The year 2013 was one of major change in education, with the state overhauling its school funding formula for the first time in decades and a national movement happening to boost rigor in school curricula. Oakland Local reported on how the new funding formula and the Common Core were taking shape locally, and readers took it in.

But the news that rallied our readers the most was about local school board decisions – no, really – and secondly stories about students triumphing over obstacles.

“OUSD board votes to reinstate adult education after protests” was the education story with the most hits this year. In its heyday, adult ed helped thousands of Oaklanders get GEDs and learn English, so many people were relieved the program was saved. Next most popular were stories about Dr. Gary Yee being recruited as acting superintendent, the election of some new board members and a prospective on “What to look for from the OUSD board in the new school year.”

Ever been to a Board of Education meeting? Um, there’s better entertainment around town. Not to be outdone, the Peralta Community College District board also got readers wanting to read about its decisions, in “Peralta Colleges moving beyond accreditation as the state looks to add 40,000 students.” Who knew Oakland Local readers were so wonky?

Well, not all and not always. Readers liked our two Education Voices series. In one, students describe how they cope with violence in their day to day lives.

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In the second Education Voices series, students told how they feel about teacher turnover in “Education Voices: Teacher retention: Critical to school success.” Readers showed keen interest.

A young man who attends Fremont High School and was one of our Education Voices fellows wrote a piece about what it takes to keep teachers at his school and his story attracted several thousand readers in “Education Voices: Teacher cuts unpopular with students.”

Lots of readers also clicked on the story of East Oakland youth exalting in “We’re in China! 13 African-American High School Students are traveling in China,” and the one about the “College Bound Brotherhood 2.0 Graduation recognizes young Black men headed to college.”

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Readers also like to hear good things about their city, specifically a story about the mayor and local businesses rallying to supply summer jobs for youth.

About The Author

Barbara Grady is a freelance journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can reach her at

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