Blogging Bayport Alameda

February 15, 2013

Junior Jets set

Filed under: Alameda, School — Tags: , , , , — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

As I mentioned yesterday, Tuesday’s School Board was a bit of a doozy.  Mostly because parents from the Alameda Community Learning Center came out to complain about the proposal to move ACLC to Wood talk about how sad it was that Wood wasn’t getting more attention from the District.   There were a few actual Wood parents there to say that they didn’t want to share space with ACLC but for the most part, the speakers during public comment were ACLC parents who wanted to let the district know how unfair it would be for Wood students to have to share space with ACLC.  Because they care deeply about the plight of Wood Middle School.

Oh there were occasional slip ups such as those that lamented the fact that ACLC wouldn’t be able to take advantage of all that Encinal had to offer such as electives and sports.   Then there were those that suggested that the Junior Jets program — the middle school magnet that will be displacing ACLC — should just be held off another year, or that an “unproven” model shouldn’t be able to take space from a “proven” model like ACLC.   Or perhaps that the Junior Jets program could be moved to another site.

That one had me do a double take since, you know, the whole point of the Junior JETS is to be an Encinal Jet. Putting them somewhere else would totally defeat the purpose of a Junior Jets program.  I realize that this may be stating the obvious, but clearly some folks didn’t get that memo.

So all this talk just led to more talk which led to the decision to have a meeting next Tuesday at Encinal High School about this issue, but this time have folks from the Encinal community actually be present and be able to say if they are okay with some of the suggestions raised such as rolling out the Junior Jets program in phases, 2013-2014 only 6th grade, 2014-2015, 6th and 7th, etc and so on.   Because apparently this would buy ACLC some time to delay the inevitable.   Which, by the way, Board Member Trish Spencer wanted to reexamine the Junior Jets approval because apparently there was too much interest and too many applications from incoming 6th graders.   And despite the fact that it makes sense that the largest number of interested kids would be 6th graders — most 7th and 8th graders would probably be loathe to leave their friends behind — this larger 6th grade interest was used as a reason why either the Junior Jets program should be delayed, again or if it the model should be changed.

Here’s the thing that is weird.   It’s not like people didn’t know that the Junior Jets were coming to Encinal. Did people think that they were going to hold classes in a field or something?   These students were going to need space.    If ACLC didn’t communicate that to the students and families, perhaps ACLC parents should be pissy at the ACLC Board for not planning for a not Encinal reality.   After all, in the facilities agreement between the District and ACLC it was fairly clear that this was only a one year thing as it always is:


And, the ACLC Board had been actively looking into securing its own private space since last year according to meeting minutes. Which includes discussion captured such as this:


As well as this:




  1. All I can say is, I’m glad my kid is in college. I don’t miss the drama. Good luck, Lauren! It’s a long slog and you’re just getting started.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — February 15, 2013 @ 7:35 am

  2. We got our lawyers to write the contracts, we got our administrators to administer the contracts, and I just read in “Paul’s Report” that we got facilitators to … … … well … facilitate, I guess. I must be slipping into advanced stages of crusty ol’ farthood, as it really seems like a waste of money to me. I understand that every parent is wanting to finagle some sort of improved education for their child. However, if we quit paying lawyers, administrators, and facilitators, we might be able to improve the level of education for all of Alameda’s children.

    Comment by Tom Schweich — February 15, 2013 @ 10:57 am

  3. Of course ACLC doesn’t want to move. It’s been at the Encinal location for over 17 years. It’s got a proven success record, distinguished school etc. Why does the district think its okay to just play musical chairs with the Charter schools in town. They approved their charters. Why is a yearly lease acceptable. Could Wood or Alameda high function if they had to move every year? When the district made Nea move (because they screwed up and lost Miller and the Woodstock childhood development building) they didn’t reimburse Nea for the moving expenses. Now they need space due to poor planning and they want to uproot ACLC. Will the move to Wood be permanent? Or will the district decide to move them again in a year. Basically the distict treats the Charter schools as if they are interlopers. The charters fill a niche that the district then doesn’t have duplicate and pay for.

