Vallejo Public Schools

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Archived Q&A and Reviews

High School in Vallejo?

March 2008

Hi, I have a friend who is a single mother with 2 teenagers. She currently lives in Berkeley (rents an apartment) but due to the high cost of living, is considering moving to vallejo where she can rent a much larger apartment for a much lower rent. She has lived in Berkeley for many years and loves the culture, neighborhoods, etc. Does Vallejo have some nice neighborhoods? Is it a safe/enjoyable city to live in? Are there many cafe's, parks in walking distance? Are there good grocery stores (variety in produce, organic foods, etc)? Also, does anyone have experience with Vallejo High School? Is it a safe school? If you have teenagers that attend, do they like the school? Does it offer many AP courses and/or sports teams? Thanks in advance! CJ

Oh. My. God. Tell your friend any rental savings will be swept away in private school tuition for her teens. Go to the California Department of Education web site and look at the test scores: Vallejo High, a large public high school in a district that went bankrupt a few years ago, has a high school exit exam pass rate of 66-69 percent. Berkeley High's pass rate? 80-82 percent. And this is on an exam that tests algebra comprehension (i.e., 8th grade math) and 10th grade English. You can't graduate from high school - let alone go to college - without passing the thing. Vallejo has a major dropout rate, gangs, crime, terrible test scores across the board ... and no adorable Fourth Street, Black Oak Books or Gourmet Ghetto. There is no question at all here. Sorry. a mom

One word about moving to Vallejo with kids - don't! I was a teacher there and the schools have been in financial trouble for many years. I saw new kids get in with the ''wrong crowd'' very quickly. Vallejo High has a pretty low rating.

Hogan is better. I have friends who sent their above average kids there who are doing well, but they are the type of kids who would do well anywhere.

If she has to move, there are two charter schools to recommend. In Vallejo is Mare Island Technology Academy (MIT) and in Napa is New Tech High. My older daughter went to New Tech and we loved it.

The best neighborhoods in Vallejo are in the Redwood hills (east) and Glen Cove. Benicia or American Canyon would be better. She could rent a house in American Canyon for what she is paying for rent down here, and her kids could go to the Napa schools. And Am Cyn is very diverse and very safe.

Good luck to your friend. Jenny