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March 4, in pictures

East Oakland School of the Arts (Castlemont) on March 4, courtesy photo

Allendale Elementary School

Want to see more pictures of local March 4 demonstrations? We have a whopping 77 posted on our Web site, along with Matt Krupnick’s story. You can find the Oakland schools-focused piece I wrote here, which should soon have photos posted of Allendale Elementary’s short march.

For those of you who took part in the Day of Action, tell us how it went.

Katy Murphy

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

  • susan

    I cant believe that school districts allowd all of these kids to miss school! How much did that cost the schools districts?

    While I support the cause, I do NOT think using kids-especially elememntary and middle schoolers is right.

    I am disgusted-especially at SF and Oakland!

  • Jose

    My sister is in elementary and they had her protesting with other students. UC-Berkeley will not accept us into the univesity for protesting. They want your GPA and SAT scores?

    Protesting is something that Asians and whites can afford to do because they are already well represented at the university.

  • Mike Ramirez

    Yesterday was a disgrace! what happened on the freeway was unnecessary and an embarrassment to Oakland. Why did the schools support this!!

    Oakland Unified lost money for attendace right? how much?

    Speak your mind, but go to school Oakland!

  • Da East

    Jose and Mike

    You are the perfect example of sellouts! We fight for our education and social justice! The reason we had to take it to the streets is because we have no other option! We will conitnue to be heard.

  • Susan

    I am not of your “establishment” and in fact I have been fighting for the rights of students probably long before you were born!

    I do support Oakland students and teachers in voicing their concerns, But storming the freeway was too much! What if a person needed to get home to their kids, or a sick relative?

    Voice your concerns in the proper places but dont get violent!

  • Jose

    Da East,

    Going to class and learning math, writing, science and history are great options.

    It will get you into college. It is working for me at UC- Berkeley.

  • Nextset

    Jose and Mike are correct.

    These protests are worse than tail chasing excercises. They will intensify the public feeling that the public schools are dumping grounds for malcontents and undesirables. And no one really cares what happens to such people. You’re not going to hire them.

    The budget cuts are the chickens coming home to roost when one attempts to run a welfare state on top of a 3rd world nation. More budget cuts are on the way in 12 to 36 months. Get ready for “change”. Better find a way to make it work. The old model of Grades One to Twelve will no longer operate.

    And you are no longer going to have daily mail delivery either.

    I am interested in hearing what the Catholic Schools and Private Schools are doing with their budgets. Since they are closer to reality I predict they will quickly convert to internet classes – doing so much faster than the public schools.

    As a lawyer we are required to take continuing education. The requirement was designed to ensure we could tax deduct travel/vacations in the name of “going to a seminar”. Well now I’m getting invited to something called Webinars. Tried it. Miss the Seminars and miss the Frequent Traveler Points. Money is too tight to go on as before. I’m not happy. No one cares. LaJolla costs too much. I miss Orange Co.

    Things are rough all over.

  • Jacob

    I think that protesting is the essential right of the population in a thriving democracy and the mere fact that people on this blog deny the relevance of a student uprising shows just how far we are as a true democracy.

    The cuts to education are an attack on the civil right for a free proper education. Our nation depends on the minds of our young students and when politicians choose corporations over education- it committs students to a downtrodden future. I bet kids of corporate and political leaders do not go to public schools-so cuts do not matter!

  • http://www.movingforwardeducation.com Lacy Asbill

    Wow. I’m actually surprised to read some of the feedback here.

    While I’m not normally an advocate for missing a day of school, I think that it is important for youth to show adults exactly who is impacted by budget cuts, to learn about standing up for their rights, and to begin what will need to be a life-long process of self-advocacy. Students ARE learning while they are protesting IF their adult facilitators are using the opportunity to link the protest to larger political and historical events.

    If people are worried about ADA from a single day of protesting that only some students participated in, then pull over the next time you see a student wandering the streets of Oakland, and take them to school! Truancy is far more costly than a protest, any day.

  • James F.

