We went to downtown Oakland last weekend, and found a curious #Occupy Oakland flyer. This time they wanted to “liberate” Oakland and “Shut down the 1%”. To this end they called for general strike and mass day of action. “All banks and corporations must close down for the day or we will mach on them,” — they threatened, bold in original.
#Occupy Oakland calls: “Everyone to the Streets! No Work! No School!” That the later is not happening is interesting, especially considering that the teacher’s union got involved. Oakland Education Association endorsed Occupy Oakland and their “general strike”.
For some reason the Oakland teachers’ union came up with the slogan “We Are, We The 99%”, which is confusing because 99% of Oakland kids do not attend Oakland public schools. Families living in posh neighborhoods send their kids to private schools, and the charter school movement is gaining momentum. One can make an argument that although unionized teachers teach the bottom whatever percent, it’s because the poor people are stuck with them. In effect, Oakland teachers are proud of exploiting poor families.*
One East Oakland elementary, Bridges Academy at Melrose, sent out a bilingual flyer inviting student families to join the Occupy “general strike”. On its front page, Bridges Academy boasts a “Si, Se Puede” poster at a rally in Sacramento. So it’s that kind of school. Conservative minority parents — if there are any in the neighborhood — beware. Of course, Bridges Academy’s parents are poor, so even if they disagree with the obnoxious political posturing of people to whom they entrusted their children’s education, they don’t have very many options. Perhaps they should be given priority in charter schools.
A link to a newsletter promises to tell a familiar gimmicky story “about 5th graders learning through art and [Bridges Academy at Melrose] school composting program”. One suspects this school does not provide quality education. In fact, according to the news video to which they linked, only 46% of students met CA standards.
I think it’s irresponsible of teachers to leave their classrooms, even if the students will get a substitute. If teachers run off to any trendy downtown rally, one suspects that they don’t think their classroom job is too terribly important.
That a public elementary school uses students to to radicalize parents, especially considering that many of the parents belong to immigrant population poorly educated about American history and political culture, is deplorable. How would a student at Bridges Academy feel if his parent refuses to show up at a political rally promoted by the school? And what if, God forbid, the parent actually disagrees with the school district bureaucrats and teachers?
*There is a movement among liberal East Bay parents to put their children where their mouth is, and forgo private schools altogether. As a result, scores in Oakland schools are rising a bit. While public schools in certain gentrified East Bay neighborhoods are now also gentrified, it is not true of every school in every district.
UPDATE: H/T Alina Adams: