One district, different worlds

Oakland Technical High School. Photo by Jane Tyska/Bay Area News GroupThe timing was pure coincidence: a story about the popularity of Oakland Technical High School and its humanities program and a report that 40 percent of Oakland’s public high school students drop out. The juxtaposition illustrates the wide range of experiences and opportunities in the city’s public schools.

At Tech, for instance, the estimated dropout rate (based on 2008-09 data) is 28 percent. That’s about the same percentage of 10th- through 12th-graders who are enrolled in Paideia, the school’s rigorous, college prep humanities program.

Here’s a video I took during a visit to the program this fall:

Oh, and if you’re looking for a copy of the print version, you might want to wait. There was a production error; we’ll be running the story again, in its entirety, tomorrow.

Katy Murphy

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

  • TheTruthHurts

    I’m shocked. Does that classroom look like Oakland? I don’t think so. Why? I know that wasn’t the intention, but this video makes a mockery of equity in Oakland.

  • livegreen

    I think the classroom looks great. When upgrading a classroom & program the issue should not be that it looks better than others, therefor it’s unequitable. That’s a political recipe for doing a) nothing; b) arguing AGAINST good classrooms!

    Instead the issue should be, the classroom looks great & the program works, so how do we bring it to other schools and students?

  • Hills Mama

    Hi Katy, thanks so much for this story. I am very interested in two things:

    1) can this program accommodate the increasing middle class population attending Oakland Tech, the majority of whom have their sights set on enrolling in this program as 10th graders? I just looked at some data and the number of white 9th graders increases each year. Last fall there were 95 white 9th graders (Hispanic 9th graders = 77, Asian 9th graders = 78).

    2) what type of curriculum do Paideia students take in 9th grade? Is there an Honors English in 9th grade?


  • Pro-Tracking

    Want to know why there are no black or Latino students there? Because potential black and brown low income Paideia kids were stuck in boring English and math classes in middle school due to our unwillingness to track. “Differential instruction” is a joke.

    Why is it that liberal SFUSD has honors classes in their middle schools AND a Lowell High School?

    The ONLY ones who pay the price for Oakland’s decision to detrack middle schools and not have an admissions based high school are the black and brown low income kids with high potential. The Asian kids have their families to keep them on track in middle school despite the chaos and the whites go to private school for 6-8.

  • Nextset

    If you think this is a Negro Free Zone, take a look at Piedmont.

    As to your 40 percent figure – you need to understand: The dropout business is a black thing. The hispanics – the Mexican ones anyway, do not value education in large numbers and will trail the blacks dropping out. Our dropout issues are largely a black and brown thing. It is what it is.

    I know why and so does any university educated person who’s perused “The Bell Curve” and the articles and research paper underlying it. It’s amusing to watch others scratch their heads and say “why” and “I can’t understand it”.

    The black dropout numbers are not the whole problem. The black high school “graduates” and the HBC College Students are do weak they typically can’t perform at the level of white 9th graders. And by perform I don’t just mean PSAT verbal and Math scores, I mean being being unable to function in industrial or office/commercial settings.

    It’s not the way things once were in CA with black 18 year olds. In my memory from Oakland in the early 1960s, black boys and girls of 18 and up had jobs and held down those jobs. They’d had sufficient deportment training in the public schools to do so. The OUSD training they get now carefully disqualifies them for jobs, allowing even illegal Mexicans with their disabilities to get work ahead of the blacks.


    There is a book on the problem. Check it out.

    We have worsened this problem by artificially increasing the graduation standards and required classes in public school to the point that the balck and brown students make a rational decision (to them) to leave. They leave because they are not ready, willing and able to meet the graduations requirements for a diploma (that they also feel is not worth striving for).

    Simply put, NO COLLEGE PREP CLASSES should be required for a high school diploma. College is something different and apart from a High School Diploma and the large majority of HS kids (including non-grads) will never get a 4 year diploma unless you count diploma mills (such as some of the HBCs).

    There are jobs in the Brave New World that don’t require college skills, but I’ll warn you, they do require ability to pass background, speak standard english (unless it’s an illegal alien job), have a presentable application and appearance and acceptable hygene and morals. We no longer teach this at OUSD.

    But we do have college prep for the white/asian folks. And that is where these above photos go. All the bluster about getting the Negroes ready for college is code for running the large majority of them out of education entirely. Liberals would rather the blacks have nothing than ever admit blacks (generally) have different needs. Like Voc Ed and deportment.

