Oakland Public Middle Schools that Parents Should Consider Based on Growth-Looking at 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 recently, and I wanted to highlight some of the schools making progress with Oakland children, and encourage families to visit.  Every child is different, and I will break it down into subgroups (schools showing progress with Black, Brown and low income students) in the next few weeks and you can also take a look at the schoolfinder tool to find local schools.

But before I get to the public schools showing the most progress, let me give a warning.  These numbers may be imperfect, the numbers don’t reflect if more high needs students came into a school, and no number can capture a school, or the variation within it.  So please take these lists as starting points and do your homework.  I have written before about the perils of using tests exclusively to judge schools.

Digging into the new data

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.  Families should also take a look at the Oakland school finder.

Middle Schools where students made the most gains- Unity, Epic, UPA, and AIPCS shine

You can view all the middle school results here.  But let’s dig in a little




Interestingly most of the schools show up in both lists. Urban Promise Academy, Epic Charter, Unity middle school and American Indian showed significant increases in both math and ELA.  United for Success and Claremont also had impressive results, with Claremont also having relatively high achievement already.  Also Roosevelt, Brewer and Frick showed real gains in math.

Schools Families should consider based on Test scores alone

Below are the schools with the highest overall scores.  With our current data system it is difficult to know whether students came to these schools already proficient or whether the schools really accelerated their learning.  So “status” to me is generally less important than “growth” in measuring school quality, but I did want to include this data as well.

Note that gray lines mean that less than 30 students were tested, and the other colors relate to how high the average scores were.  The five color-coded performance levels in order are: blue (highest performance),greenyelloworange, and red (lowest performance).

Knowledge is power

So please, take advantage of your options and the information at your disposal.  There are enrollment portals for OUSD and Enroll Oakland and the window for round1 closes in early February, so get your applications in.  Your children are counting on you to do the best by them, and that starts with making informed choices.

Let me know if I can help, and I will be doing future posting on middles and high schools, as well as subgroups.

You have the tools, now use them.

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