Education in Oakland

Bay Tech Update

Posted by novometro on June 27, 2007

It looks increasingly unlikely Oakland Unified chief Kimberley Statham will follow the advice of her underlings tonight and opt to close Bay Tech charter school. Oscar Yildez, the three-year-old school’s principal, said he has answered OUSD fears that the school is on shaky financial footing. Indeed, on Wednesday morning, the Turkish-born, German-raised, and Russian-educated scientist and educator had the school’s financial documents on his desk for all to see. He said that a nearly $300,000 grant from the California Department of Education should be more than enough to raise poor math scores, which, according to OUSD, ranked as the top reason why the charter school should be closed.

Kirsten Vital, OUSD’s chief of community accountability, made that recommendation despite Bay Tech’s meeting nine out of 11 benchmarks for adequately yearly progress set by the federal No Child Left Behind act. The school is 75 percent black, and 75 percent of the students qualify for a free lunch

Stephanie Ali, president of Bay Tech’s parent club, said that keeping the school open is about giving marginalized students access to education, well-placed contacts, and college.  A school like Bay Tech, she says, is capable of breaking cyclical poverty.

Mr.  Yildez is not worried. With a gesture that he must have learned from his professors at Moscow State, Mr. Yildiz rolls down his lower lip, shrugs his shoulders and says, “This is not the end of the story.” If Ms. Statham does decide to close the school Wednesday night, he will appeal the decision with the County Office of Education. He probably won’t have to.


6 Responses to “Bay Tech Update”

  1. Caroline said

    Do non-charter schools get $300,000 from the CDE when their test scores drop? Seems like the charters, so beloved by the Schwarzenegger administration, are showered with money at any excuse, while our other schools’ budgets are being cut (see today’s Chronicle).

  2. Baris said

    Charters have to rent their facilties because most districts opt not to colloborate despite Prop 39. Even after receiving grants, per student cost at BayTech is still lower than district spending, so the money is effeciently used. Seems like the hatred for charter schools is mainly because they are competitors to the district. Many times this causes sketchy excuses to be used as facts to deny a promising school.

    Reading the article in the Chronicle, it sounds like districts are inefficiently overstaffed rather than terribly underfunded. Don’t charters do the job for less cost anyway? In a financially stable charter school like BayTech, salaries are no more than 60-70% of the budget and on top of that they have to pay rent. On top of the state and federal grants, BayTech also attracted more than a hundred thousand dollars in donations from the HiTech industry that we are proud of. But for this to happen, almost every teacher contributes to the grant search and application process on top of their 6-day teaching schedule. This all comes down to passion and motivation to teach the youth. There are plenty of resources out there, we do not need this much politics in education.

  3. Mesut Pearl said

    what a great principle? here is the multiculturism and here is the career. This is the team that will change this beatiful city’s destiny. I am sure we’ll be witnessing Bay TECH’s new success and achievement in near future. Oakland should be proud of with Bay Tech school and

  4. Caroline said

    Charter schools harm school districts and the students in other district schools. That’s why there’s antipathy to them among those who know most and care most about education.

  5. Baris said

    BayTech sure is doing a lot of harm to the district by serving more than 70% free-reduced luch student population. I understand complaints about some charter schools but not generalizations.

  6. Caroline said

    Well, I’m not going to pick on Bay Tech. Your folks told those Russian Mafia charter school dudes to shush when they were booing me as I was speaking at an SFUSD Board of Ed meeting. Even if that was just to distance yourself from their bad behavior, you were still the civil ones.

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