Mark Hurty has been a student, a parent, and a teacher in Oakland Unified School District. He is running for a seat on the Oakland School Board because he believes that the district is not living up to its obligation to provide every student in the city with the high-quality education they deserve. The lopsided availability of resources in Oakland’s schools is perpetuating and compounding systemic inequity in our city. Like many districts, Oakland struggles to attract and retain the teachers who will provide a quality education for the next generation of students, a problem exacerbated by the district’s imbalanced budget.
Mark will bring his experience as an arts organization founder, as a successful high-tech product manager, and his perspective as a special education teacher to bear on the significant problems faced by the district. OUSD has a history of administrative mismanagement and has consistently struggled to allocate sufficient resources to schools. Mark will work to lead the board to establish policies that modernize and bring discipline to the district’s central administration with the goal of redirecting the districts resources to better serve students. Mark will work to ensure that every student in Oakland has access to a high quality education.
What is a high quality education? First and foremost, our schools need to teach children to read. There’s a literacy crisis in Oakland and we need to start by teaching every student this foundational skill. Literacy will unlock the opportunity for schools to offer experience in the arts, and real-world opportunities for creative expression. I believe in supporting programs like the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) program at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, and the Culinary Arts academy at Ralph Bunche High School. I will support these and other new programs that enrich the lives of our students and the community. We can do this! Oakland teachers are capable, creative, and committed to offering the best education possible to our students. It’s up to the board of education to support our superintendent and her team with the kind of policies that make this high quality education a reality in Oakland!