Bigger Than Bathrooms: Making Schools Safe for EVERY Student

A guest post from Ash Whipple, an Oakland student and one of Oakland’s Energy Converters.


I’m sure when you’re out in public, or at work, all you worry about when going to the bathroom is if it’s clean or not. Nobody likes public bathrooms, they’re dirty, and you never know who you’re going to come across in them, though usually it’s okay.

I want you to pause and think about that for a moment, every time you’ve been uncomfortable going into a public bathroom or have just decided to wait until you get home. Now I want you to imagine that doubled, tripled, quadrupled even. Imagine you need to go to the bathroom and you only come across one for the opposite gender. Compound that anxiety and imagine fearing for your life when doing something as simple but as necessary as going to the bathroom because you know you don’t belong.

That’s what it’s like for me when I try to go to the bathroom. I am transgender. I am neither male nor female. There is no bathroom for me. To be safe, I have to go to the bathroom that matches the gender people think I am. People give me looks, and I feel unsafe.

It’s a miserable experience. Sometimes at school, I wait all day until I get home because I don’t want to have to pick male or female. I am neither, and I shouldn’t be forced into one.

It’s a conversation no one wants to have, but we must discuss.

Transgender students need to feel safe going to the correct bathroom and not feeling alienated over such a simple necessity. This is a struggle I face everyday of my life. I look forward to being able to make educating others on this issue as well as helping the world become more inclusive for people like me.


Thanks to Energy Converters for sharing this—helping Black folx #navigate education. S/O 2 people converting negative energy to positive all over. #BeAnEnergyConvertor #DoWork Founder: @ccoleiii

Parents and Kids Should Not Need to Win a Lottery to Have a Quality School

I am an Oakland parent, and below is the text of my speech at the Oakland REACH kickoff event.


Who here wants the best for your child?

This a question that every parent here is faced with every single day. Although “the best” for us all means different things, we all want them to find success, to do better than we did.

And we at the Oakland REACH believe that success shouldn’t just depend on living in the right neighborhoods or being lucky in the lottery.

We as parents spend so much time trying to find the best options for our child, and then we still have to hold our breath to get picked in a lottery. That creates a lot of anxiety.

Who’s been there before? Who knows what I’m talking about? Hoping and praying your kid gets picked?

I went through this with my daughter. I wanted her to have the best quality education, I was in search for a school that would provide her with that. But my neighborhood options weren’t great.

But I was determined. After applying for schools and trying to transfer my daughter to another district, I did finally find a school in Oakland that could give her the best education. But it was a hassle and struggle to do so—it was hard to find resources—and it shouldn’t have to be.

We as parents should be able to put our children in our neighborhood schools, drop them off, and know that they are getting a quality education that will allow them to go to any universities or be in any industry they chose.

That’s why I’m part of the Oakland REACH because it’s time to make it easier to find good, safe and quality schools in our neighborhoods. Because here at the Oakland REACH we care and want the best not only for our children, but all children in Oakland public schools.

Who doesn’t want to feel powerless anymore?

Good news, there is hope. If we work together, we can be so powerful.

Please join the Oakland REACH, stay connected with our work.

The Oakland REACH is giving you a seat at the table so we can change this for our kids.

What’s Happening in Oakland Education the Week of October 16th

Everything education in Oakland and beyond; this week OUSD has budget and finance, Measure N and G, and a community meeting on the school calendar changes, Michael Kirst looks at California’s reforms, A conference explores Waldorf education and trauma, stories from teachers, rebels and creative leaders, opportunities to help educators and students and much more take a look and please share

This Week 

10/16 Budget and Finance Committee

10/16 California School Reform: What Is It, How Is It Going, and Why?

10/17 Urban Strategies Council career pathways summit for men of color

10/17 Measure N Commission

10/17 OUSD Community Meeting

10/17-18 What is Waldorf-Inspired Trauma-Sensitive Education?

10/18 Measure G Committee

10/18 LCAP PSAC General Meeting

10/18 Movements, Not Mandates: Stories from teachers, rebels, & creative leaders

10/20 3rd Annual Women Can Build Career Skilled Trades Fair

10/20 Student Welcome Centers

10/21 Claremont Middle School Open House and Tour 

Further Out

10/23 Leading for Equity Institute (Two-Day, Non-Residential)

10/24 School Closures: Are They Necessary?

