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Families flee school's sinking scores 'Underperforming' label exacerbates problem in Concord
sfgate/SF chronicle ^ | Tuesday, February 1, 2005 | Carrie Sturrock, Chronicle Staff Writer

Posted on 02/01/2005 12:17:40 PM PST by KneelBeforeZod

Oak Grove Middle School has low state test scores, and for many parents -- and teachers -- that's all they need to know.

It doesn't matter that the Concord school once was honored as a California Distinguished School and has classes for gifted and talented students, a state-of-the-art technology program and even a psychologist on campus to support the kids.

What matters is that widely publicized state test scores and the federal No Child Left Behind Act have labeled the school underperforming, giving parents a reason to leave. Enrollment has dropped from 915 last year to 750, and the parents of another 180 students have requested transfers by the fall. The act also has figured in the loss of 40 teachers in recent years, Principal Lorie O'Brien said.

SNIP

"I'm not prejudiced, (but) the school became English-as-a-second-language, " she said. "You would be taking my kids from a great environment to a ghetto environment where they're struggling with other needs ... The test scores at Oak Grove are terrible."

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; US: California
KEYWORDS: nochildleftbehind; schools
Hmm I had plenty of immigrants in my schools...Indians, Asians. Heavy accents, only spoke english for a couple years...yet the did great in all their classes and within a couple years of moving here their parents were buying houses. Wonder why some immigrants can't figure it out. (no I dont)
1 posted on 02/01/2005 12:17:43 PM PST by KneelBeforeZod
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To: KneelBeforeZod

Makes me wonder how "outstanding" they really were before accountability standards were imposed.


2 posted on 02/01/2005 12:20:04 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: KneelBeforeZod
"What matters is that widely publicized state test scores and the federal No Child Left Behind Act have labeled the school underperforming"

I love how the writer, who I gamble would NEVER portray any kind of criticism of US actions in Iraq as leading to any actions that would harm our soldiers, seems to be saying that labelling these schools honestly is a bad thing because it stigmatizes them.

3 posted on 02/01/2005 12:21:39 PM PST by Darkwolf377 (Our next Democrat nominee for president: http://drudgereport.com/hrcfl.jpg)
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To: KneelBeforeZod
It doesn't matter that the Concord school once was honored as a California Distinguished School

And I could once wear size 32 Levis. So what.

4 posted on 02/01/2005 12:22:13 PM PST by skip_intro
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To: anniegetyourgun

Should have spent more on good teachers and fired the psychologist.


5 posted on 02/01/2005 12:22:51 PM PST by mammer
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To: KneelBeforeZod

I grew up in Concord/Walnut Creek in the 60s. When I visited the area last year I did not recognise it!


6 posted on 02/01/2005 12:23:01 PM PST by BullDog108 (Know Your Enemy! http://bvml.org/webmaster/enemy.html)
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To: KneelBeforeZod
It doesn't matter that the Concord school once was honored as a California Distinguished School and has classes for gifted and talented students, a state-of-the-art technology program and even a psychologist on campus to support the kids.

The psychologist on campus should have been enough warning!

7 posted on 02/01/2005 12:23:04 PM PST by technomage
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To: KneelBeforeZod
Is it the immigrants who can't figure it out or is it the race pimps who are trying to build up a constituancy?

I don't know whether English immersion or part English/part native language instruction is best for the first couple of years here is the best way. The race pimps "teach them in Spanish until they can get jobs as maids and gardeners" is far worse than the other two.

8 posted on 02/01/2005 12:23:23 PM PST by KarlInOhio (Blackwell for Governor 2006: hated by the 'Rats, feared by the RINOs.)
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To: anniegetyourgun

We have the same problem in Memphis. A lot of the problem lies with the leadership in this city.


9 posted on 02/01/2005 12:23:50 PM PST by NCC-1701 (ISLAM IS A CULT, PURE AND SIMPLE!!!!! IT MUST BE ERADICATED FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH.)
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To: mammer

LOL so true !!!


10 posted on 02/01/2005 12:23:54 PM PST by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
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To: KneelBeforeZod
That's what NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND means! We wil leave no child behind in these underperforming school systems. So, THEY ARE LEAVING!...........simple enough, even a Californian can understand it......
11 posted on 02/01/2005 12:24:58 PM PST by Red Badger (FReepers: Ever Vigilant, Ever Diligent........)
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To: skip_intro
And I could once wear size 32 Levis. So what.

I still can..........on one leg......

12 posted on 02/01/2005 12:26:19 PM PST by Red Badger (FReepers: Ever Vigilant, Ever Diligent........)
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To: mammer

Sadly, most districts have school psychologists. Talk to any psychologist and they'll tell you, it's one of those jobs which is looked down upon most by those in that profession. Every profession has these bottom-of-the-barrel jobs that others in the profession hope they never have to take.


13 posted on 02/01/2005 12:28:35 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: skip_intro

I went to a HS that was a California Distinguished School... We were tops within 50 miles in SATs, state tests and admits to top schools.

Then a few years later, one of the sketchiest schools in town got the same designation...thats when I knew it had become one of those "berets for the whole army" type programs.


14 posted on 02/01/2005 12:29:13 PM PST by KneelBeforeZod ( I'm going to open Cobra Kai dojos all over this valley!)
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To: KneelBeforeZod

"Some immigrants can't figure it out" because the PC crowd that runs the public school system holds their kids in ESL classes for years upon years. They spend half of every school day in another classroom, away from the mainstream and their native English-speaking peers. And many of the ESL teachers and staff, beyond speaking Spanglish, are NOT subject matter experts. Thus their core subject learning lags and the test scores fall. ESL is a recipe for failure, imho.

BTW- I adopted two non-English speaking kids, mainstreamed them into PreK within 6 weeks, and they were right up there with their peers within two months. Now after 2 years they are more fluent in English and their vocabulary is richer than most of their peers.

Ever notice that most well-learned folks, like diplomats and military officers abroad, when they want their kids to perform in a non-native langauge- go with total immersion and the kids handle it just fine?


15 posted on 02/01/2005 12:30:18 PM PST by silverleaf (Fasten your seat belts- it's going to be a BUMPY ride.)
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To: silverleaf

Yeah, your points are basically what I sent to the author of this article...

ESL classes are just a way for democrats to control more people (in their minds)

It will take years of failure before the dems stop promoting that crap. Then they'll just abondon it and say repubs caused it to fail


16 posted on 02/01/2005 12:33:29 PM PST by KneelBeforeZod ( I'm going to open Cobra Kai dojos all over this valley!)
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To: BullDog108

I live in Concord and Monument Street is called little Mexico. I won't even stop at a store around there because the street and parking lots are filled with guys loitering.
Also, the police were stopped from stopping anyone in that neighborhood for expired tags because they were accused of racism.


17 posted on 02/01/2005 12:38:16 PM PST by Rusty0604
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To: KneelBeforeZod
I don't like this touchy feely no child left behind crap. It disappoints me that Bush would promote such garbage.

I want to see the Children who strive for academic excellence get ahead, the rest fall back ACT that gets Government out of Education so that competition can get back in.

18 posted on 02/01/2005 12:42:32 PM PST by Jason_b
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To: KneelBeforeZod

Many of the highest performing students at our local high school are immigrants.


19 posted on 02/01/2005 12:44:56 PM PST by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: KneelBeforeZod
"As a result... lose per-pupil funding and the benefits of parents with the time and resources to get involved."

"Sometimes the better-educated parents take advantage of the school choice option."

There's a pattern there...parents...involved...educated... If I were planning to move to Mexico, you can make dang sure I would have my children learning Spanish before we moved, not just dumping them off and expecting the school to teach them.

20 posted on 02/01/2005 12:47:30 PM PST by JustRight
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To: anniegetyourgun
Makes me wonder how "outstanding" they really were before accountability standards were imposed.

LOL that was my very first thought also.

21 posted on 02/01/2005 1:07:02 PM PST by Nov3 ("This is the best election night in history." --DNC chair Terry McAuliffe Nov. 2,2004 8p.m.)
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To: JustRight
Bingo. The article leaves a lot out, including the fact that ANY parent who is involved could choose to transfer and send their kid someplace better. The way the article presents things, anyone who transfers their kid is being heartless, racist and ignorant. It's not about race; it's about parents using the system in the way it was intended to be used, in order to send their kids where they want them to be. I posted about it here.
22 posted on 02/01/2005 1:08:47 PM PST by mathchick
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To: Jason_b

Did you read the NCLB?


23 posted on 02/01/2005 1:10:50 PM PST by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: NCC-1701
We have the same problem in Memphis. A lot of the problem lies with the leadership in this city.

Yeah our schools have been going downhill ever since King Willie stopped being superintendant - NOT

I remember going to summer school at White Station in the late 70's(now supposedly a good school) The teacher was functionally illiterate. I am not kidding. She had trouble reading.

24 posted on 02/01/2005 1:11:28 PM PST by Nov3 ("This is the best election night in history." --DNC chair Terry McAuliffe Nov. 2,2004 8p.m.)
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To: anniegetyourgun
Makes me wonder how "outstanding" they really were before accountability standards were imposed.

Bingo!

25 posted on 02/01/2005 1:14:55 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: BullDog108

Walnut Creek = VERY expensive real estate.


26 posted on 02/01/2005 1:15:45 PM PST by Clemenza (I Am Here to Chew Bubblegum and Kick Ass, and I'm ALL OUT OF BUBBLEGUM!)
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To: JustRight
"Sometimes the better-educated parents take advantage of the school choice option."

The phrase "take advantage of" subtly implies that the parents are doing something underhanded, subverting the law for their own fiendish purposes. In fact, the law was expressly designed to give parents the "bail" option.

My college roomie is a high school teacher, and a pretty good one, I think. He tells me that the single most important factor in student success is parental involvement. Race, gender, income... they are all less reliable indicators of student success than parental involvement.

I have nothing to back that up other than his anecdotal stories, but I tend to think it's true.

27 posted on 02/01/2005 1:24:02 PM PST by TontoKowalski
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To: TontoKowalski

During my daughter's last few years in private school, a young Indian boy fresh from abroad, joined her class. He was amazed that the school classes were only 6-7 hours/day and only 5 days per week with time off during the summer.


28 posted on 02/01/2005 1:30:56 PM PST by umgud
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To: TontoKowalski

I'm sure it is, but if you have a child who doesn't want to participate in "cooperative learning" where all the work in the class is done in groups for a group grade, and said child has a mind of her own, then said child, no matter the amount of parental involvement, will not get a good grade from that teacher.

Of course, the other kids will get good grades but will learn very little in any case.

Teaching methods matter as well, probably just as much as parental involvement if not more. It's one of the reasons many kids do well one year but may have problems the next in an area of their strength.


29 posted on 02/01/2005 1:33:26 PM PST by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
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To: KneelBeforeZod
I live a few blocks from this school and frequently walk the dog past it. From the outside the school appears normal with very normal kids.I have never seen any gang activity or violence. There are a large number of Hispanics. There are are also at least a half dozen or more severely handicapped kids who are pushed or walked around the school grounds and nearby streets by faculty or volunteers. These kids are being mainstreamed and the 6 or so kids I encounter can not even say dog when prompted by their caregivers. I don't know how many more there are on school grounds but if these kids are included in any testing data then the results will be pulled down some. It was policy to include them a few years back.
As for the Hispanic issue if it can be called that there are a number of streets with single family homes owned by Hispanics in that school district. Construction and improvements are a 365 day a year activity. The owners display a great deal of pride in their neighborhood. Does this imply that improved academic scores might be a generation away? This school is not in a poor section of town. The house next store is on the market for $1.2 million. Across the street is a home owned by Hispanics that could easily fetch $2.5-3 million if it was on the market. Nearby are two excellent Catholic High Schools - You may have heard of one of them, DeLaSalle, the number one high school football team in the country for about 3 or 4 years. This is just to give some of you a glimpse of the environment this school operates in. Parents generally have the economic wherewithal to move their kids if they so choose.If my kids were that age I would do what our younger friends do, send the kids to private schools.
30 posted on 02/01/2005 1:34:02 PM PST by homeywhite
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To: coconutt2000

Ok you got me. No. I haven't read the ACT. Everything I think I know about it comes from articles like this one. Even if people like the nut in this article misinterpret it something is wrong. Where there's smoke... Language needs to be clear. There is no such thing as no child left behind regardless of how the act reads. All children are different. You hope by pushing them to excel some will but some just can't. Libs who are prone to distorting the intent of words see no child left behind and do things like this. It is as they do with zero tolerance banning chicken legs. If the act is great as it is, fine, but change the name so as not to provoke the stupid to action.


31 posted on 02/01/2005 1:34:20 PM PST by Jason_b
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To: Jason_b

As far as the name thing goes, you're not too far off. The bill was named purely for marketing purposes.

In actuality, NCLB is about accountability. It could also be renamed, "No Educators Get Away With Crap".

It is actually a very good piece of legislation, and when you hear about it being underfunded, you're hearing a spin. Much of the money hasn't been spent because resistance from the teacher's unions and DOE's in many states has resulted in nowhere for the money to go.

Just think of it this way... If the NEA hates it, it must be good.


32 posted on 02/01/2005 1:48:10 PM PST by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: KneelBeforeZod
I used to live near there. As early as the mid-90s, many of the schools had stopped regular math and science in the gradeschools. The war was on between phonics and "sight-and-memory". Reading? I've gotten to look at some of the "prize winning" books recommended for students -- THESE ARE UNREADABLE; no wonder the students are having trouble. PE? What PE? Diversity programs? PLENTY. Then we get to the "language" issues.... Some of the schools are watering down regular programs and teaching ALL students in "multi-languages" per session.. no wonder the student grades are not on par with where they should be. I wonder what the ratio of students on ritilin-like drugs is?

Sure, "politics" factors in.. but money talks louder. A lot of funds get "underwritten" in state to include a lot of BS, in order for the school to get funding. Gotta keep teacher union members employed, know what I mean?

33 posted on 02/01/2005 1:50:39 PM PST by Alia
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To: Rusty0604

I know the area. I had to walk two students through the "apartment complex" (in the back, too!). I'd never do it again, unarmed.


34 posted on 02/01/2005 1:51:50 PM PST by Alia
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To: Clemenza
Walnut Creek = VERY expensive real estate.

Not in the 60s. Our house was a tract house built by Eichler, very lower middle class. Now everything in California is overpriced/valued.

35 posted on 02/01/2005 1:52:15 PM PST by BullDog108 (Islamists are Insane! http://bvml.org/webmaster/islam.html)
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To: KneelBeforeZod

Well, at least they'll have smaller class sizes...


36 posted on 02/01/2005 1:53:07 PM PST by Junior (FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC)
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To: coconutt2000

It could also be renamed, "No Educators Get Away With Crap".

Forget marketing! It should literally be named that! I'd love that! The Accountability In Education Act. I like it!


37 posted on 02/01/2005 1:58:52 PM PST by Jason_b
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