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Our Times 3

Education

  • Trump’s 1776 Commission: Cultural renewal by political repression

    The evangelical vision of the 1776 Commission—one of cultural renewal by political repression—hasn’t been put quite so plainly since the Reagan years, nor has it gone to such lengths to enumerate its enemies this century. But what is the meaning of this moribund commission and its program for social cohesion, now that Trump is on his way out? Will this remedial document have any political life whatsoever?

  • Resisting education cuts in Alberta: Drawing on recent historical examples

    If austerity is to be fought, we need to look at the recent history of labour and student organizing to identify some high points of resistance. History does not necessarily repeat itself, but it does provide lessons that point towards the possibility of alternatives and the belief that another way is possible, even if movements in the past failed to achieve it.

  • Wait… Canada had slavery?

    Under the veil of multiculturalism, Canada’s education system continues to exclude, distort and erase the history and perspectives of the Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) community, to the ultimate detriment of racialized students. Multiculturalism assumes that equality of treatment is sufficient, but it stealthily avoids addressing factors that would lead to equality of outcomes.

  • Gone viral: Moral panic over Palestinian content in Ontario schools

    By posting the student video in a host of online venues, pro-Israel apologists ensured that their outrage would go viral, that it would criminalize an innocent young student, and stoke anti-Arab sentiments among their adherents. But the irony in this propaganda effort is this: as with COVID, the viral spread of digital matter does not discriminate politically. It can both serve and destroy its users.

  • Canada’s international graduate students and COVID-19: Beyond the rhetoric of welcome

    When unprecedented crisis situations arise, protectionist laws are implemented, bills are amended, and policies changed. However, for those under temporary or vulnerable legal status in Canada, exploitative conditions are continuously normalized. It is time for Canada and its universities to reassess their treatment of international graduate students.

  • On microaggressions in academia

    If someone really wants to fight oppression from inside the ivory tower, it is imperative that she carefully examines what is happening below, and steers away from the narcissistic impulse to keep attention focused on the troubles faced by the top five percent income earners in the population. To put it simply, academics are not an oppressed class.

  • Alternatives to neoliberalism: Anarchist schools in the United States and Winnipeg

    The political context of anarcho-syndicalism from which the Modern School movement emerged is worth revisiting as a viable means for those who care about public education. This model has the potential to positively transform the anti-democratic administrative power structure within schools, as well as the austerity of neoliberal governments outside of them.

  • Canadian universities should divest from policing interests

    Universities have no business concocting band-aid solutions for a sick and rotting system that continues to both maintain and reproduce white supremacy. To continue to do so is an affront to every black and Indigenous student, staff member, and community member and is nothing short of a mockery of any real efforts to decolonize and indigenize the Canadian academic landscape.

  • Is Manitoba gearing up for a major overhaul of its public education system?

    The ideological approach to education reform promoted by DeVos and Cruz, two of America’s leading advocates for dismantling and defunding public schools, echoes Manitoba’s creation of a commission in 2019 to review the provincial school system and propose a “renewed vision for kindergarten to Grade 12 education,” and “ignite change” to existing systems and programs.

  • Ford AbomiNation: Make Ontario Resilient Again

    If it’s one thing Progressive Conservative governments like to have fun with, it’s schools. Back when Mike Harris was premier, he had an education minister by the name of John Snobelen, and Snobelen was caught on video saying that the best thing you could do with the educational system was “create a crisis” in it.

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