At GO, we believe that bringing together the knowledge, effort, and leadership of the Oakland community is the best way to work toward educational justice for all students. Teachers are an integral part of this community involvement.
To inform the work to renew the contract for Oakland teachers through collective bargaining by Oakland Educators Association (OEA) and the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), the current cohort of GO Teacher Policy Fellows will be sharing their recommendations at this today’s school board meeting. The Fellows chose to focus on the upcoming negotiations because they believe the collective bargaining contract is one of the strongest policy making mechanisms we have – it transcends district and union leadership, and is ultimately agreed upon by all of the members of the union.
At the board meeting, the Fellows will be presenting academic research and interviews with teachers that has culminated in recommendations for strengthening new teacher support and career leadership opportunities in OUSD. Below are details on the recommendations, and background on the work to get to these recommendation.
New Teacher Support Recommendations:
In order to increase educator effectiveness, new teachers in Oakland should have an equitable experience across school sites. The type and amount of support a new teacher receives should be differentiated based on a teacher’s needs, with baseline requirements met at all sites. In order to accomplish this, OUSD should:
- Ensure mentors are held accountable for complying with new California Commission on Credentialing induction standards
- Improve mentor selection and training
- Align new teacher induction with other supports (Teacher Growth and Development System, or site-based coaching for example)
- Allocate site-specific resources for each new teacher
Check out the entire New Teacher Support policy brief for more details.
Teacher Leadership Recommendations:
OUSD teachers work hard to support Oakland, a diverse city serving families with a variety of needs. OUSD must ensure that teachers feel valued and supported in their growth if we hope to retain quality teachers to serve our students. Additionally, many stressors on our teachers, such as lesson planning with no curriculum or not being trained in trauma informed practices, can be mitigated by ensuring access to teacher leaders with expertise in these areas. In order to accomplish this, OUSD should:
- Create a clear and easily accessible application process for teacher leader positions that is centrally located
- Provide clear teacher leader job descriptions and qualifications that specifically address the responsibilities the teacher will perform
- Create a standardized exit interview to be conducted with every teacher who chooses to leave the district
Check out the entire Teacher Leadership policy brief for more details.
The Work To Get Here
The current cohort of GO Teacher Policy Fellows have been building on the research of the previous Fellows, learning about education policy making, and talking with other Oakland educators. They analyzed the current state of new teacher support and teacher leadership opportunities in the District, and developed recommendations for each based on national and local best practices. You can learn more about the GO Teacher Policy Fellowship by clicking here.