    Lacy-

    When are we going to talk about spending instead of cuts? Has anyone analyazed what is spent on line items and CA and how that relates to the dismal performance and graduation rates of students. There are lemon laws to protect people from buying broken down vehicles, we need an education lemown law cause the system is broke!

    The student representative on OUSD Board who protested about not having adequate education at his school in Oakland one day, then marches for money the next? What are students learning in the classrooms?

    If we keep making excuses for kids and continue to focus on adults in schools, then yes these students will march, all the way to Quentin or the poorhouse.

  • Chris

    Welcome to communist california. I think these pictures and this blog are disgusting. I cant believe someone gets paid to take pictures of little kids being used for communist led protests and then being glorified by media!

    The parents who allowed their children to be used in such a way are truly ignorant.

  • Nextset

    It would have been more productive to do a sit down at the State Capitol than to ever blockade a freeway. What the protestors are doing will hasten public decisions to choke off funding to their schools. Anything that dissafects the people who count is a mistake for the school & students. Messing with working people who commute is dangerous. Sitting down at the Capitol might have won approval with the taxpayers. Nobody likes politicians anyway.

    You won’t see such budget cuts at Piedmont Unified. They can raise money from their public as needed by special assessments to fund that school system. The reason for that is their schools have never been hijacked by liberals who run it to alienate the school from the wealthy residents. Disobey, fail to perform or become insubordinate there and you are expelled. The students at Piedmont are important to the residents. The OUSD students do things to disaffect the taxpayers of Oakland (behavior, dress and radical-lib politics). And the school makes it so. They think they can bite the hand that feeds them forever.

    Jacob: There is no constitutional right to any free public education. Public Education is done under state legislation in as much or as little and the state feels like paying for that year. This isn’t your year, and next year doesn’t look good either.

    Brave New World.

  • Anon

    Just for the record, the storming of the freeway was *not* a part of the organized protest—it was orchestrated by a local anarchist group that’s essentially a bunch of protesters in perennial search of a cause. (They also were apparently involved in the downtown Oakland riots after the BART shooting last year.) From what I understand, the organized protest and march themselves were fairly peaceful.

  • Cranky Teacher

    People are ignorant to blame the schools or all the other peaceful protesters for the actions of a small group of thrill-seekers who blocked the freeway.

  • Nextset

    If you are running a protest you have to take steps to keep your protest from being hijacked by interlopers. I guess it’s important that you wear uniforms to distinguish the real protestors from the hijackers. Another valuable lesson. Love this blog..

    I still would like to see the protestors go after the state capitol. It’s very traditional. You could take Amtrak and make a day of it.

  • Jose

    Katy,

    I enjoyed your article, “Children stand up for Oakland Schools.” When are OUSD educators going to stand up for students? The low test scores (over 90%) of the students at certain grade level are failing math.

    Most of the Ethnic Studies classes at Berkeley were not held. The professor were supporting the strike. It was a different story in my math class.

  • http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2009/02/one_urban_district_with_a_bad_1.html Anthony Cody

    I was at the protest in Ogawa Plaza from start to finish. As it ended one of the organizers addressed the crowd, told them that the rally was ending, and encouraged them to disperse peacefully and not cause any trouble. She said that they could be hurt, and that she was concerned that if things became violent the organizing committee would be blamed.

  • Susan

    Why are people getting so viscious? I mean, budget cuts are hurting the kids, but the protestors are hurting the cause.

    I do understand the colleges since those kids are older and they indeed pay for their tution, but otganizing committees must understand the risk of those opportunist groups who will always jump at a chance to get out of control.

    I do not support the younger children being involved specifically because of this.

    Jose: Maybe the Ethnic Studies professors are using the protest as an assignment. Perhaps you should speak to them and voice your conerns.

    Nextset: Free public education is a right, regardless of your self righteous, conservative tainted rambles.

