Tuesday, May 4, 2010

San Leandro's 'Junior High Flight' from Public Schools


As Rank Choice Voting and the city’s budget debacle have become the two big election issues; the most important one has been absent: the state of San Lenadro’s public schools.

San Leandro’s public schools are among the worst performing in the East Bay. While this fact has been swept under the rug by local Realtors and city officials who don’t want to admit it; school achievement scores are readily available on the Internet, as well as school rankings and comments on web sites such as Greatschools.org. Even when adjusted for demographics (e.g., race and poverty level); San Leandro’s schools are among the worst performing in California.

San Leandro’s poor performing schools have contributed to a phenomenon in the neighborhoods surrounding Roosevelt elementary that I dub “junior high flight.” Many San Leandreans leave town when it’s time for their children to attend junior high or high school – which translates into the exodus of affluent college educated folks in their 40s and 50s – people in their prime income earning years who would most likely have the resources and education to make a positive impact on San Leandro schools.

The San Leandro school board hasn’t helped things by limiting transparency on former school superintendent Christine Lim’s firing and its budget woes. While I applaud folks like Stephen Cassidy for fighting against egregious waste like the unnecessary $900,000 paid on legal fees; many school board members have worked as teachers in other districts, or don’t have children in the San Leandro school system – they’re using the school board as a political stepping stone for future political aspirations.

But while the school board is accountable for the success of public schools, the city council is responsible for fostering an environment where they are able to succeed. Since Mayor Santos’ was elected, that’s never happened – the city moved forward with San Leandro Crossings despite the fact it would impact San Leandro’s already overcrowded schools, even after school board members spoke out against it. The Estudillo Estates Homeowner Association invited council members and school board members together to discuss – school board members accepted, city council members did not. Additionally, while the city gave $500,000 to the Davis Street Resource Center; it decided to stop funding crossing guards for $100,000 – when most elementary schools in town require young children to cross dangerous arterial streets.

The worst thing is that council members children don’t attend public schools. Councilman Michael Gregory ran for council based on his “accomplishment” of implementing the mixed-use field at his daughter’s school, Bancroft; yet he doesn’t like to broadcast that he sent his older son to private school because San Leandro High is too ghetto. Councilwoman Joyce Starosciak touts her experience on the school board in her run for mayor, yet she has chosen to put her daughter in private school. Adding to the hypocrisy is Councilwoman Ursula Reed, an executive administrator working in public schools, who has also chosen to put her child in private school. Tony Santos does get a pass on this; although his grown son admitted in a comment in The Citizen that he moved to Alameda because he didn’t want his children going to San Leandro public schools.

The success of a town’s public schools impact its property values, health of its business community, crime rate and overall quality of life. This election, I hope San Leandrans only support candidates who support their public schools.

Frank Lynn, MA, is a former president of Pacific Plaza Homeowner Association, former Board Member of Estudillo Estates Homeowner Association and founder of Save San Leandro--an organization that fought against the San Leandro Crossings project. While he currently resides in Pleasanton, he is a property owner in San Leandro.


Frank is such a San Leandro supporter that he lives in Pleasanton. White flight Frank??

Like Martin Luther - there's only so much I could do to point out corruption and ineptitude of the powers that be. In the end it worked out best for me and my family to just leave town. I'm hoping to impact positive change in San Leandro because I still own real estate there, and know many residents there whom I feel deserve better than the leadership they have.

Please don't make racist innuendos about me, that's getting really old. I'm so accustomed to people in San Leandro calling me racist when they cannot logically counter my arguments, that I now consider accusations of racism akin to saying, "You're right, I just don't like to hear it."

Frank Lynn

I don't see anything written about race, but worse class superiority from the San Leandro Hills. You see it in state legislators and Washington politicians talking about our education system and putting their kids in expensive private schools. This does make me think what our local politicians really think about those of us with kids in John Muir or SLHS? By the way, I think Corbett's kid goes to public school. Maybe Starosciak should ask why they're good enough for her.

If you have proof of corruption prove it if the city is as poorly run as you think run and see how many people agree with you.
When you say that the Crossings is low income when only 100 out of 700 are section 8 its tough to believe you arent racist, what else is low income supossed to mean in your code?

One thing I moved from San Francisco and moved my daughter from private to a public school. I did not move from SL.

Also the main reason I moved into
the Alameda High area was because Alameda offered my daughters sport which SL High did not. I would not have moved into the Encinal side of Alameda.

If San Leandro High had water polo I probably would have moved back into town, or would have at least looked,

Also I figure my property tax is 20% higher than it would be in SL because of school ditrict assessments, so in a way I am paying for school.

My sister is still in San Leandro and her 2 kids are public school students. One having graduated and one a senior.

Also if a parent thinks bullying is a public school problem and not happening in private schools I have a bridge to sell that parent.

Let's see the "affluent" Roosevelt School has similar test scores to the "less affluent" San Lorenzo School District Corvallis School, which is in Diana Souza's District. So what does that tell you about the people who think they're "affluent"???? They aren't too smart if you ask me. bahahahahahahah

Anonymous who's calling me a racist - you're the one equating low-income folks with race, not me. I speak the plain truth, so I don't need to speak in "code." Its funny how San Leandro liberals are so whacked out that when someone complains about poor schools or crime, they're immediately labled "racist" - by a person who has preconceived notions about race - e.g., that the cause of poor performing schools or crime is a racial issue.

As for city corruption - case 1 - the city ran an invite-only public meeting to gain support for San Leandro Crossings after I started my group - which was a violation of the Brown Act.

