News Digest87 percent of Palo Alto's low-income grads go to college
Low-income students who graduated from Palo Alto's high schools last year were far more likely than their parents to go on to college, school district officials said Tuesday, April 24.
In an analysis of the 7 percent of last year's graduates considered "socio-economically disadvantaged" — 60 students in all — at least 52 had plans to attend college, said Diana Wilmot, the school district's coordinator of research and evaluation.
But among the 60, the rigor of their high-school curricula still bore a relationship to the educational attainment of their parents, Wilmot told the Board of Education.
Nearly a third of the low-income graduates of 2011 had completed the entrance requirements for California's four-year, public universities, the so-called "A-G requirements," Wilmot found.
Of those 19 students, 16 had parents with some college experience.
In contrast, of the 20 students who had parents with no college experience at all, only three students completed the A-G requirements.
"The impact of parent education is obvious," Wilmot said. Among all Palo Alto students, about 80 percent complete the A-G, four-year college prep curriculum.
Wilmot noted that the college-going rates of Palo Alto's low-income students far exceed those of low-income students statewide or nationwide.
"We have something to celebrate here. The vast majority of our socio-economically disadvantaged students will be more educated than their parents," she said.
Of the 20 low-income students whose parents never attended college, 80 percent were going to college, she said.
"This is about social mobility and the American dream here," Superintendent Kevin Skelly said. "These students are exceeding the education levels of their parents."
Police arrest suspect in March burglary
Police arrested a man on Tuesday, April 24, who is suspected in a March 22 home burglary in Palo Alto.
Tony Lopez, 27, of East Palo Alto was arrested without incident on a felony burglary warrant at a construction site in Portola Valley where he was working.
Police suspect Lopez was involved in a home burglary on the 3000 block of Louis Road last month.
During the burglary, a resident saw a man running from a neighbor's yard carrying property and getting into a vehicle driven by a second person.
The resident called police and reported the pair, and police confirmed that the neighbor's house had been burglarized.
A locked window had been pried open in the back yard, and among other property, a big-screen television had been stolen.
Later that morning a Mountain View police officer spotted a car that fit the description of the one that drove away from the Palo Alto burglary.
The car made an erratic U-turn and got away from the officer. About a minute later, another officer spotted the same car driving erratically through a Gold's Gym parking lot.
The driver sped away from police and got away again. About 10 minutes later, police found the vehicle abandoned in a Google parking lot.
A television and several electronic items stolen from the Palo Alto residence were found inside the car, police said. Police searched the area around the car for two hours but did not locate any suspects.
Panel to advise on Cubberley gets going
Five community leaders — three from the Palo Alto City Council and two from the Board of Education — will set the tone for upcoming community discussions on the future of Cubberley Community Center.
Members of the new Cubberley Policy Advisory Committee are Mayor Yiaway Yeh, council members Larry Klein and Nancy Shepherd, and school board President Camille Townsend and member Barb Mitchell.
On Tuesday, April 25, the Board of Education took up the first product from that policy group — a draft set of "principles" to guide the joint discussions on Cubberley.
The 35-acre site at 4000 Middlefield Road closed as a high school in 1979 and has been leased by the city for use as a community center in the years since, generating about $7 million in revenue to the school district.
The lease is up for renewal in 2014 and, for the first time, school officials have indicated they may need to take at least part of the campus back for future school use.
In addition to making recommendations to the council and the Board of Education, the Cubberley Policy Advisory Committee is charged with providing guidance to a much larger group, the Cubberley Community Advisory Panel. That panel is expected to have more than 20 members representing a wide array of community groups.
— Chris Kenrick