Tribune forum on public education in Oakland

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Oakland is exciting place to be an education reporter, and — for a number of reasons — I’m glad my boss feels the same way about the importance of schools coverage.

In fact, Tribune Editor Martin Reynolds has organized a forum on some of the issues facing the city’s public schools. It’ll be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at the new, 81st Avenue branch of the Oakland Public Library (1021 81st Avenue — next to ACORN Woodland and EnCOMPASS schools). You can see the flier here.

The free public event — which, admittedly, is not at the most convenient time for people who work in schools — is co-sponsored by the Bay Area Business Roundtable, the Prescott-Joseph Center and the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

It will include four panel discussions: the charter school phenomenon in Oakland (moderated by yours truly); the role of philanthropy in funding education; school reform from the higher education perspective; and what models and programs are working and how to get involved.

You’re welcome to drop in at any point — or to stay for the duration. I hope to see you there! 

As it says on the invitation, “This is not about promoting any agenda,
program or organization. It’s about sharing ideas, information and opinions for making our local schools better.”

If you have any questions about the event, please contact Martin Reynolds at mreynolds@bayareanewsgroup.com.

Martin says he plans to convene more discussions on education — next time, in the late afternoon/early evening, so teachers can take part. I told him I thought would be interesting to look at what’s being done (or what needs to be done) to improve the district’s middle schools and high schools.

Have an idea? Pass it along.

Katy Murphy

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

  • Alice Spearman

    I will be there, (this is being held in my district also).

  • Paulina

    I hope I can stop by and I’ll pass on the word to my colleagues. Disappointing that it was scheduled during school hours, but glad there will be more forums scheduled in the future.

  • Oakland teacher

    Ditto, Paulina. Why was this scheduled when many of the concerned parties are at work?

  • Wonderin’

    I wonder too why this was scheduled in the middle of the school day. Do they not feel the thoughts and feelings of teachers and students are a critical part of the conversation. Guess not.

  • Nextset

    Katy: You got it right that this is an exciting time for education and you have a front row seat for something big. OUSD is a huge school district with interesting demographics. Policy here should be important as a test lab for elsewhere.

    We live in interesting times.

    Especially for what’s left of the middle class.

  • Joe

    I hope to hear soemthing different about Oakland than the typical teacher union and leftist garb. But then again-its Oakland and the trib!

    Its exciting times, and destructive times. I for one think tax vouchers are the new wave that will eventually be the demise for those that suck!

  • Nextset

    Joe: The school voucher thing is not a new idea.

    What’s happening to CA education is that people are splitting into different camps largely determined at birth. Because of the failure of the people of CA to protect the good things we had leading up to 1965 – we have what I’ve referred to as the “Brave New World” which is more like the British/Indian Caste system.

    Like will associate with like, marry/reproduce with like, go to schools according to your caste (ghetto, private, church, public “Ivy’s” whatever), live in segregated neighborhoods, work out in caste gyms, shop at stores according to caste (I like Costco, some do Wal*Mart), and so on. Even the Dentists and other providers such as lawyers will be attended based on caste.

    The declining middle class may think that vouchers will save them (keep them away from ghetto schools and students).

    All they really need is a school district that openly maintains a set of segregated schools – good, better and best – and strongly enforces standards at the three tiers of schools so that those who attend the upper 2 toe the line to avoid being flunked out or expelled into the default lowest standard school (usually known as continuation school or “alternative” school.

    At least this way bright but poor students have a chance. But bright-but-poor nowadays most often means immigrants.