The courtyard of the Hayward Community School

HAYWARD — Nine teenage boys and one teenage girl sat grouped around a set of desks arranged in a rectangle. Their eyes were focused on another boy standing in front of them, who was reading from his report on the effects of marijuana.

“People are introduced to marijuana usually by their friends, older sister or brother, or someone they know,” said the speaker, who looked up from his paper to flash a smile at his classmates, who then started to talk.

“You are doing very well,” said Annie Green, the teacher, who, without missing a beat, turned to the class and told them to tone down their chatter. “Save your comments for later,” she said. Green then turned her attention back to her standing student and started to probe some of the points he made in his presentation, particularly what marijuana does to pregnant women.

The scene could be one from any Bay Area high school with its mix of restless students and a teacher trying to tamp down their chatter. But this didn’t happen in an ordinary school. It took place recently at the Hayward Community School, a school run by the Alameda County Office of Education for students who have been expelled by their own school districts for truancy, bad behavior, repeated suspensions, and violent acts like carrying a weapon to school. Some may have served time in juvenile hall.

Nestled in the back of the bright yellow Eden Youth and Family Center on West Tennyson, right next to a pediatric clinic, a day care center and a day labor program, the Hayward Community School serves 64 of Alameda County’s toughest students, those, who, despite repeated chances, could not make it at their own high schools. They have been sent to the community school to sit out their expulsions, which may range from a semester to a year.

Four of the students at the Hayward Community School live in Berkeley, and soon, in the 2011-2012 school year, students like them might be able to attend classes in their hometown rather than have to travel to Hayward. The Alameda County Office of Education and the Berkeley Unified School District are proposing to create a small community school inside the Berkeley Adult School on San Pablo Avenue near Virgina.

About 15 students from Berkeley, Emeryville, Alameda, Piedmont, and North Oakland would attend the new community school from 9 am to 2 pm each day. Another 17 students on independent study would rotate in and out weekly to work with a teacher.

The community school would provide counseling and individualized attention to the students, along with continual monitoring so they don’t act out in class. The aim is to work closely with the high-risk students, both academically and socially, and get them prepared to return to a normal school setting.

To go back to their old school, the students have to demonstrate good attendance, get passing grades, and not do anything considered a suspendable or expellable offense, according to Robert Crose, Alameda County’s assistant superintendent of student programs. Some of the students must also complete 30 to 50 hours of community service.

“A big comprehensive high school is a confusing place and a hard place to manage for a lot of kids,” said Crose. “It’s easier to get lost in a 2,000-person high school than a small place with a ratio of 15:1”

The BUSD Board will take up the matter in late June, possibly on June 22.

The idea of bringing a group of high-risk students into northwest Berkeley does not sit well with a group of nearby residents, who expressed their concerns at a community meeting on March 16. They are afraid the presence of the kids will lead to more crime, which will depress property values. They do not think the school district has analyzed the implications of placing a school near a residential neighborhood, nor has it done a site suitability study. They also complain that the district has been uncommunicative.

The situation has been made more volatile by the outbreak of violence this year at Berkeley high schools. Since the start of the 2010-2011 year, one student has shot and killed another off campus, and police have arrested seven students for bringing weapons to school. In March, two boys in a portable classroom at BHS discharged a gun, sending a bullet through the wall. No one was hurt. In addition, some parents think the district does not do a good job cracking down on bullies who beat up and rob other students.

“I don’t see any emphasis on safety,” said Vanessa Arce Kaskiri, who lives on Francisco Street. “I think they don’t see it as something they are supposed to address”

“The reason I am 100% opposed to it (the new community school) is I have no faith in the Berkeley Unified School District,” said Heather Wood, who lives in the neighborhood. * Vanessa Arce Kaskiri, who lives on Virginia, right near the Adult School. Historically, there have been so many problems with problem students, especially at Berkeley High. They have been incapable of dealing with these kids in a fashion that makes sense. The schools do nothing, thus I have no faith that no matter how they run this program they won’t take responsibility to make the community safe.”

For years, BUSD sent its expelled students to a Rock La Fleche, a county-run community school in Oakland. But the county closed the campus in 2009 because of cost concerns. Ever since then, Berkeley has been looking for a place to educate the kids it expels each year. (This year the district has expelled 17 students.)

“These are students we need to serve,” said Superintendent Bill Huyett at the May 11 BUSD board meeting. “These are young people that have made mistakes in their lives and who are working to correct those mistakes. They have to have a place to go to school. It is better to house them in the community then send them 30 miles out of the community.”

The community group, which has started a web page and Facebook group called Berkeley Adult School Neighbors, seems most concerned that bringing these students into the area will cause a spike in crime. Once the kids leave the campus at 2 pm, they will no longer be supervised as they walk to BART or catch a bus to go home — and that could mean trouble, they contend.

As proof that proximity to a school means an increase in crime, they point to statistics for neighborhoods around BHS and B-Tech, the alternative school. Those neighborhoods see a high level of burglary. For example, in one 180-day period, there were 85 thefts around Berkeley High. That is significantly higher than the area around the Adult School. During the same period, that neighborhood experienced 32 thefts. (And crime has gone up around the Berkeley Adult School ever since it opened about five years ago, the group points out.)

“The school district isn’t talking about serving these kids,” said Wood, who leaves near the Adult School. “They are talking about warehousing them for six hours a day and then throwing them out at 2 pm. How is that serving them? Kids with these problems need structure and oversight and that is not what they are going to get.”

Crose does not believe the students at the community school will hang around after school and prowl the neighborhood. In Hayward, as soon as school lets out the students make a dash for their neighborhoods – and friends.

“When the kids are dismissed, they beeline to the nearest public transportation or head to their parents’ cars,” said Crose. “We’ve never been able to get the kids to participate in after-school programs. Kids go home to where their friends are.”

Sheila Jordan, the superintendent of the Alameda County Office of Education, said it is a fallacy to think the proposed community school will concentrate high-risk kids in Berkeley, leading to more crime. Many of the kids who have been expelled by the district are still living in Berkeley. Why is it any more dangerous for them to be in a school setting than at their Berkeley homes?

“These are young people who are already walking the streets,” said Jordan. “You want them to be integrated into the fabric of the community and stay out of trouble. The best way they can stay out of trouble is to be educated.”

The residents have other questions about the program – questions they say they cannot get answers for. One worry is that the 15 kids and 17 independent study students will be coming onto a campus that has adult students, some who are ex-felons or are on probation. Another worry is that when the students go to the bathroom, for instance, it will be in the common area of the Adult School and they could run into adults who might be a bad influence.

Crose does not think that will happen as the students will be monitored closely.

“I can’t imagine an opportunity for an adult to corrupt one of our kids in the community school,” he said. “That’s an unlikely thing.”

But concern about students interacting too closely with adults led former superintendent Michelle Lawrence to reject an earlier proposal to put a community school on the BAS campus.

The students at the Hayward Community School don’t get much opportunity to act out. They are closely watched. A teacher runs a metal detector over them each morning and checks their backpacks to make sure there is no contraband. (Officials are more worried about distracting cellphones than guns.) They must be escorted to the bathroom and are supposed to stay in the school’s courtyard during break and lunch.

Mary Fisher, principal of Hayward Community School, talking to a student

Whenever Mary Fisher, the school’s principal, sees a kid wandering around, she is quick to ask him or her where she is going.

“You are messing around instead of doing what you are supposed to do,” Fisher called out to one student one day last week. “If you are not going to class, you are going home.”

In the classroom, the reins are even tighter. When one student kept talking while his classmate gave a presentation, Green, the teacher, told him to stand outside for a bit.

“Are you disrupting?” she asked. “Go stand outside. Anytime you disrupt the speaker you are disrupting me and the speaker.”

Later she told Berkeleyside: “We watch them like hawks. We have to, because they are our responsibility.”

Many of the students dislike the monitoring, but some acknowledge it has helped them change their behavior.

“It’s okay,” said one girl who had been expelled from the New Haven School District in Union City. “It teaches a kid a lesson about being expelled or being in trouble. But we get treated like juvenile delinquents.”

“You can’t even go to the bathroom whenever you want,” added another student.

The Berkeley school board has not yet decided whether to place the community school at the Berkeley Adult School. But there is already a creeping concern among officials that neighborhood opposition will scuttle the plan.

While BUSD is legally required to provide an education for its expelled students, the Alameda County Office of Education is under no legal requirement to do so. ACOE is able to access state dollars to educate high-risk youths that BUSD and other districts do not have access to, so most districts want to partake of ACOE’s programs. Otherwise, they would have to set up their own costly community day schools.

“I find it interesting that they (the neighborhood group) are saying “Not in my backyard,’” said Crose. “There’s no qualms about shipping them to someone else’s backyard.”

* Berkeleyside interviewed Wood and Kaskiri together and tried to keep track of who made which comment. After this article was published, Kaskiri contacted me to say Wood had made that statement, not her. I regret my error.

School for expelled students prompts concerns

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman...

140 replies on “Community schools help kids but worry neighbors”

  1. Too late Becky – informed citizens beat BerkeleyDailyPlanet and Berkeleyside on this one….

  2. BUSD has decided not to consider the Berkeley Adult School as a location for the expelled students.

  3. Seems like what we need is police data comparing crime rates immediately around the Hayward school to the rates in comparable demographic neighborhoods elsewhere in the city.   

  4. We are closing comments on this story because we believe the thread’s principal discussion between the writer and respondents will now be more usefully conducted offline.

  5. I think this is more a case of media reportage trying too hard to give both sides equal space rather than deliberate biases from Berkeleyside’s reporters.

    Berkeleyside has been airing a lot of BUSD’s dirty laundry lately, so I find it hard to believe that they’re biased in favor of BUSD.

  6. FactCheck/Technarrogant is posting under a screen name. I don’t think it’s really your place to reveal personal information that you have access to as a moderator when you’re having a disagreement with them.

    This is a perfect example of why I go way out of my way to use throwaway e-mail addresses and withhold personal information when I comment on sites like this.

  7. Charis, If you look at the article I wrote, I said you and your wife Vanessa object to the community school for a variety of reasons: “They are afraid the presence of the kids will lead to more crime, which will depress property values. They do not think the school district has analyzed the implications of placing a school near a residential neighborhood, nor has it done a site suitability study. They also complain that the district has been uncommunicative.”
    I then link to the crime maps you provided me that show the high level of burglaries around Berkeley High.

    I think that is a fair representation of the points made by Vanessa in my two hour meeting and interview with her. In terms of my “mangle” of their quotes. I also talked to Heather during that time, and I thought something Heather said had been said by Vanessa. I corrected my mistake and explained it in the story.

    I hardly think Berkeleyside’s coverage has been to “Throw the neighbors under the bus because if Frances truly reflect [sic] on who ACOE, BUSD, Maio truly represent are [sic] they will never talk to her again.”

    Berkeleyside has written plenty of articles that BUSD has not found flattering, and is not sculpting its news coverage to keep in the good graces of the district or the county.

    You are looking for someone to write an article that only says”these kids are criminals who will terrorize our neighborhood and BUSD and ACOE know it and ignore it.” Since my coverage has tried to reflect more than just that point of view, and to show how one of these schools work, you take objection to it. I don’t know how Berkeleyside could responsibly write a story saying if the community school kids come to the Adult School that will mean a rise in crime in the neighborhood. I can say, and thought I did say, that people fear that will happen.

    There is a difference between advocating a position, which you and Vanessa are doing — and should do — and writing a journalistic story about a controversy.

