We should be back at school in the Fall, and now is the time for families to choose their school for the upcoming year. February 5th is the deadline to apply. Where your child goes to school can have a huge influence on both their academic and social growth. So, I have some advice for folks based on the data, some changes in OUSD, and my own opinion. But first and foremost, do your homework and find the right fit for your babies.
Here I am going to share information about enrollment, some quick advice, and some data—the data should be taken with more than a grain of salt—since it’s really from 2 years ago. This was a year like no other and choosing a school will similarly be a unique experience, but let’s see what we can get into.
Below I have shared a set of graphs showing how much schools helped children learn in elementary and middle school and the graduation rates, and most importantly, college eligibility rates, for the high schools.
Rule 1- Understand and Make a Choice that Fits Your family
Oakland has a huge range of schools, and an open enrollment system, so any family can apply to any public school, charter or district. We have a wide range of schools with often very different programs.
We have schools that teach Mandarin, Spanish, and hopefully Arabic. We have Montessori, Waldorf, dual language immersion, and schools focused on internships and learning in the community, to name a few. We also have a set of schools intentionally trying to bring back more Black students, and also encouraging new school models, like Sankofa United.
The schools have very different outcomes for children in some cases.
But, remember, the data is just one indicator.
Please make a choice for you your child, even if it is just going to your neighborhood school. And do your homework, do the virtual visit, talk to other families, and get a feel for the school as best you can.
Rule 2- Take a look at the best data available
Personally, I think there are a couple of sources of data that families should look at. For high school, it’s really the college eligibility numbers, or the A-G completion rate. I could not find alist that had the charters and district publicly but will add that when I figure it out.
And for elementary and middle school, it really should be student growth, and the so-called CORE growth model is really the best standard we have. You can see the middle school growth below.
You can look at different grade levels by just clicking on this link and then going to the menu at the top and changing the “grade level.” Here are the elementary schools for ELA. And ideally you are looking at those green or yellow schools. But again, these are imperfect measures and you should do your homework and trust your gut based on all the information you can find.
And here are the elementary schools for Math
Note that Esperanza is the school all the way over to the right. Its growth was at the 100th percentile, meaning that it could not show any higher growth with children. It’s so far over to the right that the name is cut off.
but here is the middle school data for ELA
And here is the middle school math
You can see the A-G rates here for Oakland students, and note that there are some data issues where some schools showed up as not reporting data. And several schools didn’t have enough Latinx students to report results.
So please, do your homework and make a choice for your child.
You can see the full list of data dashboards for OUSD here, including some COVID related ones.
What do you think?