    Brave New World.

  • livegreen

    To be clear, there are 2 african american students right there in the photo.

  • OaklandEdSupporter

    To be clear, Livegreen, there appears to be approx 28 students in a class in these photos. With 2 African-American students, that is less than 10% of the class.

    Oakland is approx. 30% African-American.

  • SkylineHighSchoolSenior

    Should we start forcibly placing African-American students in to AP/HP and other rigorous courses then, for the sake of reflecting the diversity of Oakland?

    I must say that individual OUSD schools need to do a better job at inspiring/ motivating middle schoolers/ freshmen/sophomores in to their first AP class (which often leads to taking more of those courses later on).

    There’s only two African Americans and two Hispanics in my AP Calculus AB class in a class of 20 or so but hey, it is what it is.

  • Cranky Teacher

    The 40% drop out rate. The racial and economic segregation. The unfair division of resources. The problems of tracking, and the problems of not tracking.

    None of this is in the SLIGHTEST bit new.

    It depresses me how this has been going on since I was in high school three decades ago and the numbers are the same, the “shock” is the same, the denial is the same.

    I went to a big urban East Bay high school in the ’80s. Nearly half our 9th graders didn’t graduate on schedule. All the true college prep classes were dominated by whites and Asians, all the remedial classes were almost entirely black and Latino.

    The Paideia Program is just creating a segregated surburban experience within OUSD, just like Academic Choice does at Berkeley High and Lowell does in San Francisco. It is what it is.

    The issues are complex, but it is sad how even well-informed, educated people are continually shocked by something that is old, old, old, old news.

    I get that Katy needs to report this stuff and it is good it gets folks’ attention, but man, we are really not moving very far very fast, are we?

  • Oakland Teacher

    I assume the comment #1 was referring to race, not the physical classroom. Tech has become whiter each year as the Paidea Program has expanded and Tech has catered to the middle class. To paraphrase what a parent once wrote on this board about a different topic: “We go there because we go there.” This applies to Tech; it is the “in” school for middle class kids. There are definitely some African American kids in the Paidea Program, but they are an embarrassing minority compared to their population in the “other” part of Tech and the rest of OUSD.

  • OaklandTechParent

    I don’t believe this video was intended to address equity in Oakland. It’s about Oakland Tech, the Paideia program, and the students and teachers in that program. And about the fact that this program and this school are attracting more students in a climate and district where most public high schools are experiencing declining enrollment.

    TheTruthHurts, I’m assuming you’re commenting on the racial makeup of the students in the program as shown in this video?

    If so, are you suggesting that this video should not have been made because the racial makeup of the students in the program are not representative of Oakland’s? That seems silly.

    Or that the school should place students in the program specifically to ensure that it has student racial ratios closer to Oakland’s? That doesn’t work.

    Or that the school is not making an effort to make sure that the program is more racially balanced? I think it is.

    These programs, and all resources at Tech, are equally available to all students at the school. Of course, everyone associated with the school and this program would prefer that the ethic distribution of students in the program was closer to that of the city and of the school. All students at the school are challenged academically, if they take on that responsibility.

    Fortunately, though, the school will not force students into classes, programs, or environments that aren’t good fits for them academically. Every classroom in Oakland does not look like Oakland, and that is no reflection at all on the job that teachers, schools, or the district are doing.

  • Nextset

    Do the readers believe talent & skill distribution is the same for every ethnic? Of course there are only a few black students in this class – why would there be more?

    You don’t see whites winning in certain Olympic matches (track?), you see German Jews exclusively in certain Nobel Prize fields. It could be anything from “that’s what they like to do” to the Bell Curve thing.

    Equality is a collectivist fantasy. People are different and the differences run by ethnicity – or at least they really seem to in the century of data we have to work with. Next century may bring change – but you are never going to change the present population of Oakland Unified because some politician or activist thinks Negroes should take Calculus (and would impose new requirements for such).

    If we can get past that we could do something about the decision 50% or so of the potential OUSD Black Students make to not finish any OUSD program and leave public education.

    Simply put we need OUSD to offer a black school program that doesn’t even pretend it is college prep, quite the opposite. A program that exists to make the student a better survivor in the Brave New World without a CA High School Diploma.

