Oakland Unified School District
Work wellbeing score is 74 out of 100
3.5 out of 5 stars.
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Oakland Unified School District Employee Reviews

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United States222 reviews

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3.5Work-Life Balance

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Community but no pay

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I love my students and working here for the school district.. however there is never enough money for us to get a bus for a field trip or to pay extra hours/jobs
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The pay and benefits were great; all else was exceedingly difficult, if not impossible.

What is the best part of working at the company?The healthcare benefits package.What is the most stressful part about working at the company?The students are a tough bunch who can be difficult to manage. I received bery little classroom support with discipline from my administrator. There is also constant projects and data collection that take up wll of one's free hours. (Prep time and early release days are full with administration's projects and duties)What is the work environment and culture like at the company?Fast paced, little support from admin. Lots of colleagueiality.What is a typical day like for you at the company?Work hecka hard from the moment you arrive until the end of the day. Racing to try and accomplish more work than is physically possible for one person to ever finish.
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Oakland Unified School District insights

Based on 106 survey responses
What people like
  • Clear sense of purpose
  • Feeling of personal appreciation
  • Ability to learn new things

Limited teacher support

Working at OUSD is challenging when your administrative team is ambivalent towards student safety. It is hard to be an effective teachers when safety is not the number one concern.
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Decline to comment

My experience was challenging at best. It appeared that many were family related across all locations and the culture of consistency with school rules was lacking.


School Holidays


Pay, Nepotism, Lack of Support
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Elitist Affluent Hiring Teams

Some hiring teams want the candidate to look and sound liker the students they serve, yet they want you to wear a suit and be affluent. The faculty have a disconnection with the students and the families. Mostly because the faculty are affluent and the students are low income. The level of teacher burnout is high. I have worked at OUSD for 5 years and have never received training. The hiring staff is likely to hire a candidate from out of state rather than hire a community member. Also, if you need support from any of the divisions via email good luck. They will put you on the back burner. The lower paid the employee the more they expect you to do and talk down to you and the opposite is true for the hire paid employees, they are never seen and besides wearing a suit they don't do anything. Lots of students don't speak english and there are no translators. Its an underpaid school district. Also, many schools do not have a parking lot and have street sweeping days.


has the opportunity to make an impact on the students


Elitist attitudes, no breaks, burnout, high stress, no training, low pay, disrespectful work culture, toxic work environment
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Great kids, chaotic up top

Students, parents, teachers, and admin very supportive. I’m glad that a lot of the drama teachers experience I can avoid. However, the district is very top heavy and have too much admin…led to a lot of tension between district level admin and on site employees. Glad to have a strong union, though.
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Excellent leadership

Enjoyed my time there . Would work there again if I moved back. Very supportive and understanding. Students were excellent and fun to teach. Leadership was exceptional
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Good, bad, and ugly

It seems like the principals in this district are hit or miss and there's a lot of micromanagement and mistrust. The staff seem to put students first.
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Stressful and overwhelming at times.

What is the best part of working at the company?The diversity and sense of community in the schools. What is the most stressful part about working at the company?The lack of support. Lack of resources to assist educators to assist the populations we work with. Lack of experienced staff, teachers, speciality services…What is the work environment and culture like at the company?Stressful work environment. Not very supportive. A lot of open positions usually with one filled or none when there should be multiple. However, the kids and families are great.
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The most enjoyable part of the job

The most enjoyable part of the job is knowing that I’m helping young people succeed! And that everyone I’ve worked with has helped me complete that goal.
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Fulfilling work within a tough system

Working within the Oakland communities was incredibly fulfilling, specifically working with the students and families. However, there are some frustrating aspects of navigating the education system. Overall I would definitely recommend working here, just know you will need to advocate for students consistently and sometimes with no action taken by the school/admin.
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Low Salary High Expectations

Working for OUSD can be rewarding, you want to do your best for the kids and the community, but more likely you will burn out from being underpaid and overworked. Teachers do lots of unpaid labor every day.
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Nice co-workers. Nice environment. Tedious. Students are the encouraging part of the job. Sometimes very busy. It just depends on your workload. You will need to plan accordingly
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ok. work is all right. people are all right. the benefits are real good. the hours are good. it's nice to be able to take days off when your kid is a student for ousd.
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The people in the frontline make it all worthwhile

Great staff, dedicated and compassionate educators who go above and beyond to supply the youth of Oakland with academic and social skills required to be successful within society. On the other hand, Morale was often low due majority of workers who constantly felt overworked, underpaid and vastly unappreciated.
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Supportive, safe and encouraging environment

I love to teach the kids educational skills along with believing in themselves and respecting and helping each other. Working with children helps adults be much better with patients and an everyday chance to reset and start on a clean slate without petty grudges from the day prior. Etc... I could go on and on.


Help kids grow and flourish


Pay is a bit low but still a rewarding experience
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Constant Budget Cuts Spur Dog Eat Dog Culture

OUSD has so many brilliant people working here BUT too often good workers/leaders are let go by mediocre leadership afraid the go-getters will make them look bad. So turn over is rampant. You do a good job, complete a herculean task and next thing you know... you are out. If you are a "lone ranger" type who gets the job done, I recommend you look elsewhere as it is highly likely you won't survive beyond 3 years of employment. Don't believe all the equity and inclusion hype.
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Low morale. Lack of funding for sped physical structure. There is a lack of training for new teachers and paras.

Under staffing is chronic. The power structure is upside down. The principal has too much power and too little intellect.There needs to be state oversight of the decisions made by principals and the district administrators.


Oakland is a great location for weather and entertainment.


Unprofessional environment
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Realities of Teaching

Oakland is a district committed to students first. The pay is not that great compared to some neighboring districts, however, the healthcare benefits and retirement options are awesome.Depending on what school site you are placed, the number of years you've taught- the culture, work life balance, community can range from non-existent to extremely supportive.
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It was ok. Had limitations like anyplace

The only real issue is not enough staff and space so students suffer. The pay is stagnant. No enticement to stay. Parents need more support. Budget is tight and lots of turnover in upper management


Laid back professional caring staff is relatable


Short staff and crowding
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Productive and fun working place

Good working environment and good colleagues, good management, time friendly, no delay in paychecks, active union, friendly supervisor and very understanding
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Overall rating

Based on 222 reviews

Ratings by category

3.5 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
3.5 out of 5 stars for Compensation/Benefits
3.1 out of 5 stars for Job Security/Advancement
3.1 out of 5 stars for Management
3.4 out of 5 stars for Culture

Ratings from women

InHerSight Score
2.0Personal Development
3.2Career Opportunities
2.8Family Support
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