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In Pursuit of Excellence

A commenter on this blog recently complained about my role in public education. He claimed that I wasn't doing anything for students in Oakland. Not true.

From today's Oakland Tribune: The arts high school opened by Mayor Jerry Brown in downtown Oakland 2.5 years ago is now officially one of the best schools in California, at least according to the latest rankings assigned to all public schools by the state.

The Oakland School for the Arts (OSA), a public charter school I founded in 2002, scored a 9 out of 10 possible points on the Academic Performance Index (API). When compared to other schools with similar demographics across the state, OSA scored a "similar schools" rank of 10. The nearest score attained by any other Oakland high school was a 4.

Yesterday I attended an assembly at OSA to congratulate students on their remarkable achievement and encourage them to work even harder. They're a testament to the fact that Oakland kids can achieve excellence when that's the operating principle of their school.

Excellence is a fugitive in many schools, hounded by the shameless votaries of mediocrity. Some would like to see OSA fail because even the mere existence of a public charter school offends them.

At OSA, art provides the foundation for a rigorous, well-rounded academic program. A sister school, the Oakland Military Institute (OMI), uses ceremony, military courtesy and discipline to create a focused academic environment. Across the country, charter schools base their curriculum on everything from social justice to aerospace technology. What is needed today - for all schools - is money and innovation ... and freedom.

OSA is currently recruiting 9th and 10th grade students from all over the Bay Area. Auditions start this weekend. If you know any talented young artists - singers, dancers, painters, writers - please call (510) 836-DARE for more information.

March 17, 2005 | Permalink


You can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear. If the students come from bad homes that don't value education, then most of of those students won't do well. Add a host of other problems in family and community life and you will realize that it isn't a whole lot a school can do.

Even so, people from all over the country look to Oakland as a example of how creative and inspired leadership can make a real difference in education.

You are a true stateman. Please, run for Senate or President again. The country needs you.

Posted by: S | Mar 17, 2005 7:24:50 PM

Glad to read about their success. Hopefully they are also teaching the old fashioned arts of 'Readin' 'Ritin' and 'Rithmatic.

I am continually dismayed at the students who graduate from high schools and even colleges who can do none of the above.

Posted by: Wallace-Midland, Texas | Mar 17, 2005 8:59:02 PM

hey Jerry why not put a billboard on top of the Fox theater to raise some cash for OSA? There's a lot of eyeballs rolling down Telegraph. I mean if you think billboards are art, maybe you can exploit the Oakland School for the Arts to underline your point. One charter school for Clear Channel, the other for the Pentagon. Perfect corporate state symmetry! You genius!

Posted by: targetmarket | Mar 17, 2005 9:40:04 PM

Jerry, you should be applauded for introducing these innovative new education solutions into the Oakland School system. Getting kids out of rotten schools should be a major policy iniative. Although there are certainly kids that get left behind in the underachieving schools, resourceful parents who care should have alternatives.

How do you feel about private vouchers and how would you feel about some kind of a half voucher program where parents were partially given dollars to spend from the school system to privately develop more of these outstanding efforts. If you won't support privitization even partially, what are you doing to get more of these public schools off of the ground.

Keep up the good work.


Posted by: Thomas Hawk | Mar 18, 2005 9:02:26 AM

Test scores are important information but we need to know more. What exactly is the per pupil funding for the students in this school? What are the sources of the funding? Does the school accept special educaation students? Does the school accept English language learners? What is the level of family income for the students? What is the education level for the parents?
All regular Oakland public schools can answer these questions, the Performing Arts school needs to do so also. When we have this information it will be possible to make meaningful comparisons. Now we can't.

Posted by: Jana Lane | Mar 18, 2005 9:43:11 AM

Jerry, I'm afraid you can't claim to be the herald of education when, as the article states, the rest of the schools but one are ranked the lowest in the state. Funding an art school that has risen to the top in ranks will merely attract upper class people from other areas besides Oakland and raise the competition to get in.
Perhaps you should consider the budgets that are closing out elementary schools in Oakland first. Sure, you have done something for education. But how pertinent is that something?

Posted by: Mikhail Silin | Mar 18, 2005 3:17:23 PM

Jerry, any public education success story is to be applauded, and the Oakland School for the Arts is no exception. It's also refreshing to hear someone in a position of responsibility say the schools need both innovation AND money; cash isn't a panacea for our public schools' problems, but used wisely it's a crucial part of the solution. You also mentioned "freedom" as a necessary ingredient for success; I'll get to that in a minute.

