School board meetings can be painfully long, but they promise not to be dry, bureaucratic affairs this year. That’s because today at Oakland City Hall, the board elected Alice Spearman its new president.
Spearman is not one to tip-toe around the issues. I’ve watched her chest bump a teacher who insulted her (at a televised meeting); cross-examine an eighth-grade KIPP student about her high school selection process; accuse a fellow board member of racism; and, most recently, chide parents for taking advantage of the district’s school choice policies, rather than opting for their neighborhood school.
Spearman, the board’s former VP, will assume the post previously held by David Kakishiba. She represents the East Oakland-Elmhurst district; last year, she won a close re-election bid against Doris Limbrick and Beverly Williams.
In December, Spearman made good on one of her biggest campaign promises: a local vendor policy that many hope will be a boon to the Oakland economy. We’ll see what else she pushes to the forefront in 2009.