October 1, 2009
In the fall of 2008, the Oakland Unified School District's Board of Education members undertook a process to have conversations about academic performance improvement with the school communities at each high school within their district and at all elementary and middle schools classified as "red" schools (the "red" classification indicates a low level of academic performance). As indicated in the design materials, the objectives of the convenings were to:1. Identify school-level strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that are shared by schools across the city or within a region of the city that affect a school's capacity to improve student academic achievement.2. Develop Board-level policies that effectively increase the capacity of schools to improve student academic achievement.3. Establish supportive and accountable working relationships between the Board of Education, Superintendent, and school leaders.Prior to the convenings, the Board Members agreed on four basic questions that they would seekto answer through the convening process with each Board Member prioritizing the question(s) onwhich they would focus.1. What are we doing to increase the number of students who:a. High School: stay in school and graduate?b. Middle School: are proficient in Algebra?c. Elementary School: are proficient in Reading?2. What's working?3. What needs to be done?4. What should the Board of Education do to help the school?At their December retreat, the Board Members considered recommendations from the convenings in order to develop the district's Strategic Priority to Accelerate Student Learning & Achievement.