  • Alice Spearman

    OUSD Board of Education along with our Superintendent, all Union leaders held a protest rally in from th the Elihu Harris State Building at 4:00PM. Many people attended the rally which was held after the rally at Ogawa Plaza. It was during that time some protesters went to the freeway. I do not understand the logic of those who would think the attention they would get would be a positive action
    The bottom line is, we the citizens of this state must pressure the state legislature representatives not to cut, but enhance the funding for education in this state. For everyones information, OUSD will be forced to cut in total, (resticted along with un-restricted funds) $85Million Dollars for the school year 2010-1011
    The cuts will be very painful. The community organizations are going to hollar loudly for us to keep their pet programs, everything is on the list now. Our vision of education will be lean at best, but Education will continue here in Oakland, it may look a little different. This board will need all the community support in making our decisions. Pray For Us!

  • Gordon Danning

    Ms. Spearman:

    Calls to “pressure the state legislature representatives not to cut, but enhance the funding for education in this state” are political posturing, at best. Where would such increases come from? Cuts to health and welfare? Please don’t suggest cuts to prisons; there isn’t enough money there, given that the state in 2009-2010 spent $35 billion on K-12 education and only $8 billion on corrections and rehabilitation, http://www.ebudget.ca.gov/pdf/BudgetSummary/SummaryCharts.pdf, and given that the state has been sued for running overcrowded prisons (i.e, in effect, spending too LITTLE on prisons) http://www.prisonlaw.com/events.php

    So, the only way to spend more on schools is to raise taxes. However, the Republicans in the legislature have made it clear that they will not vote for any tax increase whatsoever.

    Thus, a true leader would not issue empty, self-righteous calls to legislators to do what they have and will continue to refuse to do. Rather, a true leader would start the hard work (much harder work than protesting, by the way) required to put an initiative on the ballot to raise taxes. So, frankly, it is time for so-called leaders such as yourself to put up or shut up. And that goes for the leaders of the March 4 protest, as well.

  • Chauncey

    Ms. Spearman- I always pray for the leaders of whatever group they lead be it family, state, etc. I think that simply asking for money is not the answer. We , as a state, city, nation must also ask for cuts before we ask for money-or at least to go along with the request for dollars.

    We spend too much on some things that do not even make sense. For example, the molester Phillp Garrido, had a mole removed 2 weeks after being arrested for kidnapping and holding poor little girls hostage. Now, I believe that he will get whats coming to him, and I for one would have liked to see him ravaged by cancer, but instead the prison medical systm took care of him with my dollars.

    Now in education, the federal government and state for too long have thrown money at low schools without any result. So as a taxpayer, whose kids have been through the Oakland system, I cannot support MO MONEY!

    Lets cut some uneccessary fat, reduce the overhead, and see just how much it costs to run good schools.
    I see too much waste in the state,city and other entities, and as a resident of the state,I think I have already paid too much!

    Cut jobs, some services , etc., and lets do with what we got.Asking for more money, will lead to higher taxes, and more unncessary spending. In economics, one policy will affect another and so forth. Overspending leads to bankruptcy.

  • Harold

    The ‘states’ need to pressure the Federal Government to give more of our taxes back, so we can better fund all of our regional, fiscal responsibilities. The feds provide no more than 25% of our budget.

    The military is too big. Only the feds can cut military spending.

    We don’t need new taxes. We are already overburdened …

    We need a smaller military and real commitment to education on the federal level.

  • Nextset

    I agree with Gordon’s first paragraph. I don’t believe that the taxpayers support any tax increase for education, least of all for bad schools such as OUSD. Voters will approve tax increases for Piedmont Schools because they are considered good schools and worth the investment.

    The liberals will soon see that their political operations in urban public school education has so estranged the taxpayers from the public schools that they have no political capital to get ballot measures passed. While the people I know wish things were better for the public school kids they have no confidence in the (urban) public schools. None of them would send a child there. Therefore they won’t vote any tax increases for them. The feeling is that the teachers pretend to teach, students pretend to be students and we pretend to fund such “schools”.