  8. Sounds like Frances’ article.

    She makes the neighbors sound as if they are opposing a good thing just because they dont want to host it in the neighborhood. She has no shred of evidence that CDS works. She ignored even the sources of her previous articles regarding BHS students and crime. Is this responsible journalism?

    Frances’ biases are obvious – at least to me. Throw the neighbors under the bus because if Frances truly reflect on who ACOE, BUSD, Maio truly represent are they will never talk to her again.

    Just look how the quotes from Crose are all correctly edited but when she talked to Heather and Vanessa she managed to mangle their quotes, misquote them and in general do a disservice to them. Crose caught with his pants down reverting to cliches and even worse Frances treating it as a great way to close her article. This is not fiction.

  9. According to the VIMEO (BUSD meeting where Sheila Jordan showed up) it was ACOE that requested the CDS and it was ACOE that requested including independent study students. ACOE is also the organization that has no plan for it either.

    Joaquin Rivera is the person you should contact to find out more about the intentions of the ACOE. After all he “represents” our district to ACOE as well.

    If you want better explanations from Sheila Jordan then you have to wait until her mom leaves town (as per vimeo).


    One of the risk factors we have identified with locating the CDS on BAS is that BUSD is incapable of understanding crime risk of their decisions. It is highly unlikely that they can structure a program that reduces the risk of crime.

    Despite our efforts to get them to think on the long-term impact on the community they serve, esp. with respects to crime, they seem to be working on the old mode of operation. No analysis.

    BUSD in their infinite wisdom decided last night that it is time to cut
    funding for low-income preschools in Berkeley. The connection is direct –
    you don’t help kids and their families during the early stages of their
    lives then you increase the risk of subsequent delinquency.

    Had they done the cost-benefit analysis they would have realized that the small savings they get do not warrant the expense of dealing with delinquency in high school. Even if this is not part of their calculus but true cost to society is much larger.

    Another case was the authorization of $90,000 to be spend on safety. For training and for hiring administrative staff. Now that is a great way to spend our money. In the plan proposed by the principal of BHS there was absolutely NO analysis.

    As BAS Accountable has stated over and over – we are in a situation where BUSD, ACOE, and even our own representative do not understand RISK, cannot make any informed decisions utilizing RISK, and frankly just for that they can all be considered negligent!

  11. Heather —  I’ve actually done very little so far on the CDS, so I doubt I’m who you suspect I am. But I am getting more involved! Thanks for your posts — I’m inspired to do more.

  12. Excellent post. You have both nailed the issues down and offered a perfectly logical and workable alternative solution. Any interest in running for Berkeley City Council?

  13. So I guess what we should glean from this is that she continued to give her employer her 100% and sort of half-assed her job as a councilmember.

    Something that she obviously is continuing to do even after retiring from her day job.

  14. You make an unfortunately good point.

    BUSD is like a cancer in the City of Berkeley. Manipulating local politics and acting against the interests of the majority of the residents of the City. Their idiotic policies and arrogant stonewalling do a disservice to the residents of Berkeley, and the students who attend their schools.

  15. “She effectively robbed her employer of her 100% and her constituents of her 100%.”

    Not true.  My wife happened to work in the same place as Linda did, and she told me that they gave Linda the most difficult jobs, because they expected her to be very thorough and not to miss a detail. 

    “That should explain her reluctance to do any leg work for any issue”

    She is now retired from her job, so you cannot use it as an explanation of her current behavior. 

  16. If I was representing thousands of people and making decisions on millions of taxpayer dollars I would give that job 100%. Linda making a decision to work full-time and be on a city council is not a reflection of great skill but a reflection of poor judgment. She effectively robbed her employer of her 100% and her constituents of her 100%.

    That should explain her reluctance to do any leg work for any issue – besides issues that she has vested interest in (e.g. low-income housing).

    Regardless, I feel neither her nor the BUSD members understand the RISK of many of the decisions they take.

  17. Sharkey, you were right the first time. It only seemed harsh because there was no mention that most of the council survives through their fealty to special interests. Unfortunately most of Berkeley has ordinary interests; broken streets, rising taxes, declining services, etc.

    And while term limits would be nice, I hardly think they’d worry the groups the council fronts for. In fact they might welcome it. Incumbents hanging around too long can begin to confuse their own appeal with the might of the party machine, as the source of their success.

  18. Everything I’ve read of her comments at City Council meetings is extremely wishy-washy. She’s perfected the fine art of treading the line directly between the two major opposing views without making a clear case for either one and just sort of going whichever way the wind blows.

    It’s smart politics for keeping yourself in office for decades, but it does a disservice to the constituents who elect her to office every four years.

  19. Linda Maio does not understand the risk these kids impose – she wants “proof” which does not make sense because proof only comes ex post facto. What she should be saying is that she evaluated the risks and she thinks the risk is minimal.

    However, she is not academically prepared to make statements like that – she can probably hardly count. Neither does Nicole, her sidekick.

    What is disturbing is that two people with fairly substantial decision power that influence local government (Maio) and education (Jordan) are completely incapable of understanding RISK.

  20. This incident however is indicative how Linda Maio operates. She has no idea of what risk management is. I mean she complete discount all the risk factors presented to her. She wants proof for something that can only discussed in terms of risk.

    Makes you wonder how she is a participant in decisions in City Hall where projects generate risks for the city, the residents, the environment, etc. Since crime is all about risk management it should come to everyone as no surprise why our city is has one of the highest property crime rates in the nation.

    Is this the kind of representation you want? One that is based on dogma rather than impact analysis?

  21. You’re correct, obviously. But this doesn’t change the fact that even BDP recognizes BHS as a significant source of crime in the community.

  22. Unfortunately trolls like Bruce/Tom Love/Lord and his cohort Becky O’Malley have dominated politics and public policy in Berkeley for far too long.

  23. So how does that change FactCheck’s statement that BPD acknowledges that BHS is a significant source of crime in the community, and that locating this “community school” at BAS will bring the worst of the worst at BHS there?

  24. In the context in which Chief Meehan was writing, the term “close” means for BHS to stop allowing students to come and go freely to and from campus. BHS was an “open” campus. Chief Meehan wants a “closed” campus which means that ID’s are checked of everyone entering the campus to make sure that they have the right to be there.

    I’m sure he did not mean that BHS should be moved.

  25. FactCheck you have an understandable mis-understanding.  I am totally hoping to be laughing with you on this although this might make you blush:

    Meehan says that he thinks BUSD should “close the BHS campus”.   TRUE!

    It doesn’t mean what you think it means.

    The problem is that “close the campus” is a technical term in this context.  It doesn’t mean to shut down the campus and move the students and the school elsewhere.

    Rather, it means to change the rules so that students can’t leave during the lunch break, and so that people are generally not supposed to enter and exit the campus without passing a checkpoint during school hours.

    BHS is currently an “open” campus because the students are free to go off campus for lunch.    The chief is saying it should be a “closed” campus where students have to eat in the cafeteria (and so forth).

    I can thoroughly see how you could misunderstand what the chief is saying there but, please do be aware, he most definitely meant what I’m describing here — no “come and go as you please” privileges for students and some “border control” about who comes and goes on campus during school hours — not moving the school.

  26. Term limits would be great. Maio may not be bought-and-paid for (I’m editing my earlier comment because it seems too harsh in retrospect) but she certainly doesn’t seem to be willing to stand up to BUSD on this issue and really pressure them to answer some tough questions.

  27. Read what more carefully?  You wrote that Meehan’s recommendation to BUSD is to move Berkeley High School.    That’s a remarkable claim.

    The chief communicated several recommendations in an open letter to BUSD.  Moving Berkeley High School was not among them (and would seem an odd idea).     Assuming that’s just a typo, it’s not clear from the context what you might have meant instead.

  28. This is a mistake we’ve made before. BHS has established, salary by salary, its own mini department of corrections on campus. This experiment has been an expensive and divisive failure, which may yet prove fatal.

    Blurring the distinction between mainstream education and the corrections system is a disaster for both. Placing this half-day house with convicted felons in a residential neighborhood is a perfect example. The residents have made clear what they stand to lose. Dropping unsupervised known offenders into this victim rich environment is a cruel temptation that all but guarantees recidivism.

    Anyone familiar with Berkeley knows a ’cause’ always trumps ‘data’ as long as there are the numbers to support it. Sixty is good, a hundred is better. Enough to fill the council chambers, overflow out into the hallway and down the stairs plus a dozen outside with signs. That’s the minimum bet. 

    This program, along with the support and intervention programs for repeat felons at BHS, must be moved to sites consistent with their mission: convincing troubled youth to change. As long as they enjoy all the benefits of the society they violated, why would they change?

    Shove this problem back up where it belongs, to the county level, safe from BUSD’s desire to bend over for a few more FTE’s. There are lots of places (e.g. Naval Air Station) that offer ready made facilities with the serenity and absence of temptation essential to effective rehabilitation. Run a shuttle bus from BART. 

  29. Just to clear up one point….   You wrote:  “Chief Meehan’s recommendation to the BUSD is to move Berkeley High School as it is a big sore cause of crime in the neighborhood.”  

    Is there a typo there?   That’s simply false as written but I’m not sure what you really meant.

    BDP wrote a letter of recommendations, signed by Meehan.  Moving BHS is most definitely not on that list.

  30. If people want to change the fact that Berkeley councilmembers tend to be re-elected forever, the way to do it is with a term-limit initiative.  It would be easy to take the language from other cities that have term limits.  Term limits have generallly won whenever they have been on the ballot.  There would be opposition from the current crop of politicians, but I have no doubt that it would win If it were on the ballot in an election with high turnout (such as a presidential election).

    Currently, incumbents win because the great majority of the Berkeley electorate does not follow local politics at all.   They just vote on the basis of name recognition, and it is hard to beat the name recognition of an incumbent.

    I should add that I have known Linda Maio slightly for many years, and even though I often disagree with her, I think she is sincere in her opinions.  I don’t think she takes stands because she is bought and paid for.  She is also very hard working: for many years, until she retired from her job, she was the only councilmember with a full time job – which means that she had two full-time jobs, one for pay and one as councilmember that is actually more than full time and that she did only because she wanted to work for the good of the city.

    Nevertheless, I do think Berkeley politics tends to stagnate because councilmembers serve forever, and I would vote for a term-limit initiative.

  31. Data and Analysis
    The data presented to Linda Maio and BUSD are not trying to make an argument about CAUSALITY. What they are trying to make it an ACTUARIAL statement; at statement about RISK.

    Chief Meehan’s recommendation to the BUSD is to move Berkeley High
    School as it is a big sore cause of crime in the neighborhood. The
    crimes are perpetrated by the a group of students who have demonstrated
    proclivity for criminal behavior; those caught have been expelled. But what kind of expulsions are we talking about? These are not academic misconduct expulsions; these are expulsions for criminal or public safety endangerment expulsions. They are the weapon of last resort that BUSD has to protect the rest of the students. The risk of these expelled students to contain juvenile delinquents is exceedingly high. If 8 out of the 15 is for gun possession the risk is already above 50%.

    It is a very clear and logical conclusion that bringing this small group
    of expelled students in another school within a highly residential area
    will most likely increase criminal behavior there.

    “In one series, 21 burglaries were related to five juveniles, in the
    other 17 burglaries were related to another group of five juveniles.”
    The article discusses that overall crime rate in the city went down
    when they started cracking down on juvenile delinquents.

