Teachers and students and parents are part of the 99% and that we're really one of the groups that has taken the brunt of the economic crises... In reality public employees and our unions are being blamed for a problem that was caused by the banks. Where the banks are getting a 700 billion dollar bail out, whereas the banks, Chase Bank in particular owes the City of Los Angeles 15 million dollars in unpaid property taxes, and yet 1,200 Los Angeles schoolteachers have been laid off, and 400 clerical staff, and we think there's the money exists to hire them back if there's the political will to do so. — Sarah Knopp (Educator and Activist)
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High school teacher, UTLA member, and renowned activist Sarah Knopp was recently interviewed at OccupyLAUSD. Sarah and her class were one of the case studies in Jonathan Kozol's watershed Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America, and in turn, she has interviewed Kozol on several occasions.
A lifelong proponent of social justice, Sarah has championed for her students and their families for years, and she even ran for California State Superintendent of Schools in 2006. Her many articles articles and reviews can be found in the International Socialist Review, Counterpunch, United Teacher, and Rethinking Schools. Sarah is also the coeditor of the forthcoming Education and Capitalism title being published by Haymarket Books.
Disclaimer: Sarah was one of my most important political mentors and played an integral role in my becoming a social justice writer.
"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972
. . .a pupil attitude factor, which appears to have a stronger relationship to achievement than do all the “school” factors together, is the extent to which an individual feels that he has some control over his own destiny. James Coleman, 1966