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October 9, 2014

Data Deep Dive: High School Outcomes

Oakland’s public school graduation rate is on the rise, and Linked Learning College and Career Pathways programs are having a positive effect.

In this data deep dive, we take a close look at Oakland’s graduation rate, how prepared Oakland students are for college, and how participating in a Linked Learning program is helping students attain positive outcomes.

Graduation Rate
Oakland’s graduation rate has risen. According to the most recent data, OUSD’s graduation rate was 66.8% in 2012-13, up from 58.3% in 2010-11. However, the overall increase is disparate across ethnicities—the greatest increases were for White and Latino students (12% each) and Filipino students (16%). The graduation rates for our most vulnerable students also remain unacceptably low—less than half of English Language Learners graduate, while more than 1/3 of low-income students did not graduate. (Data can be found on p. 31 of the 2014 Oakland Achieves report.)

Grad rates #1 copy

Post-Secondary Attainment
Less than half of Oakland’s public school graduates enrolled in a post-secondary program (46%). The story is the same for our most vulnerable populations—low income students (42%) and English Language Learners (20%) have graduation rates below 50%. (Data can be found on p. 36 of the 2014 Oakland Achieves report.)

OA college enrollment

Linked Learning College & Career Pathways
-What is Linked Learning and why is it important?
Linked Learning combines academics with career-based studies and workplace experiences. Link Learning advocates that students who are able to gain experience and exposure to the world of work while in high school are better able to persist in college and are more prepared to pursue self-sustaining careers.

-What does Linked Learning look like in Oakland?
OUSD had 29 academies as of the 201-14 school year. A recent report examined three Linked Learning pathways in Oakland for the 2012-13 school year: Skyline’s Education Academy, LIFE Academy’s Health and Bioscience Academy and Media College Preparatory’s Media Academy.

Students participating in these pathways had positive outcomes. These students:

  • Earned 11 additional credits compared to similar peers (10 credits is a full-year course).
  • Scored 5% higher on the CST ELA test.
  • Were 5% more likely to be on track to complete A-G requirements.
  • Consistently scored significantly higher on the high school exit exam (CAHSEE) than their counterparts.
  • Had better attendance.

GO Deeper: Visit GO Public Schools Leadership Center’s Linked Learning page for resources, including video of OUSD student and teacher testimony about Linked Learning and news articles about Linked Learning in Oakland.



August 4, 2014

Data Deep Dive: Early Learning

How many Oakland students enter kindergarten ready to succeed? In this blog post, we take a look at the availability of pre-kindergarten education in Oakland, and what the data says about the kindergarten readiness of Oakland students.

Pre-Kindergarten Availability

What the data says: The number of 3 – 5-year-olds in Oakland who should receive pre-kindergarten education exceeds the available slots by 30 percent, while 59 percent of children who qualify for subsidized programs are unserved.

Word from a practitioner in the field: “I’d be curious to see ‘low-income-not-being-served’ students broken out by race and/or language. I have heard that the state application is so rigorous that many qualified families do not apply. I’m not clear on whether this has to do with literacy (ability to fill out the application), or documentation, or both.” – Nina Lindsay, Supervising Librarian for Children’s Services, Oakland Public Library

Go Deeper: Check out this video that examines how many Oakland students are not being prepared to enter kindergarten, and a lack of preschool slots for Oakland students, especially from low-income families.

School Readiness

What the data says: In the First Five Assessment of school readiness in Oakland Unified School DIstrict, about half of kindergarteners overall were proficient in each area. However, to be truly ready for school, children need to be proficient in all of these areas, and only 40 percent of students met this benchmark.

Pre-K school readiness graphic

Word from a practitioner in the field: “We see the devastating impact of the differences in preschool and early learning opportunities when children arrive to kindergarten: almost half of children entering kindergarten do not yet have the predictive skills they need to be successful and joyful readers by the end of third grade. We know that once the gap begins, it widens, leaving some of Oakland’s children further and further behind while other children zoom ahead.” – Susan True, Director of Education Strategy and Ventures at the Kenneth Rainin Foundation

Go Deeper: Emma Coufal is a kindergarten teacher at Think College Now and her class participated in the 2013 First Five School Readiness Assessment. Check out this post from GO Public Schools Leadership Center where Emma gives her thoughts on that study’s finding that “students’ level of tiredness, hunger or illness at school was most strongly associated with the level of students’ ability to learn as they began kindergarten.”

More resources:

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