The Social Justice Education Movement would like to share SJEM friend and educator Bonnie Frieden’s call to come out and demand justice for Jamar Clark. See below for more information about how you can join fellow education workers at this Saturday’s march and rally:
Fellow Minneapolis Educators,
- Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/810204952424164/ has more details and lists the specific demands.
- The goal of this march is to to show solidarity and unity from groups across Minneapolis–our presence matters!
- Community Petition to Demand MPS Superintendent Search RESTART
- Wednesday, Dec. 16th, 6:00pm-8:00pm – “Healing Our Schools, Healing Ourselves”: A Social Justice Education Movement Social
- SJEM Solidarity with ‘Justice for Jamar Clark’ Uprisings
- SOLIDARITY STATEMENT: We ask that you consider signing on to the Social Justice Education Movement’s solidarity statement (you can also sign below) in order to publicly stand in support of all who are rising up to protest state-sanctioned brutality. We will publish the statement and update regularly with signers on ourwebsite and facebook page.
- SCHOOL WALKOUTS: Many students across schools are walking out of class today across the Twin Cities in solidarity. If you are an educator or staff, please show your support for students! Search facebook for specific school events.
- MARCH: You can also show your support by attending and helping to spread the word about this march happening today: https://www.facebook.com/events/1661441714104855/
- SUPPORT: And, if you have the means, protesters at the 4th precinct are always in need of wood, propane, warm food and drink – check this website for specific needs: http://4thprecinctshutdown.org/
I am an involved community member in my Minneapolis School, former Minneapolis Public School employee, and like many people went to yesterday’s 11-9-15 Special School Board Meeting to learn about the upcoming candidates for Superintendent.
The meeting started at 5:30pm. The names of the candidates were not made public until 6:40pm. Dear School Board, do you know how rude that seems?
I believe you know we have lives, children, dinner to make, work to get done, sleep to get? If you have a meeting with an important public action to take–do it at the beginning! Don’t talk about which questions you want to ask for an hour and ten minutes first.
In sitting there and talking after there were literally a dozen people who expressed their anger and frustration with the process for this very reason. It’s disrespectful. And if you want to get respect you have to give it.
A few other things worth pointing out about the Superintendent search process.
- It isn’t only the School Board meeting that has been rude. I’ve heard from multiple people that the entire process of “community involvement” has been tokenizing, intentionally ineffective, and generally in the come here to “give us input but we already know what we’re doing so we’ll just use your name to legitimize our evil plan” style, which I’m told the District is famous for.
- HYA Associates, the company that found the candidates and sorted them from 65 candidates to 6, has an Executive Team that is highly tied to the testing industry and is, according to a local community activist, known for hiring Broad Foundation candidates. The Broad Foundation specializes in training Superintendents to privatize districts from within. Just what we need, right?
- The HYA Associates guy also told us that they did very thorough research on the candidates, going through “10 pages of Google”. Sorry–the idea that that passes for thoroughness, and sounds sexy enough to an old white man to be a talking point for his expensive corporate headhunter service is silly enough to be included here.
- While the School Board receives significant information about each candidate including their answers to some basic introductory questions, the public does not, only receiving a single page of information about each candidate. I overheard a white School Board member saying that he had to sign a confidentiality agreement to get that information, yet the HYA Associate member shared information publically that is not in our “public one page”. What gives?
- Finally, a northside parent said that “the candidates seem weak, probably to make Michael Goar look good. One of them came from a online school for their education training for god’s sake!” This strikes me as a good point. Another parent told me that they can’t trust Michael Goar because he is clearly against public schools and for Charters, as demonstrated by his previous job as Executive Director of Generation Next. He also has an extensive human resources and labor relations backgrounds–codewords for “union buster”.
All in all, this reinforced my sense that this system is not broken, it’s doing exactly what it’s meant to be doing–and that’s not very good for our children or communities (unless we’re white and rich, or think we’re going to be!). No doubt our schools were not built for most of our children to succeed so it is on us to grow an education revolution to transform them, come hell or high water.
School Board, stop being so rude. Students, parents, educators, and community: let’s stop trusting others, be they Superintendents or School Board members, to fix this system for us. It’s time to organize!