    The three charters on the west end serve over 900 Alameda resident students. Why are those students not entitled to decent facilities. You should see the facilities Nea is currently in. The bathrooms at Longfellow haven’t been updated since the building was built . The space at Chipman was designed for older kids with toilets too big and no drinking fountain or play structure on the black top. Should Nea spend the money to retrofit them? They would if they knew they had a ten year lease, but who knows what the district will do next year. They might decide to take back the buildings for some other screw up in planning. Plus Nea’s charter is to have k-12 on the same campus anyway. It seems to me that the district does not want the charters to succeed. They don’t understand that the Charter schools help the district by providing at no expense to the district alternatives for families in Alameda. This attracts more families to the island and keeps them from leaving. Many families have children in both AUSD and a charter. The fact that these charters exist and do well under this districts negative treatment is a testimony to how good the schools administrations are. Enough said, don’t pick on the Charters, they didn’t ask for this grief.

    Comment by AlamedaMama — February 15, 2013 @ 11:16 am

  4. What school do you suggest that Nea be offered in order to allow it to keep its K-12 program together?

    Also according to District staff, Nea’s leadership opted to send the K-5 program to the Chipman/Academy of Alameda space rather than use the Longfellow site for the K-5 program which would be more appropriate since Longfellow was an elementary school.

    Comment by Lauren Do — February 15, 2013 @ 11:29 am

  5. yes Tom. Charters are a mixed bag. For all the innovation and “choice” they afford those who take advantage of them, they also put economic stress on the district and can be brain drain of sorts on campuses with low socioeconomic mix, when activist parents ( kind of like activist judges) of kids who are often most likely to score better to begin with, leave schools like Wood or Encinal for schools like ACLC or NEA. The district is forced to accommodate charters by law, but I don’t see how it owes them anything particular in the way of facilities other than what the law demands, which is available surplus. In order to maintain their charter these schools are supposed to have populations which reflect the demographics of the district at large, but even though their ability to meet those criteria is often dubious, their charters are maintained.Those are the rules of the game and charter participants should have their eyes wide open and not expect to get their cake and then expect AUSD to provide cushy digs as a place to spread out their picnic blanket to eat it. ACLC started out as part of AUSD after all, but went charter for their own opportunistic reasons, but they owe their start to not just Arthur Anderson also AUSD at large. When one takes the often self selecting nature of charters into account, their scores simply don’t mean as much as people seem to think, just as Title 1 schools which appear to be “failing” by standards arbitrarily imposed by NCLB are often doing a really good job serving a struggling student population.

    Comment by M.I. — February 15, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

  6. Nea could have kept its program together if the district would have paid the $400,000 the navy wanted to fix the sewer at Miller and WoddstockCHD. A one time expense they said they couldn’t afford thus starting the domino that displaced Nea in the first place. They now seem to be able to afford district offices of more than $500,000 per year. Thanks measure A. Nea only chose to put their little kids at Chipman when the Academy of Alameda balked at them putting their Middle and High schoolers there. AoA was not happy about the move either so Nea caved and put the K-5 program there (they had no choice). The public seems to think that the charters are picky when really charters have no choice or are offered choices that won’t even house all their students. Nea compromised, AoA cmpromised the district is the one who pushed them out. The facilities are payed for by all the tax payers in Alameda. Nea kids and AoA and ACLC are Alameda kids as well.

    To quote from the AUSD website:

    “Students are priority #1 in the Alameda School District. Our educators, staff and administrators work together to ensure a first class education for every student.

    Our parents are actively involved in our classrooms, on field trips, in extracurricular activities and in our PTA’s, helping to enrich the education of every child.

    We take pride in the fact that we enjoy strong community-wide support for our schools, ensuring every child the very best opportunity to succeed and creating a vibrant and engaged community.”

    Why does the public seem to think this doesn’t include every child inAlameda including those in Alameda’s Charter schools. We exist because the District approved our charters. The only difference is that we have our own administrators and teachers NOT paid for by the district. This saves the district money. Charters are publicly funded through the state on a per ADA basis just like the district. Funds do not got through the district. The facilities were payed for by bonds passed by the voters of Alameda whether their child attended a charter or AUSD school. All the charter schools in Alameda rallied and campaigned for measure A, yet we receive only 3 percent of the money.

