Markeshia James and Shakora Cowart testify at the Sept. 26 OUSD board meeting.

OAKLAND – Interim state administrator Vincent Matthews was greeted with a raft of bad news about Oakland schools and open hostility from the standing room crowd Sept. 26 at his first public meeting with the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education.

Markeshia James and Shakora Cowart , elected student directors for the board, presented reports from students at nine Oakland high schools of rats, leaking toilets, no heat or air conditioning , no art classes, not enough books, not enough desks, no principal at one school and no library at another.

“There are rats at every school. It’s a big problem that shouldn’t be taken lightly. We have them on my campus [EXCEL College Prep] as well,” said Cowart after her testimony.


American Indian or Alaska Native – 197 (0.4%)
Asian – 6,630 (14.1%)
Pacific Islander – 530 (1.1%)
Filipino – 361 (0.8%)
Hispanic or Latino – 16,381 (34.8%)
African American – 17,945 (38.2%)
White (not Hispanic) – 2,841 (6.0%)
Multiple or No Response – 2,127 (4.5%)

Source: DataQuest.