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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.

Lawsuit Against Sac City Unified Filed Today to Prevent School Closures

Today there will be a press conference on the Federal Courthouse steps announcing the filing of a lawsuit to prevent the closure of seven schools in the Sacramento City Unified School District. The goal is to obtain a temporary injunction at the hearing which should take place within the next four to five weeks. That will prevent the closures from going forward while the plaintiffs, students and parents, get the opportunity to tell their story in court.

Second Chance for Neighborhood Schools Resolution

The following resolution was adopted by the SCUSD District Advisory Committee on May 14th. It will be presented to the SCUSD board at the meeting on May 16th by Leo Cauchon.  If you'd like to help him present it in its entirety by attending the meeting and filling our a comment card, meet Leo at the back of the baord meeting room at the Serna Center at 6:15. The item is on the agenda for Public Comment at  6:55 PM.

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.

Update From Putting Students First Coalition

Yesterday, we learned that Karen Swett of Making Cents Work, who led Tuesday’s Community SCUSD Budget Forum at the Colonial Heights Library, had her long-standing access to the district’s on-line budget data cut-off last week.   The above letter was sent to Karen  by Interim Chief Business Officer, Richard Odegaard.

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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