South Star Classroom Podcast Episode 121: Examining Black Student Representation in Top Private Colleges

How does the underrepresentation of Black students at selective private colleges and universities impact the overall educational environment and opportunities for these students? What are institutions doing to increase Black student enrollment, and why have they not been more effective in achieving a representative student body? What else needs to be done?


Open charter seats: 12/4

The schools on this list are for enrolling in the current school year — 2023-24. The Oakland Public Charter Schools Application for next school year — 2024-25 is also now open and accepting students for next school year. You can apply now at OaklandEnrolls.org.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 11/18/23-12/1/23

Here’s what’s going on this week: OUSD’s student homeless population jumped 70%(!) since the start of the pandemic; the war in the middle east continues to be a wedge issue on California college campuses; and a new report finds that charter schools deliver more bang for the buck than district schools (check out the article to read exactly what that means).


How do you choose the right major?

Students who have their major chosen can be more focused. While many students are unsure of their major or field of study after high school, this is not a topic that is often discussed in schools. For myself, I think that without the proper direction of a major chosen and a career to attain, I will feel nervous and perplexed about my future. I need a goal to aim for. I don’t want to be confused when I step into college. I want to devote myself to my major wholeheartedly. If I don’t have a goal to work toward I feel uneasy and confused. I do have some majors I’m considering right now, but I don’t know which one I should focus on and which one will be more fitting.


Unleashing the Potential of Every Student Through Personalized Learning

I have an immense love for education, but I firmly believe that the traditional, one-size-fits-all approach needs to change. This approach can cause disengagement, which I have experienced, and sluggish academic development since the traditional way of receiving an education disregards the unique talents, interests, and learning styles of each student.


Open charter seats: 11/28

The schools on this list are for enrolling in the current school year — 2023-24. The Oakland Public Charter Schools Application for next school year — 2024-25 is also now open and accepting students for next school year. You can apply now at OaklandEnrolls.org.


South Star Classroom Podcast Episode 119: Is overtime pay for teachers overdue or overrated?

Is overtime pay for teachers long overdue, considering the countless hours they dedicate outside of the standard 40-hour workweek? Or, is the concept of overtime pay for teachers overrated, considering the intrinsic rewards and passion that often drive their commitment to going above and beyond? Listen in as the group discusses the potential benefits and…


Open charter seats: 11/21

The schools on this list are for enrolling in the current school year — 2023-24. The Oakland Public Charter Schools Application for next school year — 2024-25 is also now open and accepting students for next school year. You can apply now at OaklandEnrolls.org.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 11/11/23-11/17/23

We have a rich edition for you this week, with lots of news from around The Town, the state and the nation: a scary kidnapping scam and protestors shut down the school board meeting in Oakland; students, educators and officials grapple with the Israel-Palestine conflict on campuses across the state (and country); Biden’s new student loan forgiveness plan survives a Republican challenge. Plus a lot, lot more.


Open charter seats: 11/16

The schools on this list are for enrolling in the current school year — 2023-24. The Oakland Public Charter Schools Application for next school year — 2024-25 is also now open and accepting students for next school year. You can apply now at OaklandEnrolls.org.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 11/4/23-11/10/23

From the newswires this week: Jorge Lerma has a sizable lead in the District 5 school board election after more results came in Thursday; OEA passes a resolution demanding freedom for Palestine; California students lost half-a-million instructional days to suspension, with marginalized students the most impacted; and conservative activists were on the losing side of a number of elections nationwide this week.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 10/28/23-11/3/23

Happy Friday to you! Pull up a seat, it’s time to dive into some education news with the Oakland Ed Week in Review! This is a Dirk favorite and one of the last blogs he published for Great School Voices. Here’s what we have going on this week: lots of election coverage as the District…


Open charter seats: 11/1

There is still time to enroll your child in an amazing Oakland school. You know where to go – Oakland Enrolls to submit your application. There are great schools for your child for the 2023-24 school year. Schools like BayTech, AIMS Elementary School (a California Distinguished School) and Francophone Charter School among others have open seats for new students. Those are just a few of the schools, so do your homework and make the best choice you can.


South Star Classroom Podcast Episode 116: The High School Credit System: Its Origins, use in today’s high schools and college admissions and the question of its continued relevance 

On today’s episode, the group talks about the Carnegie Unit System: what it is and how it became the basis for high school credit and graduation in every American high school. Is the current credit system still relevant and the best method for assessing a student learning and preparedness for work and post secondary success? What are some alternatives to the credit system both hypothetical and that currently exist?


Sasha Ritzie-Hernandez: Great School Voices interview

There is one election in Oakland this year, for the District 5 school board. With a divided board, the person elected will have the opportunity to cast a deciding vote. With so much at stake, we wanted to hear directly from the candidates so voters and the public can better understand their views and plans for their time in office. Students will be those most affected by the decisions the board makes, so we collected student questions from The Oakland Youth Commission to ask candidates Sasha Ritzie-Hernandez and Jorge Lerma.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 10/21/23-10/27/23

Here’s what we have going on this week: District 5 school board race grabbing headlines with two weeks to go until ballots are due (check out our coverage, including video interviews with both candidates); across the Bay, a teachers’ strike is averted; school buses with wifi are (seemingly) on the way after FCC approval.


Jorge Lerma: Great School Voices interview

District 5 school board candidate Jorge Lerma sits down with Great School Voices to answer questions from Oakland students on topics including safety, graduation rates, charter schools, the school-to-prison pipeline, school closures and restorative justice.


