The Oakland Ed Week in Review 5/27/23-6/2/23

Happy Summer, Oakland! We’re still bringing you the Oakland Ed Week in Review, 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. This is a Dirk favorite and one of the last blogs he published for Great School Voices. This week, the OUSD school year winds down with a look at the “common good” proposals from the OEA strike; California officials attempt to stop book banning at state public schools; and a fun article about the Scripps National Spelling Bee (damn, still sounds intense!). What did we miss? Hit us up in the comments below. (Photo credit: East Bay Times)


OEAs ‘common good’ proposals are controversial. But Oakland teachers aren’t the first to demand them
By bringing common good demands to the bargaining table—in addition to more traditional demands like wages, hours, and class sizes—Oakland’s teachers union followed in the footsteps of those in Los Angeles, St. Paul, Chicago, and elsewhere, that have recently done the same.
While some community members and district officials are critical of the demands, teachers and their supporters argue that by enshrining these measures in contracts, the district is acknowledging that it can play a role in addressing systemic issues like poverty. 
Read the article by Ashley McBride in The Oaklandside

Angry crowd of more than 500 turn out for Oakland meeting on crime and violence
The Oakland Department of Violence Prevention’s interim chief Kentrell Killens and Oakland Unified School District board-member Sam Davis said the city has seen success with their intervention teams working directly with troubled youth to steer them away from violence and crime, but the city budget doesn’t cover all schools.
“These are teams of three people, and they help students who are struggling,” Davis said.
Read the article by Jana Katsuyama in KTVU2

Community organizers protest proposed cuts to Oakland violence prevention department
A proposed budget released by Mayor Sheng Thao calls for a reduction in contracts between the violence-prevention department and community-based groups that reach out to those at risk.
“No budget cuts for DVP!” the group chanted as they held a banner that read, “Humanize, don’t criminalize.”
Read the article by Henry Lee in KTVU2

Advocates: Reparations are the answer for sea level threat in West Oakland, Calif.
The toxic waste and pollution in West Oakland result from the legacy of racism in housing, economics and other policies over decades. Residents didn’t consent to living in these conditions. Now they’re demanding to be significant players in any climate resilience plans.
Read the article by Ezra David Romero of NPR

The State of California

Gavin Newsom warns California schools that ban books will answer to the Attorney General
“As state leaders elected to represent the values of all Californians, we offer our response in one shared voice: Access to books – including books that reflect the diverse experiences and perspectives of Californians, and especially, those that may challenge us to grapple with uncomfortable truths – is a profound freedom we all must protect and cultivate,” the letter read.
Read the article by Maggie Angst of The Sacramento Bee

Transgender teacher’s Pride flag burned at Saticoy Elementary, where protests have escalated
A North Hollywood elementary school already dealing with parental protests over an upcoming Pride assembly was facing further turmoil after a transgender teacher’s Pride flag was burned by a campus intruder, police and sources said.
The angst at Saticoy Elementary School has ratcheted up since parents created an Instagram account on May 16 protesting the school’s Pride month assembly, during which administrators planned to talk about families with gay parents. Some parents planned to keep their children home, and others posted furiously about teaching “sexuality” in schools.
Read the article by Noah Goldberg of The Los Angeles Times

San Diego Unified, teachers union reach tentative agreement on new 3-year contract. Here’s what’s in it
Teachers would get 10 percent raises retroactive to July 1, 2022, with the retroactive wages paid in a lump sum later this year. A 5 percent raise would follow next year, and the 2024-2025 school year would bring a wage reopener, when possible new raises would be bargained.
Read the article by Sam Shulz in The San Diego Union-Tribune

Three years after COVID-19 began, thousands of families are still homeschooling their children. What’s keeping them from California classrooms?
While schools throughout the state have battled with declining enrollment, ever since COVID-19, the number of homeschoolers has skyrocketed. There are many ways to homeschool a child, and the state of California doesn’t track them all. But by one measure alone, there are 66 percent more kids being homeschooled today than there were nearly a decade ago, accounting for over 45,500 kids statewide.
That’s according to California’s register of children enrolled in a “private school” with less than six children, the indicator that the state says is likely to be a homeschool. During the same time period, private school enrollment stagnated — a zero percent change from 2013 to today — while public school enrollment dropped by 6%.
Read the article by Alissa Miolene in The East Bay Times

Across The Nation

Dev Shah of Florida wins Scripps National Spelling Bee
His parents were crying, telling the cameras how proud they were of their son.
The trophy was placed in Dev’s hands. He hoisted it above his head.
“It’s surreal,” he said. “My legs are still shaking.”
He couldn’t stop smiling.
Read the article by Lizzie Johnson of the Washington Post

Do school vouchers ‘work’? As the debate heats up, here’s what research really says
Recent studies find little evidence that school vouchers improve test scores — in fact, they’ve sometimes led to score declines. Older studies are more positive.
In the last several years, major studies in Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, and Washington D.C. have shown that low-income students do not see improved test scores from attending private schools. If anything, students’ scores tended to decline. Choice advocates initially suggested that results would bounce back over time, but in three of the four cases achievement was worse in math, even after multiple years.
Read the article by Matt Barnum in Chalkbeat

Colleges will be able to hide a student’s race on admissions applications
Now, with the U.S. Supreme Court expected to rule soon against race-conscious admissions — and with colleges wanting to follow the law — the Common App has made a pre-emptive move on what is known as the “race box.”
Beginning Aug. 1, colleges will be able to hide the information  in those boxes from their own admissions teams, said Jenny Rickard, chief executive of the Common App, in an interview.
Read the article by Anemona Hartocollis in The New York Times

Girls & Math: Teachers who claim gender equality still show bias against girls
Math teachers who believe women no longer face discrimination tend to be biased against girls’ ability in math. This is what we found through an experiment we conducted with over 400 elementary and middle school math teachers across the United States. Our findings were published in a peer-reviewed article that appeared in April 2023 in the International Journal of STEM Education.
Read the article by Yasemin Copur-Gencturk, Ian Thacker & Joseph Cimpian of The74

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