    That’s right, a no-diploma program that still crams in enough literacy, deportment and life skills to allow the student to be better at whatever they are headed for, be it unskilled labor or anything else.

    A program that does not intimidate students out of education entirely. No long semesters or quarters, self paced work, able to accomodate drop in and out attendance for those who have such interruptions as babies, jail and rehab. You know, like a really great Continuation School program. It would be so great the students might even find themselves passing the HS Exit exam.

    But the first thing OUSD needs to do is get rid of every graduation requirement that is an unreasonable impediment for the “no college ever” crowd. While keeping or increasing the deportment and life skills requirements. Literacy is required but only that literacy needed for the Exit Exam and to survive in unskilled and semi skilled labor. These people will be in uniforms all their lives so we must require uniform dress at all times in their schools. It can be as simple as blue jeans and a pull over, just so it’s uniform dress and hair. You get the picture.

    Think it’ll ever happen at OUSD? The policy makers will rather see the black students increase the drop rate before they’d do this. Because their interests and loyalties are to their politics and not to the students. You will see new increased graduation requirements first. Which have been imposed in the last 10 years, I believe.

    Katy: Can you get us an article on Piedmont’s Continuation Schools? What is it that makes a child in that district transfer in, voluntary or involuntary? What are the features of that school? How does it compare with OUSD Continuation schools?

    this is a different problem than the Charters. the Charters (I suspect) and siphoning off some of the better students districtwide, leaving OUSD with the dregs. Los Angeles has the same issue with a 6% white and falling student body. If the schools want to fight the dropout rate (bad students) they need a great and robust Continuation School program that leads to something. Does OUSD have anything?

  • teacher

    What worries me is that it takes a teacher working until 11 p.m. every night and weekends to pull off this kind of public education. Can society really expect teachers, no matter how little or much they are paid, to grade 12x5x150 essays every year on their own time? (I assume she has 150 students if English classes are 30 students and she teaches five classes a day.)

    Of course, this cannot be replicated. Most teachers need at least two hours of freedom a day to stay sane. Even at just one minute per page per essay, the grading for Ms. Wolfe would take 150 hours, nearly four full working weeks, of unpaid overtime per year.

  • Nextset

    Cranky: Education needs to be a segregated experience because the students we deal with here in CA are not homogeneous. They are different. That’s not a problem, it is what it is.

    I listened to the video above. Your typical OUSD Black Students (as well as other definable groups around the country that may not be represented in this city)would not tolerate such a class. Why should they? Why should we make them?

    You have to end your fear of freedom and personal choice. And that means ending your fear of segregation. Segregation is not a sin when it’s freely done. People are different and have different tastes and talents.

  • On the Fence

    Hills Mama asked if Tech would be able to accommodate the growing interest in the program. I’ve asked the same question and have not been able to get an official answer, but I can tell you what I understood from attending the past two open houses.

    Last year, I recall that the Paideia teachers essentially stated that kids could largely choose to participate or not based on their willingness to engage in the program requirements and take on the heavy workload. They were open and direct about the fact that not all students would choose this high level of work. Many start in the program, but later choose to leave the program.

    This year the message that I took away from the teachers was that they could not and would not be able to accept all willing students. They were clear that the program was impacted/over subscribed this year, and that class size limits and their own personal work load capacity would limit the number of participants. In short, not everyone can get in.

    This is only a recap of what I heard or understood so I’d be interested in learning the official answer about what is planned for this year, too. I’d be sorry if kids who really want to do the work are turned away, but I’d also hate to think that the only ‘good’ classes at Tech exist in these few programs. No doubt that Paideia is a great program, but I’d like to see people get excited about all of Tech and not just engineering and Paideia.

  • Catherine

    Pro-track and others concerned with tracking. As the sister who was in the high track with a sister in the low track I understand the concerns about tracking. We have a history of nearly all lower income and nearly all students of color in the low tracks – speech impediment – low track, small vocabulary low track. You get the idea.

    What if it weren’t just two tracks as we have done in the past. What if the ability groups you had in say, math were not necessarily the tracks you have in English or philosophy?

    We have GATE (gifted) students in underperforming schools who do not behave like gifted students because there are in classes all day with students who are not reading and/or performing at math within two grade levels of the grade they are in.

    We switch elementary school classes for students that are English language learners and group similar speaking abilities together. We could do the same with English and Math. We choose not to do so.

