April 2020

As the ruling class prepares to use the ongoing pandemic as an excuse to carry out long-planned attacks on public education, pseudo-lefts promote Biden.

999 UC grad students end strike

29 April 2020

Growing resistance in Germany to the opening up of schools

By Andy Niklaus and Carola Kleinert, 28 April 2020

”From the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, I have only seen economic interests at work,” said one high school student.

Columbia University graduate workers strike against university’s COVID-19 response

By Josh Varlin, 27 April 2020

The strike is opposed by the UAW, which is currently negotiating a contract for graduate workers at Columbia.

999 Norissa speaking to UC strikers

27 April 2020

Australia’s national cabinet targets teachers to ramp up back-to-work drive

By Mike Head, 25 April 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison took direct aim at school teachers, falsely alleging they were not “going to work.”

999 Haymarket Books event on "Remaking Schools"

25 April 2020

Hundreds of laid-off San Diego, California teachers begin online teaching

By Evelyn Rios, 23 April 2020

While knowing they will not have a job next school year and facing unemployment in six weeks, hundreds of laid-off teachers in the Sweetwater district have gone back to work.

Germany: Opening Berlin schools risks the lives of teachers, pupils and their families

By Carola Kleinert and Andy Niklaus, 22 April 2020

“We must learn to live with the pandemic,” Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed.

As states plan unprecedented budget cuts

Trump administration escalates war against public education through Wall Street bailout

By Phyllis Steele and Evan Blake, 21 April 2020

Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration are utilizing the crisis to push through their right-wing agenda of block grants, defunding public education and promoting charter, religious and private schools.

New York City mayor announces $827 million in cuts to public education

By Sandy English, 20 April 2020

New York’s Democratic mayor Bill de Blasio announced deep cuts to education last week, with predictions of more to come.

Australian governments refuse to assist international students amid pandemic

By John Harris, 20 April 2020

Thousands of international students are on the precipice of homelessness and abject poverty after state and federal governments refused to provide them with any assistance.

International students in Australia speak out: “Governments have done nothing to help us”

By our reporters, 20 April 2020

“Governments are providing billions and even trillions of dollars to the banks and corporations. Why nothing for us?”

Outrage among Australian university workers over secret NTEU pay cut talks

By Chris Gordon and Mike Head, 20 April 2020

Fearing a revolt by its members, the union national executive said the concessions it is offering employers must be kept for “confidential, limited sharing.”

Calls for early reopening of UK schools met with widespread opposition

By Tom Pearce, 18 April 2020

The plan is for primary schools to start reopening in a “regionalised approach,” despite reports of three teacher deaths from COVID-19.

UK universities use coronavirus crisis to make hundreds of temporary staff redundant

By Simon Whelan, 17 April 2020

Three British universities have announced hundreds of temporary contract redundancies in order to make financial savings, citing the coronavirus pandemic.

Australian teachers speak out against unsafe conditions

By our reporters, 17 April 2020

One teacher said: “We are seeing that the allocation of resources is not to support social safety but to enrich a few super-wealthy oligarchs.”

As COVID-19 pandemic rages, World Bank backs restructuring of education in Brazil

By Eduardo Parati, 16 April 2020

Joining Brazilian education officials and the private sector in an online meeting, a World Bank representative offered directives for a permanent for-profit distance learning system.

As educators die from COVID19

New York City makes first wave of massive budget cuts to public education

By Sandy English, 14 April 2020

New York City Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week that he will cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the city’s education budget as well as funding for other critical programs.

Australian government demands staged reopening of the school system

By Erika Zimmer, 14 April 2020

The Australian government is pressing for schools across the country to reopen, as part of a wider move to lift social distancing and other restrictions put in place for the coronavirus pandemic.

Australian university union in backroom talks to slash jobs and conditions amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Mike Head, 14 April 2020

NTEU members received an email from the union saying it is in discussions with the employers about measures “we would never normally consider.”

Wholesale move to online education across the US: A nightmare for students and educators

By Alexander Fangmann, 13 April 2020

The jolting transition to online education has revealed the inadequacy of preparation by schools at all levels, while the ruling class views a profit opportunity.

The educational and social impact of global school closures

By Renae Cassimeda, 9 April 2020

The scale of school closures internationally, with most set to remain closed through the rest of the current academic year, is unprecedented in the history of world capitalism.

110 Mass transition to e-learning

7 April 2020

Australian Committee for Public Education holds successful online meeting on pandemic crisis

By our reporters, 6 April 2020

The Socialist Equality Party’s (US) candidate for vice president, Norissa Santa Cruz, brought greetings to the meeting which was attended by more than 70 people.

