Before GO Public Schools became a three-region organization across the Bay and Central Valley, we started as an organic movement of Oakland community members who came together to address pressing concerns about our schools.
During the 2008-09 school year, a group of Oakland families and educators came together to advocate around plans to pass nearly 100 percent of a $17 million mid-year budget cut on to school sites. After winning support from the school board to keep cuts as far away from the classroom as possible, leaders decided to launch GO Oakland, a community network focused on ensuring students were kept at the center of decisions made by elected and education leaders.
The ‘how’ of achieving these wins is arguably as important as the changes themselves. By grounding our change model in community leadership and striving toward systems change, our campaigns lead to other positive benefits beyond achieving policy wins. We believe, and have seen, that building a base of grassroots leadership matters for many reasons: the solutions are stronger, more likely to be implemented, and more likely to be sustainable; and they set the stage for ongoing impact, strengthening the foundation for future campaigns.
For GO, it’s about more than just seeing annual changes and multi-year campaigns. It’s about developing leaders who will continue to lead and win campaigns with, and independent of, GO for years to come.
GO West Contra Costa officially launches on January 25, 2016. GO WCC’s year-one priorities and accomplishments include:
A group of Oaklanders, from inside and outside of OUSD, started organizing. Many had been connected through the OCO (Oakland Community Organizations, now Faith in Action East Bay) Education Committee and had been part of the small schools movement in Oakland. The organizing was spurred by actions taken by the newly-appointed superintendent of OUSD to close or consolidate many of the small schools without much community engagement and without attention to the success of many of the new schools, some of Oakland’s most successful flatlands schools. The group was able to stop the closure or consolidation of any schools.