Principal’s Message – October 10th, 2017

How do you measure a quality school? This is a question that families, parents, researchers, and politicians have been asking as long as schools have existed. Often the measures that are most recognized provide only a small glimpse of the full scope. Until recently, California schools were measured by the API (Academic Performance Index), which was highly criticized for being reflective of standardized testing but little else. The API has been suspended and the California School Dashboard is being rolled out as a replacement.

Closer to home, the Oakland Unified School District has developed a School Performance Framework (SPF) that will closely align with the state Dashboard. While, in my opinion, this tool still leaves a lot to be desired and does not measure many areas in which Kaiser Elementary thrives, it is certainly an improvement over the API.

Kaiser’s SPF for last school year (2016-17) was released publicly last week. And in it, we have some very exciting data to celebrate. Here are a few highlights: SBAC end-of-year state assessment celebrations:

  • Kaiser gets the highest district ranking for “all students” in both English and Math, due to the high percentage of students at or above grade level.
  • We had a 9% growth in the number of students at or above grade level in math.
  • We are closing achievement gaps in both English and Math. African American students at or above grade level in math skyrocketed 21% from the year before! The achievement gap is also narrowing with low income students in both English and Math.

The biggest concern showcased in our SPF data is our rate of Chronic Attendance. For the second consecutive year, the number of students missing 10% or more of the school year increased. Last year this was more than 8% of Kaiser students.

In other news, our Walkathon is coming up. It would be great to see all students involved in this important fundraiser which makes possible academic enrichment, arts, music, and behavioral interventions. If you haven’t already, I hope you will partner with your child in building a walkathon page at, and then invite friends and family far and wide to support our school!

-Dennis Guikema, Prinicipal