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Oakland Unified board member resigns, blasts teachers, board members

oakland elementary school kids david silver.jpg
David Silver
/
Flickr / Creative Commons
Oakland elementary school children

School board member Shanthi Gonzales announced her resignation Monday in a letter critical of the district's teachers union and other board members.

Gonzales, who stepped down after seven-and-a-half years, said in her resignation letter that most Oakland schools aren't "meeting students' academic needs" and that the failure to improve school quality has driven the district's significant enrollment loss over the last 20 years.

She criticized the school board, as a whole, for not focusing enough on student academic success, but instead wasted too much meeting time on "issues that, while important, don't have much to do with how students are doing academically."

Gonzales also accused leaders of the district's teachers union, the Oakland Education Association, and their "allies" of "resisting efforts to address school quality," as well as trying to shut down debate on topics they don't agree with -- sometimes "through acts of intimidation."

School board president Gary Yee said the remaining school board members have 60 days to appoint a replacement for Gonzales or call for a special election.