Unintended Consequences and How NOT to Fix OUSD’s Broken Budget

Oakland Unified’s initial efforts to stem its budget crisis have failed, and unless we learn some lessons from this experience it will get a lot worse before it gets better.  According to the East Bay Times’ recent article “Oakland school district spending ‘limits’ backfire, $10 million in cuts still needed” OUSD’s plan to cut spending, … Continue reading Unintended Consequences and How NOT to Fix OUSD’s Broken Budget


Even Teachers Think It Should Take More Than Just 18 Months to Get Tenure

This is a cross post from a CA teacher Erin Fitzgerald-Haddad I never intended to be a public school teacher. Growing up, I’d gone to private school. When it came time to send my kids to school, I didn’t hesitate to send them to private school. Then, in my 30s, I started thinking about starting a … Continue reading Even Teachers Think It Should Take More Than Just 18 Months to Get Tenure


The Little School that Could; How a Relentless Community Fought for Lazear Elementary and Won

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them”–Frederick Douglass “We had to do it, our kids were first, no matter what it … Continue reading The Little School that Could; How a Relentless Community Fought for Lazear Elementary and Won


Ending the Prop 39 Charter Facility Fiasco

The way that Oakland Unified allocates facilities is bad for kids, schools, and likely the district’s bank account.  We have all heard about the “too many schools” problem, but here I am talking about Proposition 39 which mandates that districts make “reasonably equivalent” facilities available to public charter school students. This is an annual ritual … Continue reading Ending the Prop 39 Charter Facility Fiasco


The Spook Who Sat by the Charter School Door

I am the fly in the school reform buttermilk. An outsider, now marginally on the inside, trying to plot the revolution.  Young, gifted and Black, I founded a charter school support organization in Oakland at the dawn of the movement in the ’90s, followed Katrina into New Orleans to help resuscitate the (charter) schools, and … Continue reading The Spook Who Sat by the Charter School Door