With mixed emotions, I am writing with to let you know that, after seven years, I will be transitioning out of GO. When my son Malcolm joined us last month, it brought into sharp relief to need to prioritize my young family, especially in the coming years.
I am deeply indebted to the Oakland parents, teachers, and administrators from whom I learned so much. This community full of fierce advocates who fight every day for quality education. Thank you for the countless hours you spent supporting and helping me understand the community I have grown to love. Oakland’s roots, history, and passion live on throughout this community.
Together, we learned and worked in service of all Oakland students. We created studies in the hopes that data, and transparency can drive change. We established a teacher policy fellowship because teacher voice is critical. We walked door-to-door in elections because Board leadership matters. We broke bread and learned from other communities who have taken different pathways in the face of similar challenges.
Despite this professional change, Oakland is my home and I remain steadfast in my commitment to fight for Oakland and California to fulfill its moral and ethical responsibility to its young people to provide a high quality education to all students.
It is difficult to capture the impact that Marc Tafolla’s work has had on the children and families of Oakland.
Marc joined our team in 2011 and will be leaving an incredible legacy; we are grateful that he will still be in and around the GO world as he continues to raise his family in Oakland.
Some of the many contributions that come to mind when I think about Marc’s tenure on this team:
- Guiding the National Council on Teacher Quality to do a study of Oakland’s practices to support effective teaching,
- Successfully leading our advocacy campaign for the adoption of OUSD’s Teacher Growth and Development System,
- Leading the Oakland Achieves Coalition, including producing two citywide reports on student achievement [Third and Fourth Annual Oakland Achieves Report and 2016 Demographics and School Culture Deep Dive],
- Project managing the Informing Equity report with Educational Resource Strategies, a groundbreaking study helping Oakland education leaders understand the data about our public district-run and charter schools,
- Creating and leading our Teacher Policy Fellowship,
- Spearheading GO’s Budgeting for Impact campaign to support OUSD’s fiscal vitality, including the successful passing of foundational policies and unanimous Board of Education commitment to adhere to the Government and Financial Officers’ Association (GFOA) Framework,
- Co-leading a successful field campaign in critical school board elections,
- Publication of numerous print editorials, blogs, videos, public presentations, and other communications to ensure that the Oakland community was informed about what is happening in public education in our city.
Thank you, Marc, for helping to build this organization — and, most importantly, for your leadership and voice in service of Oakland’s most vulnerable and historically underserved students. Your contributions will continue to impact our community for years to come.
Please join us on Thursday, June 7 at 4pm at Old Kan for a happy hour to celebrate Marc’s leadership. We’d love to see you!
Jonathan Klein | CEO and Co-Founder, GO Public Schools