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Editorial: Plan emerges for M-A High boundaries

Original post made by Poster, Menlo Park: Stanford Hills, on Jan 21, 2014

Much work is ahead as the Sequoia Union High School District ramps up to address a coming enrollment surge. In an early step along that path, the board last week gave a green light to a draft of a redrawn district map that now includes all students from the Ravenswood, Menlo Park and Las Lomitas school districts in the Menlo-Atherton High School community.

If the board stays with the map unveiled by Superintendent James Lianides, the only students who will lose seats at M-A are those who live north of Eighth Avenue in North Fair Oaks, part of a large swath of unincorporated county land that uses Menlo Park's 94025 ZIP code. In prior years, students living on Sixth and Seventh Avenues in North Fair Oaks have attended M-A.

The board made the correct decision to shift all Ravenswood students to M-A, instead of busing them to Carlmont (11 miles away) or Sequoia, in downtown Redwood City. It is unfortunate that some North Fair Oaks students will not have the assignment to M-A, but Ravenswood students live nearly as close to M-A and have long deserved to attend school there. The map should also be popular with Las Lomitas parents in West Menlo Park, Ladera and west Atherton who were fearful that their children would be shifted to Woodside High, in many cases a school that is closer to their homes.

All Sequoia district high schools face the prospect of a huge enrollment bulge that is making its way through elementary and middle schools and will result in M-A, Sequoia, Woodside and Carlmont enrolling more students — 200 at Woodside and 600 at M-A, projections show. The problem is that none of these high schools have space to accommodate the students now, so more classrooms will need to be built.

During discussions last year, Mr. Lianides ruled out building a new comprehensive high school, which would cost an estimated $200 million if a site could be found. But even adding two-story classrooms at existing high schools will cost money, so it is likely that a bond measure will come before voters this November or sometime next year.

On the plus side, a decision that could add capacity to the district is the board's plan to build two small magnet schools, including one in "the Menlo Park area," that could accommodate up to 400 students apiece. So far, no specific sites have been identified for either school, but presumably that decision also could come this year.

And the timely arrival of a charter school called Big Picture Learning could make a small dent in the overall enrollment bulge this year, if its plans pan out. The school offers classes, but a principal focus is on students discovering what really interests them and crafting paths toward their future, whether academic or career-oriented.

The school is looking for seventh- and eighth-graders who are not doing well in a traditional school environment and face prospects of not graduating from high school. The charter, whose steering committee includes former longtime Sequoia district board member Sally Stewart of Portola Valley and former Menlo Park City School District board member Karen Canty of Atherton, is patterned after Big Picture Learning, a network of some 100 charter high schools with headquarters in Rhode Island and San Diego and offices in the Netherlands and Australia.

Initially, Big Picture hopes to find a site in Redwood City and in its first year would serve about 100 students in two classrooms, with an outlook of up to 300 students.

The board has not made a final decision on the changes at M-A, or any of the other Sequoia district high schools. Parents will get a chance to voice their support or objections during more community meetings in the coming months. It should be a busy year.

Comments (24)

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Posted by Parent
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Jan 22, 2014 at 9:00 pm

I think it is too bad that the SUHSD school board couldn't stand up to the Las Lomitas parents -- In this case the ('M-A Foundation') $ wins and SUHSD's 'best-kept secret' (Woodside High) loses out. Back when I was going to High School, the SUSHD borders changed quite a bit (FYI -- that's what usually happens within a school district -- especially if you lived in Portola Valley, Ladera and Sharon Heights) and our parents didn't whine that the community would be split-up or one was far superior than another. We just showed up at our assigned high school and had a wonderful experience.

I was appalled with some of the parents and their attitude towards Woodside High at the community meetings. Have these families ever toured Woodside HIgh? (They would be more than happy to show you around -- I've never seen such a dedicated, proud, motivated and hard-working administration).

I must assume that the SUHSD Administration knows how great Woodside is -- so why be bullied by the parents? Balance all the campuses (ie, balance the sport teams, spread the wealth, spread the diversity, ease the Menlo/Atherton congestion -- M-A's neighbors can't be too happy with this latest influx of students and thought of a new high school in Menlo Park)!