Open charter seats: 10/26

There is still time to enroll your child in an amazing Oakland school. You know where to go – Oakland Enrolls to submit your application. There are great schools for your child for the 2023-24 school year.


Oakland students host their own candidate forum

As ballots started arriving in District 5 voters’ mailboxes in mid-October, students from the Oakland Youth Commission helped raise awareness of the election and of the two candidates’ views at a candidate forum it hosted at Fremont High School. 


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 10/14/23-10/20/23

This week: Oakland students hold a forum for District 5 school board candidates; the state testing data is in and the results are flat — improvement is stagnant and the same proficiency gaps are not budging; 9 out of 10 school districts across the country are struggling to hire teachers, which makes you wonder who’s not struggling?; plus more news from around The Town, state, and nation.


Open charter seats: 10/16

There is still time to enroll your child in an amazing Oakland school. You know where to go – Oakland Enrolls to submit your application. There are great schools for your child for the 2023-24 school year. Schools like BayTech, AIMS Elementary School (a California Distinguished School) and Francophone Charter School among others have open seats for new students. Those are just a few of the schools, so do your homework and make the best choice you can.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 10/7/23-10/13/23

Welcome back to the Oakland Ed Week in Review! This is our weekly roundup of education news articles from Oakland and around the state and nation to help you stay up-to-date with what’s going on. This is a Dirk favorite and one of the last blogs he published for Great School Voices. Here’s what we…


Dirk Tillotson and Rachel Henry-Willis Awards

Last month, Families in Action for Quality Education (FIA) celebrated the legacies of our founder Dirk Tillotson, and legendary family leader and education advocate Rachel Henry-Willis with an awards ceremony on the Lighthouse Community Public School campus.


Open charter seats: 10/10

There is still time to enroll your child in an amazing Oakland school. You know where to go – Oakland Enrolls to submit your application. There are great schools for your child for the 2023-24 school year. Schools like BayTech, AIMS Elementary School (a California Distinguished School) and Francophone Charter School among others have open seats for new students. Those are just a few of the schools, so do your homework and make the best choice you can.


South Star Classroom Episode 113: Is national immigration policy pitting Black and Brown against each other?

A reason we have this podcast is to have these kind of in-depth discussions. This week, the conversation stems from recent news in Chicago about neighbors rallying against the city’s plans to turn a northwest side field house into a migrant shelter.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 9/30/23-10/6/23

This week: a profile of District 5 school board candidate and longtime educator and education advocate, Jorge Lerma; a union representing 900 SFUSD workers — custodians, food service and clerical workers — goes on strike; more student debt relief coming from the Biden Administration, bringing the total to $127 million in relieved debt since he took office.


Student-led school board candidate forum on 10/12 at Fremont High

From the Oakland Youth Commission. Please go here to RSVP. The Oakland Youth Vote coalition are co-hosting a student-led Candidate Forum for the November school board election on Thursday, October 12 from 5 – 7 pm. This event is open to the community and will help voters learn about candidates running in the special election…


Implications of new state universal screening legislation for all

SPECIAL GUEST BLOG FOR EDUCATORS from FULCRUM by Kareem Weaver, Executive Director, Liza Finkelstein Co-founder, and Devika Sood, Director of Program. California’s new K-2 universal screening legislation (that goes by the name Education Omnibus Budget Trailer Bill) is a critical step for its educational system. It is an opportunity to engage in continuous improvement, leverage…


Open charter seats: 10/3

There are great schools for your child for the 2023-24 school year. Schools like BayTech, AIMS Elementary School (a California Distinguished School) and Francophone Charter School among others have open seats for new students. Those are just a few of the schools, so do your homework and make the best choice you can.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 9/23/23-9/29/23

Here’s what’s going on this week: the County Superintendent calls out OUSD over budget mismanagement; The Cox Academy community finally secures $28 million in funding through Prop 51 to make safety upgrades; Diane Feinstein pushed for stricter gun laws to stop school shootings – the legacy of the longtime state Senator who died yesterday is explored; plus more news from around The Town, state, and nation.


TONIGHT: Oakland District 5 School Board Candidate Forum hosted by FIA

OAKLAND, CA – What are the values and priorities of the candidates for Oakland school board in District 5?  On Thursday, September 28, 2023, hundreds of Oakland public school parents, youth, educators, and school leaders will host Families in Action’s District 5 School Board Candidate Forum. They will hear directly from the only two candidates in…


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 9/16/23-9/22/23

This week: a discussion about campus safety dominates the most recent OUSD school board meeting; do you call it ‘Cal’ or ‘Berkeley’ – and does it really matter?; we also have some thought-provoking features for you this weekend, including one on a South Carolina teacher returning to school after being reprimanded for teaching a book by Ta-Nehisi Coates; plus  more news from around The Town, state, and nation.


We need Black Youth Development in Oakland now more than ever

I moved to Oakland when I was about 10 years old. It was a struggle. I lived in multiple homeless shelters and I did not have much hope for what I could be and do. Programs like those featured on the BYD website were a haven for me and tons of other Black kids who grew up in similar circumstances.


