“I am extremely proud and honored to present this contribution to Oakland’s students,” Rev. Jackson said. “Nobody is more deserving. If their minds can conceive it, their hearts can believe it, I know they can achieve anything in the world. Keep PUSHing for success and excellence.”
Speaking at the Oakland Public Schools Computer Science Showcase at Oakland Technical High School on Thursday, April 20, Rev. Jackson appealed to technology companies to partner with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) to expand their computer science programs . Responding to the call, Microsoft, Intel and 11 West Partners all stepped up to match the $10,000 Rainbow PUSH contribution; Comcast contributed $2,500.
One hundred percent of the $42,500 raised by PUSHTech2020 will go directly to support scholarships and CS-Tech programs in OUSD.
The district’s tech-CS program and future strategy was on full display, brilliantly articulated by district manager of Computer Science, Claire Shorall.
She said, by 2020, “the Oakland Unified School district will ensure that all students PK-12 have access to rigorous computer science education in the classroom and beyond.”
Existing tech partners from Intel, Salesforce and SAP participated in a panel discussion on their work, moderated by Oakland Public Education director Brian Stanley.
Intel’s partnership with Oakland Technical High School and McClymonds High School brings $5 million in computer science funding to these schools and creates internship and career pathway opportunities. Salesforce has invested $2.5 million to support Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education in six Oakland middle schools.
Acting superintendent Devon Dillon provided remarks, touting Oakland’s dramatic expansion of computer science instruction.
Over the past two years, the number of OUSD students taking computer science classes has increased 1,000 percent. Of students enrolled in computer science, 45 percent are young women, 29 percent identify as African American, and 38 percent identify as Latino, in line with the district’s overall student population —an important step toward tech equity.
“Because OUSD is located in the technology capital of the world, we know how much tech firms need highly qualified computer programmers and engineers,” said Interim Superintendent Devin Dillon. “We are on the right track in exposing an exponentially growing number of our students to computer science, and we are confident that some OUSD students will be the tech leaders of tomorrow.”
Rev. Jackson applauded the work of OUSD and its tech partners, and appealed for the broader tech community to align with Oakland public education students. “Tech companies can’t look past Oakland looking for talent. There is a wealth of talent and creativity among Oakland’s youth. There are hidden geniuses everywhere. We can build a a pipeline of talent from Oakland to Silicon Valley and the tech industry… not just India or China.
The event was being organized by a partnership including the Oakland Unified School District, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition/PUSH Tech 2020, and the Oakland Public Education Fund.Rev Jesse Jackson Touts Computer Science with OUSD – $42,500 Raised Scholarships and CS-Tech Programs.
Butch Wing and Pastor Joseph Bryant