News

Ravenswood to close Stanford charter school

Trustees cite poor academics, but other factors may come into play

In a stunning rebuke to Stanford University, the Ravenswood City School District Board of Trustees Thursday voted to shut down a Stanford-run charter elementary school at the end of the school year, citing poor academic performance.

The 3.5-year-old East Palo Alto Academy Elementary School will close its doors to more than 200 students in June.

Stanford had argued the decision was made on skimpy data -- barely more than two years worth of test scores.

Stanford officials said if given another year or two the school's results would begin to match or exceed those of two older high-performing charter schools in the Ravenswood district, or the district's own schools, which recently have shown improvement.

But Ravenswood trustees -- who oversee seven schools serving children in East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park -- weren't having it.

They opted instead to accept the closure recommendation of Superintendent Maria De La Vega.

De La Vega cited poor results on state tests, and said visitors to the school site had observed serious problems with classroom behavior management. She said the school's current program was inadequate and that Stanford was unlikely to be able to improve it sufficiently.

Thursday's 11 p.m. vote to accept De La Vega's recommendation was conducted in less than five minutes, with no discussion by board members.

Stanford's heavy hitters -- including the high-profile Professor Linda Darling-Hammond, who headed President Obama's education transition team -- were kept waiting for hours and not asked to speak.

The vote was 3-1, with trustees Marcelino Lopez, Larry Moody and Sharifa Wilson supporting closure and trustee Saree Mading opposing the motion. A fifth member who previously had supported Stanford, John Bostic, was absent.

Trustees did offer some reprieve to a Stanford-run charter high school, the 8.5-year-old East Palo Alto Academy High School.

They agreed to extend the school's charter until 2012 or until Stanford finds another sponsoring agency for the high school -- whichever comes sooner.

Fifth-graders from the to-be-closed elementary school will be educated on the high-school campus next year -- apparently to maintain the continued jurisdiction of Ravenswood, a K-8 district, over the 9-12 high school.

Stanford officials have said the Sequoia Union High School District -- the most logical sponsoring agency for a high school in East Palo Alto -- will not sponsor them and they will have to look elsewhere.

Ever since the closure of East Palo Alto's Ravenswood High School in 1976, students from the community have had to travel to other Sequoia district high schools, including Menlo-Atherton, Woodside and Carlmont.

Dropout rates of those students are estimated at about 70 percent. The Stanford-sponsored high school in East Palo Alto has achieved better results, with a roughly 84 percent graduation rate. Nearly all graduates have gone on to two- or four-year colleges.

Privately, Stanford officials appeared stunned by Ravenswood's decision to close the elementary school.

Publicly, they said Stanford faculty will continue to "work closely" with the teachers of the elementary children, who will be transferred to other Ravenswood district elementary schools.

"We are very pleased that we will continue to be involved with students in the East Palo Alto community, which has been so enthusiastic and supportive of our presence," Stanford Education School Dean Deborah Stipek said.

"Stanford has a long-term commitment to the students of East Palo Alto. We are pleased that we will continue our partnership with the Ravenswood school district, and that the board is supportive of our successful high school program."

Other than the test data, Ravenswood's decision to close the Stanford elementary school appeared to reflect the institutional imperatives of a declining-enrollment school district that is fighting for financial survival.

An immediate state cash infusion to the district will accompany any former Stanford student who returns to his or her neighborhood school this fall.

Indeed, just prior to the vote Thursday night, trustees heard from their Chief Business Official Megan Curtis about a looming deficit, due in part to declining enrollment.

Curtis said staff members have identified many potential cuts but the district may have to consider more drastic measures, including school closures and furloughs, to close the budget gap.

Another policy trustees might consider is a "district-wide campaign to increase enrollment," Curtis said.

"If we could pull back 200 or 300 kids to our district, that could offset the entire deficit," Curtis said, without making any reference to the Stanford situation.

Ravenswood trustees have expressed frustration that district schools continue to lose enrollment -- and accompanying state revenue -- despite their improving test scores and the district's stated motto, "Journey to Excellence."

The 3,000-student district loses about 40 percent of its potential enrollment each year to charter schools or to the Tinsley desegregation program, a 23-year-old court settlement that allows 160 of Ravenswood's non-white kindergartners each year to enroll in neighboring Palo Alto, Menlo Park and other area school districts as far north as Belmont.