    We also ability group English language learners for English instruction and could do the same for math and English, but we want to take the easy way out and look at their elementary school scores or abilities. We are wrong in doing so because our elementary schools have not given an opportunity to develop the Habits of Mind necessary for rigorous instruction.

    If students have difficulty with assignments in elementary school, we assume we need to “scaffold” the assignment more – create sentence frames, build in the background – rarely do we require students to persist for long periods of time until they come to understand the material – we scaffold and scaffold and scaffold and move on. We do not require precision of thought and language in Oakland. If the students get close enough we move on. Accuracy – 70% is meeting benchmark – in some cases 65% is good enough. I remember when 65% was a D and required the course to be repeated or summer school classes to be taken to bring the skill level up.

    Please look up Habits of Mind. You will find that the Habits of Mind are missing in most Oakland classrooms. The Habits of Mind are in the Oakland Tech classrooms featured. They are in the classrooms and the school districts that may have high incomes – but they are in high functioning poor classrooms as well. We need to find a way to make Habits of Mind the requirement of every student, every day in every classroom in Oakland and stop scaffolding the snot out of everything we do.

  • livegreen

    The challenge Oakland has is how to balance “equitable” education, increased resources for students who are behind, while continuing to attract & educate Proficient & Advanced students. Can we do both? Because losing either population hurts everyone.

    Also, I want to be clear: the inequality in schools is not created by the schools. Instead it is reflective and a product of inequality created by society and history.

    Equitable education can help make up for some of that, but it cannot be it’s exclusive focus or OUSD will become a non-school social program. We need something more than the schools can provide to help engage higher needs families in supporting their children’s education. Working with the schools, because schools cannot make up for societies inequities.

    I really wish this would be an area Kaiser & EBCF would focus on, beyond school gardens. I often wonder if these organizations spend money based on what schools & teachers actually need, or based on what’s filtered through various Board rooms, service providers, and the combination that makes up their exclusive conversations.

  • Nextset

    Livegreen, Inequality is not CREATED by “society and history”.

    People ARE inequal. People are different. Some are smarter, Some are faster, Some hear better, Some see better, Some are more agile, Some live longer, Some are crazy. Some are lucky. Some are happy, Some are depressed. Inherited traits, it seems.

    There is no point using societal capital on foolish efforts to force people to be “equal”. Trying to do so makes things worse and worsens the “inequality”.

    We want a free society, not a totalitarian state.

    And much of this nonsense is peddled by women who believe in control not freedom. One of the big problems we have with public education is the over representation of women, especially in the socialization of boys and men.

    Perhaps the decline of Black Men since the “civil rights” movement has something to do with the femminization of public education. You can’t nanny a male into being a man.

    And Livegreen, if your idea of “equitable” education means throwing more money on bad students, We want no part of it. It’s wrong to force students to do work with no reasonable expectation of success. They should be doing (school) work they have aptitude for.

    This is why student “loans” should be cut off to schools that produce unemployable students, and students that turn in bad grades. The HSBCs should not be getting permanent waivers in the FISL program to keep them in existence when their graduates don’t repay the loans.

  • Nextset

    I’d replace this “humanities” program with a military history program.

    I think the black students would find it a lot more useful and interesting. I think this class is just pandering to liberal white interests.

  • Harold

    @nextset – did you read the story? Stanford used to throw the applications in the trash … now MIT is recruiting students from the OUSD! That sounds like a program that is working! Pre-requisites are NOT racist. Parents who are invested in their child’s education, will make sure they are ready to handle rigorous, academic programs – like the one’s Oakland Tech. If not, there are less rigorous programs that that can get students prepared for vocation, or maybe, after working really hard …. transfer into harder classes and attending college.

  • livegreen

    People are different, but the fault lines that mirror the race lines IS due to economics and history. Are you saying people born into poverty, etc. are not as smart as those born into middle income families? I totally reject that. A different set of circumstances and environment is going to affect outcome. Certainly not for all people but for some, if not most.

    Regardless of whether you agree with me or not, “equitable” education is NOT my idea, and I said nothing about “throwing more money on bad students”. It is so typical on blogs and forums that the most disruptive nay saying trolls use misquotes and unintended inference to distort the opinions of others and lead us away from achieving any progress.

