Upcoming Events

Glen Ford
Black Agenda Report.com
The Obama Phenomenon: Which way black politics?
 independent/3rd party or lesser evilism protest or accomadationism

Friday October 26
Minneapolis Urban League
2100 Plymouth Ave North
Minneapolis, MN
(corner of Penn and Plymouth Ave No.)

Should there be criticism of the government if Obama remains president? Is it time for blacks to explore other electoral options?  Does black America really know the “intentions” of the black president? Does Obama really have the best interest of poor people, working people and people of color at heart? What does the record indicate?  Is he being controlled by outside forces is he being prevented from being the hope and change president?  Is Obama  (the Democratic Party) the “One” or should we “look for another?”
Glen Ford is the editor of the online black radical news magazine Black Agenda Report.com Black Agenda Report has dutifully been answering the tough questions while sometimes taking heat for telling, uncomfortable truths. Come hear Glen and join the discussion.

Sponsored by Occupy the Hood, PEJAM

PEJAM organizing meeting
Sunday Nov 21st from 3pm- 5pm
Common Roots Cafe
(26th St and Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis)

PEJAM will be having an organizing meeting Sunday Nov 21st to discuss ongoing campaigning work around defending and revitalizing public education in the Twin Cities.

On our agenda will be the ongoing work to save North High in Minneapolis, as part of the broader Save North High Coalition.

The District has also laid down the gauntlet by proposing to close another Northside school - this time Cityview elementary. The teachers are holding a rally on Tuesday at the School Board meeting at 5pm. We will discuss building solidarity between North High and Cityview struggles as well as citywide - potentially by working together on a public solidarity meeting.

We will also be discussing the possibility of doing a big public conference as part of our ongoing effort to help educate and learn from the broad community of Minneapolis students,parents, teachers and activists who want to see the realization of an equitable quality public education for ALL

Visit PEJAM.org for updates, articles and more

Subscribe to PEJAM.org on facebook's Networked Blogs - ITS FREE!!
Just click on this link below -

Community Meeting to Discuss Our Next Steps

Saturday, November 20
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Zion Baptist Church

Last Tuesday the community campaign to stop the closure of North High School won a partial victory when the Minneapolis Board of Education voted 4 to 3 to keep North High open another year if the community could recruit 125 9th graders to the school by March. While this is a tall hurdle for our community campaign to overcome, the Board's decision provides a new window of opportunity to continue to organize to save our school! This victory shows that when we organize, we have real power.
This Saturday lets come together as parents, students, teachers, alumni, and concerned community members from across the Twin Cities to map out our next steps to keep this school open and revitalize public education on the North Side and beyond. We need all hands on deck and all voices at the table this Saturday to collectively create a student recruitment plan, a political strategy, and to take the lead in creating a community-led vision for revitalizing North High School.

Subscribe to listserv for announcements: alturl.com/8zwau
Committee for North High | marcusgo6@hotmail.com
North High Alumni Association  |  612.715.2527
Friends of North Foundation  |  marcusgo6@hotmail.com
Public Education Justice Alliance of MN  |  952.465.5307
Updates @ www.PEJAM.org

Rally to Save North High
@ Board of Education Meeting
Tuesday, Nov. 9th
4:30pm: Rally Outside School District HQ
5:30pm: March into the Board Meeting
807 Broadway Ave NE, Mpls
Superintendent Johnson made an announcement Thursday that promised to put together a new program at North. However, no details were provided and no new 9th graders would be allowed to go to North in 2011.  There was nothing in the statement that would lead us to have any faith that things have changed. It's an attempt to confuse and disorient supporters of North High, hoping we would go away instead of continuing the fight.

Let us not be fooled!
The School Board will vote this Tuesday November 9th on the proposal to close North High. It's more important than ever to step up the mass community protest to demand:

·         Withdraw the proposal to close North High and commit to re-investment in the school. 
·        Allow 9th graders in 2011-2012, reestablish a home zone and build pathways (elementary and middle schools) to North High.
·         In partnership with parents, teachers, and students, develop an aggressive, fully-funded plan to boost academic excellence and enrollment at North High.
Subscribe to listserv for announcements: alturl.com/g7f9c
Committee for North High | marcusgo6@hotmail.com
North High Alumni Association  |  612.715.2527
Friends of North Foundation  |  marcusgo6@hotmail.com
Public Education Justice Alliance of MN  |  952.465.5307
Updates @ www.PEJAM.org

