Organizers for educational justice have had busy and exciting past few weeks!
From the Journey for Justice and allied protesters in Chicago locking themselves down in front of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Office demanding equity for Dyett High students, to a report by Center for Popular Democracy, Action United and Integrity in Education exposing over $30 million in charter fraud in Pennsylvania with accompanying actions, we see clearly that the tide is turning! The amazing local organizing that's been happening to challenge charter school corruption, stop school closures and demand excellent community schools is having a huge impact!
A recent article in Salon affirms what we've been saying about the destruction that the explosion of poor quality charter schools has wrought on our communities.
Jeff Bryant writes:
"Instead of the “bargain” political leaders may have thought they struck with seemingly well-intentioned charter entrepreneurs, what has transpired instead looks more like a raw deal for millions of students, their families, and their communities. And what political leaders ought to be doing is putting the brakes on a deal gone bad, ensuring those most affected by charter school rollouts are brought to the bargaining table, and completely renegotiating the terms for governing these schools."
This is a moment to seize and build a movement!
As our organizing efforts have shown, this system is failing and we as parents, teachers and students are standing up and fighting! We need a moratorium on new charters until we get greater accountability on our tax dollars that pay for these alleged "public institutions!"
- In New Jersey, students and parents took to the streets and boycotted school in protest of the One Newark Plan that tried to charterize and close neighborhood schools, hosting instead their own freedom schools and demanding local control
- Parents, students and teachers in New Orleans are angry and organizing against charters that neglect, push out and don’t teach their children well!
In Chicago, the work of the Chicago Teachers Union and allies have got Chicago Public Schools saying they won’t approve any new charter or contract schools to open in the coming fall!
Sustainable Community Schools
In the face of all this, we have the solutions for schools that our students deserve. We demand sustainable community schools that are run by and act as resources for the people who live in the neighborhood.
Because of organizing efforts, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio agreed to work with the community to establish 100 community schools. Pressure from parents, teachers and students in Cinncinnati led to the creation of 55 Community Learning Centers that support student learning and serve as community hubs with recreational, educational, social, health, civic and cultural opportunities for students, families and the communities!
The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools convening last weekend brought people together from across the country to share ideas and forge a common strategy. We’re building together and amping up our local work now to stop the destructive expansion of low quality charter schools and demand community schools in their place!
Remember to follow us on twitter @reclaimourschls and on Facebook with Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools