Oakland Unified School District

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Oakland Unified School District Reviews

Updated June 24, 2015
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27 Employee Reviews

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  1. The 3 stars are for the students

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Instructional & Administrative Assistant in Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Instructional & Administrative Assistant in Oakland, CA

    I worked at Oakland Unified School District (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    *Summers and Holidays off
    *Steady Schedule
    *Excellent benefits & retirement
    *Overtime Is Rare

    Cons

    *Lack of supervision or direction
    *Deeply unprofessional staff
    *A lack of trust in the work environment. You have to constantly checking back to your job description because your superiors will often have you doing duties that are the responsibility of educators or other staff
    *There is no opportunity for growth or upward mobility in the vast majority of positions.
    * It's a very 'every man for themselves' attitude and those who make waves are often punished for bringing attention.
    *Lack of consistent expectations in every school site
    *Poor safety standards and practices.

    Advice to Management

    I'd encourage the management to have more respect and pay more attention to classified employees, who are often the ones being misused and even in some cases abused by staff within their schools. With teachers changing classrooms every couple years the classified staff is often the ones with the most experience and are the most ignored.


  2. I Just Can't Quit You

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CENTRAL OFFICE in Oakland, CA
    Current Employee - CENTRAL OFFICE in Oakland, CA

    I have been working at Oakland Unified School District (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    * Incredibly engaging work
    * Fast-paced environment; never dull
    * Opportunity to make an outsized impact
    * Huge responsibility given almost immediately
    * Cool people and amazing students
    * Great benefits at low cost

    Cons

    * Bureaucratic
    * Constant turnover and little consistency
    * Minimal support or training
    * Low morale; staff often feels overwhelmed/unappreciated
    * Pay is underwhelming (but that's not why you get into this work)

    Advice to Management

    Invest more in training
    Create stability and structure
    Be less bureaucratic and more solution-oriented
    Nurture a fun atmosphere


  3. People leave OUSD b/c of the hassle, not the kids

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher, Secondary School in Oakland, CA
    Current Employee - Teacher, Secondary School in Oakland, CA

    I have been working at Oakland Unified School District full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    The students are amazing, challenging, dynamic. Oakland generally is a place where you can be yourself, and the district is somewhere where your identity is celebrated.

    Cons

    Because of constant turnover, this isn't a place where ten-year vets feel celebrated or welcomed. Every couple of years, the whole system turns over and the new admin decides what the priorities are. I get the compulsion to do that when you're new, but schools always seem to throw new ideas at old problems without looking at/supporting the good work that their people are already doing. Charters are rampant, and they spend astronomical amounts on piles of small schools with dubious achievements.

    Advice to Management

    Commit yourselves to the minimum of 55% of your budget going to actual schools and trim the fat. New folks, commit to at least five years and spend the first one just watching.


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  5. working for this school district was a big dissapointment to say the least poor wages no appreciation for employees and

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Certified Cook in Oakland, CA
    Current Employee - Certified Cook in Oakland, CA

    I have been working at Oakland Unified School District part-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    If you love children and feel you can make a difference in one child life but be prepared for a rude awakening I worked in food service four years and I'm still not permanent .

    Cons

    Low pay terrible environment to send your children for quality education.

    Advice to Management

    Satanic inconsiderate people who cushion there pockets waste a lot of food.


  6. A truly diverse learning environment.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - State Preschool Teacher in Oakland, CA
    Current Employee - State Preschool Teacher in Oakland, CA

    I have been working at Oakland Unified School District full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    I enjoy serving families from around the world. It is an awesome responsibility to co-create a responsive classroom culture. If you want to experience first hand what disparity in education looks like, work here.

    Cons

    There isn't an OUSD teacher that isn't fed up with the low pay. EC teachers make about a half of classroom teachers. If you have a second form of income, I recommend working here for a year or two. Otherwise, neighboring districts are a better bet. Having to explain to parents why a play based curriculum is optimal (especially for English language learners) is difficult. Constant exposure to trash and dangerous neighborhoods can be exhausting.


  7. Students, Families, and Workers deserve better

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Substitute Teacher in Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - Substitute Teacher in Oakland, CA

    I worked at Oakland Unified School District full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    It is an amazing opportunity to work directly with the students of Oakland. If you want an opportunity to see first-hand what is going on in Oakland and how it affects children, parents, and everyone's well-being -- this is the place to start . It has the ability to teach you a lot about human needs and human potential. The district office was always very kind and helpful to me whenever I went.

    Cons

    The pay was too low for how emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausting the job is.

    Advice to Management

    Pay *all* your workers what they really deserve in order to take care of themselves first before you give them the responsibility of taking care of children. Healthy workers = healthy role models.


  8. Very challenging environment. Waves of high expectations come into your already stressful classroom environment.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher, Secondary School in Oakland, CA
    Current Employee - Teacher, Secondary School in Oakland, CA

    I have been working at Oakland Unified School District

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    You will have gems in your classes who are motivated and ready to learn.

    Cons

    The knowledge gap here feels insurmountable at times. Administrators often care more about political issues, and some are unqualified.

    Advice to Management

    Spend more time on funding the district instead of improving the efficiency of teachers. Smaller classes and more adults in the classroom would help more than rigorous accountability measures.


  9. Helpful (1)

    My experience was tainted because of a supervisor who abused her power and extremely low morale among employees.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Children's Librarian in Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - Children's Librarian in Oakland, CA

    I worked at Oakland Unified School District part-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Wonderful, grateful children and surrounding communities.

    Cons

    Very disorganized administration, lack of communication between departments within District, many lives affected by problems that go unresolved, lack of professional courtesies between supervisors to employees.

    Advice to Management

    Always have an exit interview with employees so those who did not feel they could speak up for fear of losing their job, at least have a chance to have their voice heard upon leaving. An exit interview and good long term records of ongoing problems will bring attention to what needs to be fixed (or supervisors that are ineffective, create a toxic work environment, and cause good employees to quit).


  10. Mixed Bag - Working here you're part of the solution but also part of the problem

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - Teacher in Oakland, CA

    I worked at Oakland Unified School District full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Great kids, coworkers, community. Opportunities to learn, start new things, and really make an impact.

    Cons

    You can't support a family on a teacher's salary. This leads to high turnover and the kids suffer for it.


  11. I agree; Meh

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher, High School in Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - Teacher, High School in Oakland, CA

    I worked at Oakland Unified School District full-time (More than 5 years)

    Neutral Outlook
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    I do it for the students, but that is what working in K-12 education is about. It is a labor of LOVE. At EXCEL High School we had an acceptional team that were dedicated and went above and beyond. Oakland is a great community. I love Oaklanders. If you are thinking about teaching in the classroom, your decision should be based on the educational leader and team you will be working with on a daily.

    Cons

    Psh! Admin is a hot mess! Never clear nor knowledgeable.
    Budget issues. Always.
    Need to give more support to principles and teachers.
    Must open ears and eyes to the needs of the students!



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