10/24 Foster Youth Advisory Committee

10/24 Come join us for this three part  financial literacy series!

10/27 Calling All Student Activists 

10/28 College Prep Workshop 

11/1 Decolonizing California History Join us in our November lecture to deconstruct the        mainstream narrative about the history California.

11/1 Urban Promise Academy in Oakland – Fall 2016 Tour

11/1 ACA Open Enrollment

11/2-11/4 Office of Equity Forum

11/7  Redwood Heights Elementary School – Fall 2017 Tour.

11/8 Edna Brewer Evening Informational Event

11/9 Summit’s Platform in Oakland

11/10 Ascend K8 in Oakland – Fall 2016 Tour

11/14 NGLC in Oakland Fall Convening

11/14 Creating the Conditions for Teacher Learning

11/30 Designing Making Experiences

12/16 West Oakland School and Resource Fair Public 

Opportunities / Funding for Educators 

Teachers: Free Field Trips to the Exploratorium this Fall. 

10/15 School Retool Fellowship Application

9/19 – 11/30 Apply for Paint the Town!  

12/9 School Enrollment & Community Resource Fair

12/16 West Oakland School and Resource Fair Public 

How you can help

Help an Oakland student and educator whose home was destroyed by fire

Support students with Listening Tools

Bring Coding and Engineering to Life with Lego Robots 

October Morning Volunteers Needed at Alameda County Community Food

10/16 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM Budget and Finance Committee Committee Room, KDOL TV Studio, B-237, Met West High School Entrance – 314 East 10th Street, Oakland, CA 94606-2291. Meeting details here

10/16 12:00-1:15 PM – California School Reform: What Is It, How Is It Going, and Why? Speaker: Michael Kirst Location: – at Stanford (CERAS), Learning Hall, Room 101 Free and open to the public RSVP:

10/17-  Urban Strategies Council is hosting the Bay Area Young Men of Color Employment Partnership (BAYEP) Career Pathway Summit at the Oakland Marriott City Center and want to ensure that the young people and community members you serve benefit from the on-the-spot hiring and resources that will be available at this event. If you got any questions or know anyone who is interested, contact Nate Phillip at Urban Strategies Council.` 

10/17 5:00 AM – 6:30 PM Measure N Commission KDOL TV Studio, B-237, Met West High School Entrance – 314 East 10th Street, Oakland, CA 94606-2291 see details here 

10/17 9:00 AM- OUSD Community Meeting: Location: East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC) 8200 International Blvd. Oakland, CA 94621. The OUSD School Year is Changing see meeting details here.

10/17-18- What is Waldorf-Inspired Trauma-Sensitive Education? by Mr. Bernd Ruf Tuesday, Oct. 17, 6pm – 7pm How To Care For the Care Giver by Dr. Christopher Huditz, MD, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 6pm – 7pm at the Community School for Creative Education 2111 International Boulevard, Oakland California

10/18 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM Measure G Committee KDOL TV Studio, B-237, Met West High School Entrance – 314 East 10th Street, Oakland, CA 94606-2291 details here

10/18 5-8 PM -LCAP PSAC General Meeting – Oakland High School 1023 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94610 The LCAP PSAC will finalize elections for the nominations presented in May 2016 and review samples of school site snapshots combining population, investment, staff retention, and student outcome data. The committee will also receive an update for the 2017-18 budget with emphasis on strategies and investments included in the 2017-20 LCAP. Please RSVP here or 510-491-6069

10/18 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM-Movements, Not Mandates: Stories from teachers, rebels, & creative leaders– Join The Teachers Guild for a Happy Hour and Storytelling event celebrating the launch of The Teachers Guild Chapter in Oakland. LOCATION: The Flight Deck 1540 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612. Register here

10/18 4-6 League of Women Voters Forum- OUSD on the Cusp of Achievement-As part of the League’s Speakers Series, come and learn how the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) plans to move ahead with ambitious plans for improving its facilities and the quality of its educational programs. League members will have an opportunity to participate in Q & A discussing the challenges, changes, and new programs. The panel will also cover issues as transparency, finances, API Scores and how that translates to district schools, quality and equality in the schools, truancy, and parental involvement.

