Silicon Valley High Tech school to close

Here’s an email I got from a friend who’s an executive at a Silicon Valley company.

It’s sad that attempts to really improve our public school systems don’t get more attention.

UPDATE: turns out the school is going to close. I’m running the email late, just to show the excitement that one parent I know had for this school.

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The specific reason for this email is that I was hoping you might help publicize a plight that we are in with my son’s school. The name of the school is High Tech High School Bayshore, a charter school in Redwood City run by an organization called High Tech High. This is a public school not a private one.

The situation is this: the school was opened just 1.5 years ago. It is super modern, has a wonderful curriculum and is filled with teachers that we all wish we had had when we were in high school. Last week the parents were informed that the school would close in June and this after sending our kids there with assurances that High Tech High would invest 5 years in making the school successful. Furthermore, they told us there was no risk in sending kids there as they owned the building and could not be put out.

Now they are telling us that they do not have enough enrollment to make a go of it (it is hard to get high schoolers to move in the middle of their high school years) and they are selling the building off and closing the school.

The irony here is that the school is in the middle of Silicon Valley where Valley execs often bemoan the lack of quality secondary education and worry that the future will require more importing of engineers as a result. What is REALLY upsetting is that we were given one weeks notice. If we had been told that they needed a certain level of enrollment to continue, the parents would have gone door-to-door to make it happen (remember, this is a PUBLIC school, it costs nothing). And, a number of us who have had careers in the high tech world and connections could have likely dug up corporate funding to tide the school over until it caught on. The High Tech High schools in San Diego have wait lists 3,000 students long I have heard.

So at this point, I am just trying to drum up awareness and perhaps get to someone who might be a white knight. The model these schools follow has been hugely successful and there is no fundamental reason that this one can’t be. Plus it provides the kinds of modern, technical education so needed for the Bay Area to continue to thrive.

Take a look at the website and tell me this is not a school you would want to send your son to:

http://www.hightechhigh.org/

Some related news stories:

Cute little “Mediasnacker”

Christian Long’s son is a cute little Mediasnacker. I like that term. It’s what I’m doing today. Snacking on media.

While snacking on media I found Rick Segal’s post about a fatal mistake a startup made (handing out too many shares before they were funded).

One question: why aren’t many of the most interesting tech blog posts on either Digg or TechMeme? I find a lot of blogs that are really great that rarely get to Techmeme (cause no one links to them) and don’t get to Digg (because their authors don’t know how to rally the mob over there to vote for stuff). For instance, go through my link blog and compare to TechMeme and Digg. Now, explain to me why the things I’ve picked out of my feeds mostly aren’t on Digg or TechMeme.

Another question: which video of mine got Dugg last week? It was the “sister” who runs the Vatican’s Web site. I don’t remember anything else I’ve done that’s gotten so many Diggs (1150 at last count). Why is this video “the one” that Digg users chose out of the 150 or so videos I’ve done? I remember telling Maryam right after that interview that that video would be my most-watched video. Why? Cause there’s a lot more Catholics around the world than geeks who care about Web 2.0 startups.

Anyway, the more I read feeds, the more I realize the best stuff just isn’t getting exposed. Now, you might say that Christian’s kid doesn’t deserve to be on TechMeme. I can’t argue with you there, but the video that is on that post is interesting and explains lots of the changes coming. I’ve been putting lots of Christian’s stuff on my link blog. Why? Cause he writes about how schools should change in reaction to the changes in the world he’s seeing (he designs schools, so knows a bit about the topic). I don’t remember seeing a post of his on Digg, or on TechMeme, but his stuff has a potentially bigger impact on society than most of the stories on either Digg or TechMeme.

Oscars tonight and other link blog items

Just saw this rejected video “let’s remember the little people” come through my feeds. Lots of my friends are watching the Oscars tonight (Steve Gillmor tells us on the link above that that video was rejected for some reason by the Oscars). We’ll be flying back home from Seattle tonight. Hanging out today in Seattle with ActiveWords’ CEO, Buzz Bruggeman.

I have a ton of other things to blog. I feel real guilty for not getting more stuff up lately.

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