Bay Area students have shown an overall improvement(source: Oakland Tribune) of scores on standardized testing, but an achievement gap that needs to be closed remains. Some educational improvements that Kerry Hamill is working for that may affect this include:
Youth Programs and New Facilities– Between the city of Oakland, the county of Alameda and the Oakland Unified School District, there are many duplicative programs that serve youth. These programs need to be aligned and coordinated so that children in Oakland are served comprehensively and holistically. Schools must be major staging area for youth services because families spend so much time at school. We need to move into a 7 am – 7 pm model at our schools (Ceasar Chavez and a couple small high schools at Castlemont already use this model) to keep programs going at the site before, during and after traditional school hours.
Mental health services and Child Protective Services- CPS and other mental health services that work with our youth need to have offices in targeted Oakland public schools. Some OPS already offer mental health services through various grants through Alameda County, but we need to beef up the number. Child Protective Services also needs to partner at school sites, because school staff is constantly made aware of neglect and abuse issues that they do not report or deal with because they do not have the training or resources.