Chula Vista school hurries to get ready for Arne Duncan

You are right Ms. Cheers, only the higher socioeconomic students in our district deserve good facilities. The east side schools have state of the art facilities; gyms, auditoriums, theatrical stages for performances and assemblies. No one questions that these students deserve it. On the other hand, schools on the west side have "renovated" 50 year old buildings. The bond money paid for air conditioning, windows and paint, but it does not compare. West side students still eat lunch in the rain or hot sun. They have no auditoriiums for assemblies, so they line up aluminum benches outside in front of a microphone. yet you and the author have the audacity to begrudge them a stage? $20,000 seems fiscally responsble in comparison. I will also address the t shirts for students. CPM didn't invent this. I have heard of inner city schools all over the US that do the same. Why? When you are labeled a "failure" for years, that label sticks. You can move mountains and increase test scores, yet people refuse to believe. They hold on to the old label. People just like you respond, "they are improving? That can't be true. It must be fraud. They must be cheating." This is a very typical response. Improving acadmics is not enough to turn a school around. You also have to change culture and community perceptions. To do this you must recognize effort and celebrate. Students who once were embarrassed of their school, now wear their school t shirts proudly, in and out of school for the entire community to see. Change is slow, especially when you have to fight the stereotypes you promote. I have confidence however, that schools like CPM will prevail. We cannot go back to the status quo where you are satisfied with failing schools, and leaving generations of kids behind, as long as you don't spend money on a stage. Do them a favor and let them shine a bit. They don't need your kind of support.
— September 6, 2013 8:49 a.m.

Chula Vista school hurries to get ready for Arne Duncan

I'm afraid the enduring values of journalism are shifting in the digital age. What happened to the norms of objectivity? The bias in this "article" is blatant. Most reputable news directors would provide clear standards for their reporters, like NAME YOUR SOURCES. Anonymous sources were used twice to support the reporter's claim, in efforts to discredit. There are guidelines for naming sources for a reason and this reporting was woefully short of professional. I am mostly sad however, because this attack is the reason why it is so hard and almost impossible to change the lives of poor inner-city children. They go to older dilapidated schools. They have horrible attendance, they fail and they drop out. But intellectuals respond, "Poor kids, they have an excuse to fail, we don't want to hold them accountable, so we will continue with the status quo and do nothing differently." We say we want change, but when someone has the courage to actually do something, you go after him. "Why is he spending money on painting the school? Why is he celebrating? These kids shouldn't feel a sense of pride, they are nobodies!" This is nothing new. Granger Junior High was once the lowest performing school where the gangsters were the ones that were admired. We used this exact model to turn granger around. We used tough love and expected the best. We painted the school, cleaned up the graffiti and bought banners. After a while students started to believe in themselves. They were proud to be Granger Griffins. They liked going to school. How sad that this reporter and the anonymous sources are trying to block a great transformation. They won't win. The parents and community will rally around the team of leaders and teachers at CPM who believe in them. Good luck CPM!
— September 5, 2013 8:42 p.m.

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