Attend the Committee for Public Education online meeting

The COVID-19 pandemic: The political issues confronting educators

By the Committee for Public Education (Australia), 4 April 2020

We invite readers in Australia and internationally—especially teachers, school staff, academics, kindergarten and childcare workers, parents and students—to take part in the online meeting.

999 Mass transition to e-learning

4 April 2020

South Australian teacher speaks out against governments keeping schools open

By Sue Phillips, 3 April 2020

Amidst the mounting coronavirus danger, teachers are demanding the closure of schools.

As schools close down amid COVID-19 pandemic

Marist and SUNY Geneseo students face homelessness

By Alex Findijs, 3 April 2020

The crisis that has emerged at schools and colleges around the country in the face of the pandemic has laid bare the harsh realities of life for millions of youth and students.

Alberta’s right-wing UCP government exploits coronavirus pandemic to lay off at least 20,000 education workers

By Janet Browning, 2 April 2020

Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party government slashed all non-teacher salary funding to Alberta school boards Saturday, which will force the layoff of at least 20,000 teaching assistants, cleaners, and other support staff.

”Obviously there has to be a revolt”

US teachers speak out on the coronavirus epidemic

By our reporters, 28 March 2020

Teachers across the country spoke on the impact the epidemic is having on education and the way forward.

Confronting coronavirus

University of California graduate students need a socialist political strategy

By Jonathan Burleigh, 28 March 2020

Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, striking University of California graduate students must turn out to the working class in a political struggle for trillions for public health, decent living standards, and public education for all.

Australian school system in chaos after coronavirus semi-closures

By Patrick Kelly, 27 March 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s insistence that schools remain open as usual reflected economic, not health, considerations.

US officials use economic fallout from pandemic to slash school funding

By Phyllis Steele and Jerry White, 24 March 2020

Even as school districts deliver free meals to millions of low-income students, state governments have already begun slashing school spending and reneging on promised pay raises to teachers.

“Life before profits—close the schools down!”

Australian teachers and school workers speak out on dangerous working conditions amid pandemic

By the Committee for Public Education, 23 March 2020

One teacher said: “We should not be expected to work in these unsafe conditions and students should not be expected to go to school either.”

Columbia University graduate workers overwhelmingly authorize strike

By Josh Varlin, 23 March 2020

Columbia graduate workers voted by 96 percent to authorize a possible strike in early April.

UK: Sheffield health care students demand placements suspended to limit COVID-19 spread

By Julie Hyland, 23 March 2020

The students’ petition to university bosses highlights the widespread opposition to the disastrous course of the Johnson government, which has already forced a shift in its reckless policy of allowing the spread of COVID-19.

Australian state of Victoria shuts down school system, other states remain open

By Patrick Kelly, 23 March 2020

The chaotic situation reflects the wider disarray and criminal neglect in the ruling elite’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

UK government closes schools under sustained public pressure

By Tom Pearce, 21 March 2020

Although most pupils are being sent home, some schools, with reduced staffing, will have to remain open to ensure “key workers” are able to continue working.

Australian governments refuse to close schools over COVID-19

By Erika Zimmer and Patrick Kelly, 21 March 2020

Schools are being kept open, at the expense of public health, in order to minimise disruption to corporate profit-making.

An interview with an Australian school teacher fearing coronavirus exposure

By our reporters, 21 March 2020

The teacher’s situation underscores the urgency of the Committee for Public Education’s demand for the immediate closure of schools and for teachers to form Action Committees.

University of Michigan terminates provost amid unspecified sexual misconduct allegations

By James Brookfield, 18 March 2020

Statements from the university and reports in the press amalgamated Martin Philbert’s case with that of a university physician alleged to have committed multiple acts of sexual assault against athletes over the course of decades at UM.

Close Australian schools to stave off coronavirus! Form action committees of teachers and school staff!

By the Committee for Public Education, 18 March 2020

The Committee for Public Education insists that in the face of a public health emergency, the voices of teachers and education workers must be heard!

Australian universities exploit COVID-19 crisis to cut jobs and courses

By Mike Head, 16 March 2020

The University of Tasmania last week announced the elimination of about three-quarters of its course offerings by next year.

St. Paul teachers union uses coronavirus outbreak to justify sell-out of three-day strike

By Alexander Fangmann and Matt Rigel, 16 March 2020

The St. Paul Federation of Educators announced a tentative agreement early Friday morning, sending teachers back to potentially infected schools.

Universities and colleges close across the US as COVID-19 disrupts the lives of millions of students

By Owen Mullan, 14 March 2020

A reported 520 campuses across 47 states shut down before Friday in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the United States.