South Star Classroom Episode #110: Hip-Hop 50 & its impact on education for Black & Brown students

What impact has Hip-Hop had on Black and Brown students’ academic achievement and motivation over the past 50 years? How can Hip-Hop be used to engage and connect with students who may feel disconnected or disengaged from traditional educational approaches? Tune in for a lively discussion around these topics and more with the latest episode of the South Star Classroom podcast.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 9/9/23-9/15/23

In this week’s edition, a look at diversity and inclusion groups in Oakland Unified and their impact in the wake of the bomb threat at Chabot Elementary; one conservative school boards in California rejects a resolution to affirm LGBTQ students’ rights while another bans the Pride flag; and we hear a lot about the ‘science of reading’ – what about the ‘science of math’?; plus more news from around The Town, state, and nation.


Energy Convertors 2023 Report: End-user Accountability

Great School Voices is breaking down the 2022-23 Energy Convertors report section by section into bite-sized pieces for you to digest. In this blog, we get into End-user Accountability.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 9/2/23-9/8/23

This week: an on-campus shooting at Skyline High; Steph Curry surprises students at an East Oakland school and announces he’s raising $50 million for Oakland schools; one-third of California students are chronically absent – what are policymakers doing about this?; and another pandemic-related setback: college students are also struggling with basic math; plus more news from around The Town, state, and nation.


How to join OUSD’s contingent for Oakland Pride next Sunday, September 10

The Oakland Unified School District shared this message with families, educators and community members: Saturday, September 2, 2023 Hello Oakland Unified Community, Oakland Pride is almost here! Just about every year, the District has a contingent in Oakland’s celebration, and this year is expected to be bigger than ever. The District invites all interested students, staff, and families to join the march in Downtown Oakland on…


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 8/26/23-9/1/23

This week, a racist bomb threat is called into Chabot Elementary; Measure QQ could finally be moving ahead, three years after Oakland voters approved lowering the voting age to 16 for school board elections; and there is a big difference with how well parents think their children are performing in reading and math with how they’re actually doing; plus more news from around The Town, state, and nation.


OUSD Superintendent: We Denounce Racist and Threatening Messages Sent to Chabot Elementary School Community

Chabot Elementary in North Oakland was evacuated on Tuesday morning after a racist bomb threat was emailed to the school principal. Last night, OUSD Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammel sent this message to the OUSD community.


Open charter seats: 8/29

There is still time to enroll your child in an amazing Oakland school. You know where to go – Oakland Enrolls to submit your application. There are great schools for your child for the 2023-24 school year. Schools like BayTech, AIMS Elementary School (a California Distinguished School) and Francophone Charter School among others have open seats for new students. Those are just a few of the schools, so do your homework and make the best choice you can.


MarQuis Evans on what “accountability” means in Energy Convertors 2023 report

In this video, MarQuis Evans, the Energy Convertors program manager, talks about how we all have a role to play in helping young scholars succeed in their education, and what that shared accountability means. The 2023 Energy Convertors Oakland Report contains the voices of over 400 students and is a call to action to improve A-G outcomes and outreach. Download the report here.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 8/19/23-8/25/23

In this week’s report, the Oakland District 5 school board special election is back on; a lawsuit that accuses California of failing low-income students during remote learning will head to trial; with student loan forgiveness plans sidelined, the Biden Administration launches a student debt plan; plus more news from around The Town, state, and nation.


Energy Convertors 2023 Report: Systemic Accountability

Energy Convertors 2022-2023 Report is available now to download. Great School Voices is breaking down the report section by section into bite-sized pieces for you to digest. We start with the first section of the report, Systemic Accountability.


A letter to Bitwise Industries leadership before the collapse

At the end of May this year, on Memorial Day, Bitwise Industries, a tech startup that “promised to uplift marginalized communities and change the narratives of underestimated places” furloughed its workers and soon shut down. Among those who lost their jobs were Kennan Scott, the former OUSD Director of Computer Science, a longtime educator and winner of one of the first State of Black Education Oakland (SoBEO) Impact Awards. Kennan’s wife, Karen, also worked for Bitwise Industries Oakland. In this guest piece, Kennan shares a message he sent to the Bitwise team shortly before the layoffs:


Open charter seats: 8/22

There is still time to enroll your child in an amazing Oakland school. You know where to go – Oakland Enrolls to submit your application. There are great schools for your child for the 2023-24 school year. Schools like BayTech, AIMS Elementary School (a California Distinguished School) and Francophone Charter School among others have open seats for new students. Those are just a few of the schools, so do your homework and make the best choice you can.


Get PAID as a math tutor in Oakland with REACH Math Liberator Fellowship

Too many Oakland students are struggling with math! We know that early success in math leads to later success in life. But only 1 out of 10 Black and Brown students are prepared to do math at grade level. We know our kids can excel in math and they don’t have time to wait. The…


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 8/12/23-8/18/23

This week, a major shocker in Oakland: both candidates for the District 5 school board election have been ruled ineligible due to an error by city officials about which boundary to use; state Attorney General Rob Bonta (rightly) comes out against a school district’s transgender policy; and make sure not to miss the uplifting story of a Black student who graduated high school at 12(!) and college at 14(!); plus more news from around The Town, state, and nation.


Take “Talking Transition Oakland” Survey — Message from OUSD and Oakland Mayor Thao

This summer, Mayor Sheng Thao launched Talking Transition Oakland, a citywide engagement effort that centers youth and uplifts underrepresented voices. The initiative brings together City Hall and the community to build a path forward for Oakland. To share your thoughts on the city’s housing, community safety, and economic development, take the citywide survey at www.oaklandca.gov/talkingtransition, and save the dates for Talking Transition’s public events on 9/9, 9/16, and 9/23. 


