SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Archive for the ‘Sacramento Charter High School’ Category

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


I’m not your stepping stone…

A story in today’s Sacramento Bee highlights the city council race for District 5. It’s an informative article that features the rise of SCUSD trustee, Patrick Kennedy, who was elected in 2008. He ran unopposed.

Kennedy’s opponent in the race is Jay Schenirer, a former SCUSD trustee.

The underlying nuance in the article fails to mention that Kennedy’s position on the school board appears only to have served him as a political stepping stone for a higher ambition.

Conversely, Schenirer’s history on the school board (and the decisions he made regarding Sacramento Charter High School) may serve as a stumbling block.

If Kennedy’s seat on the board is vacated because he is elected to a higher office, his replacement needs to be singly devoted to helping our district solve problems and find solutions to the current devastating budget crisis. Instead of spending time raising money for a city council candidacy, he or she needs to be building consensus and focusing on the issues affecting our schools.

Written by scusdobserver

April 26, 2010 at 7:22 am

Teachers speak

Yesterday’s post began to generate some great discussion about the role of SCTA in district budget cuts.

The launching pad was Marcos Breton’s Sunday column villifying the union. The comments container on the Sac Bee generated a lot of interest as did opinion on Facebook.

By the end of the day the argument went down the Sac Charter road, as it always seems to do.

But let’s back up a minute and leave out the union, politics, parents and the opinion writer.

Let us read what a couple of teachers have to say:

I think the point of the editorial was to show how unwilling our union is to compromise. I know for a fact that many teachers at my school have brought several suggestions and issues to the union only to have them ignored or looked down upon. The union leaders think they know what is best for us, but are really just on an ego filled power trip.

I agree. I reduced my membership to the lowest I could (SEIU). When my mother, who works for them as well was laid off, they stood by and did nothing. Well, that’s not true, they lied time and time again, then did nothing. Beyond that, I have found them to be pretty much self serving and unwilling to do anything real to help anyone but themselves.


Written by scusdobserver

March 3, 2010 at 5:39 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

Has anybody seen the facilities use agreement?

A tonight’s school board meeting, Item 9.1 is to include a presentation and discussion of the facilities use agreement that SCUSD has with St. Hope Public Schools.

On the agenda, Item 9.1 is clearly labelled as an action item. Local education activists who have contacted board members and administration have been told that the item is for discussion only. So which is it? Or is it more likely that the agreement was scheduled for confirmation until activists raised the questions that so urgently need to be asked?

The Observer hates to sound cyncial but the above scenario has played out in the past with regard to the former Sacramento High School facility.

The updated SCUSD website does not have current/available copies of the actual text of the agreements. The public was promised these agreements at the end of July after their placement on the June 4th agenda.

How can SCUSD justify leasing a comprehensive high school facility to a charter program that is operating well-below enrollment capacity? Given the recent school closings can SCUSD afford the underutilization of the historic Sacramento High School campus?

Should SCUSD reauthorize again a facility use agreement in a location which does not seem to achieve the diverse student population called for in district policy and the charter agreement?

In the interest of keeping this posting short, we’ll temporarily sidestep the questions regarding St. Hope’s money problems, its co-location of an elementary school and an adult education center on the campus, and a myriad of other questions that beg for answers…

…questions that our board members need to be asking before they start ratifying anything. Maybe they’ll ponder these queries while they’re hanging out with Kevin Johnson and Dinger at today’s photo opportunity with Arne Duncan and Jack O’Connell.

Written by scusdobserver

September 3, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Kennedy to run for city council?

In today’s Sacramento Bee, Ryan Lillis reports that Mayor Kevin Johnson is backing former SCUSD Board Member Jay Schenirer to run for Sacramento City Council District Seat 5.

Political insiders say he also has the inside track on garnering Johnson’s support because as vice president of the Sacramento City Unified School District board, Schenirer voted in favor of turning Sacramento High School into a charter school run by Johnson’s nonprofit St. HOPE.

“Endorsements are important for what they show, that there are leaders in the community who believe in me,” Schenirer said. “But at the end of the day, it’s about connecting with the people who live in this district.”

Current SCUSD Board Member Patrick Kennedy has also apparently thrown his hat into the ring for the District 5 race.

The facts are that Patrick Kennedy (who ran unopposed) has been a school board member for less than a year and the district is in a budget crisis that needs a focused, administrative entity willing to hunker down and address the staggering set of problems before it.

We have yet to see a cohesive, intelligent action come from our newly-elected board.

Now is decidedly not the time for any of our newly-elected board members to enter into a political campaign for higher office, much less a council seat race that promises to be an expensive, mud-slinging contest with the mayor’s power grab as the centerpiece.

Written by scusdobserver

July 20, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Why St. Hope is so important?

Today’s Sacramento Bee editorial page features an opinion about Sacramento Charter High School and PS7’s astounding academic performance gains.

Some of the positions stated in the editorial have merit but one glaring omission makes the entire read irrelevant: the students that these charter schools reject for behavior and academic problems get shipped out to Hiram Johnson and other SCUSD public schools — the district has no special charter rules to impose on these students and the district is mandated by law to educate everyone. St. Hope is not bound by the same rules.

The handpicking and “old guard possessiveness” that the editorial decries of St. Hope leadership doesn’t just stop at the administrative level and it’s inexcusable that the Bee’s writers miss that point.

Written by scusdobserver

June 3, 2009 at 12:27 pm