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Sound policy or “political theater?”

By Katy Murphy
Monday, July 9th, 2007 at 9:17 pm in local control, School board news.

I noted with a bit of surprise this morning that Mayor Ron Dellums was one of the few non-school board politicians who made it to the 8 a.m. board meeting to discuss the transfer of some powers back to the Oakland school district.

Even state superintendent Jack O’Connell, whose office runs the school district, skipped the meeting and headed straight to the press conference at Franklin Elementary School.

Maybe he felt he had heard and said enough.

Either way, his absence was enough to prompt school board member Greg Hodge to wonder aloud if the whole transfer-of-powers announcement at Franklin Elementary wasn’t merely a bit of “political theater.”

If so, it was a well attended show. At Franklin, the front of the room was packed with local and state officials — even the city auditor — who smiled and applauded as the cameras rolled.

Maybe Hodge was right. Then again, it wouldn’t be the first act.

What do you think this step will mean for education in Oakland?

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  • http://edjustice.blogspot.com ericmar

    Whatever outcome of the state takeover and return back to local control I think parents, teachers and students have to get organized to rebuild community control over your schools and hold your board and district accountable.

  • James Jones, Jr., Parent, etc.

    Partial control will only lead to more excuses and finger-pointing. It should be all or nothing. The Board can blame everything on the State and the State can blame everything on the Board; and while they bicker over who shot Paul, our children will continue to suffer the inadequacies of OUSD. I’m happy they got their salaries reinstated, but I don’t intend to celebrate until I see some real results.

  • Jim Mordecai

    Yes, political theater, but also strategic political move to undercut AB 45 that will provide
    a detailed road map to return of local control.

    Under present law the details of returning local control are left out. There isn’t anything
    in the present law that allows Jack O’Connell to return of board member salaries as they take over the two operational areas of community relations and governance. Any morning
    Jack O’Connell wakes up he can decide to return local control. The MOU has no legal
    meaning as he does not to involve anyone signing a piece of paper to return local
    control. An MOU implies a legal contract obligating both signators. Superintendent of
    Public Instruction is not legally obligated to follow anything written on that MOU piece of
    paper as current law prevails.