SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Archive for July 2008

Sac Bee Editorial: Thriving Schools for Thriving City

Next mayor must chart a course of leadership on improved schools.

As voters appraise the candidates for mayor, Heather Fargo and Kevin Johnson, they should ask the candidates to outline their views on the mayor’s proper role in improving public schools. And they should expect answers to some specifics, too. Such as:

• What do you see as strengths in Sacramento’s public schools?

• What do you see as weaknesses?

• Name three things that you’d do to tackle issues facing the city’s public schools.

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Written by scusdobserver

July 31, 2008 at 9:16 pm

One in four high-schoolers fails to graduate

The Sacramento Bee reports today that according to the California Department of Education, one in four high-schoolers – 24.2 percent – failed to graduate or move into another program to continue their education. The estimates were derived from data from the 2006-07 school year.

Mary Shelton, associate superintendent at Sacramento City Unified, agreed too many students leave early. She cautioned, though, that the rates listed for individual high schools may overstate dropouts because of mobility factors.

Hiram Johnson High School, for example, had a 35.4 percent dropout rate. But the school also has a huge transfer rate because families move so much.

“It’s like a revolving door,” Shelton said. “Last year half the kids transferred in or out in the course of the year.”

Written by scusdobserver

July 17, 2008 at 1:59 pm

Here’s your chance…

Today the Sacramento Bee outlines the upcoming SCUSD election in an editorial.
The filing period for candidates opens Monday, July 14, and runs through Friday, Aug. 8. Quoting from the editorial:

The biggest changes will come in Sacramento City Unified, where voters in 2006 approved a shift from an at-large system of electing school board members to a system of seven geographic districts. This means that the three candidates elected in 2006 – Ellyne Bell, Jerry Houseman and Roy Grimes – will serve out their four-year terms, representing Districts 1, 2 and 6.

But the remaining four districts (3, 4, 5 and 7) will elect new board members.

The three reformers still on the board from the late Mayor Joe Serna’s 1996 slate – Rick Jennings, Karen Young and Manny Hernandez – do not live in any of the new open districts, so they can’t run. These incumbents and their years of experience will be eliminated from the board.

So far, two candidates have stepped forward in District 3, two in District 4, one in District 5 and one in District 7.

There are about 22,000 voters and about 14,000 households represented by each of these new seats. The districts are small enough for candidates to engage directly with voters at their doors. All of these new districts need strong contests.

Written by scusdobserver

July 8, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Posted in Election