Oakland Takeover

Greetings from the Youth Strategy Project of the DataCenter!

Working with so many youth organizations around the nation doing educational justice work on the local level, YSP has been observing common patterns of school reforms on the national level. Folks already know high school exit exams and school takeovers arent just happening on a local/state level but on a national and even federal level; the Bush Administration’s No Child Left Behind Act recommends state takeovers as a solution to low-performing (majority people of color) schools and other means of dismantling public education. The educational reformists behind these recent trends are ten steps ahead of us and certainly don’t listen to community voices. Folks doing work on the ground know this, but for the most part, most orgs dont have the capacity to get into it.

With this in mind, YSP is conducting a series of in-depth research on national educational trends to build basic awareness & understanding on these issues, but also to hopefully help folks to identify targets, strategy & tactics for your local campaigns and to make those national connections.

Attached is our first attempt at looking at school takeovers in California. This is specific to Oakland, but is deeply connected to larger national educational trends of incapacitating public education and disenfranchising poor and people of color communities. The majority of urban school districts throughout the nation already have had mayoral takeovers at the very least (including Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, DC and New York). And an influential liberalminded education reform foundation (The Broad Foundation) and proponent of takeovers has successfully placed superintendents in major urban school districts throughout the nation.

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