    And University of California is also going to pay the price of it’s radical collectivist behavior. The CA voters will not support the UC system further unlike the 1950s. Generations ago (prior to People’s Park) I don’t think people spoke against UC. Now I believe there is significant support to cut them off in important ways. We could start with dissolving all the Ethnic Studies departments and classes as it’s wrong to fund such a thing when we are laying off public safety officers/closing Emergency Rooms & Hospitals.

    The economy is important, when times are good you can have many things. When times are historically bad, all the indulgences must go. Providing non-competitive classrooms for everyone on any subject that pleases them is a huge indulgence. Charging market rate tuition and using non-dischargable debt to collect the money from those who didn’t save to go to school is the taxpayers way to prevent foolish degrees such as “black studies” because those graduates can’t get employment with those degrees (which are now so unpopular at colleges some of them are trying to enroll imprudent high school students as fodder).

    Katy: Piedmont is a town that is surrounded by Oakland. Can we have more info on how they run their schools? How are they different from OUSD in the way they treat their students and staff? What is the spending per student and the income per student of that district? What is their discipline policy? How do they handle tardies, truancy, insubordination and student parking??

    I take it as obvious their student body scores far higher on cognitive tests than OUSD’s. So they don’t get major credit for teaching reading, writing and math. Is it fair to say that PUSD just doesn’t get in the way of education, or can we see that PUSD does a lot of added value with their students.

  • Just My Thoughts

    There are many differences between Oakland and Piedmont in terms of class and socioeconomic status. Kids in Piedmont develop the necessary schema for their education. They have the vocabulary, the travel experience and access to tutoring, therapy, and other resources that many students in Oakland lack. Oakland students depend on their local schools to provide those things for them, but guess what, Oakland can not afford those services, especially during budget cuts. Kids in Piedmont have been to pre-school, and chances are, if they are boys, they have been held back a year before Kindergarten (new trend among middle and upper class children) in order to have an academic and physical advantage over their peers. How can a low SES Oakland student compete with that? Also, because Piedmont kids have the schema (prior academic knowledge used to enhance and understand new material) required for academic success and years of pre-school under their belt, guess what, the teachers can actually teach interesting lessons; lessons that are project based and build critical thinking skills. They don’t have to follow some scripted, remedial curriculum, or some other state mandated drill and kill curriculum that is mind numbing for many students.

    How do I know this? I am a public school teacher. I’ve seen it all!

  • Just My Thoughts

    One last thought. When you grow up knowing that college is possible and is expected of you, you tend to value school more and your parents become your chief advocate. I don’t make this assumption for Piedmont kids, because many Oakland kids grow up with similar values. The culture of expectation is higher in Piedmont, because the teachers are expected to promote and teach these values as well. In some urban schools there is the the tendency push students toward community college or trade school even when they clearly have a good grade point average and are on track to satisfy their A-G requirements. Also, did you know that in many urban schools they force students to take classes that are remedial or absent from the A-G list, so even if kids have the potential to go to college, they are in a deficit situation because of the courses that have been scheduled for them. Piedmont parents would never let this happen. Why, because they have experience and are savvy enough to navigate the system with their kids. Many poor or immigrant families lack this information and trust the schools to make the best decision for them. Sometimes, it is the caring and concerned educator who dares a child to dream and apply to a UC or CSU. These success stories exist. I know since many of my students graduated from a UC I persuaded them to apply.

  • Nextset

    Harold: The states need to flex their muscles and demonstrate to the Federal Government that they can bring down the government. The USA is very unstable now. Any sudden thing can start a rapid cascading crash, economists and historians can see this. The state governments and their principals can start acting overtly to destabilize the national government until they are listened to, making no bones about it. If we know this cannot go on and will end in a crash, it might as well happen at a time/place of chosing. Or at least some of the states may calculate so – thinking that their position may be better now than later when the end looks more clear.

    One way to start is to call a constitutional convention to re-write the federal constitution. Another is to embark on a series of “Emperor has no clothes” shouting intended to destabilize the cover ups going on (unemployment numbers?) until the states get improved federal behavior. At the least the states can declare themselves under invasion from Mexico and impose a series of emergency measures to detect/repel the invaders while blaming Washington for the invited invasion.