10/20 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM -3rd Annual Women Can Build Career Skilled Trades Fair. See event details here

10/20/2017 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM– Student Welcome Centers CLOSED The OUSD Student Enrollment Welcome Centers at 746 Grand Avenue and 1125 69th Avenue will be closed to the public so that our staff can be trained on our new online enrollment system. If you have any questions or concerns about enrollment, please email or leave a message at (510) 273-1600.

10/21 2:00 PM – 4:30 PM –Claremont Middle School Open House and Tour. Come learn all about Claremont Middle School from teachers, administrators, parents and students at our Future Families Open House and Tour. Great for current 4th and 5th graders and their families.

Further Out

10/23 8 a.m. and 10/24 4 p.m. – Leading for Equity Institute (Two-Day, Non-Residential)The Leading For Equity™ Institute provides ample opportunities for sharing, reflection, and planning. We develop individual and collective leadership at every level of schools, districts, foundations or nonprofit organizations to develop capacity to foster positive change on behalf of historically under-served students and families. Participants deepen their commitment, relationships, and efficacy while developing strategies toward equity goals. Teams receive expert, caring guidance and facilitation to work together to address the personal and technical challenges they face in their educational equity efforts.

10/24 5:30 – 7:30PM School Closures: Are They Necessary? Oakland’s History and Avoiding Harm to Students  Holy Names University, Founders Hall Bay Vista Room, 3500 Mountain Blvd, Oakland. Please join us for a discussion of Oakland’s history with school closures and the academic research on the impact of school closures. Please RSVP.

10/24 5:30-7:30 p.m. – Foster Youth Advisory Committee Skyline High School -Current and former foster students, foster parents and caregivers, community advocates for foster youth, LCAP leaders, staff, and other community members of the Foster Youth Advisory will continue their work in the following chosen areas of focus for 2017-18 (see above) and will receive updates of 2017-18 LCAP actions and investments in support of foster students. Please RSVP at [email protected]  or 510-491-6069 

10/24 – Come join us for this three part  financial literacy series! Through these workshops you will learn about credit, budgeting, choosing the right financial institution, and financial goal setting. You will also get the opportunity to learn about financial resources, such as pre-paid cards and secured credit cards, offered by Community Financial Resources (CFR). CFR is a local organization that supports individuals with low to moderate income with money management and financial education.
The three workshop topics will be:
10/24: Setting Goals
11/14: Money Flow
12/12: Financial Toolkit
Each workshop will be complemented with worksheets that you can take home and share with your community, and that you can use to support you with implementing the practices in your personal life.

10/27 12-7pm- Calling All Student Activists Kapor Center for Social Impact, 2148 Broadway Oakland, CA 94612.  The Kapor Center is hosting a Tech + Student Activism Hackathon, aimed at creating solutions to improve college climates for underrepresented communities.  All students are welcome!  Sign up here.

10/28 10:30AM – 2:30PM College Prep WorkshoOakland Public Library: Temescal Branch, 2505 Telegraph Avenue Oakland 94609.  Join Strive Survive Succeed for their college prep workshop to learn about transitioning from high-school to college, identifying interests that lead to college majors, and participate in a college experience panel with Q&A.  It’s a free event for youth ages 13 to 18.  Lunch will be provided.  Sign up today


11/1 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Decolonizing California History Join us in our November lecture to deconstruct the mainstream narrative about the history California.  Let’s examine this narrative from a decolonized lens.  by California Indian Museum and Cultural Center  California Indian Museum & Cultural Center, 5250 Aero Drive , Santa Rosa, CA 95403

11/1 9:30AM Urban Promise Academy in Oakland – Fall 2016 Tour Urban Promise Academy , Oakland

11/1 ACA Open Enrollment– 2018 Affordable Care Act (ACA / Obamacare) starts November 1 and ends December 15. The 45th has cut the ADVERTISING funds to announce when people can enroll. Copy and paste to circulate.

