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More math hasn't fixed the achievement gap at Mountain View, Los Altos high schools

Original post made on Jan 13, 2020

Six years ago, Los Altos High School staff was convinced they had the silver bullet for preparing students for college. But after a big push, Latino students are still lagging behind.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, January 13, 2020, 10:36 AM

Comments (5)

Posted by Bored M
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 13, 2020 at 11:30 am

There's an easier answer to this. By high school a student's patterns are largely set. These programs need to happen earlier, probably in elementary school.

I'm not saying efforts shouldn't be made at the high school level... just don't expect miracles.

Posted by School and home
a resident of another community
on Jan 13, 2020 at 11:47 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 15, 2020 at 12:04 pm

The patterns are largely set, for Hispanic students, in K-8th in MVWSD. Mountain View Whisman School District. This is largely well known - but, IMO, ignored by the MVWSD Board (who sets public policy and allocates the dollars).

The MVWSD White-Hispanic Academic Achievement Gap, is very large and very well known to researchers /the 2009-2012 period. (Reardon / Stanford University as reported in The NY Times and on his Stanford groups research web page). This has recently been reconfirmed, independently (though not exactly peer-review/published) by Reardon working with the new State of California School Board President, Linda Darling-Hammond. There is a 3:1 difference (statistically speaking) in how 'above average' Whites are above Hispanics!

Same old / same old information. Using CAASP = Smarter Balance = Common Core.

Hispanic is not a category of Target Student spending enhancement (LCFF, Supplementary Grant $,$$$,$$$). BUT SED, Economically Disadvantaged - sure the heck is. As is ELL or English Learners.

IMO, with 'pull out' programs as the main activity, or "teacher preparation", actual kid supplemental instructional time is not being implemented. With SED, Hispanic & EL kids out of school* (state CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM** rate) they are not getting any instruction at all for those missing days! [SED 9.2% Hispanic 8.0% EL = 8.4%]

A hard problem takes an excellent system to improve. It takes monitoring and TREND DATA. (IMO)

SN is a retired MVWSD Trustee, R&D engineer, and STEM teacher

* CA Dashboard for MVWSD (2018-19) Web Link
** Ca. Dept. of Ed. Web Link

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 15, 2020 at 12:23 pm

I should , perhaps, amend my writing (ignored by the Board), it is by Majority Vote of the Board that policy and Budget dollars are set.

I still have a lingering 'faith' that the Hispanic guy I helped vote to bring on the Board, Gutierrez Jr., has the guts, the intestinal fortitude, to bring this type of matter into the public consciousness of the 4 White Wealthy Women that make up the Board super-majority. A Latina mom, in MVWSD, has usually had a vastly different experience, than Trustee Ellen Wheeler (or former Trustee Fiona Walker / now a MVLA Trustee).

a Never Trumper and never a Democratic Suburbanite

Posted by Richard Woolley
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 23, 2020 at 10:04 pm

The continuing achievement gap between Latino and White and Asian students described in this article is of course a deep concern for the MVLA District. In looking for solutions, educators and administrators need look no farther than East Palo Alto and the Eastside College Preparatory School that serves that community. Eastside’s students are overwhelmingly Hispanic or African-American. Started in 1996, every graduate has gone to a 4-year College or University, including Stanford University, Santa Clara University, Pomona College, Princeton University, U.C. Berkeley, Columbia University, U.C.L.A, Occidental College, Emory University, Yale University and M.I.T.

I’m very familiar with Eastside, and now tutor Math there. A Hispanic boy I mentored starting in 1999 graduated from Eastside, then Princeton. He now works for a local non-profit that has programs and training to get more black and Hispanic graduates into companies like Google and Facebook.

Eastside’s methods aren’t rocket science, but they do have learning tools that work, in math and all subjects. It’s something that the MVLA District could examine and possibly emulate to improve the performance of our community’s Latino and African-American students.

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