Oakland Unified School District

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Oakland Unified School District Reviews in Oakland, CA

Updated September 11, 2014
Updated September 11, 2014
29 Reviews
2.7
29 Reviews
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19 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    I agree; Meh

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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 for more than 5 years

    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!

    Neutral Outlook
  2.  

    An incredible growth experience, for reasons both good and bad

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

    I have been working at Oakland Unified School District full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Meaningful work
    A chance to facilitate change if you're persistent and willing to color outside the lines. Did I mention persistent?
    If you're dedicated, once it becomes known you're willing to work, you'll have more than you handle which means unusual levels of responsibility relative to experience and a chance to develop in your profession

    Cons

    Bureaucracy
    Lack of accountability
    Too many chiefs, not enough indians. Disproportionate level of chiefs/superintendent-level executives relative to the number of middle managers leads to the constant creation of new priorities and projects without the personnel and resources to implement them

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Enforce accountability, streamline priorities, and develop implementations plans, not just concepts

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  3.  

    High expectations, low pay

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

    I have been working at Oakland Unified School District full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -students are amazing
    -students are curious
    -students are inspirational
    -students are strong

    Cons

    -district is unorganized
    -PDs are pointless
    -communication

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    salary increase, base pay, more answers to the 'HOWs' of curriculum, not just the 'WHATs' of curriculum (ie: how to implement common core).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
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  5.  

    Bureaucratic Nightmare

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Special Education Staff Member  in  Oakland, CA
    Current Employee - Special Education Staff Member in Oakland, CA

    I have been working at Oakland Unified School District full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Decent benefits, paid holidays on the days one would expect as an educator. Lynette Calvin and the amazing *I think* Ethiopian Lady in Mayroll who always so helpful and kind when you come in to the district. They are jewels.

    Cons

    No consistent formal evaluation
    Extremely Sluggish response times to concerns or questions from employees
    Rude people at the offices
    Feeling like a cog, like a serial number to the district.
    Poverty level pay for paraprofessionals

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Respond to your employees when they have concerns in a timely and friendy manner. Pay paraprofessionals the money they are worth so that they can earn enough to take care of themselves and their families!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  6.  

    Unhappy teacher

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

    I have been working at Oakland Unified School District full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The kids are great. Many of the other teachers that I work with are wonderful people who are incredibly driven and inspiring. The parents at my school are fantastic.

    Cons

    There is no such thing as having a life because your classes will always be grossly over-enrolled. BYO photocopy paper because the school won't provide much at all. More and more expectations piled on us without any compensation. More and more testing taking away from our instructional time. No supplies or materials will ever be available. Forget about new books. And the salary? I made more when I was a secretary, BEFORE I got a masters degree. We remain the lowest paid in the area, and with no signs of improvement while cost of living skyrockets. We are expected to be constantly collaborating with each other, but are never provided time. Teachers' needs are constantly ignored, while more and more is put on us.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do something about salaries and sustainability of working here. OUSD has the highest turnover rate of any district in the Bay Area, and that's only going to continue. Listen to teachers. Pay them right, give them supplies, and stop the unsustainable huge class inflation.

    Doesn't Recommend
  7.  

    Meh

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

    I worked at Oakland Unified School District full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The reason you teach is for the kids. The kids in Oakland are just as wonderful and deserving as kids in any city. You'll work hard for your moments, but they'll be well worth it in the end.

    Cons

    OUSD as a district is an administrative mess. Budget is always an issue. Union strikes happened twice in two years. The disciplinary system has no backbone at the district-level, meaning you better hope your school/principal already has strong leadership in place.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  8.  

    Oakland Unified SD-Where high performance is punished

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

    I worked at Oakland Unified School District full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The schools themselves: Principals, teachers, school staff, volunteers, community organizations, students and their families. Most of the district based departments that directly contribute to student learning outcomes

    Cons

    Top level: Both Associate Superintendents, for either being out of touch with the chart of education today and/or unaware of the poor performance of their staff. Financial mismanagement that costs the students and Oakland residents who foot the bill, terrible level of IT services.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clean house, starting at the top. Demand performance reviews in a timely manner. Update antiquated HR systems. Stop the waste.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  9.  

    Large, urban, disorganized school district with lots of potential and great staff

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Special Education Staff Member  in  Oakland, CA
    Current Employee - Special Education Staff Member in Oakland, CA

    I have been working at Oakland Unified School District part-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    -Mostly great staff members, competent teachers.
    -Special education services are generally better than surrounding districts.
    -Benefits and school calendar.

    Cons

    -Administration has had lots of turn over lately.
    -Disorganization at the administrative level filters down to others, making everyday work duties more tedious than they should be.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more middle management and eliminate the top-heavy management approach with all high-level administrators who don't have time to manage all of their duties.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  10.  

    Pros and Cons

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

    I have been working at Oakland Unified School District full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    There are some genuinely great teachers who work here. There are a lot of programs for students and professional development for teachers.

    Cons

    Pay is low compared to other districts and a lot of the neighborhoods are unsafe. It depends on where you work but generally you need to be more careful than usual here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Depends on your principal really If you get along well with your principal then you are in! If not, then you might have problems.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  11.  

    Great to work with the students, but the relationship between management and teachers wasn't good.

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

    I worked at Oakland Unified School District full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great students who really need our help.

    Cons

    Management didn't seem to respect us or how hard we worked.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to set aside your agenda and support students and teachers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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