    So to answer your question- Nea could reunite their program on the Longfellow campus if the district would move the Woodstock program somewhere else. We could have stayed there if the district didn’t take away classrooms they had given us to begin with. The point I’m trying to make is why is one program more entitled to facilities than others. Why is the Junior Jets program more entitled to those facilities than ACLC? If the district wants to start more programs why do they think that the publicly funded buildings in Alameda are only for district programs when charters are public programs also serving Alameda students? Why not put portables in the back parking lot at Encinal and start the program there? That’s how they’re expanding Bay Farms K-8 program. That’s how ACLC ended up with portables in the front parking lot. I’ll tell you why, they don’t see the Charters as an asset only as a nuisance. They need to change their attitude and actually put together a real plan for the benefit of all the Alameda students. The West end has needed a plan since the Navy base closed in ’99 yet the district has just let the chips fall where they may. And now they are pitting district parents against charter parents when really its the districts lack of foresight and planning that is to blame.

    Comment by AlamedaMama — February 15, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

  7. Unrestricted general funds aren’t supposed to be used to house a charter. That would be only pot of money to pay for such fixes.

    Comment by Lauren Do — February 15, 2013 @ 2:06 pm

    • They can’t buy portables for the Junior Jets program?

      Comment by AlamedaMama — February 15, 2013 @ 2:58 pm

  8. And put the portables where on the Encinal campus?

    Comment by Lauren Do — February 15, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

    • My understanding was back when the district was talking about Scenario B option 4 said that Encinal could be a 7-12. All the Alameda facilities were looked at to see exactly how many students could be put where and Encinal has property to house more students. Portables could be put out on black top behind the buildings. Alameda high built a whole new building in their back yard. This is the districts decision. They decided they wanted another magnet. They should have thought about this before they proposed another school. Just kicking a viable program out to start another is ridiculous. They don’t see the benefit ACLC is to the district or the students that attend. Starting another program that directly competes with Wood and then turning around and saying they support Wood is just not true. Redraw the boundaries and make a real plan for the West end. Be transparent.

      Comment by AlamedaMama — February 15, 2013 @ 4:20 pm

  9. The District may have approved the magnet, but I believe it was the local community that “wanted” a magnet at Encinal. There is enough interest to open the program and it was designed and approved as part of Encinal High School. While I have a little sympathy (albeit very little) for the plight of ACLC, they were well aware that this magnet was in the pipeline as far back as February of 2012, maybe even longer since it was always the goal of the Junior Jets to be sited at Encinal, to come up with a contingency facility plan if they knew they were not going to be satisfied with any facility offer that was not Encinal.

    Comment by Lauren Do — February 15, 2013 @ 4:37 pm

    • Let me ask you the same question you asked me, where should ACLC go? What facility is available for their almost twenty year old program? Obviously by your own research ACLC has been diligently looking for an alternative site for the past year but with no results. When the district came to Nea and said they had no other place to put the Woodstock program they didn’t give Nea a years notice. Infact they told Nea that they would give them the Washington site. These charters don’t get told what the district has to offer until February 1st of this year. The final facilities offer isn’t given until May 1st. of this year. How was ACLC supposed to know the offer wouldn’t work when they didn’t even know what it was going to be until the beginning of this month. Tell me why this is a good mode of operation? Why is it okay to only offer one year facility contracts? Why does the district do this? Because they can’t plan ahead more than a year and because they have no respect for the charters. Oh and let me just add that the state only gives the charters ADA not money to buy buildings.

      Comment by AlamedaMama — February 15, 2013 @ 4:51 pm

  10. I cannot help but wonder what might be different if the AUSD’s state funding had been maintained at an equitable level compared to other local public schools following the closure of ANAS in 1996-7. Would AUSD be forced to make everyone play “musical chairs” as much if it had been funded equitably compared to its sister districts in Alameda County?

    Comment by Jon Spangler — February 15, 2013 @ 5:00 pm

  11. ACLC is being offered sufficient space for their projected enrollment at Wood Middle School.

    I think it’s rather ironic that the point of charters is to be a separate entity from the school district, after all this is what is touted by charters like ACLC and Nea, that it doesn’t come with the same set of baggage that traditional public schools do. But when they have major issues they want the school district to step in a solve the problem to their utmost satisfaction. I believe that it what commenter MI was alluding to when he wrote about wanting their cake, expecting AUSD to provide the cushy digs to spread out their picnic blanket to eat it too. The Academy of Alameda is being asked to share its facility with another charter school, I don’t see the same level of complaining. If ACLC, and I guess Nea, although I don’t hear Nea’s parents complaining nearly as much either, wants autonomy, but more importantly they want security in knowing that their program will be housed in the same location year after year, the only way of doing that is to secure their own space.

