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East Bay | Education & Student Activism

ClassRoom Struggle (Formerly OO Education Cmte) Newsletter
by Classroom Struggle
Tuesday Feb 5th, 2013 10:48 AM
ClassRoom Struggle is the newsletter and blog of the organization of the same name, ClassRoom Struggle. We are a group Oakland teachers, parents, substitute teachers, after school instructors, youth workers and community activists. With our blog and print newsletter we confront the continuing destruction of quality public education for the working class and people of color in Oakland and across the United States and thus the elimination of our childrens’ right to learn and grow.

Our newest newsletter, and, we like to think, our best yet. It features 5 important articles on current issues. First, Margarita Monteverde and Felicia Vivanco analyze the recent elections in terms of national policies and the huge influx of corporate money under the watch of GO Public Schools. We have already posted this article separately online here, with citations. Second, we explain why we changed our name from Occupy Oakland Education Committee and Education 4 the 99% to ClassRoom Struggle. This article also charts out many of our long-term and big picture understandings of the education sector and the potential for transformative change. It, too, has already been posted online here. Third, Aram Mendoza analyzes the current contract negotiations of OEA and its importance for Oakland teachers and, more widely, the needs of Oakland students. Aram also raises some very concrete tactics and next steps for individual teachers and teachers as a whole. It is posted independently here, with citations. Fourth, A.S. Read brings the international perspective by taking us to Sri Lanka and Namibia where, recently, some very militant teacher strikes have taken place. Each points out the potential power of teachers when united but also the dangers of being sold out by bureaucratized union leadership. It is posted separately here, with citations. Lastly, 3 Oakland afterschool workers describe the problems of the highly precarious and non-unionized world of afterschool programs. This field has exploded in recent years with some very detrimental consequences for workers and students.

All in all, we think this newsletter is important reading for those interested in the education sector and resisting the current attacks on public education wherever you are but especially in the Bay Area and Oakland. To be sure, the views contained are opinionated and will not find friends in all corners. We, however, do not think this is necessarily a problem and we hope it can open up a healthy and principled debate. If you find the views provocative, for positive or negative reasons, please comment here and tell us why. Our ability to resist the attacks on public education will depend on how unified we are around a strong understanding of the attacks. So let’s start the conversation… there’s no time to waste.


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Fred Sanford
Tuesday Feb 5th, 2013 11:47 AM
With our blog and print newsletter we confront the continuing destruction of quality public education for the working class and people of color in Oakland and across the United States and thus the elimination of our children's’ right to learn and grow.

Destruction of quality education?????????? What quality education are you talking about?

Public school and quality education don't belong in the same sentence. Especially where unions are in control.
by Charles Minster
Tuesday Feb 5th, 2013 4:10 PM
I assume that Mr. Sanford is OK with the banks, corporations and bosses politicians running the school system which is who runs it now. Left alone we will not have any public education but that under outright control of the corporations. With the knowledge you express Mr. Sanford some more schooling is called for.
What we need is a revolutionary direction for the trade union movement that will take on the banks, bosses and bosses politicians and struggle to have a public education system run by the teachers and working community. Would Mr. Sanford accept such a system?
by Fred Sanford
Wednesday Feb 6th, 2013 11:23 AM
The people running the schools are union workers, tied to democrat politicians whose vote they have bought to perpetrate their power over the government schools. Me thinks that retired union worker is the uneducated person here spewing his/her ignorance, or are they just union talking points. These union run schools don't listen to the community one bit, and are only concerned with job security. After all wasn't it Albert Shanker, former teachers union president who said "When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children"? THAT IS UNION THINKING IN TOTAL, CAUSE IT'S ABOUT THE MONEY, NOT THE CHILDREN.

The perspective of a "Retired Union Worker" concerning a public unionized school is like asking the fox to advise on defense of the chicken coop.