Welcome back to 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, check out a profile of Oakland REACH CEO Lakisha Young; the number of credentialed teachers in California decreased this year; and the first religious charter school opened in Oklahoma. What did we miss? Hit us up in the comments below.
Meet Lakisha Young, the powerhouse behind Oakland REACH
“California has not made the commitment to do the work in a science-based way and, as a result, we’ll keep having kids in our state that can’t read or do math,” said Young. “When only 3 out of 10 kids can read, we are not doing things right— and need to do a full pivot.”
Read the article by Karen D’Souza in EdSource
Thanks to inflation, some Oakland schools won’t get the improvements they were promised by Measure Y
Projects at McClymonds High School, Coliseum College Prep Academy (CCPA), and Roosevelt Middle School will receive additional funding from Measure Y to cover their rising costs. To make that possible, OUSD will reduce the scope of improvements that were planned at Melrose Leadership Academy, and take money out of Measure Y’s district-wide initiatives and contingency funds.
Read the article by Ashley McBride in The Oaklandside
Here’s where kids can get free meals in Oakland this summer
Summer can be a difficult time for students who rely on school meals. The city of Oakland is again offering free food for Oakland youth at dozens of sites during the summer months. All children 18 and younger are eligible, as well as adults with disabilities enrolled in a school program, such as Oakland Unified School District’s Young Adult Program.
Read the article by Ashley McBride in The Oaklandside
The State of California
Number of new California teacher credentials declines after seven years of increases
There were 16,491 new teaching credentials issued in California in 2021-22, the most recent fiscal year data available. The previous year, the state bestowed 19,659 such credentials, according to “Teacher Supply in California“, an annual report to the state Legislature compiled by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
Read the article by Diana Lambert in EdSource
Media literacy would be required for California K-12 students under new bill
Assembly Bill 873, authored by Assemblymember Marc Berman, D-Menlo Park, would direct the state’s Instructional Quality Commission to incorporate media literacy into K-12 curriculum in English language arts, math, science, history and social studies frameworks. Eventually, all public school students would receive media literacy lessons every year, in every class.
Read the article by Carolyn Jones in EdSource
Across The Nation
Oklahoma approves first religious charter school in the U.S.
The decision sets the stage for a high-profile legal fight over the barrier between church and state in education, at a time when other aspects of public education are being challenged. Seizing on debates over parents’ rights, Republican lawmakers, including in Oklahoma, have increasingly pushed for alternatives to public schools, such as vouchers and tax credits, which offer subsidies to parents to help pay for private tuition, often at religious schools.
Read the article by Sarah Mervosh in The New York Times
Many young kids missed early special ed services due to COVID, compounding work for schools
Nationally, 77,000 fewer 3- and 4-year-olds received early childhood special education services in fall 2020, representing a steep 16% drop from the prior year, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University. Similarly, 63,000 fewer infants and toddlers received early intervention services during that time, a 15% decline.
Read the article by Kalyn Belsha in Chalkbeat
Biden vetoes GOP-led effort to strike down student loan forgiveness program
In a statement on Wednesday, the president said the resolution — which the Senate approved on a 52-46 vote Thursday under the Congressional Review Act, a week after the House passed the measure — would have kept millions of Americans from receiving “the essential relief they need as they recover from the economic strains associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.” The resolution called for a restart of loan payments for millions of borrowers that have been on pause since early in the coronavirus pandemic. It also would have prevented the Education Department from pursuing similar policies in the future.
Read the article by Mariana Alfaro in The Washington Post
Liberal lawmakers urge White House to prepare backup plan on student debt
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) confirmed to The Washington Post that he has told Biden administration officials, including Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, to press forward with a new plan to cancel student debt should the court invalidate Biden’s existing plan. A ruling is expected imminently. The court’s conservative majority seemed skeptical of the debt forgiveness plan in oral arguments this year.
Read the article by Jeff Stein in The Washington Post
What the debt ceiling deal means for student loan payments
For millions of Americans with federal student loan debt, the payment holiday is about to end.
Legislation to raise the debt ceiling and cut spending includes a provision that would require borrowers to begin repaying their loans again by the end of the summer after a yearslong pause imposed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Read the article by Michael D. Shear in The New York Times
As rural Republicans derail school vouchers in Texas, Gov. Abbott vows a special legislative session for his top education priority
But in the end, the hope of instituting universal school choice didn’t advance nearly far enough, even under unified Republican control over both the legislature and executive. An effort that could have transformed Texas, virtually overnight, into the biggest school choice marketplace in the country — and potentially bolstered its governor’s conservative bona fides — instead faltered before the goal line. And while the chances of a statewide voucher offering haven’t been extinguished entirely, the greatest prize for voucher proponents appears to be slipping away.
Read the article by Kevin Mahnken in The74
Philadelphia schools go remote for students Friday amid pollution from wildfire smoke
Philadelphia schools will switch to remote learning on Friday “out of an abundance of caution,” district officials announced Thursday evening, due to ongoing concerns about air pollution from Canadian wildfires.
However, the district said all employees — including school-based staff — should report to their “normal work location.”
Read the article by Dale Mezzacappa in Chalkbeat