SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Archive for April 2008

Sac Police Chief says he will not release the report

From today’s Bee:

Detectives looked into two similar accusations against Johnson — one made May 9, 2007, the other 15 days later — but both investigations were quickly closed after police determined no crimes had occurred, Parker said.

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Written by scusdobserver

April 30, 2008 at 8:05 pm

Women leaders hold news conference this morning…

…regarding the sexual misconduct allegations against Kevin Johnson at Sacramento Charter High School.
Watch the video

Written by scusdobserver

April 29, 2008 at 7:43 pm

Cal Middle to host local championships

Today in the Bee:

Students from California Middle School in Sacramento’s Land Park neighborhood are preparing for a local speech and debate championship, fresh off a second-place finish in a national competition.

Written by scusdobserver

April 29, 2008 at 6:56 pm

"This transcends politics…"

Today in the Bee:
A group of women civic leaders is calling for the Sacramento Police Department to release the report detailing its investigation into a teacher’s complaint that Kevin Johnson inappropriately touched a 17-year-old Sac High student last year.

Written by scusdobserver

April 28, 2008 at 10:12 pm

SCUSD budget meeting today

A subcommittee of the school board, the meeting’s participants will discuss how to cut more than $24 million from next year’s budget.
Open to the public…
Monday, April 28 at 4:30pm Agenda
California Middle School Auditorium
1600 Vallejo Way Get Driving Directions

Written by scusdobserver

April 28, 2008 at 2:24 pm

Posted in Budget

The Charter School Mess

By Mike Simpson
SCUSD Parent

The St. Hope mess points to a weakness in the law that authorizes Charter schools in California. Governing Boards are required to authorize, establish, support and monitor Charter Schools. The Governing Boards must pay for the cost of these required actions and services. The enormous amount of time and other resources necessary to discharge this responsibility continues to consume inordinate amount time and effort of the Board of Education, senior staff including the superintendent, associate superintendents, business and accounting services as well as legal services often at the expense of other pressing issues. In an era of severe budget cuts, why do we continue to allow a handful of schools to take the focus off the challenges facing all the schools in the district? The California charter law requires it.

At a recent board meeting, five district schools were honored for achieving “Distinguished Schools” status. An achievement of major proportion considering there were only 48 schools that attained the award of nearly 6000 public schools statewide. That celebration lasted under 10 minutes. Much of the rest of the board meeting was spent discussing new and existing charter schools. Many of the board meetings in the past few years have included glowing anecdotal praise from students, parents and staff of the charter schools as well as the obligatory bashing of the board by groups opposed to the charter. Each of these sessions takes away precious time needed to deal with other public issues facing our district and often obscures the success that happens daily in our district schools.

I hope the allegations that have initiated the current investigation of St. Hope are found to be without merit. My hope is for those students, parents and staff at the St. Hope charters. They deserve a good, safe education, whether public or charter.

The question of Charter schools is not only a local one but one that has national proportions. In almost every state that has a charter school law (41 states have such laws) problems exist. Charges of fraud, mismanagement, racism and sexual abuse as well as outright charter failures and closures continue to drive the debate and consume scarce education resources.

In Texas (considered the birthplace of NCLB and a leader of the Charter movement) state records show Charter schools have received more than $26 million in undeserved state funding through inaccurate student attendance reports. The Dallas Morning News reported that the Texas Education Agency is trying to recover $17 million from nearly half the charter schools in the Lone Star State. State officials cannot collect money from the 20 charters that have gone out of business, leaving taxpayers to pay the debt.

Across the country, there are calls for Charter School Reform. Two states (Ohio and New York) have considered a two-year moratorium on the issuance of charters for new schools.

It is ironic that the remedy for failing public schools is to make them charter schools. Maybe it is time for California to implement a moratorium on charter schools. In light of the outrageous budget cuts that are looming over schools, the continued drain on educational resources represented by the “charter school mess” must be contained.

Written by scusdobserver

April 27, 2008 at 9:57 pm

Kevin Johnson defends St. HOPE

In today’s Bee:

(Kevin) Johnson described (Erik) Jones, who left Sacramento High citing its handling of the allegations in his resignation letter, as “a disgruntled teacher who is now in cahoots with” east Sacramento parents and union members who want Sacramento High back as a regular public school.

Also, Marcos Breton’s column details a sit-down he had with Johnson over recent allegations and the federal investigation into St. Hope’s activities.

Written by scusdobserver

April 27, 2008 at 9:42 am