This entry is part 17 of 77 in the series Othello


Let’s Create a Change Towards the OUSD District


Does the OUSD district give Oakland high school students an advantage or disadvantage? When the topic of OUSD owning millions of money can be a disadvantage or a advantage towards students. In my blog, I will be explaining how  the OUSD district can improve Oakland High Schools and be a superior place for students.


Talking about the topic about school food , students don’t really enjoy the food that the OUSD district provides for the students. Students are getting impacted by not eating the food that OUSD provides for the students and it’s harder for students to concentrate in class. In an  interviewer with a teacher from Life Academy that works in afterschool and teaches art, Aleah Fajardo she feels that , “Students not eating impacts them during their education. They don’t concentrate on what the teacher is teaching, they are thinking about food”(Fajardo). The fact that students are not eating in school shows a momentous impact on the student’s education. In one article that talks about the consequences of students not eating school food called,.“Oakland school suppers quietly vanish in district fiscal crisis” by Otis R.Taylor Jr., who is interested in reporting on issues relating to diversity and equality in the East Bay, as well as the region’s history, culture and politics . Otis reports ,“It’s more difficult for our children to focus and more difficult for them to be accessing the opportunities to learn that we have at school if they’re not being fed, if they’re worried about when they will be able to get food”(Taylor ). This quote shows a disadvantage towards students in Oakland because without eating nothing they won’t be able to focus in class. This shows a reason why the school lunch impacts student for not paying attention in class and getting distracted easily.

Continuing with the issues about OUSD school lunch, it was important to understand the student perspective. In an interview with Cinthya Mujica who attended OUSD district elementary, middle, and high school and is now at California State East Bay University she states,   “During elementary school, my mom always made me lunch but towards 7th grade and the end of high schools I rarely ended up eating school food because I never liked it. When I was in class it was really hard to concentrate because I always got headaches . I usually waited until school is over and so I can eat food at my house or somewhere with my dad”(Mujica). This shows an example of how a “student” that attended OUSD for 12 years didn’t liked the food that the district provides. In the article, , “Waste not , want not” by Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland and a journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe. Bloom confirms, “ The USDA’s National School Lunch Program serves 30 million kids every school day, a point of justifiable pride. But the program also wastes about $5 million worth of edible food every school day. That’s 1.2 billion in losses per school year”(Bloom). This quote shows an example how companies that make food are wasting a lot of food that hasn’t been touch. OUSD district needs to make tasty food that can attract students. If  students ended up eating during school this means that students will be paying attention in class and would able to respect the teachers. Students will have more potential to be more focus and not feeling confused during class.

OUSD Budget

Everybody knows that the OUSD has been in debt for a long time. Now, students are feeling it too. In an interview with a Life Academy student she responded that, “ In my opinion, we don’t have that many activities and sports in school. This school doesn’t have an art class and if we want art we need to stay for after school from 3:45 pm to 6 pm”. The fact that the school is still in debt over 15 years shows that Oakland high schools have a huge impact towards having money because they owned 20 or 30 million towards being in debt. In the article, , “Oakland Unified needs to close schools and reform fiscal practices to stay solvent , county civil grand jury concludes” by Theresa Harrington ,it  remarks, “We concluded that these management and governing problems are chief reasons why OUSD has been on average between 20 and 30 million dollars in debt for the last 15 years and may help to explain why one in five Oakland public schools scores in the bottom 5 percent statewide in math and English language arts proficiency,”(Harrington). This quote shows how the Oakland OUSD District being in debt impacts education towards students attending these Oakland high schools. The fact that Oakland has some “low” education is a disadvantage towards students because they won’t be able to study the lessons they need to enter university/college. We need to make a change by making funds or programs to help out these students to be successful in life and have a good career.

In conclusion, the  OUSD has two key issues to focus on. They need to change the food that is provided at school so the food can be more appetizing to students, so they perform better academically. Also, they need to make change to their budget and come out of debt so students  have an opportunity to be in a sport team or participate in a art class.


Work Cited

Fajardo, Aleah. “Interview with Aleah Fajardo.” 14 Dec. 2018.

I interviewed Aleah Fajardo about how OUSD being in debt impacts Oakland high schools and her opinion about the OUSD school food. Aleah Fajardo is part of the OUSD community and teacher of art and photography in Life Academy after school.


Mujica, Cinthya. “Interview With Cynthia Mujica.” 15 Dec. 2018.

I interviewed CInthya Mujica because she’s has been in the OUSD district for 12 years and her opinion matters for the other students because she explains how the OUSD needs to change the school lunch . Cinthya Mujica is attending California East Bay University and her ambition is to become a nurse.


1, Student. “Interview with Student#1.” 15 Dec. 2018.

I interviewed a student that attends to Life academy because I wanted to know their opinion on what they think about school food and how they feel about the OUSd district being in debt. Student#1 wants to remain unknown but she’s 14 and attends to Life Academy high school.


 Jr, Otis R. Taylor. “Oakland School Suppers Quietly Vanish in District Fiscal Crisis.” San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, 27 Sept. 2018, I found this article credible because it’s talking about how supper is being taken away from students and how the OUSD district is changing towards Oakland high schools.


Bloom, Jonathan. “Schools Waste $5 Million a Day in Uneaten Food. Here’s How Oakland Is Reinventing the Cafeteria.” Waste not, want not”, Jonathan Bloom, 29 Nov. 2018, I found this website credible because the author it’s talking about how the OUSD district is spending a lot of money on uneaten food.

Harrington, Theresa. “Oakland Unified Needs to Close Schools and Reform Fiscal Practices to Stay Solvent, County Civil Grand Jury Concludes.” EdSource, Theresa Harrington, 27 June 2018, I found this article very credible because the author is talking about how the OUSD need to have control on the money they are spending and how they can make a OUSD a better place for students.

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February 13, 2019 2:46 am

Hi Ashley,
I think it’s great that you’re thinking critically about how your school district is affecting you and your peers academically, and address the issues that prevent your school district from adequately supporting you in your academic careers. I especially like the way that you address the way that your school district can actually have a huge impact on your learning by choosing to support your nutritional needs, not only through strictly academic issues. I agree that providing foods that students will not eat actually leads to students having poorer health by refusing to eat, and leads to greater amounts of food waste. Do you have any solutions for encouraging the school district to supply the students with better food? Is there a way that you could engage with school district officials to begin addressing this issue? Are there ways to work with your peers to make this issue more prominent in your school district? You have a lot of potential in exploring these issues, and I look forward to your response!

January 9, 2019 6:33 pm

I was really amazed with your writing specially the topics you chose to talk about because a change should be made and you are taking a step towards making people talk about it. One sentence you write that really stood out to me was probably when you said “Students will have more potential to be more focus and not feeling confused during class.” or also when you explained that a lot of money was being wasted either way because kids don’t eat the food. I think your blog was incredible good job:). Thanks for writing I look forward to seeing what you write next because you are an amazing writer and your poem last time was really good.

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