SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Archive for June 2008

School Board hindering charters?

The Sacramento Bee has apparently lost its collective mind with its most recent editorial lamenting SCUSD’s most recent decision to award Sacramento Charter High School a one-year facility agreement without exclusive use.

Quoting from the piece:

How can the district itself and the charter schools operate with predictability if they only have one-year agreements for a facility? How can charters build a school culture if the district leaves open the possibility that they may have to co-locate with an incompatible program? The district is responsible for creating these charter schools, so it should attempt to assure their success – or, at least, not get in the way. This latest stance shows a district effectively bleeding its charter schools dry, rather than doing what it can to make its charter schools successful.

No where in this editorial is the mention that St. Hope’s charter is under federal investigation.

Are the laws are being followed? Should charters have carte blanche to operate any way they want under the taxpayer-funded entity that is Sacramento City Unified School District?

St. Hope has already been given five years to establish their program, and by many accounts they have failed miserably.

It behooves the district to proceed with caution and the board has made the right decision to wait and see what happens with the federal investigation into St. Hope’s charter before granting any more exclusive use or taxpayer-funded resources.

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Written by scusdobserver

June 27, 2008 at 6:00 pm

Commentary: Small decision with big implications?

In today’s Bee, Lauren Rosenhall writes a story decrying how the charter schools under SCUSD’s umbrella are prevented from advertising on the district’s website.

At tomorrow night’s board meeting
the trustees will decide if this policy is going to change.

The article specifically focuses on St. Hope’s enrollment problems, quoting Executive Director Rick Maya.

Recruiting students is key to a charter school’s success since the state funds schools based on how many kids attend. Without access to the district Web site, Sacramento High and the other charter schools have had to attract students through billboards and radio ads.

“(It) creates a tremendous amount of expense, and a tremendous amount of work,” said Rick Maya, executive director of St. HOPE.

“That will never replace the effect if parents can go onto the district Web site and look at all their options.”

Will listing St. Hope’s charter on the website solve their enrollment problems? Will it raise their test scores and bring them out of program improvement? Will it prevent the high turnover rate of staff? Will it make them financially solvent? Will it help them win basketball games? Being listed on SCUSD’s website is not a magic bullet for this school. This charter (as do all charters) has the ability to recruit students from anywhere in this state.

Parents and students know all too well that St. Hope’s charter is an option, and the well-informed are choosing to reject Sacramento Charter High School. It is currently a failing institution and no amount of web publicity is going to change that fact.

Written by scusdobserver

June 18, 2008 at 1:08 pm

Facilities Committee Meeting on Wednesday

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tour Time: 5:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Meeting Time: 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Location: Theodore Judah Elementary School
3919 McKinley Blvd.

Click here for the agenda.

Written by scusdobserver

June 17, 2008 at 1:37 pm

Commentary: Kennedy High Students banned from graduation

On Monday, 18 seniors were banned from participating in John F. Kennedy High School‘s graduation ceremony.

The vandals allegedly caused thousands of dollars worth of damage by perpetrating acts that included dying the school swimming pool green, damaging fresh paint on school doors and writing obscene messages in chalk.

Students were warned in advance that they would be disciplined for vandalism and the consequences would include forfeiting the graduation day ceremony.

These kids chose to break the rules and they were punished by the school district. Some alleged offenders protested and showed up anyway with their caps and gowns on…while sitting in the audience.

Parents appeared at the school with a lawyer, protesting the decision.

So are these children really just entitled brats who don’t think they should be held responsible for their crimes? Are they wrongly accused? SCUSD has videotape and is unwilling to reveal the evidence citing concerns over a possible lawsuit.

Another lawsuit? Why?

These pranks cast a pall over what should be the best day in a student’s life — accomplishments on graduation day. Is litigation the only avenue to hold these individuals responsible for the crimes they committed against the entire Kennedy high school community?

The Sac City school board should hold these children and their parents responsible for the damage they’ve caused and they should make them pay for their crimes. In this time of strained budgets, it would be reprehensible for these haves to take away from the many have-nots in our school system. The district should not spend one dime cleaning up after these idiotic misdemeanors. The district should also not spend one labor hour litigating the fairness of their decision.

Written by scusdobserver

June 14, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Kevin Johnson says he is stepping down as CEO of St. Hope

Written by scusdobserver

June 13, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Gun sighting report leads to Hiram Johnson High lockdown

Written by scusdobserver

June 12, 2008 at 6:51 pm

Posted in Hiram Johnson

Will C. Wood honored for reading achievement

Students at Will C. Wood Middle School read more than 15,000 books this school year, and Sacramento State helped honor that achievement and the students’ principal at the school’s Family Celebration of Literacy on June 6.

Written by scusdobserver

June 11, 2008 at 9:58 pm

Posted in Will C. Wood