Oakland Unified comes back to its teachers with a proposal

The initial proposals to be presented — or “sunshined” — to the Oakland Education Association at Thursday night’s board meeting don’t mention any numbers. (The meeting is on Thursday, rather than Wednesday, because of the Yom Kippur holiday.)

Instead, they call for a restructuring of the step-and-column system, a career ladder for teachers, revamped evaluation systems and an agreement to give “school governance teams greater voice in determining the composition of their school staff teams.”


District’s Initial Proposals to the Oakland Education Association

Katy Murphy

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

  • J.R.

    Restructuring step and column could be a good idea(although it is not the major problem here), the beginning teachers are atrociously underpaid(which brings the district avg pay mark down(which isn’t so great to begin with). Fortunately the problem of too many schools with too many administrators They really need to downsize administration in a major way so that more money is spent directly in the classroom. One thing that really needs to be looked at is the suspiciously high level of kids(70+%) in the free reduced lunch program, which is subsidized federally but also comes out of district general fund money(I do not know the numbers),perhaps Katy can help with that.

  • Allison Rodman

    J.R. Please no more off the cuff remarks about issues you need to research first. I am really up to my eyeballs with inciting behavior. Let’s see more –let me roll up my sleeves and figure out how we are going to get out of this financial mess AND take care of kids. Your take on school lunch is out of line with the facts. “One thing that really needs to be looked at is the suspiciously high level of kids(70+%) in the free reduced lunch program, which is subsidized federally” I invite you to learn why those numbers are what they are and with Measure J and other proactive efforts by a cash strapped district there will be a food program in place in the next 10 years where all the kids of OUSD will partake in the lunch program not those who have no other choice. At that moment the financial rebalancing will occur. Shame on you. Get your facts straight before going to the hot buttons of the welfare wars and public dole.

  • J.R.
  • J.R.
  • J.R.

    One more thing, as a taxpayer it is prudent that we verify that our money is used as intended. As long as I write the truth and back up my assertions with evidence there is nothing to be ashamed of on my part. I don’t think any tax paying citizen should feel shame about asking hard questions.

  • makeitgoaway

    Agree with you JR.

  • J.R.

    It’s much appreciated that you took the time to read the links, thank you! Hopefully Allison will read them as well, and then respond. I won’t get my hopes up though.

  • Jerry Heverly

    Do the proposed teacher evaluations include a test score component?

  • MuseKing

    HI, I”m not going to get into the free lunch thing, there are certainly a lot of Oakland families who can barely (if actually) put decent and enough food in front of their growing children– the Alameda County Food Bank serves over 10K meals/day and many of them are for families. Thank you, JR, for the extra info, I will try to sort through the facts and develop an opinion.

    To the point here, though. I am a local parent with public school kids and am new to these issues. Can anyone translate this cryptic (for most layfolks) document and tell us what it means? What changes (or not) are being proposed? As a parent, particularly in the 21st Century, in a state with a rapidly diminishing education budget (where we have to make touch decisions about the most impactful uses for every dollar), I agree (generally) that administrators should be reduced (relative to teaching staff, though a LOT of de-facto teaching staff is not counted because it may be paid for by the school’s– the fortunate ones– PTA) but I am also ADAMANTLY opposed to seniority-only decision-making about teacher hiring/firing/advancement. I’m open-minded and willing to be educated about this issue from both sides…

  • Nontcair

    Re-arranging the deck chairs.

  • Jesse James

    How is that a proposal–5 years without a contract and we get a bunch of slides with some nice ideas? That’s hardly sunshining.

    Katy, please please please research the high number of principals on special assignment. There seem to be a high percentage of failed site administrators sitting around downtown while budgets are slashed at sites. Without their positions, I bet there’d be money for supplies and afterschool tutoring, class size reduction at my site. By the way, just as she did last year, our principal on special assignment just sits in our office gossipibg with our secretary! What a waste of money and time!!!

  • Luis Rivera

    I subscribe Jesse James, please let us know about “special assignments”.
    Under what influences must one be to call this “sunshining”? Is the district also hiring verbal jugglers, polysemists or failed car dealers as consultants?
    For the little content in the slides, I marvel at the outcomes of positive evaluations. Don’t we know that quite a bunch are non compliant or dropped? Or simply the evaluatee is such a headache that we better not open pandora’s box and give a barely passing score?
    Awww Jesse James, your special assignment person was not gossiping, he or she was building community relations for the betterment of the full service charade.