Everywhere around the world young people face the growing danger of war, increasing inequality and an endless assault on their democratic rights. This is because capitalism, a system in which the elite dominate over every aspect of social life, has failed. Since the 2010 coup against Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has expanded Labor's pro-market assault on education and has unconditionally aligned Australia with the US in a war against China. We cannot accept this future!
The International Students for Social Equality is the global youth movement of the International Committee of the Fourth International dedicated to building a movement against war and for social equality. We hold regular forums on campuses across Australia on the daily analysis of the World Socialist Web Site and the struggle by Leon Trotsky, the founder of the Fourth International, against Stalinism and all forms of national opportunism.
Education Secretary Michael Gove has given the go-ahead for Breckland Middle School in Suffolk to be renamed IES Breckland, run under a £21 million, ten-year contract by Swedish for-profit firm Internationella Engelska Skolan.
Despite decades of encroachment by the private sector into state schools by successive Labour and Tory-led governments, the involvement of explicitly profit-making companies heralds a watershed in the drive to privatise state education.
The Guardian said of the development at Breckland, “The introduction of a profit-seeking company into the management of the school is allowed because of a technicality: the founder of the school is a charitable trust that has decided to outsource the entirety of the management to a fee-charging company—whose global business has a turnover of £60m a year, earning profits of £5m, according to analysis by the Adam Smith Institute. The development is set to open the floodgates.”
Three thousand parents, teachers and students in New York City attended a hearing of the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) on February 9 to voice their outrage at the plans to close another 18 public schools, as well as the co-location of 22 small schools, including 5 charter schools, into existing facilities.
The PEP is controlled by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and routinely rubber-stamps all of the mayor’s attacks on public education. The City Department of Education (DOE) has already closed 117 schools since Bloomberg took office 10 years ago.
The PEP will also be asked to place 33 schools under the Obama administration’s “turn-around” model. They would close at the end of June and reopen the next day under different names, with half of the teachers labeled ineffective and fired in order restore federal “Race To The Top” funds that were lost because of the city’s failure to finalize an agreement with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT).