Oakland Unified School District

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Oakland Unified School District Reviews

Updated February 8, 2015
Updated February 8, 2015
33 Reviews
2.3
33 Reviews
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  1.  

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

    • 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 (more than a year)

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Bad management can suck the life out of talented employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Good benefits package including medical, dental and retirement. Working around students is a joy and it fun to be in an environment of excitement and energy. Co-workers are the most bright and talented I have had the opportunity to work with and when given motivaton, they shine

    Cons

    Bad management. The only time you see your boss is when they have something negative to say about you, your work or your performance. My manager in particular is unqualified to lead us as she has no industry experience and does not understand nor make any effort to understand why and how. The manager also listens to an unqualified person about how to run the department. This person has experience in a central station, not in the field and anyone who has been in the industry understands it is 2 totally different cultures. Also this persons experience is limited and she has NO IDEA what she is actually doing and management treats her well but poops on the people who actually make it happen in SPITE of how management thinks it should be done, which is the wrong way

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop listening to people who havent spent a day of their life in the field and has no concept of how its actually done. Give credit to your employees and when they do a good job or get compliments from a school site, share that instead of treating it as a threat to how you look in your bosses eyes. Stop beating up on your employees and cut them some slack, we are doing a difficult job under difficult circumstances and have plenty of bosses to deal with. The stress gets to the employee and manifests in many ways.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5.  

    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 (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
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    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 (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
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Teacher @ OUSD

    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous
    Former Employee - Anonymous

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

    Pros

    I worked at a "small school". Teachers contributed to the curriculum.

    Cons

    A difficult environment in an impoverished area. Administration was unsupportive of teachers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Evaluations must be directed at school improvement, rather than blaming teachers for the District's many ills.

  8.  

    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 (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
  9.  

    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 (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
  10.  

    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 (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
  11.  

    As a Spanish substitute teacher I had the opportunity to share and learn my experience with others.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Oakland Unified School District

    Pros

    OUSD enjoys a multi- cultural environment which promotes excellence.

    Cons

    Lack of opportunities. Part- time positions. Old fashion system.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Update information

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