    “Two 14-year-olds stole a laptop computer from a home in a “smash and
    grab” robbery, Pieratoni said. It was a first offense for one of the
    students.” []

    It is conceivable that 15 juveniles with a history of criminal activity
    may potentially cause crime in a highly residential area.

    Combine the internal risk of these students with the suitability of BAS as a CDS school, the mix of adult population on the premises, the lack of any structure (you dont show us a plan you have not plan), the documented incompetence of BUSD to handle safety and the RISK of this students committing crimes in the neighborhood once located here become too high.

    This is what the analysis was driving to. It is about the RISK of
    locating these criminally-oriented juveniles at BAS. The data regarding before and after locating BAS in the neighborhood is to demonstrate that risk does materialize and it is applied differentially on the neighborhood here. If the city is knowingly doing so it is in effect imposing a tax on the neighbors so that the rest of the city can enjoy a CDS.

  32. Linda Maio = bought and paid for by the BUSD unions

    If you want someone who will champion the party line for BUSD and push forward their agenda no matter how many guns get brought to school and no matter how bad it is for our kids, then Linda Maio is the candidate for you.

  33. Berkeley Parent: you keep writing and fighting and writing and fighting. You can’t take a passive or middle-ground point of view, and you can’t have an attitude of “if you do this” it might be okay… you have to pointedly argue; point by point, against the CDS and you have to show up and and speak against it. I think, if I’m right about who you are, that this is what you are doing. 

  34. Bruce/Thomas Love/Lord – this mental masturbation of yours is leaking over into all posts… could you just find a point of opinion.. A reason for being here? Could you be a neighbor (no, you’re in too many posts)? A friend of a neighbor (unlikely)? A friend of a friend (do you have any)? Could you at some point, in some forum, become a valuable part of the conversation… I doubt it; because frankly, you are full of tautologies and remedial academics in general, that you are always in your own space. 

    It is annoying, I admit.. but more so.. it’s pathetic; because all you do is challenge others without actually putting your own data, or opinions, on the line. You do nothing but argue with others, without offering any additional information. It’s like you have no dog in the fight, but you throw a mutt in anyway. What is wrong with you?  I’ve been watching you, and the more I see of you, the more I can see a lonely man relying upon this tiny space on the internet to find courage.  I’m sorry you are so lonely and that your sad position of power comes from circular logic and challenges to those who know so much more than you. I’m sorry you are lonely and hoping for someone to engage you in conversation, even via a pointless argument. But I’m not sorry that you are not my friend… I’d rather corkscrew my eyeball out of my head than spend two minutes a room listening to your pathetic arguments. FYI — I’m going to copy this post, because it’s going to be cut and I would like it to be available to those who want to know why. 

    For the record: I consider you a troll and would not ordinarily address a troll; but now you’ve stepped into my turf, and frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. 

  35. She probably feels she has no choice; she’s been vetted and supported by ACOE people — Sheila Jordan, Joaquin Rivera…. Ask me? She’s very comfy in her long-term role as Queen of the City Council. Ask me again? Betty Olds and Maudelle Shirek at least FOUGHT FOR THEIR CONSTITUENTS. 

  36. The comment was a personal attack; understandable, but pointless. If Bruce Lord/Thomas Love  (intended) would just stop his tautological ramblings of no particular use or substance, he would not have gotten such a rude reminder of his uselessness in most of his postings. 

  37. She might end up winning by default running unopposed or with only token opposition.  Even leaving the ballot blank won’t help when Linda, her husband and Nicole give her the three votes she needs to get into office.

  38. I am still puzzled how Linda Maio came up with the conclusion that these kids will not commit crimes around the neighborhood.

    Nevertheless her statement is public record and she will be held accountable.

  39. The ghetto is where you cannot walk at 10pm at night because you will be highly likely robbed. It is also the place that if you park your car there you will most likely never see it again (in one piece).

  40. If she lets BUSD ram this though without more of a fight, she’s definitely lost my vote in the next election.

    We need some councilmembers who will stand up to BUSD’s shenanigans, not roll over with their bellies in the air any time the Union walks by.

  41. In reference to Sharkey’s post below…

    IF – Bruce Love and Thomas Lord are the pseudonym and real name, respectively, of the same person, or both are pseudonyms of the same person. 

    AND – This person writes for (provides services to) a competing Berkeley exclusive media business.

    AND –  The vast majority of Berkeleyside users consider his postings a conscious, willful distraction impeding  their discourse and use of Berkeleyside.

    THEN – Wouldn’t he have crossed the line from harmless dissembling into malicious tampering for competitive advantage?

  42. LM says: “I can assure you that if the School District approves the proposal that the Berkeley police will cooperate in every way possible”

    Obviously AFTER the crime is committed they will show up.

    LM says: “Not all of the neighbors feel threatened by the CS. My constituents vary in their opinions.”

    When Burr Guthrie tried to convene a “community committee” to discuss the CDS “proposal” he was instructed by Huyett to have 5 for and 5 against. As if this is a debate club!!!! Burr had a lot of trouble locating the 5 against so resolved to pulling 5 disinterested parties. All 5 were evidently completely new to the topic. The point here is that the plurality of neighbors are opposed to it.

    LM says: “That, and generally representing resident and business interests, is my job.”
    These CDS students are NOT residents of district 1. In effect Linda Maio is not doing her job but rather jump in there to pretend to be an “educator.”

    LM says: “It has not been proven to me how real that threat is, but I respect the worry and concern that some neighbors feel.”

    So she does not believe the crime data, the report of the Chief of Police that students perpetrate crime on the neighborhoods next to their campuses, the documented two groups of teenagers responsible for over 40 burglaries in her district, the fact that expelled students are expelled on the basis of gun possession, drugs, assault, and theft.

    Wouldn’t a responsible representative ask the BUSD to provide an impact analysis on this issue? 

    Linda Maio reveals her personal bias: she doesn’t care so she will not pursue anything.


    LM says: “As the Councilmember, I urged the Board to meet with neighbors and be more responsive”
    This is Linda Maio who the only time she shows up around our neighborhood is around election time.

    LM says:”I cannot say to what extent the Berkeley School District can ensure
    every neighbor’s safety re the CS students, except for what the County
    Board has outlined.”

    Basically ZERO. Does not make her less accountable; just an accomplice.

    LM says: ” As to the classroom itself and their plan, it appears to me to be flawed and I have conveyed my opinions to the District”

    So basically if the plan was not flawed (which plan?) then she would have no qualms about it.

  43. I’m sorry I don’t have time to delve into this any more deeply. But I think you are misunderstanding a number of statistical concepts. When I say you have sampling issue, I mean that you have chose an arbitrary geographical slice and arbitrary time points. 

    I can’t see your math, obviously, but when I calculate a Poisson distribution on these numbers, I get a probability of 3.4% for 65 burglaries. That would qualify as significant in some cases, but in my work, we generally a p-value of 0.05; the increase would not be significant under those conditions.

    But moreover, the assumption that crime is a stochastic process is not a safe assumption; it’s very controversial. So if it were me, I wouldn’t test significance as you have.

    Finally, causality is often ascribed using statistical methods. It is not correct to say everything is _only_ an association in statistical terms.

    Look, here’s my argument in a nutshell: BUSD has an ethical and legal obligation  to educate these kids. As Berkeley residents and taxpayers, we share that obligation. Now, I consider that obligation to be paramount. I accept that others don’t, but that’s where I’m coming from. Education is always a social good.

    BAS Neighbors are attempting to make the case that BUSD’s obligation to educate these kids conflicts with acceptable standards of public safety. I have not seen that case made in a rigorous and compelling way. I understand that there are concerns; Linda Maio is not my councilmember, but it sounds as if there needs to be better constituent outreach from her office. 

    But I think that if BAS Neighbors takes an uncompromising position that they do not want at-risk kids educated in their neighborhood, then they’re going to be frustrated.

  44. I notice that she also takes the time to belittle the fears of her constituents in her response.

    Anyone who actually believes that this will stay limited to 15-or-fewer students once it gets approved is nuts. If the CDS is located at the BAS it will start out at 15 students, and then eventually expand to more. With the way BUSD is handling things there is absolutely zero reason to believe that we will have fewer trouble students in the future, and every reason to believe that we will have far more.

  45. The data presented is not statistics it is counts of actual crimes. I wouldn’t characterize them as useless unless you are trying to be disrespectful of the victims of those crimes.

  46. It’s round about time to ask “FactCheck” to define what he, she or it means by “the ghetto”.

    The general sense I’m getting is that FactCheck has a classist separatist agenda.

  47. Precisely the point.

    Within .25 mile from Addison and San Pablo is Bonar street and Strawberry Creek Park – both high crime sites. Bonar unfortunately for the low-grade public housing that is within two blocks of the park. The park is frequented by homeless and transients.

    Francisco and San Pablo don’t have such hot spots of crime.  A .25 mile radius does NOT include BART (another source of high property crime and assaults).  Yet Francisco & San Pablo have a crime rate comparable to the ghetto. What Francisco and San Pablo also have is BAS.

  48. Want to know what Linda Maio thinks about the CDS being located at the Adult School? Well, here’s her answer as of yesterday — and it appears that, in her mind, it’s a done deal. Her comments about doing a little extra to ensure neighborhood security has, distressingly, no hard information behind it and is clearly just pablum to soothe her worried little constituents:

    How do we stop the community school from being located at BAS? I am unclear about the process of actually stopping this thing from going forward.

  49. If we accept that the recidivism rates among the teens and adults in these reentry educational programs are extremely high, then the logical conclusion would be that introducing a group of individuals who are highly likely to engage in criminal activity into a neighborhood would increase criminal activity in that neighborhood.

    You can argue and whine about variables and topography and crime reportage (and it’s clear that you will) but arguing that the introduction of a bunch of individuals with criminal histories who are highly likely to engage in more criminal activity isn’t going to result in increased crime is just plain dumb.

  50. You accused me of being a hypocrite and dismissed my point of view as being “largely divorced from reality.” Further, you didn’t even bother to offer a substantive response, you simply used your post to denigrate me personally. Where I come from, that’s insulting.

    It’s unfortunate that you feel that you have been victimized for your point of view, but I certainly haven’t done that. In fact, as best I can tell, no one in this comment thread said anything negative to or about you at all. I take great pains to address the issue and not the messenger. So I really don’t understand why your perceived persecution at the hands of unnamed Berkeley progressives gives you an excuse to insult me.

  51. Arguing with Bruce Love is just like arguing with Thomas Lord because “Bruce Love” is Thomas Lord.

    He’s a self-employed college dropout who lives in a heavily subsidized rent-controlled apartment and spends his time pretending to be a legal & statistical expert on the internet instead of getting a real 9-5 job.

    He occasionally writes “articles” for the Berkeley Daily Planet and he’s been banned from this site in the past for his incessant harassment of the journalists who write for Berkeleyside.

    After his previous profile (screen name “dasht”) was banned he came back as “Bruce Love” and lied repeatedly about who he is and what his background was in order to strengthen his position on the West Berkeley zoning debate.

    His comments are frequently rife with falsehoods and half-truths. He has shown that he has no problem making outright lies in order to “prove” his point, so don’t ever believe anything he says without verifying it for yourself.

  52. “First, you would have to come up with a quantifiable definition of
    “social progressive ideology.” For me, I have no idea what that is.”

    You mean the 15 students in possession of guns? drugs? history of assault? or the 8 students the police alluded to responsible for the 40 burglaries? How could we even think that they will bring any crime?

    Is it fair however to make the big leap of faith that crime moves with the criminals that commit it?

