Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 28, 2014

Moving parts

Filed under: Alameda, School — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

As I mentioned there is only one legally compliant option for the school district to offer to ACLC when it comes to their facilities request and that is the multi-site placement which I think everyone can agree is the worst of all the options, it’s outlined on this slide:


One of these other options includes dropping more portables at Wood Middle School which would cost around $350K. Which, based on preliminary comments at the last School Board meeting, seems to be the option that the ACLC community seems most in favor.   The third option is one that, in the long run, I think will work best for the community as a whole.   It would require lots of moving parts but in the end provide a consolidation of programs that would be beneficial in the long run:


The consolidation of the Nea program into one site would join the two programs (right now split between the Longfellow and the Chipman site) and would have ACLC on the same campus as its sister school.   And this plan would also retain the Home Sweet Home preschool on the site as well.   The Adult School would have its own classrooms — separated from Island High — on the Chipman campus (or spread throughout elementary sites).

One of the items of contention with regard to the consolidation of ACLC and Nea on the same campus is the lack of enough space to create the “big room” concept for both schools.   While the slide references a ROP classroom to convert to a “big room” it’s not immediately clear if that is in addition to the existing multi purpose room — which I assume would be used as the “big room — or if that is the multi-purpose room.

Here is the Woodstock campus map from the old facility assessment:



As you can see there isn’t a whole lot of space to drop more portables without encroaching on blacktop space, but there’s not a whole lot of space on the Wood campus either to drop additional portables.   But if, worst case, enough space couldn’t be found for two “big rooms” on the Woodstock campus, it seems like it would be better in the long run to drop a large enough portable on the Woodstock campus to make a “big room” for one of the two schools and keep the sister schools together.  Nea would finally get the consolidated site it has always wanted and ACLC would have some permanent digs as long as the School Board agrees to offer it a long term “lease” of sorts to allow ACLC to feel as though their monetary and physical investment into a site isn’t for naught.



  1. I was reminded this morning that as a condition of AUSD long term land lease with the Boys and Girls Club (remember AUSD generously granted the Boys and Girls Club the land upon which the Club is built) AUSD has access to the site during school hours which means that if Nea and ACLC moves to the Woodstock site they could have access to the resources and space of the Boys and Girls Club.

    Comment by Lauren Do — January 28, 2014 @ 7:31 am

  2. I know that I brought this up before…but they are putting around 300-400 new houses on the West end and where are all the kids going to go to school? It looks like they already are starting the building out the houses at Alameda Landing…that and Crap Cove and some housing east of that? Probably at least 60% of these houses will have 1 or 2 kids. Were are all they going to go to school? In April we will have 2 kids living with us for awhile and I don’t think they know English so we will probably home school them. Why are we paying for Adult school…I needed to learn Spanish I went to City College? We have Alameda college, Laney college…this is were adults should is not our obligation to provided them with classrooms. The thing is when they built Ruby Bridges ….they closed down Woodstock, Longfellow and another on the Coast Guard base….so they really didn’t close them they just added new programs which we are paying for? I am tired of paying for everyone else…we don’t use the hospital or the schools…but because the price on our house is still more then we paid for it we pay more property taxes then probably 90 % of alameda’s gold coast…and why is that fair? I am just tried…of paying for nothing…I use.

    Comment by Joe — January 29, 2014 @ 12:34 pm

  3. Alameda Landing homes will be in the Ruby Bridges attendance zone, there is room there for more students. Lots of room at the Middle School level for students.

    If homes are built at Crab Cove, students would go to Paden where there is capacity to grow.

    Comment by Lauren Do — January 29, 2014 @ 12:38 pm

  4. Joe:

    It’s a free country. You can move.

    Comment by dave — January 29, 2014 @ 1:31 pm

  5. I am sorry Dave, I just stated my opinion….why do you think I should move for stating my opinion. You move.

    Comment by Joe — January 29, 2014 @ 2:11 pm

  6. Joe, If I’ve never had to call the police can I be exempt from the part of my taxes that pays their cost?

    Comment by notadave — January 29, 2014 @ 2:26 pm

  7. So Dave and notadave are not my biggest fans…but they can share their it is not okay to share mine on the topic of “say what you want”?…most of what I said is where are they going to school? Lauren says the have room at Ruby Bridges, but why do they have all the portables. I am fairly sure I know where dave lives but I don’t know where notadave lives…give up your address so they can paint bomb your house and you will have a reason to call the police.

    Comment by Joe — January 29, 2014 @ 3:18 pm

  8. Note that I said “can” move, not “must” move.

    If a place isn’t giving you value for the money, you can fix that by moving.

    Your opinions are poorly substantiated and don’t show much grasp of reality, but neither I nor anyone else said you can’t share them.

    Comment by dave — January 29, 2014 @ 3:26 pm

  9. Joe I would hate for you to move. You felt you shouldn’t pay for schools because you don’t use them, should I be exempted from paying for police services if I don’t use them, or hospital services(I belong to Kaiser), or library services(all my reading is online), or rec and park services(I only use EBRP facilities)?

