The betrayal of the Oakland teacher strike and the way forward for students
the International Youth and Students for Social Equality
7 March 2019
The International Youth and Students for Social Equality and the World Socialist Web Site Teachers Newsletter is hosting an online call-in meeting tonight, March 7 at 7 p.m. Pacific to discuss the way forward in the fight to defend public education. To join visit wsws.org/teachers.
This Sunday, the struggle of Oakland, California, teachers to defend public education was sold out. On Thursday, February 21, more than 3,000 educators went on strike in opposition to the threat of school closures, endless budget cuts, declining real wages, and impossible teaching conditions, which include large class sizes, dilapidated facilities, threadbare funding, and the hunger, poverty and even homelessness of the working-class families they serve.
Over the past four days, students have begun to wage their own campaign to save their schools. Many have taken to social media to denounce the contract and the devastating impacts the new cuts will have on their lives. “You failed us,” wrote one student speaking of the Oakland Education Association (OEA), “you pulled the rug out from our feet and disrupted our community’s momentum.”
Some students have expressed frustration with teachers for the “yes” vote. What is crucial for students to understand, however, is that the OEA does not represent teachers. The OEA is an anti-working-class organization, politically aligned with the Democratic Party, that has pushed through a rotten agreement over widespread opposition from teachers.
Teachers did not go on strike just for themselves; they were on strike for their students and for teachers all over the world who face the exact same…