Oakland, you’re not alone.
I found this story in Education Week about school closures in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. to be incredibly relevant to what I’ve observed here. It raises many of the points and questions that Oakland residents and school officials have been grappling with for years. (This particular story is subscription-only.)
The writer, Jaclyn Zubrzycki, touches on charter schools, gentrification, race, enrollment declines, and the reasons districts close schools: when they have fewer students and/or financial pressures — or in response to the idea (advanced by the federal government in its School Improvement Grant program) of closing schools as a way to create new and better opportunities for students.
Oakland Unified’s own Troy Flint even gets the ending quote, after he’s quoted as saying that all students from closed schools were placed in a higher performing school:
“Ideally, no one would want to go down that path,” said Mr. Flint, the Oakland spokesman, “but sometimes you have to endure some pain as part of a restructuring process to create something better and more sustainable.”
I’m still asking for the school closure analysis; I’m told it will be coming soon.