Oakland’s school food movement: What will it take to fix a broken system?

THURSDAY UPDATE: I meant to link to a recent blog post on the issue of school food in Oakland: “The Schoolyard Foodie: Props to the People.” The author, Melrose Leadership Academy teacher Gehry Oatey, writes for Teacher, Revised.

photo of Glenview Elementary School students by D. Ross Cameron/Staff.

A story in tomorrow’s Tribune looks at grassroots efforts to give every child access to fresh produce and a healthy meal, as well as the Oakland school district’s progress on that front. What are your ideas?


Young teachers’ views on pay, unions and retention

A study by Learning Point Associates, The View from Generation Y, found that young teachers are more open to the idea of varying pay based on performance and responsibilities — but that they don’t consider performance pay to be the key to improving teacher quality and retention.

Researchers surveyed and conducted focus groups of teachers from around the country who were born after 1977. The teachers considered Continue Reading


Nerves, crowds and competition: A family starts its search for an Oakland high school

Nia Lozano, whose daughter attends Edna Brewer Middle School, tells us her impressions of a recent open house at Oakland Tech. (At 6:15 p.m. tonight, Skyline High School holds its event for prospective families.) -Katy

photo from Oakland Technical High School’s Web site

Last Wednesday I attended the Oakland Technical High School open house. This was unusual, as I normally find it taxing to come out to any extraneous school events and have missed my share of Halloween parades and school performances. What is even more significant is that my oldest child will not start high school until the year after next, and I generally consider myself to be a pretty low key parent. But I was not alone. I ran into half a dozen other seventh-grade families I know, checking out this Oakland public high school early. 

The Oakland Tech building is architecturally striking, with huge columns and a white marble foyer, but what really struck me was the number of people swarming through the doors. We were directed to an auditorium that looked to hold about 500 people and was nearly packed!

The evening consisted of a series of six short periods in which you visit classrooms and learn about the various academic programs. Apparently, everyone had heard about the successes of Paideia and the Engineering Academy as there was a monumental rush to get into these classrooms. My daughter and I were turned away from the Paideia classroom twice, and when we finally got in, it was standing room only. Continue Reading


Kakishiba isn’t stepping down quite yet

In mid-October, Oakland school board member and East Bay Asian Youth Center Executive Director David Kakishiba announced he would resign from his post at the end of the month because of a conflict-of-interest ruling by the district’s new general counsel, Jackie Minor.

Well, it’s Nov. 2, and Kakishiba hasn’t left. He says he is respecting the requests he has received from other board members and his constituents to see if a “legal remedy” could be reached that would let him serve on the board within certain parameters.

“I’m prepared to resign, but not one single person has said, `Get the hell out of here,'” Kakishiba told me today.

At 6 p.m. Nov. 12, the school board will hold a special meeting on the subject. Continue Reading