Unions and Charters, Can We Get Along?

As a charter school board chair it was a jarring call.  “The teachers are unionizing, they have the votes” the school leader’s voice rattled on the other end.  This call would start a long journey, that would change some of my thinking on unionized charters, and I hope eventually change the minds of the union … Continue reading Unions and Charters, Can We Get Along?


When it Comes to High Quality Schools in Oakland—The West is not the Best

If voting with your feet counts, the election is over and it’s a landslide, West Oakland lost.  Across all grades, only 31% of families chose a West Oakland school as their first choice, and at grade 9 it was only 15%.  If we are promising quality neighborhood schools and trust families to choose, then we … Continue reading When it Comes to High Quality Schools in Oakland—The West is not the Best


Transfer Student Voices and Hope for a New School and School Year

A lot of work with schools, you don’t know if it matters, you think it does, but so many problems, complaints, and structural issues.  Sometimes, though, you hear from kids and those doubts are shaken aside if only for a few moments. These are voices from our students (full disclosure I am a trustee and … Continue reading Transfer Student Voices and Hope for a New School and School Year


CA Test Score Results are an Honest Starting Point for Growth

I have talked before about the bitter medicine that is the Common Core Standards and the pain we have to go through to make gains.  Well today that pain will be acutely felt by schools and districts, and in the coming weeks, hundreds of thousands of students and families as the state prepares to release … Continue reading CA Test Score Results are an Honest Starting Point for Growth


SAT scores are just one more indicator that we need higher standards

Too many California high school graduates are not college ready.  Recent SAT data reported in the LA Times, showed that only 41% of test takers were college ready, with sadly predictable achievement gaps.  A paltry 20.2% of Latinos and 21.4% of African American met the standard.  Mind you not every student takes the test, only … Continue reading SAT scores are just one more indicator that we need higher standards