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Oakland Students and Families Deserve Better

1Oakland envisions a public school system delivering a high-quality education for all students, no matter whether they attend a district-run or charter school. Unified under a bold, citywide vision for excellence, this system of schools maximizes resources to school sites and prioritizes resources for our most underserved students. It provides schools and educators with the flexibility to meet diverse student needs and the freedom to create innovative new models that accelerate student learning.

The system values student results and school quality over differences in school types and governance. It values accountability, transparency, and intentional improvement. It is flexible, nimbly changing to meet student and family needs and to stay relevant in the face of a rapidly evolving world. In this Oakland, high-quality neighborhood schools exist with strong feeder patterns. School choice primarily serves to help meet specific family needs and to provide access to specialized programs – rather than as an escape hatch for families trying to avoid low-quality options.

In this system, elected and staff leadership make the tough choices necessary to ensure that each school is one to which all families would entrust the children they love.

Solutions for a Citywide System of Schools

After more than 35 research meetings, 300 one-to-one meetings, reflection and analysis of our lived experiences and perspectives, and feedback received from more than 100 Oaklanders, we have developed three core recommendations to guide the rebuilding of this new citywide system of schools committed to the success of every individual child:
What follows are some of the key issues and solutions identified by the 1Oakland campaign team through research, lived experience, and research meetings with key leaders and stakeholders. Accompanying each issue are policy and practice recommendations designed to address the critical issues facing Oakland students and schools.

Area 1: Oakland’s elected school board and charter boards ensure excellence and equity across all public schools.

1Oakland Vision: We envision an Oakland united around a citywide school system that is equitable, data-driven, and committed to continuous improvement. In doing so, it must be sustainable and must make good on our promise to educate all students. In this Oakland, high-quality neighborhood schools exist with strong feeder patterns. School choice primarily serves to help meet specific family needs and to provide access to specialized programs — rather than as an escape hatch for families trying to avoid low-quality options.


  1. Improve school quality consistently.
  2. Ensure that our school system is sustainable while meeting student and family needs.
  3. Reimagine and redesign OUSD’s central office.
  4. Oakland's charter school boards must embrace their essential role in an equitable citywide system.

Area 2: All public schools should contribute equitably to providing Oakland's underserved students an excellent education

1Oakland Vision: We envision a citywide Oakland Education Collaborative – comprised of district, charter, and other civic leaders – that deeply values equity and provides an excellent education to all of Oakland’s students. This collaborative will identify inequities, examine the root causes, and develop strong programs and schools to address those issues. For example, if Oakland is receiving an increased number of unaccompanied minors, then the collaborative would work together to meet the needs of those learners. Everybody contributes to the solution. If it is best that newcomer students are grouped together on a small number of campuses, then some schools will contribute by directly serving the students and others will contribute financially or through other means.


  1. Establish an Oakland Education Collaborative to foster improvement and innovation.
  2. Create an equity-based funding formula for all of Oakland’s public schools.
  3. Adopt equitable, universal enrollment practices.
  4. Create a mandatory data-sharing agreement for all public schools located in Oakland.
  5. Improve and unify Oakland’s approach to special education.
Area 3: All public schools have equitable access to public resources

1Oakland Vision: We envision a citywide Oakland system that intentionally and routinely aligns resources to student need. All Oakland students — regardless of the type of public school they attend — should have equitable access to public resources. State and local resources, such as school facilities, local parcel tax funding, and state funding, are provided to public schools for the purpose of educating students. In that spirit, excellence, equity, and sustainability for all students have to be the drivers behind how Oakland spends its resources — not politics, dogma, or simply the way things have been or used to be.


  1. Ensure equitable access to all Oakland parcel tax dollars.
  2. Align public facilities to meet all students’ needs.
  3. Act on immediate and equitable solutions for Oakland’s state debt.
  4. Work together to advocate for increased per pupil funding in California.


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