Sunday, May 22, 2016

Charter School Advocates Spend Heavily to Gain Control of County Board of Education.

BY DIANA LAMBErt, The Sacramento Bee

Charter school advocates have spent nearly $300,000 backing candidates for three seats on the board of the Sacramento County Office of Education, positions that once were considered sleepy political outposts.
Besides providing oversight for Sacramento County school districts, the education board reviews the charters of countywide charter school systems and hears appeals from charter schools whose applications have been rejected by local school districts.
In recent years, the California Charter Schools Association has emerged as a major player in supporting candidates for the board. This year, the advocacy group has focused its donations on three candidates: Joanne Ahola, who works for the association; Heather Davis, who is married to Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis, an employee of the charter schools group; and Roy Grimes, a former county education board member challenging an incumbent who has voted against reauthorizing charter schools.
Carlos Marquez, senior political director for the Charter Schools Association, said it views the Sacramento County Office of Education as “a really strong safeguard, a strong backstop for (preventing) politically motivated denials (of charter schools) at the local level.”
“We are happy with the board,” he added. “It’s really important right now that we maintain continuity.”
The county Office of Education has so far chartered five schools – all part of a network operated by Margaret Fortune that focuses on closing the achievement gap between African American and other students. Fortune recently finished serving as a California State University trustee and was an adviser for former Govs. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Teachers Are Increasingly Frustrated With Their Work

And That's Bad for Students
Jeff Bryant
Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week. So some folks thought it might be a swell idea to ask teachers how “appreciated” they feel. The short answer? Not so much.
Results of a wide-ranging new survey of 3,328 K-12 classroom teachers finds the nation’s frontline educators are committed to their students and generally satisfied with their schools and their colleagues but are deeply frustrated with how they’re being treated.
Most teachers believe their voices are ignored by policy makers at the district (76 percent), state (94 percent), and national (94 percent) levels.
Although most teachers say what would really help their work would be smaller class sizes and more time for planning and collaboration with colleagues, what a majority of them report is too much emphasis on testing, especially in high- and medium-poverty schools where teachers say they are way more apt to spend more than a month on test-prep activities for district and state tests.
“A majority of teachers believe they spend too much time preparing students for state-mandated tests (62 percent) and district-mandated tests (51 percent),” the survey summary states. “Very few teachers believed they spent too little time preparing students for district and/or state-mandated tests.”
In the meantime, the tests have an impact on the evaluations of most teachers, even though a majority of these teachers say these evaluations are only minimally or not at all helpful.
The discontent teachers feel in the workplace is actually the continuation of a long and alarming trend with undoubtedly negative impacts on students.
Teachers Are “Clearly Frustrated”

Thursday, May 19, 2016

How the Bros Are Undermining Bernie

How the Bros Are Undermining Bernie: If the Sanders Revolution is ever to come to fruition, the Bernie Brigades will have to vote for and work for Hillary Clinton’s election in the fall.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

California to Re Write History Books -Include Chicano History

California to adopt a new guide to Mexican American (Chicano) history, (and everyone else)

Cesar Chavez and Duane Campbell 1972
"Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed.  You can not un-educate the person who has learned to read.. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.
Cesar Chávez. November 9, 1984.

Update. the decision was made May 19. The proposed new framework passed the Quality Instructional Materials Committee. It is most likely to be adopted as is. 

History will change in May of 2016 for the students of California, and in subsequent years students throughout the nation. Teachers. Are you prepared to teach all history?

We have a unique opportunity to change the history books in California  K-12 to include Chicano/Mexican American history.
Mexican American/ Chicano history is currently substantially absent from public school textbooks and curriculum in California- and it has been since 1986.  Latino student political non participation and alienation from school is significantly caused by Latino absence from the K-12 textbooks and curriculum.

For the last two years the Mexican American Digital History Project and a broad group of allies have been working for to add Chicano history to the California History/Social Science Framework, the document that determines what goes into textbooks in California. See

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Bernie Rally in Sacramento on Monday

Progressive Alliance/Campus 4 Bernie

Bernie Sanders for President

Dear Friends -
Bernie is coming to California on Monday and Tuesday to hold two "A Future to Believe In" rallies — don't miss this chance to see him in person! Join us for a conversation about the issues that matter: making college tuition-free, getting big money out of politics, combating climate change, and much more.
With the California primary coming up, we need everyone to get involved to make these events a success. Can Bernie count on you to join him?
A Future to Believe In Sacramento Rally
Monday, May 9

Doors open at 5:00 pm
Bonney Field at Cal Expo
1600 Exposition Blvd, Sacramento CA
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