By Barbara Wood
Special to the Almanac
A Stanford doctoral student who has been researching the effects of the Tinsley transfer program will discuss her research at a special public meeting of the Menlo Park City School District board on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 10:30 a.m., at the district office board room, 181 Encinal Ave. in Atherton.
As the result of a 1985 court settlement, several Peninsula school districts agreed to allow some minority students from the Ravenswood City School District to transfer into their districts. The districts include Menlo Park, Las Lomitas, Woodside, Portola Valley, Palo Alto, Belmont and San Carlos.
Kendra Bischoff has been studying this program and will share her observations at the meeting, including analysis of data collected from the Tinsley school districts. She will address questions of school district administrators about the program and discuss larger policy issues surrounding school choice and desegregation plans.
The title of her dissertation is "Negotiating Disparate Social Contexts: Evidence from an Interdistrict School Desegregation Program."
Tinsley transfers are available only to kindergarteners, and first- and second- graders, who may then stay in the district until they graduate. Each district agrees to take a maximum number of children, who are chosen by lottery if more than the maximum number have applied.
The program is the result of a lawsuit filed against education officials in 1976 by a group of 35 plaintiffs, mostly East Palo Alto parents. Margaret Tinsley was the first named plaintiff. The parents argued that students in the mostly minority Ravenswood City School District should be able to attend schools in the predominantly white school districts nearby.