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David Silver

Director of Workforce

David Silver has a history of increasing equitable outcomes and opportunities for students from cradle to career.  After graduating from UCLA, he became a teacher through Teach for America in Compton and later an educator in Oakland, David served as a school director and program director for Teach for America training the next generation of leaders for educational equity.  

After earning his Masters from Harvard University, he founded Think College Now, a high-

performing, innovative, community public school in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland.

Serving as the founding principal, David helped lead TCN to unprecedented growth and it

became the first school in the Fruitvale to receive a California Distinguished Schools Awards and one of only 50 schools in all of California that was both a California Distinguished School and the Title One Academic Achievement Award increasing proficiency rates from 10% in ELA and 23% in math to over 60% and 80% respectively.  In 2011, David became the CEO of College Track, a national non-profit organization that empowers students from underserved communities to graduate from college. In David’s 4 years at College Track, he helped to bring College Track to Los Angeles, Sacramento and Colorado, including launching iam. College Track in Boyle Heights. Under his leadership, the organization tripled in size while causing a 94% college acceptance rate, an 89% college matriculation rate, and a college graduation rate more than 2.5x the national average for students in low-income communities.

In 2015, David was appointed by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf to become Director of Education and created the Oakland Promise, a cradle to career initiative with the goal of dramatically increasing the number of college graduates from Oakland,  in collaboration with the Oakland Unified School District, Education Fund, EBCF, and other community partners. After launching Oakland Promise in the Mayor’s office, he helped to sustain the effort by transitioning Oakland Promise to become its own 501c3 non-profit and the inaugural Board of Directors, raising $50M for a generation fund so that every baby and High School senior from a low-income background in Oakland will now be entitled to a $500 college savings account and  $4,000 scholarship respectively through 2035. In addition, he helped to write the policy that was approved by the majority of voters to unlock $35M/year for 30 years for cradle to career programming, including ensuring every low-income 3 and 4-year old will be entitled to attend pre-school through 2048. 

David partnered with Mayor Schaaf to raise over $125M for educational equity, including not

only Oakland Promise but also COVID-Relief efforts, the launch of Teachers Rooted in Oakland to increase teacher diversity by addressing housing insecurity and #OaklandUndivided, a citywide effort to ensure every Oakland public school student has a computer, reliable internet connection, and culturally-competent tech support in their home. In the 2020-21 school year, #OaklandUndivided delivered 29,000 computers and 10,000 hotspots, increasing home tech connectivity for students from low-income backgrounds from 12% to 98%.   Finally, he created and continues to chair the Northern CA College Promise Coalition, a coalition of 25+ mayors, cities, college promises, and college access programs serving over 50,000 students by advancing Policy, building campus Partnerships, Workforce development, and facilitating communities of Practice.  

Currently, he serves as the Director of Workforce for the California Volunteers Fund, which

works in close collaboration with California Volunteers, Office of the Governor.  The goal is to

recruit, deploy and ultimately place diverse participants in living-wage jobs supporting the

green economy of the future and to share learnings from LA to impact CA and the nation.  He is working in partnership to develop a Service to Jobs Pathways, starting in Los Angeles,  with a vision to create a model that could ultimately support the 10,000 CA Volunteers fellows across California to not only serve our community, but also address climate change through green jobs, create the next cadre of diverse teachers across CA, and be on a pathway to a successful


David Silver
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