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OSA's mission is to provide students with intensive pre-professional training in the arts while maintaining a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum.
General Information and Facts
Oakland School for the Arts (OSA), a public charter school, was founded by CA Attorney General Jerry Brown, then Oakland's Mayor, in 2002. The school's talented students have gained admission to top notch schools including Stanford, Columbia, Amherst, UC Berkeley, The American University of Paris, Oberlin Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, The Ailey School, Pratt Institute, Tisch School of the Arts at NYU and UCLA's renowned School of Film, Theater, and Television. This is a unique record for an Oakland public school.
• OSA was the only Oakland School to win the 2009 California Distinguished School Award from the CA Department of Education.
• OSA serves students in grades 6-12. There are no tuition fees, and any Californian resident may audition.
• OSA's 2008-2009 ethnic composition is 43% African American, 3% Asian American, 12% Caucasian American, 7% Hispanic/Latino, 25% Multiracial, 10% Other/Declined to State.
• During their years at OSA, students complete a rigorous academic curriculum while focusing on one of the following arts emphases: Dance, Instrumental Music, Vocal Music, Literary Arts, Theater, Visual Arts or Arts Management.
• To retain their artistic privileges, OSA students must meet high academic standards. For example: an instrumentalist who does not maintain an adequate GPA may no longer play in OSA concerts, even if he is the bassist in a jazz quartet. This creates an enormous impetus to study hard, and builds a sense of accountability toward one's peers.
• OSA's most recent Academic Performance Index (API) score, reported by the CA Department of Education, is 749, making it again the highest-ranked in the District's High Schools category. The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD)'s score is 676.
• In March of 2005, Harvard researchers released a report revealing that the OUSD graduates under 50% of incoming freshmen on time. In stark contrast, OSA maintains a graduation rate of nearly 100%, and a college admissions rate exceeding 95%.
• In 2009, OSA opened the doors of its permanent home, in Downtown Oakland's majestic Fox Theater, to 411 students. In 2010, enrollment will be capped at just over 500.
• On a national scale, the OSA/Fox project serves as a model for urban centers seeking to offer vibrant services and adaptively restore otherwise decaying buildings.
• The school's permanent presence will have a strong impact in Oakland and beyond, since increased graduation rates directly correlate to decreased crime and unemployment rates.
- Javon-Demetrius Cogmon
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