Something hasn’t felt quite right since the fall semester started almost a month ago. When I learned about a Wednesday demonstration at central office, I realized what was missing. I’m pleased to report that the school year is now officially in full swing.
The 2007-08 protest season is underway.
The teacher’s union says the district has shut down three early childhood education sites and has consolidated eight classrooms since the state takeover. I’ve left a message for
Jane Nicholson Lynne Rodezno, the director of Early Childhood Education, to verify those facts and seek an explanation, so hopefully I’ll be able to update this post soon.
If anyone has any insight or historical knowledge about this issue, please share it with us.
Here is the release from the Oakland Education Association:
WHAT: TEACHERS AND PARENTS SPEAK OUT TO SAVE OAKLAND’S EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAM
WHERE: OUSD School Board Meeting (1025 2nd Avenue, 1st Floor)
WHEN: Wednesday (September 26) 4:30 PM
CONTACT: OEA President Betty Olson-Jones (510-763-4020 x 15; email@example.com)
At this Wednesday’s school board meeting, the Oakland Education Association’s Early Childhood Caucus will join with concerned parents and community members to voice their concerns over the deterioration of Oakland’s Early Childhood Education program.
OUSD’s Early Childhood Education program used to set a high bar for programs around the nation with its exemplary programming, high rate of student academic performance, parent education and community relations. But since the state takeover of OUSD, the ECE program has been cut severely: three sites closed; eight classrooms consolidated; more than 20 ECE unit jobs lost.
What’s behind these cuts? Prior to the state takeover, parents were able to go to the early childhood site of choice (usually one near their work or home), fill out an application and have it reviewed and approved on the spot at the site. But under the state administration, the ECE department switched to a centralized intake system. Parents now must go downtown, stand in long lines, and deal with an anonymous and impersonal system. Not surprisingly, many parents have decided to go elsewhere, leading to reduced enrollment.
OEA says: It’s high time that kids, classrooms and quality education for every student were put first. Clearly, that won’t happen under the state takeover.
Restore the cut programs and positions
Restore site-based enrollment
Restore full local control of Oakland public schools
OEA President Betty Olson-Jones (510-763-4020 x 15; firstname.lastname@example.org)