What to Make of the New ‘Dashboard’ for California Schools?

How is your local school doing? Last week, the state of California presented its answer in a new, color-coded dashboard, reflecting a range of academic and school culture measures. This was a 180-degree turn from the old measure, the Academic Performance Index (API), which boiled school performance down to a single number. While the API was easy to … Continue reading What to Make of the New ‘Dashboard’ for California Schools?


Rethinking the Superintendent to Reflect Reality in Oakland

The visionary superintendent. Riding in on a white horse. Or better yet, a homegrown hero—politically connected but without enemy. With the vision and prowess to slay Oakland’s education problems and deliver both equity and results. Look, this wistful existence of the perfect leader for our district is more than just a unicorn. It’s a harmful … Continue reading Rethinking the Superintendent to Reflect Reality in Oakland


California’s School Funding Crisis and Two Ways to Fix it

Where does California rank in per-pupil spending? Depends who you ask. I’ve seen us ranked 46th, 41st, 29th or even 22nd. But no matter which number you use, when you consider that we have more low-income children and English learners than anyone else in the country, it’s not enough. It’s time we addressed the structural … Continue reading California’s School Funding Crisis and Two Ways to Fix it


You call these “public” schools? This is the unconscionable segregation in NYC’s specialized high schools.

Segregation won another round in New York City’s most elite “public” schools. The admission numbers are out and they are pathetic. Black and Latino children make up 67.6 percent of the students in NYC schools, yet only 10 percent of the students admitted to the selective high schools. And get this, only one—yes one—Black student … Continue reading You call these “public” schools? This is the unconscionable segregation in NYC’s specialized high schools.


My Advice for Folks Who Want to Fund Education Reform: Break Out of the Echo Chamber

When I moved back to Oakland a few years ago, a now somewhat infamous charter school network was sucking up a lot of the philanthropic funding. Some of the large funders saw this network of schools and the academic outcomes, and not only did they shower it with cash, but they began asking other schools … Continue reading My Advice for Folks Who Want to Fund Education Reform: Break Out of the Echo Chamber