The Oakland Ed Week in Review 5/25/24-5/31/24 

It’s time for the Oakland Ed Week in Review!  

We’re back with our roundup of education news from around The Town, the Bay Area, state, and nation for your weekend reading. This is a Dirk favorite and one of the last blogs he published for Great School Voices.  

Here’s what’s been going on: 

Here in Oakland |  Oakland celebrates academic successes as Cristo Rey De La Salle and Unity High achieve 100% college acceptance rates, while Oakland Strokes diversifies youth rowing, offering opportunities. Additionally, Oakland recognizes high school basketball state champions, and graduates prepare for college futures.

In the Greater Bay Area |  Bay Area addresses teacher shortage with a $42/month credentialing program. Schools receive $91 million for electric buses, aiming to reduce emissions. San Francisco schools face insolvency concerns due to a projected $309.9 million deficit.

Throughout the State of California |  California teachers secure agreement with Gov. Newsom to safeguard Prop 98 funding, averting potential $12 billion cuts. Concerns arise over misuse of nearly $1 billion allocated for arts education. High school students invited to shape educational policy as state seeks new board member. Former Gov. Jerry Brown’s foresight protects California schools from budget shortfalls.

Across the Nation |  Education Secretary Miguel Cardona emphasizes equity initiatives, addressing FAFSA delays and civil rights violations. Florida’s Board of Education replaces “gender” with “sex,” risking Title IX conflict. New Hampshire’s ban on critical race theory in classrooms struck down. Former CEO faces wire fraud charges in charter school scandal.

What did we miss?  Hit us up in the comments below: 


Oakland Unity High School celebrates sending 80% of their seniors to 4-year colleges

What’s happening: Oakland Unity High School celebrated Decision Day, with 80% of seniors announcing their acceptance to four-year colleges, surpassing the city’s 50% average for Black and Brown students.

Why it matters: This milestone highlights the school’s effective support system and its significant impact on students’ futures, offering role models and mentors for the community.

Notable quote: “That changes their trajectory not just for themselves, but for everyone in their family who comes behind them now has a role model,” said Kimi Kean, Families in Action for Quality Education.

by Tim Johns of ABC7 News

Kids in East Oakland club to compete in national rowing competition 

What’s happening: The Oakland Strokes rowing club is sending nearly 70 young athletes to compete in the Youth Nationals in Florida, including Giovanni Grajeda, a high school freshman.

Why it matters: This participation showcases efforts to diversify the sport of rowing and provides significant opportunities for underrepresented youth from East Oakland to gain exposure and potentially attract college scouts.

Notable quote:  “Traditionally, rowing doesn’t look like me, so I want to be the person that helps kids realize that rowing could look like them” – Carla Jourdan, STEM to Stern program director

Call to Action:  To get involved in the STEM to Stern program, visit or contact [email protected].

by Crystal Bailey for KTVU FOX2 News

Every senior at Oakland high school accepted to four-year colleges

What’s happening: Every senior at Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School in Oakland has been accepted to a four-year university for the third consecutive year.

Why it matters: This achievement is significant as it demonstrates the school’s successful support system and dedication to providing higher education opportunities for low-income students.

Notable quote: “Every student deserves an opportunity and they’re all college bound,” said guidance counselor Paola Duenas.

by Itay Hod for CBS News San Francisco 

In other Oakland news & happenings…

The Bay Area

Becoming a Teacher in Alameda County Can Be Expensive. A New Program Costs Just $42 a Month

What’s happening: The Alameda County Office of Education and Reach University are partnering to offer a heavily discounted teacher credentialing program at $42 per month to address the teacher shortage.

Why it matters: This initiative aims to fill classroom vacancies by making it affordable for current school staff with temporary credentials to become fully credentialed teachers, addressing barriers like cost and time.

Notable quote: “It’s all hands on deck for this teacher shortage,” said Héctor Camacho, senior vice president and executive director of the western region for Reach University.

by Ashely McBride for The Oaklandside

Bay Area, California school districts getting $91 million in rebates to buy electric buses

What’s happening: The EPA is providing over $91 million in rebates to California school districts, including four in the Bay Area, to purchase electric school buses, as part of a $900 million national initiative.

Why it matters: Transitioning to electric buses will reduce diesel emissions, improving air quality and health, particularly in communities of color and tribal areas disproportionately affected by pollution.

Notable quote: “Setting California’s schoolchildren up for a successful day of learning starts with a cleaner commute,” – Alex Padilla,  U.S. Senator.

by Carlos Castañeda & Thomas Hughes for CBS Bay Area News

State concerned San Francisco schools may be insolvent by 2025-26 

What’s happening: San Francisco Unified School District faces a projected deficit of $309.9 million over three years, raising concerns of insolvency by 2025-26.

Why it matters: The district’s financial woes, including accommodations for recent educator raises, threaten its ability to maintain operations and provide quality education.

