Tomorrow night, the Oakland school board votes on a resolution that would establish its intent to give principals, school staff members and families greater authority to improve their school as they see fit.
Each school would create a “Theory of Action,” to which it would align its “people, programs, money, and time.”
The board would also attempt to give local leaders more say in who works at their schools, a strategy which proved to be a sticking point with the teachers union this year. (In resolution language: “Strengthen the ability of school governance teams, through established collective bargaining protocols and agreements, to determine the composition of their employee teams.”)
It would allocate funding to schools based on student “needs and life circumstances.” Details TBD.
This one-page policy proposal (embedded below) was vetted by members of the Special Committee on School-Based Management and Budgeting and was presented to the school board for a first reading last week.
Here’s how it starts:
Unified School District to create learning environments that make more effective teaching and learning possible.
The Board of Education believes that those closest to students at a school – employees, parents, students, community partners – are generally in the best position to know the specific academic, social, and emotional needs of their students, and how best to address those needs.
The Board of Education, within the context of established OUSD strategic priorities, performance accountability standards, and collective bargaining agreements, believes that empowering school governance teams to align and manage resources to effectively address the specific needs of their students is a necessary and fundamental condition to enable every school to make more effective teaching and learning possible.
Do you agree that this is the right direction for OUSD? Clearly, much of it will depend on its implementation, including future negotiations with the union on staffing rules. In your view, which of these goals — if any — should the district address first?