Open charter seats: 8/15

There is still time to enroll your child in an amazing Oakland school. You know where to go – Oakland Enrolls to submit your application. There are great schools for your child for the 2023-24 school year. Schools like BayTech, AIMS Elementary School (a California Distinguished School) and Francophone Charter School among others have open seats for new students. Those are just a few of the schools, so do your homework and make the best choice you can.


Energy Convertors 2022-23 Oakland Report

The 2022-23 Energy Convertors Report on Oakland public schools is available to download. We’re excited to share with you the findings from this year’s report. Student researchers focused on A-G course completion this year, and found significant gaps in Oakland student understanding of these courses a student is required to pass if they are going to gain admission to a UC or CSU school.  


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 8/5/23-8/11/23

This week, school in Oakland is back in session; a housing initiative aims to keep Black teachers in Oakland; immigrant parents in San Francisco can vote in the city’s school board elections after a court ruling; and 1 in 4 kids are chronically absent in schools across the country, a huge spike from pre-Covid; plus more news from around The Town, state, and nation.


Open charter seats: 8/10

There are great schools for your child for the 2023-24 school year. Schools like BayTech, AIMS Elementary School (a California Distinguished School) and Francophone Charter School among others have open seats for new students.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 7/29/23-8/4/23

This week: Are you ready for school to start? Oaklandside breaks down why OUSD starts earlier than nearby districts; a look at the teaching crisis from the perspective of a rural, California district; and a look at how Teach for America is pivoting after it placed its smallest number of teachers in schools in 15 years; plus more news from around The Town, state, and nation.


Oakland charter school enrollment trends

With the 2023-24 school year starting this month, Great School Voices connected with Lisa Gibes de Gac, Executive Director of Oakland Enrolls to ask about trends in applications to Oakland charter schools. (photo courtesy of Oakland Enrolls) At this point in the year, we’re seeing a 12% increase in families applying compared to this time last…


Open charter seats: week of 8/1

Last week before school starts! Find an open seat at a quality school here! Each week, Great School Voices shares the open charter schools of the week from Oakland Enrolls. The Oakland Public Charter Schools Application is open and accepting students for the 2023-24 school year. You can apply now at OaklandEnrolls.org. There is still time to…


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 7/22/23-7/28/23

This week, OUSD is looking to hire 100 new teachers with school starting Aug. 7; interesting profile of OUSD board president Mike Hutchinson; an appellate court heard arguments about non-citizen parents and guardians voting in San Francisco school board elections; and according to a new report, a crisis in teaching quality may be stalling academic recovery; plus more news from around The Town, state, and nation.


Open charter seats: week of 7/25

Each week, Great School Voices shares the open charter schools of the week from Oakland Enrolls. The Oakland Public Charter Schools Application is open and accepting students for the 2023-24 school year. You can apply now at OaklandEnrolls.org. There is still time to enroll your child in an amazing Oakland school. You know where to go –…


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 7/15/23-7/21/23

Happy Friday, Oakland! This is the Oakland Ed Week in Review, our weekly roundup of education news articles from Oakland and around the state and nation to help you stay up-to-date with what’s going on. This is a Dirk favorite and one of the last blogs he published for Great School Voices. We are back…


Open charter seats: week of 7/18

Each week, Great School Voices shares the open charter schools of the week from Oakland Enrolls.

The Oakland Public Charter Schools Application is open and accepting students for the 2023-24 school year. You can apply now at OaklandEnrolls.org.


Open charter seats: week of 7/11

Each week, Great School Voices shares the open charter schools of the week from Oakland Enrolls. The Oakland Public Charter Schools Application is open and accepting students for the 2023-24 school year. You can apply now at OaklandEnrolls.org. There is still time to enroll your child in an amazing Oakland school. You know where to go –…


California’s Williams Decision and holding teachers accountable for Black scholars post-integration

There’s clearly a difference between being a teacher who teaches Black scholars vs. an educator who teaches Black scholars to be excellent and are culturally aware of the mission they must accomplish for Black culture to thrive. This article is simply my therapeutic way of getting things off my mind so I can get back to being the solution.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 6/24/23-6/30/23

This week, literacy advocacy superstar Bri Moore is profiled in The Oaklandside; a look at what the Supreme Court’s ban on affirmative action means for California; some reactions on the Supreme Court decision to axe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan; and a thought-provoking look at why more women aren’t running America’s largest school districts.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 6/17/23-6/23/23

This week, Families in Action (FIA) parents and organizers are profiled in The Oaklandside; another good article in the Oaklandside looks at advocacy work Education for Change’s Cox Academy parents are doing to make their school building safe for their kids; the national testing data shows how much the pandemic has cratered progress: the math scores are the same as 1990 and reading scores the same as 2004.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 6/10/23-6/16/23

This week, not much happening in Oakland, but interesting stuff from around the state: budget approvals and an averted teachers’ strike among the headlines; and a must-read New York Times opinion piece on how K-12 enrollment is declining across the country and what that means for the future of US education.


