On the agenda: Layoffs, recruiters and preschool

Military recruiters in Illinois. Tribune file photo (Associated Press)

At its 5 p.m. Wednesday meeting, the Oakland school board will consider:

  • making it easier for high school students to keep their personal information away from military recruiters, by including “opt-out” forms as part of the student emergency card, among other measures – Page 3
  • a proposal to more closely link preschool — academically and administratively — with kindergarten through third grades. At seven schools, principals will supervise the pre-K program on campus, as well. (The initiative is called P-3.) – Page 4
  • creating a Promise Neighborhood, a la Harlem Children’s Zone. – Page 6
  • eliminating 121 positions, including 38 from adult education programs (still waiting on more details/explanation, which I’ll post soon; apparently the number of teachers who actually received layoff notices is much lower). -Page 7
  • “temporary fund-borrowing,” to be repaid within 90 days, to weather another deferred payment from the state. – Page 17

Any thoughts or questions about these proposals? Some of those files were too large for my wimpy blog to handle, but you can find the agenda here. Maybe I’ll see you on Second Avenue.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Katy Murphy

    UPDATE: The district is sending out 41 final layoff notices — four to counselors, 2 to adult ed teachers and 35 to multi-subject teachers without CLAD or BCLAD credentials.

  • east oakland teacher

    Way more than 38 Adult Ed teachers (I think over 80) are losing their jobs, but many of them are part-time teachers who don’t legally need to receive layoff notices. That doesn’t make it any easier for them – many of them have deep deep roots and long histories of teaching in Oakland schools and community organizations. There were also some full-time OEA Adult Ed teachers who did get layoff notices. I think the number of 38 is supposed to be the FTE of all the part-timers and full-timers added together.
    -Adult Ed teacher

  • Ms. J.

    I’m excited about the ideas you mentioned here.

    I think h.s. students should be able to opt out from sharing info with military recruiters (kind of scary though that this info is otherwise automatically shared).

    I read Whatever It Takes, about the Harlem Children’s Zone, and I found it very inspiring. I spoke to a teacher in East Oakland who said that the Superintendent is hoping to make her school an anchor institution in such an endeavor. I know that the Obama administration is soliciting proposals from cities who want to be supported in developing these Promise Neighborhoods, but maybe Oakland could just go for it even without securing the grant!

    Thanks for the updates, Katy.

  • Katy Murphy

    Yes, thanks for noting that, east oakland teacher. Some of the adult ed teachers did have their layoff notices rescinded, I’m told.

  • Nextset

    More adolescents and college students are considering military service. At least some of those I hear of. The problem is that many of them are not fit for admission to military service. The military screens applicants for IQ and rejects the left side of the Bell Curve. As an aside, they will not accept anyone who is on any kind of court probation including informal felony or misdemeanor probation.

    So like everything else, the stats differ by race with you-know-who being disqualified at the highest rate. Black students on the group average are not being prepared by their public schools to keep this option open (by “prepared” I mean they reach age 18 with little to no coaching on a wide variety of life skills which Ken and Barbie get from their society if not from school).

    I for one believe the recruiters should have free access to the kiddies whether the “parent” likes it or not. For ghetto kids and illegal aliens, military service is one of the principal tickets out of the underclass (and underclass mortality tables) open to them. Once that train leaves the station, it’s gone for good. The public school should require exposure to the option. Once the child remains in the ghetto into adulthood they lose whatever eligibility they had (criminal cases, tattooing, more advanced drug use, etc).

    I have seen a lot of underclass people get into the military at 18 and use it to make the jump to something their brothers and cousins never had – the middle class and even professional class. It is a very good thing for Foster Kids with no family and kids with a pesky alien status they need to get out of. Service brings citizenship. (At least it used to, anyone have info on this issue?)

  • Oakland Educator

    According to Kitty Kelly Epstein, sharing info with military recruiters is a mandatory part of No Child Left Behind. The only way to opt out thus far has been for individual parents to discover the policy on their own, track down the district official in charge, and individually request removal of their children’s information from the database.

    Let’s subject urban schoolchildren to testing that the children of politicians at private schools will never have to take, and then send them to wars that children of politicians can watch from afar!

  • TheTruthHurts

    As much as I disagree with Nextset, schools seem to require to all kinds of ideas that are repugnant to parents. I don’t see why the military would be any different. I want kids to have all options open, but I don’t trust the system to guide them correctly and I certainly don’t trust the military.

    Until there is national military service including the children of CONgressfolk, I don’t want them anywhere near my kids.

  • Nextset

    TruthHurts: I sure don’t want people to believe that I think the military won’t lie and backstab the service people. They do from time to time. That’s not the point.

