Students, teachers, and community groups are launching coordinated marches, town hall meetings, and teach-ins Monday in over 60 cities across the United States, demanding an end to the austerity, standardized testing, privatization, and union-busting they say is gutting public schools nationwide.
Billed as the largest yet national day of action to reclaim the promise of public education, and organized by racial and economic justice organizations and labor unions in cities across the country, the series of events aims to introduce a counter-narrative and political push-back to the corporate-backed "education reform" platform that has dominated policy throughout the presidential terms of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
"We need to put the public back into public education," said Kia Philpot-Hinton, Philadelphia parent and organizer with the 32,000 member organization Action United, in an interview with Common Dreams. "Corporate reform is not the way. We need to focus on the needs of the children and make sure every child has a quality education."