I posted a blog entry in December titled “Are Oakland’s `hills’ schools becoming more exclusive?” It was a rhetorical question, but I can now answer it definitively: Yes.
Here’s the back story: Back in December, a stream of Montclair Elementary School parents and others urged the Oakland school district not to expand their school’s local attendance boundaries. The change had been proposed to alleviate crowding at Hillcrest, which — like Montclair — has high test scores and is located in an affluent part of town.
The Montclair parents spoke about the importance of preserving the school’s racial and socioeconomic diversity and warned of overcrowding. (Chabot Elementary parents made a similar plea for the Rockridge school.) They argued that with a larger attendance area, the school would no longer have room for student transfers whose families who couldn’t afford the local real estate.
The latest: Montclair’s boundaries stayed the same — likely, because the parents’ arguments gave board members pause. But it turns out that the school doesn’t have room, anyway, for the children parents spoke of. Even the younger brothers and sisters of Montclair’s current “out-of-neighborhood” students were turned away for the coming fall, not to mention first-born kids who live in the flatlands. Continue Reading