Monday, April 02, 2007

Parents, Students and Communities Resist St. Louis Public Schools Takeover

St. Louis activist Jamala Rogers says communities are resisting what they call a 'hostile takeover' of their schools by the Missouri State Board of Education.

It came as no surprise that the state Board of Education voted to discredit and discount the wishes of thousands of students, parents, teachers and community leaders last week. The St. Louis Public Schools District was stripped of its accreditation and an overseer appointed. Advocates of public education have not conceded to defeat and, in fact, have vowed to intensify the fight to regain accreditation and their right to vote.
The St. Louis Public Schools students who conducted a 5-day “teach-in” at the mayor’s office won a significant demand. ...
Rick Sullivan, CEO at McBride and Sons, like the overseer given to us in the first “unofficial” takeover by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, has NO experience or credentials relative to public education. His job is to make available public coffers for private consumption. In addition to the $400 million budget, it also includes trying to steal the billion-dollar cookie jar - the teachers’ pension fund....
So, consider this a hostile takeover. That is language a corporate CEO understands.
The rest of us must gear up for the battle for public education, self-determination and voting rights and regain our schools by any means necessary.
More on St. Louis Schools - For background on takeovers of urban school districts over the past 10 years see Buffalo School Board President Florence Johnson's article School takeovers deserve a grade of 'F' from the National School Boards Association Magazine.

Across the Bay from us Oakland parents, students and communities have been resisting their takeover for years. See the Data Center's analysis of Oakland, Richmond and other California takeovers and the devastating, anti-democratic impact they have had on schools throughout the state. Organize Da Bay and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement have been central in building community resistance to the takeover the Oakland Schools.

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