We’re starting a petition to let the Board members and Superintendent Wilson know what the five schools really want. Find the full petition at change.org here: https://www.change.org/p/superintendent-antwan-wilson-stop-the-rfp-process-and-support-the-development-of-truly-community-based-plans-for-the-five-priority-schools.
Here’s the letter we will be sending to the Board members and Supt. Wilson.
Dear Oakland School Board Members and Superintendent Wilson,
We urge you to stop the RFP process and support the development of community based plans for the five priority schools. We all deserve Quality Schools in OUSD, but that may look differently at each school. Our five priority schools need to be ones that provide holistic care and education for all students but specifically for our low performing and our high need students. The lack of appropriate support for these students is unacceptable. The five Intensive Support Schools serve 100s of low-income students, many of whom are students of color whose primary language is not English, many of whom come from foster homes or dysfunctional homes, many of whom have suffered high levels of trauma and many of whom just arrived to this country with interrupted formal education.
The RFP process has been a detrimental process and needs to be adjusted based on each school’s community needs and context. Our schools have been through many changes in the past few years and continue to recover as more changes are imposed upon them. What we need today is to support those who know our students needs the best in order to provide them with the best education and the quality support that each individual student needs. This means this process should be led and determined by each school’s community: the parents, students, teachers and community members of each school.
We write to support your leadership in four areas:
1) Teachers deserve the biggest possible raise and the utmost respect. Students deserve the conditions to truly learn. Oakland teachers are among the lowest paid in the country while working with low resources and high need students. Teacher turnover harms our students. OUSD needs to provide competitive pay to attract teacher retention. Students deserve a contract that meaningfully lowers class sizes and caseloads for Special Education classes and counselors. Let’s give teachers and students the best contract we can today while laying out further steps to raise more funds for a larger raise and greater reductions in class sizes and caseloads for Special Education teachers and counselors.