Our newest newsletter, and, we like to think, our best yet. It features 5 important articles on current issues. First, Margarita Monteverde and Felicia Vivanco analyze the recent elections in terms of national policies and the huge influx of corporate money under the watch of GO Public Schools. We have already posted this article separately online here, with citations. Second, we explain why we changed our name from Occupy Oakland Education Committee and Education 4 the 99% to ClassRoom Struggle. This article also charts out many of our long-term and big picture understandings of the education sector and the potential for transformative change. It, too, has already been posted online here. Third, Aram Mendoza analyzes the current contract negotiations of OEA and its importance for Oakland teachers and, more widely, the needs of Oakland students. Aram also raises some very concrete tactics and next steps for individual teachers and teachers as a whole. It is posted independently here, with citations. Fourth, A.S. Read brings the international perspective by taking us to Sri Lanka and Namibia where, recently, some very militant teacher strikes have taken place. Each points out the potential power of teachers when united but also the dangers of being sold out by bureaucratized union leadership. It is posted separately here, with citations. Lastly, 3 Oakland afterschool workers describe the problems of the highly precarious and non-unionized world of afterschool programs. This field has exploded in recent years with some very detrimental consequences for workers and students.
All in all, we think this newsletter is important reading for those interested in the education sector and resisting the current attacks on public education wherever you are but especially in the Bay Area and Oakland. To be sure, the views contained are opinionated and will not find friends in all corners. We, however, do not think this is necessarily a problem and we hope it can open up a healthy and principled debate. If you find the views provocative, for positive or negative reasons, please comment here and tell us why. Our ability to resist the attacks on public education will depend on how unified we are around a strong understanding of the attacks. So let’s start the conversation… there’s no time to waste.