But I have to say that your post is full of the kind of attitude and omission that long ago led me to conclude that while your intellect is a couple cuts above the average pol's and you occasionally seem to be moved by the most noble motives, you're at bottom a self-promoter and opportunist.

In this case, what you fail to mention is that, while it's chartered as a public school, OSA is fundamentally different from the other high schools you compare it to in that it does not take all comers. As part of its charter, only kids who pass auditions get in. Fair enough. The school has a specialized mission and ought to have the freedom to take the steps needed to fulfill it. But it's disingenuous to compare OSA to McClymonds or Skyline or any other high school in the district.

Second, it's utterly shocking that you're going out of your way to pat yourself on the back about what you've done for the schools when the district is in such a shambles, when achievement is so low, when the map of grossly underperforming schools is such a perfect match to your city's lower-income and minority communities. It's nice that a handful of kids in town -- not necessarily from Oakland, by the way -- are getting a stimulating education at OSA; it's a tragedy what's happening among most of the other kids in your city. I don't believe you or any other individual is solely responsible for the situation there; it's taken generations to create this mess. But you didn't show up in the mayor's office just yesterday, and it's disingenuous again to congratulate yourself on your educational triumph in the midst of such a troubling reality.

You decry "the shameless votaries of mediocrity." Jerry, this sounds like code for anyone who disagrees with your ideas or impulses; especially, I suspect, the district's teachers and their union. Of course, you have many others you can blame, too: The school board that refused to go along with your choice of superintendent, for instance; the district's administrators, too. They've all let you and the city down, right?

The grain of truth is that people in all of the above categories are culpable for the way things are. But to paint everyone in each category as part of the problem is little more than Schwarzeneggian demagoguery and sows hurt and ill will among many of the very people who are devoting their lives to working to make things better for kids in your city.

I'm a witness to this process: My wife and several of her closest friends teach in some of the most challenging schools in Oakland. In my wife's case, she's up doing schoolwork before 6 every morning; she's at school by 7:30 or 8 and stays until 4:30 or 5 every day; most evenings, she confers with parents about their kids until 9 or 9:30 p.m. Among her teaching peers, her hours and efforts are not unusual.

Yes, test scores in her classes and schools have been low since she joined the district in the late '90s. Many of these teachers are dealing with a population to whom middle-class notions of school preparation are foreign (I wouldn't call these "bad homes," as one commenter did; these are families often headed by single parents who were poorly served by the very same schools their kids are attending; this is why my wife and other teachers go above and beyond to open lines of communication with parents). Despite that, I see them maintaining a high level of commitment to their kids, a determination to make things better, and continuing optimism about their ability to succeed in the end. Having said all that, you can't imagine how dispiriting and corrosive it is to hear you and others (such as the state administrator, Dr. Randolph Ward, and some of his minions) suggest they are agents of mediocrity. I think they deserve better from you.

And just one last word about freedom. You mention it as a key component of school success, and I assume you mean the freedom to experiment with and develop new ideas for schools. I'm sure you'd be interested to know that under Dr. Ward, the district is headed in just the opposite direction in many of its low-achieving schools. The administration is in the process of imposing a strict adherence to a reading curriculum called "Open Court" in many schools. Open Court's been used in the district for several years with no apparent positive impact on student performance. Despite that, a program's being put in place that will require teachers in Open Court schools to observe the program with no deviations; one aim, as it's been described to teachers in the affected schools, is to make sure every teacher in every class is teaching precisely the same lesson at the same moment each day. No spontaneity. No teacher-derived enrichment or other activities. If need be, Open Court will substitute for concentration on social studies and science, too. That sort of approach sounds like freedom, Soviet style, to me.

Posted by: Dan | Mar 18, 2005 3:43:29 PM

P.S. By the way, it absolutely rocks that you're doing this blog.

P.P.S. To be clear on one point above, my wife is talking to students' families AS LATE AS 9 or 9:30 p.m., not UNTIL then.

Posted by: Dan | Mar 18, 2005 4:08:38 PM

Both school programs sound great! You have every reason to be proud, especially when so many schools are sadly paring down to just the basic academics.

My 8th grader daughter's middle school here in Placentia, CA has two of the best social studies/history teachers I've ever witnessed, because they're both excited
about the subject. My otherwise math/science child has found a new passion in history because of them.

Strong schools and good teachers are vital to our country's future.

