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School Closes In San Francisco’s Bayview Neighborhood

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Willie L. Brown College Prep Academy Dream School. (Margie Shafer/KCBS)

Willie L. Brown College Prep Academy Dream School. (Margie Shafer/KCBS)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) —- On Friday, the Willie L. Brown Jr. College Preparatory Academy is closing its doors in the Bayview district of San Francisco. Once called 21st Century Academy, the school was part of an ambitious effort to address school performance. That didn’t work, but as the final bell rings, hope remains that a successful middle school can be built here.

Reaction from the students was mixed. Some students said they would miss the school because of the caring teachers while others said they were glad to see the school closing because it was so ‘horrible and raggedy.’

The facilities at Willie Brown Academy look worn – from the old green and white tile floors to small bathroom stalls for elementary children, which were used by kids in middle school.

Some students said they wanted to work harder like Malaysia Rodriguez, who has a better than B average.

“I learned a lot, but I wanted a challenge,” she said. “I think all the work is too easy.”

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

But others like Angelie Edwards struggled.

“I started being absent ever since my dad passed away because I’ve been having family problems,” she said.

Assistant Superintendent of the Bayview Zone, Dr. Patricia Gray, said scholastically there is lots of room for improvement.

“The school is closing because it is underperforming in the bottom five percent of schools in the entire state of California,” she said.

In part, Gray blames a revolving door of teachers for the school’s low performance.

“We know that it takes more because of all that’s going on out in the environment,” she said. “So we want to make sure we get the best and brightest and keep the best and brightest teachers. That’s very important.”

The district wants to tear this school down and build a state of the art middle school. A bond issue will be on the November ballot, and if it passes, a new middle school would open on this site in August of 2014.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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