The Daily Californian, THURSDAY, JANUARY 28, 2016
BY ISHAAN SRIVASTAVA | STAFF
More than 500 students, teachers and community members affiliated with the Oakland Unified School District gathered for the Oakland Promise initiative launch Thursday morning.
Held inside a tent on the Jackie Jensen field at Oakland High School, the event marked the inauguration of a city initiative aimed at tripling college graduation rates among public school graduates.
Oakland Promise hopes to ensure that every child in Oakland graduates from high school with the skills necessary to be successful in college. UC President Janet Napolitano spoke in support of the initiative at the ceremony and campus’s Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Harry Le Grande was present to commit UC Berkeley’s support as a college partner.
According to Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, implementing this project is her top priority while in office.
“It is time we end the tyranny of low expectation,” Schaaf said at the program, to rapturous applause. “It is time we break down the barriers to hope that have been keeping our children back for too long.”
Data from 2010 to 2014 indicated that only about 60 percent of each OUSD high school class graduated each year. In response to such bleak numbers, Schaaf and her staff collaborated with the local school district, the Oakland Public Education Fund and East Bay College Fund to develop the Oakland Promise initiative as a means of supporting disadvantaged youth from “cradle to career.”