"We're all working toward the same end, but oftentimes it becomes competitive," De La Vega said in an interview with the Weekly last December.

"I know it's not (the charters') intent, but when you take (students) away it makes it more difficult to work through those challenges.

"My role as superintendent is to protect the district and make sure we're left with the ability to provide a quality education."

Related story:

Stanford loses bid to renew EPA charter schools

Comments

Posted by Cynthia Holladay, a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2010 at 10:54 am

I'd like to share another article and set of comments for PA Online readers:

Read more: Web Link

I run a customer development consulting business in the Bay area and have been in the technology industry for 22 years. For the past 2 years I've served in a variety of volunteer roles at the East Palo Alto Academy High School, spending a few hours per quarter on campus. These roles range from judging Student Exhibitions, coaching students who are preparing for Exhibitions, and most recently mentoring individual students.

During this time I've been introduced to and worked directly with some of the administration staff, teachers and students. I've also been given tours of the classes and presentations on the curriculum and volunteer opportunities.

Granted, it has been some time since I've been in high school myself, and teaching is not my profession. However I have 2 close family members who are high school teachers, and through them I have some appreciation for a few of the challenges.

In this context, my experience with the EPAA HS has been nothing but positive. In particular, the Student Exhibition program is exemplary in terms of its organization and student participation. It is a creative, multi-disciplinary project for students that teaches not only the subject matter, but also critical thinking, project management skills and leadership. I've witnessed student growth and learned about the program's direct impact on students' successful college applications and acceptance. Some of the students who graduate EPAA HS and are accepted at colleges like Berkeley and UCLA are the only English-speaking members of their family. It is simply amazing to me that even with the number of challenges both the school and the students face, there are so many success stories.

It's easy to criticize the education system and form subjective opinions about how well a school like EPAA HS is or should be working. Until I got involved first hand, I might have formed some of the same opinions. When I remember my years in school and imagine what it must be like, even for one day, being one of the teachers or students in this particular situation, I have only respect and admiration for their efforts. It makes me want to find ways to contribute more. It would be very difficult to make quick judgments that could essentially wipe out what could be the foundation for change.

In the business world, it typically takes years to make fundamental changes and see the long-term tangible results in an organization. How many years does it take to make the same type of fundamental changes in a school system – including the ones that EPAA HS are compared? How long should it take to see the degree of tangible results desired? How do we define success? And do we really understand what's needed to get more of the right kind of results? And finally, what are we as individuals doing to understand and contribute to successful learning?

Cynthia Holladay
UpRight Marketing
San Mateo, CA


Posted by ann, a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Apr 23, 2010 at 10:58 am

shame on the ravenswood trustees......its all about the money money money....i hope and pray stanford can appeal....


Posted by Koa, a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 23, 2010 at 11:12 am

I'm not familiar with the arrangement between Stanford and the Ravenswood school district. Could someone please fill me in on how this is at all a loss for Stanford and not EPA? It seems like Stanford was trying to do a good thing with these charter schools for an underprivileged youth population. Unfortunately, tt seems to me that those kids are going to be the real losers here.

Stanford fought to keep it open, but in the end it's like: don't do me any favors EPA, if you want to close down this charter school we have built, fine, we were trying to help your kids.


Posted by SUCH a stupid move, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Apr 23, 2010 at 11:12 am

Wow, this is awful for those poor kids. I am horrified by this abrupt action and by the rudeness of this community. The benefits provided by Stanford in conjunction with this school were HUGE.

These families, ESPECIALLY the orphaned fifth graders, are going to just be abused because most can no longer get into Tinsley, so they'll be stuck in the hell of Ravenswood.

This is all about politics, power, pride and money and it's the WRONG decision for these poor kids.


Posted by michael james, a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 23, 2010 at 11:29 am

they tripped over a loaf of bread


Posted by Willows parent, a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 23, 2010 at 11:32 am

Typical EPA behavior. They don't want the charter school because it takes resources away from their public schools--as if they have done so well with those resources themselves.


Posted by Confused, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2010 at 12:57 pm

>Privately, Stanford officials said they were stunned by Ravenswood's decision to close the elementary school.

>Publicly, they said Stanford faculty will continue to "work closely" with the teachers of the elementary children,


Is that first sentence "off the record" reporting?