    The fact is that OUSD has at least three different populations of students and families. Those who are farther behind, those who are farther ahead, and those who are in between (often following economic lines, but not exclusively). What I’m advocating for is a system that builds support for the highest need families without taking resources away from Proficient & Advanced students and their families. (Especially students & families who are in between both academically and financially, because they need some resources, they are the largest population, but often don’t get a seat at the table).

    If we do mostly social equity for poorer performing students, we lose the proficient and advanced students. If we do mostly programs that benefit the proficient and advanced students, the less advanced kids put bigger stresses on the classroom (while they’re still there in K-8), and we lose the lower performing students.

    +, purely practically speaking, if you put forwards an educational plan that has 0 equity, it is simply not going to pass in Oakland. You can argue the merits all you want but then you’re just arguing, you’re not actually looking for solutions.

    The only logical conclusion is we need to do address BOTH. Not perfectly, but in the best ways that we can. United we Stand, Together we Fall.

  • Cranky Teacher

    I do think it is interesting that the first comment was about the racial make-up and the second was defensive about how great the particular room looked.

    Should we be surprised to see that the class the middle-class white kids are in is clean and looks brand new? Just a coincidence? Let me guess there is a roomful of new Macs somewhere nearby… (And cue Nextset to tell me minority kids would just break them)

    I think it is hilarious when people say things like “everybody has equal access to this program.” That is so far from the lived reality of our society it just goes to show how dumb educated people can be.

    Here’s what poor parents in Oakland need:

    1. Secure jobs that pay a living wage.
    2. Free or nearly-free high-quality preschool childcare.
    3. Elementary schools that have low staff turnover, excellent facilities and highly trained, supported and motivated teachers, administrators and paraprofessionals.
    4. A massive increase in the support of paraprofessionals, centered on the school site — school counselors, psychologists, health centers, adult ed, translators.
    5. Self-organized community movements to support those in the community taking advantage of the above.

    Until society is serious about providing these things where the “free market” does not — and IT NEVER HAS in this country, even during the so-called (and aborted) War on Poverty — we will keep talking about putting band-aids on a gaping wound.

  • Nextset

    Cranky: “Society” doesn’t have to “provide” these things. It’s up to the individuals to provide for themselves.

    However: The government is actively destroying jobs. It has been since the first Minimum Wage legislation. Pile onto that occupational licensing wildly out of proportion to reason and job killing taxation.

    The last thing society should be doing is providing any translators. And your “self=organized community movement” is your buzz word for the Collectivist, Communist BS which I grew up with in the East Bay from the Psychotic Criminal Black Panthers to the Looney Tunes Synnanon Gang, the SLA and everyone of the nutty left wing Socialist, Big Chief, Sex crazed, drug using Communes. I (family & friends) was touched by all of these gangs.

    They all end the same way. Rattlesnakes in the reporter’s mailboxes. Bookkeepers floating dead in the Bay. Drinking Kool-Aid.

    Capitalism is what works. Learn it. If some races are a little slow, well, starvation is a great teacher. You want to require the government to give food out free so people never have to learn. Hope you have a big farm, you don’t get mine. Or my votes.

    If my appraisal of what is about to happen with the CA economy and government is accurate, we are about to see historic welfare & service cuts. I doubt the schools will look the same in 5 years.

    Brave New World.

  • Nextset

    LiveGreen: I am trying to follow your writing. You must understand, I don’t really believe we are changing or fixing anything by our debate here. We are exercising. The fate of OUSD, Oakland and the Oakland Public Students is really already written.

    People do what they want in this society. Winners win and Losers lose – at least in large numbers. Individual cases are subject to variances.

    OUSD is not going to change it’s policy. They are getting what they want. They are doing it their way, The board, the families who attend their schools, and the voters who re-elect the board. It’s not like anyone is chained to a building around here. OUSD wants the black drop rate to exceed 50%.

    I think things could be different for the black students. Their fate was born largely from the civil rights legislation of the Johnson Administration and the court cases and economic policy that followed. A few generations later they can’t hail a cab or get a round table pizza delivered – or do much else in the Brave New World (as in career, etc). Since they are not assimilated, larger society will have nothing to do with them (except at TSA).

    But hey, they went to a school where they didn’t have corporal punishment or have to do anything they didn’t want to. Tradeoffs…

    This thread is on “different worlds” The Brave New World is all about different societies. Kind of like Old England except without the house servants. People sharing the same borders with different language, mores, mating habits, and different laws.