11/2-11/4 Office of Equity Forum The Oakland Unified School District and the National Equity Project invite you to experience our ENGAGE, ENCOURAGE, EMPOWER approach to realizing My Brother’s Keeper’s vision in a citywide system of schools. Register here. As part of the Fall Forum, attendees are invited to attend AAMA’s ManUp! Conference, a full day of engagement, encouragement, and empowerment for grades 3-12. Participants will engage in a variety of workshops focused on mind, spirit and body, as well as media literacy and professional etiquette, alongside mentors, teachers and community members. Click HERE to see highlights from the 2015 ManUp! Conference.

11/7 8:45 AM – 10:00 AM – Redwood Heights Elementary School – Fall 2017 Tour. This morning visit to Redwood Heights Elementary School is part of a series of trips to NGLC in Oakland schools to learn how they are each implementing personalized learning in their classrooms Redwood Heights ES 4401 39th Avenue, Oakland, CA 94619. Event tickets

11/8 6:30 PM- 8:30 PM-Edna Brewer Evening Informational Event– Prospective parents, guardians and students are welcome to join us for an Evening Informational Event at Edna Brewer Middle School. LOCATION: Edna Brewer Middle School 3748 13th Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610. See details here.

11/9 4:00 PM- Summit’s Platform in Oakland: Individual Teachers & Basecamp School

11/14 4:00pmNGLC in Oakland Fall Convening

11/14– Creating the Conditions for Teacher Learning Workshop More information coming soon on this day-long workshop at Mills College for principals, coaches, and other school and district leaders. Focus will be on how to create the conditions that support high-quality teacher learning that leads to improvement in instructional practice.  Stay tuned for additional details about how to register for this professional learning opportunity.

11/30 Designing Making Experiences  The Lighthouse Creativity Lab is offering a two-day intensive workshop for educators eager to integrate making in school into their own practice.  Spend two days planning a K-12 making project or unit of your choice and leave with a project example made by you. While being immersed in a making environment, you will make and develop, test and troubleshoot the making curriculum or project of your choice for your K-12 classroom or school.

12/16 West Oakland School and Resource Fair Public · Hosted by Enroll Oakland Charters Oakland families are invited to learn more about their public school options. There will be:
* School Booths (Elementary, Middle, High schools) – Visit with school principals, teachers and families

* Enrollment Booths – Explore and compare public schools using Oakland’s school finder. Get help with your online application and/or enroll online.

* Resource Booths – Learn more about support services provided by local community organizations.

12/9 10 AM – 2 PM-School Enrollment & Community Resource Fair East Oakland Youth development Center 8200 International Blvd, Oakland, California 94621learn all about your public school options. Meet school principals, teachers and families. Learn how to make the best use of School Finder to explore and compare public schools. Get help with your EOC enrollment application and/or apply online on the spot. And learn more about the services provided by local community organizations.

Opportunities/Funding for educators

Teachers: Free Field Trips to the Exploratorium this Fall. Take BART to the Exploratorium and get free admission for your class, plus free round-trip BART tickets. Register at exploratorium.edu/BART or email [email protected]

10/15 – School Retool Fellowship Application: Oakland Winter 2018 Cohort Educate78’s School Design Lab and the Rogers Family Foundation, in support and collaboration with Oakland Unified School District, are excited to announce a second Oakland-based School Retool. Cohort.School Retool is open to school leaders in public schools throughout Oakland. We are seeking leaders who want to change the status quo of public education, are passionate about access to Deeper Learning for all students, are willing and ready to try out a new, immersive learning experience, and are committed to fully participating in the work of the fellowship. You can find more info here

9/19 – 11/30 Apply for Paint the Town!  Apply for Oakland’s new street mural programfrom September 19th – November 30th.  This pilot program allows community members to paint temporary street murals on Oakland’s roads.  Make sure to come to an application clinic hosted at an Oakland Public Library, where community members can learn about the program and receive assistance on applications.  Attending a clinic is not required to apply but they encourage you to come!  The dates and locations of the clinics are available on the website.  If you have more questions, email and visit the website for all application materials.

