Oakland, California like most city’s around the country and for that matter around the world has two big buzz word that spark intense, heated passions among its residents GENTRIFICATION and PRIVATIZATION… Here in ‘tha town‘ public school privatization has been a key ingredient in the attempts by developers and big power brokers seeking to bring about an economic and demographic change. Translation, there are many in power who want Oakland to be whiter and more affluent.
This is playing out in very ugly ways within the Oakland Unified School District which over the past few years has seen an explosion in corporate back charter schools, a campaign to demonize teachers unions and now a new scheme which involves selling off a mostly Black and Brown Dewey high school to developers to make way for high-rise luxury apartments..
Today on Hard Knock Radio, we sat down with long time community activist and education expert Mike Hutchinson who laid out what is taking place within Oakland’s educational landscape. He talked about the recent court decision that makes teachers receiving tenure unconstitutional. He talked to us about the proliferation of charter schools and who has been spending big time money to bring them into Oakland. he talked about the key players and organizations who are in the back pockets of Wal-Mart and the Koch Brothers who are funding charter schools..
During our interview Hutchinson talked at length about an aggressive and egregious plan by Oakland school board president David Kakishiba who is also the executive director of EBAYC (East Bay Asian Youth Center) to sell off prime restate owned by Oakland Public schools, including Dewey High school near Lake Merritt so developers can build 3 luxury 25 story high rises..When you hear what he has to say, it’ll make your head spin..