Posted by: Deborah White | Mar 18, 2005 4:59:14 PM

Jerry for the 5th time now... The FIFTH time the vermin have smashed my window parked on the street outside the West Oakland BART. I don't even have a radio worth stealing and it is left every time. Today they took a beat up old jacket and a pair of cheapo headphones. I of course have no window and am out the money yet again to fix it.

Once is ok. Twice maybe. But 5 times Jerry! 5 times! Walk around by the West Oakland BART stations and you will find tons and tons of broken car window glass everywhere.

Jerry, why can't we put cameras out to cover the streets around West Oakland BART. Why can't anything be done about these vermin -- these scum that steal from our cars? It's really pathetic and really frustrating and makes me want to leave the East Bay and move back into the City where I might get one break in a year or two instead of one every month. I'm at my wits end. I only wish I could catch one of them myself so that I could exact my own form of vengence.

Please Jerry do something.

Posted by: Thomas Hawk | Mar 18, 2005 10:10:03 PM


I'm a K-12 Visual Arts teacher from Ann Arbor Public Schools in MI. and am thrilled to read of the success of even just ONE school in the Oakland area. This is a beginning, Arts School or not, "Rome wasn't built in a day".
So what if the curriculum IS Arts based. Statistics prove that 'hands-on' experience for "slow learners" especially is by far the way to go. The three "R's" ARE integral in the arts experience: reading a script, constructing a stretched canvas, drafting poetry, and obviously, many more opportunities for learning reinforcement.

The School Board is not always the best conscience for the working system. Their physical appearances 'on the scene' to see daily school routine is ever wanting.

If it's not appropriate to endorse your "self-congratulations" (which I'm reading as more of an endorsement for positive change in Oakland schools anyhow), then at least let me commend you, Jerry, for furthering my own academic learning. There's not much I've read in your writings where I've not resorted to a dictionary. Thank you.

Posted by: corrine G. | Mar 19, 2005 5:26:38 AM

I think your heart is in the right place with respect to education in general, and your charter schools in particular.

There seems to be an ever-present chasm between the two camps: the proponents of "choice" vs. the proponents of "inclusiveness," or the advocates of the "it's the teachers fault" vs. supporters of "it's the parents fault." The sometimes central, sometimes peripheral arguments rage on....over teacher salaries, testing, teaching methods, etc. But the "us vs. them," "right vs. wrong" mentality will solve nothing; it will exacerbate the situation.

I maintain that we have a systemic problem with respect to education in this country. No particular person or group is to blame; the fault lies with the bureaucratic "Death of Common Sense" or "Collapse of the Common Good " mentality. There is a lack of control over students. Principals, teachers, parents, politicians and others are helpless to implement meaningful change. This is why private schools and charter schools should expect greater success; they can more readily enforce rules, expel students, require school uniforms, etc. They--and, in turn, their students--also benefit from competition.

The public school system is colossal and unmanageable. Some financial expenditures are not prudent: money may be allocated for one purpose when it would be a better used for another. People are unable to make decisions because there are cumbersome procedures to be followed, forms to be filled out and filed. No one is given true responsibility, so no one takes responsibility.

But there is more bad news. American students have embraced an ideology that promotes nothing more than jumping through the proper hoops, getting ahead, making money. America's students are focused on salesmanship, not widespread scholarship. Look at England. Their students write essays; we rely upon multiple choice. At Oxford—at least when my ex-husband was enrolled (he is 63 now)--there was no requirement for him to attend a class or lecture (other than meeting with his tutor once a week); he simply headed for the library each day of his own volition. Students were held responsible for knowing the subject, and they were tested prior to graduation.

This scenario would be too frightening for American kids; a large percentage would fail because our culture de-emphasizes learning the material. Most students want to graduate... to get the official paper... to get the high-paying job. And these days, a Bachelor's Degree is not all that impressive. So, more study is needed; we must purchase more education to succeed and more and more (a la Illich). The classics, philosophy, literature, religion, etc. are naturally unpopular majors.

