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OneDublin.Org Online Town Hall Replay Available Now

December 5, 2009

For those that were unable to attend the OneDublin.org Online Town Hall webinar you can now view the presentation online with audio – in just 10 minutes.  Viewing this webinar will educate you on the key points regarding charter schools, the charter high school proposal for Dublin and OneDublin.org’s position.

OneDublin.org is also now available on Twitter (http://twitter.com/OneDublin) and Facebook (http://tinyurl/onedublinfb).

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3 Comments
  1. dublin permalink
    December 5, 2009 6:59 pm

    Great presentation and good arguments to support one high school. Thank you for doing this. That being said, I have a couple of questions that I hope you can answer …

    a) Using Schafer Ranch as a marker to indicate that Dublin High is centrally located sounds a little like trying to pull a fast one. Sorry, I don’t mean to be insulting, but I believe the more important criteria is how many families with high school level kids live in different parts of Dublin, what the distribution looks like – both today and how it’s going to change over time. AFAIK, the enrollment in elementary schools in West Dublin is declining and the enrollment in East Dublin is increasing. So it’s very possible, that a majority of the students will come from East Dublin over time.

    b) When a $120m funding was approved, was the option to relocate the school (based on student population and not on city boundaries that may not mean anything in this context) ever considered? A centrally located school which would not require the residents of East Dublin to navigate what is probably the most busy section of Dublin would have probably meant that the charter school discussion would not have even started in the first place.

    c) I have lived in Dublin for several years and have never heard the school district or the high school making any attempt to encourage parents to visit the high school, or provide information about what is happening with the high school, solicit inputs for the development of the high school etc. Basically you had a captive audience that had no other option and did not see the need to communicate with them or include them in the decision making process. Now that the charter high school proposal has been floated, the marketing is going into high gear. Again, had the school district been proactive in communicating with prospective parents we may not have seen this proposal in the first place. Also, you could have prevented the flight of hundreds of families to San Ramon seeking better education. Based on what I heard, the only response from Dublin High supporters is that, if you don’t like it – move out of Dublin! That is a classic response, but, not in keeping with the times. Even people that don’t like your ideas pay taxes and have a voice. The right way to deal with it is to listen and respect those arguments, not kick them out. They have their rights too!

    d) What attempts have been made with the individuals who have signed the petition for the charter high school to understand their concerns and see if they can be convinced to reconsider their proposal? Going to battle with them is going to create more divisions. Unification of thought is more important than beating them into submission. I see attempts to sway the parents, but no open dialog with the charter school supporters.

    e) My final thought is that, this proposal is good for Dublin regardless of how it ends up. Even if it fails, it will make the school district better and be more proactive in reaching out to its constituents.

    • dublinranch permalink
      December 5, 2009 8:43 pm

      Thank you for the feedback and great questions – I’ll do my best to answer them:

      a) Your point is valid – central strictly based on geography is perhaps not a fair argument. However, I do not believe the difference between a 10-minute commute (how long it takes me to drive my older daughter from Dublin Ranch to Dublin High in the morning) and a 2-minute commute is justification enough for a new school. I also believe that it is possible a second high school will make sense when Dublin High crosses a point of critical mass (more like the San Ramon and Pleasanton high schools) and there are good prospects of continued growth. There is a valid argument here – but in no credible scenario does that happen in less than a decade.

      b) The total Bond Measure ‘C’ funding was actually $270m and included numerous projects including the rebuilding of Dublin High. I moved here in 2000 and around that time a debate was raging over whether or not to rebuild Dublin High on the existing site or build a brand new school on land at Camp Parks (across from BART). At the time I was in favor of the Camp Parks idea – but it isn’t clear if that was ever a viable option. As a Dublin Ranch resident of course the idea of a slightly closer high school seemed like a good thing. In retrospect I’m glad a Camp Parks location didn’t work out – the idea of a high school so close to BART vs. nestled in a neighborhood doesn’t strike me as a good idea. There is no question that the School Board at the time was stacked with divisive Trustees who privately encourage the east/west divide. Most of those divisive Trustees have left (hopefully not to return) to be replaced by a much stronger Board. I’m hoping the next election will finish the job and when the election rolls around OneDublin.org will be endorsing specific candidates.

      c) There are two separate points here. The point of “better education” is what we originally feared about Dublin High – based on no information, just rumor, we assumed Dublin High was “bad”. We were wrong – and it was 3-4 years ago that I reached out to Dublin High in support of adding 9th Grade Advanced English. I wasn’t ignored – I was listened to. I met with the Principal, was invited to 8th Grade Parent Night. I talked to multiple teachers. At no time was I brushed off or treated with disrespect by the school. The School Board at the time, however, was a different story. There was a majority of “old-timers” who didn’t like Dublin changing or want to change with Dublin. I had very vocal disputes, supported by many parents, and fortunately – in the end – the Board listened. This is a point I make in the presentation – if you organize, if you articulate a position, if you show up at Board meetings in force and reach out your are eventually heard. I’ve been pushing the Board and Dublin High for several years to actively address the perception gap regarding the school and yes, there is finally movement to address the issue.

      Regarding parents supporting the charter high school concept – I am very interested in talking to them (and have done so at every opportunity). There is another path here – and OneDublin.org, while focused on education around the charter school at this point, will live on as an organization for parents to drive change. One good example is driving for an IB program at Dublin High, or creating smaller learning communities inside Dublin High. I have no interest in being a School Board member but will advocate strongly on behalf of all parents via OneDublin.org. Dublin High is great – my direct experience confirms that – but I want more – and believe more can be achieved within one larger school than two undersized schools.

      d) I attended two of the three Dublin Learning Corp Town Hall meetings (my wife attended the third). The majority of attendees were either concerned or against the proposal so those Town Hall meetings did not prove a good vehicle for meeting with and understanding the supporters. Through the Around Dublin blog (a proxy for Dublin Learning Corp), a large (and growing) email list and the OneDublin.org site launched over Thanksgiving I’m trying to cast as wide a net as possible to understand the real concerns. Based on my research to-date, however, the primary reasons against Dublin High are not starting from a fact basis. The discussion needs to start from a shared understanding that Dublin High is a good school that we want to make better vs. a bad school we need to avoid. Without exception when I’ve talked to charter school supporters they know nothing about Dublin High from any direct experience.

      For those reading this response who want their voices heard – and even if you are convinced a charter school is the only solution – I encourage you to reach out to OneDublin.org (onedublin@comcast.net).

      e) Interesting perspective.

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