EMERGENCY ACTION! All out Tuesday! Spread the word!

at the School Board Meeting
TUESDAY, Oct. 26
4:30pm - Rally outside the School District Headquarters
5:30pm - March into the Board Meeting
LOCATION: 807 Broadway Ave. NE, Minneapolis
Despite widespread community protests, the Minneapolis Board of Education is set to vote on the proposal to close North High School at their November 9th meeting. But with a growing tide of community opposition, and an election in two weeks, Board members face growing pressure to step back from this attack on the students and the wider North-side community. Now is the time to step up the pressure on the Board. With an all-out community mobilization, we can stop this! Help spread the word!

Invite friends to Facebook Event:

1)      Withdraw the proposal to close North High; instead re-invest and re-build North High
2)      Re-establish a “home-zone” for North High to boost enrollment
3)      In partnership with parents, teachers, and students, develop an aggressive, fully-funded plan to boost enrollment at North
4)      Immediately open a dialogue with teachers, students, parents, and the community to create a community-based public school

Sign the the Petition "Don't Close North High"

Send a letter of protest to all School Board members:

Background Info
Minneapolis District officials have pointed toward declining enrollment at North High and district-wide as their reason for closing the school. Less than 270 students are now enrolled in North, but declining enrollment is a direct result of District neglect, under-funding and a privatizing of public schools.  District policies have pushed down North’s numbers and now the District is proposing to phase out public education in the center of Minneapolis’s largest African American community (see Nick Coleman's Star Tribune opinion piece for more info).

The School Board gave the community a challenge, and the Community has responded. Saturday, October 16th, over 100 community members came together and committed to work to improve North.  We began a discussion of what a successful North Community High School would look like, and what we could contribute to make it happen.  The North High community and supporters throughout Minneapolis have committed to work with students, teachers and parents to rebuild North High.  We are demanding that the Minneapolis School Board make the same commitment.

Updates and further information at www.PEJAM.org

The SNHC represents the multiple voices of the North High community.  It includes the Committe for North, the North High Alumni Association, The Friends of North High Foundation, and the Public Education Justice Alliance of Minnesota (PEJAM), in addition to other parents, students, and members of the North High Community.

Tell the Minneapolis Board of Education 
Rally at the Board of Education Meeting
Tuesday, Oct. 12
4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
807 Broadway Ave NE, Mpls.
Then join us inside the Board meeting at 5:30 p.m. to voice our demands.
--- Facebook event here - invite your friends! ---

Facts of the situation:
  • Friday Minneapolis Public Schools Superintendent, Bernadeia Johnson, announced her plan to close down North High School.
  • Already the Minneapolis School Board has closed down more schools in North Minneapolis than any other neighborhood, including five elementary and middle schools since 2007.
  • The Board is set to vote on the proposed closure of North on November 9th
  • The plan to close North is linked to the Board’s recent decision to create two new privately managed, non-union “Minneapolis College Prep” charter schools.
  • Public schools are the bedrock of a community and this will all but eliminate public education in North Minneapolis!
  • Click here for WCCO video coverage of North closure and footage of our "Save North High Coalition" meeting.
Therefore we call on the Minneapolis Board of Education to:
Vote down the proposal to close North High School.
* Reverse the decision to open two “Minneapolis College Prep” charter high schools.
* Re-establish a “home zone” for North High to boost enrollment.
* In partnership with parents, teachers, and students, develop an aggressive, fully-funded plan to boost enrollment at North High.
* Immediately open a dialogue with North teachers proposing an innovative “self-managed” school model.

To get more involved, join us at the next meeting of the 
Saturday, October 16th
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Zion Baptist Church 
621 Elwood Ave N, Minneapolis, MN
North High Alumni Association | 612.715.2527
Friends of North Foundation | marcusgo6@gmail.com
Public Education Justice Alliance of MN (PEJAM) | 952.465.5307

_____Text of leaflet being distributed to build for Tuesday protest_____

Stop the Privatization of Public Education! 
Save North High School!

