Letter from Chair


Dear Oakland Community,

The Quality Community Schools Development team is working this year to develop a new system for how we evaluate the quality of our schools. This effort is driven by the belief that we must expand our working definition of what is a quality school. This work will assist us in establishing School Quality Standards as part of our Strategic Plan, which the Board of Education will be asked to ratify in June, 2011. These School Quality Standards will serve as the foundation for a process of reviewing the quality of our schools in a much more holistic manner.

Historically our tools for evaluating school quality have focused primarily on student outcomes alone and these have mostly been a focus on standardized test performance. These are an important and necessary indicator of a quality school, but they are painfully insufficient. It is with great enthusiasm and humility that we invite you to engage with us as we develop a definition of school quality that focuses on broader student outcomes, and most importantly a clear and compelling description of what should be happening within our schools to achieve those outcomes.

We invite you to join us as we conduct a Listening Campaign to learn about what Oakland expects of its public schools. We also encourage you to participate later in the spring for what we call our Technical Assistance work, as we make sense of both the research we are doing now as well as the results of our Listening Campaign. Working in this way, we can ensure the development of standards for school quality that will be just right for Oakland.

Please join us by contacting our office at 510.336.7570 or through our website at
www.qualitycommunityschools.net. Quality is everyone’s responsibility and we look forward to your support!

David Montes de Oca
Executive Director Quality Community Schools Development, Oakland Unified School District