I’ve received a report from an Oakland mom who says the principal at her kid’s school has refused to let parents or teachers look at the budget. The mother said the budget in question was for the current year, not the one being developed for 2009-10.
Hmmm… Last I checked, public school budgets were a matter of public record.
What is the process at your school for accessing this information? Have others faced similar difficulties? Do any schools post budget details online?
UPDATE: Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Tuesday, March 31st, 2009
Under: families, finances, parents, teachers | 10 Comments »
Don’t call it merit pay. If you’re ever at a social gathering with a bunch of policy wonks, you can show you’re really in the know by offhandedly referring to “P4P,” a cute acronym I learned today at a conference about “pay for performance.”
New approaches to teacher compensation, which have come in and out of style, are definitely on their way back in. In fact, they are on the table right now in Oakland, as labor leaders and district administrators try to find common ground on a possible new parcel tax initiative for teachers.
Roberta Mayor, Oakland’s interim superintendent, and Laura Moran, the district’s chief operating officer, came to today’s conference to gain insight into the controversial compensation strategy that Obama has recently endorsed. Betty Olson-Jones, the Oakland teachers union president, and a couple of other local union leaders (who were skeptical, at best, of some of these proposals), also came. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Monday, March 30th, 2009
Under: achievement gap, curriculum, elementary schools, finances, high schools, initiatives, middle schools, OEA, OUSD central office, school reform, students, teachers, test scores | 31 Comments »
photo from Inferis’ photo stream at flickr.com/creativecommons
More California families are choosing not to have their kids vaccinated, a trend that is worrying public health officials, according to a Los Angeles Times report this weekend:
A rising number of California parents are choosing to send their children to kindergarten without routine vaccinations, putting hundreds of elementary schools in the state at risk for outbreaks of childhood diseases eradicated in the U.S. years ago.
Exemptions from vaccines — which allow children to enroll in public and private schools without state-mandated shots — have more than doubled since 1997, according to a Times analysis of state data obtained last week. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Sunday, March 29th, 2009
Under: families, health, kindergarten, parents, students | 6 Comments »
The air in the board meeting room was so thick and humid Wednesday night it was almost sticky, and it wasn’t because of the weather. People jammed the place — and the overflow room upstairs — to speak on one of many, many matters.
I didn’t stay until after 2 a.m., when the meeting finally wrapped up, but one of the things that struck me from the first five hours of the meeting was the principal theme that emerged.
Dozens of people — parents, teachers, neighbors, and even City Councilwoman Desley Brooks — urged the board to keep Al Sye, the popular new Skyline High School principal who received a layoff notice this month after an investigation into the complaints of several staff members. There was also a supportive contingent from Maxwell Park, a newly redesigned/reopened elementary school whose principal, Mary-Louise Newling, got the same dreaded release letter, to staff’s dismay.
And then there was something you don’t see too often: a whole crew of teachers speaking out publicly against their principal. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Thursday, March 26th, 2009
Under: elementary schools, families, high schools, investigations, leadership changes, OUSD central office, people, School board news | 74 Comments »
Oakland has become one of the first school districts in the country to name a school after President Barack Obama.
Students from the school formerly known as the Alternative Learning Community applauded and hugged each other tonight after the board voted unanimously to allow the alternative middle school to rename itself “Barack Obama Academy.”
The students were candid Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
Under: middle schools, small schools, students, teens | 28 Comments »
Education Trust-West thinks so, and so does Brad Stam, OUSD’s chief academic officer.
Right now, less than 40 percent of Oakland’s high school seniors graduate with the requirements needed to attend a state university. At some local schools, Ed Trust reports, barely more than half of the classes offered count toward those 15 course requirements, known in the education world as “A to G.”
photo by Alison Yin
There seems to be a movement afoot to adopt those college requirements — a `C’ grade or better on all 15 “A to G” courses — as the new standard for graduating high school in Oakland. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
Under: achievement gap, Algebra/Math, college, curriculum, English learners, high schools, OUSD central office, school reform, students, teachers, teens | 38 Comments »
It has not been a good week for Oakland. Fortunately, no one was hurt in this morning’s robbery at Oakland Tech. It happened about 20 minutes before the start of school, while the teacher was out of the classroom. Two suspects — men in their late teens or early 20s — were later arrested up the street, at Longs Drugs.
This letter is going home to families, detailing what happened.
What steps should schools take to protect themselves from dangerous intruders?
Posted on Tuesday, March 24th, 2009
Under: high schools, safety, students, teachers | 13 Comments »
photo by LAURA A. ODA/Bay Area News Group
The Alternative Learning Community, a new middle school for at-risk youth that had a shaky start last year, is angling for a change it hopes the Oakland school board can believe in: a new name, after the nation’s 44th president.
It wants to be called Barack Obama Academy. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Monday, March 23rd, 2009
Under: middle schools, School board news, small schools, teens | 8 Comments »
image by DAN ROSENSTRAUCH/Bay Area News Group
I’m still at a loss for words about what happened on Saturday. What do you say to young children and teenagers about the tragedy — or about their safety, in light of the proliferation of weapons in the community? How has the death of four Oakland police officers affected your students, or your own children?
What questions are they asking? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Monday, March 23rd, 2009
Under: families, investigations, parents, safety, students, teachers, teens | 13 Comments »
photo of Think College Now alumni panel by D. Ross Cameron/Oakland Tribune
There are probably all kinds of fancy ways to describe the transition from elementary school to middle school, but 13-year-old Nhat Tran probably put it best: “a small world to a big world.”
Nhat goes to Roosevelt Middle School now, along with another nearly 700 kids. He says he likes it “OK,” but he sure misses the nurturing cocoon that was his elementary school, Think College Now. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Friday, March 20th, 2009
Under: college, elementary schools, families, initiatives, middle schools, students, teens | 7 Comments »