Real Talk: A Year in Review + Where We’re Headed

This week we’re celebrating the Class of 2019, their accomplishments, and the future ahead. At GO, we’re taking the time to recognize all students, parents, and families, while reflecting on the year. It’s an exciting time for me personally as well, as last Thursday, I had the privilege of watching my daughter graduate from preschool. As she prepares to head into OUSD for kindergarten this August, it reaffirms the need for us as a community to continue to advocate for the best possible education for our kids.


Our community has come together to help build a movement for more funding for our public schools in California, worked to elect strong school board leaders, provided recommendations for implementation of the Community of Schools Citywide Plan, had dozens of events to take action together, and so much more. I’m proud of the work we’ve accomplished as a community, while acknowledging there is much work to be done. The Oakland teacher strike earlier this year surfaced what we’ve all known – there is so much more work to be done for our funding California’s public education system at every level. We are committed to advocating for changes and resources at the state level that will bring the funding necessary to continue to improve our school system.


Here’s more about where we’re headed in the coming year. Let us know how you can get engaged to help ensure wins for students.

Prop 13 Reform: Already this year, over 100 Oaklanders have joined us at GO events to get trained on reforming Proposition 13, which is one major opportunity we’ll have as Californians in 2020 to change how we fund public education. This reform alone could bring in $40 to $50 million annually to Oakland’s public schools. Moving forward, we will continue to ensure that Oaklanders are driving the campaign to reform Proposition 13 across California so that we can ensure a brighter future for our students and our state.

Quality Schools: The battles being fought in Oakland that pit district-run and charter public school families and educators against each other are not improving things for students. On the contrary, those battles are taking up critical energy that we all need to devote towards radically increasing the number of quality schools we have to serve our students. I had the incredible privilege to visit 15 elementary schools this year as I looked for the best fit for my 4-year-old daughter to attend next year, and I can tell you that there are incredibly positive things happening across both district-run and charter public schools. It’s also clear that we have a long way to go to realize a vision of a city that is providing the education all kids deserve.

At GO, our vision is a high quality public school for all Oakland students, and we believe in working towards improving both district-run and charter public schools so that every student, regardless of their neighborhood, thrives in a high-performing school. This is why we will continue to advocate for the thoughtful implementation of the Community of Schools Citywide Plan, which is a strategic approach to improving quality across all of our public schools. We appreciate its focus on collaboration over competition, proactive innovation over reactive response to crisis, continuous improvement over punitive consequences, and long term fiscal sustainability over short-term fixes.

Building leadership: For us to realize a vision of an Oakland where every child has access to a quality school, we need more of us to join the movement. We will be launching programming in the coming year to bring people together, across stakeholder groups, to learn about the issues and find ways to advocate for better. We hope you will join these opportunities to meet other Oaklanders who are solutions-oriented like yourself.

These issues are complex. Oakland families deserve to find the best school for their child, so the time is now for Oaklanders like you to join us as we work on real, practical solutions for the children in our schools today. We will get much further coming together to find ways through our challenges than by casting blame at fellow Oaklanders.

We believe that all of us who care about Oakland students have more in common than not, more areas of agreement than disagreement. Our students deserve adults who come together to find workable pathways forward.

So – let us know. How do you want to be involved in the coming year? 

  • Join Our Event Next Week: Email me to let me know if you’d like more information about our event next week where we’ll be hearing more about how our city is beginning to define what a quality school looks like, in both district-run and charter schools.
  • Choose Your Emails: Did you know we have 6 different email lists you can join for GO in Oakland? From a summary of every upcoming school board meeting to GO En Español, let us know which you want to get in your inbox.
  • We’re Hiring: GO, in Oakland and elsewhere in California, has open positions now and others coming soon. If you’re interested in considering a role at GO, let us know here.

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