Tuesday, March 3, 2015

"It Isn't Nice to Block the Doorway"- What Must Be Done To Save Public Education

If the history of the Labor Movement, the Civil Rights Movement and the Struggle Against the Vietnam War are guides, a lot of people are going to have to lose their jobs, and some are going to have to to jail, to stop the War Against Public Education. There were no great Labor Victories without sit-down strikes; no Civil Rights victories without student sit-ins and mass arrests; no end to the Vietnam War without tens of thousands of people refusing the draft.

The lesson: You cannot change policy on such a grand scale, and fight such an array of powerful interests, without immense sacrifice. These historic struggles were won as much in the streets as at the polls, and civil disobedience. along with more confrontational forms of resistance were essential to their victory. We are at least five years away from creating enough disruption and winning enough local elections ( these two have to go hand in hand)to have Presidential candidates proclaim their support for public education rather than competing to see how they can dismantle it.

I wish I had better news, but as a student of the history of protest movements, I cannot offer it.

We all have the privilege of making history, but it may require more work and sacrifice than we ever dreamed to secure what we once thought of as a basic human right- a quality PUBLIC education.