This is a controversial statement--and I will be attacked--but not only do I fully support charter schools, but I also support programs to experiment with vouchers (in some form). Why?

a) Partly because I think it is worth undertaking the experiment. Many would say our public school system is irreparable, and it hovers at a very low level. Perhaps it can be likened to an alcoholic. It may have to hit rock bottom before it can lift itself up. In other words, until a majority feel that the educational system is a bona fide disaster, the fear is that nothing substantial will be done. I think the most sensible way to revamp the system would be to introduce choice, such as vouchers, more charters, trade schools, etc. – we have tried so many other things that have not worked.

b) I think parents and children who feel they have a choice about education will participate more. Plus people tend to value that which they have to pay for (I would say this holds even if it is coming from a voucher rather than ones wages).

c) I point to the aforementioned, critical factors: private and charter schools are able to exert more control over students and introduce competition into the equation. My experience is that alternatives to the traditional public school (i.e. home schooling, charter, magnet, other private, etc.) are, on the whole, simply superior (at least as things currently stand and are likely to be in the foreseeable future). I know there are exceptions, but as a rule, this seems accurate.

The latter point can be best illustrated with experience. Real stories by real people often provide greater insights when it comes to solving tough problems that have been bantered about in the "theoretical realm" for years. But if you are bored with my very long post, you should scroll down now because I am again going to talk about my daughter Kayla.

The one mistake I made with respect to Kayla (although she would no doubt point to others) was placing her in public school from 1st to 5th grade. This was not just any public school; it was touted as "the best public elementary in L.A. County." It was situated in a million dollar plus neighborhood with an abundance of funds from the community. That was good enough for me because I figured any "bad influences" upon my daughter would not be an issue until after 5th grade, and I figured the education would be perfectly adequate. Indeed I was right about the "bad influences" - they were not a concern.

But I failed to realize that my daughter would receive an inferior education. When I placed her in private school in 6th grade, she was a year or two behind the other students. She has been struggling to catch up ever since.

Those who have been unable to contrast a "private with a public" or a "charter with a public," are unlikely to understand there is often a very real difference. I didn't know Kayla's public school was inferior UNTIL she started private school instruction (in spite of the fact that I attended a very expensive and elite prep school as a child).

At the start of 8th grade, Kayla's private school was still completing construction (adding buildings), thus would begin two weeks late. So, partly as an experiment--because I was writing an article about public vs. private schools--and partly because my daughter wanted to undertake this experiment to be with a friend, I placed her in the public school on the adjacent street for those two weeks (again this was an institution with a good reputation in an affluent neighborhood).

The good news? My daughter was by far the smartest kid in the class (by both her own evaluation and that of her teachers). It was excellent for Kayla's self-esteem because she had felt intellectually inferior at her private school.

The bad news? Would she learn anything, if indeed she was so far ahead? Plus, her close (female) friend was beaten up on the second day of school and taken to the hospital. There were one to two student fights daily during lunch. The students cursed. The teachers cursed. Kayla's English teacher became so frustrated one afternoon in class that he threw a chair against the wall, and it broke into pieces, frightening the students. Kayla told me kids were dealing drugs and having sex in the parking lot. (The most depressing part? This was supposedly one of the best middle schools in the city! What must the so-called worst schools be like?)

I became quite nervous about having Kayla at this school... even for two weeks! I told her "If you ever feel unsafe, just leave. Walk home." Imagine instructing your child to flee from school! A place where she should be secure!

To those of you who will bring up the cost associated with private school, there are inexpensive options and more would come to the fore with the introduction of choice (in accordance with the principles of free market capitalism).

My daughter's middle school cost $4000 per year (in line with the voucher proposition that was on the CA ballot a few years ago) and her current high school tuition is $5000 per year. Neither school was / is supplemented by a religious institution. There is a private school in my neighborhood which is under $3000 per year (although it is Catholic and financially aided by the church). I simply do not understand why public schools—and I am told they receive around $9000-$10,000 per student in my area—cannot educate sufficiently when a private school can do so for half the cost.

Does the "Death of Common Sense" truly cost more than books and teachers? Do you have any insights into this mystery, Jerry? If so, I am sure others, besides myself, would like to hear what you have to say.

P.S. Link below to an article I wrote eight months ago (relevant to this subject) called Removing Intelligence In America.

Posted by: Charlotte Laws | Mar 19, 2005 10:26:17 AM

Forgot to mention...

You might want to check out my light and (hopefully) humorous article—specifically about this blog--which I call "Gentlemen Prefer Blogs." The title was altered at the last minute by the magazine in favor of one which would better suit syndication and search engine keywords. Oh well... that's Internet show biz.


Posted by: Charlotte Laws | Mar 19, 2005 11:56:53 AM

Hello Jerry! I'm the suit that spoke to you on the Clorox elevator the other day. I hope you will put your ideas and supporting information/links up on a regular basis as I commonly find your points of view interesting and worthy of consideration. Blogs can be a very effective medium for influencing discussions and getting attention on an issue.

