Top students fleeing Oakland public schools

"That’s what Oakland has to have: families who will fight for those schools. But I don’t want to leave it at ‘I’m disappointed. I think it’s incumbent on us to earn the students back."

One of every four Oakland students – including 40 percent of its highest achievers – fled the district’s public schools after finishing fifth grade in the spring, shunning the city’s middle schools in favor of private, suburban or charter schools.

The exodus, which crosses all ethnicities and income levels, meant a loss of at least $6 million in state revenue. But perhaps more importantly, it shows the staggering brain drain that consistently leaves middle schools heavily weighted with struggling students.

Jill Tucker, Chronicle Staff Writer

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