While everyone else is figuring this out, I am sending my children to Woodside (one transferring from M-A) -- M-A may have a higher "rating" but at an overcrowded campus like M-A-- my children have less of a chance to make a sports team (M-A's 'no-cut' cross country team had cuts this year for the first time ever), land a role in the school play, get in the classes he wants, sit in a class with fewer than 30 kids, participate in student government, or get a parking spot student parking lot before he is a senior! Having all these opportunities and so many more is way more valuable than any school rating.

I encourage parents of rising high-schoolers to look into Woodside HIgh.


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Posted by Sad
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jan 23, 2014 at 9:01 am

"fearful that their children would be shifted to Woodside High, in many cases a school that is closer to their homes."

This is (almost) entirely incorrect. It should not say "many cases" but in "nearly ALL cases". On average the population of the Las Lomitas District is literally 2 miles CLOSER to Woodside High than MA. In some cases, the houses from Las Lomitas literally back up to Woodside High. There is only one section of Las Lomitas that is closer to MA than Woodside High, and that is the Ladera population. For Ladera it is "almost" the same with the commute time heading to Woodside High via 280 actually less.

The argument that parents bought into the MA "district" is simply bogus. They bought into the Sequoia district, which is not subject to the same boundary line redrawing limitations that a school district which was formed by a LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission). Historically, Las Lomitas has attended Woodside High and it is only in the last 25 years that the shift has happened to MA.

So the Sequoia board is completely comfortable that traffic is going to be passing each other as students drive across Menlo Park to get to WHS while the Las Lomitas kids are ferried the other direction.

Note to Sequoia board: you guys are a bunch of cowardly weasels.
[Portion removed}


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Posted by former MA parent
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 23, 2014 at 9:18 pm

I'm a former Hillview and MA parent, but this false narrative about Las Lomitas getting a special deal really bothers me. SUHSD said that they want to keep school communities together as much as possible so that students who are in middle school together are not split apart and sent to different high schools. This is what they are doing for Ravenswood students by putting them all into MA. 95+ percent of Las Lomitas students have been zoned for MA for many years. What SUHSD has done is to just make it 100+. There is nothing unfair about it.


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Posted by Winners and losers
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 23, 2014 at 10:02 pm

The big, literally, loser in this story is M-A and sadly its students. According to the latest "projections", M-A wil grow to over 2,6000 while all the other three high schools will stay at a reasonable enrollment. The winner is definitely Woodside, whose students will keep enjoying a beautiful not overcrowded campus with outstanding academics that will not have to be compromised because of crowded classrooms and campus.


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Posted by Sad
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jan 23, 2014 at 10:34 pm

@former MA parent: bullpoppy. 100% of the Las Lomitas kids COULD stay with their middle school cohort and go to the high school to which 95% of them are substantially geographically closer. That way North Fair Oaks kids wouldn't have to trek half way across town and could join kids from their neighborhood who are already designated for MA.

My way results in literally hundreds of miles PER DAY of less automobile traffic winding its way through Menlo Park and its environs. My way has a rationale. Your way has only the fact that it is that status quo to support it. But before LL was designated to attend MA, they used to go to Woodside, so apparently the status quo doesn't have to be forged in steel.

No, the only reason that the N. Fair Oaks kids are getting dumped on is because they don't have political clout and dollars to back them up.




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Posted by This is silly
a resident of another community
on Jan 24, 2014 at 11:05 am

What I find puzzling is why folks seem to think that it is so important that all of the kids from a middle school attend the same high school. I attended a junior high school in SoCal where about 1/2 the kids fed into one high school and about half the kids fed into a different high school. Amazingly, the sun continued to rise and set and the phases of the moon were not dislodged! We kept some old friends and made some new friends. The smart, hard-working kids still got into great colleges (this experience did not prevent me from being accepted to Stanford) regardless of which high school they fed into.

Parents worry too much. If your student has not taken charge of their own education by the time they head off to high school, you've got a bigger problem than which school that attend.


