SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Archive for August 2009

Corporate "School Reform" comes to Sacramento Thursday

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visits Sacramento this Thursday, September 3 to headline Kevin Johnson’s Education Summit.

Following last week’s release of Johnson’s white paper, which supposedly “aligns with Secretary of Education Duncan’s plan for national reform“, Duncan will be sharing his plan this Thursday at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria at 5:00 p.m.

Before attending this Thursday’s corporate love-fest, The Observer urges you to listen to Bruce Dixon’s commentary at The Black Agenda Report.

Despite a decade of hard sell by right wing think tanks, foundations, and big media, the American people have not bought the corporate version of school reform. Most people just don’t believe public schools should be privatized or militarized, or operated by business people like businesses instead of by educators, parents and communities in the interests of children, parents and communities, like the best schools always have been run. And most educators doubt that high stakes testing improves educational outcomes in any meaningful way.


Written by scusdobserver

August 31, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Transcript of Jonathan Raymond’s remarks at Kevin Johnson’s press conference

At Monday’s press conference with state and local education leaders at Valley High School (Elk Grove Unified), Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson introduced Jonathan Raymond as a rookie member, apparently, of his “team.”

Here’s the video.

Here’s a transcript:

Kevin Johnson: I want to save the superintendent from Sac City Unified for last because he’s the newest member, he’s a rookie. So we’re going to initiate him this year with all kind of fun little pranks that he has no idea what’s in store for him.

He comes to us from Charlotte, North Carolina and we are very pleased to have this superintendent here in Sacramento. He will be working very closely with the gentlemen behind me building a great team at Sac City Unified School District and let’s give a nice warm welcome to the new superintendent and the rookie superintendent, Jonathan Raymond.

Jonathan Raymond: Thank you Mr. Mayor. Yes it’s true that I’m from North Carolina…they play a little basketball in Carolina, but I don’t play basketball so leave me out of that game.

It’s truly a privilege to be here and I think that the leadership behind me speaks more than words can say and it’s all been said except I’ll try to boil it down…when President Obama said that the countries that out-educate us will out-compete us…if you think about it from the state and the region – and even a local level, we have some serious challenges.

I was with students on Friday from Hiram Johnson and one of them asked me,

“Why have you come to Sacramento? Why did you leave North Carolina to come to Sacramento?”

And what I said is because of you…because of students like you, because the challenges are tremendous today but so are the opportunities.

For us to be able to compete in this flat world that Thomas Friedman, a columnist for the New York Times, says, we have to muster all the creativity and imagination that we have. That’s our competitive edge.

And it’s very simple. If you want the same results, keep doing the same things, but that’s not the California way, that’s not the California tradition.

So this is a tremendous place to be. There’s energy, there’s ideas, there’s thought leaders and there’s leaders in the community that want a better world for our students.

So I can’t think of a better way to start than in this community with a mayor and a superintendent and a state leadership that’s poised for greatness. A community that’s energized and wants to be involved with their resources, their time and their ideas.

So to join this team is a great opportunity. I’m excited about it. I’m looking forward to working with the gentlemen behind me and Mayor Johnson’s leadership in our community and we will be great. And I think we will show the world and we will show the country and show the state of California the power that is going to reside in this community so I’m pleased to be here and I look forward to working with the rest of the community.

Written by scusdobserver

August 27, 2009 at 9:29 pm

White paper or wall paper?

In March of this year, Sacramento Mayor, Kevin Johnson, held an education summit to purportedly address educational options for Sacramento schools, accountability for results and the utilization of “human capital.”

On Monday, Johnson released a white paper titled, “Education that Works: Ideas for Sacramento”

The message the paper sends is clear: KJ wants his power grab to include the budgets of the city’s school districts.

Read about the current flap Johnson has with the city council over his strong-mayor initiative.


Written by scusdobserver

August 27, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Special Board Meeting today

4:50 p.m.
Item 2.2

Superintendent Roll-out Ad Hoc Committee
Asset Revenue Generation Ad Hoc Committee

Editor’s note: Ad hoc committees are created for a one-time purpose or to focus on examining a specific subject. Most are created with a deadline by which they must complete their work.


Written by scusdobserver

August 26, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Board Meeting Thursday evening…

On the agenda:

Charter School Quarterly Report
St. HOPE public schools
Charter Facility Use Agreements


Written by scusdobserver

August 18, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Pray Tell…

Kevin Johnson is (again) under a cloud of suspicion regarding his personal behavior. In today’s Sacramento Bee it is reported by Ryan Lillis that the vice chairwoman of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission and director of the 40 Acres Art Gallery has unexpectedly resigned from both posts.

Read Kim Curry-Evans’ resignation letter.


Written by scusdobserver

August 12, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Posted in Kevin Johnson

Raymond holds first press conference with KJ in attendance

Yesterday Jonathan Raymond introduced himself to the SCUSD community by holding a press conference at the Serna Center. Stressing a focus on transparency, accountability and collaboration, Raymond said that he plans to listen to community input for the first 3 months of his tenure.

Raymond’s remarks on Capital Public Radio

In this morning’s Sacramento Bee, Melody Gutierrez writes about the press conference with the following (very interesting) observation:

Raymond said he supports charter schools, calling them “laboratories of innovation” as Mayor Kevin Johnson listened in the background. Johnson founded St. HOPE Academy, which operates three charter schools in the Sacramento City Unified district.


Written by scusdobserver

August 11, 2009 at 3:56 pm