Open charter seats: week of 6/7

Each week, Great School Voices shares the open charter schools of the week from Oakland Enrolls. The Oakland Public Charter Schools Application is open and accepting students for the 2023-24 school year. You can apply now at OaklandEnrolls.org. There is still time to enroll your child in an amazing Oakland school. You know where to go –…


What makes it a “distinguished school”? Touring AIMS College Prep Elementary School

To better understand why AIMS is one of the top performing schools in Oakland, we went behind the scenes for a school tour. We visited classrooms and spoke with students, educators, and administrators to better understand what’s going on.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 5/27/23-6/2/23

Happy Summer, Oakland! We’re still bringing you the Oakland Ed Week in Review, our weekly roundup of education news articles from Oakland and around the state and nation to help you stay up-to-date with what’s going on. This is a Dirk favorite and one of the last blogs he published for Great School Voices. This…


Agentic and Empowered 2023

OAKLAND, CA – Black and Brown Oakland public school students face some stark educational disparities – only one in 10 can do math on grade level and only 2 in 10 can read on grade level. What can families do to take immediate action to support their scholars, and what collective efforts can we all…


The Oakland Ed Week in Review: 5/20/23-5/26/23

This week, check out an opinion piece on how a assembly bill will harm California charter schools serving high-needs families; some reflection on and fallout from the OEA strike; and the US Surgeon General says social media puts young people’s mental health at risk.


Open charter seats: week of 5/23

There are great schools for your child for the 2023-24 school year. Schools like BayTech, AIMS Elementary School (a California Distinguished School) and Francophone Charter School among others have open seats for new students. Those are just a few of the schools, so do your homework and make the best choice you can.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review: 5/13/23-5/19/23

This week, there’s a look at the deal OEA teachers signed with OUSD after the strike; an alarming investigative piece on how much lead is in the drinking water in California childcare centers; and a list of Presidential Scholars from around the Bay and the country.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review Special Edition: 7 Days of OEA Strike

Today – Friday, May 12 – the Oakland Education Association (OEA) teacher strike reached its seventh day. To help our readers better understand what’s been going on with negotiations, and also get some insight into how students and families are feeling about all of this as well, we’re giving you a day-by-day breakdown in a…


Energy Convertors: Agentic and EmpowerED 2023

Join us for an eye-opening and transformative event, Agentic and EmpowerED Oakland 2023, specifically designed for parents and families in West Oakland. Our mission is to bring awareness to crucial data that may not be readily available or discussed regarding Oakland’s education system, focusing on the challenges faced by our Black and Brown scholars.


The last time OEA went on strike

When teachers represented by the Oakland Education Association (OEA) went on strike in 2019, Great School Voices published a series of articles covering different perspectives — most importantly from students — on the strike and what it impacted. As OEA begins another strike today, we wanted to share with you those articles to help us remember and learn from the past.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 4/22/23-4/28/23

This week, OEA teachers vote to authorize a strike, which the district is calling illegal and trying to prevent; a state assembly bill would up teacher pay 50 percent if it becomes law; and make sure you don’t miss the article on the student who was accepted to 170 colleges (!) and earned more than $9 million in scholarship money (!!); plus more news from around The Town, the state and the nation.


Event tomorrow: FIA A-G Awards

Join FIA family leaders, students, and school representatives at BayTech (8251 Fontaine Street) on April 27 starting at 5 pm for a celebration of the Oakland public high schools where more than 80 percent of the African American and Latino students have their A-G requirements completed and are eligible to apply to UC and CSU schools.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 4/15/23-4/21/23

This week, the possible teachers union strike in Oakland is big news, we have some different perspectives to share with you; we also take a look across the Bay at The City’s enrollment troubles; and SoBEO Award winner Kareem Weaver is featured in The New York Times in a must-read feature on “the revolt taking on the education establishment”; plus more news from around The Town, the state and the nation.


Open Charter Seats: Week of 4/18

There is still time to enroll your child in an amazing Oakland school. You know where to go – Oakland Enrolls to submit your application. Schools like BayTech, AIMS Elementary School (a California Distinguished School) and Francophone Charter School among others have open seats for new students. Those are just a few of the schools, so do your homework and make the best choice you can.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 4/8/23-4/14/23

This week, there are some cool events happening in Oakland this weekend (champion basketball parade and student creative expo); advocates for Black students pushed for equitable funding at the capitol (our friends from FIA were there); and the proposal for the first religious charter school in the country was denied in Oklahoma; plus more news from around The Town, the state and the nation.


Open Charter Seats: Week of 4/11

Schools like BayTech, AIMS Elementary School (a California Distinguished School) and Francophone Charter School among others have open seats for new students.


Open Charter Seats: Week of 4/5

Each week, Great School Voices shares the open charter schools of the week from Oakland Enrolls. The late application period for the Oakland Public Charter Schools Application is now open. You can apply now at OaklandEnrolls.org. There is still time to enroll your child in an amazing Oakland school. You know where to go – Oakland Enrolls to…


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 3/18-324

Here’s what’s going on this week: in Oakland, the board chooses not to follow California law around Prop 39 offers; a dyslexia bill advances in the state senate, with opposition from the teachers union; more fallout (but not much hope for change) from the horrible Nashville school shooting; plus more news from around The Town, the state and the nation.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 3/18-324

It is time for The Oakland Ed Week in Review! We have another edition of education news articles from Oakland and around the state and nation to help you stay up-to-date with what’s going on. This was a Dirk favorite and one of the last blogs he published for Great School Voices. This week: the…


Who’s Breaking the Tie for Oakland students?!

We can’t have a governance board that is driven by the egos of all the adults in the room. Tie votes, refusing to vote on budget cuts, rescinding school closures without even knowing how much it would cost – this is just ineffective governance.  It demonstrates no one is governing on behalf of children, they are only representing the adults in the community– and wasting time and energy on things that have nothing to do with student progress.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 2/25/23-3/17/23

We took a little unplanned two-week break but we’re back now with a beefed up edition of education news articles from Oakland and around the state and nation to help you stay up-to-date with what’s going on. (Oh, yeah, did you catch us on The Daily Show? For real.)