Posted by MENLO, a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 23, 2010 at 1:11 pm

This is terrible news as I have two nieces that attend this school and I can't imagine what they're feeling today,this is the only school they have attended.

This calls for something special this evening.


Posted by James Hall, a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2010 at 1:23 pm

As a person who spent much effort and time with the Mid-Peninsula Task Force to secure the Tinsley agreement, and additional effort which attempted an unsuccessful foundation intervention in Ravenswood years ago, I'm surprised at the the nature of this report.
I don't find anything in your article about the actual test results in the elementary school, the very high turnover of Stanford's staff involved in the education process, the paternalistic perception of all this "expert" assistance being offered by the powerful, prestigous


Posted by Sad, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 23, 2010 at 2:50 pm

"Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see."

Nice going there Ravenswood. Now what will you do with the children, eh?


Posted by Mom, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm

"observed serious problems with classroom behavior management."

Does De La Vega realize her students might not be so easy to manage? It's unlikely that they are all living in nurturing, harmonious homes.


Posted by Frank, a resident of Ventura
on Apr 23, 2010 at 6:40 pm

OK everyone - it's a bout results. This charter school was not producing them. That is not unusual BTW. Open you eyes and look - there are dozens of surveys showing that in general charter schools don't do better than public schools.

I do feel sorry for the children who are being bounced around but I do not think they will wind up in a worse school or get a worse education and the data backs that up.


Posted by Bill, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Apr 23, 2010 at 7:03 pm

If Stanford wanted to, it could open a private school for EPA kids, and bypass the Ravenswood School District. The issue of "results" then would become an issue between Stanford and the parents.

Stanford has plenty of land and money .. so let's see if they have the political will to help out the "disenfranchised" ..


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 23, 2010 at 7:17 pm



Given the way Stanford has been treated in this matter there will be a dramatic decrease in charitable and other contributions of time and effort from Stanford Alumni.
There will also be a review of Tinsley and other handout programs.

EPA will have to take responsibility for educating its own children, the vast majority of whom now are the descendants of immigrants legal and illegal from south of the border.

When Tinsley was set up, decades ago, it was to alleviate guilt in relation to offspring of Involuntary Immigrants---slaves.

The demographics have change, the white/ Asian guilt has gone-- it is time to move on to taking personal and parental responsibly for the up to 70% drop out rate of EPA students.

Stanford and its alumni will not be back after this treatment -- that is for sure----

Comments here like, "Stanford's staff involved in the education process, the paternalistic perception of all this "expert" assistance being offered by the powerful, prestigous" sic, by James Hall, a resident of another community
have dug the grave even deeper
BTW the correct spelling is "prestigious"--- that alone tells you something?


Posted by typo, a resident of Community Center
on Apr 23, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Sharon -

What does a typo tell y'all?


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 23, 2010 at 9:00 pm


Let us hear from "James Hall, a resident of another community," about his inability to spell while blaming Stanford for the failure of EPA education.

Handouts, charity and volunteerism will not continue to EPA, from Stanford Alumni or most others.

Stanford devoted major time, money and focus to this effort in EPA-- for nothing but insults in return.

Silicon Valley devoted major time, money and focus to " Bridge the Digital Divide" for nothing but EPA lack of interest, commitment and insults in return.
Ask yourself--- why would any of these well intentioned people and firms want to tolerate more abuse?

They will not, EPA now has to step up and take responsibility for their reality, violence, drugs, poor education and poor parenting-- Insulting and booting out Stanford means that personal responsibility is EPAs only choice-- good luck


Posted by typo, a resident of Community Center
on Apr 23, 2010 at 9:40 pm

All joking aside, I agree that resources should be applied where they have an impact (which is not the same as where they are explicitly appreciated). I agree in general and specifically in the case of education.

Resources are often not best utilized by the most needy. A fact of life. Runs against emotion and political correctness. The ramification of this is that there sometimes really is a value in adopting a "trickle-down" perspective for resource allocation, though it need not trickle down from the top. It could trickle down from near the bottom.

If the resources Stanford can apply to improving education will have more impact on Palo Alto or Mountain View schools' students, even if those students are not downtrodden, that's where the resources should go. Or if the resources would have more of an impact in say, Sunnyvale, the resources should go there.

Stanford knows this, that's why admission to the university is competitive. But politics is powerful stuff, and its influence on allocation of resources is toward inefficiency.