    Military service has a LOT of benefits which are especially desirable to lower class youth. Your kids may not need to strongly consider joining up because your kids have other options up to and including living off you and your friends and society.

    Fatherless Boys, Trick Babies, Foster Kids and no accounts of all kinds, if they can get accepted in service, have a chance to get out of Dodge, see the world and create themselves an adult career free of ghetto pathology and their unfortunate birth – if they cut the mustard. They have to have an acceptable IQ to be considered and not have disqualifying conditions (which is why they need to get in sooner rather than later before these conditions set in). Higher functioning youth see the military as a great way to start their adult career also. They start at a higher pay grade. They also select more competitive career paths.

    Ghetto schools, which typically are NOT interested in the long term well being of it’s black and brown male students (and the females??) are known to make sure the ghetto youth do not have military opportunities. Much of this comes from rad-lib hatred of the US and the military and no little distain for the students either, distain coated in honey.

    When we have people such as Elena K blocking recruiters we know very well what they are. They serve to keep the chillun on the reservation.

  • Nextset

    Oh, and the children of Congressfolk can serve also – starting from a Service Academy where they get paid to have a $100k+ a year education. You see, it’s a matter of which rung of the ladder you start from…

    Brave New World!

  • Nextset

    Draft Registration is another issue for the schools to take a stand on. Not only is it a crime to not register but there are lifetime disqualifications imposed on those who fail to register by a certain age. Some school children turn 18 during the school year. Should the schools warn/instruct the boys to register? Does it matter that a bio-parent or quasi parent objects?

    Do the schools have some kind of duty to the child to instruct compliance with this law and law in general?

    Of course I believe schools do have such an obligation, along with training the chillun not to play in the street.

    As a lawyer I see certain young people – you know who – who turn 18 without basic knowledge of law and the horrible penalties in store for those who get caught in violation of certain laws (75 to life imposed for a 110lb no criminal history 19 year old for fondling underage girls). Or even the minor penalties (ie Minor in possession of alcohol equals no driver’s licence). These kids at 18+ really didn’t imagine what was to happen to them when they did these things. They knew it was wrong, but…

    We should discuss the scope of what the urban public school is supposed to accomplish in the production of 18 year old “graduates”.

    It seems to me nowadays we just have the survival of the (cognitively) fittest.

  • CarolineSF

    Here in SFUSD, there’s a prominent opt-out option on the high school enrollment application. It’s been there for years, since before my oldest, now a college freshman, started high school.

    It’s true that a lot of parents don’t get it and complain, “The district wants to give my child’s contact information to military recruiters!”

  • Chauncey

    Didnt Biden’s son serve in the military? McCains? I think this argument is weak.

  • http://www.ousd.k12.ca.us Troy Flint

    A few quick points of clarification on the issue of military recruitment and the opt-out procedures provided for students and parents:

    1. As an earlier poster mentioned, federal law requires OUSD and other school districts to provide military recruiters the same access to students that is granted to colleges and potential employers. This is a provision of NCLB and took effect in July of 2002.

    a. A relevant passage from the Department of Education website: “Congress has passed two major pieces of legislation that generally require local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA)1 to give military recruiters the same access to secondary school students as they provide to postsecondary institutions or to prospective employers. LEAs are also generally required to provide students’ names, addresses, and telephone listings to military recruiters, when requested.”

    b. More information can be found at this link: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/hottopics/ht-10-09-02a.html

    2. OUSD has included an opt-out form in the registration packet, which every family needs to co since at least 2005 and probably earlier, although I can’t verify that immediately. Three years ago, the District moved from having separate forms for different topics (certifying receipt of the parent guide, opting out of military recruitment, opting-out of inclusion in the directory, etc.) to a single comprehensive form addressing these topics. The thinking was that shrinking the number of forms would reduce the likelihood of one being overlooked.

    3. The proposal seeks to increase the visibility of the form by including the opt-out information on the Emergency Card, thereby increasing awareness of the options available to families. The logistics of this change have yet to be finalized, pending the Board’s decision.

  • Jesse James

    Will you cover the demotions, transfers, retirements of central office and site staff because of layoffs/demotions/transfers? It is pretty serious stuff.

    Word is that the Special Education department central office is being replaced(?) leaving(?). My school’s longtime(20+ years)and beloved school site administrative assistant has been demoted and transferred via a May 15th letter. There was no face to face interview (that I know of) with the transferred/demoted employee, just a letter.

    How will the district settle the grievances that will surely be filed? Out of what budget will the salaries of those responding to grievances be paid? Out of what budget will all these transferred and demoted employees be trained, and from what budget will supervisors be paid to fix the mistakes of newly transferred employees?