    Lots of things to do when any of the states get fed up. If CA gets a bail out it will enrage some of the other states. 2012 is going to be a fun year.

  • Harold

    Nextset: your first paragraph makes sense to me. A constitutional convention sounds good too. But, I doubt we would have the same vision for that convention. And if it were done during the Obama Administration – the right-wing would start a civil war.

    And here’s where we diverge… you call it a “bail out”, i call it: responsible distribution of our huge federal tax base.

    Although i rarely agree with you, i support and encourage all points of views, in the marketplace of ideas.

    Q. what would nextset do (in the brave new world) with our bloated military industrial complex?

  • Nextset

    The military industrial complex isn’t bloated. I’m worried about our supplies with the elimination/reduction of manufacturing in the USA.

    And I’m very unhappy about the invade the world mentality we have. On the other hand there is evil at large in the world beyond the point I am willing to allow to continue. I see no reason to allow cannibals and slavers to exist. I see no point in allowing Muslim Fundamentalism to exist. I would quite methodically exterminate them. If not by a Dresden style bombing, by cutting off their food and commerce until they starve to death. I have problems with allowing North Korea to exist in it’s present fashion and would consider arming the South Koreans with nuclear weaponry either directly or indirectly (us placing weapons to be used by us in a Korean Conflict). I would let it be known that we will no longer depend on ground troops in such a conflict. The maintenance of an invasion size military in N Korea strutting around in uniform would mean a preemptive strike by S. Korea/USA on those troops. The Allies ignored Hitler building an attack Air Force and Army
    and this is no different. Foreign Powers bent on conquest including enslavement and domination are our natural enemies and we will strike first without any intention to occupy or rebuild them.

    We would provide assured destruction to N Korea by leasing a nuclear armed sub to S Korea with our permission to use it in the event of an invasion. I would preemptively attack N Korea with Nukes in the event of any attempts to arm themselves with Nukes. I would do this because of S Korea’s importance as a manufacturing trading partner. I would not go to war over Taiwan, they would be on their own. Best we can do for them is allow their manufacturing, design and scientific brainpower to escape to here.

    I would end out practice of providing ANY government aid to such cesspools as Haiti, Emergency as well as routine. I would confine such assistance to civilized trading partners. I would close the border with Mexico and tell them to recall their invading population and end the drug supplies into the USA. Then I’d set a round up day to hunt down the illegals and confiscate any of their property.

    Our military would be to possibly protect our trading partners (Japan) and to protect ourselves from piracy and attacks, to fortify the USA from further invasions, and for preparedness for disaster and future wars. Not for occupations to bring “democracy” to others. I am not concerned that others have “democracy” such as ours. It’s not a good idea for all.

    The Japanese would be told we will be cancelling our treaties (guarantee) of protection with them and I’d suggest they start arming. They could buy from us at first. Then we’d like to buy from them. As far as the Israelis, I would make it clear privately that we will not come to their assistance if invaded. They must fight their own war with the Arabs, evacuate their nation, win or lose, do whatever they can do for themselves. We wish them well but their problems are theirs not ours. They have atomic weapons, I’d suggest they consider using them and living with the consequences – or not. Too bad they didn’t cut a deal with South Africa while they could have and just move there.

    As far as Oil, We cannot allow the Arab world to drain our wealth in Oil Sales. We drill everywhere in the US for Oil and embark on a crash course for oil self sufficiency using tarrifs, taxes and subsidies to reduce our demand as required. I’d use the military to work in these areas. They’d have plenty to do. And I would increase the pay and benefits for military service while imposing higher requirements of IQ and fidelity/backgrounds to enlist. No more gang members in uniform. No more illiterates in uniform, no more single mothers of young children in uniform.

    Those are my thoughts on the place of the military – which may soon be needed in this country if the currency falls. Martial law follows an economic collapse.