    If you have issues on how Charters are offered facility space, perhaps you should take that up with your local legislator because it is Prop 39 that governs charter facilities, pre Prop 39 school districts weren’t expected to provide facility space, that was the onus of the charter itself.

    Comment by Lauren Do — February 16, 2013 @ 6:34 am

  12. “I believe that it what commenter MI was alluding to when he wrote about wanting their cake, expecting AUSD to provide the cushy digs to spread out their picnic blanket to eat it too.”

    To the extent that AUSD students have cushy digs and a spread out picnic blanket, Prop 39 requires nothing less for Charter students.

    “According to Prop. 39 school districts must provide charter school students with facilities that are “reasonably equivalent” to those used by non-charter students within the district, and those facilities must be:
    Contiguous (located together, not spread across campus or multiple sites)
    Similarly furnished and equipped.
    Located near the area in which the charter wishes to locate”

    Comment by catoIII — February 16, 2013 @ 9:49 am

  13. 15. is the district required to meet those standards by even at cost of downgrading facilities of it’s own kids and at expense of same sorts of innovation in their system as those touted by charters? “reasonably equivalent” is very broad. Same broad standard for racial composition of charters to reflect ratios in the district in order to keep their charters status. Don’t look too close. Even when you average racial composition of Edison with Haight, judging by field trip of NEA kids I spotted on AC transit, I think they may be challenged in maintaining that ratio, but that is not scientific by any means. I’m not even saying anything is radically wrong, just trying to make a point about standards and be usual devil’s advocate as opposed to ideological cheer leader.

    The one question I had about the district plan to implement all these ( non charter) alternatives around the district was that with all the cross enrollment options, it was intuitive to me it might open a can of worms with enrollments. Since most Chipman kids opted top stay at AOA and a minimum number opted to cross enroll into AOA we seemed to have dodged a bullet there. Looks like we may have a bit of a domino effect. I’d prefer we bring back programs like academies at Wood than see charters slowly siphon of populations and skew the demography. Wood has been half west end and Encinal kids, so I’m not clear how Junior Jet’s is supposed to serve west end either, especially if it is open enrollment and causes Wood enrollment to suffer.

    Comment by MI — February 16, 2013 @ 11:44 am

  14. Our eldest son ( born 1990) was admitted to BRAVO program at Chipman ( anybody remember that?) but we opted for our district school Wood and he was fortunate enough to be in one of the now defunct Academies ( Arts, which helped launch his interest in theater which he majored in college). Really terrific he had all those options and NONE OF THEM WERE CHARTERS.

    Our younger boy was ready for sixth grade the first year ACLC was extended down to that grade and he made their lottery. We were baffled by how ACLC worked and even though that child may have thrived from “project learning”, we were concerned he was not enough of a self starter and even after the tour the actual learning process as explained by staff remained elusive to us. Our sons have peers whose families we are close to who have gone to ACLC with success, though in some cases not without stumbles. Other kids were pulled out or removed themselves. Because of the age of our children we have fewer anecdotes from NEA, but when I have asked parents for specific examples on difference the most explicit response I’ve gotten besides” flexibility” is that teachers are really great. I think of the teaching staff at Paden in mid 1990s and wonder how NEA could top them.

    ACLC was within the district but the director and staff at ACLC opted to go charter. Why? was that move better for ACLC AND AUSD? I think we know about the former but truly don’t know about the latter. In full disclosure it seemed options at Wood had narrowed since #1 son had gone there and we thought #2 was not ideal match for mainstream classroom if it could be avoided because a child with great potential might have had some of his curiosity squashed, but as stated, ACLC didn’t inspire confidence either. What to do? we sent him to Beacon for three years and good thing he is now in CSU system because any money for Ivy League went to private middle school coffer. He claims Beacon made no difference in education but 17 to 1 teacher student ratio and daily after school 1 on 1 math tutoring seemed like a big deal to us. A slow starter now enjoys calculus. Down side of being removed there for three years is he didn’t make same kinds of friends as public, from his neighborhood etc., which caused social adjustments when he entered Alameda High in 9th grade, but by tenth grade back on track.

