Demographics of CUSD continuing to shift

Letter

Posted by
Thu, October 22, 2009


About a year ago, I wrote a piece here, "Analysis: CUSD likely to start growing soon, becoming majority Hispanic", that began,

Enrollment in the Cabrillo Unified School District (CUSD) may be about to increase for the first time in a decade if recent demographic trends continue, and the school population is about to become majority Hispanic.

The Ed-Data website, which publishes statistics on the California public school system, has just added district profiles for the 2008-09 school year, and two items jump out.

  • Hispanic students now outnumber non-Hispanic white students.
  • Though white enrollment continued to shrink, Hispanic enrollment grew sufficiently that overall district enrollment rose, slightly, for the first time in many years.

I have nothing new to add to my comments, except that existing enrollment trends continued for another year, and to hope that between now and the next school board election, now a year away, we’ll have a productive discussion of the implications of district demographic trends.


Comment 1
Wed, November 11, 2009 2:38am
Ken Johnson
All my comments

This certainly gives a different interpretation to the mosaic placed into the cement entryway at the two original buildings at Cunha Intermediate School concerning - “Tolerate Others”!

It might now occur to some that the words “Embrace Diversity” or “Welcome Diversity” or some such might have been a better choice.

Seems the ones now to be “Tolerated” are Anglos!

Ken Johnson

IMHO “Tolerate Others” is an unbelievable poor choice of words. Who wants to just be tolerated?
Terry Baldwin

Comment 3
Wed, November 11, 2009 7:05am
jlundell
All my comments

Only 15 years ago the district was 3:1 anglo:hispanic. It’s pretty clear who was being “tolerated” back then. By 2000 it was 2:1, and last year it was 1:1, with a slight Hispanic lead.

The term “toleration” has a long history in the US, going back at least to religious toleration (or more frequently not!) in the colonies (string up that Quaker!).

The dictionary (and etymological) meaning centers around “endure”, which is certainly not the message we’d like to be sending.

Comment 4
Thu, November 12, 2009 5:49am
Ken Johnson
All my comments

A year ago, one of the Cunha Intermediate School Counselors, wrote a piece on Coastsider’s “townhall” titled “History of Cunha Intermediate School” stating:
“We are attempting to put together the history of Cunha Intermediate School.  For example, I know we were a K-12 at one point, a high school, and a year round school.  But we’d like to get much more detail, including dates when buildings were added and the like.  Any ideas where we might find this information?...”

After personally cooling off for a few days, I was finally able to write civilly:
“If this morning at work, you walk over to the Kelly and Church Street entrance of the original building, you will find a large brass wall plaque about a metre by 2/3 a metre with the dedication date (1939), school board members at the time, Architect and firms as well as the WPA project and officials. The WPA, Works Progress Administration,...”

I avoided the obvious two questions of a twenty year counselor at Cunha:
Why are you doing this, instead of doing the job of counseling students?
How have you spent twenty years at Cunha and never been curious about your work environment?

I further wrote: “If you look down at the floor in the same area on the first two buildings, you will see embedded in the floor a ‘teachable moment’ urging one to “Tolerate” others - an interesting choice of word…”

I knew it was a ‘teachable moment’ because it was how I used it with each of my children on a weekend visit to the school preparing them to start at Cunha. As each finally discovered those words “Tolerate”, it would result in a confused expression on their face and open a necessary conversation. Probably the same expression I had as a child visiting cousins in the old Deep South, seeing a bathroom labeled “Colored” - I was just at the age of understanding that I used the bathroom labeled “Men” and I understood that Moma used the one labeled “Women” but I couldn’t figure out what sex could be labeled “Colored”!

A month ago, the same counselor at Cunha posted “Cabrillo Unified budget disaster” ‘telegraphing’ the District’s seventh or eighth failed Parcel Tax.

She wrote: “I got a layoff notice last year “. Followed by “realities parents and students will be dealing with next year: ... Cut counselors at Cunha from two to one ...” instead of accurately describing it as a hypothetical description offered by our “new” Superintendent for what a POSSIBLE budget scenario might represent. 

I didn’t respond! Nor did anyone else!

Down here on planet Earth, employees recognize that with layoffs, those who will be left are those who contribute to the ‘bottom line’. For schools, that should mean those who understand educating children is the primary mission and should be the ones left - that can be an academic class or a lesson for life!

Maybe, it would have been valuable to use a few dollars for a new additional plaque, out of the squandered half of the $50,000,000 construction budget:

“Re-Dedicated in 2009 to the values of Respecting Diversity”.

Ken Johnson