12/9 10 AM – 2 PM-School Enrollment & Community Resource Fair East Oakland Youth development Center 8200 International Blvd, Oakland, California 94621learn all about your public school options. Meet school principals, teachers and families. Learn how to make the best use of School Finder to explore and compare public schools. Get help with your EOC enrollment application and/or apply online on the spot. And learn more about the services provided by local community organizations.

12/16 – West Oakland School and Resource Fair Public · Hosted by Enroll Oakland Charters

Oakland families are invited to learn more about their public school options. There will be:
* School Booths (Elementary, Middle, High schools) – Visit with school principals, teachers and families
* Enrollment Booths – Explore and compare public schools using Oakland’s school finder. Get help with your online application and/or enroll online.
* Resource Booths – Learn more about support services provided by local community organizations.

 

How you can help

 

Help an Oakland student and educator whose home was destroyed by fire. Huber was an Education for Change student, and is now an Education for Change teacher in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland. He and his family represent Oakland at its best, and in the early hours of Friday, September 8th, they awoke to their home on fire. Thankfully, nobody was hurt, but you can imagine the pain, stress, frustration, and anger in seeing your family home on fire. We are asking that you donate whatever you can to help Huber and his family respond to this loss quickly so that he can resume the job he loves and support his family. Help spread the word!

 

Support students with Listening Tools – A strong listening center is much needed in all elementary school classrooms. The stacks of CD’s and cassettes on a day to day for engagement, enrichment in both love for learning and academic standards. My students need a protected space with a CD player and timers to listen, learn and be heard.  Be the first to donate | $484 still needed, Ms. Semana Aspire College Academy, Oakland CA

 

Bring Coding and Engineering to Life with Lego Robotat Oakland Sol. This is the second phase of our great robot adventure, where students experiment with engineering concepts and coding practice, as well as learning about the design phases of a technical project. My students need these EV3 Mindstorms kits to take their skills to the next level! 2 donors | $466 still needed… Give to Mr. Davis

 

October Morning Volunteers Needed at Alameda County Community Food Bank Alameda County Community Food Bank 7900 Edgewater Dr Oakland, 94621.  Harvest Season has begun!  Truckloads of fresh produce that need to be sorted and bagged are coming in daily.  Helping hands are urgently needed in October to ensure that the large quantities of incoming produce get out the door — and into the community!  To find out more about dates or to register for a shift, go here.  If you have a group of 5 or more, please go to Weekday Group Volunteering.  Information about other Food Bank volunteer opportunities.

The Oakland Education Roundup from the Week of October 13th

Everything education from the last week in Oakland, budget updates, the launch of a new parent group, community meetings, the college fair, the Black Girl Power Conference, podcasting opportunities for youth, California’s latest polls, updates on state testing, the need to reform CA’s special education system, opportunities to help educators, grants for murals and much more, take a look and share

If you want this regularly please follow me on FacebookTwitter or subscribe to the blog at the bottom of this page or on the right side.

Oakland 

Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell Shares a 2017-18 Financial Update

Parent-Led Group, Oakland REACH to Hold Oakland Schools Accountable

The Education Bet We Should Make-Child-Parent Education Centers

OUSD Avoids State Takeover with Two-Year $32 Million Budget Cuts

School Board Focuses on Balanced Budget after This Year’s $17 Million Shortfall

OUSD College Fair

Community Meeting the OUSD school Year is changing

Last day to complete Blueprint for quality schools survey

The Power of One Small Gesture Can Dramatically Boost AP Enrollment

African American Female Excellence Program host first Black Girl Power Conference

Teachers from Alameda, Oakland selected as Alameda County Teacher of the Year

For Oakland youth and Families

Radio and Podcasting Class for Youth from KALW and EOYDC
Free Flu Vaccine Available For All Participating Oakland Elementary Schools

The GIRL Project Shine Workshop

East Bay Children’s Book Project Is in Peril

Meeting recaps

Amending the Budget—But is it Enough?

