SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Archive for the ‘Kevin Johnson’ Category

I better stop now before I get in trouble*

Stories that developed while on hiatus:

  • Proposed Senate Bill 1317 (Mark Leno, D-San Francisco) will legislate the incarceration of parents of truant California children.
  • The Sacramento Bee reports that SCUSD is eligible for federal funding to help 1,801 refugee children in grades K-12 who have arrived in the county in the last three years.
  • West Campus’s test scores continue to put that local high school in the state spotlight for excellence.
  • Still more education reporting from the Bee (Phillip Reese and Melody Gutierrez) reveals that the number of students who aren’t proficient in English dropped to its lowest level in about a decade.

Also, California lost out on Race To The Top funding, the California legislature passed SB-1381 (Kindergarten Age,) and the Los Angeles Times invented the Teacher’s Box Score.

And as a bizarre side note, Sacramento was deprived of a celebrity wedding this weekend when Kevin Johnson and Michelle Rhee sent out e-mails to uninvite guests to their Labor Day nuptials, calling the big plans  “a mistake.”

*The Mayor’s words, as quoted by Kitty O’Neal.


Written by scusdobserver

September 4, 2010 at 9:11 am

One more year on facilities use

One of our community members reports a small but important change to the Sac Charter facilities use agreement passed last night at the school board meeting.

The agreement was amended to expand the district’s intent regarding future use of the St. Hope/Sacramento Charter High School campus from just the co-location of other educational programs on the site to PURSUING OTHER USES FOR THE SITE BEGINNING NEXT YEAR INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO CO-LOCATION.

This is potentially key because it opens everything up: co-location of other educational programs (which many observers feel is the politically-expedient yet ultimately unworkable path), but also relocating programs to more appropriately-sized campuses.

Board president Bell and VP Kennedy both spoke of the need and commitment to fully engage and include the community living within the boundaries of the old Sacramento High School as essential to making any sound decision as to the use of the campus going forward (next year).

Last night the entire board voted to put everything on the table. Whether the board keeps the Superintendent’s feet to the fire is so critical here as is how the entire community responds…will they insist on true engagement and asserting their voices and interests?

Up to this point and for the past seven years, the bulk of the work has been shouldered by a small group of determined and vigilant parents who never gave up on the notion that the comprehensive high school campus at 34th street belongs to Sacramento City Unified and not St. Hope.

Thank you to Lori Jablonski

One big cluster structure

Yesterday Michelle Rhee came to town to enlighten us on how to fix our school systems by building political capital and partnering with business interests.

Perhaps Rhee likes to dabble and pontificate in Sacramento to temporarily escape the mess she’s created and continues to perpetuate as the superintendent of D. C. public schools.

Recently Rhee added 13 senior managers to her staff. These instructional superintendents or “cluster leaders,” will earn annual salaries of $120,000 to $150,000, and will cost D.C. taxpayers about $2 million in salary and benefits.

Rhee asserts that the hires will be budget neutral.

Simultaneously, Rhee’s recent and highly-touted “pay for performance” contract with teachers reveals itself to be just a fascinating idea funded by imaginary money.

Fairytale Towns

The Washington Post offers up a story on Michelle Rhee and Kevin Johnson‘s romance in today’s Style section.

According to the article, Rhee is going to save D.C.’s schoolchildren and Johnson is going to save Sacramento. Johnson attests that their relationship is based on their mutual love of political and social reform.

The best part of the online story, however, are the web comments that follow it — many people, both in Sacramento and D.C. don’t quite believe the fairy tale as it is portrayed.

Written by scusdobserver

March 10, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Short for "status quo ante bellum"

Baby Barack Mayor Kevin Johnson sent out a mailer touting his strong mayor initiative this week, challenging Sacramentans to question business-as-usual politics.

Status quo is short for “status quo ante bellum” meaning “the state before the war.” And that’s what this local argument is turning in to…KJ uses Obama references whenever he can make a sophomoric connection that is meant to fire our synapses, because we (the unwashed electorate) are apparently not going to grasp the nuance that we are being played.

So the comparison of Kevin Johnson’s fight to change the city’s charter is equal to Obama’s fight to convince an entire world on how to execute a war?


The News and Review claims that the lawsuit filed yesterday by SAVE Sacramento is a gamble and plays right in to KJ’s plan:

So, all in all, it’s an interesting legal question. But it’s also an enormously risky question to ask. Because the general public don’t (sic) really care if it’s an interesting legal question, they’re just going to hear, “The special interests are trying to deny your right to a vote.”

How dumb do these KJ people think we are? Challenging the status quo does not easily translate into a plain and simple power grab.

The truth that most Sacramentans know in their collective hearts is that changing the city’s constitution (at this point in time) is very, very low on the list of priorities — KJ’s status quo ante bellum is a completely unnecessary state of affairs that drains us all of time, money and valuable human resources that could be put to much better use.


Marcos Breton: KJ is own worst enemy
Union leaders back lawsuit (Sacramento Press)

Written by scusdobserver

December 2, 2009 at 4:25 pm

A list of resignations

Below is a very partial list of individuals, connected to Kevin Johnson, who have resigned from their posts or been dismissed over the course of the current year.

June, 2008 – Kevin Johnson resigns as CEO of St. Hope and is elected Mayor of Sacramento in November 2009

February, 2009 – Sarah Z’Berg, Johnson’s administrative assistant, resigns (after only a few months) to take a job at the Capitol. Johnson’s special assistant, Chris Young, resigns to take a job in Obama administration

March, 2009 – Bernard Bowler, St. Hope Board member, resigns
Lori Mills, St. Hope Board member, resigns
Sam Oki, St. Hope Board member, refuses comment on resignations/investigation involving St. Hope and eventually resigns

April, 2009 – Robert Trigg, St. Hope Board member, resigns

May, 2009 – Rick Maya, executive director of St. Hope, resigns

June, 2009 – Inspector General Gerald Walpin is dismissed

August, 2009 – Kim Curry-Evans, Director of 40 Acres Art gallery, resigns

Written by scusdobserver

November 21, 2009 at 3:48 pm

The plot grows thick legs…

Today, an eye-opening 62-page report was released by two Republican members of Congress, (Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, and Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley) who directed their staff members to gather factual evidence and investigate the June 11, 2009 firing of Inspector General Gerald Walpin.

The report also suggests that Michelle Rhee, the school chancellor in Washington, intervened on behalf of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, her current fiancé, who was under investigation by Walpin.

“The facts outlined in the referral give rise to reasonable suspicions about potential hush money payments and witness tampering at a federally funded entity,” the congressmen wrote.

The entire document merits a thorough read.

Find it here

Written by scusdobserver

November 21, 2009 at 2:50 am