The Oakland Ed Week in Review 4/8/23-4/14/23

Welcome back to the Oakland Ed Week in Review! This is our weekly roundup of education news articles from Oakland and around the state and nation to help you stay up-to-date with what’s going on, a Dirk favorite and one of the last blogs he published for Great School Voices. This week, there are some cool events happening in Oakland this weekend (champion basketball parade and student creative expo); advocates for Black students pushed for equitable funding at the capitol (our friends from FIA were there); and the proposal for the first religious charter school in the country was denied in Oklahoma; plus more news from around The Town, the state and the nation. What did we miss? Hit us up in the comments below. 


Collaboration at center of keeping students in school after juvenile detention
During the current school year, almost 140 students have been included in the daily list that Tate receives from the Probation Department, with more than 90 of them enrolled in Oakland Unified schools. The data does not capture whether any of those students have been re-arrested during this timeframe. The majority, almost 72%, are Black, and nearly 20% are Latino. They’ve spent anywhere from under 5 days in juvenile detention to over 50 days.
Read the article by Ashley McBride of The Oaklandside

Oakland and Oakland Tech basketball teams to be honored with Sunday parade
Oakland will celebrate its basketball champions this Sunday with a parade.
Oakland section commissioner Frankie Navarro told the Bay Area News Group that the Oakland High boys and Oakland Tech girls will ride in a bus around Lake Merritt and into downtown.
Read the article by Joseph Dycus of the East Bay Times

Oakland Unified to get new garden beds and outdoor classrooms as part of White House initiative
Oakland Unified to get new garden beds and outdoor classrooms as part of White House initiative.
The district partnered with nonprofit Eat.Learn.Play on the renovations.
Read the article by Benita Gingerella of Food Service Director

Youth Creative Expo to showcase art by Oakland students
The block party, happening from noon to 6 p.m. on April 15, is being organized by Civic Design Studio, an agency that collaborates with Oakland Unified School District to promote the creative arts and expose students in OUSD’s arts, media, and entertainment pathways—industry tracks that students select in high school—to college and career options in creative fields.
Read the article by Ashley McBride of The Oaklandside

With $5 million grant, Kingmakers of Oakland will expand its footprint
Christopher Chatmon, the founder and CEO, began working in Oakland Unified School District as the executive director for African American Male Achievement when it launched in 2010. The initiative, which laid the groundwork for Kingmakers, focuses on improving academic achievement, lowering suspension and dropout rates, and increasing graduation rates for Black boys through mentorship and leadership programs.
The need for programs that focus on lifting up African American male students is clear: In Oakland Unified this year, 45% of African American male students have been chronically absent, or have missed more than 10% of school. While graduation rates for African American male students increased from 68% to 78% between 2021 and 2022, the dropout rate during the 2021-2022 school year was around 11%, or 35 Black male students.
Read the article by Ashley McBride of The Oaklandside

The State of California

Black students rally at the Capitol, pushing for more funding in California’s public schools
More than 2,000 students marched, danced and sang near the Capitol as part of an ongoing effort to increase funding for Black students in public schools. The rally and its organizers continue to push back against a plan by Gov. Gavin Newsom to provide additional money to the state’s lowest-income schools. Known as the “Equity Multiplier,” the proposal infuriated some education and civil rights organizations that argue more funding is needed for Black student success.
Read the article by Mathew Miranda of The Sacramento Bee 

Many Californians are missing out on federal student aid. Here’s why
Federal law has a special clause that allows students lacking a high school diploma to access financial aid money they would otherwise miss. Known as the Ability to Benefit, the provision opens up federal financial aid to adults without high school degrees who enroll in GED and college classes simultaneously.
California community colleges also stand to benefit financially from the law because it could allow schools to boost enrollment and the number of students on federal aid, both of which are tied to the state’s new college funding formula.
Read the article by Adam Echelmen of CalMatters 

California attorney general issues guidance on how districts can close schools
It explains how districts must follow new state laws under AB 1912, which requires school districts to engage the community and conduct an “equity impact assessment” before closing schools. Under AB 1912, an Equity impact assessment analyzes the “disparate harms” that a closure may cause and makes sure the closure is alleviating, not maintaining school segregation, according to the guidance. The document recommends districts work with experts to create community advisory groups to participate in the assessment.
Read the article by Ali Tadayon of EdSource

California student accused of using AI to cheat acts as cautionary tale
When William Quarterman signed in to his student web portal to check the results of his history exam, he was shocked to see a cheating accusation from his professor attached to it.
His professor had used artificial intelligence detection software, including one called GPTZero, after noticing his exam answers “(bore) little resemblance to the questions” to detect whether the college senior had tapped artificial intelligence to give his take-home midterm exam a boost, according to school records provided to USA TODAY by Quarterman.
The professor was right, according to the software.
Read the article by Kyla Jimenez of USA Today

Hidden expulsions? Schools are removing students, but vague data can mask the reason
Transfers like Ricky’s represent a large yet hidden share of California’s exclusionary discipline, blocking students from attending their schools and pushing them onto new campuses or into smaller, alternative schools, according to an investigation by the Hechinger Report, a nonprofit education newsroom.
While some educators defend transfers as a gentler alternative to expulsion, critics say these moves have limited or no due process protections and can carry the same problems associated with expulsion by disrupting a child’s education.
Read the article by Tara Garcia Mathewson of the Los Angeles Times 

School support staff union approves new contract with LAUSD
Unionized bus drivers, classroom assistants, custodians and other support staff have voted to ratify an agreement with the Los Angeles Unified School District that will raise wages by about 30%.
Read the article by Mariana Dale of LAist

Across The Nation

Meet the principal of NYC’s first district school exclusively for students who struggle to read
The new school, called South Bronx Literacy Academy, is the culmination of years of advocacy from a handful of parent advocates who watched their own children flounder without adequate reading instruction and argued the city does not have a systematic approach to reading instruction.
Their goal was to coax the city to build classrooms similar to what’s offered at private programs, like The Windward School, which specialize in intensive literacy instruction but are often out of reach for families without the time or resources to secure private tuition reimbursement from the city.
Read the article by Alex Zimmerman of Chalkbeat

Proposal for first religious charter school in US shot down by Oklahoma education board
The school’s architects will have 30 days to submit a revised application from the date they receive the letter elaborating on the board’s decision, per state rules.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and the Diocese of Tulsa have pitched St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School as an online program that could reach students in rural communities and other areas across Oklahoma who have few schooling options.
Read the article by Alia Wong, Kayla Jimenez, Nuria Martinez-Keel and Grace Hauk of USA Today

Districts say social media is hurting students’ mental health. Now they’re suing
A growing number of school districts are following the lead of the Seattle public schools and suing major social media companies over the deteriorating mental health of their students.
Their argument: that these companies have designed highly addictive apps and marketed their products to kids who are uniquely susceptible to manipulation. School districts, meanwhile, have been left to deal with the fallout from the harm those apps are doing to students’ mental health, the lawsuits argue.
Read the article by Ariana Prothero of Education Week

Supreme Court allows $6 billion student loan debt settlement
A settlement that will allow thousands of student loan debts to be canceled will go into effect after the Supreme Court on Thursday declined to block it.
The Supreme Court in a brief order rejected a request made by colleges challenging the settlement.
Read the article by Lawrence Hurley of NBC News 

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