The Kaiser-Sankofa merger is a done deal after the board’s vote on Wednesday for a merger, but the controversy is not over. The Kaiser teachers penned a blistering letter to the board, rejecting any cooperation with the merger.
“These school closures and consolidations will not save OUSD money, since any savings would be more than offset by families choosing other options outside OUSD. We do not trust any group within the district administration–and certainly not the Innovation Department–to work with us in good faith. Therefore, we will not participate in any planning process or transition team around this move, even if the School Board were to approve the Cohort II Plan.”
At the same time a Kaiser parent has filed suit around the closure process and purported nefarious back door dealings alongside a call for reparations which would keep Kaiser open.
You can see the root of the conspiracy theory here,
“Upon closure of Kaiser, the desirable Kaiser campus will undoubtedly become available to a charter school. Perhaps a deal is already in the works. Defendant London’s decision to leave Peralta open and close Kaiser, while at the same time refusing to provide documentary support of how closure will benefit the students of Kaiser, raises many questions about transparency and whether there are behind-the-scene benefits lining someone’s pockets. GO Public Schools is an advocacy group for the charter school industry. Any writings related to communications between London/the District and GO Public are extremely relevant to the District’s plan to close Kaiser.”
All of this is unfortunate and will not make the district better or lead to better services for students. Many Kaiser families will go to Sankofa, and while I know the Sankofa community will embrace them, those children would probably benefit from familiar teachers.
Similarly on the conspiracy front. Conspiracies require competent cooperation between several parties. OUSD struggles to properly process payroll, the idea that they could competently conspire and that even if they did that it would go under the radar just doesn’t add up. The idea is not inconceivable but it’s successful execution by OUSD and some rogue board member is. The problem with contrived conspiracies is they distract us from the real issues.
So instead of confronting the structural issues in OUSD, and focusing on how we can make the merger work, we are chasing phantoms, arguing over decisions that have already been made and pulling further apart.
Regardless how you feel about it. We will have more children at Sankofa next year. I hope we can get back to how we can make that a great environment for every child there.