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Posted by Current Las Lomitas parent
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jan 24, 2014 at 11:37 am

@ Former M-A parent, I am too bothered by false narrative about Las Lomitas, but for another reason. The Las Lomitas community was NOT consulted in this decision to have us drive our students across town (while, as pointed out, the North Fair Oaks ones will have to drive the opposite direction, how silly is that?) Few Las Lomitas parents did voice the opinion that they would like their students to go to M-A. A handful pf parents attended the so-called "community meetings" but there are 900 families in the Las Lomitas district: was their opinion asked? NO. It was suggested to the SUHSD superintendent that he polled ALL the Las Lomitas parents (easily done through our district) and he flat out refused.

I have two children: one in 4th grade and one in 6th. When the time comes, I will request a transfer to Woodside for them (like I hear several 8th grade families have done this year, and any 7th grade families plan to do next year.) I am not condoning nor participating in this absurdity of having students travel across the district when a perfectly good school is nearby.


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Posted by Disheartened
a resident of Woodside High School
on Feb 12, 2014 at 9:38 am

The middle school students in Redwood City are split up when they reach middle school. Are Los Lomitas children deserving of special treatment? This plan is so clearly influenced by wealth and a few extremely vocal parents...and a politically motivated board. Blatant inequity.

I was sad that my daughter was split from many of her closest friends when she started at Woodside. It has actually turned out to be the best thing that could have happened. She still sees her middle school friends and has made a bunch of great new friends. And Woodside has blown us away! Fabulous teachers and principal. Excellent guidance dept. We couldn't be happier.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 12, 2014 at 1:43 pm

To most objective people it is absurd that a good part of Las Lomitas was not assigned to Woodside high. However, for many of us that are closer to the situation it is clear that many Las Lomitas parents have money and clout - not all parents and several that have it, keep it in check. However, enough Las Lomitas 'movers and shakers' are not hesitant to user their influence in everyway possible so that their little Johny or Sally has every perceived margin of advantage. If M-A is perceived as better, then little Johny or Sally must be assigned to M-A over Woodside. If the Woodside test scores eventually surpass M-A, then you can bet serious money that Las Lomitas parents will switch to Woodside.

If the Hillview 'community' were in the same situation, unfortunately we would behave the same way as the Las Lomitas 'community'. We are not a true community - we are here for what we and our kids can get from here - we are not here for what we can contribute to each other here. Sadly, we then wonder why our kids are growing up so insular and with an unhealthy sense of entitlement.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 12, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Thank you, parent, for your insights. This M-A "community" seems to be Silicon Valley, writ small.

I'd love to see evidence to the contrary, evidence that does not tout the transfer of money as a stand-in for true compassion, evidence of putting oneself in the shoes of those who live east of 101, evidence of a common desire to escape the bubble of neighborhood wealth and the avarice that creates and sustains it.


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Posted by Student's Perspective
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 13, 2014 at 12:06 am

I guess I am a by product of "movers and shakers" seeing that I was part of LLESD and I graduated from M-A. I gladly made the trek across town to M-A because I knew that I was part of a good school and that is all that mattered to me.
When I was deciding which high school I wanted to go, whether that be private or public, M-A or Woodside, the choice was easy. Yes, Woodside was closer to me but all of my friends would be going to M-A. To many that may seem like a pathetic reason to choose to go to a school across town but listen to my reasoning. Coming from a small school district, my graduating class had roughly 500 kids if that, seeing friendly faces on my first day of high school was comforting to me. High school is a big transition for anyone, if someone tells you that they had no problems when they first started high school they are most likely lying. Truth is everyone has a hard time in the beginning. The friends that I had in middle school are friends that I still have today. They made high school easier and less scary and the transition a little less bumpy.
In addition to the idea that all my friends were going to M-A, I heard terrible things about Woodside. Ranging from how teachers either pay attention to the kids that show promise or the kids that mess around the entire time. There was no middle ground. The sports teams at Woodside needed work and lots of it. The sports that I was interested in had teams that would not win any games/meets all season. Yes, doing sports is meant to be fun and isn't about winning or losing but when one trying to get a scholarship for their sport and their team consistently loses, well that isn't fun. In high school whenever we would played Woodside we would consider it a glorified practice. That may be blunt but its the truth. Yes, the sports teams may be getting better but when I was in high school they were the joke of the league.
We live in a culture were parents want whatever is best for their kids. If that means driving to M-A from Sharon Heights, many parents are more than happy to oblige. Currently the better school is M-A and until Woodside can prove, academically and through their sports programs, that they can compare to M-A, only some parents would feel comfortable sending their child to school there. One of few things that pops into my mind when someone mentions Woodside High is that they were a high school that was featured in the movie Waiting for Superman. Why would anyone want to send their child to a school that clearly lacks behind others in the same district?
Lastly, I wanted to address some points that other people made. To the people who say that Las Lomitas parents are getting their way by flashing money around, what if the tables were turned? What if your child was zoned to go to a sub-par school, because that is what Woodside is. What would you do? @Parent 1. Classes are not hard to get. Wait until your child is college, now those classes are hard to get. 2. Sports teams may be turning into cut sports but don't you want your child to strive to be the best. Maybe he doesn't make the team one year, he goes back and practices harder to make the team the next year. Teach your child to set a goal and reach it, not have everything handed to him/her. If your child really wants something for themselves they will learn how to achieve it. 3. Parking is NOT hard. There are many open spaces even in the spring when more kids have their licenses. That was a failed attempt at stating how "over-crowded" M-A is.

