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East Palo Alto parents rally for charter school

Original post made on Feb 25, 2011

East Palo Alto parents and community members Thursday night appealed to trustees of the Ravenswood City School District to support the establishment of a new K-5 charter school in East Palo Alto.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, February 25, 2011, 9:53 AM

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Posted by volunteer tutor
a resident of Woodside
on Feb 25, 2011 at 11:41 am

I tutor students at Menlo-Atherton High School who are in the English Learner Dept. and many of these students have graduated from middle school in EPA (of the three students I tutor, one went to Garfield and the other two to Belle Haven). These students speak Spanish at home and with their friends at school, only speaking English for the short time they're in class. They are not being properly served or educated at the middle school level - and whether the answer is to fund a high-performing charter school or figure out a way to engage the parents of the already existing EPA schools, something drastic needs to happen in order for these students to become literate in English so they can attend college, tech school, etc.

I also tutor reading in an after school program at Brentwood called Reading is Freedom and I see the students who are struggling to read at their grade level. They speak English very well and are learning in English, but many of their parents do not yet speak English, which makes it difficult for the students to get help with homework at home. I see the teachers at Brentwood as being very dedicated and involved in outreach, for instance, last week they held a Literacy Night at the school to talk to parents about how they can support and encourage their kids literacy at home. I'm not sure of the reason, but it was sad to see that the event was attended by only a small handful of parents.

Something that I've learned through tutoring these two age groups (1st-3rd graders and high schoolers) is one to one work with students does make a difference.

1 person likes this
Posted by ralph
a resident of The Greenhouse
on Feb 25, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Many years ago (when my kids were just starting at O'Connor school) I ran for Ravenswood City School District board (and lost). I live in south Palo Alto now and am still interested in improving the education of our children (and grandchildren).
I thank "volunteer tutor" for the comment (above). Perhaps this proposed charter school would be successful, perhaps not. The parents who are engaged enough to actively push for it are surely parents who, unlike those "volunteer tutor" describes, are helping their children with homework, and, hopefully, involved in their child's school. Obviously parents are primarily motivated for their own children, not all the other children in a school. But the overall success rate for charters is no better than the overall rate of public schools. Replacing what you have with a charter is a gamble with less than 50-50 odds. Read her book "The Death and Life of the Great American School system" by Diane Ravitch (nationally recognized education expert, she spoke last night at University of Santa Clara). The excitement about charter schools is misguided. The public school your children is in can do a better job with your efforts and support.

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Posted by Lini
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 26, 2011 at 1:54 am

There is no need for a new school to be built within East Palo Alto. Why should we build a new school if we can not make an impact on the schools that are already within East Palo Alto? I suggest the Ravenswood District work on the schools that needs improvement than adding another school that may end up be in the same position as the others schools in East Palo Alto. There are many issues that need to be solved first before taking new step that won't solve the issues at hand.

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Posted by DaddyD
a resident of another community
on Mar 1, 2011 at 11:29 am

We here in Foster City do not even have a high school and have been after the County District's Bureacracy to build it to no avail. Where did all the specific funding for this NEW EPA School come from in a State that is Broke and County that is over 80 Million in the Red with a County Controller making 750,000.00 in 2007, what is it now?

Tax Payers keep getting ripped off by Bureaucrats Throwing Tax Payer Monies at Collective Govt Union Backed Projects. Follow-Our Money!

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