Zhe Wu

OUSD board to appoint Shanthi Gonzales’ replacement

The Oakland Unified School District board announced Wednesday it will appoint a new director for District 6 to replace Shanthi Gonzales, who abruptly resigned last week.  The board faces a tight deadline to find a replacement. If board members either appoint someone or hold a special election before July 1, the Alameda County superintendent of schools will order an election. Because the District 6 school board seat is already going to be up for reelection in November, the school board directors at…

OUSD has had success with small schools, so why are they on the chopping block?

Oakland Unified School District made a decision two decades ago that was intended to make its schools more equitable, improve academic performance and give principals autonomy over their budgets. Following research that showed smaller schools could be tailored to a community’s needs and give kids more individualized attention, OUSD carved up campuses to reduce enrollment to fewer than 500 students in many of its schools. In the 22 years since, much of that plan has unraveled and small schools have…

Seven OUSD schools to close, one spared; board votes despite pleas from children

After more than three hours of heartfelt pleadings from dozens of people, including more than 70 children, the Oakland school board voted 4-2-1 Tuesday night to close seven schools in the next two years. The issue has pitted the community against the Oakland Unified School District board since it was announced in January that eight schools could close and 15 others could merge as a way to reduce the budget by $50 million. The backlash was swift, unified and emotional….

Parents, students, teachers make final push to keep their schools from closing

The Oakland Unified School District board is expected to vote Tuesday night on a controversial proposal to close or merge up to 15 schools in the next two years to help shrink its budget deficit.  Over the weekend, parents, students, educators and community leaders rallied at campuses at risk of closure in a last-ditch effort to persuade school board members to reconsider the plan. Oakland Unified has experienced enrollment declines and budget shortfalls in recent years. Pressured by the Alameda…

Protesters rally outside OUSD directors’ homes against plan to close schools

A caravan of vehicles that stretched for blocks paraded through the streets of Oakland Thursday evening, honking in solidarity against the Oakland Unified School District’s plan to close eight schools and merge others.  The caravan slowly made its way through the streets, stopping at the home of OUSD Director Sam Davis, where dozens of people, old and young, showed up with handwritten signs and posters that read “No School Closures!” After protesting for an hour, the caravan moved across the city to…