Oakland schools under “possible closure consideration”

The Oakland school district administration has posted the names of schools that could be considered for closure in 2012 under the criteria the school board approved last month. It will be discussed — but not voted on — at tonight’s 6 p.m. special school board study session.

ELEMENTARY schools “identified for possible closure consideration”: Burckhalter, Kaiser, Lakeview, Lazear, Marshall, Maxwell Park, Santa Fe, Sobrante Park

MIDDLE schools: Claremont, Frick

HIGH schools: the document lists the seven schools that are already being consolidated into two schools on the Fremont and Castlemont campuses.

The document emphasizes that the list is “not a recommendation at this time.” The board is not slated to make a decision on school closures until late October. Also: Although Frick and Claremont are highlighted in yellow on Slide #9, another slide (#12) suggested no middle schools in OUSD would be closed next year. I’m sure the discrepancy will be discussed tonight.

It’s clear from the list (and further study of the criteria) that the dominant factors in this system are Continue Reading


California Dream Act awaits governor’s signature

College-bound California high school students who are in the United States illegally will soon be eligible for taxpayer-funded financial aid if the governor signs AB 131, a bill known as the California Dream Act. (Read the full text of the most recent version of the bill here.)

The New York Times reported that this bill, if passed, would give illegal immigrants more education benefits than any other state. A Sacramento Bee story said the bill is estimated to cost California $23 million to $40 million a year. According to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, California college students receive about $3.34 billion in state-supported financial aid each year.

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Wednesday: Study session on Oakland school closures

UPDATE: The new time posted for the Wednesday night meeting is 6 p.m.

School closures are coming, as we discussed last week. Learn more about the Oakland school district’s plans and how this painful process will roll out at a school board study session that’s scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. 6 p.m. Wednesday at the school district headquarters on Second Avenue. Given the interest in the subject, I wonder why it’s not being held in a larger venue.

The list of schools recommended for closure or consolidation is expected to be made public by Oct. 26, but it seems like staff in some cases already have an idea of what they want to do. Teachers at Manzanita Community School, for instance, were told in a recent meeting with district staff that changes next year are quite possible, as the OUSD administration is considering expanding Manzanita SEED, a two-way language immersion school on the same campus, to a k-8 model.

OUSD has set up a web page with information about the district’s restructuring plans.

Here is the district’s calendar listing for Wednesday’s meeting: Continue Reading