    And we got all this going with the breakdown in the US Public Education System, a breakdown accomplished to pacify minorities, not assimilate them. We could have assimilated them. That would have required a struggle. We didn’t want any struggles. We still don’t.

  • Nextset

    Harold: you are correct. But you assume OUSD is here to get white/jewish/asian kids into Stanford. How many kids a year is that, and what is the population of students a class year including the dropouts?

    I see OUSD as an urban school that is primarily here for the proletariat. The relatively few white kids who want to go to Standford can go to Charters or an isolated OUSD school in the hills. OUSD should primarily serve the proles, get them to age 18 with some hope of being able to take care of themselves and a family. We need less college prep and more Continuation & Vocational Ed.

  • J.R.

    “Until society is serious about providing these things where the “free market” does not — and IT NEVER HAS in this country, even during the so-called (and aborted) War on Poverty”.

    This is your biggest problem Cranky, your mindset. Society does not owe anyone anything.Society provides certain things through taxation of productive citizens(roads,infrastructure,schools,law enforcement etc)”the pursuit of happiness”, is really an opportunity not a guarantee. The social programs have exacerbated the very problems you rant about. We have created a system(social services) the takes care of people and this in turn allows them to continue being irresponsible(this is a never ending loop of insanity). Business provides real jobs when there is a reasonable chance for profit, and yet they wont put down roots and money where the odds are against them. Businesses need a reasonably well educated work force, and a business friendly climate in order to have a chance to thrive and in turn strengthen the tax base of the community. They are not your enemy Cranky, you need them more than you are needed. The well of tax money is just diminishing and very soon public sector payees will be looking for private sector work. Hang on Cranky, it’s going to get bumpier from here on out.

  • livegreen

    Geez. I’m squeezed in between the Communists & the Libertarians. Welcome to Oakland. No wonder why nothing ever gets done.

    The fact is elements of what both Cranky, Nextset & JR have said are true. The best chance we have to do what Cranky is saying is if Tony Smith can raise a sh__ load of money to implement his Strategic Plan and Community Schools. If he can’t we’ll be back where we started.

    If he is able to raise all the money, I only ask that he not ignore building the schools in between. The ones that aren’t poor enough to get social services, but not rich enough to support high FRL #’s, T/A’s and supplemental programs. That’s where the battles for the success of OUSD will be won or lost, because that’s where a model for sustainability can be achieved.

    If he isn’t able to raise the money he needs, we need a scaled down blend that pays attention to ALL students. Not the low achievers vs. the proficient and advanced. Instead, both.

  • The real issue

    Comment 13 is spot on, but no one wants to talk about it. Instead they want to say that teacher’s are lazy and that they don’t really care about kids all they care about is a paycheck. This job is impossible without spending overtime. I know many teachers would rather teach one less class than get a pay raise this year. An extra 5 hours a week means a lot in terms of creating quality “differentiated” instruction.

  • seenitbefore

    ^ Thank you for the voice of reality, “The Real Issue”! I agree wholeheartedly!

  • TheTruthHurts

    There are all kinds of reasons for the demographic makeup of that class. My point is that these “reasons” are unacceptable. As to Nextset and his bell curve, he needs to read more. I’ve read that drivel and the sociobiology crap that comes with it. It does not explain why affluence is a larger indicator of success than race.

    We have much work to do.

  • Cranky Teacher

    J.R. and Nextset, you are obsessed about what is “owed” people, and position yourself as the pragmatists and liberals as “bleeding hearts” who “hate businesses.”

    I believe I am the pragmatist. I want to help poor people have excellent free childcare because it is not only the moral thing to do, but also because it is the PRACTICAL thing to do if I want to live in a low-crime, low-tension society.

    Everything I own of value was robbed last year by a group of Oakland teenagers. My children’s public school is tormented by children who are angry, uneducated, abused and abusive.

    Hurt people hurt people.

    As for jobs, I didn’t say the government should provide them. I am not an economist. I just know that if we are to create the kind of community I’d like to live in, folks have to have jobs that provide both esteem and financial stability.

    Sadly, it seems we are headed to a world where, having moved our “union aristocracy” jobs in manufacturing offshore and replacing them with a bloated, consumerism based service sector, we aren’t really serious about providing anything more than low-paid clerk jobs at Walgreens’ for those who are, in the true, original sense of the word, ghettoized.

  • Nextset

    Cranky: You evidently are hard wired for collectivism – socialism if you will. Wonder why?