    “Indeed, your ironic proposition that social progressive ideology is the
    cause of the high property crime rates is abstract; it does not offer a
    testable hypothesis.”

    It was rhetorical. There is a way to test it but I find the idea of it objectionable.

    “First, you would have to come up with a quantifiable definition of
    “social progressive ideology.” For me, I have no idea what that is.”


    Linda Maio has voted in favor of every single low-income housing project proposed at the City Council. Often times without any analysis of the impact on the neighbors. Look at the Bel Air Motel case – Linda was voting yes at the Council while being on the board of the organization proposing the housing development.

    “And you have called my suggestion that crime rates prior to 2005 may
    have been higher “abstract” without offering any concrete evidence to
    refute it. This is a plainly testable hypothesis. Conceivably, one could
    get pre-2005 data from the same place that one obtained post-2005

    I think you are missing the point of both mine and Charis.

    The point is that data is alluding to high crime rates around schools and an increase in crime since BAS was located in the neighborhood.

    Crime is not perpetrated by all students; only a minority. Of that minority an even smaller proportion is caught and expelled. We asked BUSD to look into the impact of students on crime BEFORE they transfer high-risk (euphemism for juvenile delinquents).

    We also asked that an analysis of impact of BAS itself has on crime be contacted.

    The evidence points to both being positive factors towards increased crime.

  53. Your comment is hard for me to parse but I think I can say that I don’t agree that that single data point you refer to really tells any particular story that is relevant here.  If it does, you haven’t explained how.

  54. I thought I made this reply but I don’t see it here.  Sorry if I’m saying the same thing twice.   The “useless statistics” I’m referring to are primarily the 2005…2008 crime statistics that Berkeley Adult School Neighbors have so far published and secondarily are the hard-to-make-sense-of way some anti-CDS-at-BAS types seem to be using stats about crime near BHS and BTech.

  55. Dear Tor:

    I am indeed sorry if you misconstrued my comment above as “insulting.”  I have reread it now and I honestly fail to see how I have insulted you personally or otherwise.  I did surmise (falsely, apparently) that there was a large element of typical Berkeley hypocrisy in your perspective and comments.  Hypocrisy is such a large elephant in Berkeley politics (I have observed) that you may forgive me for assuming such in your case.

    I will add, for what it’s worth, that Berkeley is a fairly insular community ideologically.  People here mostly surround themselves with likeminded fellows.   Consequently, it may come as something of a “shock” to realize that there are, in fact, many local residents, including some in your own ‘hood whose views differ widely from mainstream Berkeley progressive orthodoxy.

    Those of us who are the real dissidents in Berkeley are accustomed to truly being “insulted”, denigrated and marginalized when we open our mouths or speak our piece, whether on the internet or in person.

  56. On sampling:
    there is no sampling here. it is the whole population. your point is moot.

    On significance:
    What we want to see is whether having observed 56 crimes how likely is that we will observe 65 or more.

    if we assume that crime is stochastic process (a Poisson process since it is counts) and it is lets say centered at 56, the likelihood of it coming from the same distribution when it is 65 is 12%, 70 is 3%. These are quite small odds from social data. we can say with at least of certainty that the observed crime rates come from a new stochastic process centered at a higher crime rate. if we perform some sensitivity analysis we can see that centering the 2005 distribution at 54 crimes then observing 65 is 6% likely. This points to the more likely scenario is a shift to a higher crime stochastic process.

    On causation:
    we can argue causation endlessly because probability theory has no causal machinery in it to describe it. it has to be inferred or modeled. effectively everything is an association in statistical terms.

  57. Ah yes, it’s Bruce “The Bald Headed Hair Splitter”, elucidating the subtleties of what he knows little to nothing about. Nothing except for the highly classified information he ‘downloads’ from the ultra top secret web search/data base: “G**gle”. A site so well hidden, that even after learning its full name, it took him (a computer expert!) weeks to find. 

  58. Folks:

     There is no plan for an implementation of CDS @ BAS. Its as simple as that. We, as the community surrounding BAS and the taxpayers funding BAS and the CDS, have a very reasonable and valid request to hear and understand the plan.

    We don’t get paid to figure this out. Jordan and Rivera DO get paid to figure this out. At the public BUSD meeting, Rivera told BUSD that, essentially, he has been pained with the burden of figuring out what to do with these kids, “our kids” and been pestering Jordan for months about what to do with them. All this  passion and determination  Rivera communicated to the BUSD has resulted in a non-existent plan. Passion is as good as an invention or  idea that never gets out of someone’s head. Execution is a lot more difficult, ACOE and BUSD have executed on this idea in a comically sparse manner and that is angering.

     As a community member, Berkeley business owner and taxpayer, I am asking for the plan that reflects our community is being considered (security) and our tax dollars are being used well. I would prefer that the CDS is located in an area that can support these kids and give them something to do after school. That is possible in downtown but not in a residential neighborhood.

    Its an objective request; not an emotional plea. Removing emotion from this discussion is complicated to do but its a worthy exercise.

  59. I have never said that criminality among juveniles in Berkeley is not a problem. I have read Chief Meehan’s report, and I agree that there needs to be BPD and BHS security and administrators. And you are correct; Chief Meehan did not say that crime in the downtown area is entirely attributable to students

    But Charis Karkiris’s analysis takes the difference between incidents downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods, and then transfers the entirety of that difference to the neighborhood around BAS, alleging that this will be the effect of putting CDS at BAS. This just doesn’t make any sense. How could 15 students not currently enrolled at BHS bring all the criminality of downtown Berkeley with them?

    And you have called my suggestion that crime rates prior to 2005 may have been higher “abstract” without offering any concrete evidence to refute it. This is a plainly testable hypothesis. Conceivably, one could get pre-2005 data from the same place that one obtained post-2005 data. 

    Indeed, your ironic proposition that social progressive ideology is the cause of the high property crime rates is abstract; it does not offer a testable hypothesis. Can I exclude social progressive ideology as the cause of the high property crime rates? First, you would have to come up with a quantifiable definition of “social progressive ideology.” For me, I have no idea what that is.

  60. I hope this isn’t confusing. We’ve run out of replies.
    The difference between the number 56 and the number 65 is 16%. Is an increase of 9 incidents over 4 years spread over .20 square miles of urban area statistically significant? I’m sorry that I don’t have time to make that calculation, but I doubt it. 

    And even if it were significant, you would still have fundamental problems with sampling, and you would still left with mere association and not causation.

  61. Tor says… “But I think it’s important to remember that both BHS and BTech are downtown; ”

    Your logic is cyclical. Perhaps the reason “downtown” has high crime rates it is because of the schools and the students and their buddies. Plenty of vignettes are in the press regarding this issue precisely.

    MLK and Derby where BTech is located is not exactly downtown. Your argument is flawed.

    Tor says… “If you can attribute the entirety of that discrepancy to BUSD students, I’d be very interested seeing your analysis.”

    Read Chief Meehan’s report to the BUSD – it is posted on another Berkeleyside article. And that is the crime that is reported. Nobody said that all the crime contacted around BUSD campuses is attributed to them. However a lot of it is perpetrated by students or their buddies who loiter the area. I guess under your logic there is no safety problem on the BUSD campuses either.

    Tor says… “You can’t, because no one has looked at crime rates prior to 2005; perhaps 2005 was the outlier.”

    The increase is substantial enough that the likelihood of it being an outlier is fairly minor. What the data show is that the mix of crimes changed as well. Your comments are abstract.

    Maybe it is the low-income housing that was causing the problems all together – which was build on part of BAS. It is the social progressive ideology that is the cause of the high property crime rates. Can you exclude that? I think not.

    Going further back in time there are structural differences in the neighborhood that impacted crime. Crime in the area was substantially higher even before that when the drug houses were located on Francisco street. There was a lot of effort by homeowners to clean up the neighborhood and the biggest sources of crime were removed. In particular one of the landlords in the neighborhood has spend over $40,000 to clean up the premises and screen tenants. No section-8 that is for sure.

    I am not advocating against poor people. I am just demonstrating that your unapologetic criticism can be turned on itself and point to the true causes of these crimes which is the CAVALIER APPROACH TO CRIME that BUSD and the City Council has.

  62. Sorry, I didn’t address your second comment. 

    If you go to BPD’s community crime view and look at all crimes occurring within 1/4 mile of Francisco and San Pablo over the last 6 months, you’ll get 127 total reported incidents. If you do the same for Addison and San Pablo, for instance, you get 143 incidents: more assaults, more robberies, more disturbances. And Community CrimeView doesn’t include prostitution anymore, which would make San Pablo south of you look even worse. (Which, incidentally, illustrates yet another problem with trying to perform a rigorous analysis with quick and easy publicly available crime data.)

  63. No, crime rates are reported per 1,000 people so that they are generalizable across populations of varying size.

  64. I’m not sure what BUSD facilities “house” juveniles, since there are no residential programs in the district. But I think it’s important to remember that both BHS and BTech are downtown; and the crime rate downtown is higher than in the city at large. If you can attribute the entirety of that discrepancy to BUSD students, I’d be very interested seeing your analysis. 

    It is simply not possible to say, from the numbers presented here and in Charis Kaskiris’s analysis, that BAS is a source of crime. There appears to be an association, but there is no way to ascribe causality with these numbers. Can you say, for certain, that Cafe Leila is not the source of crime in this area? You can’t. Can you say, for certain, that crime has increased since BAS moved to the site? You can’t, because no one has looked at crime rates prior to 2005; perhaps 2005 was the outlier. 

  65. In point of fact, I live in 7th and Channing in West Berkeley. Crime is an issue in our neighborhood; a young man who lived across the street from me was brutally murdered two years ago. But, like Berkeley in general, it is FAR safer than it was 20 years ago.

    So, indeed, you are incorrect in your inference. We live in immediate proximity to low income housing projects, halfway houses, homeless shelters and so forth. Further, I grew up in the East Bay, so that’s pretty much what I expected when we moved to West Berkeley.

    Nonetheless, I absolutely reject your implication that one must `actually experience crime, or “live in the hood,” in order to have an opinion about issues of public safety in Berkeley.

    I’m also curious about your invocation of “usual” when you plainly know nothing whatsoever about me, let alone what I “usually” do or say. If I were you, I would avoid making inferences about people based upon their “ideological musings,” since you appear to be very bad at it.

    I would also like to add that your response is precisely the reason I very rarely comment on Berkeleyside. Far too often, I am anonymously insulted by people like you simply because we disagree over an issue of public policy. 

  66. Bruce what exactly are you referring to as “useless statistics”? Speak with numbers and analysis; not with adjectives you do not understand or can handle. What your “casual” thinking process has shown so far is that you cannot tell apples from oranges. Perhaps you need remedial training in a fruit farm.

    What you are challenging the neighbors however is what the neighbors have been challenging BUSD and ACOE to do; to do the analysis. What the neighbors did was point out to them the following:

    1. Property crime around BUSD facilities where juveniles are housed is very high. The Chief of Police himself points to a high correlation between students and neighborhood crime. Before BUSD dumps these students at BAS we want analysis.

    2. BAS has been a source of crime; the numbers show it and we know because we call the police on them. We also know because as neighborhood watch we have stopped potentially even more crimes from people using BAS. The disturbances data we excluded point to almost one disturbance every 36 hours.

    It is up to BUSD to prove us wrong.

  67. Thomas Lord/Bruce Love

    Since you are such a rational analyst why have you missed the single data point that really tells the story, recidivism rates among the teens and adults in these reentry educational  programs. Easily accomplished if there is community will to truly address the issue.

