The Oakland Ed Week in Review 7/22/23-7/28/23

It’s about that time – it’s Friday and we have a fresh edition of 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. This is a Dirk favorite and one of the last blogs he published for Great School Voices. This week, OUSD is looking to hire 100 new teachers with school starting Aug. 7; interesting profile of OUSD board president Mike Hutchinson; an appellate court heard arguments about non-citizen parents and guardians voting in San Francisco school board elections; and according to a new report, a crisis in teaching quality may be stalling academic recovery; plus more news from around The Town, state, and nation. What did we miss? Hit us up in the comments below. (Photo credit: The Oaklandisde)


With school 2 weeks away, OUSD still needs about 100 teachers
About 130 people showed up at International Community School Thursday for an Oakland Unified School District career fair, where recruiters were trying to fill 97 teaching vacancies, particularly for bilingual and special education teachers and paraeducators.
“We have strong dual language programs, especially in Spanish and English. We want our students to be multilingual and we want to honor their multilingual backgrounds,” said Sarah Glasband, director of OUSD’s recruitment and retention team. “So we really want to cultivate multilingual educators as well.”
Read the article by Xueer Lu in The Oaklandside 

From activist to OUSD president, Mike Hutchinson is learning a new game
His mother, Harriet Hutchinson, had served as the first vice president of the Oakland Education Association, the local teachers union. Other members of the family had been in the union, too, Hutchinson told the crowd. But it was OEA, he said—and not the school district—that had walked away from the negotiating table.
As Hutchinson spoke, three other school board members—Jennifer Brouhard, VanCedric Williams, and Valarie Bachelor—stood and turned their backs on him in a public rebuke. The moment was striking, given Hutchinson’s years as an education activist and community organizer. Although known to ruffle political feathers, his critics haven’t typically been other progressives. 
Read the article by Ashley McBride in The Oaklandside

Chromebook software expirations leaving schools without laptops
“They’re designed to be disposable,” Sam Berg, Oakland Unified’s computer science coordinator and designer of the district’s tech repair internship, told the Mercury News. “It’s like planned obsolescence.”
In the next five years alone, the Oakland Unified School District anticipates 40,000 of its Chromebooks will expire.
Read the article by Mallika Seshadri in EdSource

It’s hard for English learners to get the state seal of biliteracy. A new bill aims to change that
Some district and county office of education officials welcomed the bill.
“Under current legislation, a high school student has literally a one-shot chance, one day in 11th grade to demonstrate proficiency.  Meanwhile, there is a portfolio of ways that a student can demonstrate proficiency in a world language,” said Nicole Knight, executive director of English language learner and multilingual achievement at Oakland Unified School District.
Read the article by Zaidee Savely in EdSource

New exhibit about OUSD’s first Black superintendent opening at AAMLO
For the next four months, the public will have the opportunity to take an in-depth look at the life of Marcus Foster, the former superintendent of Oakland Unified School District who was assassinated in 1973 outside of the district headquarters.
The Marcus Foster Education Institute is putting on the exhibit, “The Audacity to Believe,” at Oakland’s African American Museum and Library as it celebrates the 50th anniversary of the institute and the 100th anniversary of Foster’s birth this year.
Read the article by Ashley McBride in The Oaklandside

The State of California

Court hears arguments for SF law allowing non-citizen parents to vote in school board elections
On Thursday morning, California’s Court of Appeal heard arguments for a case considering the legality of an ordinance allowing non-citizen parents and legal guardians of children enrolled in the San Francisco Unified School District to vote in local school board elections.
While San Francisco voters passed the ordinance known as Proposition N in 2016, in July 2022, a San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled that the law was unconstitutional, prompting its appeal. Central to Thursday’s hearing were two points of contention: the constitutionality of the ordinance and the authority that San Francisco has to redefine its electorate.
Read the article by Helena Getahun-Hawkins in SF Gate

