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Oakland’s Lakeview Elementary, unoccupied

Staff Photojournalist
Lakeview photos by Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group

Lakeview Elementary School was supposed to close at the end of the school year, but families, teachers and local activists who opposed the Oakland school district’s decision to close schools kept it open for two and a half weeks longer. They turned the school on Grand Avenue into a summer program and overnight camp, complete with movie night (“Star Wars,” shown in the school auditorium) and s’mores, history lessons and gardening class.

And protests.

Staff Photojournalist

I was planning to stop by today for a day-in-the-life-of piece on the People’s School for Public Education, but Oakland School Police beat me to it. Around 4 a.m., the officers ordered about 15-20 people sleeping outside the school, including two children, to leave. The dispersal was peaceful. Two people, including organizer Joel Velasquez, were cited and released.

By the time I arrived this morning, the protest signs and tents had been taken down. A couple of activists, who hadn’t been there overnight, came to collect their things. OUSD work crews were there, already preparing the site for its new tenants: the Family and Community Office and other administrative offices. (Note: The OUSD headquarters on Second Avenue is not moving.)

But that doesn’t mean the end of the Lakeview sit-in. There’s a rally at 5 p.m. today, and organizers vow to continue the struggle. The district is taking security precautions at the other elementary schools it closed, said OUSD Spokesman Troy Flint.

Staff Photojournalist

On the subject of school closures and what they will have saved the district financially, after one of them — Lazear Elementary — becomes a charter school (causing enrollment loss): I again requested a breakdown today.

Katy Murphy

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

  • makeitgoaway

    Quixotic?

  • Seenitbefore

    it’s not about saving money….it’s about destabilizing the public school system in a large, urban area so that charters will be seen as “the answer”.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/29/mitt-romney-says-students-should-get-as-much-education-as-they-can-afford_n_1638896.html

  • EffectsofReform

    Thank you, Katy for continuing to ask about the “savings.”

  • J.R.

    Seenit,
    So, you think just because the tax money had rolled in for decades(irregardless of whether or not schools are performing their all important mandate of educating kids), that is to be considered stable? I have news for you, many parts of the public school system have been destabilized for decades before anyone ever heard of reformers.

  • Cadnerd

    Even if it doesn’t save any money closing failing schools and moving the children to good ones makes sense. Lakeview is one of the worst schools in the state and the students will be going to schools that are far better.

  • Nextset

    Cadnerd:

    You seem to think there is a difference between failing schools and failing students. Look at your post above. Do you not realize that tranferring in failed students turns what was a good school into an at-risk school – likely to be a failed school?

    Or do you think it’s the dirt and the walls at a school that bring on failure?

    Willy Nilly placement of students without regard to aptitude or cognitive ability IS WHY THESE SCHOOLS FAIL.

    It is the principal reason why the schools fail – secondary to that is that the students are taught it’s OK not to perform by the absence of consequences for failure. A principal consequence is supposed to be removal to a continuation school at some point. That’s apparently gone now.

    I’m voting against the tax increases this November and so is everyone else I know. Giving more money to these failure factories – and that includes UC and the colleges – is not the answer. They have enough money. They need to change their ways if they want to return to the glory days of the 1960s where CA schools were seen as an engine of the economy.

    We need a return to tracking, a return to flunking, a return to enforced deportment rules, and a concentration on math, science, languages and public school coursework that matches military, industrial and higher ed prerequisites.

  • J.R.

    Nextset,
    I agree with you on the horrid “self-esteem”,”social justice”, no consequence doctrine of liberal thought. Pathetic liberal policy has left California (once the frontrunner in education) a battered and beaten morass of mediocrity. Don’t forget that irresponsible people(enabled and encouraged by public assistance) have become a major Democratic constituency that is numerically substantial. We all reap what we sow, and destruction is the self induced destiny of many.