UPDATE: I’ve just learned that the debate has been postponed — not sure why.
Let’s just say that when I chose my furlough dates last month, I had no idea that the below event would be happening in the middle of my time away.
Ben Chavis, the infamously temperamental, “Bay Area liberals”-loathing former director of the American Indian Public Charter Schools is taking on Yvette Felarca, a likewise outspoken leader of BAMN (Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration & Immigrant Rights And Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary) and her colleague, Shanta Driver, in a debate about charter schools.
I wonder if OUSD is taking any additional security precautions.
With school board member Chris Dobbins moderating, Felarca and Driver are going to argue “that charter schools are part of a new Jim Crow system of education that forces an increasing number of black and Latino students into separate, inferior schools.” (I don’t know which system they consider to be separate and inferior, as more than 80 percent of Oakland’s charter school students are black or Latino — and some of the city’s charter schools are better than others — but I suppose they are referring to district schools.)
Chavis is slated to take the opposite position, which is interesting because I don’t think he’s necessarily pro-charter as much as he is for his particular brand of education — and as much as he is against groups like BAMN. Here’s the flier:
Charter Schools: A Step Forward or Backward for Public Education?
A debate between opponents and advocates of charter schools is scheduled to take place Thursday, February 26th, at 5:00 PM in the OUSD Administration Building, Hunter Hall. In Oakland, and nationally, the growth of charter schools has been one of the most hotly contested changes in the educational system over the past ten years.
Arguing that charter schools are part of a new Jim Crow system of education that forces an increasing number of black and Latino students into separate, inferior schools will be Shanta Driver and Yvette Felarca, representatives of the civil rights group Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary (BAMN).
Arguing that charter schools provide students with an education to enhance their academic skills in order to compete and be productive members of society will be Ben Chavez (sic), founder of the American Indian Charter School in Oakland, and Janet Roberts, current Principal of the American Indian Charter School.
Oakland Unified School Board Director Chris Dobbins will be moderating the event. Hunter Hall is located at 1025 2nd Avenue, near Laney College. The public is invited to attend and will have ample opportunities to pose questions to the speakers in what is sure to be a hotly contested debate.