By Ash Solar, Executive Director, GO Public Schools Oakland
With the election behind us, and national issues aside for a moment, the question is: Now what? As someone who cares deeply about students in the Oakland Public Schools, what can I do?
Like you, I’m glad to see our schools making progress in graduation rates, discipline rates, college readiness and much else. But with only one in three of our kids reading and doing math at grade level, we can’t pause.
The challenges facing our schools will not be solved by standing on the sidelines or throwing rocks at one another. Not only do we all have to get involved in the work to provide students a quality education, but we also have to bring our neighbors too. It will take all of us working together, and through differences of opinions, to ensure all students receive a quality education that prepares them to succeed in college, careers and life.
Here a three of the many ways you can get involved now.
- Hold Our School Board Accountable
One of the best ways for people to get involved is to stay updated on what is happening in the school district and to hold our school board members accountable. The school board’s work affects every aspect of students’ education – everything from the money that schools receive, school safety and culture, and what is taught in schools. We cannot afford to only pay attention to the school board during election season. We must go to school board meetings and ask our school board members hard questions about their votes and plans to improve student achievement.
To help families keep stay up to date on the work of the school board and take action, GO has developed Board Watch. Board Watch provides insight into our public education system through the school board’s activity. You can sign up for Board Watch on our website at www.goadvocatesoakland.org.
- Make Measure G1 Great
One thing to follow in the coming weeks is the school board’s implementation of Measure G1. The GO network was proud to support Measure G1, which just passed with over 80 percent of Oakland voters and will give educators a raise while helping middle school students receive a well-rounded education, including art, music, and foreign language classes. We must work together to make sure that Measure G1 is realized as it was intended, and that there is accountability and transparency.
- Ensure that OUSD Affirms its Support for Sanctuary Schools.
In the wake of an impending Trump presidency and his promise to deport three million people, GO is urging the Oakland school board and all charter schools to update and reaffirm a resolution to protect the rights and safety of immigrant families. You can go to our website to participate in this call to action.
At GO Public Schools Oakland, we will continue to bring parents, educators and community members together to ensure that all public schools, provide all students a high quality and equitable education. We hope that you will join us. To get involved, go to www.goadvocatesoakland.org.