Sunday, Nov. 25, 2007 | Our son was a Harborside student from 1998 until 2003, when our family relocated to Northern California. We resided in Hillcrest but were fortunate enough to receive a scholarship for partial tuition to Harborside.

I was physically shocked upon reading the article about Harborside’s absorbtion into Washington. This shock may have resulted from four years of living out of the plantation system of San Diego education and conservative politics. Now living in progressive but not-as-pretty San Jose, I am stunned this could occur in daylight!

Separate logos? Separate meetings? I don’t believe test scores should determine exposure to arts and music. I would love to know what excuse they gave to the Washington students when field trips or concerts were set up for the separate Harborside group.

I was pulled into different directions by this article — I am a union organizer by profession and can’t fathom how this was allowed by the teachers. Sounds like an unfair labor practice to me … any charges filed yet? I can say, however, the teachers at Harborside reached a level of excellence our family has yet to encounter from our own public education and our son’s most recent experiences. I doubt “credentials” would have presented much of a barrier to the Harborside staff.

Up here, you test into calculus, literature, social and physical science etc. While we are forever thankful our son received a wonderful education, I am not suprised by the behind-the-scenes shenanigans that must have contributed to this situation. We were not wealthy parents and definitely in the minority of the Harborside population.

Saying this, why didn’t we “go public” at the time? We wanted to. We had to evaluate our liberal politics with the early education needs of our son. Our son won. We chose not to participate in what we consider the failure of the school board to address the low performing schools in our residential area. We decided to spend money on his school, rather than purchase a home. We eagerly avoided the risks associated with lower performing (than Harborside) schools.

Can’t you all just get along? I offer a compromise, educate the Harborside parents about life in the “other San Diego” and demonstrate the benefits of art, music, perhaps a catch-up program for all students to test higher in the “whole school.” How far will redevelopment go? Most of what occurred as explained in this article was based on fear. I can say fear was unfortunately a basic motivator in pursuing private education in the first place. We should know.

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