California investing in greener schoolyards to protect kids from extreme heat
This month, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration announced $117 million toward transforming schoolyards across the state. The funds will create more green spaces for children while also providing more shade to combat rising temperatures.
The new investment is a part of Gov. Newsom’s Extreme Heat Action plan. The grant money will remove asphalt and put in trees and plants in replacement.
Read the article by Daniela Pardo and Jackson Ellisnon in Spectrum News1

Report shows widening gap between Latino and White students who graduate college
Nationwide, just 30% of Latino adults earned an associate degree or higher, compared with 53% of White, non-Hispanic, 39% of Black and 66% of Asian adults, the report said.
In California, just 22% of Latino adults age 25 and up earned an associate degree or higher, versus 56% of White, non-Hispanic adults.
Read the article by Emily Samuels in The Orange County Register

When culture wars rip through California school boards, should the state intervene?
State officials have several enforcement options when they believe districts have run afoul of the education code. Those include fines, like the one Newsom threatened in Temecula Valley; publicly voicing disapproval, such as Thurmond’s comments in Chino Valley; and investigation and litigation, which Attorney General Rob Bonta said he would pursue in Temecula Valley. The California Department of Education also has a complaint process, which anyone can use if they believe their district isn’t complying with state law.
Read the article by Carolyn Jones in CalMatters

Is there lead in the water at your child care facility? Search our database of California results
The database below shows results for child care centers that submitted and finalized test results by the state law’s Jan. 1 deadline. Some have tested different water faucets or other sources at the same location, resulting in multiple results.
Those found with higher levels than the state 5-parts-per-billion limit are required to immediately cease using the affected fountains and faucets inoperable “and obtain a potable source for water for children and staff,” according to the law.
Read the article by by Andrea Figueroa Briseño and Jill Castellano in inewsource

California has adopted a new plan to teach math. Why are people so riled up?
The goal is to reverse those trends by helping students understand how mathematics is connected to everyday life, driving up interest among those who need it most. The new direction de-emphasizes tracking, which groups students according to their skill level. And it encourages more courses in data science throughout the K-12 curriculum, promoting a field of study that teaches students to collect, analyze and understand numbers and data in a variety of ways.
But critics fear the new framework will hold students back, both by taking away basic memorization fundamentals in lower grades and by slowing students’ acceleration in middle school.
Read the article by Elissa Miolene in the East Bay Times

Across The Nation

Opinion: How we can create a student loan system that doesn’t crush Americans — without canceling the debts
We still need to figure out how to help students invest in their education without saddling them with crushing debt in the first place. A critical step forward would be to replace the existing loan system with a standard repayment plan that aligns payments with a borrower’s ability to pay.
Read the opinion piece by Cecilia Elena Rouse in The Los Angeles Times

A complete look at the African American history standards in Florida drawing big criticism
Some of the key complaints are that the curriculum leaves out Florida’s role in slavery and the oppression of African Americans, identifies racism and prejudice without going into depth who was promoting it, victim-blames Black communities, uses outdated language, and requires teaching that some enslaved people learned valuable skills that were useful after they were freed.
Read the article by C. A. Bridges in USA Today

Teachers sue over Tennessee law restricting what they can teach about race, gender, and bias
Tennessee’s largest teacher organization has joined with five public school educators to legally challenge a 2-year-old state law restricting what they can teach about race, gender, and bias in their classrooms.
Their lawsuit, which was filed late Tuesday in a federal court in Nashville by lawyers for the Tennessee Education Association, maintains the language in the 2021 law is unconstitutionally vague and that the state’s enforcement plan is subjective. 
Read the article by Marta W. Aldrich of Chalkbeat

Crisis in teaching quality may explain stagnant learning recovery, report finds
More than three years after the pandemic began, a crisis in teaching quality may be stalling academic recovery, new research shows. Faced with exhaustion, staffing shortages, and frequent student disruptions, many educators are using “outdated and ineffective” methods and content below grade level, according to a report released last week by the Center on Reinventing Public Education at Arizona State University, part of a research project done in conjunction with the RAND Corporation.
Read the article by Marianna McMurdock in The74

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