Some advice, instead of telling your kid they are going to go to M-A or Woodside, ask them. Let them make the decision where they want to spend the next 4 years of THEIR life. Yes, you want the best for your kid but maybe the best thing you can do for them is to ask where THEY want to go.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 13, 2014 at 1:03 pm

The school district recognizes reality. The Las Lomitas parents could make Woodside the best school in California - but that will take time so it is not a realistic option today.

Parents want for their kids now. And if other parents and their children cant have the same option, well that is too bad but there must be a reason that those others don't deserve it. If a Las Lomitas parent believes Woodside is inferior - you cant blame them for avoiding it for their children, even if Woodside is the nearby school.

If those Fair Oaks kids now have to get bussed to another school - so be it - they do not have as strong of a claim to M-A anyway. And if it were not for the legal threat we could easily continue to keep the East Palo Alto kids from M-A; but unfortunately they recently have civil rights organizations snooping around the issue. M-A is by far the closest school for East Palo Alto so we cant continue marginalizing them.

Besides M-A can absorb all of the kids from Las Lomitas. Sure it will make M-A overgrown, but they are the better kids anyway, and their parents can provide a lot of support to the school and the private foundations that support the school. M-A and the district needs Las Lomitas parents more than they need those other parents. They don't have a choice.


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Posted by Wow
a resident of another community
on Feb 13, 2014 at 2:09 pm

"Student's Perspective" and "parent" gave us very revealing posts. Completely unabashed with their own bigotry and shallowness openly displayed. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that these two are related.

Interesting that the posts by these "elite" folks include poor spelling, punctuation and grammar.

The most classic line is this, "...but they are the better kids anyway..." Hmm. If they think the way you think, "parent", then I will have to disagree wholeheartedly with that statement.


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Posted by dont panic
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 13, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Actually there is a growing swell of LL parents (self included) who will be applying to go to Woodside. I have a 6th and 7th grader.

I was one of the parents banging the drum of resistance to any redistrciting effort. My initial understanding of the comparisons was superficial and inaccurate. I regret following the masses

I have since done significant research and feel 100% confident that Woodside will provide an excellent learning environment in every way.

I believe many other parents will be changing their opinions as they continue to explore the facts vs. the hype and I'm hopeful that this self initiated redistricting might lighten the (over)load at MA and bring even more energy to Woodside.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Feb 13, 2014 at 6:06 pm

The issue here is not even "splitting" Las Lomitas, that could be easily housed at Woodside. I was told that at the meeting at Woodside last Monday, the superintendent claimed that moving Las Lomitas to Woodside would overcrowd WHS so just move the problem from one school to another. Another example of the Sequoia administration changing their story on the fly!

Looking back at the presentation from last May, where projections before boundaries changes were presented, the projected enrollment in 2020-21 was reported as follow:
Carlmont 2,600
Menlo Atherton 2,400
Sequoia 2,560
Woodside 2,080

The superintendent reported that 75 students per grade from Ravenswood attend Carlmont and 75 attend Woodside.

So adding those 150 Ravenswood to M-A and taking out the 150 per grade from Las Lomitas would leave M-A at 2,400.