    As I’ve said before, this isn’t Israel. We don’t do that village and children thing.

    The treasury – the taxpayers – have no duty and no business raising children not taken from parents and living in state orphanages/jails.

    The little bastards (sure they were…) who attacked you and your children’s public school did so because they are bad children of bad people who are not controlled or disciplined – mainly because our weak and decadent CA society has relaxed law and order (and moral and economic) controls that worked so well previously. Believe me, that’s easy to fix.

    You may think the answer to this kind of criminality is to increase welfare payments and transfers – you are wrong. You think wrongly. That has never been the correct answer across human history. Appeasement of evil only gets you more of the same. People acting badly need to starve, sicken & die and that goes for any children they are allowed to retain. As harsh as that sounds it is our fundamental protection from the roving bands of human animals we engender with the indiscriminate feedings. Unless you like police states.

    As far as managing the economy, We do need to make fundamental change – not in your direction. I rather think other changes are more prudent. I do believe we can and should increase job creation. Does that mean I’m for tariffs? Maybe and maybe not. You can be sure that Obambi and his party and not what I have in mind. I’m not for giving the republicans a blank check because they are also statists in favor or large centralized government. Clearly I would free a lot of people from their freedom to do as they please and not pay the true price of their behavior.

    To sum it up, it’s never “practical” to pay off parasites. You get more parasites that way.

  • Cranky Teacher

    You say “pay off,” I say protect and educate.

    We don’t speak the same language.

    Nowhere, fyi, did I call for welfare.

    I don’t want to live in a gated community, nor a police state. These are not the only options. You seem to believe they are.

    I have been lived in many other countries, and believe me, the choice is not a dichotomy between socialism and laissez-faire. There are sophistical solutions to complex problems, if you have the will as a society to tackle them.

  • Nextset

    “Protect and Educate” sounds a like Stalin’s line to me. It didn’t work out well. I refer to think that the people can run their own lives, and live with the consequences. Government needs to stop “protecting” people from harsh consequences of their behaviors. You get better behavior when you allow the consequences.

    If people want protection and education they can join a church/cult/union/frat – or something similar. The state governments can have the public schooling they want to offer it (not required in federal constitution). They can’t require participation (you can opt out for private education). There is no constitutional authority at all for the federal government to run education (and congress cannot properly invent new power for themselves).

    I’m not advocating complete laissez-faire. I do believe the states have power they aren’t using yet. I just don’t believe the states are in position to impose totalitarianism, or cradle to grave provisions for people.

  • Cranky Teacher

    Red-baiting me as a Stalinist because I believe in free public education???

    This is why I never respond to you any more, Nextset — but I forgot my own rule.

    We are talking about children.

  • Nextset

    I believe in Public Education also – not forced, of course. CA had a good public education system once and destroyed it with help from Congress and the Courts. It’s probably not coming back anytime soon.
    “We are talking about children”?? What does that mean? Your children? Other people’s children??

    Good children don’t want to sit in a classroom with bad children. Are you ready to make them?

    The Charter Schools are now the future of CA Education, for better or worse. And as far as the public school employees – they are done for.

  • Hot r

    Of course when you do work more hours and you do assign more essays and you do get better results you isolate yourself from the herd and that causes resentment. It’s not the union, it’s human nature. that is why excellence is so hard to sustain.

  • Karen

    I would be interested to see the ethnic and economic breakdown of the 28% in Padaeia and the 28% who drop out. The photos make the Padaeia program appear very multi-ethinic in composition, and I’ve heard the exact opposite to be true. It appears there are two parallel schools operating in the buildings called “Oakland Tech”–is there data to refute that impression?

  • On the Fence

    I’d love to see an ethnic and economic breakdown of Paideia, too. It’d also be interesting to see the ethnic and economic breakdown of those who have specifically dropped out of the Paideia program, though not necessarily out of school completely.

    I suspect, given recent news articles, that we already know that the 28% that drop completely out of Tech will consist largely of AA males, but it would be interesting to see the stats.

    I’ve also heard a lot about the two parallel schools, but mostly from the ‘Paideia or bust’ crowd. I have also heard that a good education can be gotten from the non-Paideia track. I’d like to hear from the families who did not choose Paideia or Engineering about their experience at Tech. Further, I’d like to see how many general Tech (non-Paideia) students go on to college and where.