Lessons from Fighting Privatized Public Education in Chile

Written by Daniel Fox

This February, some of us were lucky enough to meet some Chilean Anarchists who gave a talk about lessons from the education struggle in Chile where there has been a massive student- and society-wide movement for free public education during the past decade.

Chile’s schools, like much of its society, were privatized by the US-backed dictator Augusto Pinochet in the 1980s through the creation of a privatized market in education. The key part of this was the creation of a voucher system where privately run schools—charter schools—could receive a certain amount of public funding per student. This, along with an amendment that allowed such schools to charge tuition and fees, has created a “pay to play” education system in Chile, where schools are ranked by test scores and are some of the most unequal and segregated in the world.

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Students clash with riot police during a demonstration against the government, to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago August 28, 2012 (Reuters / Eliseo Fernandez)

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Managed instruction is not going away unless we make it!

by Erin Dyke, member of the IWW Education Organizing Committee

Focused Event
students, community members, parents, and educators at the community meal, all photos taken by Maggie Sventek

More than 50 people came together for the first social justice education community meal of 2014 on February 16th, to explore the prevailing trend toward managed instruction in our schools and potential alternatives. We gnoshed on a delicious (and free!) Sunday brunch of fruits, eggs, potato hash, breads, and other treats while we caught up with old friends and made new comrades. We want to take some time to reflect on what we learned from our time together and consider ways to move forward to fight against the forced de-skilling of students and educators.

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Workload & Teacher Power: Reflections on an Organizing Victory at my school this year

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Do teachers and other educators have power to change things in our schools? Everyday I talk to teachers who are upset, saddened by negative changes, struggling to ensure all of their students succeed. Many days I ask my co-workers what we can do, or if they can help with something. Sometimes they say yes, but mostly they say they are too busy to do anything. Sometimes I feel like we are too busy drowning to organize a raft to save ourselves.

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St. Paul Education Organizing Newsflash

written by: a St. Paul Public Schools Teacher

The new year is already shaping up to be a momentous one for education organizing in St Paul. In the past month St Paul has seen a charter school vote to unionize and the executive board of the St Paul Federation of Teachers (SPFT) call for a vote to strike. Classroom Struggle hopes to have longer articles on each of these developments up soon so stay tuned, but we keep you informed with these two brief newsflashes.

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Who We Are

This blog is a project of the Twin Cities IWW Education Organizing Committee, a group of education organizers open to all K-12 public education workers. We strive to bring together educators, students, parents and caregivers, and communities from across the Twin Cities who believe that another  kind of education possible. We are working to identify and eliminate the ways schools perpetuate injustice, and seek to transform our education system on the principles of community self-determination and worker control, sustainability, freedom, and social justice.

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