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Building Expectations: Portrait Of Lincoln High School

— KPBS explores whether a new, expensive school can affect the academic outcomes of students in this 30-minute documentary. Lincoln High School is the most expensive campus in the San Diego Unified School District, surrounded by the some of the poorest neighborhoods in southeast San Diego. Join host Joanne Faryon as she asks whether the new Lincoln is a beacon for academic achievement, or an expensive experiment with unrealistic expectations.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Dana'

Dana | April 24, 2011 at 9:24 a.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

beautifully done and a good reminder to us all that there are people who are suffering terribly in our great United States of America. Our high schools are much more than this, however, and Brenda Campbell appears to have the good sense to know how to get support and how to raise the academic standards of the school.

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Avatar for user 'hopeheadsd'

hopeheadsd | April 26, 2011 at 11:12 a.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago


This video only exemplifies the correlation between life at home and in the classroom. Ideally, this school was supposed to inspire, but for kids that have to go home to a reality that is nothing like the new school, it is an oasis and can come off as uninspiring to a certain percentage of students. Survival at home will always be a larger priority than going to school where "worrying" about life at home is a daily occurrence.

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Avatar for user 'LAJAH'

LAJAH | April 26, 2011 at 6:28 p.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

i am a senior at Lincoln High School , i really enjoyed this video but also i disagree with it. As a senior at Lincoln High School i have got into 9 colleges including UCSD & UCSC . Lincoln has been the outlet to my future from the amazing teachers to the helpful parents , i have built my foundation at school setting my life time goals and all. Lincoln High school has built me into the person that i am today , i believe that the teachers really do care about you and Mr.Collins is the best princpal in San Diego. I am really thankful for our beatiful campus but i do not believe that the campus makes the students but the students make the campus. Yes SouthEast San Diego is not the community in the world , but as a community we stick together and we accomplish things.

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Avatar for user 'ErickaStewart'

ErickaStewart | April 26, 2011 at 6:40 p.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

Hello . I am also a senior at Lincoln High School and this video kind of made lincoln or the kids at lincoln look bad .. You showed good parts but then some bad parts. I will be graduating from Lincoln High School in June 2011 & I grew up in the southeast san diego & IM GRADUATING & I Have Gotten Accepted Into NorthRidge & Dominquez Hills Plus More Lincoln High Students are and will be going to college REGARDLESS what yall show & tell

Goooodday !!!
Ericka Stewart
18 year old
Attending Abraham Lincoln High School

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Avatar for user 'inlikeflynt1956'

inlikeflynt1956 | April 26, 2011 at 6:49 p.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

Did SDUSD really think that just by building a shiny new high school in a poor area of town that all the strife and human suffering would disappear and they could pat themselves on the back because test scores would magically go up?
What a myopic perspective that smacks of arrogance.
I have the distinct pleasure of working for Mel and Martha at Lincoln H.S.
I can't say enough good things about them, and I will be very sad to see them go because they are passionate about their work, and understand the real underlying problems.

Signed,
Jonathan Fong

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Avatar for user 'hopeheadsd'

hopeheadsd | April 26, 2011 at 8:33 p.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

I forgot to add to my other post. This type of school is what was needed for the future.

If this school produces one individual who will create a difference in the future to their community, then it was all worth it. A civil servant doesnt need to graduate from a prestigious university. The background that someone can have from an area that is considered low income is totally beneficial to helping "their own" understand the differences.

In areas like this, respect is earned, not just given.

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Avatar for user 'janayea'

janayea | April 27, 2011 at 9:32 a.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

Hello, I am a senior at Lincoln High School soon to be graduating in the class of 2011. This documentary touched on many things but not enough. To me it was poorly done, not only for placing the scapegoat of poverty as a reason to why students do horribly but also because this documentary did not show any good that has come out of this school. Yes, we may live in low income community but this community does not define us. The students at Lincoln High School are set to and want to attend a college. There are many students who want to attend four year universities and community colleges, even if it be to join the military the students here have a plan for the future. Students in the past graduating classes have had the pleasure to attend many prominent universities even the Ivy Leagues such as Harvard and Stanford. I myself have been accepted to over eight colleges with scholarships from each school. With hard work and determination my peers and I have had the chance that many are not able to receive. Majority of the students in the 2011 graduating class are going to college and are excited to do so, but this documentary did not shine on the success of the students here but on the excuses we as a whole have been given to why we cannot succeed. The real facts are not given and I believe the students should be given a voice to show how they feel about this documentary and about what really goes on within the walls of Lincoln High School.

