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Ravenswood to close Stanford charter school

Original post made on Apr 23, 2010

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. ==B Related story:==
■ [Web Link Stanford loses bid to renew EPA charter schools]

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 23, 2010, 10:41 AM

Comments (9)

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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 23, 2010 at 12:29 pm

This demonstrates the fundamental problem of charter schools needing to be approved by local districts. There is a clear conflict of interest. While I can't speak to the specifics and it may be that the school had too many issues, it is troubling to have a superintendent talking about the challenges of declining enrollment within the district schools and the associated financial challenges, stating "If we could pull back 200-300 students into our district, that would offset the deficit." Juxtapost that with the decision to close a school that has, surprise 200 students.
This seems to be a standard school district approach, take away choice for students and you will get a larger budget. It doesn't address the need for innovative and more cost effective approaches to education.
Of course this will be followed by Sequoia Union now opening up a campus in EPA and trying to force Summint and Everst to locate there.

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Posted by Teacher
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Apr 23, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Time to bring the belle haven school into the Menlo Park district and give those children a fighting chance at education.

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Posted by Concerned Citizen For Better Schools
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Apr 23, 2010 at 12:50 pm

The Ravenswood City School District will never give children the education they deserve...why do you think parents are pulling thier cildren out of the gosh because Ravenswood City School District is only concerned about the money and not the education of students. Ravenswood City School District has pulled a bully move on Stanford!

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Posted by teacher 2
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 23, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Dear Almanac,
Why don't you do an article on the reasons for the high teacher turnover rate and the effects on trying to sustain an education community? Is there any answer to that problem?? Why do teachers leave so fast??

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Posted by A Parent
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on Apr 23, 2010 at 12:55 pm

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.

To me, this statement says that she's only concerned about the enrollment of the schools and not the education of the students...When a parent pulls a child out of district, its not because the parent wants to it's because the child isn't receiving a decent education to compete in the world. Stanford New School testing was not the reason for the closure of the school. Enrollment in the Ravenswood District is the reason behind the closure of Stanford New School..

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Posted by Ranch Gal
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Apr 23, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Shocked and saddened by the greed and apathetic attitude of Ravenswood School District. It is obvious to all that read the article that the trustees do not have the welfare of the children's future in mind. I am appalled at not even asking Obama's team transition leader Prof. Darling-Hammond to speak. Shocking. Stanford has done so well with their high school and not to give the lower school a fighting chance is proof of "more of the same corruption" we experience in California with lack of choice. California will never be the #1 state for education with these bullies in power. A life long resident of Atherton, I have seen our education system go downhill slowly. Greed, corruption, tough unions, and top heavy admin $$$ are responsible. No one can stop it.

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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 23, 2010 at 3:38 pm

I'll clarify my prior post. What the schools need is an independent board for credentialing charter schools. At present, charter schools offer a parents an alternative to local public schools. Some charter schools are good and some aren't. If the body deciding the fate of a charter school has a stake in whether a charter school's charter is renewed, the process will always favor shutting down the charter. All schools, charters included tend to take a year or two to get going (sometimes this is a result of fighting districts to open in the first place), so it is easy to then say the school isn't performing. If the district stands to benefit from the closure (captive parents and students), this serves as a cynical means to close budget gaps in a "competitive" environment, made easier if the competition can be wiped out for you. Whether this was the right decision or not, it has the taint of conflict of interest.

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Posted by Luis
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2010 at 4:23 pm

I am a graduate of East Palo Alto Academy High School and I feel very fortunate that the school will continue. Without it, students in the area have to attend schools up to 20 to 30 minutes away from East Palo Alto. I was fortunate to attend East Palo Alto Academy. Besides being a closer high school to where I lived, they also cared a lot about their students. I have friends who attended Carlmont, Woodside, and Sequoia and most of them if not all of them did not continue their education. Some did not even finish high school.

In East Palo Alto academy one feels motivated to attend school, work hard, but most importantly one feels important because the teachers actually care. The relationships developed while in East Palo Alto academy with teachers, principal, and other students become significant with time. East Palo Alto academy prepared me for college in many different ways. By the end of my senor year I had already taken 6 college classes that helped me get the feeling of what a college class was like and it also gave me a head start since they were transferable classes. The exhibitions prepared me to be a better public speaker, and knowing some of the roles while working in groups has helped me facilitate group meetings and group projects.

I am currently a third year at San Jose State University, majoring in business management and I can honestly say that EPAA has been a big impact not just for me but to family also. Thanks to East Palo Alto academy, college became a reality for me and for many other students who attend EPAA.

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Posted by Albert B. Franklin
a resident of another community
on Jul 6, 2010 at 11:54 am

I'm very shocked to read that Stanford, with a billion dollars yearly
endowment can not educate a few minority students of Whiskey Gulch.
When I created my elementary educational program in East Redwood City, only a solitary person refused to participate in it.

While in seemingly no time at all, recruiting offices I opened for East Palo Alto, East Menlo Park and East Redwood City with Canada College on Farm Hill Boulevard were somehow systematically shut down.

Redwood City Elementary School District evaluated my students, after an intensive 6 week long summer course to disover they academically out performed the rest of Redwood City. Former city manager, Jim Smith, told me one day that citizens of Redwood City were so apalled by their academic performance they demanded, for him to start summer school at Selby Lane.

I believe Senator Boxer, who oversees East Palo Alto should provide me a grant, so I might be ablt to try to correct what Stanford Charter School failed to get done in East Palo Alto.

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