    I talked to my younger son’s friend who was at Beacon a year behind him who returned to Alameda at ACLC, then at Encinal and even Alameda High at one point. A really smart boy who was a bit of a square peg going from one roundish hole to another. His story was that “nothing was happening at ACLC either”. To me this kid was always oddly mature for his age and credible, what to believe? Is ACLC enough of an improved environment for enough kids to justify negative impacts on the district? Don’t even know how to measure that.

    Point of these lengthy personal anecdotes is this: I get that each of us as parents, passionately wants the best of every aspect of life for our children. The education system at large needs to improve. We would have let our child go to ACLC in a quick second if it looked as if he would have thrived and I don’t begrudge the people we know who have sent their children there, but a problem I do have with people who embrace charters unconditionally is when they seem to have little or no regard for the bigger picture of both the real efficacy of charters AND the negative impacts on the larger public system on which (our) charters depend to exist. I don’t believe I can step on my neighbor’s head on the way to obtaining something better for my child.

    In as much as America is the land of instant gratification and fads, I’m always suspect of the next great thing or magic bullet and suspect a certain amount of placebo effect with charters. And “better” scores? Already commented in 5 above. I went to some pretty dowdy working class public schools which left me fleeing any education after 11th grade when I would have been much better off staying in school for higher ed. With that in mind, we drew a line for keeping our kids in public school which is about choosing the larger community whenever possible because it’s healthier for the kids and the system in the long run. This is America where everybody supposedly gets to chose what is best for THEM, but if charter populations grow there is a point where they won’t reach parity, but public system really begins to whither and suffer badly. Sort of a lose/lose proposition.

    Which maybe brings us back to the much shorter and succinct point in comment 2 above.

    Comment by MI — February 16, 2013 @ 12:30 pm

  15. ACLC didn’t ask for better digs, they asked to stay where they’ve been for 17 years. If you look back as you have about your own children’s schooling history you will find that those children at these charters are there because the district did not provide alternatives for traditional school.They are full of kids from Alameda. It’s a lottery to get in that only gives priority to Alameda residency and syblings so to say that it doesn’t reflect Alameda is just not true. They can’t pick and choose applicants. I don’t understand why all the negative comments on Charters exists in town. The east end is over enrolled. If you leave for a charter you’re an elitist, disloyal Alamedan. Doesn’t make sense. All the schools in town are just trying to do the best for their students. Their trying to provide the best education for their population of students. I for one am happy there are choices because we all know children are not all the same. So you found what worked for your kids, so why fault charter parents for doing the same. It’s all Public education.

    Comment by AlamedaMama — February 16, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

  16. 16. “… is the district required to meet those standards by even at cost of downgrading facilities of it’s own kids…” Odd you consider non-district charter students as outsiders, According to Prop 39, District students are either in charter schools or non-charter schools but they are equally public school district students. Facility wise they must be equivalent.

    17. Berating parents as, “…having no regard for the bigger picture…” when sending their kids to a charter then admitting that you would have sent your child back to ACLC in a quick second, “… if it looked as if he would have thrived..” must say something about your description of yourself as a person (American) of instant gratification. The ‘THEM’ you mention is you.

    Comment by catoIII — February 16, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

  17. 18. I don’t think you are understanding the ongoing critique of charters not just locally but in the entire nation. If you look back at the history of the district you will find that it did a pretty good job of providing alternatives within the district infrastructure itself, but in the face of NCLB behind, funding cuts from the sate and the slow bleeding of ADA dollars to charters AUSD had to cut programs like mixed age development classes at Paden. One important aspect of ADA dollars going to charters, especially in Alameda is that we have teacher pay at low end of scale and our administrative costs at lowest ratio of dollars per student, but as ADA dollars leak to charters those costs can’t really be reduced proportionally. If ten percent of kids are in charters the cost to fix roof or pay administrators does fall by ten percent. At some point, like now, that continued reduction of ADA and student populations becomes critical and a place like Wood has to be closed. Our library has a copy of Life and Death of Great American School System by Daine Ravitch which has some of the basic background on the down side of charters and the tinkering of billionaires like Eili Board and Bill gates who like to fund them as a sort of hobby. Gates Foundation does some great work, but Bill made some bad assumptions about how schools function based on his own gut logic which he had to fund in order to them to be proved ineffective.