    As a practical matter I believe both the Democratic Party and the Republican party are essentially the same and will continue the invade and invite games until something forces them to get the troops home to fortress USA over some kind of domestic nightmare. So we will see more of “The Hurt Locker” for awhile.

  • Susan

    Nextset-
    Wow , I cant believe your perspective of the military. So it is ok with you to eradicate a group of people due to their religious beliefs, fundamentals or not? That sounds a bit like what happened to Jewish people doesnt it?

    As for matrial law, what was March 4 about? Tat looked like a glimpse of the thinly veiled martial law that is currently present.

  • TheTruthHurts

    Wow!! We’re finally getting somewhere.

    Students. It is only right they protest, but they could have done so in a way that did not send the mixed signal that they don’t value the education they’re supposedly fighting to protect. Anyone heard of SATURDAY!. Of course that would require true inconvenience and commitment (of teachers too), but potentially more participation and no mixed signals. Now that that water is under the bridge, how about making up the lost lesson time. That would be a start.

    District. I’ve said repeatedly here that it is very difficult to ask for more money when the public believes you have squandered what you’ve been given. I know the urban schools need more than they’re given, but I also know incompetence is tolerated far more than in the private sector and we have the results to show for it. Why would I invest further in such a system? The kids? Yeah, if I thought that’s where the money is going, not to be siphoned off by some low-performing adult. If I’m not effective at work, I’m gone in 6 months, tops. Not in a school District. There, I might retire with benefits. Is that what are kids deserve? Are they the priority? For that reason alone, I’d have to consider a charter school. Not ideal, but I’d have to consider it. At least they can fire incompetents in a timely manner.

    Ms. Spearman. I don’t envy your position, but as one of your critics points out, the legislature is broken and unless you plan to organize in the suburban affluent areas (i.e. Republican strongholds), preaching to the choir of lefties ain’t gonna be enough. Hear of any protests in Palo Alto? Cupertino? Didn’t think so. Unfortunately, the push to raise revenue for schools needed to come BEFORE the all out collapse of state revenues and a populace not looking for a new tax. What I do appreciate is your call to leadership, unity and prayer. It won’t be pretty and the denial in the psyche of the urban left has got to stop.

    Nextset. As much as I disagree with your prescriptions, I absolutely appreciate your call to end the denial. End the foolish fantasy that all that is necessary is a stroke of a few legislative pens and our problems will be over. End to the fantasy that the only thing ailing schools is a lack of funding. End the belief that business as usual is going to cut it. End of the denial that the cultural cancer we’re afflicted with is not killing us and needs irradiation or some other form of removal. People need to get a grip on what’s going on and deal with it. We can disagree about how, but sometimes I feel folks are living on another planet. That’s why I appreciated Ms. Spearman’s comments. At least she’s in reality and that’s more than I can say for many in this debate.

  • Nextset

    Susan: Getting into military policy or theory isn’t what the Educational Blog is about and I probably shouldn’t have even gone there.

    Suffice to say I believe the USA needs a strong and large military but we generally should not be occupying other nations. I clearly believe wars are needed and will occur periodically as international predators and evil people seek to expand and conquer others by force.

    As far as fundamentalist muslims, no I don’t believe the planet is large enough for us and them. My opinion – others may differ. As far as when we decide to deal with the inevitable – that’s a political decision. Remember we were very much willing to let Hitler and the 3rd Reich conquer Europe and develop atomic weapons. Our entry into WWII was a fluke of Japanese impatience or a deliberately planned event staged by the National Leadership to take an unwilling population into a necesary war. Good thing we didn’t wait another year or two.

    As far as the Jewish People, their fate is their problem not ours. I hope they win. Remember how we turned back the boats with Jewish refugees during WWII? Our nation is our own and we owe asylum to no one save on our own terms. It is best if all others remember this when they decide when to appease or ignore their own enemies.