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Avatar for user 'Joanne Faryon'

Joanne Faryon, KPBS Staff | April 27, 2011 at 2:56 p.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

Hello Everyone,

Thanks for watching the documentary and taking the time to write comments.
It's great to hear from so many students. I agree, the show did not portray all the "good" and the success the school generates. It focused on the struggles and some of the obstacles to education, including poverty. I also agree poverty should not be a scapegoat, but it can't be ignored either. We live in a wealthy community and country, yet hunger prevents some kids from getting to school. Something is wrong.
The documentary is just a starting point - a way in to this conversation. A conversation our community needs to have about educating all kids.
And Janayea, you're right - people graduate from Lincoln, go to college and succeed. However, the truth is the majority of the graduating class will not compete the course requirement to apply for college. Last year, just 16 percent of graduating students had the required courses to apply for college. In fact, most schools in the county don't meet the 85 percent college ready expectation. Congratulations on your acceptance to over eight colleges!
I'd love to hear from more Lincoln students and parents - tell me what you think of the documentary.
Joanne

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Avatar for user 'lupartera2'

lupartera2 | April 27, 2011 at 11:48 p.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

I applaud you Joanne for making this documentary. It's time is overdue. I have worked as a health care provider in that area and also live 10 minutes to Lincoln. My son is attending Crawford which is also a struggling high school in the middle of City Heights. I have met so many dedicated teachers and principals wanting to inspire kids and have been impressed of the positive things happening there. I would like for you to do a documentary on this high school because it's one of the most ethnically diverse schools I have ever seen in San Diego. It would be interesting to delve deep into how some students from recently arrived from Somalia, Cambodia, Laos, Viet Nam and Mexico struggle to survive and overcome adversity to achieve an education. It's time to talk about the struggles of the underperforming schools and their achievements and just focus on "darling" schools of the districts. I just get sick watching ont he news all the nice middle class schools and their achievments--of course, nothing is mentioned that it's because of 2 working "professional" parents with a comfortable income and nice house. Thanks for exposing the other side of why the dropout rate is so high in the ethnic communities. We need to have social workers and mental health specialists in every school in my opinion!

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Avatar for user 'lupartera2'

lupartera2 | April 27, 2011 at 11:58 p.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

I applaud you Joanne for making this documentary. It's time is overdue. I have worked as a health care provider in that area and also live 10 minutes to Lincoln. My son is attending Crawford which is also a struggling high school in the middle of City Heights. I have met so many dedicated teachers and principals wanting to inspire kids and have been impressed of the positive things happening there. I would like for you to do a documentary on this high school because it's one of the most ethnically diverse schools I have ever seen in San Diego. It would be interesting to examine how some students who are recent arrivals from Somalia, Cambodia, Laos, Viet Nam and Mexico struggle to survive and overcome adversity to achieve an education. It's time to talk about the struggles of the underperforming schools and their achievements so that the general public understands the realities of these kids. Thanks for exposing the other side of why the dropout rate is so high in the ethnic communities. We need to have truant officers who were depicted in the documentary and also school psychologists/social workers assigned to those specific schools.

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Avatar for user 'PJHubbard'

PJHubbard | May 1, 2011 at 6:11 p.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

I have mixed feelings about the documentary. I think it is great that KPBS shed some light on the affects poverty have on education (using Lincoln as an example), but I believe most educators know this to be true already. I also believe school districts and education policy makers are also aware of the implications. Which is one of the reasons why I am disgusted to see a lack of urgency on a state and federal level to do something about poverty and education. The video is not for educators, it should be for parents and families and it needs to go beyond 30 minutes. The parents and families we need to hear more from are the poverty stricken. The parents who attend all the meetings and make their voices heard on campus are often times not the parents of struggling students.