    Comment by notadave — January 29, 2014 @ 4:40 pm

  10. Notadave, we are not moving….we have lived here 8-9 years and paid off half the mortgage off. It would be stupid for us to move…and start all over again. I didn’t say I shouldn’t pay for schools, but why do we have all these adult school programs? I don’t use the hospital or schools, or library as I also go to Kaiser which I love…and the library is on the other side of the island. I voted + for all the school measures….and probably will continue to do so…but I just want some accountability. We bought our house when the market was high so our property taxes are high…where as some people pay next to nothing for property taxes…it just doesn’t seem fair…so if I complain on this site or other sites it is just that complaining but I will still pay my property taxes…and we won’t be moving anytime soon. This is our first house…and probably be our last house…a million $ blunder…but it is home.

    Comment by Joe — January 29, 2014 @ 11:12 pm

  11. Lauren Do,

    Thank you for this post. It lead to me to read your long history of opposition to charters, and to see that the School Board is doing what it can to eliminate the “charter threat”, especially from a program as successful as ACLC. This is what forcing ACLC to move again is about.

    Wood just presented their plan. Their enrollment looks like it will fall from about 440 students to 365 students. For this, somehow they need 5 additional classrooms.

    As to your headline for this blog post, the law requires the district to provide contiguous space (one campus), so the one option you are saying is legal is not. A non-contiguous space only a legal option when the district sufficiently explains why this is not possible. Mike McMahon’s website has a neat summary of the legalities here:

    As a member of the ACLC community, I can say unemphatically that the option we all favor is not another forced move. We deserve to be part of next year’s Master Planning process. Another shuffle should be held off until there is a plan. The $350k is a bogus number when compared to what it actually cost to install the two portables last year for ACLC.

    What I really wonder about is, why is no one questioning the math leading to the conclusion that Wood needs additional space?

    It appears to me that the district is making another expensive decision that is more about a long term strategy of undermining charters than about the well being of all Alameda students.

    Dave and Joe, thank you both for illustrating so clearly in your comments above how enthusiastic anyone is to move!

    Z Turner,
    ACLC Parent

    Comment by Z Turner — January 30, 2014 @ 5:58 am

  12. Most if not all people who bought homes in that period (and I count myself among them) had their values reassessed by the county without asking. Those who didn’t get it could, and still can, petition for reassessment. In my case there was an approximate 22% cut in assessed value from ’07 to ’10. In my own case the county’s numbers were surprisingly accurate, not perfect but close enough to not bother fighting. Go back and look on past assessments from your tax bills, odds are good you received a similar rollback, and if you didn’t, it will be an easy, though very slow, matter to get them retroactively.

    Prop 13 is a grossly unfair thing. If that is what you wish to complain about, do so, though I recommend learning what it is and how it works before making a fool of yourself on the internet. I further suggest you stop making strange and oddly veiled threats about vandalism. If “accountability” is what you want, start showing some yourself.

    Comment by dave — January 30, 2014 @ 6:17 am

  13. Dave I am sorry if I offended you. I am not for vandalism…I was just saying our house got paint bombed on graduation night last year from kids having a party at the park…and the police came and stay for about 5 minutes and didn’t really do nothing.

    We tried to get our taxes lower by the petition for reassessment and it didn’t work…I understand how prop 13 works. But our property taxes continue to go up every year…and they can play catch up for the years they didn’t go up by 2%. A house like ours just sold for $1.1 million…so I guess we will see a big increase this year. I usually avoid school subjects because the are a hot button on this site…and we don’t have any kids…although Mike has been to our house and seems to be a stand up guy.

    Comment by Joe — January 30, 2014 @ 9:24 am

  14. The actual cost of installation of the two portables at Wood School was $153,000. See agenda item 8 on the Consent Items from the January 28th 2014 meeting for details.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — January 30, 2014 @ 10:08 am

  15. 11. it seems that people’s perspective are often influenced by their own interests. It’s human nature.

    About a year ago the Wood community was saying that the district had a secret plan to close Wood. Didn’t hear much from ACLC community coming to their defense. BTW-that conspiracy theory might have been substantiated by the fact that Wood has been at risk for continued low test scores, and from that perspective it would be convenient to close it to side step the Title 1 issue. Also lending fodder to that conspiracy theory, the potential for successful expansion of Junior Jets, Maya Lin and other middle school programs to further drain Wood population. To Wood community moving ACLC to that site seemed to substantiate that conspiracy theory, favoring charters.

    You frame the attitude of the school board, if not the district, that charters are seen as a “threat”. Especially programs as “successful” as ALCL. But fair comparison which balances for the stacked deck of self selected populations in charters like ACLC show that any “success” is relative, as measured by test scores or populations. In that the highest priority should be equity for the majority, many of us argue that charters are a primary tool for advancing inequity. If statistically, the communities are formed by a majority of families with more upward mobility than the general public school population, that success is relative. Popularity of such programs is not the best measure of success, particularly regarding actual outcomes, which again, many of us argue are skewed along as are populations.

