We ran a story Sunday about shifting demographics in inner-city neighborhoods such as West Oakland — changes which have resulted in fewer school-age children in the area and declining public school enrollment.
Oakland, as a whole, lost 20 percent of its 5- to 17-year-olds between 2000 and 2010, according to the U.S. census; in West Oakland, it was 31 percent. (You can find a spreadsheet of West Oakland school enrollment trends here.)
I spent months looking for explanations and stories behind the census data, and we plan to continue following some of those threads in future pieces. One issue I want to explore, for example, is the school district’s school choice policy, put in place in 2005, which allows families to enroll their kids at schools with available space outside their local attendance boundaries.
What do you see happening in the area 10 years from now?
A CALL FOR INTERVIEWS: I’d love to talk to West Oakland residents with children 17 and younger about the educational options in their neighborhood and beyond. I’d also like to hear from African Americans who left West Oakland about why they left and what their lives are like now, wherever they are.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.