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…


Summer Education News Round Up

Hey everyone- it’s been a while, and we hope your summer has been fun, restful, and safe. Great School Voices is also in summer mode we’re back to deliver your summer education news round-up! In early July, Great School Voices sat down with New York City-based Neighborhood Charter Schools to learn more about implementing their…