    Charters were initiated as stop gap for really dysfunctional urban districts in places like D.C. and Chicago, which is where I think they can be best justified, but even the Harlem Academy featured in the highly biased propaganda film Waiting for Superman, is only able to function with Bill Gates money, so holding it up as a model for public education is a bit disingenuous.

    As for the rules for charters and whether ours meet the requirements to reflect the over all district demographics that is something which can only be verified by math. When NEA was applying for charter ( and initially failed) Lauren did some blogs with stats on the existing racial make up of the district compared to existing charters at the time. Maybe she will be able to post a link.

    Comment by M.I. — February 18, 2013 @ 10:32 am

  18. 19. Let me start by pointing out another fat contradiction you passed over which is that our family was lucky to even have the choice ($) to send a kid to private school. (But if we hadn’t we would have passed on ACLC for Wood at that time, any maybe looked into tutor.) Yeah my post obviously says a lot about all of us and I thought it quite obvious that “THEM” was self inclusive. I was trying to make a point of acknowledging the contradictions and hard choices we all struggle with in weighing our options, chosing what is best for our children and ourselves as individuals and for the community at large, which sometimes seem in opposition, because in fact they are. However, some folks seem to struggle a lot less with the community part ( like not at all) if they are getting their needs met. I am not saying I am better than anybody for my choices, but my choices or hypocrisies do not change what I think are the facts about how charters are divisive and detrimental in many respects, and how many proponents have a shallow understanding of the impacts of charters because they may be hyper focused on the short term gain for their own kids. So called conservatives used to argue for vouchers, which are a really crude method for tax payers to get “my fair share” of education tax dollars. Note those arguments have taken a back seat to the charter movement as it has gained standing in the public eye. To me charters are a bit of Trojan Horse for some of the same interests which would do away with public school entirely. Statistically the efficacy of charters nation wide doesn’t even justify their existence.

    Comment by M.I. — February 18, 2013 @ 11:02 am

  19. can’t recall trick for posting direct high lighted link, but do search on archive of this blog for “NEA demographics” and read Dec. 11, 2007 post “Chartered Territory”, where Lauren quotes then teacher now administration employee on reasons to deny NEA charter at that time, followed by Lauren’s own charts on demographics.

    Comment by M.I. — February 18, 2013 @ 11:13 am

  20. typos in 20. that was “developmental education classes” at Paden and should have read “cost to fix roof or pay administrators does NOT fall by ten percent.”

    Comment by M.I. — February 18, 2013 @ 11:17 am

  21. 21
    “To me charters are a bit of Trojan Horse for some of the same interests which would do away with public school entirely.”

    Charter schools are public schools.

    Comment by catoIII — February 18, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

  22. 20. I don’t think you understand the state of education today. The fact that teaching styles haven’t changed since I was in school over thirty years ago is really a disservice to our students. There have been study after study done on better ways to teach children than the industrial style we’ve adopted and kept for over 60 years. Say what you want but I didn’t see anything innovative when my oldest hit kindergarten and frankly I can’t wait until NCLB is abolished, when the state gets their head out of their butts and decides that educating children is a higher priority than inmates, when the industrial style is finally updated to fit the fast paced innovation happening in the workforce. I’m going to find what is best for the style of learning my child is best suited and I’m lucky it’s a free public charter in town. Stop comparing the charters in town with others else where. Stop talking about demographics, we already know that District schools are not all evenly spread with the same demographics. It’s a mute point. Lottery means lottery. These charters have special ed, ESL, and free and reduced lunch students just like the rest of the district. If you want to talk about education in the larger picture go to and watch all the fabulous teachers there talk about what they’ve found works. Once you listen to what they have to say, then look at the district schools and see if they’ve instituted any of these ideas. It’s much harder to get a larger group to change than a smaller group. The charters in town are using different ideas, some of which have leaked into traditional schools. It’s not the charters that are having a hard time filling Wood it’s the district, and starting a magnet that competes directly is not wise. I really think and have said repeatedly that the district should redraw the boundaries for Wood. Start the Junior Jets as the Middle school for the west end. Let go of the archaic notion that a Middle school has to be the same as it always has been and create something better.

