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Who's Who in the California Ed Reform Business

From Washington D.C. to Sacramento school districts, California politicians are influencing education policy. California is such a blue state, that many a person espousing views once formerly held only by Republicans, claims membership in the  Democratic party. Some of these so-called Democrats are pushing the corporate "ed reform" agenda. From billionaire benefactor to local politician, they are working to end public education as we know it.

The Sacramento City Unified Community Deserves a Real Educator for Superintendent

The Sacramento Bee editorial regarding Supt. Jonathon Raymond's resignation is full of praises for Raymond's work while it chastises "the community" for not supporting Raymond's accomplishments. He certainly has done a great job of pursuing Broad Academy and Gates Foundation initiatives. But everything that the Bee praises Raymond for came at the expensive of the Sacramento City Unified community.

What the Bee Didn't Tell Readers About the NCLB Waiver for Sac City

Sacramento City Unified and eight other large districts across the state have been granted a waiver by  the US Dept. of Education from No Child Left Behind. The waiver frees the districts from requirements to set aside Title 1 money for tutoring and transportation for students that request to attend another school with better test scores. It also requires district to set up new accountability systems that evaluate  teachers on the basis of students test scores.

Blaming teachers for the school closures--Breton is just doing his job

Once again I am amazed by the Sacramento Bee's reporters. I sat behind Marcos Breton at the hearing on the Sacramento City USD school closers, yet evidently we heard different things. Like education reporter Loretta Kalb, he failed to get the facts straight, so his column in the Sunday Bee was riddled with inaccuracies. Since the public has no other source for information on this trail, that's a shame.

Letter to the Sacramento County Board of Education: Just Say No to the Fortune School Charter Revision

Dear SCOE Board of Trustees:  It has come to our attention that the Fortune School will be coming before the SCOE board to ask for a material revision of its charter. It is proposing a new school in Elk Grove School USD more than three miles from the "children's zone" identified in the original petition for a school location.

Rep. Honda's STEM Education Bill Puts a Band-Aid on the Real Problem

From the article about STEM Education:  "Here's an overview of the problem: If a school district focuses only on performing well on a high-stakes California state test, an opportunity to experience and make applications in science, engineering design and computer science is lost. Rote memorization of facts and figures is over-valued. Our students' school experience, consequently, becomes a test prep factory, a setting devoid of meaningful human interaction and richer curricular connection. A child's spirit of wonder and intrigue becomes a sterile test score result."

Overwhelmed Open Enrollment Process Reveals the Myth of School Choice.

     The Open Enrollment priority for kids at the closed schools is a farce. The Open Enrollment timeline was just an excuse for the hurried closure "process" --we have to rush to get the schools closed so that parents can apply for open enrollment. There is no way 2000 students can be accommodated through that process.  Students who live within the attendance boundaries have first choice at their neighborhood school regardless of open enrollment.  Then there is sibling preference and staff preference. Some schools like Hearst and Camellia have academic criteria.

SCUSD Stonewalls the Community By Denying Access to Budget Data

Last Tuesday evening the Putting Students First Coalition hosted a community budget forum. The presenter was Karen Swett, a retired SCUSD teacher who has spent years working with district

This Community Won't Back Down

The Bee editorial board is concerned that the SCUSD school board will be perceived as acting unfairly by failing to close Mark Twain or Tahoe Elementary, in addition to the schools already closed. Evidently none of the Bee editorial board watched the SCUSD board meeting streaming online. If they had, they would know that the SCUSD board has already been accused of unfairness in the closure of seven elementary schools.


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