On a recent Friday, a group of tenth graders from Oakland High School prepare to start their weekend with a field trip to the Oakland Museum of California. A mob of loud and animated students cram into a bus. When we reach our destination, the pupils rush off the bus and dash up the steps to the museum.
Oakland has become a sort of test kitchen for charter schools. One of the first in the state opened in Oakland in 1993 – and in the past decade or so, the district has gone from having three charters to 33 today. But there are challenges in welcoming charter schools to the city, and it has been a contentious issue in Oakland.
Ingrid Seyer-Ochi, director of the Center for Urban Schools and Partnerships at Mills College, says the controversy is often fueled by misconceptions, like that charter schools are private. Seyer-Ochi spoke with KALW’s Holly Kernan.