  68. Here’s the thing, though — you and your neighbors have had years to prepare a solid case that BAS is the cause of your woes and that those woes are exceptional.   Instead, you come back with plaintiff anecdotes, useless “statistics”, and insults for anyone who questions whether you’ve made your case.

    Yup, crime is up in the 2005-2008 period near the school.   Anecdotally, some of it is clearly connected to the school, somehow.    In the same period its up in other parts of West Berkeley.   What’s your point vis a vis BAS?   I know the conclusion you want to reach about BAS and it might be right or it might not … but for goodness sake please actually make the case if its that important to you.  We can’t just accept that conclusion because you insist.

    Instead of name calling anyone who disagrees, since you are confident in your conclusions, go put together a stronger case.   It’s harder to do but pull up the crime stats for earlier years.  Pull up the crime stats for a broader range of samples.   Assemble as much as you can about the bad actors from police reports and so forth.   Put it together well and make your case – please don’t try to rhetorically bully your way through in lieu of having made your case.

    And, tell me this.   Just as a hypothetical — as a kind of thought experiment.   What if, upon digging in to the data further, you discover that BAS might have had a slight impact, but overall the problems are much larger;  that the problem isn’t BAS so much as it is police policy or prevailing conditions in a much larger region?   This would still imply a serious problem that needs public attention but it wouldn’t necessarily have much to do with BAS.    In your view, is such an outcome logically possible?   What objective test would you propose to distinguish the “BAS is the problem” hypothesis from such alternatives?   If BAS turned out to be only a minor factor, would you change your public policy advocacy stance?

  69. Inconceivable in Berkeley…  When was the last time an incumbent was voted out of office (20+ years?) in a Berkeley election, let alone recalling the entire City Council or School Board for criminal mismanagement and malfeasance?
    Hercules poised to recall council members
    By Tom LochnerContra Costa Times
    Posted: 06/07/2011 10:12:59 PM PDT
    Updated: 06/07/2011 10:21:06 PM PDT
    HERCULES — With a large number of absentee ballots counted, Joanne Ward and Donald Kuehne, the only two remaining members of the 2010 City Council, appeared on the way to recall by voters unhappy over the deterioration of the city’s finances and six-figure contracts between the city and a firm owned by the former city manager’s daughters.

  70. The only thing that has been demonstrated is that while Berkeley’s crime rate dropped by 7% the BAS proper area went up by 30%. The only logical conclusion is that if policing and city policies were uniformly distributed on Berkeley as a whole, the introduction of BAS increased crime by 40% in the BAS proper area (30+7 is not 40 but do the math correctly and it is).

  71. So I spent some time thinking about the points I want to make; but got sidelined by the strange inability for some people to look at actual numbers and still discount them; or to use a form of strawman by calling out “fear mongering”.  It makes the Sociology student in me take a moment to wonder at the strangeness of human behavior. 

    Citing facts, stats, data and anecdotes usually combine to at least create a process of thought. Apparently in 
    some people’s cases these data only make room for rebutting, arguing, and again the strawman. 

    I’m going to put this out once, and you can go ahead and rebut, if you like, call me a NIMBY, a Fear Mongerer, a Hater… whatever. Unless you naysayers come out with a real, data–filled reason for me to think otherwise, I will remain both opposed and skeptical at the efficacy of a Community School located at the Berkeley Adult School. 

    Anecdotally: Neighbor on Virginia has at times had to run a “gauntlet” as current BAS students harrass him at the entrance of his apartment,smoke weed at his front stoop; Lady in Francisco Street apartments whose apt  was broken into by a person coming over the fence from BAS; the security person saw it happen and did not call police. Woman on Curtis St. who has had a white car with a “runner” making drug deals at BAS. Several incidents in the BAS where Police had to be called in — but school secretary, when asked for the exact number, cited only 3; in fact, there were many more than that. Cafe Leila owner invited Mayor Bates to come sit at the Cafe in the morning to witness the almost daily occurrences of fighting or misbehavior across the street, in front of BAS.  More recently, an increase of drinking, drugging at the Schoolhouse Creek Commons – not necessarily attributed to BAS students, but rather situational. My own noted increase of rowdy foot traffic during the day and night where this almost never occurred before. There have been fights, near fights, and very loud hoo-riding by groups of young adults on my street, often rather disturbing and definitely by people I wouldn’t to confront — and I’m street savvy and feisty. 

    Less anecdotally: 
    BUSD tried to get the Board vote for the CDS without informing the neighborhood. A group of “guerillas” flyered the neighborhood, thus making it impossible for BUSD and ACOE to do this underhandedly. 

    When asked for a written proposal at community meeting in March, and promised the same, BUSD failed to comply. To date, a formal written proposal has not been provided. The School Board demanded one at meeting when the CDS was up as an information item in May; the neighborhood asked for one in March. One hopes, if BUSD and ACOE want this badly enough, they can formulate one that is coherent and solid. But the request(s) have been met with resistance and non-performance. 

    BUSD has never done any kind of site suitability, safety analysis or other studies to determine the viability of this site with their (constantly changing) group of students. There is no data to back up their claims that this will go smoothly. They haven’t admitted to the additional services offered at currently operating CDS’s, and do not intend to offer the same at the BAS CDS. 

    BUSD has refused to acknowledge, let alone address, neighbors concerns, thus creating more mistrust. 

    BUSD and ACOE have verbally morphed their ideas about what this program will be to the extent that Karen Hemphill called Sheila Jordan out on it — and Jordan did not have an answer as to what definitively the program was to include, nor which students, exactly, it would serve.

    BUSD did not actually look at any other spaces (by their own admission); BAS was their de facto choice. West Campus is likely to house a group of REALM Charter School high school classes when construction is complete, so no CDS could be placed their without much hoop-jumping. But there, too the same problems cited here would exist, as well as neighborhood concerns. 

    BAS does not have the resources available at currently running CDS’s. ACOE would prefer that BUSD handle their own problems, and BUSD needs to find a solution to the many problem students who are currently in regular schools — the intention is not only to house expelled students, but other highly problematic, not-expelled students as well (per John Sewalsky and Sheila Jordan).

    The article inciting this discussion cites the services at the Hayward site, including counseling. BAS will not offer even that token service. There will be no extra services, beyond grinding at the basic elementary functions of reading, writing, arithmetic. 

    Sheila Jordan’s declaration that she has seen Independent Studies co-mingled with Day School classes is blowing smoke; it is not done by ACOE, thus I would be curious where she saw this, and in what context.  

    The issues of guns and violence are but one small part of the neighbor’s concerns; many have young children who play at the park and in the neighborhood. Most of these kids are vulnerable to bullying, petty robbery and being intimidated. As the students of the CDS would not be supervised coming or going, there is no way to ensure that the kids who live here would not be at risk for at least being made uncomfortable, at worst, being beaten up or robbed. 


    When people start rolling out the cries, “these are our kids!” and “they are children!” They appear to have never seen many of these young people; some of them don’t look or act like kids. I honestly hope that the person who is looking forward to volunteering puts her money where mouth is and takes a hike out to Hayward and donates some of her time. She needs to come back to the argument with some real-world experience under her belt. You see — I have done some volunteer work at so-called inner-city schools, and I have seen some of the best, and some of the worst. I have also encountered, as a student in Berkeley Schools and as an Adult parent of a Berkeley Schools student, the worst of the worst.

    I have had my ass kicked by a Berkeley High Student as a teen badly enough to be hospitalized.  My friend’s children have been beaten, robbed and sexually assaulted by Berkeley students with no action taken by the BUSD. My house has been robbed by Berkeley students as an adult. 

    Obviously, this doesn’t set well with me. Now, when you come back and tell me that it’s my responsibility to take the risk without the BUSD taking any precautions, Sheila Jordan trying to bully the Board into voting it in as soon as possible without any background or written proposal, and an utter lack of any actual work beyond grinding these kids through a system that’s already failed them without on-site services and structured plans for guiding them beyond the classroom…. well, I might have a few words to say to you, which I will not iterate here. 

  72. Haha — arguing with Bruce Love is just like arguing with Thomas Lord; FactCheck — this person is a troll — he plays devil’s advocate in just about every post, and likes to lord his miniscule knowledge of stats and law. It’s best to not bother feeding trolls. 

  73. It is hard to discuss with non existent analysis. You make claims without presenting any data or analysis. In “scientific” argumentation details matter and you provide none. Your comparison continues to be comparing apples with oranges.

    “The West Berkeley areas I compared to the BAS area are zoned identically and situated similarly.”

    1140 Bancroft? The ghetto?

    Which areas? Centered where? What radius? Did you adjust for property values? Proximity to highways? Police presence? Proportion of low-income housing? Home ownership rates? 

    Still think your ‘analysis’ is comparing similar areas?

    “Even just the quick check of the numbers I did suggests that its more a West Berkeley problem than a BAS problem.”

    You jump to very quick conclusions there – assuming that everywhere in West Berkeley crime rates would go up at the same rate. That is quite a big assumption and not empirically validated.

    “I thought about taking a look at the CSD opponent claims vis a vis crime
    rates around BHS and BTech and how we’re supposed to interpret those to
    assume that a CDS at BAS is bad.  I was unable to find a coherent
    statistical or scientific argument in the CDS opponent’s claims of that
    kind so there was no data worth examining.”

    The crime rates around high schools echo Chief Meehan’s letter to BUSD. One of their highlights is the two groups of juveniles who have collectively committed over 40 burglaries in the areas around these campuses. I guess by that token Chief Meehan doesn’t know anything about crime either. I guess these juveniles casually came to these areas as well.

  74. The West Berkeley areas I compared to the BAS area are zoned identically and situated similarly.   The South Berkeley spot with the remarkable drop in crime is zoned very similarly although both foothills locations are different in character from any place in West Berkeley.   The North Berkeley foothills spot I checked is zoned differently (one of the simple residential zones with no commercial zoning in the area considered).

    The point of the comparison is to show that while the BAS area experienced an increase in crime in 2005…2008, it is very far from clear that the area around BAS experienced things much differently from the places around it.   It might not have been BAS that caused the increase in crime.  It might have been a much larger problem with very little connection to BAS.   Even just the quick check of the numbers I did suggests that its more a West Berkeley problem than a BAS problem.

    The Neighbors group offers the 2005…2008 stats from around BAS as evidence of how  BAS made things worse and what I’ve pointed out is that they haven’t shown any such thing.   Maybe BAS made things worse.  Maybe not.  The BAS Neighbors statistics don’t tell us.

    So for all the “fact based” rhetoric we’re seeing in, for example, these comments … claims about how BAS is already such a problem ….  well, that rhetoric doesn’t stand up to even casual scrutiny.  The ones screaming about facts against BAS are the ones most careless with them. 

    I thought about taking a look at the CSD opponent claims vis a vis crime rates around BHS and BTech and how we’re supposed to interpret those to assume that a CDS at BAS is bad.  I was unable to find a coherent statistical or scientific argument in the CDS opponent’s claims of that kind so there was no data worth examining.  

  75. Tor:
    Do I correctly infer that you are neither lower income nor a part of Berkeley’s increasingly scarce “diversity” profile?  You already admitted that you don’t live in this neighborhood.  You are commenting on this matter abstractly in a mostly academic manner, probably from the vantage point of someone who resides in a wealthier, even less diverse section of the city.
    Do you live in immediate proximity to any low income housing projects, halfway houses, homeless shelters and so forth – right next door to your house?   Perhaps you do.  Most likely you do not.  Per usual, you probably want some another segment of our population to bear the brunt of your ideological musings which (like all ideologies) is largely divorced from reality.

