Strategy and Analysis to Defend and Transform Public Education
Written by an anonymous retired Oakland teacher
OEA has been on the state and national radar screens of the corporate reformers at least since the 1996 Oakland teachers’ strike, which was responsible for the state of California reducing class sizes statewide to a maximum of 20 students per class in kindergarten through 3rd grade. And OEA, more than any other teacher union in California, has been a center of opposition to the corporate takeover of education. Finally, OEA’s campaign to “Bail Out Schools and Services, Not Banks” anticipated the groundswell of opposition that the Occupy movement represents.
Class size is again under attack — the state has increased class size as part of cutting state funding for public education. Charter schools are spreading. It’s not an accident that OUSD has launched this union-busting attack on OEA at just this time (see article on Mutual Matching). Undermining OEA would at one fell swoop eliminate one of the biggest potential obstacles to increased class size and to the gross closing of public schools and proliferation of charter schools. And it would take out one of the most persistent voices for making the banks pay back what they got away with in the Great Bailout Heist of 2008 – 2009.