Accountability Billionaires Broad Foundation Budget Cuts Charter Schools Closing schools Democracy Education Industry Oakland

Tom Ultican: Oakland Parents and Educators Outraged by Threat of More School Closings

Interesting essay samples and examples on: https://essays.io/dissertation-examples-samples/

Tom Ultican, retired teacher of physics and mathematics, has been keeping a close watch on the machinations of the privatization movement. He writes here about Oakland, which has suffered two decades of indignities at the hands of corporate reformers. The district was taken over by the state because it had a deficit in 2003. The state gave Eli Broad a free hand in picking its superintendents, who proceeded to open charter schools, close public schools, and drive the district deeper into debt. In time, the state restored Oakland’s elected school board, but kept it under the control of outside monitors who demanded more school closures.

Tultican supplies the background for the Oakland disaster.

He writes:

The map of charter schools in Oakland and proposed school closings shows that both are all in the minority dominated flats (the low lying area between the bay and the hills). With all of these closings, residents in the flats may no longer have a traditional public school serving their community.

Much of this can be laid at the door step of the six billionaire “education reformers” living across the bay – Reed Hastings (Netflix), Arthur Rock (Intel), Carrie Walton Penner (Walmart), Laurene Powell Jobs (Apple), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Doris Fisher (The Gap).

Reed Hastings established America’s first charter management organization (CMO) in Oakland. There are now six Aspire charter schools serving Oakland families.

Arthur Rock, Doris Fisher and Carrie Walton Penner have been investing in Teach For America (TFA) and charter school growth in Oakland. Mark Zuckerberg and Laurene Powell Jobs have been pushing education technology as well as TFA and charter schools.

Along with these billionaires, New Yorker Michael Bloomberg and Tulsa billionaire Stacey Schusterman have joined in the spending to sway Oakland’s school board elections.

Oakland’s own T. Gary Rogers established a foundation before he died that continues to be central to the local school privatization agenda. It significantly supports and directs privatization efforts by GO public education and Education78. The City Fund created by Reed Hastings and John (Enron) Arnold recently gave GO and Education78 a total of $5 million (EIN 82-4938743).

This brief outline of the money being spent to privatize schools in Oakland would be woefully incomplete if Eli Broad was not mentioned. Although his direct spending to advance privatization in Oakland has been relatively modest, the four Superintendents and many administrative staff members that he trained and got placed in Oakland are central to OUSD being the most privatized district in California. A key training manual developed at the Broad Center was the School Closure Guide.”

“Black Hole Mike” Hutchinson observed,

“A lot of these policies were first tried out in Oakland. If you go back and look at the Eli Broad handbook on school closures, a lot of the source information that they used for that report is from Oakland.”

The billionaire spending has resulted in 39 charter schools operating in Oakland today. Nine were authorized by the county, one by the state of California and 29 by OUSD. Using data from the California Department of Education, it can be shown that 31% of the publicly supported k-12 students in Oakland attend privatized charter schools.

It is disturbing that 22 of the 39 schools have a student body made up by more than 90% Hispanic and Black students. Overall 67% of Oakland’s charter school children are Hispanic or Black but only 50% of the residents of Oakland are Hispanic or Black. The privatization agenda has driven school segregation in Oakland to new heights.

The other divisive agenda is gentrification. Ken Epstein is a longtime observer of OUSD and a bay area pundit. He observed,

“Many school advocates view these school closures as a land grab of public property by privatizers. Others see this is a way to force Black and Latino families out of Oakland, making education inaccessible for them by closing the schools in the neighborhoods where they live.”

If a well financed developer could gain control of the flats, the profit possibilities are immense. These concerns are further fed when OUSD board President Gary Yee tells a Skyline High School parent that the school should be closed because the property is too valuable to be used for public education.

Related posts

Uses and Abuses of Online Learning

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

Death Watch for Public Schools in Michigan

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

Jeff Bryant: Why Schools Should Not Operate Like Walmart

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

Disgusting: Missouri State Commissioner Pushes Secret Plan to Privatize Kansas City Schools

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

Wisconsin: School Choice is Causing Ruinous Damage to Public Schools

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

Leonie Haimson: NYC DOE Finds $6 Million for Pearson

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

Is Segregation OK if It is By Choice?

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

Tom Ultican Explains Corporate Education Reform and the Assault on Dallas Public Schools

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

Community Groups File Civil Rights Complaints Against Destruction of Public Schools

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

Leave a Comment