Adding Las Lomitas (150/year) to Woodside and moving 75 Ravenswood students, will gain Woodside 75 students per year (75 x 4), bringing the school to 2,380.

Sequoia will stay at 2,560 and Carlmont would lose 75 per year going down to 2,300.

It is obviously the best solution for all the students.


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Posted by Sacrifice
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 13, 2014 at 10:50 pm

I think it is wonderful that so many of you parents are willing to sacrifice your children's high school education to help promote the cause of liberal political correctness. Thanks to you, I am sure Woodside will be a terrific school by 2025 or so. Of course, that will be too late for your children, but they can attend our excellent community colleges and thereafter pull espressos and serve as nannies and housekeepers for my M-A grads.


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Posted by One more fact
a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 14, 2014 at 8:10 am


I am really tired of people saying "SOME" or "MANY" of the Las Lomitas School District Homes are closer to Woodside High.

100% repeat 100% of the Las Lomitas Homes are closer to Woodside than MA.

Don't believe me? Do a little elementary geometry. Draw a straight line from Woodside High to M-A. Bisect that line perpendicularly with another line. Any home on the Woodside side of the perpendicular line is CLOSER Woodside than MA by the shortest path principle.

If you look at the result, you will see that 100% of LLESD homes are closer to Woodside High than M-A. 100!

A corollary of this is that simplistically speaking, the lack of proximity results in 300% more miles traveled, 300% more pollutants, and 300% more wasted time on the road for LLESD parents and kids.

Similarly 100% of the displaced North Fair Oaks residents are closer to M-A than to Sequoia.

Gerrymandering at its worst.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 14, 2014 at 10:15 am

[Portion removed; debate the issue but don't attack other posters.]
I hope that Las Lomitas parents think long and hard about their wish to keep things as they are because like it or not, things WILL change. These parents may temporarily be happy to win the battle to keep all of their children going to M-A, but they should be careful what they wish for. M-A is about to go though some major changes with the shift and it will not be the same school is now – these changes will start next year. The influx of hundreds of new students, new construction around campus, and parking and traffic concerns (I have a friend who's child attends M-A and says presently it takes her 20 minutes to get out of the parking lot after school) have been cited as reasons that some people I know in the community are opting to actually request transfers to Woodside.

It is scary to think beyond what you know and are comfortable with, but the unknown could be even better just as much as it could be worse. You have to make an educated decision rather than turn your head and hope it goes away. Parents in Silicon Valley are innovative, forward thinkers who should carry this mode of thinking into their educational mindset.

I hope the district is making it clear to LL parents that getting to stay at M-A does not mean it's going to stay the same.

My vote follows the one above which is to send ALL Las Lomitas to Woodside. It just makes geographical and socioeconomical sense. Sending the LL kids there will likely encourage more PV and Woodside parents to do the same (as opposed to private). With all of these new active families in the fold, the foundation will thrive; positive changes to Woodside will follow and energize the school community.

Think of it this way: Would you rather be have your child in a school that will continue on a strong upward trajectory or one who's strengths are likely to level off or even decline over the coming years? With Las Lomitas and other areas sending more kids to WHS, it will become even stronger. If they stay at M-A, M-A will continue to struggle with the influx and new challenges it faces.







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Posted by parent
a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 14, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Just wanted to add that the "objectionable content" in my post was my own objection to what I feel is an inflammatory comment made by "Sacrifice". I'm not sure how it's acceptable for "Sacrifice" to attack kids with the sort of rhetoric in his/her post but it is not ok to call the poster out on it.

So I will just state that I find "Sacrifice's" comment to be inflammatory and leave it at that.


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Posted by Another parent
a resident of another community
on Feb 14, 2014 at 4:41 pm

I would like to echo "parent": I found "Sacrifice's" comment to be extraordinarily offensive, as well as inflammatory, bigoted and outrageously inappropriate and am surprised that the moderator allowed it to stand. But it was also profoundly sad, ignorant and arrogant. Children who work hard, succeed, wherever they go to school. Children who feel superior and entitled (who, not surprisingly, often come from parents who also feel superior and entitled and who feel it is appropriate to stereotype students of other high schools as their future baristas and housekeepers) don't tend to fare well in the great, big world. Good luck, "Sacrifice." I hope your children can overcome the karma you have saddled them with.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 14, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Thank you "Another Parent" for more eloquently stating what I was trying to say.


