By Katy Murphy
Friday, November 12th, 2010 at 5:06 pm in Tony Smith.
I didn’t blog about the Great Oakland Public Schools workshop the other week on the new task forces that could play a major role in shaping district policy. Sorry about that. But it’s not to late to get involved, so better late than never, right?
The workshop was organized to give people — namely, those who hadn’t been tapped to be on a task force — a better idea of how they could participate. There was no lack of interest; the room at the Jack London Aquatic Center was packed. Halfway through the meeting, people split into groups, arranging themselves around various tables to learn more about committees that piqued their interest.
It was interesting to note `the popular tables’ — e.g. teacher effectiveness — and the empty or missing chairs at others, most conspicuously the one for eliminating the district’s structural deficit.
I’m still not clear on how the members were selected, or why the membership list for the effective principals task force was two pages long and didn’t include a single teacher. (The answer I got was that the work of that task force would overlap with the teacher task force. But the latter has principals on it, so go figure.)
But GO Public Schools organizers seemed happy that a) district administrators turned out in force, b) the district published a calendar listing upcoming task force meetings, and c) CFO Vernon Hal announced that these meetings would open to the public, and that anyone could participate (with regular attendance encouraged, as opposed to dropping in here and there).
So, in case you missed it the first time, here is a link to the calendar.
Next week’s task force meetings: school choice, full-service community schools, standards and curriculum, healthy kids, and teacher effectiveness.
This isn’t on the calendar, but the district’s Quality Community Schools Development office — whose task force will be defining what it means to be a high-quality school in Oakland — is hosting an event next week to explain the process and how to get involved. It’s from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Tilden School, 4551 Steele St. I hear from a reliable source that the first meeting had child care, snacks and translation services.
I have to admit I’m confused by the orientation flier, but I’m sure it’ll all be made clear at the meeting.