GO Public Schools congratulates Oakland's newly-elected mayor, Libby Schaaf. We look forward to working with our new mayor to ensure all students have access to a quality education that prepares them to fully participate in the 21st century community and economy.
Education Policy Paper
In her campaign, Mayor-elect Schaaf showed a commitment to taking on difficult and complex education issues that greatly affect Oakland youth. She holds an ambitious and inspiring vision of Oakland as a center of innovation and excellence in public schools.
Mayor-elect Schaaf published a nine-page education policy paper on her website, and here are some of the highlights:
Improve access to early childhood education programs:
"Within my first year, we will convene leaders of relevant city, county, and school district agencies, and community-based organizations for a first annual "Early Oakland" summit to align actions to ensure that all subsidized slots are filled in the city, that quality in those classrooms continues to improve, and that we add more access to high quality care as new funding opportunities emerge."
Focus on quality, collaboration, equity and growing what works:
"Oakland has tremendous potential to and must become a student-outcomes oriented center for excellence, equity and innovation in education. As Mayor, I will be more concerned about whether a school or program is high quality and accessible to our highest need children, than about who governs it or manages it -- school district or public charter school, city or school district early childhood program, nonprofit organization or government agency. My focus will be on quality and collaboration, growing what works and equity across our schools."
Within her first 100 days of office:
"I will appoint a cabinet-level leader ... who will publish an annual work plan for 1) coordinating the work of city agencies to implement my education priorities, and 2) partnering with other agencies ... to support students and public schools."
Schaaf's Five Priorities to ensure quality education for all Oakland students are:
Expand access to high-quality early education for all children and combat early truancy.
Expand student access to personalized learning and technology.
Strengthen and expand pathways to college and career.
Develop restorative practices for youth across city agencies.
In October, Schaaf was one of the six leading mayoral candidates who attended the GO forum on education issues in the 2014 election. Candidates answered questions about early childhood education, supporting teachers, Linked Learning, and technology. Click on a topic below for Schaaf's answers. You can watch videos of all of the candidates' answers here.
Yesterday's elections brought great news for Oakland students with the passage of Measure N and the likely election of two school board candidates endorsed by the GO Public Schools network: Aimee Eng, elected in District 2, and Nina Senn, leading in District 4 as absentee ballots are being counted.
Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard on these campaigns! These victories will have a tremendous positive impact on students. And the many conversations between volunteers and voters have made our city more informed about and focused on our schools.
Over the last few months, GO hosted over 200 volunteers, including dozens of Oakland high school and college students, to contact tens of thousands of Oakland voters about Measure N and school board candidates. Measure N passed resoundingly with over 75 percent Yes votes. This will provide over $12 million a year for college readiness programs, a clear victory for investing in high quality education in our city.
I was especially inspired by the over 100 people who volunteered to help get out the vote, walking all over the city last weekend and on election day handing out literature and talking to voters. The voting is over but the work goes on to build an informed, engaged community of advocates for quality education. Many new leaders have emerged through this effort.
In District Six, GO's endorsed candidate Renato Almanzor was defeated by Shanthi Gonzalez. We deeply appreciate the many volunteers who contributed their time to campaign for Renato. We congratulate Shanthi on her win and look forward to working with her and the rest of the school board to to ensure that every child in our city has access to a quality school.
In the coming weeks, we will provide more information about the opportunities ahead for our newly composed school board.