GO Board Watch: October 10, 2018

Welcome to GO’s School Board Watch for the meeting on Wednesday, October 10, 2018.  

3 BIG THINGS on this week’s Board Meeting agenda include:

  1. OUSD Budget Reductions:  Do you know what the timeline is for OUSD to cut millions of dollars from their budget for next year?  Curious what the best thinking is about how to make reductions and increase revenue? Read on!
  2. The California School Dashboard: Did you know that there is a California Dashboard with data on every school in the state?  Curious to see how happy parents are with OUSD? Wondering how safe students feel at school? Read on!
  3. The state of Special Education in OUSD:  Serving special needs students is a critical goal for the district.  Do you know how many students are in special education in OUSD? Curious how you can get involved and advocate for students with disabilities?  Read on!

Looking for more than just three big things? Click here for the full agenda

1st BIG THING:  Superintendent’s Report – Fiscal Vitality Update  (item # 18-2051)

The Superintendent Report will include that the Chief Business Officer shared an initial plan about budget reductions on October 4th in a presentation to the school board special committee on fiscal vitality.  The plan includes the timeline for decisions about budget reductions for next year, and also provides a preliminary list of idea to generate revenue or cut costs.

GO is advocating that the district thoughtfully approach budget reductions by demonstrating how they will maximize every dollar spent to have the greatest impact on student outcomes.  We know that making budget cuts will be hard, but failing to make the cuts will be even harder on Oakland students. And we believe the district can prioritize their spending by carefully evaluating the stated goals and delivered outcomes of every dollars spent and prioritizing spending that improves student outcomes.


2nd BIG THING:  California School Dashboard: Report on Local Indicators   (item # 18-2029)

California has a new online data dashboard to help families, community, schools and districts identify strengths and weaknesses in schooling experience for students.  And while we at GO believe this dashboard needs significant improvement, it still provides data that can be utilized.

One of the ten indicators of school success is Parent Involvement and Engagement.  Of the 12,855 parents that took the survey, results indicated that on average over 90% of parents agree when asked about feeling welcome, respected and having their concerns taken seriously.  This data is not broken down by demographic and does not indicate the total number of parents in OUSD.

Another indicator of school success on the dashboard is school climate, is measured by a student survey.  Of the 73% of 5th to 12th grade students that took the survey, the students’ feelings of school connectedness (feeling safe, happy, and well-treated) decline significantly from elementary to high school.  The follow up questions to be asked are what the district staff believe is the root cause of this drop, and what steps are being taken to work with students to improve school safety.

To explore the dashboard and learn more about a specific Oakland School or the entire district, click here.

:  Special Education Road Map Report  (item # 18-2042)

District staff will share about the Special Education Roadmap and explain the six goals for student achievement in OUSD. In addition to laying out those six goals, the Roadmap Update includes key data on the state of Special Education in OUSD:

  • 16.5% of all OUSD students receive special education services (have an IEP)
  • Despite making up only a quarter of OUSD students, 42% of students with IEPs identify as African-American
  • Last year, 57.9%of students with IEPs graduated with a diploma, compared with 72.9% of students without IEPs

The Community Advisory Committee for Special Education is a group of parents, teachers, community members, and students working to advocate for students with disabilities. They recommend priorities, and encourage parent and community member feedback and involvement.  GO could not find a live web page for the CAC, but for those interested, here is a link to the Facebook Page.

And that is a look at 3 BIG THINGS on this week’s School Board agenda.   Drop me a line at ntahai@gopublicschools.org and let me know how I can continue to evolve GO’s Board Watch to be a must read for you every two weeks.

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