Our Strategic Plan
The "Pathway to Excellence: 2015-2020" Strategic Plan is our roadmap for the next five years as we ensure that all
students find joy in their academic experience while graduating with the skills
needed to succeed in college, career, and community. The plan is rooted in our foundational principles of putting students first, equity, and
integrity, and it clearly spells out our three core priorities: Effective
Talent Programs, Accountable School District, and Quality Community Schools.
The Pathway to Excellence was introduced on November 19, 2014 in a ceremony at Madison Park, a school that represents the change we are working to achieve across the city. The
lessons learned from Madison’s evolution are critical to the success of this
plan. Madison was not always a star. It was a school that people talked about,
but for the wrong reasons. Today, it’s one of the most celebrated schools in
the city. Some refer to this journey as the “Madison Miracle.” It’s not a
miracle, although it is extremely impressive. Madison is a shining example of
what a community can achieve through careful planning, inspired vision,
consistent partnership, a commitment to equity, and the practice of putting
transformation at Madison is the product of hard work, integrity, and a belief
in children. It’s work that we must do every day, in every school, for
every student. We will take the strategies employed with such effectiveness at
Madison and replicate them across the district so that we:
- Provide every student with access to a
- Ensure each student is prepared for college,
career, and community success
- Staff every school with talented individuals
committed to working in service of children
- Create a school district that holds itself and
its partners accountable for superior outcomes
- Guarantee rigorous instruction in every
classroom, every day
The staff, students and families of OUSD are working feverishly with community to meet these commitments. Our Strategic Planning Committee is always looking for the next innovation in education to support of students and teachers. This is our promise to the people of Oakland as we set out on a
Pathway to Excellence and take the next step toward a school district where Every Student Thrives!
Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) will build a Full Service Community District focused on high academic achievement while serving the whole child, eliminating inequity, and providing each child with excellent teachers, every day.
All OUSD students will find joy in their academic experience while graduating with the skills to ensure they are caring, competent, fully-informed, critical thinkers who are prepared for college, career, and community success.
Priority 1: Effective Talent Programs
Priority 2: Accountable School District
Priority 3: Quality Community Schools
• Provide every student with access to a high-quality school
• Ensure each student is prepared for college, career, and community success
• Staff every school with talented individuals committed to working in service of children
• Create a school district that holds itself and its partners accountable for superior outcomes
• Guarantee rigorous instruction in every classroom, every day
I Am Oakland Unified!
Ensuring that each and every child receives a quality education is an economic necessity, a moral imperative, and a matter of social justice. That’s something this community understands better than perhaps any other town in America. For more than 60 years, Oakland has been a trailblazer in issues of equity and empowerment and the center of some of the country’s most powerful social movements. We are standard-bearers. No place is better suited for the fight to support children.
Here at Oakland Unified School District, we are defined by the stories and experiences that our students and employees have each day while at one of our community schools. Our employees have inspired others to dream big and achieve goals while serving as role models for the entire Oakland community. Oakland Unified has steadily and substantively improved student achievement for a number of years; we continue to strive toward the vision of equitable outcomes for all students as we build a Full Service Community School District and an organizational culture of shared responsibility and accountability for our students' success.
Our charge is to transform a public education system that reinforces race and class-based fault lines into one that breaks down barriers to achievement and prepares every student for college, career, and community. Oakland is a city that, for too long, has been defined by the word “potential.” It’s time to transform potential into results and to ensure that “Every Student Thrives!” As a community, it’s our duty to make Oakland’s promise manifest. As a school district, it’s our responsibility—and our privilege—to prepare every student for success in school, success in career, and success in life. The urgency is tremendous. We don’t have time to waste and we don’t have time to wait. It’s only by undermining the tolerance for mediocrity, condemning low expectations, and establishing uncompromising standards of performance that we can provide our children with the education they deserve and create the community we desire.
Our belief is that significant improvement in student outcomes is driven at the school level. Our every action centrally is in the service of one purpose: building quality community schools that prepare students for college, career, and community success. Empowered school communities that make decisions best suited for the needs of their particular children, align instruction to effective practices, constantly measure academic and social growth, and adapt as necessary to increase student learning, are the foundation of a world-class school district. All schools will benefit from our work to recruit, develop, and retain talented staff in every classroom and every department. All schools will receive defined autonomies, support, and recognition—as well as targeted interventions—to improve student performance. And when, over time, a school demonstrates it doesn’t have the capacity for strong site governance or to produce significant academic and social growth in its students, we will intervene to accelerate student performance, enhance school quality, and ensure that Every Student Thrives!