Buying My Way Into an Oakland Public School: An Ally in Equity Addresses Privilege, Opportunity, Race and the Need for an “Opportunity Ticket”

This is a guest post from Jonathan Osler, a former teacher and school leader who is now a public school parent and advocate in Oakland. The Oakland Unified Board of Education is considering giving some families a so-called Opportunity Ticket, but the reality is that many children in Oakland — mine included — already have one. My family lives…


What’s Really Wrong with Closing Schools and How the “Opportunity Ticket” Fixes It

Closing schools balances the district’s budget woes on the backs of the already most underserved parents.  The reality of closings is that it does nothing for those parents who have been dis-served and will be displaced.  Typically, they attend an equally low-performing school that is further away and/or less familiar.  And while the district may…


Why Students Are Skipping YOUR Class: Improving Teacher Practice from a Student’s Perspective

(A guest post from Trylyon Love, an Oakland public school student and energy converter) A school is a place that we are supposed to be getting “educated.” If school is such a beneficial place for us, why are there so many students failing most of their classes? Why are students complaining every day about coming here?…


Good News on “Willful Defiance” Suspensions in Oakland and What We Need Next

Usually a letter signed by the ACLU to your school or district is not a good thing. This one was a pleasant surprise sent to our principal, Leo Fuchs, at Learning Without Limits, recognizing the success in eliminating “willful defiance” suspensions. This mirrors some broader statewide efforts, that are starting to gain traction and that we should…


Why We Need to Talk About the State of Black Education in Oakland

It’s a mistake to say the education system is failing, at least in regards to Black students.  It is not a coincidence that by most measures Black students are being left behind.  And if it were only Oakland that would be one thing, but it is literally the same everywhere 200 million test scores were…