  76.  Fair enough. I meant more that the schools could teach them the not-so-hard parts of those trades so that they would be motivated to learn more about them and go to trade school after they finished their vocational education.

  77. The Berkeley Daily Planet is not a reliable source of information, since their Executive Editor has been known to edit out quotes from individuals she does not agree with and deliberately skew articles to promote a specific view.

  78. How is a change from 56 to an average of 65 statistical noise? For an area that is three blocks with the small population density this quite a significant proportional increase even if the number changes are small. Crime rates are reported per 1000 people precisely for this reason.

    “But from where I sit, this section of San Pablo Ave. doesn’t look much
    different than most other sections of San Pablo Ave.”

    Please provide facts and analysis.

  79. No fan of Linda Maio (as you know already), but she is actually more instinctively a politician than a true ideologue.  She has modified her shtick over the years as her district has gentrified and become less “diverse.”

    Above all, Linda Maio “stands for reelection.”  But who has the time, the money and the local name recognition to challenge her?  Most of her token opponents over the years have been from Berkeley’s fringe Left which makes her seem like the only sane and rationale option.  A good mainstream Berkeley candidate needs to take her on with enough financial backing (or deep enough pockets) to really get his/her name and program for change out there to the whole district.  The local public unions will invest heavily in her reelection.  She functions as a bag man for them.

  80. Comparing BAS blocks with the rest of West Berkeley or Berkeley proper is not a valid comparison.
    You are mixing crime rates in a residential area versus commercial, hybrid, and industrial sections of the city. We currently have no data regarding other impacts (treatments) going on in those areas that may have contributed to the changes in crime rates in West Berkeley. If you look at the locations of crimes in the BAS blocks they are predominately in the residential part.

    BAS has been the single change we had in the neighborhood blocks, unless you consider Cafe Leila as well.

    Perhaps the only common factor in all of  in West Berkeley’s crime rate problems was the re-election of Linda Maio.

  81. This is nice, Bruce. Thank you for taking the time. 

    I think it should also be pointed out that these are tiny samples. As someone who works with population-level data, I would be hesitant to draw conclusions from these relatively small deltas. For instance, 2005 saw 56 burglaries in 2005, then went up to 61, then to 70, and then back to 64. For an area the size of three city blocks, that’s not an increase, that’s statistical noise.

    I don’t live near BAS, so I wouldn’t want to discount anyone’s personal experience. But from where I sit, this section of San Pablo Ave. doesn’t look much different than most other sections of San Pablo Ave.

  82. There’s a pretty clear connection between delinquency and emotional trauma. Hoffman and Cerbone’s 1999 paper, “Stressful Life Events and Delinquency Escalation in Early Adolescence,” was seminal and is a primary reference for more current work. So it’s safe to say that kids enrolled in this program have a very high likelihood of having a history of emotional trauma.

    Within the context of your question, the rationale for supporting this program would be twofold: First, there is no reason that public education funding should be zero-sum; we can both support kids who want to learn and be productive AND provide opportunities and guidance for kids who have made poor choices. Second, they’re children; a compassionate society does not simply wash its hands of concern for children who have made poor choices.

    Berkeley can be whatever we want it to be. Historically, Berkeley’s populace has prioritized a public policy approach that is highly supportive of the disenfranchised. But Berkeley has gotten a lot wealthier and less diverse over the past 10 years, so perhaps that’s changing. 

  83. The “Berkeley Adult School Neighbors” group has published some crime statistics for the years 2005…2008 for a three block area around the school.   If I understand correctly, their intent is to show that BAS is already (allegedly) a crime magnet, even without a Community Day School there.

    Their numbers do show increasing crime.   There are various ways to slice their numbers.   The raw data they are using is a little bit squirrely, apparently partly because crime categorizing and recording rules changed.   I tried to pick the least problematic of their data and came up with. 

    Near BAS crime increases in 2006…2008:   18%, 3%, 10%   

    Overal increase near BAS from 2005 to 2006:  34%

    (Note that these percentages are strictly for comparison to other parts of the city and the city overall in the crime categories where the data is best.  The subset of categories I used is:  aggravated assault, alcohol violations, arson, auto burglary, burglary, narcotics violations, robbery, stolen auto, theft, and vandalism.    Had I included the category “disturbance” the percentages relative to 2005 would be quite a bit higher for the area around BAS and for the city overall.  There is an oddly suspicious jump in “disturbance” reports, city-wide and in every area sampled, between 2005 and 2006.   I speculate that the recording rules changed and so ignored the “disturbance” category.)

    For sure that increase near BAS is bad in absolute terms and in this sense:  overall during those same years, using the same way of measuring it, the City saw crime fall by 7%.   So, that area near BAS is fairing poorly compared to the City.   Is BAS itself the cause?

    I “somewhat randomly” looked at some other locations.  In that same period, in 2 blocks around 1140 Bancroft, crime went up by 29%.

    In that same period, within three blocks of 1222 Allston, crime went up by 19%.

    The area around BAS was worse than other West Berkeley locations I looked at — but not by much and not every single year.   (In 2007, the area around BAS faired comparatively quite well.  Crime went up but only by 3% compared to the previous year.)

    I sampled some foothills locations — one in North Berkeley and one in South Berkeley.  These experienced crime drops during 2005…2008.     The South Berkeley location (a couple of square blocks just south of Berkeley Bowl and north of Ashby Bart) saw a 16% drop in crime compared to only 7% city-wide.

    While the City had an overall drop in crime during those years, significant parts of West Berkeley appeared to have seen fairly bad crime increases.   It is not clear from the data BAS Neighbors presented whether the area around BAS had it exceptionally bad in a way that would indict BAS — or whether the area around BAS had it roughly as bad as much of West Berkeley.

  84. Some tasty irony from 2003 when moving the Adult School to the current location was a hot topic:

    Some neighbors and local businessmen say they have no
    objection to the plan, which is scheduled to go before the Board of
    Education Aug. 20.

    “It wouldn’t bother me,” said Jerry Koehler,
    owner of Koehler’s Auto Body on San Pablo Avenue, across from the
    Franklin site. “It’s too bad it’s sitting there vacant.” He added that
    the students might even provide a boost to local merchants. 

    Neighbors of the Adult School, which sits five blocks from Franklin at
    1222 University Ave., say they don’t want the facility to move. The
    Adult School’s constant foot traffic has warded off crime, they say,
    and moving it will expose the area to shady dealings. 

    “We’re going to have dark alleyways,” said neighbor Connie McCullah, who has vowed to fight the move.

    Go figure.   What objection did the Franklin neighbors have at the time?   After all, if the school’s old-location neighbors wanted to keep BAS in order to deter crime then opponents of the Franklin site would have had a hard anti-crime case to make.   Well,:

    A growing group of about 40 neighborhood residents, who packed a
    community meeting on the proposed move Monday night, are concerned that
    the flood of adult students will create parking and traffic problems.
    Some say it may slow the progress of a rundown neighborhood that, in
    recent years, has seen crackhouses and cheap furniture stores give way
    to upscale food shops and a greater sense of cohesion and identity.

    “I’m worried that the improvement of the neighborhood … might sort of
    stall,” said James Day, a Kains Street resident. “Each issue involved,
    whether it be traffic, economic development, noise, security, is too
    close to call. And if it’s too close to call, it’s not worth taking a
    risk with a neighborhood that is so close to reaching stability.”

    Quotes from “Adult School Move Stirs Controversy in Neighborhood” by David Scharfenberg writing for the Daily Planet, 13 June 2003.

  85. What an amazing opportunity, I would have loved something like that in HS.  Oh well, another instance of failing to meet the needs of our diverse students…

  86. BASNeighbor you call our neighbors as fear mongers while you present nothing but bubbly language with not basis in evidence or fact.

    Which part of the proposal provided by BUSD and ACOE seemed to you that the BAS classroom to be a positive learning environment?

    What exactly are you volunteering for?

    Why do you assume these kids have trauma? What trauma are you referring to?

    Which challenges are you referring to? The ones where ACOE and BUSD don’t even know what they are doing academically? Or you refer to the drug dealing that is going on by the Schoolhouse Creek Garden by BAS? Or the disturbances the neighbors have to deal with on a weekly basis?

    We already have taken responsibility for these kids. Our property taxes pay for their education. Under what rationale should we be taking away from kids who want to learn and be proactive members of society and spend it on the same kids that threaten their safety, drain BUSD’s and City resources?

    Get a grip with reality; Berkeley is not the utopia you dream of.

  87. Did any of you hear the recent report to city council by the BFD chief about the results of the fire science academy/internships for BHS students? Not good, as others are suggesting here, most of these kids are unable to complete the most basic requirements, such as showing up on time, showing up at all, or doing the reading and  homework.  Attendance was so poor,  below the requirements for funding, the program was discontinued.

    I hope folks realize many of the job training programs taxpayers fund focus on supervising kids to complete the most basic expectations: getting up on time for work, dressing and speaking properly.
    Teens are paid an hourly stipend to complete this low level job training.

  88. I wouldn’t classify electrical, carpentry, and other skilled trades as “not-so-hard”.  They are actually often extremely difficult and I think the failure to recognize that is part of the reason the trades have been devalued in the last 30 or so years even though it’s the one class of jobs that will never be outsourced to Asia.

    This kids aren’t ready to learn a trade in any case.  They need to spend some time washing dishes and doing menial labor in order to the get the life skills necessary to successfully complete something like an apprenticeship.

  89. Linda Maio’s flak person, Nicole, is particularly unresponsive to neighborhood problems and complaints.   Her replies are generally surly, lack content, do not evince proper respect for constituent’s concerns and seems altogether rude and ineffective.

    But no suprise there, really.  If you are rubber stamped to reelection for nealry 30 years with only occasional token opposition, why should Linda Maio’s office be responsive to the district residents?  She only needs to be responsive to the powerful special interest groups whose payola she takes…

  90. Why don’t you post your information so that when these kids cause your neighbors harm then we can hold you responsible.

  91. Fear mongering???
    Assessment based on facts is not fear mongering, it is REALITY – BASED planning that actually might lead to the positive outcomes you suggest we should focus on.

    I am a graduate of a continuation program.


  92. It’s clear you are angry about the community school and disappointed my article doesn’t just zero in on the backgrounds — both criminal and other — of these students. I tried to write a broad article showing the nuances of the the situation. I have taken your comments seriously and asked ACOE for a breakdown of probation status of the kids at Hayward. I will post them when I get them.

    Kids who are at these community schools are under numerous jurisdictions and are served by different social service agencies. They are not just assisted by ACOE. They get oversight and supervision from Probation, their school districts, etc.

    You have expressed concern that there is no plan. Jordan said once the site is approved they will draw up a plan. I understand that you think that is backwards. I think ACOE is relying on the fact that they have been teaching these kinds of students for a long time and they will transfer what they do at Hayward to Berkeley. And the teachers do have a lot of experience. Both the principal and teacher I interviewed had spent many years teaching at Juvenile Hall and in schools.

  93. I’m glad we have an area of agreement! Ideally, we should also be offering some vocational training to all BUSD students so that they can actually get jobs and earn some money (legally).  Food prep, carpentry, plumbing, computer repair, web design, gardening, auto mechanics, solar power installation…  These are all areas in which we should offer training so that our kids can make some money doing something productive and useful.

