OUSD’s Year in Review and the Challenges Ahead

By most accounts Oakland Unified is doing pretty well.  Our schools are as fully staffed as they have been in recent memory, public support is at historic highs, academically we are making progress and progress with some of most historically underserved students, and financially we are as strong as ever, with an improving bond rating. … Continue reading OUSD’s Year in Review and the Challenges Ahead


The Best NYC Charter School Story You Haven’t Heard

A predictable war of words has erupted around interpreting the latest set of NYC test scores. The charter sector has touted its successes, with Success Academy Charter Schools front and center, and the mayor has increasingly pushed back, critiquing the results, Success Academy itself, and broadly tarring the sector. Missed in the battle of the elephants … Continue reading The Best NYC Charter School Story You Haven’t Heard


Humpty Dumpty and “Public” Charter Schools

Some people in Oakland don’t like charter schools, most of them seem to live in the Hills, and have good neighborhood choices. Meanwhile many Flatlands families are voting with their feet, choosing public charter schools.  Lost in this debate is the fact the families at charters are more likely to be low income, people of … Continue reading Humpty Dumpty and “Public” Charter Schools


Bad Apples in Charter Admissions and What We Can Do

Some time ago, at a charter school near you, I went to enroll a foster child, let’s call her ”Keasha.”  She needed a good school; that was smaller and more personalized.  Brushing aside my lack of legal authority, we asked the receptionist for an application. She explained that the school may not have any spots, … Continue reading Bad Apples in Charter Admissions and What We Can Do


The Rhetorical War on Public Schools from the Left and Right

Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. George Orwell Words matter.  What we call something affects public support for it. Is a medical meeting, “end of life counseling” or a “death panel”, the descriptions matter   So it’s not a coincidence, … Continue reading The Rhetorical War on Public Schools from the Left and Right