Notable quote: “The district’s financial system is a significant barrier that prevents the district from conducting business accurately,” -stated a report by the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team, 

by Shirleen Guerra for The Center Square via Chalkboard News

In other Bay Area news & happenings…

The State of California 

The details behind California teachers’ compromise with Gov. Newsom over education funding

What’s happening: Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Teachers Association have agreed on a plan to protect Prop 98 school funding and prevent significant future cuts amid revenue shortfalls.

Why it matters: This compromise aims to stabilize education funding in California, avoiding a potential $12 billion reduction that could have had long-term negative impacts on the state’s schools.

Notable quote: “The agreement reached with the governor to protect public school funding is a critical step forward for California’s schools and communities,” – David Goldberg, CTA President.

by Molly Gibbs for East Bay Times

In related coverage see Gov. Newsom, school groups settle funding fight, with some more money coming as IOUs by John Fensterwald for Ed Source

California Spent Nearly $1 Billion to Boost Arts Education. Are Schools Misspending it?

What’s happening: Proposition 28 has provided California K–12 schools with nearly $1 billion for arts education, but concerns are arising that some districts may be misusing these funds, exacerbating existing inequities.

Why it matters: Proper allocation of Proposition 28 funds is crucial to expanding arts education and addressing decades of underfunding, ensuring all students, especially those in low-income areas, receive equitable access to arts programs.

Notable quote: “The intent of Prop. 28 is to have more arts in schools…We’re concerned that’s not happening everywhere,” – Abe Flores, deputy director of policy and programs at Create CA.

by Carolyn Jones for Cal Matters

Student Voice Commentary:  Are you cut out to be the next student member of the California State Board of Education?

What’s happening: The search for the next student member of the California State Board of Education is underway, offering high school students a chance to influence educational policy.

Why it matters: This role empowers students to advocate for their peers and shape policies on curriculum, assessments, and other educational matters.

Notable quote: “Serving on the board can enhance your leadership, communication and advocacy skills…It’s a chance to develop as a leader and make a meaningful impact on education in your state.” -Anya Ayyappan, student member of the California State Board of Education.

by Anya Ayyappan for Ed Source

Opinion: California schools can fund ‘rainy day,’ thanks to Jerry Brown 

What’s happening: California’s public school system will likely remain financially stable despite the state’s significant budget shortfall, largely due to drawing over $6 billion from the “rainy day fund” created by former Gov. Jerry Brown.

Why it matters: The foresight to build up substantial reserves has protected schools from drastic funding cuts, highlighting the importance of maintaining financial buffers for economic downturns.

Notable quote: “I’m determined to avoid the fiscal mess that the last few governors had to deal with,” – Jerry Brown

by Louis Freedberg for Mercury News

In other California news & happenings…

Across The Nation

Q&A – ‘Fixing the core’: U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona vows to promote equity

What’s happening: Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona addresses issues including FAFSA delays and civil rights violations at the Education Writers Association conference.

Why it matters: Cardona’s responses shed light on critical education challenges, highlighting efforts to improve equity and navigate post-Covid recovery.

Notable quote: “We’re focusing on fixing the core of education — literacy, numeracy, giving students access to higher levels of that, addressing inequities in our schools…” – Miguel Cardona

by Mallika Seshadri for Ed Source

Florida Board of Education replaces “gender” with “sex;” state challenges Title IX changes

What’s happening: The Florida State Board of Education approved changes to the Florida High School Athletic Association’s bylaws, replacing “gender” with “sex” and updating nondiscrimination policies, amidst a broader conflict with federal Title IX regulations.

Why it matters: These changes reflect ongoing disputes over transgender rights in sports and could risk federal funding if Florida does not comply with broader Title IX interpretations including gender identity.

Notable quote: “If Florida does not comply with Title IX, we will be at risk to lose the federal funding that our schools need to succeed,” – Crystal Etienne,  Miami-Dade County teacher.

by CBS News Miami

Judge strikes down New Hampshire’s ban on critical race theory in classrooms

What’s happening: A federal judge ruled New Hampshire’s laws on classroom discussions around critical race theory and divisive topics as unconstitutionally vague.

Why it matters: The ruling highlights concerns over free speech and academic freedom in education, impacting teachers’ ability to navigate discussions on sensitive topics.

Notable quote: “The ruling restores the teaching of truth and the right to learn for all Granite State students,” – Megan Tuttle, President – National Education Association of New Hampshire.

by Brendan Clarey for Chalkboard News

Tindley Accelerated Schools’ former CEO is charged with defrauding the charter network

What’s happening: Former CEO of Tindley Accelerated Schools, Brian Metcalf, faces wire fraud charges for allegedly collaborating to bill the schools for nonexistent goods and services. In a statement to families, the school said it intends to seek restitution.

Why it matters: The indictment highlights concerns about financial oversight in charter schools, impacting accountability and governance within the education system.

Notable quote: The Tindley board “notified OEI of the allegations and has maintained communication throughout this process.” – spokesperson for the school’s authorizer, Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation

by Aleksandra Appleton and Amelia Pak-Harvey for Chalkbeat

In other National news & happenings…

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