Students who work for better schools

Did you know the Oakland school district has a city-wide governing council made up of high school students? One of its leaders, Arwa Omar asked if I’d share some information she had written about the council’s work, as well as some thoughts from her colleagues. -Katy

All City Council (ACC) is a platform for youth empowerment and youth voice. We work with the leadership classes throughout the Oakland school district to push for positive change in our schools. We consist of eight governing board members: President, Vice President, Secretary, Historian, two Student Board Directors, Media/Outreach Director, and Treasurer. These positions are vital because they are the bridge linking the students to the decision makers (Board of Education).

Andrew Wilson, MetWest High School (President)
All City Council is important to me because first and foremost I am an advocate for student voice. It has shown me that with enough effort and determination anyone can push for positive social change. Continue Reading


A playground’s smelly backdrop


 July 24 update: The trash is still there, the employee reports.

Someone just sent me this photo — taken yesterday — of a pile of garbage near La Escuelita and the Yuk Yau Child Development Center.

It’s right outside the playground fence, my (not really) secret informant said. She reports that it still hadn’t been collected as of this afternoon, when it looked even worse.

Tim White, the facilities chief for OUSD, says it’s probably one of the city’s dumpsters. Unlike the city, the school district still has a good contract with Waste Management; its trash has been collected on schedule, he said.

I guess that’s good news for summer school kids and staff (Does that mean they have only had to hold their noses and run from rodents on the way to school?). But my source, who has contacted the city for help, says it doesn’t make much of a difference for the children who are “greeted” each morning by this heap of trash.