Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Are School, Zip Code, & City Snobbery the same thing?

One would think that growing up in suburban Philly, I would be eminently familiar with the concept of Zip Code Snobbery, which emanated a couple of hours away from me in lovely NYC.  I wasn't exactly living in the hood, although I did get sucker punched one time at the local mall because the guy wanted to rob me (funny story for another day).  Ironically, it took me to move all of the way across the country to California before I experienced snobbery.  I knew that there was the "rich" school in our district when I was young, but that was mostly because they had bigger houses (or any houses at all) and their baseball/basketball/football teams dwarfed ours in size, but I guess that I was lucky to grow up not longing for what other people had.  I was happy with anything that my mother was able to provide for me, and I was extremely happy later in life when I was able to buy her a house and repay a fraction of what she had given me over the years.  Yet here, we seem to have so much, and never enough.
We have the best public school district that I have ever seen (LASD), yet we have a long line of people looking for something more.  This in and of itself is not the problem, because there are MANY fine private options in the area that offer hosts of cool features and great people.  BUT, even then, people want more, or maybe I should say, they want “less” (tuition than private, class sizes than LASD, diversity slowing the progression of their children, etc).  So fine, the law says that you can do it, so create a different type of school and call it a charter.  Take some funds, but not all of them, follow some rules, but not all of them, but WHY keep suing our district?  Many charter schools choose to self-site, and if you can point to any of those who have more financial wherewithal than the founders of BCS, I’d love to meet them.    Then again, maybe not…
If 10 years of fruitless looking has proven anything, it has shown that it is difficult to find available land within LASD's boundaries.  So maybe it really is time to think "outside of the box".  BCS was chartered by SCCBOE (i.e. a body serving more than Los Altos Hills).  BCS is attended by people from (at least) Los Altos Hills, Los Altos, and Mountain View, but I'm sure some more too, maybe even including Sunnyvale?!?  If BCS won't decide to self site and build a spankin new, world class shrine to intelligence and riches, I think that the Raynor site in Sunnyvale could be a great, easily accessible location to build a wonderful SCCBOE Charter School - you can even keep the name BCS :)