    We – our government – owes a duty of fidelity to the people who live here, were born here. It’s wrong to take our treasury and water the rest of the world while neglecting our own nation – especially when doing so is intended to aggrandise our politicians and their corporate patrons.

  • Chris

    The problem is the definition of “we”, and to tie back to education, many students think that it is an ” us” vs “them” style fight. Look at the protest signs. Revoltuion, you tell me what a high school student, who does not attend class, nor does he read- know about revolution? A movie perhaps?

    This is much of what they learn from leftist leaning teachers in the schools-especially urban schools, where liberalism and excuses mix to make the perfect stew of failure now called the Achievement Gap.

    Get with it Oakland, no student protests in Marin, Orinda, nor Pleasanton right?
    I also appreciate Ms. Spearman’s comments. Pet projects of those community people or special interest groups should not exist anyways.

  • http://rideforareason.dojiggy.com/index.cfm?PageID=63986 Paul Vetter

    I’m going to shamefully threadjack this thing, because we need your support for more ongoing political consciousness raising, more fundraising, more support for Oakland public education.

    We’re doing a charity bike ride from Oakland to Sacramento to raise money for the PTA for both Claremont Middle School and Oakland Tech.

    http://rideforareason.dojiggy.com/index.cfm?PageID=63986

    We think it stinks that California state funding for public education is as low as it is. We spend less per student than 44 other states in the nation. Nice. Let’s try to fix that. Come ride with us. Come say hello when we leave for Sacramento on May 8. Give us some money for the PTA. You know the schools need it. Claremont Middle School, after long years of drought, finally was able to re-open the library for students for a place to study, to check out books, to do research. Be part of the solution. Get with the neighbors and parents. Raise some dough. Help kids.

  • Miss P.

    I can’t believe that there are so many people that are against the protest/ day of action. My guess is that these are people who are mostly unaffected by what is actually happening at these schools.

    I actually marched with a group of high school students into downtown Oakland, and attended the protest there from start to finish. We passed an elementary school that brought there children out to the the sidewalk with signs to show there support of the march. We passed many community members that applauded the students and supported their actions. We joined forces with other high schools, Laney college, and later UC Berkeley. In my opinion, it was all a very beautiful thing. If you ask me, the example of Unity and Solidarity on an issue was a more powerful lesson than any of the (high school) students would have gotten in school.

    It is interesting to me how so many people have an issue with the children missing a day of school and “costing” the school district money, or “using” the children during this protest. I have a issue with a school district that uses it’s students to make money while holding them in uncomfortable, unfit, unproductive holding tanks they dare to call schools.

    I appreciate how the phrase “day of action” was added to this protest. I appreciate that the students where able to take a stand and actually do something about an issue that they felt passionate about. They may not have understood all of the political jargon associated with the issues, but they knew that things were not right, and they were willing to take a stand and do something about it. I was not at the freeway, and no one I know was at the freeway incident. I don’t even know all of the details of what went on there. The protest I attended in Oakland was peaceful and powerful. Why powerful? Because unity is always a powerful thing. I hope some of the children learned that.

    I think what this day of action showed is that people will not just accept changes that are forced upon them without putting up a fight. Why does it always have to take a riot, bloodshed and a magnitude of deaths for us to actually do the right (compassionate actions for ALL people) thing?

  • Jose

    Miss P,

    You seem very proud of your “day of action”. I am in college. I love my high school. Although, I was not prepared by Skyline High School with great academic skills.

    Some of our teachers would take trips to Europe after the summer break was over. I had subs all the time. Over 90% of my 10th, 11th and 12th grade classmates failed General math and Algebra. No acdemics action for students.

    It’s said that so many white liberals get their self-esteem by through protest and feeling good about saving us. This is the same philosophy of the priest who came over 400 year ago into Mexico.

    In my community , we don’t need your “commpassionate action” there is a need for math, science, reading, and English. This will allow us to get a job and have a better life.

  • Jose

    Miss P,

    You seem very proud of your “day of action”. I am in college. I love my high school. Although, I was not prepared by Skyline High School with great academic skills.