Yet, it may be that Stanford's education resources would indeed get the most bang for buck in East Palo Alto, but politics interferes!


Posted by Mom af a kicked out 4th grader, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 23, 2010 at 9:53 pm

I truly hope that my children are afforded the opportunity to have the education they deserve. My address should not mean that my child has a poor education. It should not matter where my children live and sadly it does. I will be "bus-ing" my children right out of here to continue to give my children the education they deserve and need. BTW- not all children were doing bad at EPAA, both of my children have consistently performed above grade level. I wish that EPAA was given a harder look to see what the exact problem areas were so that they could fix them. Test scores dont tell all.


Posted by mutti, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 23, 2010 at 10:23 pm

I have volunteered and worked in Ravenswood since 1997. There are huge improvements in the district, especially since the major change in leadership in 2003. The bare facts are these. In 2008 Costano School had API of 612 and Stanford had 613. In 2009 Costano had 672 and Stanford had 608. Who has the failing school??? The District is under tremendous pressure from the state and federal governments to get the test scores over 700. Having one school go down when all the others went up is a big problem. A

Also, Stanford is run by researchers. Too many of them look on the school as their "Lab." We don't want our children to be someone's experiment. The Ravenswood Schools are doing much, much better. Let's send the kids to the good schools!


Posted by the pot calling the kettle black, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2010 at 11:03 pm



Ravenswood trustees are frustrated that nobody is noticing that their schools have improved?

apparently test scores are not everything for some families, what other reasons would families have to go to charters instead of the district shcools?

data driven decisions, or what could also be a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

if the charters have customers who are choosing to go there, in this type of community, they should be golden

jerking families around like this, supposedly for their own good?


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 24, 2010 at 8:37 am



What impact will this insult to Stanford have on the Dalai Lamas visit to epa?

He is traveling at Stanford expense.


Posted by John Dough, a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 24, 2010 at 8:49 am

Compared to the privately run Aspire school the Stanford run program was an absolute failure. Early on Aspire had partnered with Stanford to run the East Palo Alto school, but ideological differences forced them apart. We can now grade the Stanford Education Department approach--F. don't be fooled by college acceptance rates. Colleges enjoy being hoodwinked by novel grading schemes employed by their education departments.


Posted by ss, a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2010 at 10:33 am

This is what happens when ed schools actually become involved in education--the schools fail.


Posted by Old Palo Alto, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 24, 2010 at 12:08 pm

East Palo Alto never misses and opportunity to miss an opportunity. EPA should bend over backwards to accommodate any support Stanford would offer, instead they insult Stanford. EPA only has upside from Stanford involvement and Stanford has nothing to gain in helping EPA.


Posted by Howard Beale, a resident of Green Acres
on Apr 24, 2010 at 12:59 pm

"EPA should bend over backwards to accommodate any support Stanford would offer..."

Worship at the alter of Stanford all you want, but please let me know how many years of bottom 5% in the state ratings would you let your kids suffer through before posting something like that.


Posted by puckman979, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Stanford offered EPA nothing. Stanford supported this charter school so that they could use it as a "research lab" to test their theories. Their theories were wrong. They pulled students away from their home district into the charter...and then they failed to educate those students. They had years to make the program work but they couldn't succeed.

The data proves the results about the the Stanford Charter, and data shows them in the "lowest performing schools" list in California.

If Stanford University actually cares about the students in the City of East Palo Alto/Menlo Park and not just the research, they should offer the same support to the Ravenswood City School District that they offered to the charter school. They should partner with the district instead of compete with the district.

Blaming the district for Stanfords failure is rediculous. The district did what it had to do. They closed a failing school. With the district's improved programs and higher scores, the children now have schools in their own neighborhood that they can be proud to attend. The parents can be as involved in their home schools as they were in the charter school.






Posted by typo, a resident of Community Center
on Apr 24, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Mutti -

I agree that there is a huge difference between learning how to help students (along with how not to) and helping students. It's easy to believe that the charter was trying to do the former, but was it?


Posted by the pot calling the kettle black, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2010 at 3:24 pm


puckman979,

must feel good to pontificate about Stanford's failures

I detect a bitterness about their involvement, dammed if they did, damed if they didn't

since it was a "research lab" it'd be interesting to know exactly what failed, and what you find valuable enough to suggest that it should extend to the entire district.







