Oakland’s Teachers Will Strike Thursday to Protest Low Salaries, Fiscal Crisis, and School Closures


A predictable and tragic perfect storm is brewing in Oakland, California, where teachers will strike Thursday to protest low salaries and untenable conditions for students. The teachers union also intends its strike to protest the school district’s five year plan to close 24 traditional public schools. Like Los Angeles, Oakland’s financial crisis is related to California’s embrace of charter schools and the school district’s adoption of portfolio school reform, a governance plan by which the district manages traditional public and charter schools as though they are  investments in a stock portfolio. The idea is to launch new schools and close low scoring schools and schools that become under-enrolled. It is imagined that the competition will drive school improvement, but that has not been the result anyplace where this scheme has been launched.

For EdSource, Theresa Harrington describes the district: “About 30 percent of the roughly 50,000 students in…

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