I'm a "conservative," just so you know my angle, and use some blogs as part of keeping up with current events and devining interesting opinions.

Blogs stand or fall on their own with their readers over time. Little Green Footballs has stood the test of time because, like Powerline and Instapundit, LGF represents the best that blogs have to offer: straight forward comments/opinions, well researched and referenced, logically following from the information presented, and offering up the ability for readers to fire off instant feedback/critique...with the willingness and integrity to offer up corrections when warranted.

Posted by: RodgerS | Mar 19, 2005 3:39:17 PM

Rephrase the question to get to the relevant fact and truth: What good have YOU personally done for the students in Oakland?

Posted by: James C. Hess | Mar 19, 2005 5:00:32 PM

Hey Jer-- Glad you finally commented on the Oakland schools- except that it was an evasion of reality.

Even if we believe what you say is true in this blog (and people should very closely look at Jer's claims) about your two succesess---- 50% OF OAKLAND SCHOOLS are in the BOTTOM 10% percentile of California schools. You've had six years and Oakland schools are as bad as ever. On yer watch Jer

As far as your pompous claims about being against mediocrity--- well mediocrity in Oakland schools would be a step up from the state of TOTAL FAILURE under your leadership.

And most importantly Jer, you have been absolutely nowhere to be found on the current crisis with superintedent Randy Ward. Ward is an idealogical crackpot who probably 99% of Oakland teachers want out. Because of Ward, we are moving closer to a lose-lose situation with a teacher's strike, and the closing of Adult Ed that serves 25,000 students. Adult Ed is a program in Oakland that is working well and is finacially sound (a rarity in Oakland) and you've said nothing in its defense.

Where are you Jer?--- your leadership on the current crisis is AWOL.

Posted by: Drydock | Mar 20, 2005 12:36:17 PM


The Oakland schools are run by the state, not by the city. Show some intellectual integrity by acknowledging that fact. And if there's enough money for Adult Ed. -- why is it closing? Obviously, there are financial issues which you do not acknowledge. Adult education will survive as an arm of the community college. From the emotional tone of your posts, I'd say you are a teacher at Adult Ed. This is sad, because your hyper little essays suffer from very poor spelling. Students deserve better than teachers who could use a remedial class themselves. No wonder the system is kaput.

Posted by: Pellegringo | Mar 21, 2005 10:36:38 AM

Oakland's Adult Education program is fiscally sound and extremely important. The Peralta college system has indicated that they do not have the resources to handle the program.

Please don't reason backwards "if it's sound - why would they be cutting it?" Ward has not made a rational case for his plans, which is why observers tend to draw the conclusion that this is ideologically motivated.

Posted by: Matt | Mar 21, 2005 1:18:20 PM

Mayor Brown,
Anyone who wishes to see your charter schools fail would indeed be a terrible misanthrope. After all the city, state and federal tax dollars and all your personal attention expended to make these two schools shine (at the cost of thousands of other students), it would be a terrible waste indeed! Who in their hearts could not feel joy and pride in seeing the first group of African American students at OMI graduating and going off to college?

No Mayor Brown, the issue here is not the success of your two innovative experiments. The issue here is that you've become the "legacy" mayor instead of the "education" mayor as you at first proclaimed yourself to be. Granted neither yourself nor Dr. Ward are responsible for past Oakland failures--but what you are responsible for is your silence in the face of wholesale dismantlement and disenfranchisement of thousands of schoolchildren in the flatlands of Oakland and 23,000 more in adult education who might lose their educational opportunities altogether.

Your two notable successes have been bought by your silence on not speaking out against the unnecessary closures of many improving schools in our flatlands of Oakland and in the division of the unity of Oakland parents into hills versus flatlands by by our present school boardmembers.

It is your silence in the face of the thousands being harmed in our city who need you as their spokesperson and champion that so disturbs.

And as for once again pinning the labels such as mediocrity on those fighting to preserve neighborhood schools for those who do not have the financial means to pay out of their own pockets to supplement education in the case of a voucher system, it now become virtually impossible for poorer parents to remain in Oakland and have their childrens' educational needs attended too altogether. Thousands of working poor families have now fled OUSD and our city altogether. You once again have commmitted the sin of omission in your championship of your two charter schools. This speaks unwell of you.

