Community schools were working in Oakland, but the district is shutting them down anyway

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“The Oakland, California, school district touts itself as the nation’s first full-service community schools district, committing to a model of school improvement that, according to the model’s most prominent proponents, provides students with “well-rounded educational opportunities” and the “supports” they need to be successful. Community schools attend to the basic needs of the communities they serve, which often entails, according to newsreports, such things as access to health and dental care, nutritious food, arts programs, sports and recreation, or after-school activities. But in February 2022, Oakland, despite its commitment to its districtwide reform plan, announced it is shutting down several of its community schools.

As Mother Jones reported, Oakland school board members voted to close seven schools in the district, three of which—Brookfield ElementaryCarl B. Munck Elementary, and Korematsu Discovery Academy—are official practitioners of the community schools model, according to the National Education Association, which promotes this model and helps schools to implement it. A fourth school, Oakland Community Day School, which is scheduled to be closed at the end of the current academic year, uses an approach very similar to the full-service support offered at most community schools.”

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