Education

News and activities surrounding education.

Rally to Save Texas Schools 3/12/11

 

Well over 11,000 parents, teachers, educators and community leaders from over 300 independent school districts converged at the state capital in Austin on Saturday, March 12.

“Today, Texans have come together in great numbers and have sent a very strong, clear message to our elected officials that we must do better by the children of our state by funding education to the maximum extent possible,” says Allen Weeks of Save Texas Schools, the grassroots coalition organizing the rally, and director of Austin Voices for Education and Youth.

“And it’s not over with this rally. We’re going to continue our fight to keep Texas smart.”

After a drum line led blocks of rally-goers on a march starting from Waterloo Park to the Capital grounds, a fantastic line-up of speakers and performers made heartfelt pleas for education.

“We live in the 21st century. We have a global economy,” said Julian Castro, Mayor of San Antonio, in his podium address. “Here in Texas I wonder how long the fortune 500 companies will stick around if we can’t produce the students who can compete,”

Superintendent John-Kuhn of Perrin-Whitt, CISD, rollicked the crowds with his impassioned speech, saying: “Public school teachers, you are the saviors of this society. You are the first responders standing in this rubble while they sit in their offices and scribble judgmentally on their clipboards. You are heroes and what you do isn’t worth $27 billion; it is priceless.”

In a unified voice, rally participants urged legislators to take three critical steps to help close state budget gaps that are threatening education:

Use the $9.3 billion Texas “Rainy Day” Fund to help rescue schools from the current crisis. Sign the paperwork for $830 million in federal aid for teachers. Fix school funding laws to be fair to all districts and our growing student population.

After the rally, Save Texas Schools offered a training to those who plan to continue to work for public education across the state. Topics covered included how to keep the grassroots effort growing, how the legislative process works, and how education is funded in Texas.

To learn more please visit: http://savetxschools.org

Photography by Rene Renteria http://renerenteria.com

Filmed, Edited & Produced for Austin Indymedia by Jeff Zavala.
A ZGraphix production.
http://zgraphix.org
http://austin.indymedia.org

 

March to Save Texas Schools

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_RRmnCffvw

 

March and Rally to Save Texas Schools

      

Photos by RoB of Houston Indymedia

 

I drove from Houston to join family in Austin, many of whom work for schools to attend the demonstration to save texas schools. We rode a bus from north of the university towards the capitol. As we got close the the street ahead of us was full of marchers. About half of the people on the bus got off and joined the march, which lead into the capitol building.

It was the largest demonstration I have seen at the capitol in more than half a dozen years. There was a rally with speakers on the steps of the building that was hard to hear from the back of the crowd. I saw folks from all corners of the state, and hope this demonstration may have an impact in stopping the cuts to education that Perry and the republican legislature seems bent on enacting.

More Photos at Houston Indymedia:

http://houston.indymedia.org/news/2011/03/72560.php

Thousands Expected at 3/12 Rally in Austin to Save Texas Public Schools

 

Under threat of campus closures, teacher layoffs and program cutbacks, community leaders from across the state are organizing a massive march and rally at the state capitol building in Austin on March. The march will begin at 11 am, starting in Waterloo Park at 12th & Trinity in Austin. The rally will take place on the South Steps of the Texas State Capital building from noon- 2 pm.

 

“Texas students have never faced a crisis like this, but there is help if our leaders have the courage to use it,” says Allen Weeks of Save Texas Schools, the grassroots coalition organizing the rally, and director of Austin Voices for Education and Youth.

 

This year, the Texas legislature is considering proposals to reduce public education funding by billions of dollars statewide.

“On March 12, we plan to send a unified message to our legislators and our governor that it’s time to do everything possible save Texas schools and the children they serve,” says Weeks.

 

 

Schools and students in districts including Austin, Dallas, Denton, Houston, Lubbock, and San Antonio, among others, are bearing the brunt of state budget shortfalls, but every district is affected. At the March 12 rally, students, educators, parents, and business and community leaders from across Texas will urge state leaders to make public education a top priority by:

 

* Using the $9.3 billion Texas "Rainy Day" Fund to help rescue schools from the current crisis.

* Signing the paperwork for $830 million in federal aid for teachers.

* Fixing school funding laws to be fair to all districts and our growing studentpopulation.

 

For more information: Go to www.savetxschools.org for background information on key issues, rally logistics and how to get involved.

 

CREATIONIST GROUP PUSHES ANTI-EVOLUTION MATERIALS IN TEXAS SCIENCE CLASSES

 Texas SBOE Asked To Consider Materials from Fringe Anti-Science Group

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2011                     

Publishing of George Washington's Deepest Secret Designed to Shame Lawmakers

At this time of great shock and sadness across the USA following the latest violent episode, perhaps now is the perfect moment to reflect on how far away from the intentions of the founding fathers this nation has strayed, and how to finally fix it.

Workers Defense Project Seeks Volunteers for Youth Empowerment Program

 Workers Defense Project/Proyecto Defensa Laboral (PDL), is a membership-based organization that empowers low-income workers to achieve fair employment through education, direct services, organizing, and strategic partnerships.

Worker's Defense Project is currently seeking four long-term volunteers for the Youth Empowerment Program.

