A data-based look at Oakland public schools
Welcome back to our continued examination of SBAC data of Oakland schools. In this post, we’ll look at the schools where English Learners (EL) represent more than 50% of the students and see who is doing well for that subgroup, which across the city comprises 30% of our public school students. Be sure to check out the first blog in this series on why we should look beyond just absolute performance of whole student population.
Hidden Gems: Schools with EL Population of more than 50% of students whose EL Population Outperformed Oakland Average (sorted based on highest aggregate differential between school’s ELA and Math scores and citywide average)
We were disheartened to see that there is only one school in this category. However, huge props to Lincoln Elementary for outperforming the Oakland average in math while serving an oft-underserved population!
In the interest of finding other schools to learn from, we also looked at schools with a high concentration of EL students whose EL population is outperforming the Oakland EL average:
Hidden Gems: Schools with EL Population of more than 50% of students whose EL Population Outperformed Oakland’s EL Average by at least 5 Total Percentage Points* (sorted based on highest aggregate differential between school’s ELA and Math scores and citywide average)
Given how language-intensive the SBAC is (even the Math portion), looking at only this test is insufficient for understanding the progress of our English Learners. It also overlooks important differences within our English Learner population, which includes dozens of different primary languages and range in experience from refugees who have just come from a war-torn homeland, to students born in Oakland who speak a heritage language at home.
If you have ideas on how to better track the progress of our EL students in a way that is reliable and consistent across schools, I’d love to hear from you! Please shoot us an email!
A growing number of schools in Oakland have created newcomer programs to address the influx of immigrants, unaccompanied minors, refugees and asylees. Some of these children have experienced extreme violence and trauma and have had little or no formal schooling. Others speak native languages unfamiliar to any staff member at the school. These schools, like Oakland International High School, may not make it onto a “high performing on SBAC list” but deserve applause for their amazing and dedicated efforts to serve newcomers. We’ll feature more in a future blog post about EL students and newcomer programs across the city (including a dual-immersion middle school that is currently in the works)! Stay tuned!
Next time: a closer look at schools with a high percentage of Latino and African American students, two subpopulations that often are left behind in classrooms.
*We understand from talking with others who analyze SBAC data that different schools may use different methodologies for even classifying students as EL, so we may be missing some schools that reclassify students more quickly.
My name is Carrie Chan, and I’m Educate78’s newest staff member. I joined the organization as an Analyst, and I LOVE data (feel free to call me a data geek). As a former OUSD student, I also care a lot about Oakland public schools. That is why I am so excited about this new blog series, “Crunched!” which will take a data-driven approach to important, relevant questions facing Oakland public schools. Please email me with ideas or requests.