District Neglect of North Minneapolis
District officials point toward declining enrollment at North High and district-wide as their reason for closing the school. Less than 270 students are now enrolled in North. But declining enrollment is a direct result of District neglect and underfunding.
It is clear the District pursued an intentional policy of pushing North’s numbers down to make it more politically palatable to phase out public education in the center of Minneapolis’s largest African American community. For example, every other high school in Minneapolis has a “home zone,” meaning that neighborhood students are automatically enrolled in their neighborhood school unless they specifically choose another school. This policy was taken away at North last year, denying the school potentially hundreds of students.
The Board’s planned neglect of North was also shown in their decision last summer to sponsor two new privately managed, non-union “Minneapolis College Prep” charter schools. The first is set to open in North next fall with a 700 student capacity. But studies show privately managed, unaccountable charters have increased segregation in Minnesota, while failing to improve over-all test scores.

Privatizing Public Education On a national scale, a powerful set of business and political interests are pushing a profit-driven policy of privatization. Corporate funding has poured into privately managed charters, many of them explicitly for-profit schools, as well as political lobbying to ensure government support for expanding charters at the expense of public schools.
Across the country urban, low-income, and predominantly Black and Latino communities have faced the most sweeping school closures and privatization. Low test scores, which say more about a student’s zip-code than about their intelligence, are used as an excuse replace public schools with charters. But every serious study shows charters’ test scores average no better than public schools despite their ability to cherry-pick the best performing students.
Charters failure to perform is linked to rapid teacher burnout and turnover. Charters are non-union, meaning they typically overwork teachers and don’t pay living wages or benefits. The best teachers refuse to work under these conditions. Privatization and charters are no solution to the problems facing North schools. Real answers can only come by expanding the resources and democratic community control of our public schools.
North High Alumni Association | 612.715.2527
Friends of North Foundation | marcusgo6@gmail.com
Public Education Justice Alliance of MN | 952.465.5307
For updates check PEJAM.org
OCT 7th Rally & Concert to Defend Our Schools
--- Part of a National Day of Action ---

Thursday, October 7, 5pm – 9pm
Rally & March from MCTC, followed by a FREE Concert in Loring Park
* Guante
* Fresh Squeeze
* Junkyard Empire
* Poetic Assassins
* Usual Suspects
* Speakers, free food, info tables, and more!

Our demands include:
- No to budget cuts, tuition hikes, layoffs, program cuts, and school closures! SAVE NORTH HIGH!

- Cancel student debt!
- Free, high-quality education for everyone, pre-K through college!
- Stand against racism, segregation, and criminalization of youth of color! Fund ethnic studies and multicultural programs!
- Take democratic control of our schools!
- Eliminate high-stakes testing!
- End corporate influence, privatization, and militarization of public education!


5:00pm: Gather at MCTC Plaza for a rally
5:45pm: March to Loring Park
6:00pm: FREE concert at Loring Park bandstannd featuring Guante, Fresh Squeeze, Junkyard Empire, and other surprise guests and speakers. Hosted by Poetic Assassins.
See FACEBOOK page for more info, and to invite others.

*** Organized by ***
Education Action Coalition of MN
  |  October7mn.org
Public Education Justice Alliance of MN  |  

*** HELP MOBILIZE for October 7th ***

In one week, we have an opportunity to send a powerful message, locally and nationally, against the budget cuts, privatization, and degradation of public education. We can show broad community solidarity with North High students, teachers, parents, and community as the Board of Education prepares to shut the school down. But we need YOUR help to make this action a success!
On October 7
th, we will have a city-wide rally, march, and concert (5pm – 9pm, @ MCTC & Loring Park) to step up the united struggle in both K-12 schools and public higher education

1.    High School Leafleting for Oct. 7 Rally & Concert
*** Each morning next week (Mon 10/4 – Thurs 10/7) we will send teams to leaflet outside high schools for October 7th, and we need your help. Our goal is to leaflet every Minneapolis high school twice. In several high schools, we are working with student and teacher activists mobilizing from the inside, so our outside leafleting will add to the buzz.
*** Schools start at 8:30am, so the plan is to arrive in teams by 8am and leaflet outside the schools for 30mn beforehand. If you can provide rides to and from schools, that would be doubly helpful. If you need a ride, we can likely arrange that. To volunteer, give Brandon a call/text at 952-465-5307.