    Some of our teachers would take trips to Europe after the summer break was over. I had subs all the time. Over 90% of my 10th, 11th and 12th grade classmates failed General math and Algebra. No acdemics action for students.

    It’s said that so many white liberals get their self-esteem through protest and feeling good about saving us. This is the same philosophy of the priest who came over 400 year ago into Mexico.

    In my community , we don’t need your “commpassionate action” there is a need for math, science, reading, and English. This will allow us to get a job and have a better life.

  • Nextset

    I agree with Joes.

    Especially that part about the white liberals getting their self-esteem through feeling good about saving us.

    The problem is they aren’t saving anyone. Least of all the black folks.

    Check out this new study about the “Gap” in wealth.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10068/1041225-28.stm

    Wealth is related to things including early adolescent training for career. We train urban blacks how to be unemployable – by this I mean at age 18 (regardless of graduation status) they are typically so unschooled they don’t know the most basic things about employment and employability, and they can’t read either so it’s not as if they were too busy studying anything else to not attend lectures on how to apply for, qualify and get anything.

    We have to tell them to take their hats and sunglasses off in a courtroom or any other indoor setting. I doubt they’d know a salad fork either.

    In 1960 they would. OUSD taught all of this.

  • Nextset

    Typo, I agree with Jose.

  • Gordon Danning

    Jose:

    Alas, the left has long been more concerned with feeling morally superior than with being politically effective. Hence, “days of action” rather than actual action.

  • Harold

    20%+ unemployment will not fund a mass-movement to private schools. Everyone is hurting. Kansas City just voted to close half of its schools. I contend our public school system is “too big to fail”.

    When is the public school bailout coming?

    I predict a large mass movement on the public education issue this spring/summer!

  • Miss P.

    @ Jose:

    Yes I am proud that students and city of Oakland were able to accomplish a day of peaceful protest against some very important issues. “My” day of action is every day. I show up to this Oakland high school and actually work to teach somebody how to behave like an actual student. When I hear someone cursing and guffawing in class like a mental patient, I have to take a stand and say something. When I see private parts, underwear and exposed bellies hanging out of clothes, I have to say something. When I find backpacks are full of nothing but music players and other non school related items, I have to say something.

    Yes, I agree with the teachers, not always doing their part. But I have to believe that by high school students should have some sense of personal responsibility in regards to their education. When I see teachers just nonchalantly going about their business of teaching amongst all of this raucous behavior… it is all I can do to contain myself from going OFF! I personally try so hard… but on days like today I wonder why bother. If they don’t care enough about themselves to want more for themselves, then why try to force better upon them. They seem happy with the destiny that has been laid out for them.

    I am here everyday… and I get paid to be here… and I still feel like I want to drop out! I am an adult, and it is hard for me to retain information in these walls, so it is no surprise to me that the students are not actually learning anything. I feel more and more like I work in a prison everyday. I actually became nauseous when I entered the school cafeteria. All I could think of was prison (based on what I have seen on tv and movies of course). So, I understand how a teacher, especially one not from an impoverished community, would have a very hard time staying in this type of environment for an entire school year. It is very hard on a bright spirit. A definite downer.

    I have been in many different high schools in various places, and Oakland schools are the worst by far. I came here because I didn’t want to believe that the students were lost causes unworthy of time or attention of qualified teachers… but I will admit that these students are a true test of my patience. It is as thought the students have given up on themselves, yet they still expect the teachers and admin and state and government to give there all? I don’t understand it.

    So yes, I was happy to see the students get excited and move to take action on something. The following day after the march, one particularly annoying student actually was offering help to other students in math class. I wondered if the protest rally helped to influence her change of attitude.

    Students need to wake up and understand that times are changing. Our national and state government is moving further and further away from giving anything away for free: education, jobs, welfare money… It is a new day, and people are going to have to step up to the challenge and stop complaining and waiting for someone to give them something. I always hear the young people talking about “gettin’ mines”. Well, the time has come to take action, and practice what is preached.