The Oakland Education Week in Review for December 8th

Everything Oakland from the news over the last week—lots on the OUSD budget crisis, the paycheck “snafu” and the new data releases, and schools showing progress with Black students, several student narratives, databases on chronic absence and school quality, fixing the LCFF, desegregation and more,  please read and share

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How Is OUSD Doing Compared to 11,000 Other Districts in 3 Graphs?– The typical student in Oakland Unified is further behind in 8th grade than they were in 3rdgrade that’s according to the latest research from Stanford, covered in a recent NY Times article.

Elementary Schools That Black Families Should Consider Based on the Latest Test Scores– Where you send your child to school is one of the most important decisions you can make.  The new school quality data was released by the state today and I wanted to highlight some of the schools making progress with Black children, and encourage families to visit.

New Oakland Schools Report Card Launches to Help Families For the first time ever, as part of the enrollment process for next school year, Oakland families can now compare all public schools, district and charter, using a common framework: the new “Oakland Public School Report Cards.”

Middle and High Schools That Black Families Should Consider Based on the Latest Test Scores– Everything I am showing here is publicly available on the OUSD website, though you need to poke around some.  And now is the time to research and apply to schools in open enrollment.  We have never had more options, easier ways to enroll, or more information about schools, so we need make the best choices we can.  And there is an East Oakland Enrollment Fair this weekend and one in the West next weekend.

Choose or Lose in Oakland’s Public Schools– Many families don’t know it, but now is the time to apply to all Oakland public schools.  Open enrollment is taking place as we speak.  The window of opportunity to apply is open now, and when it closes, most of the highest quality schools will be full.

OUSD and FCMAT: Preparing for the Dec. 13 Report Next Wednesday, on December 13, OUSD’s Board is expected to vote on extremely painful midyear budget cuts. In the midst of that pain, and in response to a recent report by the state’s Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT), the staff is supposed to present an “action plan’” to strengthen the district’s fiscal management.

OUSD & FCMAT – Part 2 We started with a primer on what the FCMAT is and what’s in the latest report. Today, we take a look at the “good news” – the areas (3 out of 20) in which OUSD earned a positive rating.

OUSD and FCMAT – Part 3 “Based on the information in this report, the district has lost control of its spending, allowing school sites and departments to ignore and override board policies by spending beyond their budgets. In many cases, board policies are knowingly ignored and/or circumvented without consequences.”

My Word: Montera Middle grad says school was excellent, taught her valuable life lessons As a student there from 2014-2017, I loved Montera. And, going into it, I was as scared as any other incoming sixth-grader. But the education that I received from Montera was worth it

Oakland school district blames ‘human error’ after paychecks yanked from bank accounts– More than 2,800 Oakland school employees had their most recent paychecks pulled out of their checking accounts this week, a snafu that district officials initially blamed on a bank error before offering a mea culpa a few hours later

SCHOOL REDUCES MEAT AND UPS VEGAN OPTIONS TO TACKLE CLIMATE CRISIS California is striving for a cleaner and greener future, the San Francisco Examiner reports. With ambitions to cut their carbon footprint, Oakland Unified School District made an inspired change toward plant based menus at schools. In turn, the schools’ carbon footprint was cut by 14% in two years.

What’s Happening in Oakland Education The Week of December 4th and Beyond Another busy week in Oakland education with meetings on the OUSD budget crisis as well as many schools doing tours.

OUSD Families and Staff Oppose Cuts at Schools– Hundreds of chanting protesters – teachers and school workers, parents and their children – filled the Oakland Board of Education meeting room this week to attempt to pressure the school board to halt or reduce the mid-year budget cuts that will directly impact schools and classrooms and result in layoffs of many low-wage school employees.

California School Dashboard: A Look at  Alameda County Results  L. Karen Monroe, Alameda County Superintendent of Schools, states, “The Dashboard as an accountability system, helps to ensure that we are tracking the performance of our students on the state assessment and that students most in need of help do not go unseen.

Latino/a Student Achievement in Oakland: Bringing Equity to My Community– As I listened to concerned parents, students, and staff speak, I learned about the struggles my Latino brothers and sisters are facing within my community. Although some discussed topics broke my heart, they also rose a sense of urgency within not only me, but every individual in the room.

I’m more than my gender Gender norms play a huge role in society. People grow up being taught that there are limits to what they can do based on something they had no control over, their gender.

I Can Still See It A deeply distressing or disturbing experience. Growing up in East Oakland, some kids experience trauma at a young age. I had my first traumatic experience at the age of 10.-

Where are the lights? Do you ever imagine what kids from Oakland go through on a daily? Do you wonder if your house bills are paid? Well, now imagine you’re a high school freshmen that lives with a single parent in a crowded house full of people with no electricity because of a lack of money.

Robot Kits for Innovative East Oakland Middle School I am so excited to see how much fun they will have learning with these kits! They will work in teams of four: chief of marketing, chief design engineer, chief software engineer, and chief testing analyst – to solve different programming problems and creative challenges such as the Robot Dance-Off. YOU made this happen.

Judge issues ruling on Albany High online posting lawsuits A United States District Court judge in San Francisco issued a divided ruling this week on a portion of a case involving an Instagram account created by a former Albany High student that had several racist memes posted on it.


More than 1 in 10 California students are ‘chronically absent’ California education officials on Tuesday released school-level data that shows that last year more than 1 in 10 students were chronically absent, defined as missing at least 10 percent of school days for any reason.

Database on chronic absenteeism in California schools 2016-17 For the first time, the California Department of Education has released data on chronic absenteeism in California schools. A student is defined as chronically absent if he or she misses 10 percent of the school year for any reason — through excused or unexcused absences, or suspension.

Too Many Children in California Can’t Read, Lawsuit Claims Is there a constitutional right to literacy?

California School Dashboard provides opportunity for schools ‘to turn data into action’This week the state is launching an online report card that identifies district and school performance in an effort to better help all young Californians succeed.

Think race isn’t a problem in California? New report shows otherwise Don’t be fooled by California’s increasing diversity. Racial and ethnic inequity remains a key problem and a potential barrier to future growth, according to Race Counts, a new Web tool that measures racial and ethnic disparities in the state’s 58 counties.

How education could shape the governor’s race in California: funding, accountability, charter schools For the first time in years, the candidates will have an opportunity to offer big-picture education solutions that aren’t tied to a funding crisis. Brown, who is 79 and will term out next fall after one of the most successful political careers in state history, has presided over a series of spending improvements, including boosts to improve student equity and a localized funding formula.

Jerry Brown’s dilemma: fix school funding formula now or watch others do it later If he chooses, Gov. Jerry Brown can leave office a year from now with the satisfaction of seeing the Local Control Funding Formula, the sweeping school funding and improvement reform he championed, intact and fully funded — at least as the 2013 law defines full funding.

24 ideas for improving the Local Control Funding Formula With Gov. Jerry Brown retiring a year from now, EdSource asked two dozen school leaders, student advocates, legislators and other astute observers to suggest the most important improvements needed to make his landmark education law, the Local Control Funding Formula, more effective, equitable and truer to its promise

The Best of the Rest
WILL AMERICA’S SCHOOLS EVER BE DESEGREGATED? Only a few years ago, school desegregation was a topic confined to history books—a tumultuous chapter of the civil rights era, starting with Brown v. Board of Education and ending, ignominiously, with the backlash of white parents in the 1980s and ’90s.

What do you think?

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