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Head-of-line privileges likely for East Palo Alto kids (expanded story)

Original post made on Oct 12, 2013

(This is an expanded version of a story previously posted.) A change in policy is increasingly likely for eighth-graders from East Palo Alto, who are assigned to Woodside and Carlmont high schools but who want to attend Menlo-Atherton High School.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 4, 2013, 10:24 AM

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Posted by MP parent
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 12, 2013 at 11:41 pm

It seems as if this proposal could be the beginning of basic fairness for the children of Ravenswood - I think it is absurd to call this a privilege. I am a Menlo Park parent and it has always seemed as if the various school districts and towns in the area have taken a sort of ‘separate and inadequate’ approach to Ravenswood children. Ravenswood is comprised of East Menlo Park and East Palo Alto; they are an extension of our community. The children of Ravenswood are our children and they deserve an education that will give them a fair chance. It makes no sense to bus them past M-A to high schools much further away (45 mins+ to 1 hour bus ride). Simply put, this is unfair.

Furthermore, M-A already takes the greatest number of Ravenswood high school students. This means that M-A is already becoming the de facto community high school for Ravenswood. This should be formalized for all of the children of Ravenswood - it would make it easier for M-A to then coordinate with the feeder schools (in Menlo Park and EPA) and thereby improve the preparedness and transition of these students to M-A. M-A already coordinates well with the two Menlo Park feeder schools and M-A could/should do the same with the feeder schools in EPA. It is eminently possible to create excellent educational outcomes for all our children if we work at it.

On the other hand, if we continue to overlook the children of Ravenswood (ie treat them as charity cases that we allow into 'our' school), then we should not be surprised with the consequences as they graduate and most likely join the ranks of the working-poor. The gated communities of the future will not insulate our children and grandchildren from the challenges that will continue to grow in our society if we allow greater isolation and polarization between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’.

The children of Ravenswood and their parents want better than that and we should too. We can organize our resources and energy so that all of the children of our community have the opportunity to become strong contributors to our society. Not only would it be smart to invest in our community, it is also the right and fair thing to do.

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