But those who show up to class will take part in the March 4 Day of Action to Defend Public Education, too. At 9:15 a.m., public schools across Oakland will hold a short fire drill to symbolize the severity of the funding crisis. Later in the day, you or your child might be writing an essay on which spending cuts in OUSD would do “less harm” to students, or reading about women who created social change through non-violent protest — two of the lesson plans posted on the OUSD Web site.
Craig Gordon, a Paul Robeson teacher and union leader, has created a supplemental lesson plan that focuses more on issues between the union and the school district than between California schools and state government. OUSD’s curriculum director has declined to post it along with the other lesson plans. Maybe it was the prompt:
Essay Prompt: What can the Oakland Unified School District do to defend quality education as a civil right for all Oakland students, even during this time of economic crisis and state budget cuts? Is the District right to say that it can do nothing other than select among actions that will hurt public education? Or are teachers right to say the District could sustain educational programs by changing its spending priorities and demanding increased funding from big corporations? Write a letter to the school board convincing them to agree with your position on this issue. Remember that good persuasive writing includes acknowledging and addressing the other side’s viewpoint.
Will you take part in the March 4 demonstrations? How? What do you think/hope will come of this day?