I stopped by a West Oakland Education Task Force meeting tonight, and one of the issues discussed was the future of two small high schools — EXCEL and BEST — at McClymonds.
McClymonds High School, like many other middle and high schools in Oakland’s flatlands, was swept up in the small schools movement. The difference between Mack and the other once-comprehensive high schools is that it was pretty small to begin with.
In 2006-07, the combined enrollment of BEST and EXCEL was just 532, and it might be lower now.
This spring, two major developments happened: The school district announced it would eliminate BEST’s ninth-grade this fall, and BEST’s principal, James Gray, was apparently dismissed. A group of teachers wrote this letter protesting those decisions.
Some of the people I listened to and spoke with tonight said they felt the two schools were competing for precious resources. One student said, “It seems sad that we only come together in sports.”
What do you think should happen to the school? Is it naive to think you can break a school apart and just put it back together again, or has it become necessary?