Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Silent 73% Lose Again in Oakland

73% of families in Oakland favored common enrollment in the only survey I have seen.  No it wasn’t scientific, yes it was just one of several questions in a more general survey (which to me gives it credibility), yes it was online so it was probably not representative.  But it had over 500 respondents and 73% said “yes” when asked,… Read more →

2 Rules to Explain Why Expulsion Hearings Will Always Be Biased Against Black Boys

Four hours in an expulsion hearing gives you time to think. And afterwards, you are wrapped tight. So it takes a little time to unwind. I attend these hearings too often as part of my work. Well, I don’t get paid for it, so “work” may not be the right word…as part of my duty. I have sat on both… Read more →

Hey Oakland, Let’s Bring the Excitement Back to Mack

I just want to bring the excitement back to Mack. I want it to be a place we’re all proud of. McClymonds High School is the place where I, and so much of my family, attended, and graduated. It’s also a place where too few kids graduate today. Together, we—families, teachers, the district, community folks and activists like me—have a… Read more →

What’s so Special about “Special” Education?

“Special” education shouldn’t be that special.   Our current system artificially divides students, provides excuses for failure, and tends to hurt rather than help the intended beneficiaries, all the while walling out a whole range of students who should benefit from additional resources but don’t technically qualify. Fixing “special” education means making it unspecial, eliminating the false divide between “special” education… Read more →

The Killing Season

I’m an Oakland boy but I the place that birthed me is in crisis and the world is numb to it. Chicago, one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen, is losing Black life at an astonishing rate. What’s worse is that very few folks outside of Chicago are discussing it. The past two weekends has been particularly bloody… Read more →

Charter Schools Are Public Schools–And They Need to Act Like It

Charter schools are public schools.  State law defines them that way, they are non-sectarian and tuition-free, have open enrollment with lotteries (though there may be auditions for an arts school etc.), and the State funds them.   But some charters don’t act like public schools. Charters have to follow state law around testing and transparency and meet Constitutional standards for civil… Read more →

Is Oakland Achieving? Comparing Charters and District Run Schools in Oakland

A new report compares students at charter public schools and district run ones in Oakland, and surprise, they are very demographically similar, though there are some big differences in outcomes especially in high school for Black and Brown students. I am sure lots of folks will pronounce the story over, either pro or anti charter based on some nugget of data,… Read more →

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