Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A shift at SCCBOE?

Once again, there are two new posts together.  Don't miss the second post on the BCS view of the court process

It's amazing how a little perspective can shift things around.

Parents in our community have spent considerable explaining to the SCCBOE that our community is host to a highly successful school district, and that there is no need for a charter school in our community.  These pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

Imagine my surprise, then, upon learning that SCCBOE President Joe Di Salvo apparently thinks that "need" is an important factor to consider when evaluating charter schools.  In his recent blog post, President DiSalvo discusses the recent efforts to locate a Rocketship charter school near Washington School in the San Jose Unified School District.  In reflecting on the Rocketship request, PResident Di Salvo states:
Parent choice is an important part of the equation for me as long as the choice is about school quality. Competition in America has always been a beneficial attribute of our society. However, competition that weakens an excellent traditional public school working on all cylinders, in all the right ways, is not what I think the SCCOE Board intended when it cast its 5-2 vote [to approve the Rocketship charters] last December.

He is referring to a school with an API score of 798, that is making excellent progress in closing the achievement gap.  I believe the same thing could be said of our 9 district schools, which boast API scores in the 960+ range, and also are also showing how to excel in serving the needs of all students.

So here's the next step folks:  Write to President Di Salvo.  Let him know that you agree that we need to consider the possible negative impacts of a charter school before blindly moving forward with their approval.

But wait! I'd like to suggest a different tack than in the past.  Beating him up with "I told you so" is not likely to achieve anything beneficial.  Rather, consider that President Di Salvo may be seeing that it's not as clear-cut as he once thought.  There is an opportunity to influence him, but if we mock him, it won't be helpful.  Maybe President Di Salvo, upon review of additional facts, is coming to an adjusted conclusion.  We actually WANT that in our public officials.  Reach out to him, but please keep the tone civil.

Welcome to the dialogue, Joe.

 PS:  Interesting to note that SJ Inside tweeted this after the post was published:
#Charterschools all the rage, but Joe DiSalvo voices concern after hearing of a successful public school being bullied.

Update 5 Sept 2012 @ 9:30am:  Here's an interesting editorial from a Stanford MD who lives in the affected neighborhood.  It ran in this morning's SJ Mercury News.  I didn't find a link on their site, but I've scanned it from my morning paper.