Mills Teacher Scholars Gather

OUSD Board of Education

ACOE Board Meeting

Special Meeting of the OUSD Board of Education

Community Advisory Committee for Special Education

OUSD’s Office of Equity Announces Expansion 

Best of the Rest

 California voters want more school choices

Why heads are still scratching over California’s standardized test scores

7 years to a bachelor’s degree

Is computer-based testing at fault for California schools’ failures in English and math?

PARCC Scores Lower for Students Who Took Exams on Computers

Special education in “deep trouble” and still needs reform, says California education board president

 Educator Opportunities

Free Field Trips to the Exploratorium this Fall

School Retool Fellowship Application

Apply for Paint the Town

West Oakland School and Resource Fair Public 

 How you can help

Help an Oakland student and educator whose home was destroyed by fire

Support students with Listening Tools

Bring Coding and Engineering to Life with Lego Robots 

October Morning Volunteers Needed at Alameda County Community Food Bank

Oakland

Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell Shares a 2017-18 Financial UpdateAs Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell begins her first year as Superintendent, she has named fiscal vitality as a top focal point

Parent-Led Group, Oakland REACH to Hold Oakland Schools Accountable– A new parent led group, Oakland REACH, hosted a press conference and parent celebration at DeFremery Park.

The Education Bet We Should Make-Child-Parent Education Centers– We are at a rare moment when public opinion and education research are aligned in California and we need to seize the day.

OUSD Avoids State Takeover with Two-Year $32 Million Budget Cuts– While FCMAT representatives tell the board they will be “amazed” how much money OUSD saves by closing schools.

School Board Focuses on Balanced Budget After This Year’s $17 Million ShortfallOakland Board of Education members are gaining a deeper understanding of operating public schools in tough times as they work with new superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell to maintain a balanced budget after former Superintendent Antwan Wilson left the district with a two-year $32 million shortfall, including $17 million this year.

50+ college reps at the OUSD College Fair on 10/10

Community Meeting the OUSD school Year is Changing Sondra Aguilera, OUSD Senior Deputy Chief of Continuous School Improvement, and Jenine Lindsey, Director of Labor held a meeting on 10/10 about future school year calendars. Learn more about the changes and share your thoughts by taking our surve

The Power of One Small Gesture Can Dramatically Boost AP EnrollmentSending short, encouraging notes to students, and talking with them about their potential, can dramatically boost enrollment in Advanced Placement courses.

Mills Teacher Scholars held a gathering on 10/12 at Mills College for current teacher scholars, Mills Teacher Scholars’ alumni, and friends.

Board of Education had a meeting on 10/11; you can see the agenda here.

ACOE Board Meeting on 10/10

Special Meeting of the OUSD Board of Education was held on 10/9 to cover Core Values and getting to the Future State, you can see the meeting agenda here

Community Advisory Committee for Special Education met on 10/9 to hear learnings from the September Study Session about school-site support for Special Education in OUSD and discuss initiatives and changes currently underway for Special Education.

African American Female Excellence Program host first Black Girl Power Conference– The chant of “Black girl power!” chant echoed throughout a room filled with purple balloons and ribbons early Saturday morning. More than 100 girls and their mothers, teachers, mentors—and one father—filled an auditorium on the Mills College campus for the first Black Girl Power Conference hosted by the African American Female Excellence Program (AAFE).

OUSD’s Office of Equity Announces Expansion– On September 26, the Oakland Unified School District Office of Equity (OoE) recently hosted a reception at E14 Gallery in downtown Oakland.

Teachers from Alameda, Oakland selected as Alameda County Teacher of the Year– Encinal Junior & Senior High School teacher Kevin Gorham has been selected as an Alameda County Teacher of the Year.

For Youth and Families

Free Flu Vaccine Available For All Participating Oakland Elementary Schools. Shoo the Flu program will return this fall for teachers and students at elementary schools throughout Oakland.

Radio and Podcasting Class for Youth from KALW and EOYDC – Calling all East Oakland Youth 14-18! Tell a story you care about, in your own voice– take the Radio and Podcasting class from KALW and EOYDC.

