SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Archive for the ‘Consent Decree High School’ Category

Still $8 million and holding?

The SCUSD Board of Directors will elect officers at tomorrow night’s board meeting. Superintendent Raymond is scheduled to report on his 100 days findings and recommendations. Action items include bond money reallocation with regard to the $8 million set aside for the unresolved issue of the consent decree high school and also presumably for modernization of The Met, financial reports by acting CFO Patricia Hagemeyer, and approval for a memorandum of understanding for Race to the Top funds.

The board meeting will stream live beginning at 6:30 p.m.
For more documentation, visit this link, and scroll down to items under Public Hearing.


Written by scusdobserver

December 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Eight Million and Holding…

In today’s Sacramento Bee, the story focuses on the still-unresolved issue of the consent decree high school.

In the article, Interim Superintendent Susan Miller publicly acknowledges the rumor that the District is considering the idea of a partnership with Sacramento State.

“Right now we have some proposals from people as a result of the community meetings,” Miller said. “One is a partnership with Sacramento State as a demonstration (high) school.”

“Demonstration” presumably means college preparatory and would satisfy the requirements of the consent decree if all parties agree to it. Tom Barentson, District CFO, points out in the article that the Where’s My High School activists wanted more out of a high school than the consent decree lawsuit required.

In the meantime, the District is holding $8 million in bond money. The consent decree high school was supposed to be established by the fall of last year. The District claims that other needs are more pressing at the moment, specifically current budget cuts.

It’s time to resolve this issue.

Written by scusdobserver

May 1, 2009 at 2:18 pm

East Sacramento Middle School Inequities…

Among other things that will be addressed at tonight’s board meeting is Superintendent Susan Miller ‘s plan to directly address the specific inequity between two middle schools in the center of the city, Sutter Middle School and Kit Carson Middle School.

The Sacramento Bee editorialized about it over the weekend:

…Sutter Middle and Kit Carson are “within a stone’s throw from each other” and have 1,600 students between them. But one has 1,200 students and the other has only 400. One is high-achieving, the other is struggling. So Miller proposes to create two schools of 800 and to blend staff.

Dissenting voices to the plan fear that the “blending” will fail, subsequently wrecking the superior Sutter experience.

In the meantime, another group of advocates are pushing to move the entire Sutter population to Kit Carson, chop down enrollment numbers, and turn Sutter into the long-debated and highly controversial (consent decree) high school for the East Sacramento neighborhoods.

Which begs the question…why do neighborhood folks advocate moving the entire Sutter program TO Kit Carson to satisfy the consent decree but do not favor replicating the Sutter program AT Kit Carson to satisfy middle school inequity?

Time to Move On?

Commentary from the SCUSD Observer

To share your thoughts on this issue, please scroll down to the bottom of the post.

In the Bee today Kim Minugh interviews board members and litigants about the bureaucratic mushy language that materialized on Thursday night’s recommendation. Are we dealing with a delay or the abandonment of the consent decree?

The original settlement of the consent decree is flawed. After five years, the issue is (and always has been) the disposition of the facility at Sacramento High School. Until that returns to the public trust, this “headache” as Roy Grimes puts it, will never go away. The current board of trustees is incapable of making sound public policy on this matter. Rick Jennings and Karen Young are in St. Hope’s back pocket. Ellyne Bell can’t cast a vote because she is a litigant to the original decree. Perhaps Manny Hernandez has higher political aspirations and is casting his vote accordingly. Jerry Houseman is rumored to be ready to step out of the public spotlight after his term is up.

A new school board is to be elected this fall. Hopefully the new trustees will not be installations of Kevin Johnson’s choosing but rather independent, thinkers with political saavy.

And speaking of Kevin Johnson, a lot is up-in-the-air politically at the moment. Will he win the mayoral race? Will the federal investigation into his activities at St. Hope bear fruit?

Over the next few board meetings, if the trustees wrangle to include language on a recommendation to delay the decree, the current trustees give a new board the albatross. An albatross that has been endlessly dragged through the mud at community forums, board meetings, committee meetings, staff meetings….

Yet if the decree is abandoned, a new solution about Sac High may emerge — a solution that doesn’t include the flawed constraints of legal hamstringing. The consent decree was ultimately reduced to a compromise that didn’t address the original problem. And the only parties to compromise in the original decree were the litigants themselves — the parents who now strongly cling to what they feel is the only leg they have to stand on to get Sac High back.

Enough money has been wasted on finding a solution to settling the decree. It’s time to re-evaluate the goal and review the option. There are only two solutions and they both reside on the Sacramento High School property.

Either St. Hope’s failing charter should be relocated to a smaller site and the Sac High facility reverts back to a public high school for all the communities it serves OR the “Consent Decree High School” and and the St. Hope program co-locate on the Sac High campus.

Either option allows progress in a positive direction without the rancor that has plagued the process for the past five years.

Written by scusdobserver

May 17, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Postponement or Death Knell?

Written by scusdobserver

May 16, 2008 at 1:54 pm

Recommendation not to establish…

At tonight’s school board meeting, agenda item 10.6 offers an update on the Consent Decree School at Marian Anderson and recommendation not to establish by September 2008. This is an action item.

In the Bee today, the headline reads: School has low student demand.

Associate Superintendent Susan Miller said there just aren’t enough kids to support its opening.

“When we look at our enrollment of 12 students, that’s not viable to open in September,” she said. “The board still needs to discuss whether that’s a postponement” or a death knell for the school.

Written by scusdobserver

May 15, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Recently in the News…

From the Sacramento Bee:
April 19
A suggested plan to place ninth graders from a new Sacramento City Unified high school on the campus of Kit Carson Middle School appears to have fallen flat.

April 11
It’s crunch time for Sac City’s “E-21” school program.

April 6
Sacramento parents say time’s too short to create new high school

March 30
List of area schools in Sacramento that are in Program Improvement because their test scores are not meeting No Child Left Behind targets.

Written by scusdobserver

April 22, 2008 at 11:12 pm