After hours of listening to — and dutifully recording — passionate speech-making about the ramifications of school closures and the intractable Hillcrest/hills schools overcrowding problems, my forearms are revolting. I don’t know how court reporters do it.
Some things worth noting:
- A bright spot. The state administrator gave the go-ahead for the construction of an Educational Complex near Laney College (permanent buildings for La Escuelita, Yuk Yau, MetWest and Centro Infantil), causing much celebration in the room. They’ve waited years and years for this.
- A sobering “let’s put things in perspective” comment. At the end of the Hillcrest/Montclair/Chabot discussion, board member Greg Hodge mentioned that he was at Children’s Hospital Tuesday night. Three teenage boys were shot leaving a basketball game at McClymonds High School. All the next day, Hodge said, people kept telling him that it wasn’t so bad because the boys survived. The violence has become that normal.
- An overshadowed issue. Steve Weinberg, a teacher and frequent blog contributor, raised concerns about the staff proposal to “right-size” (a term that calls massive layoffs to mind) Oakland’s middle school boundaries (see pages 5-6). If I understood him right, he said it would upset the socioeconomic diversity at schools like Bret Harte by redistricting some of the middle class kids up the hill.
I’ll pose the only sentence my brain can construct at this time of the morning: What do you think?