*Editor’s note: The third paragraph in this post has been updated to reflect the date of GO’s candidate endorsement date on July 16, 2016 and includes links to our endorsements at the end of the post.
Oakland’s upcoming school board elections are going to make a big difference in what happens to my children, and to tens of thousands of others. Your vote counts, and I would like a few minutes of your time.
My name is Danielle Mackey. I am a parent of two Oakland Unified School District students and a member of GO Public Schools Oakland Advocates and United Families Building Community, a family-led group dedicated to improving the education of all Oakland students.
On July 16, 2016, over 100 families, educators, and community members came together to hear from school board candidates in District 1, 3, 5, and 7. We asked a series of questions to help determine which candidates will be most committed to our students’ success and most courageous in pursuing solutions.
Our Leadership Council is working through candidate interview feedback from the GO network and, over the coming weeks, you’ll see community members like me telling you who we choose to endorse.
This November’s election makes a big difference for our students and our schools. A majority of seats on our school board are up for election and we need to make sure we fill them with candidates who are going to pursue an ambitious agenda in service of our students.
Oakland’s schools are improving. Since 2012, OUSD schools have increased graduation rates for some of our most underserved students, significantly decreased suspension rates, and given our educators a much-needed 14% raise. Our city has been nationally recognized for our African American Male Achievement program and our Restorative Justice work.
But we all know how much further we need to go. Our schools are not yet where we need them to be. The board we elect this November will have a daunting task ahead of them and will need to continue to make significant progress over the next four years to better serve our students.
Based on the input we received at the candidate interviews, our Leadership Council will be finalizing endorsement decisions soon. We look forward to sharing our decisions. Stay tuned.