Mentoring boosts teacher retention in East Palo Alto schools | February 5, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 5, 2010

Mentoring boosts teacher retention in East Palo Alto schools

Veteran teachers offer support, 'sense of professionalism' in challenging job

by Chris Kenrick

A new teacher enters the classroom brimming with energy and enthusiasm before running up against the hard realities of the job.

This story contains 981 words.

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Staff Writer Chris Kenrick can be e-mailed at


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 5, 2010 at 6:03 pm

It is good to learn about this program - having the best teachers for Ravenswood School District (East Palo Alto) will benefit all of us.

I believe having lower turnover and more experienced teachers will help. It is great to see Ravenswood School District make progress on this, and hopefully superintendent De La Vega will be able to address the cutback in funding for the teacher mentor program.

However, in addition to the cutback in this program, I am concerned that teachers in Ravenswood School District should have to accept less pay because they are in this district. According to this article one of the teacher mentors - a former school teacher that lives in Palo Alto - claims that the teachers in East Palo (Ravenswood School District) could make more money, if they went to another school outside of the district.

If this is the case, then it is an issue for all of us. Our future quality of life will depend on how well we educate ALL of our children today. Our children in Ravenswood School District deserve teachers that are at the highest level. Over time, that is not likely to be the case, if the teachers in Ravenswood School District are not compensated competitively.

[I am a resident of this area and a concerned citizen; I am not a teacher nor directly related to any teachers in this area]

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Posted by mutti
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 5, 2010 at 8:56 pm

I've worked in Ravenswood in a support capacity for almost 12 years, and have seen tremendous improvements---especially since the big change in administration in 2003. There are still too many new teachers each year, but the ones who stay 3+ years are wonderful, and really make a difference in the schools. And yes, too many who leave do it because neighboring districts pay much more.

And all teachers are paid too little! Why does someone with a Masters in Education from Stanford earn so much less than someone with a Masters in Business Administration from the same school?

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Posted by concerned citizen
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2010 at 10:11 pm

I believe that the Ravenswood School District needs more accountablilty at the administration levels. The board minutes need to be updated on a monthly basis. They can be summarized and put on the web site for the school district. The current web site has not been updated with new information well in my opinion. The web site is a reflection of the quality of the administration at this school district. I believe this school district will need to be taken over by the state in the near future or closed and given over to other school districts that are run better. This is a personal opinion and I also believe that the children need better administration that is overseen by new leaders. Notice in the article that the superintendent was unaware of the large grant ending this year that supports teachers. Unaware.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.