Alysse Castro announced her run for the Alameda County superintendent of schools in October 2021.
Castro will face incumbent L.K. Monroe at the election in June. The county superintendent is responsible for reforming public school programs and providing support for students in both juvenile hall and continuing education. Castro is running on a platform of placing better support systems within the county’s public schools, as well as improving education for underprivileged students.
“The county superintendent seat is an obscure position, but an incredibly powerful lever to move a public school system towards equity and efficacy,” Castro said.
Castro noted she has many years of experience in the California public school system. She operates a network of Alameda county schools for high-risk youth and leads the high school division of San Francisco Unified School District.
Some of Castro’s campaign promises include better allocation of district funding, redesigning the classroom around the needs of the student and breaking the school-to-prison pipeline. She also called the superintendent position a “safety net” for houseless youth and students in juvenile hall.
Castro stated that as superintendent, she would embed project-based learning, anti-racist instruction and social work within the classroom.
“ (These strategies) can create life-changing systems and schools for people who were previously unsuccessful in the public school system,” Castro said.
A key point in Castro’s campaign is ending the school-to-prison pipeline. If elected, Castro plans to implement dual enrollment with early college and apprenticeship programs.
Programs like this, Castro noted, put students on a path to a “permanent,” high quality of life job in which they can afford to live in the Bay Area.
A product of the California public school system herself, Castro has the endorsement of several organizations and officials, including the California Teachers Association and member of the Alameda County Board of Education Angela Normand.
“I know that she is the candidate who will not only lead in a fiscally responsible manner, but she will also look to implement programs, policies and practices that are racially and socially just, to ensure all students reach their highest potential,” Normand said in an email.
Normand also emphasized the importance and efficacy of Castro’s plan to combat the school-to-prison pipeline in public schools.
Castro pointed out that her endorsers are experienced in working with and around Alameda County schools.
“Folks who are closest to the role are the folks who feel like they must have a change,” Castro said.“They want someone who’s been working with county schools to step in and do that work.”