An OUSD survey on working conditions

Staff meeting. File photo by John Green/Bay Area News Group

Oakland teachers, counselors, principals and other credentialed school-based staff: Friday is the deadline for completing an anonymous online survey about what it’s like to work at each school in the district.

How much time do you spend on various tasks during the school day? Outside of the regular school day? Are efforts made at your school to minimize interruptions, or routine paperwork? How much time do you have to collaborate with other teachers?

The results will be published online, by school, in June — that is, as long as the response rate is at least 50 percent for a given school. If not, those schools will be omitted from the results.So far, roughly one-third have responded, said Ash Solar, who is facilitating the Effective Teaching Task Force. The goal is at least 80 percent. (You can tell how many people from each school have responded by going here.)

In June, Solar said, he hopes to reconvene the delegates from the Oakland Teacher Convention, along with their principals, to discuss how to improve those conditions (probably in a school auditorium this time, not a hotel). He emphasized that the survey is not a `gotcha,’ or an evaluation, but a tool to help improve conditions across the district.

NOTE: Each person needs a unique code to take the survey; if you don’t have a letter with your code, contact a live person on the help desk from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at helpdesk@tellousd.org, or 888-280-7903.

Katy Murphy

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

  • Oakland Teacher

    I have not heard anything about this survey until just now. I have had OUSD email for many years, receive mail daily, but never got anything about this. I tried to link from your web address. When the survey comes up, it is not an accessible form.

  • Concerned OUSD Parent

    Will they publish the lack of support given to school sites by site?

    What will the district do with the results?

    Will the fact that the responses are subjective be considered?

  • Concerned OUSD Parent

    One more question: If the results are negative will administrators or teachers be disciplined? Will there be steps taken to put in a new staff and faculty?

  • Katy Murphy

    They’re publishing the responses to all of the questions, by school. I did not get the sense from Ash Solar that this would be used to discipline or replace school staff, but to learn how teachers are being supported at each school and to figure out how to improve that support.

    Any sort of survey of this kind is subjective, which is why the response rate is important; they’re not publishing results of schools with a response rate of less than 50 percent.

  • Gabby

    I took this survey a couple of weeks ago, right after the Oakland Teachers Forum. The directions for how to take the survey were not delivered via email, but they were handed out in a staff site meeting. The survey is then taken online. It takes about 20-30 minutes to complete. I got the impression that yes, it was created to get a more clear idea of teachers’ working conditions, and that nobody would be penalized for candor. Also, I think it was trying to determine how much of our input goes into the decision-making process at our site, and what can be done to address any concerns. It is supposed to be completely anonymous, and honesty in all responses was encouraged.

  • Turanga_teach

    Oakland Teacher: As another poster said, you need to get the access code from your site.

    All: the survey deadline’s been extended to May 13th. If you qualify to take the survey, please please pretty please take the damn thing: this is the district offering to listen to teachers. We need to make sure we don’t have our backs turned on that.

    Once you get your access code: