Part of the Bay Area News Group

Measuring up

By knoceda
Thursday, September 4th, 2008 at 6:02 pm in Alameda County, Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Fairview, General, Hayward, Other unincorporated areas, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Schools.


The California Department of Education today released Accountability Progress Reporting results, and it was no laughing matter for area educators.

It’s basically a report card for schools and districts to see if they are making the grade when it comes to state and federal standards.

For the most part, area schools continued to improve when put to the state standard, but still struggle to meet federal expectations, which are rising each year.

While tomorrow’s headline will point out that fact, it does overshadow some of the hard work being done by teachers and students.

And while the education world has its own way of measuring school success, I’d like to know how you as a parent, student, teacher or resident measure a school’s success?

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

  • ponee007

    It is sad that so many schools are low (yes except for CV, we know … could it be the higher socio-economic status of most people living there?) – my child did well but the school actually went down.

  • qodrn

    One problem is our communities don’t value our schools. My son’s school Leadership high and Mt. Eden and the surrounding area were hit with major grafettii damage the second day of school. in addition, some rocks were thrown at students. I was disappointed to not find this in the paper, plus what is being done to prevent these persons from striking again. Times are hard enough without paying for extra damage.

  • J. W. Kyle

    This contribution is associated with items 7, 9, and 11 above!



    First is the arguably un-necessary,need expressed by HUSD Administration to install an ezpensive and arguably unnecessary installation of High Tech Cameras on all K-12 School sites. That idea might well serve a need when gun crazies take over a High school. Gun crazies attack schools in a suicidal manner as a means of ‘getting even’ with students or teachers whom they perceive as ‘enemies’ or some such crazy idea.

    At the level K-6 I firmly believe the idea as being totally impractical. Vandals (i.e. graffitti artists etc.) are cowardly, unruly types seeking a thrill but smart enough to attack at night and dress against the possibility of visual identification. Frankly, HUSD Administrators seem to think that throwing money at a problem will solve the issue in perpetuity.

    A Site resident at all k-6 schools in the HUSD jurisdiction is needed. Control over the site resident program should be guided by the establishment of a


    I recite the need for a site resident, who would live upon the school grounds in their own maufactired housing unit, at a position upon the site chosen for it’s visibility as well as safety of the resident.

    The simple fact is that this arrangement exists, to my personal knowledge at other school districts. The astonishiong thing is that the Manufatured housing types are situated upon school grounds. The land is leased for the described purpose at a nominal arrangement for the cost of utilities if such are not separately metered. The Homes themselves are commonly bought and sold subject only to a background check of the intended resident. Approval of that intended resident is brought befor site commission before presented ti HUSD Trustees for ‘imprimater’. (Imprimater is a word used to send a message to some HUSD Trustee Cabdidates who will need to open and study hard if they are elected>)

    Where do site residents come from and what is their motivation? wELL, MOBILE HOME PARKS ARE ONE SOURCE!
    IT IS TOO EXPENSIVE TO DRAG a home out of a Mobile Home Park!

    Applicants will be found, as one example, in Mobile Home parks. In many cases,some MHP residents are simnply tired of listening to rent control arguments and/or the health complaints of those folks ‘hanging out’ in the recreation facility.

    Many are seekin opportunity to find a use for their propensity to be of useful service after retirement!
    It makes economic sense for them to sell existing residence in place; using sale proceeds to make partial payment for a manufactured home and with “free rent” on the school grounds, they use funds previously used to pay rent in the MHP facility.

    Let them pay their utilities, but offer then free rent in exchange for about 17 hours per week watching over ‘their school’

    School parents and residents within the school service area would assist in establishing duties as well as selection of the tenant.

    Other applicants ? Try a job posting at each school site. I would avoid permitting teachers to apply…. they need to ‘get away’ but do they have reliable parents? You may let your own thoughts govern this if you are a member of the local school site “club’ who will co-ordiante with the commission of about 7 members of ‘the Commission’. Commission member would be elected from the membership of the local formal committee which would ne composed of no more than four parents at the school out of that suggested 7 member group. ( Remember, old geezers in your neighborhood would love to partricipate too !)

    Do wre have an example of sucess and failure which would provide motivation for this commission?

    You bet ! It occurs right here in Hayward in a single instance of success followed by FAILURE OF HUSD ADMINISTRATION TO APPRECISTE THE SITUATION. HUSD will only acknowledge that vandalism costs us only about $100,000 per year.

    After all is said and done, the example of success at Longwood School was poorly understood by so called executives who in their short HUSD tenure in positions of great responsibility, failed to ask questions and were guided only by the fact that the program was unapprecited, so in effect, they camcelled a success story, refurbished the residence donated by the City of Hayward, rented it out to a so called security person of HUSD who, coincidentally has two jobs as a security person with the result that he actually stated to me that he failed to observe the return of vandalism at Longwood School.

    The City of Hayward donated a structure for which they had no further use when the New Fire Department Building at Main and C Street was cojmpleted. Under the law of this state, unused assets can not be disposed of if it finds a use by another agency.

    Aware of a recommendation found in the Longwood-Winton Grove Neighborhood Task force established by the City in early half of the 1990′s, I was personally asked, having been elected to Chairmanship of the task force, by City Manager Armas if this structure would find use at Longwood!

    So, it eventuated as a result of my position (before formsl retirement in 1991,) that I had observed several school districts using the concept. As the managing Appraiser for Security Pacific Bank (since absorbed by BANK OF AMERICA,) in the management District of Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito County Area. it came to my attention that the concept was successful in more than one school district.

    I imported the idea into HUSD’s school at Longwood Ave.
    The school was suffering $50 K in vandalism costs prior to the arrival 0f the site resident in 1998 or there about. The woman chosen to take up resident was an HUSD Security person, a female with one hell of a lot of street smarts. The vandalism was reduced to the need for art gum erasers applied to pencil markings of K-2 class students.

    Well, after the arrival of you know who, it was determined that site resident ‘wasn’t doing anything’
    so she was asked to pay $800 dollars per month for continued use of the facility which she had taken in an in ‘as is condition’ when fire department stripped the wiring elevctrical communications equipment off the walls etc.

    When she left, HUSD did major remodeling and interior renovation it should have done in the first place……. but now, the new resident who signed a rental agreement without discussion of onsite duties, is charged just $750 ‘because the school district needs the money’! (To meet needs of which Payroll section…. top or bottom ?

    My recent abandoned effort to effect a change in attitude was met with : “Longwood is not a big problem since we have more serious vandalism at other HUSD Schools”. That from a guy with just three years at HUSD who is totally unaware of the earlier experience. This poor fellow sent me an e-mail that he was unable to do some follow up with me because…. he took five (5) days vacation in July,, he was consequently busy because his 5 day absence saw introduction of 1,300 e-mail items on his computer.

    An additional need for site control was found in my written complaint to the Police Chief about the long, large Yellow HUSD bus continually found parked in a red zone thus to obscure the cross walk no longer guarded by a responsible adult, since neithet City or HUSd had the money in their budget.

    As consequence of havin written that letter I was invited to meet with The HUSD M & O guy who saw the difficulty immediatrtely upon our meeting since the bus was again in parked in the red zone!

    Not to worry…. he would take care of the matter by following the suggested relocatiomn which needed yellow paint to resolve the bus parking problem.

    The conversatiom about the bus occurred in early May and as of Sunday September 7th….. the yellow paint has not been applied. I guess it takes the death of a child to get HUSD attention.

    The School was repainted in July and has since been the target of 5 or 6 graffitti attacks. The windows at the front elevation of the school are plastic of carios shades, heavily vandalized to the extent that passersm by have the feeling of observing an abandoned West Oakland industrial building.

    Not to worry, with the second highest enrollment in the school district, this school, montage of original buildings, subsequent add on and addition of uncounted numbers of portables, will be “modernized” IF ( A big IF) the fourth vote for the Masterful Masterpain funding is successful in year 2020.

    What the hell, do Latinos deserve anything better?

    So agian I suggest the creation of Commissions in fashion exemplified by the City of Hayward. At least then the Citizens who volunteer for a seat on these commissions, might have a positive affect upon eventual HUSD Success.

    Tell me if I should continue by writing about still another thought on the need for multiple commissions charged with single tasks.

    I have a comment or two to Make about the differences between HUSD and the CASTRO VALLEY SCHOOLS….. PERHAPS I’LL TAKE IT UP IM ANOTHER SCRIBBLE.

  • ponee007

    JW Kyle – you might want to cut your posts down a bit b/c I bet most aren’t reading them – too long. Perhaps you can post in your own BLOG? And just stick to the topic at hand … I know you won’t listen but it’s just a suggestion.

    As for having a SITE resident at schools – did HUSD laugh you out of the room? I mean, they don’t smile much this board.

  • J. W. Kyle


    You are probably correct ! The attention span of the typical blog reader is pretty limited if living in HUSD service area.

  • monica ruiz

    Ponee007 YOU are correct. Some bloggers are extremely long winded.

  • J. W. Kyle

    ….and more than a few provide input which says nothing at all,,,,

  • Hayward339

    To J.W. Kyle’s suggestion re: site residents, I believe a compromise position may work better. Just as some federal agencies employ retirees through AARP part-time, the same program can be used to have senior site mentors on each campus for a small (but critical amount for fixed income seniors) salary. These AARP programs are designed to match those retired persons with skill sets related to the area of interest with the employer. In this case, the district could hire former school counselors, special need teachers, language specialists, artists, etc. They could offer small group stories during breaks on certain days bringing their institutional knowledge and wealth of history back to the schools. At other times, they could “patrol” the campus being a fairly benign but visible presence. Don’t forget that you can sign up to become a member of AARP at the age of 50 so those successful executives who retire early and look to return something back to the community might find this a very valuable opportunity to contribute back to their community while influencing the next generation of youths.

  • J. W. Kyle


    I first came across the ‘site resident’ concept when as a supervising real estate appraiser, I permitted the creatiohn of intern positions for the specific purpose of appraising homes positioned in Mobile Home Parks. In the jargon of the appraisal world, Mobile Home Appraisals are ‘cookie cutters’.

    One day, a particularly bright student came to me and posed this question…… How do you appraise a Mobile Home situated upon leased ground at a public school?

    I discovered that the concept was fairly widespread and was used from Gilroy into Alameda County at Livermore and a HARD site in Castro Valley. I did a broad investigation and found that one school district used it’s ROP to construct dwellings and that another was poorly managed and some of it’s sites were cluttered with junk autos and very unsightly broken down trailer homes.

    In Livermore a school employee assigned to supervise M & O at Granada HS spent over $85,000 (1994) to move on a ‘triple wide’ mobile home. Then he modified the structure’s roof to more closely match the school. He did so because as he put it…. “what the hell, I was here all day supervising not only maintenance and janitorial types but had to follow up on preparation and security for league games in evenings as well as afternoon. Saved myself a lot of running back and forth between home and job!”

    As in the case at other schools, he was confident he would be able to sell the home, in place, when he retired. It was his second such experience. Incidentally, my Bank made a loan on the item brought forward by the intern.

    I have no ax to grind on the subject operation as you describe it ought to be but insist that if HUSD gets smart and accepts the idea on a broad basis, the
    $100 annual cost estimation ‘approximation’ by Schimmel would be a thing of the past or at least reduce the item by 90%

    What is needed is the presence of an onsite resident who would be expected to provide a work week, split up to allocate/dedicate 17 hours per week. The need is to see two hours per day, Monday to Friday, opening and locking gates, no big deal in the AM but in evening janitors are prone to leaving windowa open as well as failing to turn off lights.

