Sunday, March 5, 2017

Education Not Incarceration -People's March for Education Justice - NYC #March4Educationny

Make no mistake about it, higher education is under attack. 
Congress has recently introduced HR 785 National Right to Work.

And there is a simple reason for it.  Information is power; ignorance opens the door for fascism.
So, I rode out into the cold to join the People's March for Public Education as we marched to the governor's office at 633 3rd Avenue.  The governor has rarely acted as a supporter of public education.

Their call for action was simple:  

When public education is under attack?
What do we do?
Stand up fight back!

On March 4, students, teachers, parents and community members across New York State will come together for the People's March for Education Justice.

We'll start at Trump International Hotel 1 Central Park West and make our way to Governor Cuomo's offices at 633 3rd Ave!​ ​

As we continue ​to defend public education ​
from federal attacks by Donald Trump and ​Betsy ​
DeVos, we ​march to defend here in New York from Governor Andrew Cuomo. The public investment he proposes in his education budget this year is woefully inadequate and falls way short of being equitable. It will negatively impact our most vulnerable students from early child care to higher education all across the state. Black, brown, immigrant,​ refugee​, low-income,​ LGBTQIA, English Language Learners​​, homeless​ students and students with disabilities​, are worthy of an investment that will meet their needs not deny them opportunities to be successful.

· We ​march to ​demand that Gov​ernor​
Cuomo finally fully funds the $4.3 billion owed to public statewide as a result of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity​ including the $1.9 billion owed NYC​
· ​We march to Raise the Age and end the ​
​criminalization of our youth​, we should be able to provide social workers and other nurturing and committed support staff in schools for struggling youth
· We march to end the state's over-reliance on high stakes testing
· We ​march to ​demand that NYS ​invests on the front end in​ childcare and pre-K and ​invests in truly making SUNY and CUNY free for all ​on the back end in order to ensure successful transition to adulthood.
· ​
We march because we need a Governor in NYS who is not afraid to make the​ super rich​ pay​ just 1% more by extending and expanding the millionaire's tax and closing corporate tax loopholes, which could bring billions to fund high quality education for all and so much more.

· We march because the rhetoric of
Governor Cuomo and Trump attacking public education ​is almost indiscernible as they both have
called public schools "a monopoly" and
​have both push school privatization through vouchers and privately-run charter schools.

​We will be releasing more of our platform as we closer to the march. We only have until the end of March, when the budget is finalized to have an impact.

If you were inspired by the historic Womens March like we were, march with us to answer the call for 10 Actions in 100 Days​

Faced with this enormous threat, CUNY is responding. We are all responding.
We are all responding.  After all, we have a lot of work to do. 

We have work to do.
American higher education, like all American cultural institutions, faces severe threats. Many of these are already manifest, as at Long Island University, where faculty were locked out of their classrooms for a time last fall in a direct challenge to principles of shared governance. Some are less obvious but longer term, such as the attempt to transform colleges into trade schools serving the needs of corporations no longer willing to train their own workers. Others attack the bedrock of what “college” has become over the past half century, including belief in the importance of diversity on campus. At the onset of Donald Trump’s presidency, there is good reason to believe that such threats will only increase in number and severity.

Each of these threats challenges the assumptions that have sustained the AAUP for a century. Each must be countered, and with vigor. For the faculty to survive with cohesiveness and influence intact, we must first strengthen our organizations and commitments. We cannot allow decisions about our institutions to be made without our participation.

Our slow slide into complacency needs to come to an end. We all must become activists, recognizing the strength of one in developing the power of many. Each of us needs to recruit new members to the AAUP, to become a participant in our unions and advocacy organizations, to stand up for diversity and disability rights, to insist on having a voice in campus decisions, and to protect academic freedom and tenure. Those of us who are tenured or on the tenure track need to make common cause with faculty on contingent appointments, who are increasingly doing yeoman’s work in our colleges and universities. Contingent faculty, exploited though they are, need to recognize the urgency of unity, though without ceding the fight for their own issues.
The victory of the forces of regression will become permanent only if we allow it. The election results of last fall are not a mandate for change but a protest against the future. The future is hard and the past often seems comfortable, especially when one’s idea of what is to come suffers, as it has for many Americans, from the realities of widening disparity and narrowing vision. We need to demonstrate that our goals include everyone, not simply an elite few or people from particular circumstances. We have to work better and smarter, we have to do it together, and we have to do it now.

Leading off this issue is Jamie Owen Daniel’s look at the recent Friedrichs case, which will surely be followed by other attacks on organized labor. Following that, Marcella Bencivenni argues that faculty, staff, and student unity may be the best way to save higher education. Sonya D. Hester, Harolyn Wilson, and Joslin Pickens detail the revitalization of faculty structures on their campus, David P. Nalbone suggests we make numbers work for us in negotiations, and Martha T. McCluskey takes a critical look at campus foundations. William Beaver concludes the print edition with an account of the decline of the for-profits— institutions that may rebound under the Trump administration. In our online edition, Timothy V. Kaufman-Osborn provides historical background to the Wisconsin debacle and Michael DeCesare emphasizes the importance of AAUP principles of academic governance.

Read the articles in this issue, but don’t weep. Organize.

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