Oakland’s Literacy Crisis, the New Literacy for All Coalition, and How You can Help

Oakland has a literacy crisis and it is most acute in the in the Black and Brown communities.  Only 18.6% of Black students in OUSD are reading on grade level, and 23.8% of Latinx students are, overall less than half of all Oakland students are proficient readers.  In the same district where less than 1…


Questions and Answers for Families on Reading; The NAACP, The Oakland REACH and Oakland’s New Literacy For All Campaign

How well can your child read?  Not what are their grades, but really, how well can they read?  Are they on grade level?  That was a question The Oakland REACH and Oakland NAACP started asking with families over the last year, and as the answers emerged, a new campaign was born, the Oakland Literacy For…


Who Betrayed the Opportunity Ticket; How Hills Parents Won and Flatlands Parents are Losing

Black parents in Oakland do not have access to quality schools.  1% attended a school above the state average and making progress, 2/3rds attend a school below average and going backwards.  We are locked into those schools by enrollment rules, segregated housing and the legacy of discrimination.  So, it seemed a momentous victory when the…


Where Does Cultural Competency and Quality Fit into CA’s Teacher Credential? A Black Teacher Wonders

A guest post by Oakland teacher Marquise Evans, aka “Quis,” on the challenges of getting the technical teaching credential and how little it tends to mean for students “Quis, does a credential make one a qualified educator for scholars of melanin descent?” *Then the background choir beautifully sings… “H********* NAWWWW!” Absolutely, Not! I ask myself this…


Celebrating The Critical Importance of Black Educators and Getting More of Them in Oakland

One relatively simple and costless reform could decrease Black dropout rates by roughly a third, increase all Black students’ expectations around going to college, increase significantly the percentage of Black students in gifted classes, while also increase student engagement for youth of all races. We just need to hire, retain and develop more Black teachers. …