Thursday, January 15, 2015

Take Back Democracy: The Elected Board of the St Louis Public Schools. Deadline Jan 20

The city needs strong, young, progressive candidates to run for the Elected Board of the St Louis Public School System.  Why run? You might ask, they have no power.  Well, for many reasons.  It is important to resist the gradual dismantling of public schools and the democratic process that is underway in St. Louis.  It is important to push back against the gradual privatization of power – that is, people making decisions about schools with no public feedback, public consultation, or public debate.  It is important to defend this historic conquest of democracy.  Modern American democracy was founded on the spirit of public, democratic deliberation over the schooling of our children.  All of this was taken when the state created the SAB (Special Administrative Board) in 2007.  They claim to have done this to improve the schools. Yet there have been few improvements. The district is still unaccredited.  What they have done is expand the charter network – with results that are nothing to celebrate.  They have allowed a model of gentrification to determine where and how certain schools will be supported, and other schools will be left to ruin.  They have engaged in a series of real-estate deals aimed at bolstering the growth of the central corridor - WUSTL - Grand Center - SLU - at the expense of suffering schools in other parts of the city.   They have considered outsourcing and privatizing school "management" as if children were widgets to be produced and teachers were merely factory workers to be disciplined.  And so on, and so on.

A note I received on this has further details:
"Filing has opened for the April 2015 St. Louis Board of Education election.  Filing is open until 5 pm on January 20th.  Two seats are open.  One candidate has already filed.  This candidate gives the appearance of someone with political ambitions who would use running for the board as a stepping stone for higher office.
I hope others are considering filing to run. The SAB was only renewed for 2 years instead of the usual 3.  Their current term ends June 30, 2016.  They are currently considering allowing the board of education to be represented at their meetings by 2 board members.  So winners of this election may well have more of a public presence in preparation for a return to authority in 2016.  We need a strong board of education."
SLPS does not need political entrepreneurs, grand-standing old guard power-seekers, or agents of the corporate privatization agenda.  SLPS needs committed progressives to work to defend a key space of democratic hope for equality and opportunity for all.  Think about running for office.

How to file for office: 

More background information here (but be critical of media representation):

We can advise.