Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Julie Kicks Ass

(and because I'm used to third graders, I'm waiting for someone to say "Ooooooh, she said ass... I'm telling...")

Julie took me up on the writing to the district superintendent, excuse me, state administrator. Here's her letter. Feel free to join her in writing.

"And, when the going gets tough, we must have the courage and stamina to stay the course."
Dear Ms. S------,
It has come to my attention that OUSD is contemplating closing East Oakland Community High School due to low test scores. While I do not have direct experience in that school, I know friends and community members who will be drastically affected by this decision. Children at this school will not continue their education -- many will drop out and never be seen or heard from again, except through the police department. These kids feel, for the first time, like school is within their grasp. As if someone cares about them, and their education. The school has only been open for two and a half years, and is serving kids who have not had the opportunities that students in wealthier districts have. It would be nearly inconceivable that they could catch up, to passing status, in such short time. But the concept behind the school is offering these kids hope -- not failing them. I know the district does not exactly have an abundance of cash laying around to "experiment" with alternative school styles. But you yourself said, on your website (as quoted above), that when the going gets tough, it takes courage and stamina to stay the course. It takes commitment. It takes sacrifice. No one is denying that. But I implore you to give this school a chance -- to stay the course and give it the time it needs to work with these kids. Closing EOCHS may save some cash -- but it will NOT get the district closer to its goal of educating the children of Oakland.

Julie might know a little something about difficult kids/families/situations also...

Also, the Oakland Tribune has an interesting - and sad - series of articles profiling one young man who was one of the almost 150 homicide victims last year. This is Part One.

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