The Oakland Ed Week in Review 10/21/23-10/27/23

Welcome back to the Oakland Ed Week in Review! We have education news from Oakland, the Golden State and around the country for you to digest and 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. Here’s what we have going on this week: District 5 school board race grabbing headlines with two weeks to go until ballots are due (check out our coverage, including video interviews with both candidates); across the Bay, a teachers’ strike is averted; school buses with wifi are (seemingly) on the way after FCC approval. What did we miss? Hit us up in the comments below.  (Photo credit: Oakland North) 


How two candidates would break the Oakland school board’s deadlock over labor issues
The two candidates, Jorge Lerma and Sasha Ritzie-Hernandez, have strongly differing views on the key question that has led the board into all kinds of political strife: how to tackle the district’s deficit.
Whoever wins would take office immediately after the election and serve out the final year in the District 5 seat, which by that point will have sat vacant for roughly eight months.
Read the article by Shomik Mukherjee in The East Bay Times

Despite rain, Lincoln Elementary students keep walking toward $45,000 goal
Mukta Sambrani, Lincoln principal, said the fundraiser was started by the PTA to fund extracurriculars like the fifth-grade promotion celebration and art classes.
Sambrani said classes with full participation will get a snack party by the PTA. There is also the “Principal’s Challenge.”
“If we raise our goal amount, then I will dress in Halloween costumes for a week and change my hair color,” Sambrani explained.
Read the article by Becca Duncan in Oakland North

Oakland students call on school district to support peace in Palestine
“I believe that OUSD should continue to take into consideration that our community and students may be affected by this tragedy, especially as we see youth our age and younger being caught in the midst of extreme violence involving Israel and Palestine,” said Cruz, a senior at Oakland High School. “It is important that OUSD connect with families directly affected by this and find a way to give support or resources due to an increase of threats and targeted attacks across the U.S. It is our job to ensure that our community feels protected and safe during this time, especially while in school.”
Read the article by Ashley McBride in The Oaklandside

Foster youth in Oakland need advocates. Here’s how you can become one
To help foster students do better in school, OUSD is seeking volunteers for a program that trains adults who can help advocate for these vulnerable youth. Called “education surrogates,” these volunteers can ensure foster youth are having their educational needs met. They take on the role of a parent in special education assessments and meetings, expulsion hearings, and other disciplinary matters, and they help make decisions about school matters affecting a student that a parent would otherwise make.
Read the article by Ashley McBride in The Oaklandside

The State of California

San Francisco teachers reach deal with district to avoid strike after all-night bargaining session
The United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) announced the tentative agreement on its social media channels Friday, just over a week after voting overwhelmingly to authorize a strike against the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD).
Read the article by Carlos Casteneda in CBS Bay Area

How San Jose State wants to house teachers
San Jose State University envisions partnering with public school districts across Santa Clara County to combat the housing crisis and the soaring cost of living dilemma that has driven teachers and students out of the Bay Area. The university is also considering how it can use the Alquist building, acquired in January 2020, to house its faculty, staff and graduate students, plus teachers and employees from various school districts.
Read the article by Lorraine Gabbert in San Jose Spotlight

Suspending students leads to big GPA drop, according to UCSF study
The impact on Black and Latino students was even more dramatic. Black students were 10 times more likely to be removed from a classroom or suspended than white students. Their GPAs dropped 1.44 points by the end of the study. Latino students saw a drop of 1.39 points, and American Indian/Alaskan Natives saw a drop of 1.33 points.
Read the article by Emma Gallegos in EdSource

Report: What impact does transitional kindergarten have?
Based on data from five large school districts, the report’s key findings include the fact that expanded transitional kindergarten often leads to earlier identification of English learner students and those with special education needs. Early identification is often associated with more positive outcomes.
Read the article by Karen D’Souza in EdSource

Muslim parents say LAUSD ‘pro-Israel’ statement made their kids targets
On Oct. 7, in the immediate wake of the Hamas incursion, Carvalho posted on social media: “We stand with Israel. We stand in unity with the UN and many other nations in repudiating the recent attacks.” The first sentence was entwined with the Star of David in the colors of the Israeli flag. The first version of the post said “United States” instead of “United Nations,” but this was withdrawn and revised.
Read the article by Howard Blume in The Los Angeles Times

Across The Nation

Wi-Fi on the way to school: FCC vote aims to help students with poor internet access
More school buses across the country could be fitted with Wi-Fi after a vote Thursday by the Federal Communications Commission. In a 3-2 vote along party lines, commissioners adopted a declaratory ruling allowing districts to use money from the E-Rate program, which helps schools and libraries buy affordable broadband, toward Wi-Fi and supported devices on buses.
Read the article by Zachary Schermele in USA Today

41 states sue Meta, claiming Instagram, Facebook are addictive, harm kids
A 233-page federal complaint alleges that the company engaged in a “scheme to exploit young users for profit” by misleading them about safety features and the prevalence of harmful content, harvesting their data and violating federal laws on children’s privacy. State officials claim that the company knowingly deployed changes to keep children on the site to the detriment of their well-being, violating consumer protection laws.
Read the article by Cristiano Lima and Naomi Nix in The Washington Post

These former HBCU students owed their college nearly $10 million. The debt was just erased
The 2,777 former students attended Morehouse College, a historically Black liberal arts school for men in Atlanta. And collectively, they owed Morehouse $9,707,827.67 through the fall 2022 term, some of the accounts dating back decades. With the help of the Debt Collective, a union of debtors, and in collaboration with the college, a 501(c)(4) known as the Rolling Jubilee Fund bought that debt out.
Read the article by Alia Wong in USA Today

Billions in federal child care relief just expired. Costs are already skyrocketing.
Across the country, the child care industry is crumbling in real time. Federal relief money that helped keep the sector – and parents – from going under during the pandemic is evaporating if it isn’t already gone. That includes the 2021 American Rescue Plan’s historic $24 billion infusion into the sector, which allowed tens of thousands of centers to avoid permanent closures and officially expired Sept. 30.
Read the article by Alia Wong in USA Today

College enrollment grew for the first time since the pandemic started
A snapshot of fall head counts released Thursday by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center shows undergraduate enrollment this fall is 2.1 percent higher than in fall 2022 and 1.2 percent higher than in fall 2021.
Read the article by Danielle Douglas-Gabriel in The Washington Post

Scholastic reverses course on segregating ‘diverse’ book fair titles
Scholastic has backtracked on its decision to separate dozens of books focused on race and LGBTQ+ themes into an optional collection for this year’s elementary school book fairs after weeks of criticism from authors, illustrators and library advocates who decried the move as self-censorship.
Read the article by Praveena Somasundaram, Hannah Natanson and Kim Bellware in The Washington Post

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