GO advocates for quality instruction for Oakland students and investment in support of teachers and effective teaching. In 2013, with the support of GO’s network and allies, the National Council on Teacher Quality released an Oakland Teacher Quality Roadmap. Shortly following, our network worked together to ensure OUSD’s school board prioritized funding to develop an effective teaching framework and new teacher growth and development system.
During 2014-15, GO advocated for increasing teacher compensation and provided Bay Area-wide data on where Oakland educators stood and analysis of OUSD and OEA proposals. The result was the district’s first multi-year contract in close to a decade that included a significant increase in compensation and more flexibility for schools around hiring.
Since 2013, GO has convened an annual Teacher Policy Fellowship to support diverse public school teachers to develop their leadership skills and understanding of issues directly affecting teachers and students.
In 2013, GO informed and advocated for OUSD’s Quality School Development Policy. The policy charges district leaders to prioritize the transformation of low-performing schools and the expansion of quality, equity, and access among all Oakland schools. Over the last two years, OUSD has built new structures for supporting excellence and equity across all public schools in our city: School Performance Framework, Strategic Regional Analysis, and the Call for Quality Schools.
In 2014, GO and allies organized a coalition to partner with OUSD to pass Measure N. The measure passed with 70 percent support from Oakland voters and will generate $120 million over 10 years to transform our secondary schools — both district-run and charter — with college and career prep linked learning academies. GO also offered critical leadership in Oakland’s Measure N campaign in 2012 to raise $500 million for safe, modern school facilities.
GO is working to develop family leadership and elevate the voices of families of color in shaping the path forward for our public schools. In 2015, GO supported family leaders from West and North Oakland to create United Families Building Community to organize and outreach to other families impacted by the lack of quality school options in their neighborhoods and to more deeply influence OUSD’s process for transforming schools.
Through California’s budget crisis from 2008-2012, GO advocated to keep cuts as far from students as possible. We helped to empower school communities to allocate scarce resources effectively and prioritize resources for our highest need students by OUSD and through the new Local Control Funding Formula. Read about our network’s success in curbing a $17 million midyear budget cut in 2009.
In September 2014, GO and partners released “Attending School Every Day,” a report which found nearly 1 in 5 of Oakland’s African American students missing at least 10 percent of the school year. Featured on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle, the report also included best practices from Oakland schools beating the curve on student attendance.
Since 2009, GO’s Board Watch has lowered barriers to participation and strengthened understanding of our local education policy and decision-making process by summarizing and sharing school board meeting agendas and content.
In 2012, GO convened diverse community-based organizations to form the Oakland Achieves Coalition focused on monitoring and analyzing student learning and opportunity gaps in Oakland public schools. The reports’ data and analysis have been cited by Oakland parents, educators, Mayors, school board members, and district leaders in advocating for changes to more effectively serve students. The Oakland Achieves Coalition is preparing to release its fourth annual cradle to career report this spring.