    Comment by AlamedaMama — February 18, 2013 @ 7:18 pm

  23. 21. Our charters are publicly funded, so technically they are public schools, but they are in no way public as in taking on the same responsibilities as the larger public school system on which they are dependent to exist. As to my quote, it is accurate in that ending public education is the objective of many persons who have been promoting them, which is where the Trojan Horse analogy comes in to play. I don’t mean to say that is why they were conceived or that it is the objective of everybody who supports them.

    Comment by M.I. — February 18, 2013 @ 11:26 pm

  24. In 26 where I wrote 21. it should be 24. got that?

    25. I think our exchange is coming to an end with regard to anybody making a point the other can hear. “The charters in town are using different ideas, some of which have leaked into traditional schools.” really? did you read anything I wrote about BRAVO or the Academies at Wood or developmental programs at Paden, all of which PRECEDED any of the current charters including ACLC which was also public experiment at it’s inception. My arguments are NOT against the “different ideas” for teaching, I’m trying to apply an objective critical eye as to whether the charter as a package for delivery has deleterious effect on the larger system and whether that can be justified by the number of kids who get the benefit of the charters. I’m kind of amazed you would defend charters, which is your right, but in the same paragraph start criticizing magnets creating competition.

    I’ve watched my share of TED talks. At first I was impressed by many of them on many subjects, but I’ve started to feel like it’s one magic bullet seminar after another. You wrote “watch all the fabulous teachers there talk about what they’ve found works.” My wife was a teacher in this district for several years, and many thought she was very effective at it, even had student scores to prove it if you’re big on that. She achieved that by applying what she found worked within the existing system which was no mean feat.

    In your first post you touted the scores at ACLC. What I question is how much those scores are due to the efficacy of their method and how much is the self selection of high caliber students from the larger pool. You have managed not to respond to any of the points I’ve made in that vein. I’m certain there is a lot of effective educating going on there but the representation of that is murky. Kids that don’t thrive there leave and go back to the real public school, AUSD. At least the district has maintained Island High.

    Comment by M.I. — February 19, 2013 @ 12:01 am

  25. Links to posts commenter MI was referring to:

    Chartered Territory
    ACLC Demographics from 2007

    The larger point here is that ACLC doesn’t want to be moved to Wood Middle School, however, legally under Prop 39 AUSD has met its burden by offering the Wood space to ACLC which is, as stated above,

    “According to Prop. 39 school districts must provide charter school students with facilities that are “reasonably equivalent” to those used by non-charter students within the district, and those facilities must be:
    Contiguous (located together, not spread across campus or multiple sites)
    Similarly furnished and equipped.
    Located near the area in which the charter wishes to locate”

    While Wood may not be “near” enough to Encinal, there have been recent decisions in Prop 39 type cases that confirms the fact that charter schools do not have a right to be sited at a specific location.

    Comment by Lauren Do — February 19, 2013 @ 6:04 am

  26. 28. “near” is relative. back east our local district elementary was five miles from our home. We did not walk five miles in the snow because we had buses but the idea of neighborhood schools was vastly different from Alameda. BTW, was the location of ACLC at Encinal originally a matter of available space or was it deliberately placed in the west end to enhance the community which has always been deemed to be less well served and with kids of greatest need?

    I slogged through tape of the last BOE meeting on Junior Jets and ACLC. The one student speaker who spoke on behalf of ACLC staying at the site was from Bay Farm. Thaty’s a long walk.

    Watching reminded me that my definition of hell is any given BOE meeting. Mercifully this was just hell on tape. Having had no recent contact with Encinal it was great to get a sense that Junior Jets program has been put together by some serious folks who seem to be dedicated to making it a success. More than a few folks spoke in compelling manner about ACLC having served students well, but over all I thought ACLC parents leaned toward vague platitudes about wanting what is best for all students in the district and their certainty that working out a compromise for ACLC to stay at it’s current site can be accomplished with a little compromise, but without offering any real nuts and bolts. Junior Jets proponents seemed more intent on not being denied the project on which they have invested a lot of time and resources since over a year ago BOE voted 5-0 approval. Board member Spencer spoke for 15 solid minutes, plus attempt to usurp more time with interruption of board member Sherratt. By comparison board member McMahon spoke for 5 minutes. The speaker at 1:40 is pretty compelling. I was particularly pleased with her remarks at about 5:30.

    Comment by M.I. — February 20, 2013 @ 11:47 pm

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