When Good Intentions Go Bad, Opportunity Hoarders and Equity in Oakland

Existing rules and the dynamics of choice tend to increase inequality.  There don’t need to be any bad actors.  As parents we all do try to do the best we can for our children.  But that pattern of choices, and neighborhood assignment, tend to reinforce and increase the distance between children of advantage and those … Continue reading When Good Intentions Go Bad, Opportunity Hoarders and Equity in Oakland


Choosers, Losers, Abusers and “Opportunity Hoarding” in Oakland

School choice can divide us into winners and losers.  In fact it already has.  I am talking about charters. But not just charters, also those lucky enough to be able to choose where they live, with corresponding quality neighborhood schools, or have the resources to hustle their kid into an-out-of neighborhood or private option, the … Continue reading Choosers, Losers, Abusers and “Opportunity Hoarding” in Oakland


The Facts on Oakland’s Foster Students and How We Can Do Better

It’s National Foster Care Month and Oakland’s numbers are crying out for action.  We can do better, we need to do different, and this month and ongoing I will be shining a light on these children, our children. First let’s look at the facts—which are dismal—you can see the charts below from Oakland Unified.  But … Continue reading The Facts on Oakland’s Foster Students and How We Can Do Better


Real Stories of American Indian Public Charter School

It was over 15 years ago, when elders in the Native Community asked me help with the American Indian Public Charter School.  A school, then in revocation, and now rated among the best schools in the City, state, and country.  But at that time, nepotism reined, the school was in debt, had no employees, only … Continue reading Real Stories of American Indian Public Charter School


Schools to Celebrate- Fostering Wellness on Staten Island

People said we were crazy when we applied to start John W. Lavelle Prep Charter in Staten Island.   It was a college prep middle school that would cater to students with emerging mental health challenges.  There were no other models to look at in NY, and these kids often faced immense challenges.  This is what … Continue reading Schools to Celebrate- Fostering Wellness on Staten Island