    Additionally, before you accuse the district of “a long term strategy of undermining charters”, you might want to read a paper co-authored by Superintendent Vital touting viability of so called “Portfolio Districts”, i.e. those which embrace a portfolio of different school models, particularly charters. Sorry I no longer have a functioning link or title for that paper. The paper also covers the closure ( as in “how to”) of traditional public schools in the context of government mandates to improve or close Title 1 schools like Wood.

    I have a long history of opposition to charters when they present an obstacle to integration of viable alternatives into the greater body of public education, or they further inequitable division of resources and focus on delivering the best education to the largest population possible. No apology.

    Comment by MI — January 30, 2014 @ 10:26 am

  16. Mike –
    I stand corrected on the portables cost and apologize for my earlier statement about costs. Thank you for the detail.
    That is a good lesson for me in taking information as delivered through the grapevine.
    Z Turner

    Comment by greenblueprints — January 30, 2014 @ 5:09 pm

  17. Here is the paper co-authored By Ms. Vital:
    excellent comments, MI.

    Comment by Public School Parent — January 31, 2014 @ 6:29 am

  18. 17. thanks for posting that link. I got weird email with a link which atrified.

    I’m pleased that as an ally you found content of 15. “excellent”, but that may be predictable. I’m wary as I battle with jumbled verbosity, and I also worry that those with opposing view will feel attacked. I’m passionate about this subject, but really want to have an honest dialogue because we are all in the same life raft. (Furthering that analogy, the public system could be seen as the Titanic and the charters as the lifeboats from that famous fiasco. You get my drift?)

    Just this a.m. I caught the very end of KQED Forum discussion about Oakland schools ( I think). The emails read by the moderator at the end of the program included attacks on teachers and unions, including a reference to that piece of crap propaganda “Waiting for Superman”, which was lopsided pandering to charters as magic bullet, masquerading as some sort of “fair and balanced” documentary on education. As much as union protections of collective bargaining and other rights of teachers, do represent real obstacles to some needed reforms, the systemic problems with education are much broader and deeper than unions protecting bad teachers as those emails insisted.

    In the best of all worlds we would not need charters (or unions), but I concede that charters have a place in transitioning to needed reforms. I would put the emphasis on methodology over union busting, but the charter laws facilitate both. But they are not in and of themselves any sort of real solution, just some kind of band aid. Oakland is a good example of the original intent of charters to help rescue underclass being applied, but the proliferation of charters in Oakland has also become a double edged sword. In Alameda we are fortunate to have some “successful” charters, but in the bigger picture, if you compare our situation to Oakland we don’t need them as a social safety net the way Oakland has. Our worst schools are fortunately far better than many of those in Oakland, but defining why that is so is a long, long discussion which easily veers off into the swamp.

    Long and short of it is that even though ACLC was initiated at the site which historically served lower socio-economic sector of our students, and was originally part of the mainstream public system, it elected to go charter out of self interest. Biting the hand that not only fed it but helped birth it. As it has progressed it can be argued that it has morphed into a program which has self selected it’s way into being an “elite” institution. I put elite into quotes because that term is often applied to places such as Stanford and Harvard, and not as a pejorative. But our collective memories are short and many parents of ACLC students don’t go back 17 years.

    It now seems that access to charters is regarded as a sort of birth right and in fact even though they are only relatively public with regard to access and funding, they are subject to exceptions and exemptions which skew the playing field. The laws which have grown around charters to entitle them to certain (inalienable?) rights are not by definition equitable, because laws are a product of politics, and the machinations of politics are fraught with compromise. On that note, segue to the the link in 17. Altruistically, education should be apolitical. Politics is not just integral to the title of that paper, it is the focus. Maybe that is just being honest and pragmatic, but as you read through the paper it’s hard not to see a bias. Then consider the resume of the lead author. My understanding is that he is a product of the Eli Broad school of administrators.

    Charters, if not by inception then in their applications, have become a stalking horse for privatization and vouchers, “a long term strategy of undermining” true public education. To fulfill their true objective, charters should make themselves obsolete, not proliferate at the expense of the mainstream.

    End of Manifesto.

    Comment by MI — January 31, 2014 @ 12:30 pm

  19. Humm

    “Charters, if not by inception then in their applications, have become a stalking horse for privatization and vouchers, “a long term strategy of undermining” true public education. To fulfill their true objective, charters should make themselves obsolete, not proliferate at the expense of the mainstream.

    End of Manifesto.”

    Comment by Pete Seeger — February 2, 2014 @ 11:08 am

  20. “John”, I’m not being defensive about Pete Seeger as some sacred cow whose legacy can’t stand a little poking fun, but I think your choice is dubious in that Seeger had more purpose, integrity, principle and intelligence in his little pinky ( or maybe that’s pink-o) than you will accumulate in a life time. Another characteristic he had which you lack is originality.

    Comment by MI — February 3, 2014 @ 8:42 am

  21. Pete Seeger is Not “John” Mi or whoever Alias you want to go by these days….Lauren knows who Pete is …Ask her.

    Comment by Get a Clue — February 3, 2014 @ 9:20 pm

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