Candidate for OUSD School Board Director - District 3
Pro-charter Teach for America alum focused on student literacy above all
Full disclosure: the Oakland.Vote Ballot Guide volunteer who signed Hurty’s ballot qualification papers was not involved in the creation of this writeup.
Mark Hurty grew up in Oakland and graduated from Skyline High School in 1975. He is a Senior Project Manager at Education SuperHighway, a nonprofit focused on upgrading the Internet access in every public school classroom in America. He worked as a Special Education Teacher for three years in OUSD as part of Teach for America and then went on to serve as a Director at Teach for America.
Mark Hurty is focused almost exclusively on making sure OUSD students can read at grade level. He’s a firm believer in the restorative justice programs he’s worked with, and prefers “site safety” staff over police: people who’ve built relationships and can facilitate constructive responses rather than reactive police action. He is a member of GO Public Schools, a pro-charter organization funded by Michael Bloomberg. He’s focused on closing the digital divide, wants to bring more decorum and listening to the board, and has studied a bit of education finance. He does not mention charter schools at all on his official campaign website.
Important context: Outgoing incumbent Jumoke Hinton-Hodge is leaving under a dark cloud after putting her hands on a protesting teacher’s throat GO Public Schools is the Mike Bloomberg funded charter school organization
Main vibes: Probably going to approve more charter schools. Here at the #oakmtg (Appreciation) Club, we basically understand charter schools as a way to privatize education with public money all in the name of outcomes. If you think that’s a good idea, Hurty is your man.
Didn’t manage to take any photos with kids of color before the pandemic: Like many of the stealth charter-school proponents in the OUSD Board races, Hurty’s website is full of extremely funny photos of him taking socially-distant photos with kids of color. It’s good that Hurty valued everyone’s safety during these photo shoots, but the fact that he didn’t have any candid photos with any non-white community members makes us wonder how segregated his life in D3 is.
You can view the recorded candidate forums for this race here: