We came out to Wednesday’s Board meeting (while the Warriors played Game 3 of the NBA finals!)with great optimism and were joined by many parents, community members, and student advocates.
More than two months and one board retreat have been spent discussing a System of Schools Policy. This critical policy would establish a vision of the board as having responsibility for all Oakland students and would also create an expectation that planning should happen with acknowledgement of the reality of our system of schools that includes district and charter schools. And Wednesday we expected a vote.
But they did not vote on the policy. Despite multiple previous discussions, the board has not yet been able to resolve some fundamental aspects: the level of specificity required, how to reconcile the multiple living versions and assorted edits, and confusion about the status of the latest policy version made available to the entire Board and the public.
This inaction and waste of the community’s resources is disappointing.
The school board is the ONLY publicly elected office to lead and govern for the good of our entire public school system, district-managed and charter-run. Our board has spent countless hours discussing who is in their duty of care. On May 29th, the School Board had a retreat on the System of Schools, they were presented with this slide:
We have no doubt that they were elected to lead and manage a system for all kids. Over and over, board members have asked if OUSD should take the first step and initiate the work.
1Oakland is asking the board to take the first step, pass the policy, and trust Superintendent Johnson-
Join us in our advocacy. Email the board if you have not done so already.
Additionally, you can view, comment, and share with your network the Facebook live video from the meeting. Watch the powerful June 6 Public Comments.
While the outcomes of the meeting were disappointing, we were inspired by the discussion, the more than 130 people who wrote the board, and the dozens of parents and educators who came out for public comment, including these:
“The ask is that the Superintendent increase access to high-quality school options… I ask someone that I trust (the superintendent) to give me a plan… And then through that plan, the construction of that plan comes a conversation. We need to trust our leader enough to lead us through that conversation, if we can only embrace the vision that ‘all means all’ and that every student in this city is our responsibility.”
Director James Harris
“Whether you like it or not, Oakland already has a system of schools. But it’s an uncoordinated system that seems to spend more time fighting over labels than working in tandem to better serve all students…. And if you approve this (Policy), we at Educate78 will do our part, in partnership with OUSD Board and staff, to make it a reality, encouraging our partners, donors, and grantees to lean in together to create a better system for all Oakland students, because ‘all means all.'”
Gloria Lee, Founder & CEO, Educate78
We hope that the vote comes before the Board on June 27th and that you will again join us in attendance, in spirit, and in dedication. We know that passing the policy is not the work. The work is making our system of schools inclusive of all of Oaklands students and, as leaders, community members, and educators, we are exclusively focused on quality, sustainability, and equity. That is the REAL work. And Oakland students cannot continue to wait any longer for the real work to begin.
All Means ALL,
Directory of Community Organizing
GO Public Schools Oakland