The federal government’s heavy-handed, top-down policy of closing schools as a “turnaround” strategy fragments communities, particularly communities of color. Corporate reformers like Arne Duncan and Joel Klein count it as a badge of honor never to listen to the cries of parents and teachers and community leaders when they close schools and replace them with charter schools where students must apply for admission.

Something new has been added: student voice. Students from Chicago and Philadelphia joined to oppose the heedless closing of schools in their community. Remarkably, they recognized “that there is a national agenda to privatize education.”

They are right. The privatization movement targets their schools and their communities.

When students awaken, the national conversation will change. When students start to stand up to the corporate forces that want to test them again and again, then rate them, rank them, label them and close their schools, it is a game-changer.