About Us:
The Youth Empowerment Program is part of the Leadership and Educational Achievement Program at PDL, designed to help kids with their homework and overall academic performance, as well as teach them a little bit about social justice using art and music as a medium for exploration of these themes.  While we work with the kids, their parents take ESL classes, and the program is bilingual (English/Spanish), and although fluency in both English & Spanish is super helpful, its not totally necessary.  We are currently implementing a college prep structure for the high school students, and will be working with the younger children's primary teachers and families to implement a long-term academic support program based on their needs.  In the past, we've done lessons about workers rights, community visioning, and the bringing the children's lives into the classroom, and this next year we intend to work on topics like anti-militarization and food justice, among other things.

Logistics:
We meet Monday & Wednesday from 7-9pm at the PDL building, which is 5604 Manor Rd.  The ESL/Tutoring program courses run for six weeks at a time, and every six weeks we take a two week break.  We ask that volunteers commit to approximately two and a half hours a week (either Mon or Wed) for a six month duration, to allow for time to set-up and clean-up before and after class.  All volunteers will be paired with youth to work with on a regular basis (about 3 or 4 kids per adult), based on their skills and the children's age group and needs, and in order to ensure that there is some accountability on our part to the youth we work with, as both relationships and work develop together.  Additionally, all volunteers will be required to attend two volunteer orientation and training meetings, and will need to submit to a background check.

Interested parties should respond to kandace@workersdefense.org.  This position has a minimal time commitment (under 3 hours a week) and will last six months, and there is a possibility for internship hours for those who are interested in taking on a larger time commitment.

Thanks to everyone for their time and interest in working with us, and please let me know if you've got any questions!  Forward this email if you feel like you know anyone who would be interested!

Looking forward to working with you all...

Best,
Kandace Vallejo
504.231.2545

 

But, What I Really Wanna' Know Is....

  Étienne de la Boétie, Judge during the French Renaissance

 

But, What I Really Wanna' Know Is....

 

Just How Gutless/Stupid/Sick Do We Have to Be To Do It to Ourselves?

German High Court Outlaws Electronic Voting

Wednesday, 21 October 2009, 9:45 am

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0910/S00187.htm

 

Social Justice Saturday School 2011

  Social Justice Saturday School 2011

You are all invited to consider attending the information session for the upcoming Social Justice Saturday School.  We are looking for a least one student organization to serve as a co-sponsor of the meetings taking place in January and February 2011.
The Social Justice Saturday School will be taking place in January and February 2011. The school is being sponsored by the Mexican American Center for Community and Economic Development and Austin Voices for Education And Youth.
The purpose of the school is to identify and train a group of community activists who can practice the art of civic engagement in creative ways that will inspire others to join them.
Up to 30 students from area high schools are welcome to apply. Classes will be held on Saturdays at UT Austin from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Lunch will be provided. The following topics will be covered during the course of the six-week program:
1. Economics and the Origins of Poverty
2. Social Movements in History
3. Understanding what is meant by “The Community”
4. The Ins and Outs of the Prison System in Texas
5. Understanding Public Narratives, the story of You, Us and Now
6. Current and Coming Issues in Texas
Students from The University of Texas at Austin are welcome to apply and participate in the Social Justice Saturday School as facilitators, presenters, observers or students. Much of the material will be presented using power point presentations, handouts and guest speakers.
UT students are invited to attend a Social Justice Saturday School information session taking place at 12 noon on Thursday, December 2, 2010 in the Sinclair Suite of the Texas Union.
For more information or questions please contact Alfredo Santos c/s at (512) 944-4123.

Budget Cuts Day of Action

The budget cuts that we are seeing are one of the many masks that hegemony wears. They are another form of the institutional racism that seeks to erase our historical memory so that we don't know our people's and other people's struggles, victories, and resistance. From the moment we enter schools, a white supremacist, patriarchal, hetero-normative, and hierarchical view of the world is normalized and reinforced. When students enroll in area studies courses or programs, it often represents the first time they have had the chance to see themselves reflected in the curriculum and to learn their stories. This knowledge gives us the strength to organize, unite, and resist, all of which endanger the hegemonic forces that seek to breed ignorance and apathy.

Budget cuts, increased fees, and increased tuition are decontextualized and separated from the legacy of discrimination that prevented poor people and people of color from having access to education. They are separated from the living, breathing human beings who will be affected and converted into dollar signs and percentages that indicate how much money the university will allegedly save. Cut back? Fuck that. We’re here to fight back.

Budget Cuts Day of Action Photos

Students Organize In Resistance Cuts to Peoples' Studies at UT

We, students at the University of Texas have a major crisis on our hands. In the midst of university wide budget cuts,funding for ethnic studies such as Latin American Studies, Mexican American Studies, African and African American Studies, Asian American Studies, and Women and Gender studies are being dramatically cut. Here is a table of the proposed cuts:

Students have been told that the way APAC determines how much and to whom is cut is by mathematically determining a program's "efficiency" - which in turn is determined by the number of students enrolled in classes, number of professors, etc. The problem is that these programs are ALREADY underfunded and advisors frequently discourage students to take electives or stray off their degree plan.

And it's not just "diversity" that's the issue here. These programs weren't created to just celebrate "diversity." They were created to provided critical narratives about minority struggles for social justice and democracy within our society that we're still fighting for. We need these programs for ALL majors to ensure a balanced education.

There will be a walk out at 10:30am and a protest at 11:00 on December 1st at the West Mall of UT campus. Students and concerned community members are encouraged to come out and have their voices heard.

Check out this video of students raising their concerns and organizing in resistance:

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