Oakland teen shot days before start of new school year

The front page of the San Fransisco Chronicle today told the story of 13-year-old Jimon Clark, an East Oakland teen, shot and killed Wednesday night while doing an errand with his brother. Jimon was days away from starting at Skyline High where he had enrolled in the architecture program, according to the article. The Chronicle article also reported that some in the police union said there has already been a rise in crime since 80 officers were laid-off in July….

School board opener brings harsh budget news

Despite many heartfelt pleas to keep arts programs and continue running early childhood development centers, Superintendent Tony Smith told the audience at Wednesday night’s school board meeting that there just isn’t enough money for all the programs people care about. “If we can’t pay for it,” he said, “we can’t have it.”

Temperatures cool and Don Perata leads in the polls

Oakland thermometers showed a record high of 99 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday afternoon, but things cooled a bit today and are expected to return to normal temperatures for the rest of the week. The heat wave meant opened fire hydrants and higher air conditioning use, according to the Tribune, but the one day of hot temps did not cause any massive problems unless you credit yesterday’s two homicides to the heat. Don Perata is currently leading in a poll on Oakland’s…

Three schools, three visions, one neighborhood

The three schools in the Golden Gate neighborhood are Santa Fe Elementary, a traditional K-5 public school; Civicorps Elementary, an environmentally focused K-5 charter school; and Berkley Maynard, an Aspire K-7 charter school. Each school has its own character and its own focus, according the principals of the schools and the many community members we spoke with.  Above you will find slides that take you through the raw data for each school, and below you’ll find a little information about…

Follow the money: OUSD projected staffing cuts

The Oakland Unified School District is set to cut $85 million from its budget next year.  Inevitably, this will include some cuts to staffing.  The infographic above reflects the projected staffing cuts in the Oakland Unified School District for the 2010-2011 school year. Staffing cuts in the district are allocated based on the idea of “Full Time Equivalencies” or FTEs. One FTE is the equivalent cost of one full-time job, but it does not necessarily make up an individual position….

Getting to Golden Gate for school

A number of people interviewed for the Learning in Golden Gate project said that many of the 1,100 students attending Golden Gate neighborhood schools* do not live in the area. To see where students were coming from we collected the zip codes of students attending the three Golden Gate neighborhood schools: Berkeley Maynard Academy, Civicorps and Santa Fe.  We then mapped the zip codes (see above) so that we could see the population density of enrolled students per zip code….

Internet access in Golden Gate

We wanted to test what percentage of students attending school in the Golden Gate neighborhood have home Internet access.  Over 70 percent of students attending school in the neighborhood are low-income, so we thought this would give us a basic picture of whether the digital divide—a situation in which low-income populations have less access to the Internet than middle- and high-income populations—was at work in Golden Gate. We distributed a simple survey asking students whether they have Internet access in…

Learning in Golden Gate, the backstory

Dear Readers, We’d like to explain the background story behind Learning in Golden Gate.  This project was a collaboration between Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, which runs the Oakland North website, and the Berkeley Graduate School of Education, where all of those who worked on this project took a class called Urban Education taught by Professor Ingrid Seyer-Ochi.  As part of this class, Seyer-Ochi requires groups of students to learn more about a particular urban neighborhood and about the learning…

Teachers strike Thursday, return to bargaining next week

A majority of Oakland’s 2,339 teachers and 38,826 students were expected to be out today due to the strike but district spokesperson Troy Flint said he didn’t expect to have final numbers until Monday. Teachers’ complaint is that they have not received a raise since 2003, and despite two years of contract negotiations with the district, will not be offered a raise for the 2010-2011 school year either.

Oakland teachers strike Thursday; school still in session

A majority of the Oakland Unified School District’s close to 2,400 teachers are expected to participate in a one day strike Thursday. School will be in session anyway. Though the district began hiring “emergency temporary teachers” close to a month ago, only 300 such teachers have been cleared to work tomorrow, according to OUSD spokesperson Troy Flint.

How will the new federal loan reforms affect local college students?

Jurena Storm is back in school at age 35 and said the recent legislation supporting student loan reform is “a relief.” A student at College of Alameda, Storm told her story Tuesday at an Organizing For America press conference held at Laney College to highlight the local impact of the student loan reforms signed into law by President Obama last month.

Clown troupe invades Frank H. Ogawa Plaza

Eight-foot tall kids wearing brightly colored costumes and wizard-style hats were the focus of everyone’s attention at Frank H. Ogawa plaza in downtown Oakland on Friday. This was not an elongated Harry Potter costume party, but a cadre of Prescott Circus Theatre stilt dancers showing off their stuff.