  94. I live two blocks from BAS and am really excited about the opportunity to be near and volunteer at a positive learning environment for youth who have been traditionally given up on.  Fear mongering is not helpful; ensuring that the school is set up as a positive learning environment that helps students address their past trauma and succeed is.  There may be challenges in setting up this school, but surely we can address them instead of obstructing any progress.  These kids will go to school somewhere, so why don’t we take some responsibility for the next generation?  Get a grip neighbors and get involved in a positive way instead of forcing the school to waste money defending educational opportunities for youth and direct it toward providing those opportunities, which will make us all safer and more productive.

  95. I couldn’t agree more.

    College prep courses are a joke for kids like these who have no intention of pursuing higher education. It just wastes everyone’s time and makes them bored and unruly. Teach these kids how to do electrical work, how to pull networking cable, so that they can see some not-so-hard jobs where they could make $20-$30/hour and they’ll be more likely to pay attention and use those skills to make money without resorting to crime.

  96. The kids need vocational training they can use to develop job skills and an ability to participate in mainstream society.  Training in food prep, carpentry or similar areas would be useful.  The school could operate a small cafe or wood working studio so they could get practical experience and help defray BUSD costs.

  97. “The community school would provide counseling and individualized
    attention to the students, along with continual monitoring so they don’t
    act out in class. The aim is to work closely with the high-risk
    students, both academically and socially, and get them prepared to
    return to a normal school setting.”

    Had Frances done her fact checking she would have discovered that ACOE and BUSD did not plan for any services in their ‘proposal’ outside the teachers directly involved and one safety officer. The public record shows that no counseling was planned. It is mentioned in the BUSD meeting video where Hemphill is asking Shelia Jordan regarding student services and Sheila Jordan responds that they have to move on this issue and approve it so that they can then plan for it. Effectively a ACOE policy where it gives them freedom to do whatever they want with no accountability.

    In the FAQs distributed by BUSD regarding the Community School Classroom at BAS in March 2011:

    3. How many teachers? How many adults?
    Two teachers and one instructional assistant (3 adults) will staff the program.


  98. The author seems to assume the Community Schools help students (by asking the principal of the school running it) and that neighbors in Berkeley are just worried by it. From the way the author closed her article she seems to echoing the sentiment that the neighbors are NIMBYers. Despite the fact that a large volume of evidence was presented to her showing the problems BAS has already created.

    In effect the author chose style over fact.

    First off, the principal whose salary directly derives from the existence of this program will not tell you it does not help students. The author makes a big assumption that this program helps students!!! Where is the evidence? Students talking in front of their teacher? Are you 12?

    Second, the article under-represents who these students are. If the Chief of Police publicly states that the BHS is a major source of crime in the neighborhood surrounding it, why wouldn’t locating the same kids who commit those crimes in another location not cause crime increase at the new location?

    Who in their right mind will welcome criminals next to their kids, families, homes, tenants, businesses?

    Crose’s remark is out of line and he will be given an opportunity to apologize.

  99. You are referring to RICO statutes? Talk to my husband; he”d  love it, and I guarantee a proportion of our neighbors would sign.  Let’s have at it… I’m ready.

  100. I reiterate that Bob Crose is likely being pressured by the Powers that Be to tone it down; he has a job to protect — apparently a houseboat in Sausalito to protect — and thus his formerly open, honest tone may be changing. I haven’t had the opportunity to interview him personally; perhaps I should try. Because of my openly challenging techniques, I often garner a non-response; unfortunately, this is who I am: I ask the questions, am challenging, and expect a response (reaction). Thank you Stephen, Erika, Vanessa, FactCheck, and everyone else in our ‘hood for taking a hard stance and challenging the soothing tones of those who profess to be in positions of authority … I always question which authority they are answering to .. (sheila jordan? bill huyett? joaquin rivera?)… 

  101. The School District is legally responsible for educating those who are expelled; how they do this is a problem. As of now, ACOE has a program that allows Berkeley students to attend. The closing of Rock Le Fleche created a problem; our Berkeley students don’t want to go all the way to Hayward for school. Although ACOE is opening a Community School on International Blvd, Berkeley continues to want a site for Berkeley students – however, only three (3)  Berkeley students currently attend Hayward; so apparently the other expelled students (eight (8) of them to date) have either simply vanished or just can’t hike it out to Hayward. Whatever the reality, Berkeley is responsible for Berkeley’s students, and they have to find someplace for them to go –and apparently Berkeley feels that Hayward (or Int’l Blvd) is just too much of an imposition.  Bear in mind that if students do go to the ACOE community school, Berkeley doesn’t get the funds… I suspect that the plan is to turn the BAS community school over to the BUSD — thus, out of ACOE’s hair and BUSD gets the funds. Makes sense, right — because law mandates that somehow the students must have access to education… and by law anyone under the age of 18 must be enrolled in a High School program (GED is included in this; that’s where BAS comes in, too). However, BUSD would get more money by running the program than they do rent on the BAS…. so how long before BUSD takes over the program? 

  102. The Community School idea was not right for the West Campus Adult School a few years ago and it is not right for this neighborhood now. The lack of planning and inability to even accurate communicate to the community the additional security staff planned for the site: Is it a 2nd guard for 5 hours a day? Is it the same single guard for 5 additional hours? Is it no additional guard?, is entirely abhorrent for something that has been in the works for months.

    Watch the video: Sheila Jordan and Joaquin Rivera have been talking for months. ” We need to do something for these kids” is apparently what Rivera called Jordan weekly to discuss. Hard to imagine, given all that passion and  want to do the right thing, that there could be absolutely no written plan to follow.

    I appreciate Jordan letting me and the rest of the Berkeley Community know ” These kids aren’t violent, its not like they shot people”, speaking more like “Sheila from the Block” than an appointed community leader. Thanks for clarifying that beating someone for their wallet is not a violent act.

    These kids need discipline and guidance and they deserve it, even though they’ve used the majority of their chances with the rest of the rank and file. I take no umbrage with the concept that they should be educated. However, downtown Berkeley has the YMCA, police station, fewer residences, BART, Head Start and other Youth related programs. North Berkeley BAS area has no resources for these kids who are on their own to and from school.

    Bob Crose told me at a BUSD meeting in April that his biggest concern was lack of oversight before and after school in the neighborhood. He suggested starting a Neighborhood watch group. Interesting how his tone has changed now.

    The discussion here is centered around the proposal by ACOE to house troubled youth in a densely residential area of Berkeley. The problem, however, as it has become evident from crime data analysis and from statements made by the Chief of Police with regards to safety around BUSD campuses, and the lack of any form of analysis and accountability by BUSD is that the BAS facility needs to be shut down.

    The cost on the neighborhood where BAS is currently located has been in the millions. BUSD has not done a single study to demonstrate the effectiveness of BAS in serving its mission. BUSD has done no pre- or post- analysis on the impact on crime on neighborhood homes, businesses, and residents. In effect they have no internal mechanisms of accountability.

    Chief Meehan’s recommendation to relocated Berkeley High School because of its impact on neighborhood crime is telling of things to come around BAS. []. The only prudent measure the BAS neighbors can do is to effectively shut down BAS (first by granting and injunction).

    I think there is substantial evidence for a judge to grand an injunction on the operation of BAS until the BUSD acts like a responsible steward of the BAS facility. Given that it impacts over 500 households and businesses this can certify as a class. The evidence is in the crime data, the police chief assessment, and the irresponsible way BUSD operates. Also more evidence uncovered by public records requests demonstrating a network of politicking at

    Then BUSD will waste even more of our tax-payer dollars dealing with the issue. The same way the settled out of court (who knows how much taxpayer money was paid out) with the sexual harassment lawsuit [], which demonstrated their incompetency in dealing with a disturbing safety and academic issue.

    See you in court.

  104. I have found Linda Maio to be a completely useless and non-responsive representative.  She has “served” far too long in this office.  It’s high time to phase her out of office in the next election cycle.  Maybe this could be an issue to build around?

  105. Linda Maio started her political career by opposing the construction of the Peralta Community College Administration building on Hearst and instead fought for Ohlone Park to be build. She was successful. Her 8-bedroom home (and cottage which she does not rent to low-income or section 8 tenants – as her financial disclosures) is two blocks from Hearst. A park always increases property values rather than an administrative building.

    But putting aside her hypocrisy, Linda Maio also got some low-income housing built next to BAS as a freebie – perhaps that was her payback for not opposing BUSD’s bringing an Adult School into a densely residential area. An Adult School that runs classes late at night, is attended by ex-cons finishing up GEDs, and which has increased crime in the neighborhood by 15% within 3 years of operation (as per analysis in the BAS Accountable Blog).

    Ideology tramps ethics.

  106. I do have to add that all public comment from Linda Maio comes from the perspective of whether or not these students are being educated … not whether or not the residents of her District 1 are being considered. NOT ONCE has she publicly engaged in the argument how this will affect us.  As I understand it, she is our City Council representative, and not on the BUSD — and yet she continues to stand on a platform about whether these students are being educated in an appropriate way (because, she says, she is an ‘educator’); she refuses to come to our defense as to the neighborhood’s safety.  I am absolutely appalled at her duplicity; she says she has never attended a BUSD Board meeting — I would assume that includes the implementation and neighborhood controversy over the Adult School and now will not challenge the Board about our neighborhood’s safety with the propose Community School. 

  107. I’m guessing you don’t live in either the Berkeley High, BTech neighborhood, or Berkeley Adult School neighborhood? 

  108. Crose has been moving closer and closer to defense since the program at Berkeley has been attacked. I think he is under pressure. I did think he was candid, honest and without rancor at the start and until recently. I am starting to see something else emerge. Perhaps his earlier comments, some of which have been stated in public venues, are coming back to haunt him. He does have a job to do, after all — and he, like most of us, would like to keep their job.  He may be tiring of this fight very quickly as he is probably getting his choke-collar yanked by his boss…. I think that boss might be Sheila Jordan, if not — surely she’s high enough to be able to yank that chain to keep him “in line”. I’d almost cut him some slack. For the record: Crose acknowledges that these kids are problematic and need supervision. He also has said that they want to get out of Hayward as quickly as possible and have “to cross hostile territory” to get there and back. Guess having them in Berkeley eliminates all the students problems, doesn’t it?  As for those Independent Studies students — the ones from King Junior High and Berkeley High would be only minutes away from their “home” school.” The Day Class, getting out at 2 p.m. gives ample opportunity for the students to get back to their “home” school and surrounding neighborhoods …. hey, people — you want them back in YOUR Backyard??? They will be! 

  109. Read Selawsky’s 2008 re-election statement and understand why he does whatever Sheila Jordan and Joaquin Rivera wants:

    “I have also been endorsed by County Superintendent of Schools Sheila
    Jordan, School Board Vice-President Nancy Riddle, School Boardmembers
    Joaquin Rivera”

    Joaquin Rivera is the one who proposed BAS in coordination with Sheila Jordan.

  110. Selawsky, at the April 27th BUSD meeting, without benefit of a written proposal or any other information, was immediately keen on the idea of admitting Middle School students as he apparently perceives them as one of the biggest problems. For informational sake: Middle School Student cannot attend Community Schools — however, they can be remanded to independent studies… this is where that idea fits in. Sheila Jordan and Bill Huyett need to handle the dirty little problems at the Middle & High School levels — and this is a way to do that for the sake of their own careers… Read Bill Huyett’s outgoing statements to the San Joaquin District on any Google search; he sees BUSD as being the feather in his proverbial cap; his last hurrah …. He doesn’t care about Berkeley or the students, he cares about his shiny career …. as he said at one meeting on the topic of the CDS, with people offering vociferous dissent  “this is, after all … Berkeley…”  As if other communities don’t have ‘confrontational’ components…. Guess he thought our little airy faery PC correctness was going to tidily wrap up his illustrious career. Guess again, Huyett. 