Simplistic attempts to place blame on teachers, union members, lack of innovation or the lack of Biblical commandments being taught in our schools fail to address the deeper social issues harming children, leading to loss of parental control and creating strife within families today. Social breakdown is a problem across class boundaries which just doesn't appear once the child has reached the school doors. Problems of neglect of children when both parents have to work. Lack of adequate daycare for children before and after school. The bombardment of schoolchildren of a violent commerical culture displayed on TV, videos and now the new menace--the internet which lures unsuspecting children into the possible harm of sexual predators. To escape these dangerous and toxic influences of modern day society a parent would have to literally keep out TV and the computer from the home, homeschool the child, and move to a place far removed from drugs.

Yes, while we are forever railing against those dealing drugs in our city, who indeed is bringing the drugs into our city and other cities across America for these young people to sell on street corners? Why has the war on drugs resulted in incarceration but not curtailment of the tons of drugs sold and used throughout our nation?

How are parents, teachers and union members and those that seek innovation expected to deal with these modern day plagues? And, if parents across the board are incapable of instilling ethics into their children in the face of an increasingly violent and unethical society, how indeed are the teachers and the schools supposed to succeed when the rest of society appears to have no social obligation or ethical responsibilities whatsoever?

Posted by: Val | Mar 24, 2005 6:55:23 AM

Mayor Brown,
I forgot to add a very disturbing and alarming fact--the wholesale rise and epidemic of the numbers of autistic children. While once again compromised nature of science in our society wishes to once again pin the label of genetic failure on this trend, we have many reasons now to be skeptical of this label. What role does stress and social and economic hardship and pressure play in a society producing increasing numbers of children too dysfunctional and social and psychologically disturbed to be taught by either one of your charter schools or any number of innovative school programs? What schools or programs will remain to service the increasing numbers of these children today? Will any privatised charter or possible voucher system want to service these parents and children?

Posted by: val | Mar 24, 2005 7:06:15 AM

Firstly, please pardon my responses to several posts. To Dan... I would say that the ideal of a charter school is that it CAN determine who CHOOSES to apply for admission by identifying its forte/requirements- in order to offer alternative educational environments to students truly looking to commit themselves a focused curriculum. Also, I would remind you Dan, that several OUSD high schools, such as Skyline and Oakland Technical.. while admitting local students, also have quite singular/stringent requirements for acceptance into their "school within the school programs." Furthermore, I couldn't agree with you more regarding the lateness of the hour that a parent is available via phone... as head of a Parent's Council.. I've found it virtually impossible to contact anyone prior to 9pm if at all. To Pellegringo-woohoo! Finally someone who knows that the State appointed Ward - not Brown, and also that Brown has no power over Oakland School Board. We have a huge problem with our students' lack of discipline/ respect/ desire to learn. It didn't just start yesterday... it merely is rearing it's disastrous face in our recent attempts to acknowledge and correct it. Wouldn't it be super if we could all find a common ground to quit ragging on each other and work towards just getting it done. Egadsssss.. what a dreamer.

Posted by: sukie | Mar 25, 2005 1:35:53 AM

In response to comments about the State takeover of OUSD:

The State appointed Ward after the most cynical of conspiracies by Don Perata with Bill Lockyear, who determined the funds Chaconas wanted to use to close the funding gap were ineligible for that use. And don't forget Sheila Jordan's support with this decision to exclude these funds. Even as Perata was meeting with East Oakland reverends and apologizing for his support of the school takeover, he was in fact engineering it. Brown and Perata were livid when the School Board appointed Chaconas and getting the State to take over OUSD was the perfect dish of revenge served cold.

The kicker was when voters approved a school bond measure to be used by a man, Ward, who had not one drop of accountabililty to the public. People better wake up or these people will steal your undies while you sleep.

Posted by: Kris Rocks | Mar 25, 2005 3:52:37 PM

Public schools all the way!!!!!!!!!
Let your children live life and be glad in it.

Posted by: Angela | Apr 18, 2006 8:32:29 AM

I have heard that you are using the CONNECT art cuuriculum at Oakland Scool for the Arts. Can you tell me about it and where to get information about it?

Posted by: Sandra Beatty | Jul 26, 2006 5:49:33 PM

One of the writers states that she does not support charter schools but would support home schools. I am happy to report to her that there are many charter schools who serve the home school families of California. Some have on-site facilities for socially-based learning as an additional part of the curriculum, others meet the students and parents at home. Charter schools are as varied as imagination can create.

Posted by: Carol Donohue | Aug 2, 2006 8:46:50 PM

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