Case 2 - The city denied Red Mt. Retail the opportunity to build Grocery Outlet (which came to town anyway); then bought the building from Red Mt. (probably to avoid losing a lawsuit), and then sold it at a loss to Joyce Starosciak's campaign contributors.

Case 3 - Michael Gregory was working on a special ordinance on fence height in his affluent District 1 neighborhood; after approving the construction of new condo's in downotown that would block the view of existing condos. Okay--this is more hypocrisy than corruption...

I could go on and on...

Frank Lynn

@ Mike Santos - sorry for my misunderstanding of your circumstances. I just assumed you grew up in San Leandro. But your post on another blog article read to me that you chose Alameda over San Leandro for its better public schools, it also indicates that you feel that city council members don't have any accountability for making San Leandro's public schools better.

Mike Santos: "Nope I live in Alameda, better public schools.

My kid graduated from my dad's alma mater Alameda High, one of Newsweek's top 100 schools in the US

Nothing my dad can do about the school district."

Frank Lynn

Wilson School takes in a huge area, why the hell would anyone want to build more homes that would add to that schools population????

I want to move, but the recession has killed the idea along with my homes value. This city is going downhill very quickly. I was amazed and disturbed that the high school's test scores in San Leandro were worse than Foothill High School in Sacramento, where I grew up in the 70's. The school is now considered a terrible school community wide and that has impacted property values in the area greatly. To be honest, I would not even consider SL High School if I had children of schol age. I really should have done more research before I bought a home in Bay-O-Vista 5 years ago after relocating back to the bay area from Sacramento. If the city is not good enough for our police chief or city manager and the schools are not good enough for our city council's children, then it is certainly not a good place for me to put down roots.

"Frank is such a San Leandro supporter that he lives in Pleasanton. White flight Frank??"

I would say its not white flight, but a smart move on Frank's part to have moved to a nice clean community, with good schools and way less crime than here.

Barry- Just wondering, but who was the Realtor who sold you that house in Bay-O-Vista? I wonder if he lives in San Leandro????

Frank was probably sold a bill of goods from a Realtor, woke up and saw reality then left. Nothing wrong with that.

Unfortunately, buying in San Leandro was my own fault. At the time I purchased, I worked in San Mateo--my wife worked in the city--in an office accessible by BART. I didn't do any research on the public schools. I knew they were often ridiculed, but I thought that was prettymuch the case in all of California. I went to a low-performing rural school; but I turned out okay because my parents were heavily involved in my education. But I've heard horror stories about Washington Elementary where students are victims of violence with no action from the administration. I didn't want that for my child.

After moving to Estudillo and talking to neighbors, I found many put their kids in private school, were planning to put their kids in private school; or if their children went to Roosevelt - they were planning to move once their children finished at Roosevelt. I decided I didn't want to separate my child from his friends come junior high, so I made a escape plan. Through the grace of God and talented realtors, I was able to sell in San Leandro and buy in Pleasanton.

San Leandro has a lot of potential - for a town with the weather, public transportation, proximity to airport and SF/SJ - it's amazing the town is doing so poorly - it's almost as if San Leandro city council is willfully destroying the town for some bizarre reason.

Frank Lynn

Manuel, she lives in the Berkeley hills above the Claremont Hotel.

Frank Lynn..I agree completely, there is so much potential for San Leandro and SL is blessed by nature and great a geographic location. Sadly the city is asleep and is squandering its many benefits. This could literally be the "jewel" of the corridor. Maybe there is a small glimmer of hope, I certainly hope so. Once decay and decline start though, is it so hard to stop and it seems almost no city wakes up until it is too late. San Leandro, PLEASE...wake up now, I command you. LOL

San Leandro has been under the iron grip of Jack Maltester for far too long. With his passing San Leandro has the chance to heal the wounds. But unfortunately the idiots in Broadmoor and Estudillo are screwing up the elections and are too self absorbed in themselves to implement the necessary changes that need to be. Look at the voting results; races are competitive in all areas of town until the precinct results in Broadmoor and Estudillo come in and the pattern is that these area's overwhelmingly vote to put these idiots in power.


The thinking folks in Estudillo did show their face during the San Leandro Crossings debacle, and expressed their outrage. Over 300 signatures against the project. I agree, Broadmoor and Estudillo have the most hypocrite liberals that are pretty vocal in city affairs, but people with common sense in those neighborhoods are beginning to be heard.

Frank Lynn

It's really troubling that Santos stated on this blog that he knows about police chiefs' "skeletons in the closet," coupled with Mike Santos' comment that his dad, "never lost an election." It makes me wonder if Santos' has "dirt" on Alameda County elections officials and is able to use his power to manipulate elections to win them. It's too bad the UN no longer offers election monitoring services, because San Leandro elections are really suspect.

Frank Lynn

Perhaps we could get that bastard Eric Holder to have election monitoring here like they still do in parts of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

Common Sense along the Oakland Border? That's a laugh.

Excuse me, is this the East Bay Citizen site or the Frank and Manuel show?

I haven't laughed so hard since Tommy T's closed down.

Excuse me, but Tommy T's hasn't closed down, it just followed it patrons to Pleasanton.

Corbett sent the kid to Assumption then O'Dowd. Don't know why, other than her being the typical Irish hypocrite; showing up at Church and supporting Abortion and Sodomy. The woman is a disgrace and to think that Assumption School "honored" that cankled hag is disgusting.

I heard a couple stories about Big and Little Santos, when it's election time and a business puts an opponent of Santos' in their window either the old man or the snot go in there and complain.

Post a Comment