I am a product of Southeastern San Diego & Lincoln High School. I am what my peers, colleagues and community as a whole call a “success” story. I went into education because my teachers made an investment in my life and educated me through textbooks and beyond. I learned some valuable life skills as a student at Lincoln High School and I am the woman I am today because of my teachers and my high school principal. Graduating from Lincoln and now teaching at Lincoln makes me no expert, but I have a perspective that spreads over 28 years and I am still fighting the same poverty that could have cost me my education and my life.

If one person had all the answers and power to make it right, it would have been done a long time ago. I believe it takes a village to raise a child – and until individuals put aside personal agendas and agree to work collaboratively with all stakeholders, there is for sure going to be a child left behind. The village is inclusive of students, parents, teachers, administrators, and community members at large. It’s a collaborative effort.

“I want to be the change [I] want to see in the world” - Mahatma Ghandi. My grandma dropped out of school during her 11th grade (at Lincoln), and of her 5 children and 19 grandchildren, I am the only one to attend college. My aunts and uncles had some of the same teachers and counselors I did. My younger siblings were afforded more supports and opportunities in their early childhood education than I could imagine. And it saddened me to see how hard teachers and counselors worked to help my siblings achieve and see no progress. The truth is, my mom, and my aunts and uncles didn’t support the schools effort and as result the family cycle (for lack of a better phrase) of school not being a priority still persist. I share this to say that pointing the finger does not always lead to a solution. As an educator I tried to help my family and I watched other educators try to help my family. Poverty is just as much mental as it is physical and financial.

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Avatar for user 'PJHubbard'

PJHubbard | May 1, 2011 at 6:12 p.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

Each and every stakeholder must be held accountable for student success. There has been a recent movement to degrade and minimize the importance of teachers and the good work that they do. Who fault is it? So far, everyone has pointed the finger at someone else: including those who live and work in our community. What happened to everyone taking responsibility?

Thank you to my Lincoln teachers, who sacrificed so much to teach me the standards, but most importantly about live. You taught me to succeed despite the poverty, the violence, the drugs and the alcohol. Thank you to teachers at Lincoln who still do the same. If the media and the school board won’t acknowledge the work that has been done, know that your students will remember.

I will continue to have high expectations for my students and I will continue to have expectations for my parents and families because they too are responsible for our children’s education. Thank you KPBS for the effort.

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Avatar for user 'EnriqueGarcia'

EnriqueGarcia | May 2, 2011 at 1:36 a.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

I will not jump to be easily offended by this piece because in my opinion it could have been a bit more concise. I myself graduated last year from Lincoln High and am currently attending Stanford University. I can proudly say that Lincoln inspired me to strive for academic excellence and pursue education during a period of my life where education was not of the utmost importance to me. It's easy to point the finger at administrators and teachers in a nation wide debate about education but I feel that this segment tackled the issues of the sociological issues going on behind the scenes. Our student's cannot and should not be subjected to standards that do little to comprehend their daily livelihoods and their accomplishments should not be served with a hint of criticism. Yes, Lincoln is not producing the "numbers" elicited by legislators but this piece shows that many obstacles and hurdles that have been surpassed cannot be quantified. I call to anyone reading this to honestly ask themselves in what way can they make a difference in the lives of students such as at Lincoln. As a product of Lincoln, I know that even the most sincere effort will be met with an initial sense of disappointment, but the history shadowing over our students cannot be eradicated in the course of a couple of year. I applaud the efforts of all the Lincoln administration and its students. It's one thing to sit back and observe and simply label "failure" across the line, but as Mel Collins explained, its a whole 'nother thing to do something about it.

-Enrique Garcia
Lincoln High School '10
/>ejgarcia@stanford.edu

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Avatar for user 'Joanne Faryon'

Joanne Faryon, KPBS Staff | May 2, 2011 at 5:24 p.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

Hello Lincoln Grads and teachers,

Thanks for writing - and thanks for pointing to the great success Lincoln also enjoys in each of you. Again, this show attempted to point out socioeconomic issues that affect families, students, and ultimately teachers and schools. I think Joe Johnson said it best in the show when he said the community must have high expectations, anything less would "make him angry." But we as a community have to pay attention to the call to action to ensure all kids have the chance to succeed in school.

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