    A site resident who spends approximately 3 hours of a Saturday, again opening gates for legitimate recreational activity, would also hand out basketballs or soccer provided by small money raising activity through parents interested in such effort. It also affords opportunity for site resident to become acquainted with good kids as well as the characters. The importnat thing in that thought is that vandals are cowards and avoid activity where they are known.

    It worked real well at LONGWwood except that at Longwood no sports equipment was made available.

    On Sundays, about three hours is required, especially in those instances where HUSD has authorized league play to Soccer Teams on Sunday. Here, the site resident would assure, by filing a written report to
    M & O abouit any failure of Soccer leagues to maintain clean premises and that spectators do not bring alchol onto the premises.

    I think I dealt adequately on the other details but to answer more directly, if AARP or any other group can direct personnel to participation that is fine. If a small stipend can be provided outside the HUSD budget that would ease hesitency amongst our esteemed administrators.

    However, given the fairly high rental costs of MHP’s I think that release from that monthly rental obligation
    would be sufficientinducement to attract a suitable resident.. If real talent can improve upon the concept described which would use up to 17 hours a week, and that talent has sometging else to offer, then a source of funding from outside the disytrict would be welcom.

    I caution against asking HUSD to ‘chip in’ for anything other than the land upon which the home is situated. They, the administration, is just not able to recognize the need. They destroyed what had been establishe before their arrival three to four years ago and have only thoughts for the $750 a month income derived on the cottage which was donated in the first place.

    The Longwood school repaint work completed in July has been under attack by spray can artists…. so far, the understaffed HPD has made one arrest but are also distracted by the assualts of vandals recently reported in Daily Revieww….. when HPD shows up late to investigate a burglary, do not expresss dismay if they arive late….. they are busy attending to HUSD’s need regarding vandalism.

    The administration lacks ‘street moxy’!

    Perhaps they need to first learn how to connect the dots?

  • J. W. Kyle

    Hwd 339′s contribution at item # 8 above is quite good but lacks this thought: Vandals are essentially cowards and the presence of a site resident cottage or dwelling where the presence of an interested resident will aid deterrence. it is essential to the concept.

    We cannot ask HPD to take on this burden as apparently is the case at Longwood where an arrest was recently made in combatting the resurgence of vandalism especially the six attacks occuring since completion of the repainting last July. If not aware, City is laying off 8% of it’s staff due to sales tax shortfall!

    Hwd 339 brings into the conversation some added benefits of going through AARP which might lead to intertwining of site resident and retired teachers thus employing those well educated talents.

    I think that if the site resident commission is established one of their early considerations would be to introduce the thoughts of HWD 339 with the idea in mind that the benefit of intertwine-ment would be a big boost to HUSD’s income and expense columns as well as improved scholastic achievment!

    Carry tnat thought into the other commissions which I suggest could number at least 7 or 8 areas of concern!

    While we are at it, consider enlargement of the HUSD Board of trustees so that liason with the various commissions does not become burdensome to regular staff and/or administrators, It leads to a level of comfort for all in the give and the take which ought occur. Not all of these commissions would need to meet twice-monthly or even monthly once up and running and the parents as well as general public are comfortable with the improved process!

  • J. W. Kyle

    Under ” Measuring Up” Haywatrd 339 describes a thought about Retired folks, with AArp assistance, they might have a route to become involved with the site resident commission concept.

    Is it possible that HWD 339 is employed by HUSD and is fearful of ‘lash back’ by HUSD Administrartors? I am reminded that some bloggers, during the strike of 2007 and the period preceding that event, used ‘nom de plume’ for the admitted purpose of avoiding vengeance. To put it another way they feared for their jobs if caught speaking out.

    Too bad that HWD 339 uses nom de plume, he or she writes well and adds a few pretty valid ideas… I sense a loss of leadership to the community,. I would like to meet that individual and pick his or her brain!

    I am listed in the phone book!