If You’re Black and Low-Income in Oakland, You Have to Fight for the Right to a Good School

(A guest post from Tenisa Lyles is a single mother of three children, living in deep East Oakland. She was one of the founding members of The Oakland REACH, a parent-led group focused on making the powerless parent powerful.) Every family should have the right to a good school for their kids. But it turns out … Continue reading If You’re Black and Low-Income in Oakland, You Have to Fight for the Right to a Good School


The Pitiful Options for Black Families in Oakland and What We Can Do

If you are a Black child in Oakland you have a snowball’s chance in hell of attending a high performing school that is making progress.  A 1% chance according to the latest data from Oakland Achieves when it comes to math.  I am not joking.  And even worse about 2/3rds of our children are in … Continue reading The Pitiful Options for Black Families in Oakland and What We Can Do


The Most Important Thing You Can Do as an Oakland Parent-The Dates You Need to Know

In Oakland’s brave new world of open enrollment the most important thing you can do for your child is not joining the PTA and helping on the playground; it’s making sure you find the best school for them. Every family has a right to apply to basically any school in Oakland, charter or district, and … Continue reading The Most Important Thing You Can Do as an Oakland Parent-The Dates You Need to Know


The Worst OUSD Board in 25 Years and How it Can Get Better

Last night a young Black child came to the OUSD Board meeting to proudly sing a song that they learned in Spanish.  Their family was beaming, but the child was upset.  She wasn’t shy.  She was upset.  She didn’t want to sing.  Clutching her mother, head in her chest she was silent.  And what upset … Continue reading The Worst OUSD Board in 25 Years and How it Can Get Better


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

Closing schools balance 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 … Continue reading What’s Really Wrong with Closing Schools and How the “Opportunity Ticket” Fixes It