Questions to Ask the Next Superintendent

As the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) Board of Education works to select the next superintendent, members of GO Oakland’s network of families, educators and community allies share letters and questions they would ask superintendent candidates on issues to ensure excellence in Oakland public schools for all students.

School Site Partnership

  • How will you create structures for principal voice – including structures for principals to help shape and guide the development and implementation of initiatives?
  • How will central office be organized to work in service of school sites – routinely receiving feedback from site leaders on how their work is impacting student achievement?
  • How will you encourage principals to speak up and share their candid opinions with the goal of developing a partnership of trust between the Superintendent and site leaders?

School Transformation

  • Have you ever led a real, grassroots school transformation?
  • Have you ever had a fraught relationship with a community and how did you overcome it?
  • Why do you think you are the person for this job – so many others have struggled to engage communities in authentic redesign? What makes your a well positioned candidate?

Budget Management

  • What is your background in managing a budget the size of OUSD?
  • How will you diagnose the root cause of the current budget challenge the district is facing?
  • How will you ensure transparency, accountability, and develop a plan for improvement?

Systems and Infrastructures

  • How you will you communicate with the community about the importance of developing systems and infrastructure when that work will always be competing with direct student services for resources?
  • What is an example when you streamlined the operations of complex systems? How did you work through the process of determining how to best approach the issue?
  • What experience do you have cultivating a leadership pipeline and what are the most important aspects of that work?

Questions prepared by:

Ashley Martin, OUSD Principal

Caitlin Healey, OUSD Teacher

Nima Tahai, former OUSD principal and GO Public Schools Oakland Director of Educator Leadership  

Marc Tafolla, GO Public Schools Oakland Director of Policy

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