Susanna Cooper

Susanna Cooper, an associate editor at the Sacramento Bee, writes on education and children's issues.

Recent Articles

Sacramento: Bowling Green Elementary

T he schools in the southern section of Sacramento City are generally among the district's worst. The neighborhood is one of the city's poorest and many of its students come from a burgeoning immigrant population that often does not speak English at home. But something surprising is happening at Bowling Green Elementary, the district's only charter school. Set among car dealerships, strip malls, modest homes, and a crowded public housing complex, the school has in its nearly six years under a charter managed to improve from being among the district's lowest achieving schools to being one that performs at the district average. Bowling Green was one of the first 100 charters allowed under a California law passed in 1992. The 750 students come from the surrounding neighborhood, 81 percent from households poor enough to qualify for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program. While its district is made up nearly equally of Asians, blacks, Hispanics, and whites, Bowling Green is more...