2.    Put Posters Everywhere!
*** We will have folks going out across the Twin Cities this weekend and early next week to plaster the city with posters. We can get you supplies and suggested areas to hit if you want to go postering solo. Email Teddy at tyimenu2007@gmail.com to arrange getting supplies, etc. (and leave your phone # so he can call you back).
*** We also have several pre-scheduled postering meet-ups you can plug into.
- Friday 10/1 @ 2:30pm. Meet @ Dunn Bros Bryant/Lake
- Saturday 10/2 @ 1:30pm. Meet @ Global Market (Lake St. & Chicago Ave.), at tables in SE corner by Ay Caramba.
- Sunday 10/3 @ 7:30pm. Meet @ Hard Times Café (on Riverside Ave, just off Cedar Ave).
- Email Teddy 
tyimenu2007@gmail.com for info on further postering events

3.    Leafleting at U of M, MCTC, Hamline, elsewhere
If you are able to join us leafleting on campuses for October 7th, email Teddy at tyimenu2007@gmail.com to arrange getting supplies, etc. (and leave your phone # so he can call you back).
*** Join us Tuesday, Noon, @  U of M Northrop Mall by Washington  Ave, for a picket and leafleting




Minneapolis Public Education in Crisis - Panel Discussion on privatization, budget cuts, school closures, and building a movement to reclaim our schools

Saturday, Sept. 25th, 3pm - 5pm
Walker Library Meeting Room

2880 Hennepin Ave. S, Minneapolis
--- spread the word --- facebook event here
* Robert Panning-Miller, Minneapolis Federation of Teachers Executive Board member, South High teacher, founding member of Public Education Justice Alliance of Minnesota (PEJAM)
* Kale Severson, President of North High Alumni Association, activist with campaign to save North High school
* Erin Dyke, organizer with Twin Cities Experimental College, facilitator of EXCO class:
"School Choice, Charter Schools, and Minneapolis: Exploring the Privatization and Marketization of Schooling in Our City"
* Teddy Shibabaw, organizer with Socialist Alternative and Public Education Justice Alliance of Minnesota (PEJAM)

To students, parents, teachers and all who care about defending and transforming public education:

Public Education Justice Alliance of Minnesota (PEJAM) is hosting our first public forum. At the forefront of our focus right now is the threat of closure that North High is facing due to two new charter schools that the Board of Education already approved quietly with almost no input from the Twin Cities community. If no one fights to stop them, the first of the new charters will open in North Minneapolis in the fall of 2011. The new charters are expected to swallow up 10% of the public school population. North High has already dwindled in population with less than 300 students, due to years of underfunding and neglect. These new charters are not only a threat to North High, but will also seriously encroach on the South Minneapolis schools, taking the per student public funding.

Come to the meeting to help us build a campaign to draw a line in the sand against the dismantling and privatization of public education.

Our panel will explore the impact of budget cuts and the expansion of charters in Minneapolis and nationally on the quality of education. Obama’s aggressive program of education reform, including “Race to the Top” has been widely denounced by teachers unions, the NAACP, Urban League, and others. But how can teachers, students, and parents challenge the steady re-segregation and privatization of our public schools? We will finish the meeting with a discussion on ideas for action, including mobilizing for city-wide demonstrations and a concert in Loring Park on October 7th, a National Day of Action to Defend Public Education.

Join our Facebook event page - HELP SPREAD THE WORD!

For more information, check out our blog: PEJAM.org

Tuesday NOON Pickets to Defend Public Education & build for Oct 7

NORTHROP MALL @ the University of Minnesota

Join the Education Action Coalition of MN to picket and demonstrate in defense of public education at the U of M (and everywhere)! Our immediate demands:
- No budget cuts!
- Decrease tuition, cancel student debt!
- Stop layoffs and program cuts!
- Democratize the U! Elected students, faculty, and campus workers on all decision-making bodies!
...- Confront institutional racism! Defend affirmative action and ethnic studies!

This event will occur EVERY TUESDAY FROM 12 NOON TO 1 PM between now and the October 7th National Day of Action, and will also be used to hand out leaflets and build support for this important rallying point in the struggle to defend public education.

We will have picket signs and banners - just bring yourself and your friends.

Each week we'll have a different theme:

9/21 - INTERVIEWS: How much do you have to work while going to school? How much debt do you expect to rack up by the time you graduate? Talk to our cameras, and let the world know how impossible it is to pay for school these days. While you're at it, vent whatever other frustrations or hopes you have for the public educational system!

9/28 - BALLOON DAY: This week we'll literally be "raising" our demands... by tying signs and leaflets to helium-filled balloons! Come stop by and pick up your free balloon as part of this week's picket!

10/5: FLASH MOB: Details are waiting to be worked out more fully, but watch this space for updates! Post here or send us a message if you want to help make sure this happens!

