East Side Union High School District Gets High Marks in UCLA Study of Students’ Policy Role

A UCLA study of the East Side Union High School District in San Jose found that giving students a larger voice in policy and budget decisions is achievable and beneficial, both for students and the district.

When given power and leadership opportunities, youth leaders defied teachers' and administrators' low expectations and "adultist beliefs" and enriched conversations with their own perspectives and experiences, the study, "Nothing About Us Without Us," concluded.

The UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools focused on the efforts of students affiliated with Californians for Justice, a student empowerment organization with chapters in Oakland, San Jose, Fresno and Long Beach, to effect change. There are chapters in four of East Side Union's 12 high schools.

The district and students created formal channels for communication that the report said could be a model for other districts: a student advisory committee for the Local Control Advisory Plan, the district's primary spending document, which meets monthly with district administrators; a student survey to which students contributed questions, that focuses on equity issues; and a relationship-centered school model, being piloted in several schools, that works on school culture.

Students saw the adoption of changes they pressed for: more counselors and social workers; Wellness Wednesdays, time for students to work on building relationships, and the removal of security officers from all high schools -- it was one of the first districts to do so.

The habits of civic involvement must be developed in high school, said East Side Superintendent Glenn Vander Zee.  Engaging students, he said, "not only changed the questions that were being asked but made the nature of the conversation richer."



  1. Until UCLA releases a finding that East Side Union High School District is delivering exceptional students in the humanities and STEM, this is all nonsense propaganda.

    Students have zero clue; their frontal lobe is either nonexistent or highly underdeveloped. They need to learn how to read, write, and deal with mathematics, which East Side is FAILING at. Then they need to understand LOGIC, coupled with some scientific exposure and understanding. Layer in some micro and macroeconomics. Most if not all historical education is indoctrination. Delaying rhetoric would do them some good, perhaps in university or as professional development.

    They should have no say in anything other than doing their work. “Say” is their parents’ responsibility.

  2. This article is Leftist logorrhea — word salad of the worst order.

    Give this thought process a few years to work its distruction and let’s see the results. Sadly, there will be many victims of this lunacy. Far too many will be left behind — uneducated and filled with hateful ideology. Moreover, it will take decades to correct. Sinking a ship is a lot easier than building one, particularly when no sentient adults are present.

  3. More ‘woke’ garbage… While 70%-80% of East Side Union High student graduates are not even qualified to operate a cash register at Starbucks…

    High School Scores – from East Side Union High
    for 2017-2018 and 2018-2019

    (Don’t even ask about 2020 or 2021 – in which schooling barely existed – and no testing was conducted)

    Math DROPS to about 75% – 80% Do NOT Meet Grade Level Standards.

    Charter Schools Perform Much Better –
    see the link to do your own further research – if you have to subject a child to this Poor-Performing School District.

    District Profile: East Side Union High

    ———California Department of Education, Sacramento, CA—————-
    Detailed Test Results for District:

    ……………………….School: James Lick High

    ———– Math Achievement Level ————-
    Grade 11 Standard Met: 23.1% (2018-2019)

    Grade 11 Standard Met: 18.2% (2017-2018)

    ——— Reading / Language Arts / Literacy Achievement Level ————–
    Grade 11 Standard Met: 49.6% (2018-2019)

    Grade 11 Standard Met: 53.3% (2017-2018)

    ———— District Profile: East Side Union High ———————

    ……………..School: Mt. Pleasant High

    ———– Math Achievement Level ————-
    Grade 11 Standard Met: 26.1% (2018-2019)

    Grade 11 Standard Met: 29.5% (2017-2018)

    ——— Reading / Language Arts / Literacy Achievement Level ————–
    Grade 11 Standard Met: 57.6% (2018-2019)

    Grade 11 Standard Met: 55.4% (2017-2018)


  4. The Poor Results of the CA PUBLIC Education System is
    the Real Public Emergency – not covid.

    How do you expect these Students to be able to Afford a Livelihood in San Jose or the Bay Area
    when a Super-Majority of graduates do not even meet Grade Level Achievement?

    The State-Wide averages show a Super-Majority of K-12 graduates of CA Public Schools
    Do NOT Meet High School Education Standards.

    Many Districts with-in San Jose/ Santa Clara County Perform Even Worse –
    up to 75%-80% below standards.

    State & local solutions??
    – Dumb down the Education System by
    – eliminating “D” & “F” grading,
    – Limit AP & Gifted Student programs,
    – Focus on so-called ‘Equity’ programs & ‘Woke’ grading

    All at the expense of Actual Learning.

    These CA policies Do NOT Prepare Bay Area Students for survival in an ever increasing High-Tech World and Job Market.

