SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Archive for October 2009

Sac Ballet comes to Hiram Johnson HS today to preview future school of the arts

Hiram Johnson High School dance students will learn what it takes to be a professional dancer and
the diversity of styles as the Sacramento Ballet Company completes a sample workout and performs in different dance genres for students in the schools’ dance studio located in the Johnson gymnasium.

The visit is scheduled for today from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the school, 6879 14th Ave.
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Written by scusdobserver

October 30, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Let’s really be bold

On the editorial pages of the Sacramento Bee recently, writers have touted the successes of local school districts that have acted “boldly” in turning around our failing schools.

The reconstitution of Jonas Salk Middle School is cited in one editorial as the brave action that San Juan Unified took to improve its test scores.

Another laughable puff piece in the series displays the Bee’s continued insistence that Sacramento Charter High School has been transformed by the St. Hope Corporation into a successful school with glowing reviews.

Well, we won’t go there at the moment…

Instead, let’s offer up some real alternatives on how to improve schools that show deteriorating test scores — if that truly is the measure of how we are failing to educate our children.

For instance, the concept of building Smart Education Systems aspires to promote and sustain high-quality student learning on a grass-roots level — at the school, in the home and in the local community. A smart system requires partnerships among the school district, other city agencies, cultural institutions, community groups, and businesses.

Examples of Smart Education Systems

Unlike the Bee suggests, we cannot close down schools and reestablish them again in leaner configurations. And we cannot solely abdicate our public responsibility to the corporate pressures of charter school reform and not expect to pay a high price for that surrender.

Another glaring omission in the Bee’s editorial equation is the urgent need to involve parents as education advocates. The concept of Parent U-Turn is succeeding in The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Where is a similar implementation model for SCUSD?

The solutions are out there. We need to open our eyes and roll up our sleeves.
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Written by scusdobserver

October 27, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Tom Barentson quits

Our friends over at the Big Education Ape reported Friday that Deputy Superintendent and CFO of SCUSD, Tom Barenton has resigned, effective October 15. Barentson has cited personal reasons for his departure.
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Written by scusdobserver

October 27, 2009 at 3:58 am

Posted in Tom Barentson

Luther Burbank groundbreaking today

The $24.5 million Luther Burbank Regional Sports Complex will commence groundbreaking ceremonies today at 10:00 a.m., at 3500 Florin Road, Sacramento.
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Written by scusdobserver

October 21, 2009 at 2:50 pm

Listening or lecturing?

This evening, SCUSD Superintendent Jonathan Raymond will visit the Pocket area as part of a continuing campaign of outreach to district stakeholders. Councilman Robbie Waters, Board President Ray Grimes and Raymond will partner to present the “listening and learning tour of the district” tonight at John F. Kennedy High School from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

An opinion piece in the Sacramento Bee
yesterday urged local communities to assert a “count us in” approach by informing state legislators of the “barriers that need to be removed in order to achieve dramatic turnaround of the lowest performing schools.” The feel-good ideas of reconstitution, transformation, and culture change are bandied about, yet the crux of the matter centers on a very ugly couple of words — school closures.

Today, the Bee’s editorial page is touting the “reconstitution” of Jonas Salk Middle School (San Juan Unified) as a dramatic fix to that particular school’s problems of low API scores and chronic underperformance. The editorial, in no small way, credits the miraculous and swift turnaround to performance-based pay for teachers and a corporate partnership with Apple Computer, Inc.

Do teachers really want the performance-based pay incentive?
Do parents ultimately want corporations in their public school systems?

Given the recent pressure for Race to The Top federal funding, the local competition for economic resources, and the opinion trend on the Bee’s editorial page, the question stakeholders really need to ask is:

Should we buy what you’re selling?

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KJ’s art initiative brings "Any Given Child" to SCUSD

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has chosen Sacramento to pilot the Any Given Child program in SCUSD schools.

The initiative could reinvent arts education for schools struggling with budget cuts and fewer art teachers. The Kennedy Center will help identify the resources needed to create a tailor-made art curriculum for both the Twin Rivers School District and the Sacramento City Unified School District. The program will include teacher training and other resources, provided by the Kennedy Center at no cost.

Officials said they chose Sacramento out of a list of 27 cities in part because of the city’s For Art’s Sake initiative started by Mayor Kevin Johnson.
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Written by scusdobserver

October 10, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Matusi to host health care town hall at Sutter MS

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) will hold a town hall meeting tomorrow, October 10, at Sutter Middle School.
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Written by scusdobserver

October 9, 2009 at 3:02 pm