JOIN US IN PERSON TONIGHT at 6PM: The Unspoken Pandemic: Oakland’s Education Crisis

As we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, the impact on our students has been severe, not least of which is the exacerbation of racial inequities in academic outcomes and college eligibility. That being said, progress is necessary and possible, and it begins with knowing the state of Black education. Join us TONIGHT at…


Open Charter Seats: Week of 2/28

Each week, Great School Voices shares the open charter schools of the week from Oakland Enrolls. The late application period for the Oakland Public Charter Schools Application is now open. (The deadline for Round 1 was February 3, 2023.) You can apply now at OaklandEnrolls.org. There is still time to enroll your child in an amazing Oakland…


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 2/18/23-2/24/23

Here’s what’s on tap this week: lot of Oakland school board news, with Nick Resnick resigning and the the board looking for ways to pay for academic and staff retention needs; the first gender-neutral bathroom bill for schools in the country is working its way through the California legislature; plus more news from around The Town, the state and the nation.


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 2/11/23-2/17/23

Here’s what’s on tap this week: an update on the District 4 School Board seat; Gavin Newsom’s “equity multiplier” plan to raise Black student achievement; alarming statistics that point to a crisis for American girls; plus more news from around The Town, the state and the nation.


Black Excellence: Connie Williams

During Black History Month, we here at Great School Voices are recognizing the SoBEO Black Excellence Awards honorees.  These folks and organizations have made an indelible imprint on changing the State of Black Education both in Oakland and nationally. We want to provide you all with opportunities to support their work in any way you…


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 2/4/23-2/10/23

Welcome back to the Oakland Ed Week in Review! Each Friday, we’re gathering key news articles from Oakland and around the state so you stay up-to-date with what’s going on. This was a Dirk favorite and one of the last blogs he published for Great School Voices. This week, there’s a lot going on in…


Who’s attending Oakland’s four Distinguished Schools?

So what does that data from the California School Dashboard say about our award-winning schools in Oakland? It tells us that Black, Latino and low-income students have less of a chance of attending a distinguished school in Oakland than White, more affluent students.


Open Charter School Seats (Week of 2/7)

Each week, Great School Voices shares the open charter schools of the week from Oakland Enrolls. The late application period for the Oakland Public Charter Schools Application is now open. (The deadline for Round 1 was February 3, 2023.) You can apply now at OaklandEnrolls.org. There is still time to enroll your child in an amazing Oakland…


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 1/28/23-2/3/23

It’s about that time – the Oakland Ed Week in Review! Each Friday, we’re gathering key news articles from Oakland and around the state so you stay up-to-date with what’s going on. This was a Dirk favorite and one of the last blogs he published for Great School Voices. This week, there’s an update on…


Elementary Schools that Showed Progress with Black Children

Where you send your child to school is one of the most important decisions you can make. The “on time” application window closes on Feb. 3 for charter schools on Oakland Enrolls (that’s tomorrow!) and on Feb. 10 for OUSD schools.  We want to highlight some of the schools making progress with Oakland children, and…


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 1/21/23-1/27/23

Welcome back to the Oakland Ed Week in Review! Each Friday, we’re gathering key news articles from Oakland and around the state so you stay up-to-date with what’s going on. This was a Dirk favorite and one of the last blogs he published for Great School Voices. What did we miss? Hit us up in…


The Oakland Ed Week in Review 1/15-1/20

We’re bringing this one back! Each week, Dirk used to gather up news that matters to the people of Oakland, give his spin on a topic, and share a collection of links and analyses. Each Friday, we’ll be trying to do more of the same, sharing the key headlines from the last week both from…


More Children Eligible to Apply to Transitional Kindergarten & Exploring Oakland Charter School Options for School Year 2023-24

Don’t forget to submit your application for the 2023-24 school year! The deadline for the Oakland Public Charter Schools Application is February 3, 2023. You can apply now at OaklandEnrolls.org. Below are two important pieces of information regarding charter school enrollment.  Eligibility for Transitional Kindergarten  Transitional Kindergarten (TK) eligibility has expanded to include all children…


OUSD Enrollment is in full Swing!

OUSD Enrollment is in full swing. Here is everything you need to know about this open period. The OUSD Enrollment period started on December 1st. Learn more at ChooseOUSD.org Enrollment FAQ’s Virtual Showcase Schedules – Elementary, Middle School, High School (Zoom links TBA)


Why isn’t my kid learning about climate change in their high school classroom? What can we do so that more young people understand what’s going on with climate change?

In the U.S., climate change is not a standard part of the public school curriculum in many districts due to a lack of resources, lack of teacher background knowledge, and forces that push against this type of education. By: Iris Crawford, GSV Editor & former Research Assistant at MIT ESI Featuring guest expert Dr. Liz…


ELECTION 2022:  OUSD School Board Director District 6 Candidate Kyra Mungia Answers to Students in her Interview with Great School Voices

“Our job is to ensure every student receives the highest quality education they can dream of, that they are set up for whatever they want to do after high school and that it is not because of us that they are limited in those opportunities.” @MsMungia has more to say in our exclusive interview

#oaklandelections #vote #oakland #candidatevoice


ELECTION 2022:  OUSD School Board Director District 4 Candidate Nick Resnick Answers to Students in his Interview with Great School Voices

“With 8% of our Black boys learning how to read by 3rd grade, I don’t know why that’s not what we’re all talking about and focused on, b/c I have a 2nd grader and learning how to read opens you up to a world of everything else.” @nickrezz, sits with GSV
#oaklandelections #vote


