How Good Are Public Schools

How Good Are Public Schools

How Good are our Local Public Schools?

How good are our local public schools?  And how good could they be?

First of all, this is a critical question for more people than just local parents of school-age kids.  The future quality of our community and the future of our economy depend upon how well we educate.  We are creating the next employees, leaders, scientists, engineers, and workers of all types, not to mention voters and decision makers.

When I first looked into how good our public schools are, I did the typical thing and compared test scores.  I learned that average test scores are virtually meaningless.  I discovered that if you compare like socioeconomic groups with similar backgrounds that our scores here were virtually equivalent to the best schools over the hill.

When we compare our (CUSD) schools to others across the state, which have been equally hit by the insidious state budget issues, we see that many districts stand out and excel compared to the others.  In spite of the fact that California schools are next to last in per-pupil funding, certain districts thrive.  Why is that?

Characteristics which the outstanding school districts (ours included) have in common include top teachers with continued professional development, an actively engaged community, and a growing and a strategically applied, sustainable, endowment fund.

How good could our schools become if we had such a local education foundation that used a growing endowment fund to accomplish specific strategic goals and continually improve the education all coastside kids are receiving?

For instance, what if we wanted to bring in one of the best teacher development programs in the nation?  What if we wanted the best possible advanced science consistently across all schools, including state of the art science equipment and instruction at HMB High School?  What if we wanted more music in the schools and a feeder system up from elementary through the Cunha and HMB High School?  How about a bridging program to help struggling kindergartners or more electives in the High School?

All these goals are not only possible but they are also becoming reality because of our own local non-profit: Cabrillo Education Foundation (CEF).  If every single reader of this, regardless of whether you have school-aged kids in CUSD, donates each year to the CEF Endowment Fund, CEF will be able to make continuous fundamental improvements to the quality of our local public schools.

Instead of only using the typical individual school site model where each school is on their own and fundraising is done each year trying to maintain status quo while swimming upstream against a barrage of state budget cuts, the CEF Endowment is a sustainable model which adds more improvements each year in perpetuity. 

Rather than just handing money over to the schools each year, CEF is strategically allocating funds based on improvement goals and leveraging well thought out proposals by educators and community members as to what would make the biggest difference for the most kids.  Instead of throwing one-time money at programs, the endowment allows sustained funding to see new programs through year after year, without having to do more fundraising to maintain.

So, how good are our local public schools and how good could they become?

Our public schools are becoming comparable to the very best and they are improving every year, thanks to great teachers, active parents, and now this growing CEF Endowment.  Imagine how good our local education will be as the CEF Endowment grows.  We now have a sustainable model for improvement.  We just need more people to make annual donations and invest in this all-important cause.

Imagine having the best local public schools anywhere. We are well on this path.  Please join this effort.  It takes ALL of us.  Simply go to to find out how you can donate and take our ever-important public schools to the next level.  All donations are currently being matched dollar for dollar into the endowment until the end of the year!

John Ediger

Cabrillo Education Foundation, Vice President

Contact Information

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The Rain Team
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248 Main Street, Suite 200
Half Moon Bay CA 94019
Michael: 650-888-6361
Kathy: 650-888-6903
Fax: 866-396-0207

Kathy and Michael Rain of Coldwell Banker provides real estate services in the San Mateo County, California area including the surrounding communities: El Granda, Half Moon Bay, Montara, Moss Beach, Pacifica and San Mateo. Search for homes in San Mateo County. We list and sell residential real estate, investment properties, vacant land, lots for sale in the San Mateo County, California area.

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