    And NO! – More Money for Schools is not the solution.

    Public schools spend on average 80% more per student than private schools.

    What does the future hold for a student of CA Public Education system?

    Why should Taxpayers provide Tuition Free at public 2 year & 4 year colleges?

  5. Our current public school system needs to be dismantled.

    It is failing our youth and does nothing but burn through our tax dollars.

    School choice is needed.

  6. It gets tiring listening to people judging schools on the results of tests in English. For example, a student from China could know his math, but may not understand the vocabulary on the test. A total of 2,555,951 California public school students (English Learners and Fluent English Proficient) speak a language other than English in their homes. This number represents about 42.8 percent of the state’s public school enrollment. I look at California’s economy, and most people working have graduated from public schools and public colleges and universities.

  7. yet Asian crush all the tests, in whatever language, as do immigrant kids from all over the world

    what you are experiencing is cognitive dissonance

    any parent with a brain knows it’s the parents that make the difference, yes Cupertino may have some good teachers, but let’s be real, those kids know most of the material before the teacher taught them anything and the teacher is essentially a proctor

    but prog-ons like yourself live to pedestal teachers as if they’re saints and bloviate “education is the key”, which it may be, but teachers don’t educate, they babysit, especial “regular” classes

    so when you have disparate results, it is on the parents first, teachers union second, and your progressive leniency third, no matter what rationalisation you conjure up

    the parents failed their kids in their family structure either by removing the father from the home, or worse they have parented children with multiple fathers, thus subjecting kids to the chaos inherent in proximity to non biological adults.

    or they have chosen to live in an area beyond their means and can not give the time and attention needed to foster strong academic habits in their children because they are spending too much time working and commuting

    and they are embedded in a public sector teachers union that has long stop prioritising children over their own interests. compounding that selfishness is a policy of low or no expectations on decorum, accuracy, or standards for struggling students

    While the teachers try and position themselves as societies saviours to grab more pension guarantees, they have little effect if the students home situation is in chaos. all the while they graduate kids who can’t read because they feel it would punish them if they kept them in school

    contrast this with “no excuses” parenting strategy found in many immigrants home which homework and test prep is monitored on a daily basis and kids are held to account on poor performance before it is too late. layer on top of that a willingness to cut back on extras to pay for kids to get access to cram schools and tutoring, and now excellent online AP classes

    But of course no one will admit this.

  8. Robert Miller, You are right on One Point – “..a student from China could (Does) know his Math…” and Science, and Chinese and even some English..

    The Chinese Education system is not focused on teaching ‘ethnic studies’ and ‘woke’ bull**** turning out indoctrinated victims…seeking their Safe Spaces.

    Countries that are Leading in Education, Like China, Focus on Math, Reading and Science skills.

    No wonder that the Bay Area Business success depends highly on H1B Visas for Foreign Workers,

    while CA & San Jose Schools turn out ‘coffee baristas’ for a future in the service industry to cater to and Elite Educated Class.

    ———— “K-12 Redesign: A Financial Overhaul” (Feb2021 ACTE) ———–

    The U.S. Leads the world in K-12 Education Spending yet Lags behind 25 other Developed Nations in K-12 student Achievement.

    When it comes to student learning, CHINA leads the world by a significant margin…

    Looking at student scores in Reading, Math, and Science,
    China Dominates, ranking FIRST in the world in all 3 categories.

    .. U.S. student achievement Falls Far Behind – 26th overall,
    17th in Reading,
    23rd in Science, and
    33rd in Math –
    it’s safe to say that China has lapped the U.S. more than once in the world education race.

    …Despite POOR K-12 Public School Student Performance Scores on the world stage,
    the U.S. continues to Spend More $$$ than almost every other nation…
    over $720 Billion annually.

    Taxpayers fund Public Education at nearly $15,000 per Student per Year in U.S. Public Schools…
    well above the global average of $10,759.

    …data clearly reveals the current U.S. K-12 funding model is NOT Producing robust, widespread student learning.

    In fact, student Scores Continue To Slip.
    For example, the U.S. recently moved
    Farther Down the world rankings
    in Math, from 31st to 33rd.

    China continues to emerge “as our greatest threat & adversary, economically, militarily, and politically.

    China threatens freedom not only for its own people but around the world.

    But China’s K-12 education system is far more effective than ours,
    and if it continues, its economy will quickly overtake America’s.”

  9. This case study demonstrates how the leadership, knowledge, and determination of students have improved the educational policies, practices, and experiences of students within The District, and created new paths and possibilities for what education can look like.
    Best regards, writer from https://essaywriter.nyc/ service.

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