The GIRL Project Shine Workshop began on 10/11 free for girls ages 11-14 living in the San Antonio district of Oakland. Come on down after school dismissal for art and dance classes. Food and homework support available throughout the session Workshops will be held every Wednesday from 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM through December 13. Doors open at 1:00 PM. EastSide Cultural Center 2277 International Blvd. Oakland, CA 94606 Questions? Please contact Shaunnah Ray

East Bay Children’s Book Project Is in Peril– The beloved nonprofit, which supplies books to low-income kids throughout Oakland, has lost its lease and may have to shut down.

California

California voters want more school choices – When it comes to education, Californians see the wealthy awash in school choice, the poor with few options and, surprisingly, the middle class with some — but not a lot — of choices in selecting a school, a poll released Thursday shows.

Why heads are still scratching over California’s standardized test scoresDespite most teachers and students having an additional year to get familiar with the exam, and an additional year of instruction conceivably tailored to improve on student weakness identified in the test.

7 years to a bachelor’s degree: California community college students who transfer to UC or CSU schools are trapped in a system that adds $38K to the cost of a diploma. The main goal for most community college students in California is to transfer to a four-year university to earn a bachelor’s degree.

 

Is computer-based testing at fault for California schools’ failures in English and math?More than half of students in California schools are failing to meet English standards – with even more failing math.

PARCC Scores Lower for Students Who Took Exams on ComputersThe Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers acknowledged the discrepancies in scores across different formats of its exams in response to questions from Education Week.

Special education in “deep trouble” and still needs reform, says California education board president– Michael Kirst says the special education system, rooted in concepts and laws that need updating, is battling to recruit and retain fully prepared teachers.

Opportunities/Funding for Educators

Teachers: Free Field Trips to the Exploratorium this Fall. Take BART to the Exploratorium and get free admission for your class, plus free round-trip BART tickets. Click here to Register or email for registration.

10/15 – School Retool Fellowship Application: Oakland Winter 2018 Cohort Educate78’s School Design Lab and the Rogers Family Foundation, in support and collaboration with Oakland Unified School District, are excited to announce a second Oakland-based School Retool. Cohort.School Retool is open to school leaders in public schools throughout Oakland. We are seeking leaders who want to change the status quo of public education, are passionate about access to Deeper Learning for all students, are willing and ready to try out a new, immersive learning experience, and are committed to fully participating in the work of the fellowship. You can find more info here

9/19 – 11/30 Apply for Paint the Town!  Apply for Oakland’s new street mural programfrom September 19th – November 30th.  This pilot program allows community members to paint temporary street murals on Oakland’s roads.  Make sure to come to an application clinic hosted at an Oakland Public Library, where community members can learn about the program and receive assistance on applications.  Attending a clinic is not required to apply but they encourage you to come!  The dates and locations of the clinics are available on the website.  If you have more questions, email [email protected] and visit the website for all application materials. 

12/16 – West Oakland School and Resource Fair Public · Hosted by Enroll Oakland Charters

Oakland families are invited to learn more about their public school options. There will be:
* School Booths (Elementary, Middle, High schools) – Visit with school principals, teachers and families
* Enrollment Booths – Explore and compare public schools using Oakland’s school finder. Get help with your online application and/or enroll online.
* Resource Booths – Learn more about support services provided by local community organizations

How you can help

 

Help an Oakland student and educator whose home was destroyed by fire. Huber was an Education for Change student, and is now an Education for Change teacher in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland. He and his family represent Oakland at its best, and in the early hours of Friday, September 8th, they awoke to their home on fire. Thankfully, nobody was hurt, but you can imagine the pain, stress, frustration, and anger in seeing your family home on fire. We are asking that you donate whatever you can to help Huber and his family respond to this loss quickly so that he can resume the job he loves and support his family. Help spread the word!