Posted by puckman979, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2010 at 4:01 pm

The Stanford Charter refused the District's assistance until treatened with closure and credited the District with the modest improvement that they showed in the last year. The Charter offered no real defense of their previous methodology and low scores at multiple Board meetings.


Posted by Old Palo Alto, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 24, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Howard Beale wrote...."Worship at the alter of Stanford all you want, but please let me know how many years of bottom 5% in the state ratings would you let your kids suffer through before posting something like that."

What's the kid's alternative? They go back into schools that are probably bottom 1% in the state rankings.

Bottom line: Stanford is a world class university. Anything EPA can do to benefit from Stanford would be a wise move. Kicking Stanford out of a school district that is already a disaster is just stupid. EPA has and most likely always will be a charity case, it doesn't know how to help itself.


Posted by Old Palo Alto, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 24, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Howard Beale wrote...."Worship at the alter of Stanford all you want, but please let me know how many years of bottom 5% in the state ratings would you let your kids suffer through before posting something like that."

What's the kid's alternative? They go back into schools that are probably bottom 1% in the state rankings.

Bottom line: Stanford is a world class university. Anything EPA can do to benefit from Stanford would be a wise move. Kicking Stanford out of a school district that is already a disaster is just stupid. EPA has and most likely always will be a charity case, it doesn't know how to help itself.


Posted by puckman979, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Old Palo Alto

Facts not perception. Ravenswood's schools outperform the Stanford Charter that they refused to renew.


Posted by TKC, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 25, 2010 at 8:12 am

Great, make the kids pay! Splendid idea. Close their school. And send them where exactly? A school that is monitored by who? That has what test scores? What investment in doing well? Just cruise around EPA on any given school day between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm and see how many kids are just hanging out, NOT in school. Why don't you try to pull these gets back in to get your enrollment up instead of shutting down a program that is brand new and could quite possibly help change the face of education in EPA?????Back to school with you!


Posted by puckman979, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2010 at 8:44 am

TKC

To answer your questions:

And send them where exactly? To a Ravenswood school where their chances of success are better.

A school that is monitored by who? By whom? Ravenwood administration who has shown this ability and continued down the path of improved test scores.

That has what test scores? All better than Stanford Charter

What investment in doing well? Ravenswood has achieved much with limited resources.


Posted by Residents one, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm

As an East Palo Alto resident-homeowner, with a graduate degree and a six figuar income, who was born, raised and educated in East Palo Alto, who also has a school age son, I need to say I am very disturbed at the comments. Why is it Palo Alto's well-to-do refuses to do more them selves and happen to think they know everything?

East Palo Alto has had its challenges, but is obviously not down and out. The city boasts the #5 spot for California retail centers, crime is down 35%, community members are engaged in every aspect of a specific plan for the community, the city hall is tracking great results, no lay offs - no furloughs. People coming back to the community are voters, homeowners, who care and who are in this country legally, educated and working.

It just pisses me off to read (especially Sharon) Palo Altans opinions of the Ravenswood School District Trustees. Damn ya'll run your districts and make formal determinations about how your children will be educated, so why can't we?

Just be cause Stanford was denied, you all think that is a snub. I visited Stanford school for my child. I was appalled at the facilities, the upkeep and maintenance, the classrooms were disorganized, teachers were all temporary and all students of Stanford. They didn't have a clue what to do, teach or how to approach a 2nd grader. Several of our friends enrolled their children at Stanford School and have now transferred them to other schools, where they struggle to stay at grade level, one was actually put back a grade.

What a snub to East Palo Alto to suggest we don't know whats right for our children and that just because its was Stanford all was well. Think again. If you think we are so stupd, so needy, will be so sad to lose future donations, "can't do for ourselves," "east Palo Alto will always be a charity case, anything Stanford will offer should be accepted, well you got another thing coming.

Don't beleive for one minute kids are walking the streets at shcool time in EPA or any of the other bull you read here. The Stanford school was all wrong. Our kids are not to be Stanford's educational experiment. Ravenswood School District Trustees should be commended for standing up for our rights.


