Hiring Parents as Teaching Assistants

[Data from 2007] Last week, the parents (about 25) in the Parent Café that my organization facilitates at one of the West Oakland (low income, predominantly black) elementary schools initiated a campaign for parents to be hired in the school as teaching assistants. There are several reasons why this is a powerful proposal: By providing employment, this program addresses the primary cause of lower student performance: poverty. The more money your family has the better you will do in school. It will cut child-adult ratio in half, doubling the amount of personal attention the students receive. Children can get the […]


I feel like too many people on my FB feed just aren’t getting it. Oh, they were all for Bernie when he was winning. But damn, he didn’t win. Really? What Bernie has done, is doing, is building the largest progressive movement in years. He showed us it was possible to get big money out of politics. What? I know on some level it’s unfortunate, but movements need leaders. Lenin. Mao. Castro. Mandela. King. Malcolm X. Huey. Bernie is right up there. Black Lives Matter is the exception that proves the rule, whatever that means, having three leaders, Alicia, Opal, […]

The Civil War continues

Here is the Black History presentation we made to the West Oakland Black and Yemeni parents last week. Someone would read one of the vignettes and then we would do a 3 minute each way dyad, where the parents took turns listening to each other, a good way to deal with material that’s on the heavy side. ONE THIRTEENTH AMMENDMENT (1865)  Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Section 2. Congress shall have power to […]