 

Support students with Listening Tools – A strong listening center is much needed in all elementary school classrooms. The stacks of CD’s and cassettes on a day to day for engagement, enrichment in both love for learning and academic standards. My students need a protected space with a CD player and timers to listen, learn and be heard.  Be the first to donate | $484 still needed, Ms. Semana Aspire College Academy, Oakland CA

 

Bring Coding and Engineering to Life with Lego Robots at Oakland Sol. This is the second phase of our great robot adventure, where students experiment with engineering concepts and coding practice, as well as learning about the design phases of a technical project. My students need these EV3 Mindstorms kits to take their skills to the next level! 2 donors | $466 still needed… Give to Mr. Davis

 

October Morning Volunteers Needed at Alameda County Community Food Bank Alameda County Community Food Bank 7900 Edgewater Dr Oakland, 94621.  Harvest Season has begun!  Truckloads of fresh produce that need to be sorted and bagged are coming in daily.  Helping hands are urgently needed in October to ensure that the large quantities of incoming produce get out the door — and into the community!  To find out more about dates or to register for a shift, go here.  If you have a group of 5 or more, please go to Weekday Group Volunteering.  Information about other Food Bank volunteer opportunities can be found at www.accfb.org/volunteer.

The Education Bet We Should Make-Child-Parent Education Centers

We are at a rare moment when public opinion and education research are aligned in California and we need to seize the day.  A recent poll showed that 67% of Californian’s supported increased taxes on the wealthy to fund early childhood programs.  Almost simultaneously Education Week reported on a remarkable study out of Chicago showing that quality early childhood support paid significant dividends to individuals and society.  Specifically, Child-Parent Education Centers (CPCs) returned investments at greater than a 10 to 1 for the public and had cumulative returns of 900% for the individuals.

Money, well spent, really matters in education.  And there are investments we can make that demonstrably pay off financially, not to mention the humane benefits of not living in poverty, and having the tools to be empowered.

I have often critiqued California’s school funding as being too low and highly inequitable.  To which many readers point out that there is wasted money in the schools and school system.  And this isn’t an excuse for waste, which occurs everywhere, but it is a case for proactive investment in things we know work.

A program that pays off

Education week reviewed the success of Chicago’s Child-Parent Education Centers, which have been operating since 1967, noting outstanding success,

CPC has one of the highest economic returns of any public or private financial investment. Cost-benefit analyses have shown that for every dollar invested, more than $10 is returned in cost savings in the areas of remedial education and criminal justice, coupled with an increase in economic well-being and tax revenues. That is an inflation-adjusted annual return of 18 percent over a child’s lifetime, a cumulative return of 900 percent… The strong success of the program’s first generation of schools was evident early on. Graduates performed on average six months ahead of their nonprogram peers in school-readiness skills. This success has been reproduced in the current program expansion. That and other impacts—such as higher rates of high school diploma attainment and college graduation, lower rates of crime and health-compromising behaviors, and greater economic well-being—have been sustained for decades.

These centers are working and they continue to work as the program grows.  It is important to look at the structure for clues to their success, and there are some obvious though underutilized gems that we should take away. I particularly appreciate the inter-generational (they are “parent-child” centers) and collaborative approach with families, again from Edweek,

After five decades and more than 250,000 families served, the CPC program is arguably one of the nation’s most effective social programs. Now in its third generation as a P-3 school-reform model, the program and its unique success provide an approach and set of action steps to innovate in education to produce even better investment returns. Collaborative leadership, engaged learning, small classes, and comprehensive family and instructional supports are core elements.

Developing and growing high quality programs is always challenging, but the elements here are relatively simple, and don’t rely on bells and whistles, but relationships and responsiveness.  Everything they are doing there we could be doing here.

The Public Supports these Investments

The latest polling from the Latino Policy Coalition and the CA NAACP shows strong support for investments in early childhood, and hopefully will move us to action.

The statewide poll was around a specific ballot measure that would provide,

$1.5 billion dollars in annual funding to increase living wages for teachers and educational staff; expand the availability of early childhood education for working parents; and improve classrooms and educational facilities.

Which 67% of likely voters agreed with, alongside some other findings of general support for investments in Early Childhood Education, specifically,

  • 75% say early childhood education programs are effective in preparing children ages 0-5 for school.
  • 78% say California has a great, some or a little need for additional funding for early childhood education. Just 14% say there is no need for additional funding.
  • 80% support using funding to improve existing early childhood education programs

So the public believes in the effectiveness of early childhood education, there is strong evidence that quality programs deliver tangible benefits to individuals and society and we have working models that we can draw from.

Why don’t we do this?

That’s a damn good question.