I just observed a very different community meeting tonight. It was at Youth Empowerment School in the East Oakland hills, another one on OUSD’s intervention/potential closure list.
After hearing a presentation about test scores and enrollment trends, people divided into two groups, by language. Parents told the central office administrators things they loved about the 250-student school and the things they’d change about its academic program. They were also asked to speculate about why the test scores might be so low.
The problem with my group, YES principal Maureen Benson noted afterward, was that most people had nothing but praise for the school. Everyone feels so good about it — the staff, the students, the parents — but the positive atmosphere isn’t reflected in the test scores, she said.
(Aside: I’ve been hearing that a lot lately.)
It looks good for the Youth Empowerment School, though. Wendy Gudalewicz, the network executive officer who last year recommended closing YES’s former neighbor, East Oakland Community High School, told the group that she felt YES was headed in the right direction.