It’s been a almost year since OUSD and Superintendent Tony Smith officially closed 5 elementary schools: Lakeview, Maxwell Park, Thurgood Marshall, Santa Fe, and Lazeer (that later became a charter). Over this year Oakland has face many challenges, particularly to public education. The threats to a free quality public education for all continue bombard the fates of our communities, especially poor communities of color. We have seen efforts to cut the Adult Education Program, 7 million in austerity measures, fights around the Teacher’s Union Contracts, and resignation of Superintendent Tony Smith. The lack of adequate services, and high drop-out rate facing Oakland’s youth every day is unacceptable . Outside of Oakland many brave fights were taken on by teachers and students across the nations: The Chicago Teacher’s Strike, resistance to standardized testing in Seattle and beyond, and just recently the sit-in of over 100 people to save 54 schools in Chicago (the largest number of school closures in history). In the wake of this tragic state of Public Education, not just in Oakland but Nationally, we are calling a gathering on the year anniversary of the Lakeview Sit-in in which parents, students and teachers and community members took over the school deemed to be closed for 18 day and ran their own free summer school. This celebration is not only to remember the struggle to keep the Oakland schools open but to reflect on the struggle to save Public Education as a whole. We will come together to acknowledge the inspiring hard work of many activist, teachers, students, school workers and community in the struggle to save our schools, as well as discuss the situation that lays ahead. But most of all we will celebrate, with music, food, activities for kids and speakers, the commencing of another school year and the strength and resilience of our communities. Join us, and say no more cuts to education that lead to the destruction of our communities.
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