ELECTION 2022: OUSD School Board Director District 2 Candidate Max Orozco Answers to Students in their Interview with Great School Voices

“My son just graduated high school last year. His education was so low he wasn’t able to pursue the career he wanted that he’s been dreaming of since kindergarten. That’s something we have to change” For @MaxOrozcoforD2 families matter most. More at GSV
@oaklandelections #vote


ELECTION 2022:  OUSD School Board Director District 2 Candidate David Kakishiba Answers to Students in his Interview with Great School Voices

“School closures have a material financial negative impact. Not a positive impact, a negative impact. We render the Superintendent/Board unable to focus on improving student performance, and we just waste years as a result.”
More from @DaveKakishiba at GSV
#oaklandelections #vote


ELECTION 2022: Mayoral Candidate Allyssa Victory Villanueva Answers to Students in her Interview with Great School Voices

“Once students get to school, they are in the hands of our teachers. When they leave, they’re walking our city streets.” @Victory4Oakland on how the mayor and OUSD are connected. More with her on education exclusively at GSV

#oaklandelections #vote #oaklandmayor


ELECTION 2022: Mayoral Candidate Loren Taylor Answers to Students in his Interview with Great School Voices

“If we keep a school open but don’t bring more resources to support our kids where 75% are below grade level, then we perpetuate the lack of success, disparities and poor educational outcomes.” @lorenmtaylor says more exclusively at GSV.

#oakland #generalelection #voting #Vote


ELECTION 2022: Mayoral Candidate Treva Reid Answers to Students in her Interview with Great School Voices

“I grew up with issues our students face: housing insecurity, multiple schools, needing a village. We’ve got to make sure the trajectory for our students is decided early on.” @reidforoakland in her exclusive GSV interview

#oaklandelections #generalelection #vote #oakland


ELECTION 2022: Mayoral Candidate Tyron Jordan Answers to Students in his Interview with Great School Voices

“[W]hen teenagers… speak before…public officials, I don’t think they’re being heard. I don’t think they’re taken seriously enough. I think that’s a big mistake” @TyronJordan13 has more to say in our exclusive interview.

#oaklandelections #oakland #voting #mayor


Our Election Coverage Drops Wednesday: What One Student’s Attempt to Register to Vote Has Become…

When I arrived in the East Bay in early July from New York City to press on with our brother Dirk’s legacy, this month’s mayoral and school board elections were squarely top of mind for many who care about children and their futures.   In fact, Oakland’s youth was excited, because thanks to Measure QQ –…


SOLD OUT: Join us for the 2022 Black Excellence Awards Tomorrow on YouTube

In a year of devastating loss within our community – our founder Dirk and our peerless advocate Rachel Willis Henry, among others – we are honoring their spirit and endless drive for our Black children with tomorrow’s 2022 Black Excellence Awards. It’s a time where we will hold space for their memory and legacy by…


Tomorrow may be the Biggest Event of the Year.  JOIN US at the Oakland Candidate Forum.

One of the central tenets of this blog, and our organization overall, lies within our unwavering conviction that representative authenticity matters.  This may sound like a loaded term, but inherent within it are a few critical concepts: Representation isn’t token, and it certainly isn’t transactional.  Intentions matter.  A seat at the table is not enough. …


Announcing the 4th Annual Black Excellence Awards

Join us on Thursday, October 6th, at the Kapor Center to celebrate the 4th Annual Black Excellence Awards. We will be honoring Oakland’s Black Sheroes and Heroes in Education and celebrating the life and legacy of our beloved Dirk Tillotson. From 5-6 p.m., we will have a happy hour, allowing the community to mingle and network.…


How one NYC-based charter school is redefining special education, student learning & success.

In July, Great School Voices’ Iris Crawford spoke with (NCS) Neighborhood Charter Schools to understand how they redefine success and high achievement for their students. Executive Director Lindsay Malanga and Director of Special Populations Jennifer Manning shared more about NCS’s ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) program. Unlike most schools that fit special education programs into the…


SOBE Rants Season 4 Episode 2 is Out Now

The following post is from your host of SOBE Rants, MarQuis Evans, and is intended as an introductory companion piece for the next SOBE Rants podcast . Follow Quis on this journey by subscribing on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify!

Throughout historical events on the timeline, people of African descent have worked together with allies in multiple movements to elevate our quality of life in America. When it comes to quality of education, I question if integration contributed towards the solution, or if it was the beginning chapter of new obstacles on our pathway to achieving educational liberation. In times of war, having solid allies on your team can play a contributing factor in receiving the ‘W’ or taking that ‘L’. In our case, it’s looking a little shaky in our battle to educate our scholars blessed with melanin superpowers.

What happens when your allies are not receptive to feedback given? What happens when the voices of Black excellence are not in the rooms where decisions for Black scholars are being made? What are the long term results when Black scholars are passed to the next grade level without demonstrating mastery of reading, while being provided a false sense of privilege and entitlement, with low expectations to succeed?

We vent it out by indulging in a quick S.O.B.E. style rant to crack open the door and welcome in an uncomfortable but needed conversation, then transition into the solution for the State Of Black Education.

We are also excited to present to you SOBE Rants S4E2. SOBE Rants was created by Dr. Charles Cole III and now hosted by Quis Evans! The podcast serves as a safe space to have those accountability conversations, while bridging the gap of understanding and providing clear action steps in our fight to elevate the educational experience for our blessed and melanated scholars, while maneuvering in an education system populated by uncultured and seasoning deficient individuals.

