Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Oakland potential School Closures

OUSD is holding a meeting tonight to talk about the closure of schools in Oakland, specifically smaller schools with an enrollment of under 300 (like the one our oldest child attends). The district in siting the need for efficiency and cost effectiveness over educational results of such learning communities. I have to wonder what that has to do with the District catch phrase "Expect Success" when some of these smaller schools outperform larger ones (see Stanford Study article below)? Does it all boil down to money or is there something else in the mix? Here's some online connections about the process, supposed purpose and potential results:

1. Meeting tonight Wednesday 10/8 moved to a larger venue at 4351 Broadway. (Tribune article by Katy Murphy)

2. Stanford study asserts that smaller schools are working (Katy Murphy Trib article)

3. Will the wrong schools be targeted? entry on the education report (Katy Murphy's Edu blog)

1 comment:

Christa Dahlstrom said...

As an OUSD parent, I wanted to let you know about the closure of Tilden Elementary school by the Oakland Unified School District. OUSD claims that due to the state of the facilities, Tilden must be closed and the Special Needs children re-assigned to four different schools. In turn, General Education students from Tilden were pushed into the School Choice Process; they were to apply for a new school placement.

Tilden is a gem of a school. It has had a very positive reputation through the years. The Berkeley Parents Network and other parent sites are full of comments about its ability to advance the gains of Special Needs children, particularly those with autism. It is a gentle and inclusive environment with a strong teacher collaboration. It also rates highly in its General Education outcomes. The parents are convinced that the district's proposal to close was based almost exclusively on fiscal considerations without a real assessment of what the children at Tilden would lose if relocated to other sites.

The Tilden PTO is fighting the closure at this point because the readiness of the proposed sites to receive the Tilden children has not been truly assessed or ensured.

I hope you'll consider making Oakland residents aware of this closure on your blog. There are many families who have had a child with special needs go to Tilden for a year or two, make significant progress and move to a general ed environment. We'd like these Tilden alumni families to be informed and your blog might be a good way to get the word out.

I've written about the Tilden closure on my own blog, from a personal point of view. My son is on the autism spectrum and has blossomed and thrived beyond my wildest expectations at Tilden.

I hope you'll have time to check it out and perhaps post something on Monteskewed.

Thanks so much!

Christa Dahlstrom
Tilden parent
Mom to Ben, 5-years-old
Oakland resident