  111. One of the things I have suggested in rounding out a proposed Community School program is that the students be mandated to attend after-school activities, including community service that would increase their sense of self-esteem and self-worth, such as real community work, and not just picking up garbage. These students need structure; 5 hours of school and then free time, or in the case of Independent Studies = 1 hour per week of class and then free-time is call “warehousing”. It fulfills the districts requirements to educate the students, if it actually does that in many cases – but does nothing to restructure them.  FYI – the Quest Independent studies program (the ACOE run program), which is not housed at the Hayward site — has a very, very low success rate. When I ran the simple calculations, it came out to around 6.6% of the total population. That’s not good enough for me to say I welcome that program in my neighborhood — not with the rest of their time being unstructured, unsupervised and unaccounted for. 

  112. Hi Frances,

     Thank you for the article about the Hayward Community Day School.  Unlike most of “The Staff” from BUSD, you apparently made it down there to check things out. So, about that article about the BERKELEY version; a deviance from the Hayward CDS, which is likely to include the most problematic students from both BHS and the Middle Schools — You know, the one Vanessa and I spent TWO HOURS talking with you about?So, I’ll be considering my response, but because I said so much to you about it, I’ll have to recap in my head for a bit. One thing I remember very clearly is this: “I know we sound like NIMBY’s, but my position is that the way this program has been presented — without data, site suitability, or even a structured written proposal or plan — and with the massive HISTORIC failures of the BUSD, I wouldn’t want it in ANYONE’S BACKYARD.” For anyone else’s interest: Google groups, BAS Accountable, has fully unedited letters, emails and other points of view in regard to the proposed Community School at BAS. Many of them are mine.  The Blog (as valuable as it is — thank you to Erika from our neighborhood) to which the article sends you is for the most part a sanitized rendering of the posts on BAS ACCOUNTABLE at Google groups. The Google group It’s open to anyone who cares to read it. Now excuse me while I try to put together some bullet points.- Heather Wood

  113. I was fortunate enough to speak with Bob Crose for an hour regarding the potential Community School at the BAS. During our conversation he made a few interesting points:

    1) Bob Crose has no oversight regarding the location of this school and does not necessarily prefer the Adult School over other sites that may have been considered. He claims that Superintendent Huyett and Dr. Susan Craig asked the ACOE to create a Community School in Berkeley. (This is in direct contrast with statements made by Burr Guthrie, the
    Adult School principal, who claims that the ACOE asked the BUSD to find a
    location for the school in Berkeley to served kids from Emeryville,
    Piedmont, and Berkeley.) He also claims that it was the BUSD who zeroed in on the Adult School campus.

    2) He said that Community Schools work best when there is only one (1) service being provided on-site. According to him, when multiple services are operated on-site CS students and those participating in other services (like Adult School students) can become uncomfortable and this discomfort can distract from a focused learning environment. This happens at Hayward and is in his words “sub-optimal.”

    3) The Community School students at the Hayward campus have shoplifted multiple times from the mini-mart across the street from the campus. The shoplifting became such a problem that the ACOE was forced to work directly with the owners of the mini-mart to mitigate the problem (now only one or two students are allowed in at any given time). When I asked if the ACOE had shared this experience with local businesses around the BAS (Bing’s Liquors, Cafe Leila, Casa Latina, etc.) as a preventative measure, I was told that “this was not their responsibility.”

    4) Crose’s belief that students leave the area immediately after school is not
    based on any factual evidence just his “feeling” that they are eager to
    get back home. When pressed for evidence that his “feeling” was accurate he responded “Who keeps data on this?”

    5) Crose mentioned multiple times during our conversation that he might not be the one to implement this program. He hinted that someone else might step in if he did not feel like implementing this program and that he could work on the program over the summer but bow out when the school year starts this fall. It is still unclear to me why he would say this so many times and gives me no confidence that the County is taking this program – or the students it intends to serve – seriously.

    Just to be clear, expellable offenses in California (as described in EC §48900) include committing or attempting to commit sexual assault, carrying a weapon, brandishing a weapon, and carrying an explodable device amongst other things.

    Members of the BUSD School Board (notably Wilson, Hemphill and Daniels) have grave concerns about the lack of planning that has gone into the CS, as does Principal Burr Guthrie and Councilwoman Linda Maio (who represents District 1 where the Adult School resides.) Unfortunately it appears Berkeleyside could not find time to contact and/or interview any of these people.

    Finally, I find it laughable that a man who lives on a houseboat in Sausalito (which I assume is not located next to a Community School) is accusing me of NIMBYism. Dr. Crose – come live in my house, in my neighborhood, where I am raising my three children before you judge me.

  114. I have to agree that the assessment by Sheila Jordan is remarkably stupid.
    When people of this low caliber are leading our schools, it’s no wonder so many of them are failing.

  115. FACTS speak for themselves:

    Watch Sheila Jordan acknowledge they have no plan even though sup Hyuett said that he did on March 13. At the end she also states that BUSD meetings (where the community can speak for 1.5 minutes each – is more than enough as a community forum for this issue)

    Watch VP John T. Selawsky basically provide no content and already approve the proposal (which he has not seen – he does not even know what it is).

  116. “Sheila Jordan, the superintendent of the Alameda County Office of
    Education, said it is a fallacy to think the proposed community school
    will concentrate high-risk kids in Berkeley, leading to more crime. Many
    of the kids who have been expelled by the district are still living in
    Berkeley. Why is it any more dangerous for them to be in a school
    setting than at their Berkeley homes?”

    WOW.!!!! This woman leads our county’s educational standards? Her logic and argumentation demonstrates that Sheila Jordan has no idea about analysis of any sort, which might explain why ACOE and BUSD is run by people who are incompetent.

    First, she assumes (or maybe knows) that all the juvenile delinquents are living in Berkeley (hint hint why BUSD has been tasked to house these criminals) in which case she just violated their privacy.

    Second if you concentrate the criminals in one location then crime will go up where they are located. Property crime is predominately opportunistic and it happens where the criminals are located; not where they live. They don’t rob their homes!!!!!

  117.  If they kids don’t want to learn or behave, why are we wasting our time, energy, and money on trying to force them to do so? We should be setting up small classes like these with tons of hands-on instruction for our best and brightest, not the poor-performing trouble makers.

    A one-hour check-in per week for kids like this seems pretty pointless. All it really does is prepare them so they know what it’s like to check in with a probation officer. When that’s the best we can get out of them, I wonder why we even bother.

  118. I absolutely agree with your posting and your analysis.

    It has been a real eye-opener for me to see how ill-informed members of BUSD school board are on this issue. Here, for example, is an interview with school board member (is he really the director?) Josh Daniels on the Community Day School, in which he answers most of fairly straightforward questions with, “I’m not sure”:
    He may not be sure of his opinions, but shouldn’t he at least be better informed on the issue itself?

    BAS “Community School” Program:
    This combination of expelled students +
    independent study students + within an Adult School + in a highly
    residential neighborhood has never been done by ACOE. How much thought
    has ACOE (Joacqin Rivera especially who prob have they put into it? Just
    listen to the BUSD last meeting with Sheila Jordan where she is asking
    from approval BEFORE they even have a plan. There is no academic
    program. For 4 months we have asked for the proposal to this program.
    None was provided.

    The article does not make the distinction which is crucial. The Community School Program at Hayward is not the same as the program proposed (in BUSD discussions) with BAS. Here is BUSD that cannot manage safety on their own High Schools trying something new in an environment with less resources.

    Looking at reports about these students at least 7 of them are expelled for illegal gun possession, illegal procurement of stolen guns, illegal possession of guns in a gun-free zone. The proposition that these students are motivated for class (according to Sup Hyuett) is as close to fact as sightings of unicorns in Tilden Park.

    Bill Crose Part A:
    “Crose does not believe the students at the community school will hang
    around after school and prowl the neighborhood. In Hayward, as soon as
    school lets out the students make a dash for their neighborhoods – and

    This is not a statement of fact. As a matter of fact neither ACOE nor BUSD track students after class. Crose is making a statement that is not fact. Very typical of ACOE.

    The only facts we have regarding the impact of students after class is the high property crime rates around the two Berkeley high schools. We also have statements by Berkeley Police regarding two groups of juveniles that are responsible for over 40 burglaries in Berkeley district 1. These burglars are still at large.

    Bill Crose Part B:
    “I find it interesting that they (the neighborhood group) are saying
    “Not in my backyard,’” said Crose. “There’s no qualms about shipping
    them to someone else’s backyard.”

    First off, nobody in the BAS Accountable ever used this phrase; great soundbite for articles but not reflective of facts. As a matter of fact what the neighborhood group asked for was data, evidence of any form of impact assessment of this programs, and an impact analysis of crime and property values once juvenile delinquents are located within walking distance of our homes, businesses, kids, and families.

    But this is exactly what ACOE is doing. Expelled students are a result of failed academic curricula, lack of attention to safety, improper socialization in schools, and frankly an educational system that carries a lot of administrative hubris. In effect ACOE’s failure. Bill Crose has no qualms about shipping ACOE’S failures into someone else’s backyard. As a matter of fact evidence shows that ACOE has not qualms wasting tax payer dollars given their lax vigilance over their districts leading the the Oakland and Emeryville School Districts going bankrupt. Sheila Jordan herself after the Oakland bankruptcy saw no reason for enforcing accounting standards on the districts. Within 3 years the Emeryville School District went bankrupt because of corruption. These are FACTS not beliefs.

    The neighborhood where BAS is located has already suffered by BUSD’s approve first think later approach. The data alludes to a 5% decrease in property values within 3 years of locating BAS motivated by its existence and the 15% increase in property crime. 5% on a median value of $700,000 over 500 homes is ~$18M. This also also $18M out of the City’s tax-base – it does not only impact the neighbors it impacts all of Berkeley.

    In addition, Bill Cross has admitted that the BUSD and the ACOE has not look at any other location. Their proposal to BUSD seems to be the same as all the ACOE mode of operation: half-baked, reactionary incompetence at the detriment of tax payers.

  120. What they need is glimpse of what their future holds for them if they don’t get their acts together and learn how to support themselves before the inevitable cycle of crime and prison that typifies the unremarkable lives of so many of our diverse students kicks in.

    How about a program that gets these kids working as laborers for a few hours a day?  Instead of hiring undocumented folks from in front of Truitt & White or Home Depot for temporary labor contractors could use these kids?  The kids could be paid minimum wage minus some administrative fees (lunch for them, etc.) by the district and the cost to the contractor (other than insurance which they should already have) is that they need to report on how the kid did during day (picking from a scale of 0-5 on a form is sufficient) and return them where they picked them up from.  I did lots of work like this when I was 13-18 and, far from being exploited, I learned a lot, have a strong work ethic, and learned pretty quickly that there’s nothing fun or romantic about digging ditches.

  121. Hayward Community school does not include an independent studies program, the principal agrees that probated teens need structure and supervision, not a one hour check in per week.
    Crose should be fair and acknowledge key distinctions in how the programs are implemented, rather than blame concerned citizens capable of identifying failures in program management and development.

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