Education in Oakland

OUSD Test Scores Released

Posted by novometro on August 15, 2007

Kimberly Statham, OUSD’s state-appointed chief, was scheduled to hold a press conference today about the test scores released this morning by the California Department of Education.

OUSD failed to make progress over last year. A press release called it holding steady.

From the press release:

Statham acknowledged that the scores were not as high as the District expected, but emphasized that educational progress is the result of continuous review and data-based analysis of existing processes to determine where new strategies can be implemented to improve Mathematics and English Language Arts proficiency.

The results for Oakland, which can be found here, show that only 17 percent of high school freshmen are proficient in reading and writing. Of the 1,530 freshmen who took the algebra test, a paltry 60 students scored high enough to be considered proficient. Almost 80 percent scored at “below basic” or “far below basic” levels on the algebra test.

The CDE website lets you control for such factors as race, gender, economic status, and the parental education level.

For example, if you are a fourth grader in an Oakland public school, and one of your parents has a graduate degree, there is a 62 percent chance you scored at the “advanced” level on the English Language Arts portion of the test, and a 59 percent chance you scored at the “advanced” level on math.


5 Responses to “OUSD Test Scores Released”

  1. Incredibledaze said

    Holding steady? What a failure!

    And with Charter Schools falling by the day, it doesn’t look to improve anytime soon. With Charter schools one would think you’d have more engaged parents and that seems to be the missing article here.

    Where are the parents? Are good parents sendign their kids to private and charter schools or are they moving out of the city? And what does that say of the families left in the OUSD.

  2. Ellen Mulholland said

    Yes, I agree. Holding steady in this case means a finger in the dyke with water on the rise!

    Where indeed are the parents? Unfortunately, most overworked over stressed underpaid urban American parents place too much blind faith in their government and education system. Oakland has not recently shown any integrity in taking care of its kids. I’d say this case is closing in on child neglect, if not abuse.

    Americans can no longer pull themselves up by the bootstraps because the tailors are so uneducated and lacking in motivation to create worthy products that the straps often just SNAP!

    It’s time the Oakland city government take a hands-on, dig deep pocket approach to rescuing its children from the hands of an inept and poorly run district. Our governor has turned a blind eye here allowing for certain Termination of one of the state’s most promising city’s school program.

    Where are families going? Where would an educated family go? To the hills, to the valley, to the protected walls of private institution – far away from that dyke!

    At this time, it’s imperative the media and government watchdogs keep both eyes on the district. Someone needs to hold them accountable. Kids will follow – whoever is leading. Put a leader who knows what s/he’s doing in charge, and you will produce children who know what to do.

    Less media focus on the Yusef Bey’s of the world, more investigation of mismangaged and mishandled schools!

    Thanks to NovoMetro for keeping one watchful eye open!

  3. Deckin said

    I’ll agree with this comment from Ellen:

    Unfortunately, most overworked over stressed underpaid urban American parents place too much blind faith in their government and education system.

    But unfortunately the tone of the rest of her comment, along with much of what is received wisdom in the education debate is fundamentally wrong. Schools are not the predominant educational force in the lives of children: parents are. And it’s not what parents do in the way of reading to them or these kinds of things; it’s who the parents are. The research on this is absolutely clear: Better educated parents have better performing kids because their children pick up on the example of the parents. These kids would do practically as well (and, in some cases, better) with no school whatsoever.

    Overworked, urban parents need to realize that if they want their kids to perform better in school, they need to start doing things that are consistent with that. That means, they need to start reading–not to the their kids, to themselves. They need to turn off the TV and turn on NPR. The only way children learn is by imitation and modeling and the largest model a child has are their parents. It is hopelessly naive to think that someone can lead a life devoid of books and the like and somehow expect a school to turn their child into a lifelong learner. It just will not happen. As someone in this profession, I can tell you, students make the school, and not vice-versa. China has terrible teachers (if you want to see a worship of rote drilling and insensitive and uncaring pedagogy, visit any school there), awful infrastructure, fetid and overcrowded conditions, and yet turns out students who are eating our lunch academically. How so?

    Will there ever be anyone in the public education business brave enough to state this fact?

  4. Caroline said

    A teacher friend was trying to explain to me how challenging it is to try to convince parents that they should read to their kids when the parents have no experience with this notion whatsoever, low ability, and very little conception of the value of doing it.

    As a non-sports person, I was guessing that this would be like someone trying to convince me that I absolutely have to teach my kid to play quarterback — when I have no idea how, no interest, no belief whatsoever in its importance. (Of course in some parts of the country this WOULD be expected, though luckily not of the mom.)

    My observation just as an involved parent is that this is very true:


    …so the big challenge is to figure out how to work with students who aren’t getting the support at home, or who are being undermined. Of course there are also families who need or expect the kids to work, at home or in a family business. And my teacher friend also sees families who take their kids out of school for weeks at a time — this has happened with my kids’ classmates too. And how do we discourage that in cultures that are very family-oriented — how do we convince people to give their child’s school priority over their family traditions?

  5. Ellen Mulholland said

    Decklin, you make some good points. However, my intention was to point out that if we don’t educate kids now, we will turn out another generation of culturally illiterate and dollar-centric adults.

    I have taught in the public schools for 20 years. I know that a school single=handedly cannot raise a child. Yes, parents must change their habits. But most won’t, don’t know how, can’t. That’s why I believe that by creating well-managed, lateral-thinking, diversified school programs, we can open up that child’s eyes to a different world, a world he did not know existed. I have taken kids to live theater for their first time. Many have commented that they didn’t think it would be any good, but now they want to see more, and they want their parents to go, too.

    The goal here really is to engage the parents with the schools in producing kind, conscious, and productive people. Schools need to provide parents the opportunity to join in. Schools can’t do that if they are run by ignorant people, by governments that toss pennies instead of dollars into programs, by a nation that believes each man for himself.

    You know the saying about the village. That’s all I’m proposing – that we all work together. We already have a common goal, we just disagree on the process.

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