On the agenda: Charters, protests and Tilden

Oakland Unified’s hard-line charter schools office says the district should renew its contracts with two schools: Oakland School for the Arts, a middle and high school located in the renovated Fox Theater building downtown, and Berkley Maynard, one of six charters in Oakland that are run by Aspire Public Schools, a management organization.

image by Nick Bygon, flickr.com/creativecommons

image by Nick Bygon, flickr.com/creativecommons

Also on Wednesday’s school board agenda is a “conditional endorsement” of the March 4 Statewide Day to Defend Public Education, which will include public schools, colleges and universities.

Translation: The district will support a “teach-in” and demonstrations before and after school — as long as the actions don’t “impede student learning,” according to OUSD Spokesman Troy Flint.

Betty Olson-Jones, the teachers union president, says there is not a strike planned for March 4, but that some teachers and students plan to be out of school that day. Others, she said, will picket before school starts or, possibly, take their children on a “walking field trip” to demonstrate.

“What we’re trying to do is make it a very educational event,” she said.

Olson-Jones said the union sees the purpose of March 4 activities as twofold: to bring attention to the reduced education funding in the state, and to rally support for the Oakland teachers union, which is in the final stage of contract negotiations with the school district. (Status update: A fact-finding panel is scheduled to hold a hearing the week of Feb. 22 and could come out with a report in early March.)

The relocation of Tilden School is also on the agenda. The district staff’s recommendations include the creation of a preschool and special needs diagnostic center on the Burbank campus in East Oakland’s Millsmont neighborhood. That’s the current location of Explore Middle School, which is slated to close in June. The report doesn’t say where the existing students would go, only that it would be to a “minimal” number of schools. I hope to have more information soon.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Nextset

    While I would like to “defend” public education also I fear that the effort mentioned above really means “defend public education so the public schools can continue to not educate while indoctrinating in leftist theory”.

    The only reason the Charter Schools are here at all is the appalling failure of the CA public school system to maintain the standards they had in the early 60’s – neighborhood schools that prepared students for military, industry and higher education instead of welfare, prison and early graves. People send their kids to Charters to avoid the blackboard jungles of the urban schools such as LA Unified, Oakland Unified, Richmond Unified, etc.

    In the 60’s it was not a badge of downward mobility to go to these schools. They were respectable. They are not respectable schools for the most part now. Not that some students don’t come out of them with social mobility – immigrants do.

    That’s the problem. “Mobilizing” to continue all this is not going to sell. Good people aren’t going to “Mobilize” to continue a system they don’t want to send their own kids to. The families that send their kids to LA Unified (for example) aren’t exactly the people that count in society anymore.

    If the public schools systems collapse it’s their own fault. They shouldn’t have let the leftists take over and alienate the public’s affection. Charters won’t make that mistake. Neither will Piedmont Unified.

    Brave New World.

  • Tomakin

    The Charter school movement is heroically saving our public school system from the wacko neo-leftists = Epsilon-Minus Semi-Moron dribble.

  • harlemmoon

    Great: “Defend Education” by staging walk outs. Schizophrenic or just plain dumb. You decide, people.

  • Harold

    what’s good for the goose …

    ” Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama said he doesn’t “begrudge” the $17 million bonus awarded to JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon or the $9 million issued to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein, noting that some athletes take home more pay.

    The president, speaking in an interview, said in response to a question that while $17 million is “an extraordinary amount of money” for Main Street, “there are some baseball players who are making more than that and don’t get to the World Series either, so I’m shocked by that as well.”

    “I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen,” Obama said in the interview yesterday in the Oval Office with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday. “I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free- market system.”


  • Cranky Teacher

    If you visit the Chronicle’s web site you’ll notice that the comments on articles are preponderantly made by angry, far-right males who post variations on the same idea multiple times a day:

    — Liberals/leftists/socialists have destroyed everything that was great about America in the good old days.
    — Poor people are animals who need to be either beaten or ignored depending on their actions.
    — Humans only understand violent negative social conditioning and everything else is just “coddling.”

    It would be sad if this blog becomes dominated by the same simplistic and repetitive voices.