My Priorities for the Superintendent Search

Since many constituents have reached out to me regarding their thoughts on the Superintendent search, I wanted to share with the community in a transparent way what I will be looking for in OUSD's permanent Superintendent. Of course, I am one member of a seven-member board, but I wanted to be open with folks about what my priorities are.

I look forward to hopefully hearing from some of you about your priorities at the January 14 forum at Frick and at other upcoming board engagements regarding the Superintendent search.

Top Criteria

As we move forward with the search for a permanent Superintendent for OUSD, I am looking for someone who:

  • Knows Oakland Unified extremely well, and has respect for the work and people in OUSD's school communities,
  • Will attend closely to the climate and culture of the district, and focus on reducing staff turnover,
  • Has a strong track record of improving student outcomes in OUSD,
  • Will concentrate district resources in schools rather than in high salaries for cabinet positions,
  • Will stay for five (and hopefully) ten years, providing needed stability to the district,
  • Is committed to democratic schools and will work against expansion of schools that are not under democratic community control, and
  • Can provide strong leadership on the budget and financial position of the district, and in particular, who has a plan for stabilizing enrollment in OUSD.

I realize this is a tall order, but I also believe that we can find someone who meets these criteria and who will serve with knowledge about (and respect for) our culture and history as a community and school district, and a commitment to staying in Oakland for the long haul.

School change is slow, and that is one of the most frustrating things about serving on the School Board. But we need a leader who knows that the work takes time, and is committed to seeing the work through and being a partner with others over the long haul, while also leading with a deep sense of urgency.

I look forward to hearing feedback from many of you on these criteria in the weeks and months to come.


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