American Indian charter school parents speak out

Staff Photojournalist
American Indian Model Schools supporters, seen here at an April Oakland school board meeting, before the final state report on the charter organization was published. Photo by D. Ross Cameron.

The fate of the American Indian Model Schools won’t be on Wednesday’s regular Oakland school board meeting agenda, but we can expect a large group of parents and students from the three schools at the meeting.

Bernadette Coleman, president of the schools’ new Family Advisory Committee, told me today she believes the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team’s scathing report about the AIMS governance, operations and suspected financial fraud — which came out this summer, prompting OUSD to issue a “notice of violation” in September — was full of errors.

If and when the OUSD board holds a hearing on the subject, Coleman said, “it’ll be public knowledge what is true and what is not.”

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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.

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