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, and those having the highest scores, let me give a warning. These numbers may be imperfect, 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.
It is also critical to look at mix between how well students at a school are doing (overall performance) combined with how much progress students are making (growth from year to year). And the nature of testing is that it is harder to make large gains when a school is already high performing, and “easier” when a school is low performing.
Elementary schools are below but you can see our prior articles
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.
Elementary Schools where students made the most gains
You can view all the elementary school results here. Here parents really need to dig in some, as some of the schools showing the most growth are also among the overall lowest performing schools in overall test scores, or “status.” So, while MLK/Lafayette has made incredible progress, in ELA it is still at the bottom in overall performance. Families need to really look at both. And ideally you can find schools that are making progress and also yellow, green, or blue. Which means that their overall status is not “very low.” Congratulations to all the schools making progress and I hope families will take a hard look and apply to schools that fit. If you click the link above you can also wee more information about individual schools by clicking on them.
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),green, yellow, orange, and red (lowest performance).
Elementary Schools that had the highest performance
The list of schools that are above the state average is relatively small in Oakland, so I included schools that were generally making progress and not too far below the performance goals. You can see most of the top performing schools are in the Hills. And note “top performing,” may not mean that they are helping students learn the most, it may be that students are generally coming into school at grade level. So please do your homework.
Knowledge is power
So please, take advantage of your options and the information at your disposal. There are enrollment fairs coming up from OUSD and Enroll Oakland over the next several weeks. 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.