Oakland Parents occupy School
Parents in Oakland have occupied their local school, which had been closed by the local school board The school, Lakeview Elementary school in Oakland, California has been closed, despite teachers, parents and the local community campaigning hard to keep it open along with four other schools in the area. When the closure went ahead anyway, the community took back the school by occupying it. They are now running it as a 'people's school' with parents and teachers working together to educate the children. One of the school's supporters says: 'This is showing that we can create this better world that we want to see. We are building the world we want to see within the shell of the old.' The campaigners say that this is not just about Lakeview, but about all the schools in the US being closed in the drive to privatise schooling. In a new article, Lois Weiner shows how the US No Child Left Behind legislation and Obama's Race to the Top, which are ostensibly aimed at raising educational achievement in low income areas are in fact part of a global neo-liberal project to privatise schooling and produce the kind of low-skill, flexible and unquestioning workers and consumers which capitalism requires. Teaching unions are potentially at the heart of the resistance to this project (as so many posts on this website attest) but she argues: The universal experience of privatization, increasing tuition, enormous student debt, and ever less support for public education has awakened the unions. Yet, missing still in the work of teacher unions, their leaders and ranks, is an understanding that to defend public education in this country, teachers and their unions must help develop an international response to neoliberalism—one that puts justice and equity at the forefront of the union’s program for education and develops alliances across national borders. To read this article in full go here.