One day, I remember when my friends were talking about how the teachers will be going on strike against OUSD and that made me feel shocked because after that I wasn’t in school for seven days. The strike began On February 21, 2019 and it lasted for a whole week.  

Based on research, Teachers in Oakland felt under appreciated because of how awful OUSD is treating them, but since the strike, they hope that the conditions can improve.

Let’s talk about the many reasons and why teachers felt underappreciated. This is true because one of the main reasons were because of the inadequate pay they were receiving from OUSD. Teachers were done with how they were treated because of that and they felt like they had to do something about the situation. Another reason was because of how OUSD wasted the money. In the article by Robert Gammon, he stated,”The district spent $22.3 million on administrators and supervisors last year, but the school board only authorized $10.4 million. And in 2014, the district spent $22.6 million on consultants” (Gammon). That made Teachers in OUSD schools mad because how can their own district not give them money for resources they have been lacking for years. Some schools needed new staff members such as counselors and nurses, students can talk with a counselor just in case they need to talk to someone and they can also see a nurse if they’re not feeling ok or not. Schools have been lacking resources for years because OUSD has wasted money on items that are irrelevant and they most likely didn’t want to hand out money to schools, which they needed. Small classroom sizes were and are still a problem in schools because imagine having so many students in one small class. Most people think that situation wasn’t solved because some schools have small classrooms with many students inside. 

During the strike teachers felt hopeful because of how many students and families congregated with them while fighting against OUSD and how they hope that they can receive new staff members in their schools. This is true because in an article by Theresa Harrington, who interviewed a teacher and they said this, “My hope is that this new contract demonstrates our commitment to recruiting and keeping the best teachers in Oakland”(Harrington). The teacher said that they really hoped for the contract to work in order to end the strike and go back to teaching. Another reason on why they won was because of the district not wanting to cancel school for more than seven days because then students will no longer receive an education and the district won’t be receiving any money since there are no students showing up at schools. Another reason is because of how the strike was organized, When interviewing David Gardener, Teacher at Life academy, he said,“The strike was organized in two ways, the union leaders and families and teachers”(Gardener). This means that families had a major impact because they want their children to have a better education from OUSD schools and many others are pretty sure that OUSD feared that if no students showed up at their schools then they wouldn’t be able to earn money. 

In conclusion, the strike was successful because the conditions did improve and they have a higher pay now. But since the contract will be ending soon, I fear that the strike will happen again that we might be pulled out of school for more than seven days. 

Annotated Bibliography 

Cruz, Joshua, and David Gardener . “Teacher Strike .” 4 Dec. 2019

In this interview with David Gardener, he talked about how the Teacher strike and how it was organized. Some of the information he talked about was how the strike was successful, such as how many families showed up to support their children’s education, that show that families care about how their children are learning in schools. 

Harrington, Theresa. “After Seven-Day Strike, Oakland Teachers Approve New Contract.” EdSource, EdSource, 7 Mar. 2019. 

This article is about talks about OUSD finally making a new contract that teachers approve. This article is reliable because it was found in edsource.org and they highlight strategies for student success. The author covers Ousd and west costa contra unified and she has been recognized for multiple awards.

Gammon, Robert. “Friday’s Briefing: OUSD Overspent by Millions on Admin and Consultants; Half of Bay Area Renters Are ‘Economically Burdened’.” East Bay Express, East Bay Express, 11 Sept. 2019.

This article talks about how OUSD has been wasting money on consultants and administrators. This article is reliable because has been published in East Bay Express and the author, Robert Gammon is the news editor of the express in Oakland and Alameda magazines. He joined the Express staff in 2004 after being a reporter for six years for the Oakland Tribune.

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4 Comments
  1. Calvin 3 months ago

    Dear Joshua,

    I’m a student at SJSU, and after reading your post, I felt that you described the predicament you’re facing quite well. As a student, it’s easy to feel nervous about events that happen at school, and with a collaborated strike of 7 days, it makes sense to be aware of the effects that it brings to the general population in Oakland public schools. I really appreciate the concern over your teachers’ feelings and needs, instead of writing about how it potentially affects just your own livelihood. As for the strike itself, it is absolutely pivotal for the community to stand up against issues that cause a violation of their rights, and with a strike, that’s a powerful way to respond to unjust decisions.

    From what you wrote, “But since the contract will be ending soon, I fear that the strike will happen again that we might be pulled out of school for more than seven days,” I’m perceiving this statement as coming from a doubt that the efforts of the people who cooperated to foreword the strike were not enough. When I was in high school, our school’s was promised funding for a new choir building. However, they kept pushing it back, and it got to a point where our music department decided to respond immediately. Thus, we wrote a letter and had representatives from our choir attend the city council meeting, in which they spoke out regarding our building’s funding to be placed. Somehow, we got our building’s funding to be prioritized!

    In this, I cannot relate to your fear, because I always believe that there are ways for people’s voices to be heard in a community like yours. Perhaps it does not have to cost valuables like time in education, like through a strike, but there can always be consistent, subtle methods to communicating dire needs for important individuals like yourself. As long as you have faith in the power of the influence you have, you can always create change in what seems to be hopelessness. I hope you continue to write about the things that you find important. Thanks for the read!

  2. Aubrey Pery 4 months ago

    This was very interesting. Thank you. I felt I could relate to what you were writing personally because I am a teacher and an active union member. I especially appreciated your focus on the role of families in this movement. They are often overlooked in favor of focusing on unions and administration/management. Everyone in the school community is important, the students most of all. I hope that overall your education has and will improve based on the changes to the contract.

  3. Jane Regan 4 months ago

    Hi Joshua –

    I really was impressed by your article and the explanations you gave of the reasons the teachers were striking. And I think that the fact that you were actually one of the students who was impacted made your article that much more persuasive.

    I am a journalist, and I really would like to know more about the money that the district spends on consultants, compared to what is spent on teachers. If I were working at a newspaper or blog out in Oakland, I’d definitely want to do more digging on this, and I’d also want to get up-to-date numbers. It seems like you’ve talked to a lot of sources – good for you! If you are interested in getting more info someday, I’ll bet your teacher could help you figure out how. (One place to look would be the website for the school district – usually they publish the budget.)

    I am also wondering how things are going now, for the teachers and the students? Maybe if you have time you can let me know? Is the union negotiating a new contract? I really hope so. They are lucky to have engaged students (like you) and families that support them. Good luck to them!

  4. Dominik 7 months ago

    Dear Joshua,

    I agree with your clam, Based on research, Teachers in Oakland felt under appreciated because of how awful OUSD is treating them, but since the strike, they hope that the conditions can improve. Your claim is good because it’s starting your paragraph by showing how much of a B## the OUSD is to the people who work hard(teachers,principals, etc).

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