COVERING ALAMEDA'S SCHOOLS: What do you want to know?

COVERING ALAMEDA'S SCHOOLS: What do you want to know?

Michele Ellson

What do you want to know about Alameda’s schools? We here at The Alamedan are planning our coverage for the new school year and would love to know. One of our core goals is to make sure you get the news you need, and we can’t think of a better way of doing that than asking you. Drop a comment under this post or e-mail me at michele@thealamedan.org and let me know what schools stories we should be covering, or what questions you’d like to see answered. And thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions!

Comments

Submitted by Robert Cassard (not verified) on Wed, Sep 11, 2013

Well over 10% of Alameda kids attend public charters and yet these schools are often forgotten or given short shrift. This happens at the community level, where, for example, charters are receiving only 3% of Measure A funding. It also occurs in the local media, where reports about school performance often neglect to provide complete data to allow full comparison and insight. Recent reports on API scores, for example, listed scores for AUSD schools but left out some charter scores. While I saw that ACLC raised its API by 44 points in one year, nowhere did I see that they achieved an 869. I had to dig for that information elsewhere on the Internet.

Submitted by Michele Ellson on Wed, Sep 11, 2013

Thanks for your comment, Robert. I'd love to cover the charters more, so I encourage anyone with information to e-mail it to me, at michele@thealamedan.org. I get a lot of information from the district, both from their e-mail blasts and board agendas that they send, but don't have the same info sources for charters. So anything y'all can send me is much appreciated.

On your comment on the test scores not being posted - if you scroll to the bottom of our API story, I posted bar charts with each school's scores for 2012 and 2013, including ACLC's: http://thealamedan.org/news/breaking-student-test-scores-increase-sancti.... When you mouse over your bar, you'll see the test score pop up.

Submitted by Sue Spiersch (not verified) on Wed, Sep 11, 2013

I'd love to know the status of the Adult Ed. classes. I learned all of my computer skills at the classes offered at Adult Ed. and it seems that all of the classes have been cancelled because of funding. Any chance of them coming back? Alameda Park & Rec. offers classes however the costs are prohibitive.

Submitted by Debra Mendoza (not verified) on Wed, Sep 11, 2013

I would like to know about the expulsion and suspension rates, what alternatives are in place/utilized in lieu of suspension/expulsion, what are the re-entry rates of students who who expelled, and what are the demographics of students, gender, also by school site. Also as a follow up, an issue on safety overall across the district. research in alameda county shows that Black and Latino children are less likely to feel safe at school, which is directly correlated to achievement/drop out rates. I want to know how the city is addressing safety in the wake of the sexual assualt on an elementary school campus.

Submitted by Deni A (not verified) on Thu, Sep 12, 2013

Piggybacking on Robert's comment above, I'd like to know more about the charters in Alameda: how are they performing against their own formation charters and against the State's baseline performance benchmarks, whether they are they required to adopt the Common Core standards, and how are they funded in Alameda. And the flip side of the last item, what are the financial implications of charters to the District.

I've been reading about CA charter schools, in general, on EdSource.org but would like to drill down to our local level. This is a huge topic so anything you can provide to help break it down into smaller components would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks!!

Submitted by Laura DiDonato (not verified) on Thu, Sep 12, 2013

I would like more information about the fate of AUSD's site at Eagle and Everett, specifically:
1) Why is the Superintendent negotiating for the property's sale during Closed Sessions?
2) Why now, when the City just rezoned the entire North Park St Area (from industrial to residential) and designed it for a substantial increase to the area's population, yet without a school facility and when nearby schools are impacted?
3) Why now, when the BOE/Community Engagement of "stakeholders" declared the necessity for "districtwide facility needs assessment" and a subsequent bond to fund facility upgrades in AUSD?
4) Why, when 80% of voters in Alameda passed last year's Measure D which put a stop to City conducting "land swaps" of public parks? (And w/i the City's General Plan, no neighborhood should be more than 3/8 mile from a public park/school)
5) Why, when there are 30 CA Ed Codes restricting the sales of school district lands while mentioning a public process for approval and designations of how/where such profit could be allocated within AUSD?
6) Why, when funds for low income employee housing (once considered for the site) had been collected by AUSD since 2006, matched by City until State redevelopment funds ceased, then appointed to Successor Agency once AUSD determined zero of their staff qualifies?
7) Why, when such a sale would render only a fragment of AUSD's annual expenditures for professional services/consultants fees (as per AUSD's Interim SACS Reports), and when the parcel could be transformed into a vibrant innovative outdoor learning center via organized volunteers/public partnership similar to AUSD's school garden/environmental ed programs.
8) Why AUSD public property that has been held for over 120 years, when there are other privately-owned parcels currently available in the area for the City to fulfill the State's housing requirements and allocate to the Housing Authority?

I am a resident who has consistently voted to increase local revenue for our local public schools. And I would support and vote for another AUSD tax, however this is not the time for AUSD administrators to be selling the public's property without our consent. Our Superintendent should follow the laws and allow for a public process, especially when the most recent school parcel tax failed!

Submitted by haskidsinausd (not verified) on Sat, Sep 14, 2013

I'm also curious if the Charters provide services for our Special needs or homeless students, and what the socio-economic and racial diversity statistics are Charter vs. District schools. Scores only tell a tiny piece of a school's story.