What’s really going on in middle school

The Trib ran two stories today about a $15 million Atlantic Philanthropies grant to fund health clinics, family services and more after-school and summer programs at seven Oakland middle schools (five campuses). Above is a video posted on YouTube about the kids who have been involved in researching their peers’ behavior — and weighing in on what services each school should offer.

Curious about the subject myself, I did some nosing around and came across these California Healthy Kids survey results from two years ago. I believe more current results might be out fairly soon, so it will be interesting to see how they compare.

Look at the weapons responses, in particular. Do those stats seem to square with reality?

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Nextset

    An interesting survey. By the way, I’m all in favor of placing social services including medical services at middle school and especially high school campuses. Even if it’s a matter of sharing space and disavowing responsibility for the facility, a contract with Kaiser or similar health & dental care provider is a good thing. Ditto mental health and similar providers whether county mental health or whatever respectable providers are interested. The kids really need it. The families really need it.

    Education is lost when the students have problems that overwhelm sitting in class paying attention to the instructor. If there is a need I do believe the public schools have a duty to try to address it. I don’t think the public school can just say it’s the parent’s problem. If the kids have any impediment to learning it’s the public schools problem to solve.

  • Bill

    $15 million for social programs? Last I heard they needed academics. Another non measured service and way to throw money and opportunities away.

    I wonder what the high performing middle schools would do with such an opportunity?

  • Katy Murphy

    Most of the $15 million is going to health-related services, but one large component of the grant does go to academics — after school and during the summer.

  • Nextset

    Bill: Urban schools cater to the proletariat. Lower class youth require more social services than professional class youth whose non-prole parents can and will take care of them.

    The social programs we speak of are as vital as academic programs for the proles. We don’t need to (forcibly) teach proles higher math and science, or college level reading and writing. So it’s unreasonable to budget for those classes in prole schools. We must try to get them to 18 without AIDS infections, with minimal addictions, without pregnancies, and with the basic social and academic skills essential to stay out of jail and get a job or into the military.

    Their parents are unable and unwilling to transmit these social skills because they are proles also. The schools are the difference between degregation and a place on the ladder of society. So we apply the school budget accordingly.