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Education justice

Striking Seattle teachers on the picket line
 As students, parents, teachers, other education workers, and members of our communities, ISO members are deeply committed to the fight to defend and improve public education. As socialists, we believe in an ideal of free, high-quality public education for all children. We believe that a broad movement of working people and communities must lead the fight for the struggle of schools we deserve. While education cannot, by itself, solve social problems, the teaching and learning process can make an essential contribution to social change. School can be a site for collective struggle and transformation, where people develop their creative and intellectual powers, and learn to think critically about their lives and about the world as a whole.

ISO members aim to challenge the influence of racism, sexism, and homophobia in our schools. We believe that students have a right to explore their lives through curricula that are relevant to them, and to develop literacy in their own languages. 

NYC students protest the opening of another charter school

We are opposed to the racist “zero tolerance” policies that have led to a school-to-prison pipeline for many students of color. We are opposed to the current “reform” trend that attempts to quantify every educational “outcome” through high-stakes testing. Such so-called “reform” is a part of the general trend towards privatization, austerity, and cutbacks in social spending.

We support unions, and encourage all of our members to join and, where possible, to organize them. We believe that, at their best, teacher unions understand that their fight is connected to the broader struggle for public education and for a robust public sector in general. ISO members participate in student and parent organizations, and work for democratic control of our educational institutions. ISO members also participate in union caucuses that want to build genuine, broad movements of rank and file teachers.

In addition to taking action, we strongly encourage self-education as part of our work to defend public schools. Here are a few recommended readings to get you started!