OAKLAND UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

Background

Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) became eligible for CCEE assistance in late 2019 after 2018-19 California School Dashboard data showed the district failed to  meet state priority outcomes for a third year in a row. This year marked the third year for the CA Dashboard, which enacted Education Code subdivision (g) of Section 52064.5 (CA School Dashboard) for three or more pupil groups identified pursuant to Section 52052, in three out of four consecutive school years, the district is eligible for support from CCEE. The student groups for OUSD are English learners, students experiencing homelessness and African American students. The table below indicates the student groups performance in comparison to the average statewide performance for that student group (the most recent year data are available).

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The graphic below shows the enrollment percentage of these student groups relative to the district’s entire student population.

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Oakland USD serves a diverse student population, with 44 percent of its students being Hispanic, and nearly one-fourth of the student body being African American, as reported on the CA Dashboard.

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Systemic Instructional Review Themes

The OUSD SIR Report and OUSD SIR Report executive summary were finalized in late January 2021. Three themes emerged in the OUSD SIR Report as a result of data collection: 1) coherence, 2) autonomy, and 3) accountability.

Progress Update

OUSD SIR Action Implementation Status

CCEE conducted the first progress monitoring quarterly update of Oakland USD implementation of the SIR recommended actions in early June 2021. From the implementation data gathered, areas of strength included instructional priorities being identified and all sub teams within the OUSD Continuous School Improvement team (CSI) working to build coherence through defining Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), e.g., what does Tier 1 instruction look like at OUSD for all students and for particular student groups, and identify foundational professional development to support the implementation of instructional priorities. Additionally, the superintendent deepened strategic partnerships with local advocacy groups to address the developing OUSD strategic plan, including its alignment to the LCAP and SIR actions.

A threat to OUSD building coherence is the need to build from the Instructional Focus Plan and focus on implementation at the school and classroom level. This should include agreement between the central office and school site, on specific expectations for classroom, school, and district instructional practices, curriculum assessment, professional development, and inquiry cycles aligned to pupil achievement targets. In addition to this, OUSD will need strategic planning to address the sustainability and impact of the positions and support provided through short-term funding.

Areas of opportunity that were identified include broadening and growing instructional alignment and accountability through cross-departmental collaboration to networks and school site teams; continuing to use the developing 2021-24 LCAP as a guiding document to create alignment of the Instructional Focus plan; and provide non-negotiable expectation on instructions and assessment to Network Superintendents as they directly support schools. Lastly, OUSD is primed to deepen the collaborative work with the Alameda County Office of Education focused on creating clear short and longterm metrics for measurement of student improvement that is built from the Instructional Focus Plan (e.g., LCAP, Focus Priorities, MTSS).

CCEE has provided support to OUSD by funding the position of a SIR Program Director. The Director works directly with OUSD on a daily basis to support OUSD as they work to implement the recommendations from the SIR. This position is a partnership between Alameda COE, OUSD, and CCEE and works directly with the OUSD Chief Academic Officer and Alameda COE’s Executive Director of Research, Assessments, Accountability and Partnerships. There have been ongoing, frequent meetings between the new SIR Program Director, the CCEE Lead Professional Expert, and Alameda COE’s Executive Director of Research to advise and assist the SIR Program Director in supporting OUSD in implementing the recommendations from the SIR, including supporting progress monitoring conversations and collecting evidence for the quarterly update. 

These efforts demonstrate how the SIR actions are also being leveraged within Alameda COE’s Differentiated Assistance support and in alignment with OUSD’s strategic efforts to improve pupil achievement.

Next Steps

Once the OUSD LCAP is finalized we recommend mapping the Instructional Focus Plan back to the new LCAP priorities, including focus priorities and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), and established pupil achievement targets. As the OUSD team continues to focus on its instructional priorities, implementation at the school level and by school instructional teams will be critical. To support this implementation we recommend increasing Network Superintendent meeting times to address common school site expectations based on OUSD goals, such as foundational professional development and MTSS development, that include steps for cycles of inquiry to drive decisions, and progress monitoring to address pupil achievement needs.