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Committee Against Measure E Releases YouTube Campaign Videos in Spanish, Japanese and Vietnamese

Last week, Committee Against Measure E, a local political action group working to defeat Measure E, a local school district parcel tax, released campaign videos in Spanish, Japanese and Vietnamese, urging voters to reject the measure.

Ed Hirshberg, the Treasurer for Committee Against Measure E said, “Proponents of the tax say there is no alternative even though the District has shown that consolidating elementary and high schools would save a lot of money. Parents with kids in East-end schools ignore that option.”

In the videos, the speakers suggest that East-end Alameda parents resist school consolidation because they don’t want their kids going to schools with West-end children. In Alameda, schools such as Edison Elementary School and Frank Otis Elementary are in East-end neighborhoods that generally have wealthy, professional parents, compared to West-end schools which reside in traditionally lower-income, working-class and immigrant Alameda neighborhoods.

Recently, proponents of Measure E have defended themselves in letters-to-the-editor in local print newspapers, writing “Edison [Elementary School] is not almost entirely white, it is 70 percent Caucasian according to the school district” and “students in wealthier neighborhoods always score higher on tests, this is a reflection of their parents’ education and concern…if you add a couple of zeros to an API score you can almost predict what houses are selling for in that neighborhood.”

California Department of Education (CDE) figures for the 2008-2009 school year, the most recent available, place Edison Elementary in the number one spot for white enrollment among elementary schools in Alameda, with 71% of enrolled students self-reporting as “white.” Franklin Elementary and Frank Otis Elementary follow with 54% and 51% white enrollment, respectively.

CDE figures for test scores, the Academic Performance Index (API) show that Edison Elementary scored 927 for 2009, ranking third in Alameda behind Amelia Earhart Elementary and Bay Farm Elementary, and well above the AUSD API average for elementary schools of 823. Washington Elementary School, at the corner of Eighth Street and Taylor, in Alameda, which is more ethnically diverse than other Alameda schools, according to Principal Elyse Belanger, scored an API of 777 in 2009, below the AUSD average.

California Department of Education Data on AUSD Test Scores for Elementary Schools

“We could all save a lot of money by consolidating schools, and our schools would become more diverse, enriching our children. We’re willing to make a video for anyone, in any language, that wants to speak out against Measure E, which is unfair for many reasons,” said Hirshberg. “Anyone interested can contact us through our website, http://www.Facebook.com/VoteNoOnMeasureE

The videos are available on the Committee Against Measure E YouTube channel: http://www.YouTube.com/VoteNoOnMeasureE

“No on E” window signs are beginning to appear at locations around Alameda, as evidenced by these pictures, below.

Tonight, Alameda City Council will consider a resolution to endorse the District’s parcel tax. The agenda item is 4-K on the consent calendar. The public may file speaker slips to make comment to City Council either for or in favor of the resolution.

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