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Posted by LL Homeowner
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Feb 14, 2014 at 6:06 pm

"Sacrifice" was obviously being unnecessarily hyperbolic. But I partially agree with his/her point about "liberal political correctness" -- and I say that as a life-long and proud liberal. Let me explain:

I spent about 15 years saving for a downpayment on a house in a good school district like Las Lomitas. I then mortgaged myself to the hilt -- literally living paycheck to paycheck for several years. On top of that I now pay tens of thousands of dollars in local and state taxes each year for the 'priviledge' of living in a great school district. So you can imagine why I resent some of the people commenting here who so casually feel entitled to mess with my largest financial asset.

I realize ultimately this is about kids and education -- and not simply my property values. I am sympathetic to that. But please also keep in mind that I am not living my life -- working long hours, saving for decades, and sacrificing financially -- as a source of charity for other peoples' kids. I do give to charity; I do pay high taxes without complaint; I support special assessments and even higher taxes if necessary. What I do not support are people commenting on this board who are actually *indignant* when people like me push back when we see others trying to mess with our families' education and our families'largest assets.

Having said all that, I frankly would not care if all of Las Lomitas was moved to Woodside High. What I do care about are your holier-than-thou attitudes and willingness to casually 'spend' my hard earned money. It is people like myself who should be indignant.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 14, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Well said, but what it brings to mind is that these are public schools. Should donations equate to privileges in a public school? The word commonwealth may be applicable here, a word I have never seen or heard used in California.

Isn't the core of the argument over M-A that money from the Las Lomitas and Menlo Park school district are skewing the options for M-A's students? And what about the money that Las Lomitas and Menlo Park pay their teachers? That skews the elementary and middle school landscape of who is teaching where, does it not?

This is the key issue because the well educated and well connected get the lion's share as life goes on, continuing the legacy of how they got their start in AP classes skewed in their favor.


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Posted by LL Homeowner
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Feb 14, 2014 at 7:22 pm

Joe,

I can't speak to all your comments. I am not an education expert and don't know how evenly the money is distributed. But I think money in education is overemphasized to some degree.

This is just anecdotal, but I grew up in one of the best public school districts in the country. The reason why it was one of the best was not because we had some amazing, charismatic, inspirational teachers -- we had a few of them, and a few bad ones. But most were just ok or perhaps a little above average... And it was not the best because it had so many amazing facilities or tons of cash. It was not lacking in those areas for sure. But certainly Woodside High is as nice purely from a physical / facilities point of view.

The reason, in my opinion, it was so good was because of the students and the students families. They had the resources to get their kids extra tutors after school if necessary. Their families valued education above all else. They / we had parents who helped us with our homework. Etc.

So this is why I am not worried if Las Lomitas is tied to Woodside. It may take a few years to be reflected in the test scores, but ultimately Woodside would become seen a great school.

Obviously schools need a baseline level of resources. But at the end of the day it is the students and their parents that determine the test scores, etc.

A thought experiment: If you took all the students from East Palo Alto and East Menlo and bused them over to Las Lomitas; conversely you took all the kids in the Las Lomitas neighborhoods and bused them to a school on the other side of 101 -- just literally swapped out both populations and had them physically attend the opposite schools -- with the same teachers staying at each school, and the same budgets -- I believe that the school East of 101 would become known as a very good school and the school in Las Lomitas would end up with mediocre (or worse) test scores and no longer be considered great.

I could be wrong. But I believe socio-economics plays a much bigger role in education than the school or it's resources. There is an apocryphal story about how Plato taught his students under a tree 2300 years ago...

Anyway, we need to make sure all the schools have competent teachers and reasonable facilities. But beyond that it is up to the students and their families to take responsibility for their education. Some of the parents work two jobs; maybe they are single-parents with little time to help their kids; maybe they don't value education as much; or maybe they don't speak English as a first language and therefore have trouble helping out with the homework; or whatever... There are any number of reasons why people from those areas don't do as well. But the point is: education issues run much deeper than simply redistricting. Moving some poorer kids to M-A may help marginally, but it isn't magically going to solve the education problems for those students.


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