Bill Raden

Judging Janus: A Timeline of the Right’s War on Workers

"The fight waged against unionism today is no less bitter than it was 50 years ago,” wrote Clarence Darrow in 1904. “It is simply directed along other lines.” Evidence of how little things have changed since Darrow’s time can be found in the pending U.S. Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME. For America’s public-sector employees and electoral politics, the stakes are enormous.

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L.A. School Board Set to Rumble Over Charter Schools

The stage has been set for an apparent showdown between charter school operators and the Los Angeles Unified School District office charged with charter school oversight, when the LAUSD school board votes on an unprecedented 14 recommendations for charter petition denials at Tuesday’s special board meeting.

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Free Tuition Was Once the Norm in California. Then Came a Costly Experiment with Privatization.

When Bernie Sanders, and then Hillary Clinton, made debt-free higher education a byword of the 2016 presidential race, University of California graduates like retired Los Angeles anesthesiologist Steve Auer unexpectedly found themselves the poster children for a time when free college tuition was the norm in California, rather than the radical proposition it seems today.

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Trouble in California Eden: A Divided Marin County Community Gets a New Charter School

On a recent idyllic Marin County afternoon, Manor Elementary School PTA President Heather Bennett sat on her outdoor deck and related the newest incident to inflame the Ross Valley public school community.

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The Highly Questionable Blueprint for Charter School Takeover in Your City or Region

Last September’s sensational leak of the Great Public Schools Now Initiative, a half-billion-dollar plan to double the number of charter schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), sparked a firestorm of controversy. Citing the plan’s potentially crippling fiscal impact on a financially troubled district that already leads the nation in its number of charters (around 230), critics denounced the plan as “an outline for a hostile takeover” and “a declaration of war on public schools.”

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At the Heart of the School Privatization Project, Parent Trigger

Throughout 2011 and 2012, the eyes of the education world were focused on Adelanto, a small, working class town in California’s High Desert. A war had broken out there over the future of the K-6 Desert Trails Elementary School and its 660 low-income Latino and African-American students. When the dust settled, Desert Trails Elementary was gone. In its place was a bitterly divided community and the Desert Trails Preparatory Academy, the first (and so far, only) school in California and the U.S. to be fully chartered under a Parent Trigger law, which allows a simple majority of a school’s parents to wrest control of a low-performing school from a public school district, and transform it into a charter school.

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How Food Giant's Temp Workers Highlight Exploited Labor Problem

Last April, when Federico Lopez and his sanitation team were ordered to clean a Taylor Farms storage area, the 23-year-old didn’t like what he saw.

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School Privatization Battle Heats Up in California: David Welch is the Man Behind Vergara v. California

This article originally appeared at Capital and Main, and is reprinted here with their permission.

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The Two Faces of L.A.'s School Superintendent

Last week’s testimony in the Vergara v. California trial raised many an eyebrow when Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent John E. Deasy testified on behalf of plaintiffs in a lawsuit whose defendants had originally included LAUSD.

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"I Never Thought I'd Be Working In My 70s": Three Distressing Retirement Stories

It’s official: America has entered a retirement crisis. Or, as Forbes understatedly put it, “the greatest retirement crisis in the history of the world.”

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