The Chronicle reports that the Marin Community Foundation will donate $35 million over three years, or $19,000 per student, to struggling Marin County school districts:
The organization is making grants to schools in the San Rafael, Sausalito Marin City, Novato and Shoreline school districts, which are attended by the highest percentage of low-achieving students in Marin County. About 19 percent of the 9,970 students in those districts fall below or far below basic performance levels on the state’s standardized tests.
The five districts mentioned in the article as receiving this bounty have the following API scores:
- San Rafael High School: 743
- San Rafael Elementary (K-8): 788
- Shoreline Unified: 788
- Marin City-Sausalito Unified: 796
- Novato Unified: 822
These scores are reasonably lower than the API results for Mill Valley Elementary and its companion, Tamalpais Union High School District — 924 and 862 (probably the high water mark for Marin public schools), but above the combined API score for San Francisco Unified — 777 (note that every one of Marin’s “troubled” districts except the San Rafael High School District scored higher than SFUSD).
What I think is particularly interesting (well, other than the fact that there don’t seem to be very many black people in affluent parts of Marin!) is the state of the achievement gap in each of these districts. (Aside: at this weekend’s Parent Engagement Summit one person suggested that the gap between Whites/Asians and African American/Latino/Pacific Islander students should be called the “opportunity gap” to put the onus of solving the problem back on adults.) Our gap, whether you look at White-African American, White-Latino, Asian-Latino, Asian-African American etc., etc., is wider than any of those we can see in Marin (I have summarized it all in a spreadsheet on Google docs, for those who want to wade more deeply into the data).
Seriously, what we could do with that money! I commend the Marin Community Foundation for stepping up and working to make sure that every student throughout the county has high quality academic opportunities. There is a lot of money in Marin, but there is also a lot of money here in San Francisco. Not enough of it has gone to improving opportunities in our public schools.