Listen now on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify with additional content here at Great School Voices for each episode. Excited to have this conversation with you.


SOBE RANTS: Are Allies in Education Getting in the Way of Black Excellence?

The following post is from your host of SOBE Rants, MarQuis Evans, and is intended as an introductory companion piece for the next SOBE Rants podcast . Follow Quis on this journey by subscribing on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify!

On top of there being a shortage of teachers overall, there’s critically a lack of cultured educators who possess the ability to effectively educate our scholars. Due to this, many of our schools that provide service for our scholars blessed with melanin superpowers are populated with educators/administrators who claim to be “allies” to provide quality education for our scholars, but are slick getting in the way of their elevation. Willingness to educate Black scholars, however, is not the only ingredient required to get the job done. For quite some time now, Black educators have been voicing that our “allies” are unintentionally getting in the way, and make decisions that ultimately result in the miseducation of our Black scholars. This leaves us Black educators furious, feeling unheard, and thinking out loud, “What in the pumpkin pie is going on here?”  #TakesShotOfDrink


Guest Voice on OUSD: What Will the OUSD Board of Education Cover During Their Back to School Retreat on August 5th?

By Jumoke Hinton, Co-Founder of SoBEO and West Oakland Grown Initiatives As the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education prepares for the new school year, will they take time to reflect on their effectiveness? Will they reflect on the tension present whenever they are working together? The public sees a very disjointed and antagonistic school board…


Join us LIVE this Juneteenth Holiday with Mrs. Oral Lee Brown!

Join us on this Juneteenth holiday to hear from the Legend, champion and phenomenal woman, Mrs. Oral Lee Brown! We will chop it up on many topics including her connection to Dirk, the ultimate promise, her legacy today, and her future plans for the youth of East Oakland. Come celebrate with us LIVE on Monday, June 20th at 2 p.m. PST/5 p.m. EST, on YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter as we keep the conversation going!


The Legend, Champion and Phenomenal woman, Mrs. Oral Lee Brown

by Coron Brinson Our Connection I am so excited to continue our series of highlighting women in Oakland who are doing the work of educating our youth and shedding light on the impact of school closures on Oakland youth and communities. In this piece, I’m highlighting the fabulous and phenomenal —Mrs. Oral Lee Brown. As…


Our Monthly Round-Up of Education News

SOBEO Rants is out with a new one!  S.O.B.E. RANTS S4E1: Before You Curse That Teacher Out About Grades, listen to this First. In this episode, we hear from Michelle Coleman, Assistant Principal, former ELA educator, now Administrator, who’s experienced both the positive and negative interactions with parents of the scholars she holds to a…


SOBE RANTS S4E1: Before You Curse That Teacher Out About Grades, Listen to this Next.

The podcast episode is out now!

A strong S.O.B.E. style rant that for sure shined light on a needed conversation, while providing the solution for the State Of Black Education. Now you can hear what Michelle Coleman, Assistant Principal, has to say. Michelle Coleman is a former ELA educator, now Administrator, who’s experienced both the positive and negative interactions with parents of the scholars she holds to a high academic and cultural standard. Though she’s experienced some challenges and pushback, her methods resulted in her having the highest ELA growth scores in her school’s network. In this episode, we discuss the 5 solutions stated in the previous blog, as well as digging into the grades versus the mastery of the standards and lessons taught.


SOBEO RANTS: Before You Curse That Teacher Out About Grades, Read this First.

The following post is from your host of SOBE Rants, MarQuis Evans, and is intended as an introductory companion piece for the SOBE Rants podcast that releases every other Tuesday beginning May 24. A last word blog will release this Friday. Follow Quis on this journey by subscribing on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify!


#ACCESSLIT’S NEXT EPISODE Unlocking Accessibility with #OAKLANDUNDIVIDED is this Friday, May 20 at 12PM PST

Join us again as we start our regularly scheduled live broadcast THIS Friday, May 20th as Kennan invites David Silver and Patrick Messac of the Mayor’s Office and #OaklandUndivided as they unpack new developments in providing access to even more Oakland residents. #OaklandUndivided, a citywide effort to ensure every Oakland public school student has the tools necessary to support digital access in their home has delivered 29,000 computers and 10,000 hotspots, increasing home tech connectivity for students from low-income backgrounds from 12% to 98% pre-pandemic to now.


A Word from Your Host: the Access Lit Broadcast is live tomorrow at noon PST!

Join us tomorrow at noon PST for Kennan’s first LIVE broadcast on the last mile for digital equity!


SAVE THE DATE: We Return Live for Access Lit: Last Mile for Digital Equity on Friday, May 13th, at Noon!

I hope everyone is ready to head into a wonderful weekend and finds time to relax and rejuvenate. A group of folx who were touched by Dirk’s work and his impact on Oakland convened last Sunday afternoon to celebrate Dirk at his favorite neighborhood “watering hole,” Degrees Plato, located in the Laurel District. Jumoke Hinton-Hodge,…


Guest Voice on School Closures: What is going on in Oakland?

Jumoke Hinton-Hodge, A SOBEO (State of Black Education Oakland) member speaks on her feelings about the current state of Oakland. I’ve always experienced Oakland as a deeply-rooted land of diversity brimming in both culture and intellect.  Currently, it feels like folks have lost Oakland’s vision. Our city’s governing bodies are tearing down carefully-built trust and…