Support OUSD High Schools: Tell Ed4Change to Drop Their Charter Appeal!

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Oakland charter school chain Education for Change is trying to open a new charter high school in Oakland. The school was overwhelmingly rejected by the OUSD Board and the Alameda County Board of Ed. The charter proposal does not meet the legal requirements of the Charter Schools Act & Oakland can not afford any more charter schools. Yet, Education for Change has appealed to the State Board of Education, which could overturn the near-unanimous decisions of our locally-elected bodies.  Join us in calling on the Education for Change Board of Directors to listen to our community, & withdrawal their appeal.

Dear Members of the Education for Change Board:

At the February 13th Alameda County Board of Education (ACOE) meeting, Hae-Sin Thomas, CEO of Education for Change (EFC), told the board that EFC wants to be a good partner to the Oakland Unified School District. However, a good partnership implies benefit to both parties.

We know that opening Latitude High School would benefit Education for Change, but it would harm Oakland’s public schools. The EFC leadership and the ACOE Trustees heard from OUSD students, educators, administrators and parents that if Latitude were to open, it would be in direct competition with neighborhood schools, and especially Fremont High School, which is already offering comparable programs with established project-based learning and work-based learning partnerships that are  serving some of our highest-needs student populations. This is a violation of the intent of the California Charter School Law, which requires charter applications to “[e]ncourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods” and “[p]rovide parents and pupils with expanded choices in the types of educational opportunities that are available within the public school system.”

Fremont High school, and other OUSD high schools, are serving a diverse mix of Oakland’s most underserved students, including African Americans, Latinos, recent immigrant arrivals, English Learners, unaccompanied minors, homeless students, and special education students, including those diagnosed with severe disabilities. These student groups have already borne the painful brunt of recent budget cuts in the District. A recent report from In the Public Interest called Breaking Point: The Cost of Charter Schools for Public School Districts found that the unchecked growth of charter schools in Oakland is costing Oakland Unified students $57 million a year, which impacts high-needs schools like Fremont the hardest. If the Education for Change Board chooses to continue to pursue this charter school, you will be contributing to the further financial destabilization of the District, which will continue to negatively impact OUSD’s highest-needs student groups the hardest.

Nearly 2000 people signed a petition calling for the rejection of this charter at the County level. Two elected bodies - the OUSD Board of Education and the ACOE Board of Education - heard the people’s mandate and voted overwhelmingly against this charter. We, the undersigned Oakland students, families, educators, and leaders, urge you, the Board members of Education for Change, not to appeal, and re-commit to joining us in building OUSD into the District that ALL our students deserve!

Jasmene Miranda, Fremont High School, Media Academy Director & Graduate

Nidya Baez, Fremont High School Assistant Principal & Graduate

Patricia Arabia, Fremont High School, Mandela Law & Public Service Academy Director

Aimee Eng, OUSD Board President, District 2

Jody London, OUSD Board Director, District 1

Rosie Torres, OUSD Board Director, District 5

Shanthi Gonzales, OUSD Board Director, District 6

Gema Quetzal, OUSD Student Board Director, Life Academy High School Student

Josie Camacho, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Alameda Labor Council, AFL-CIO

Jo Bates, AFSCME Council 57

Maria Ceja, Former Parent at EPIC Middle School (EFC) & OUSD Special Education Teacher

Maya Brodkey, Fremont High School Teacher

Joey Notaro, Fremont High School Teacher

John Christie, Fremont High School Teacher

Agnes Zapata, Fremont High School Teacher

Diana Rosendo, Fremont High School Teacher

Nick Parker, Fremont High School Teacher

Timeka Francis, Fremont High School Teacher

Michelle Gonzalez, Fremont High School Teacher & Graduate

Evan Hudson, Fremont High School Teacher

Mario Miranda, Fremont High School Teacher

Lida Kem-Lam, Fremont High School Paraprofessional

Jose Manzo-Leon, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Juan Matias Pablo, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 10

Cameron Fontenette, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Calvin Dang, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Norma Pablo Calmo, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Olga Matias Martin, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Siatu Otuafi, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Hagar Kaid, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Lavinia Saafi, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Tayler Shaw, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Kevin Nguyen, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Angel Salazar, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Jonathan Latu, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Jose Avila, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Tolinisi Finau, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Folau Finau, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Anabeth De La Cruz, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Sione V. Toli, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Bertha Saavedra, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Armando Burciaga, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Sela Kata, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Julia Aleman, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Taliyah Mills, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 10

Taniyah Stamps, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 11

Maria Cassandra Barraza, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 10

Malia Johnson, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 10

Brandon Beverly, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 10

Thomas James, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Anai Melendrez, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Brenda Rico, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Lakaylyn Thomas, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Sania McDonald, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Sergio Juarez, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Cesar Romero, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 12

Ahmed Alzamzami, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 10

Christian Elias, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 10

Aletha Madriaga, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 10

Jerrica Rodriguez, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 10

Jeremiah Hunter, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 10

Valeria Vasquez, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 10

Edwin Ortiz Mejia, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 10

Bryan Morales, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 10

Manase Mesui, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 11

Nalleli Hernandez, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 10

Sheydi Calmo Martin, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 10

Roselia Perez Sales, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 10

James Miller, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 10

Kalisi Mesui, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 10

Jean Perice Martinez, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 10

Aline San Juan, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 10

Jovanny Rios, Fremont H.S. Student, Grade 10



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