Saturday, March 16, 2013

Where do we go from here? | Parents United for Public Education

Where do we go from here? | Parents United for Public Education:

Where do we go from here?

Hundreds of Philadelphians gathered on March 7th to oppose school closings. (Photo by Bill Hangley. Used with permission)

10septAfter last week’s vote in the School Reform Commission, which closed down 23 schools in Philadelphia creating education deserts in communities already suffering from public disinvestment, I went home, turned out the lights and buried my head under the covers. The past week has felt like a collective sense of mourning for our schools and a sobering realization of the scale of struggle Philadelphians face as we fight for public schools and for our communities.
Public education under attack is nothing new in Philadelphia. But the crisis this time around is far greater than even the 2001-2002 state takeover of the Philadelphia public schools, which mobilized thousands of people to take collective action. Back then, the state’s attempt to privatize the public schools was clearly defined as Harrisburg vs. Philadelphia, right-wing Republican privatizers vs. a moder politically moderate public, the for-profit Edison Schools Inc. vs. the public interest.
We won incredible victories during the state takeover. Not only did we succeed in beating back a political and monied effort around wholesale privatization; the struggle brought renewed life to activist organizations like the