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Together We Are Stronger, Community Spotlight!

Families In Action Oakland
Our Oakland students have been back in school for nearly two months and finding success even with all the new COVID protocols thanks to the relentless support of our educators. At FIA, our push to make sure all OUSD students graduate 12th grade with the required A-G courses is only possible with the phenomenal efforts of educators like Josh. I am thrilled to highlight testimony shared during a recent OUSD board meeting by Lighthouse’s Director of College and Career, Joshua Weintraub, who has 18 years building the academic support systems and fair grading policies that have helped so many Black and Brown students at Lighthouse succeed in A-G completion. We join Josh in urging the OUSD board to revise the district grading policy and Dump the D.

Checkout this spotlight and email the OUSD board TODAY:

My name is Joshua Weintraub and I’m the Director of College and Career Success at Lighthouse Community Public Schools. I’m reaching out to encourage you to revise district policies to ensure that more students in OUSD complete the A-G requirements. This is a critical equity issue in our community.

For more than a decade, Lighthouse has maintained an A-G completion rate of 80-90% per year. These rates remain consistent among almost all of our subgroups including African-American Latinx, low-income and ELL students.

From my vantage point, I think the four keys to our success in this area are:

  1. Aligning our graduation requirements to A-G, so that every high school graduate is college eligible
  2. Dumping the “D”, a grade that gives students and families a false sense of accomplishment
  3. Keeping students and families informed of progress towards A-G completion/graduation requirements
  4. Ensuring school structures – scheduling, counseling, intervention, credit recovery – meet student needs

I recognize that this is a challenging time to enact change, but also know that the longer we wait, the more students miss out on the opportunities to transform the trajectory of their lives.

In community,
Joshua Weintraub
Director of College and Career Success
Lighthouse Community Charter School

The State of Black Education in Oakland alongside, Families in Action and Energy Convertors, are seeking to change these policies and give every Oakland student a fair shot at college. We need all OUSD and charter schools to make three commitments to families:

Dump the D – as a default a D should be a failing grade, with some deliberate exceptions
A right to know – A recent survey found that less than half of Oakland high school students were even aware of the A-G requirements. We need to assure that every youth and family is aware of the requirements and that they get real-time and transparent updates about whether students are on track, in report cards, progress reports, and otherwise.

A right to remediate – this is tied to the right to know. Once a student is in danger of not being college eligible, they have to be given opportunities to make up work or classes and earn their eligibility. It is essential that this happens at the earliest possible stage in the process and students and families aren’t surprised by outcomes when it too late to fix them.