Community Forum Held on the Oakland Public Schools Equity Pledge
Oakland families and public school leaders came together for a community forum on the Oakland Public Schools Equity Pledge on May 24th at the ASCEND School.
The Oakland Public Schools Equity Pledge is an effort between the Oakland Unified School District and the city’s public schools – both district-run public schools and charter public schools – to ensure all public school students are getting the high quality education they deserve. Through an ongoing working group process, school leaders will focus on school performance accountability, high-quality school development, sharing effective instructional practices, use of facilities, access to funding, finding, supporting and retaining great educators, improving school enrollment, and addressing special education needs. Over time – and after extensive opportunities for community feedback and participation – the Equity Pledge will result in a series of agreements, leading to changes that better serve all Oakland public school students.
During the meeting, OUSD Superintendent Antwan Wilson and Equity Pledge co-chairs Yana Smith from OUSD and Hae-Sin Thomas from Education for Change Public Schools explained why the Equity Pledge is needed now, laid out the vision for what it seeks to achieve, presented a timeline on the effort, talked about the ongoing ways to get involved, and heard feedback from local families.
“The Equity Pledge is just getting going and we only recently kicked-off the working groups. The community engagement will continue for several more months. We’ll be giving an update to the school board in June, but the details and specifics are still being developed through an ongoing, collaborative, and open process.”Antwan Wilson
After the presentation, attendees had the opportunity to dive deeper into the issues being addressed in through the eight Equity Pledge working groups.
In the Quality Schools Development meeting, local parents joined district and charter school representatives to discuss issues like how school improvement should be defined, what lessons can be learned from past initiatives, and how to replicate some of Oakland’s great public school programs across the city. The working group also took suggestions from participants on additional people and organizations they should be speaking with as the work moves forward. Similar discussions were held by the seven other working groups.
The next community engagement meeting will be scheduled for the upcoming school year. A status update on the Oakland Public Schools Equity Pledge will be presented during the OUSD school board meeting on June 22nd.