This event is organized by the Education Action Coalition MN. For more info and our full call to action, see http://october7mn.org/ .



Education Action Coalition MN (EAC) has meetings every Thursday evening at 6:30pm in Blegen Hall, room 115.

-If you'd like to help construct magical flying balloon banners, contact Nick Shillingford (612-251-0707)

-If you prefer music and dance, contact Laura Madsen, who will be working on the flash mob (952-465-5309)

-If you'd like to help organize guerrilla theater, contact Brian Apland (651-274-5071)(apland004@umn.edu)

-If you have your own ideas for mobilization, come to the Thursday meeting, post here, or message us!

October 7th, 2010

October 7th is a National Day of Action to Defend Public Education.

(call to action)

Minnesota Call for October 7th Day of Actions in Defense of Public Education

Across the country, public education is facing a dire crisis. Budget cuts and privatization schemes together represent an unprecedented assault on public education. Here in Minnesota, the achievement gap between white K-12 students and minority students is among the worst in the nation. At the University of Minnesota, over-paid administrators are forcing the burden of budget cuts -- $47 million proposed by Governor Pawlenty this year -- onto the backs of students and workers. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system leadership received bonuses when they laid off faculty and increased class sizes.

But resistance is possible! Historic protests, occupations, and strikes in defense of public education last fall throughout California sparked a movement, spreading nationwide on March 4th. Hundreds at the U of M participated in demonstrations, joining over a hundred thousand across 32 states. To expand and intensify our movement, October 7th has been called as the next nationwide Day of Actions in Defense of Public Education. Here in Minnesota, we hear the call loud and clear. Now we’re reaching out across our state, across all forms of public education, and within our local communities to build our forces and coordinate actions for October 7th. Join us in the struggle! We, the below signed organizations and individuals, call on students, teachers, faculty, staff, workers, parents, and community members to unite and defend the public ideal for education!

Our mission is to:

* Stop the budget cuts, tuition hikes, layoffs, program cuts, forced unpaid days off, and school closures. We didn’t create this crisis and we shouldn’t pay for it.
* Cancel all student debt immediately. Increase public grants, not loans, to cover all student needs.
* Institute free, accessible, and high quality education for all from pre-school through college. Tax the rich, banks, and corporations to guarantee full and equitable funding. Redirect money from the military into public education.
* Confront institutional racism and all forms of oppression. Abolish the criminalization of youth of color and the segregation and inequitable funding of schools. Fund ethnic studies and multi-cultural programs (pre-K - college) that engage students’ lived experiences.
* Take democratic control of our universities and schools. Students, educators, campus workers, and the wider community should participate in setting all budgetary and educational priorities, ensuring curriculum that is relevant to our community and student needs.
* Replace the focus on high-stakes testing with democratically determined criteria for success. End “Race to the Top” and other competitive grant programs.
* End the corporate influence, privatization, militarization, and re-segregation of public education. Stop the further expansion of charter and contract schools. Stop all public funding of private educational institutions.

* Defend and expand tenure, seniority, and other union rights. No to merit pay and linking teacher evaluations to test scores. Strong, democratic teachers’ unions and faculty associations are a cornerstone of quality public education.

The time to act is now. We need your support and participation to make this day a historic moment in Minnesota history. Organizing in Minnesota is being coordinated by the Education Action Coalition of MN. To get involved and/or to endorse this call, please email Oct7CoalitionMN@gmail.com and see october7mn.org for more information about actions at your school or local area. For plans of actions and endorsing organizations all over the United States, see defendeducation.org . Organizing for this day is also in collaboration with Ethnic Studies Week - ethnicstudiesweekoctober1-7.org.

Local Organizing for Oct 7th in MN

To get involved, attend a meeting for one of the following:
Education Action Coalition of MN (coordinating across MN):
next meeting: Thursday, September 16th, 6:30-8:30pm at Blegen Hall, room 115, on the U of M West Bank campus (see map here). Weekly meetings will be at this day/time/place until Oct. 7th!

K-12 Organizing with the Public Education Justice Alliance MN (PEJAM)
next meeting: Saturday, 9/11 - 11:00am-1:00pm at Walker Library (in Uptown Minneapolis near the corner of Hennepin and Lagoon)
For more info, see pejam.org
MSU Mankato
Weekly meetings. For info, contact Mankato Area Activist Collective
Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC)
Weekly meetings. For info, contact Tjay Middlebrook