The Madison Miracle

Lucinda Taylor talks about her approach to education

The Madison Miracle started in 2006 when Lucinda Taylor, Ph.D requested to lead what was considered the worst school in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). She started with 236 students and 13 teachers. Through Dr. Taylor’s hard work and demand for high expectations,  she  grew that one school into the Madison Academy – now consisting of an elementary, a middle and a high school – with a population of 910 students and 49 teachers.

Her elementary school has open enrollment through fifth grade and accepts 75, sixth graders per year; it feeds into the middle school. Those middle school parents encouraged her to keep the Madison families together by opening a high school. The OUSD approved the high school and it opened to ninth graders in 2013. Now the academy serves approximately 1,000 families with children ranging from grades kindergarten through the 10th grade.

At a recent Oakland Unified School District 7 town hall meeting Dr. Taylor shared her educational experience and objects at Madison School.


A key to the Madison miracle is Dr. Taylor’s ability to recruit and retain teachers like Mr. Zellman.

Hopefully, the Madison Miracle spreads throughout the Oakland Unified School District.

Author Profile

Gerald Green is a 25-year cancer survivor. Green released his memoir Life Constricted: To Love, Hugs and Laughter in 2010, which chronicles his family’s saga and victories over his three bouts with cancer: tongue cancer in 1995, neck cancer in 1997 and prostate cancer in 2008. His chapter, Fatherhood Love, appeared in the second edition of Black Fathers an Invisible Presence in America published by Routledge in 2011. Green’s poetry has appeared in the Healing Journey, an on-line publication, and The Monthly, a premier magazine of culture and commerce, which published one of his essays. Green’s writings like his article Prostate Cancer’s Time Zone reflect the importance of early cancer detection and the healthy impact of a loving family. Green is a member of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) and the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) ECOG-ACRIN Head and Neck Cancer Committee and the Cancer Research Advocates Committee.

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