A protester demonstrating against school closures is taken into custody by Oakland School Police. Photo by Michelle Pitcher.

For the last three Oakland school board meetings, protesters from the newly-formed Oakland Is Not for Sale Coalition have tried to prevent the meetings from taking place, chanting, raising banners and attempting to take over the stage where board members are seated in order to hold what they call a “people’s board meeting.” The group…

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Sitting Oakland city council and school board members won’t have to get out of their chairs; incumbents swept the seven combined seats up for re-election Tuesday. Still, many candidates say their victors were soured by the outcome of the presidential election. District 1 councilmember Dan Kalb, who represents North Oakland, took 80 percent of the vote…

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AIMS students sit on the floor of the La Escuelita gymnasium holding posters and waiting for the OUSD board vote.

At a long-awaited special school board meeting, and after over six months of hearings and notices, Oakland Unified School District board members voted to revoke the three American Indian Model Schools’ (AIMS) charters. The 4-3 vote came after Superintendent Tony Smith recommended the board revoke the charters, and after a particularly emotional and dramatic series of public comments and discussion.

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Concerned parents crowd an upstairs room at the Paul Robeson building and watch the proceedings of the September 27, 2012 OUSD meeting, during which AIMS was formally given a notice of violations. Photo by Lauren Kawana.

American Indian Model Schools founder Ben Chavis said Tuesday that the Oakland Unified School District’s recent decision to start the process of revoking the three AIM Schools’ charters is unfair and based on biases. “OUSD is upset because I did my job right and they lost students to me,” Chavis said. “They just want their kids back so they can get more state and federal funding.”

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