Posted by the pot calling the kettle black, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2010 at 3:22 pm


Residents one,

It's much better to hear that Stanford is at fault for this situation than EPA families or Ravenswood because otherwise it would mean there is basically no hope.

but, let's not get too technical and make this a story about Ravenswood vs Stanford test scores, or about some ill intent to "experiment." If nothing else, US k-12 education, is one big experiment with innocent kids in the middle, another reason to call this a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

The point is that whether you are Ravenswood or PAUSD, there are ways, and there are ways to treat a potential investor of time, resources, interest.

I doubt this was like some corporate raider trying to take advantage of EPA kids, you're at least neighbors.











Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 25, 2010 at 5:40 pm


The original " White Guilt" attitude to EPA and such programs as Tinsley were predicated upon a very different demographic than exists today in both PA and EPA

" Although about half of East Palo Alto's residents were African Americans in 1990, Latinos now constitute about 70% of the total population, while the proportion of African Americans has decreased to about 25%.
A small minority of Pacific Islander population also resides in East Palo Alto, mostly Tongans with some Samoans and Fijians.
East Palo Alto has the largest concentration of Pacific Islanders of any U.S. city or town outside of Hawaii.Web Link

Blacks are now less than 25% of the population in EPA.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by palo alto resident and EPA Volunteer, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 25, 2010 at 10:34 pm

AMAZING how many have negative argumentative comments on all this. Kind of reveals why there is such a Gap between the Haves and Havenots,Palo Alto (Stanford) and EPA. Except for the comments from EPA residents, who are living with the reality of their community every day, I wonder what the negative Palo Altan comments base their reality on? If they were living in EPA, what school would they enroll their child in? Not very many White students in EPA, regardless of the current demographic. I saw an interview of the Dalai Lama, he was asked what he thought was the most important thing people can do? He answered, "being positive", if people will just be positive, will help alot.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 25, 2010 at 10:58 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by EPA resident, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 26, 2010 at 8:27 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by James Hall, a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2010 at 10:50 am

Just reading through these comments is very disturbing. Personally I have no interest in the Dalia Lama, vicious racial code words, or the incredible anger resting below many of these posts. Lets stay focused on what's good for the kids, not just "those" but "ours." Tinsley was about the greater good for ALL children, justice, and opportunity, not "white guilt." I would guess that if a university should be involved it might better by San Jose State which has a long history with education issues and a much more developed capacity for self-doubt than Stanford. Lets all think about the real cost of losing "kid years" with experimental approaches.


Posted by LivetoDance, a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2010 at 11:50 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by not again, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2010 at 2:30 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 26, 2010 at 5:40 pm



The current Governor of California stated publicly that a major educational handicap for CA kids is their parents inability to speak American English -- Arnold suggestion was that parents turn off Spanish language TV and learn English.
He said the problem is parents will not turn off Spanish TV
Look at the reports on EPA many, many parents do not speak English at home and many, many kids have fluency problems-- this language handicap will hold them back in all subjects no matter how high their IQ, once they get behind in subjects like math it is very hard to catch up later.

Regarding the crime statistics in EPA and particularly the violent crime statistics-- murder, rape and assault-- they are off the charts

see Web Link

Ask any law enforcement officer about the terrorist Latin American gangs in California, the recruit in the State Prison System and are increasingly active in Salinas and EPA-- to not face up to this is denial.

Ask any law enforcement officer about the difficulty in driving out gangs, they will tell you that it is the lack of the community informing law enforcement about gang members identity and activity.

Neighbors know who is a gang member and what they do.

Yet they do not report it.

People can deny the problem by yelling " racism" or "Stanford elitism" and " experimentation"


Stanford's involvement in EPA was a major asset for EPA,
EPA's insult of and rejection of Stanford is a very big deal, reported in the NYT's and nation wide

Denial will only exacerbate the problem and create a permanent underclass-- sad but true



Posted by headliners, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 27, 2010 at 8:59 am

Schools in Ravenswood which are in the bottom 5% for the state and classed as "Persistently Lowest-Achieving Schools": Web Link

- Costano Elementary
- Edison-Ronald McNair: Intermediate Charter, Not Direct-funded
- Stanford New School: Direct-funded Charter


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 28, 2010 at 6:55 pm



EPA rejected the Stanford Charter School, and will get the financial benefits as a result-- Fine

EPA should also reject the VTP program that places 600 + students from EPA in another county and city school district --- PAUSD in SC county.

Ending VTP is a matter of pride and civic responsibility for EPA -- get it done


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