Dan Morain: Muddled strategy aside, Brown still could win

From now until Election Day, President Barack Obama will make heavy use of two of California’s top Democrats, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, to help win over voters in the most vital swing states.

They’ll travel from North Carolina to Florida and Ohio up though Tuesday. But what’s good for the president doesn’t fit into Gov. Jerry Brown’s plans.

For four decades, Brown has been a one-man band. He’s not changing that tune as he tries to persuade Californians to vote for Proposition 30, the initiative that would raise taxes by $6 billion and is teetering in the polls.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/31/4949971/muddled-strategy-aside-brown-still.html#mi_rss=Opinion#storylink=cpy

via Dan Morain: Muddled strategy aside, Brown still could win.

Dan Walters: What to do if Proposition 30 fails?

As the political odds turn against Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax measure, political insiders are turning their attention, however reluctantly, to the fallout should, indeed, voters reject the sales and income tax hike on Tuesday.

The measure would deliver $6 billion a year in new revenues and should it fail, Brown and the Legislature have already passed $6 billion in so-called “trigger cuts” that would be imposed, overwhelmingly on K-12 schools.

So that would seem to be that. But it’s not.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/31/4949976/dan-walters-what-to-do-if-proposition.html#mi_rss=Dan%20Walters#storylink=cpy

via Dan Walters: What to do if Proposition 30 fails?.

The Reporter Letter: Solano Community College decision on PLAs documented

Kevin Dayton, President and CEO

Labor Issues Solutions


The Solano Community College Governing Board wants voters to approve Measure Q and authorize borrowing $348 million for construction by selling bonds. Unions want monopoly control of this taxpayer-funded work.

I coordinated community opposition to the Project Labor Agreement imposed by the college board on construction funded by Measure G.

As soon as 55.6 percent of voters barely approved Measure G and authorized the college board to borrow $124.5 million by selling bonds, union lobbyists and lawyers were scheming to cut bid competition and raise costs.

via Letter: Solano Community College decision on PLAs documented.

The Reporter: Solano Community College trustee hopeful David R. Brannen has $2,347.18 in expenses thus far

By Richard Bammer/ RBammer@TheReporter.com

A candidate for Solano Community College governing board, David R. Brannen, is the last of four hopefuls for the Trustee Area 5 (Fairfield) seat to turn in his second batch of financial statements.

For the most recent reporting period, Oct. 1 to 25, he loaned $400 of his own money to his campaign. His previous balance was $2,000.

Brannen, 42, a community services officer for the Solano Community College District, reported $2,347.18 in expenses to date. They include $2,167.50 for printing, a $170.28 purchase at Home Depot and $42.93 at Sears, for campaign signs, buttons, bumper stickers and the like.

via Solano Community College trustee hopeful David R. Brannen has $2347.18 in ….

The Reporter: Yes on Q campaign in Solano County brings in $201,770 to date

Richard Bammer/ RBammer@TheReporter.com

With six days left until Election Day, the Yes on Q campaign continues to collect cash to convince voters to approve a $348 million bond measure for Solano Community College.

No money was reported raised by those opposed to the bond, formally called the Solano Community College District Student/Veterans Affordable Education, Job Training, Classroom Repair Measure. It would, if approved on Tuesday, lead to an average property tax assessment of $57 to repair or replace existing buildings at the school’s main campus and provide for new student services buildings at SCC’s Vacaville and Vallejo centers, among other things.

In the most recent financial disclosure statement, covering the time between Oct. 1 and 20, Yes on Q campaign treasurer Patrick R. Killingsworth of Vallejo reported cash contributions of $81,150, for a to-date total of $201,770, including $11,520 of in-kind contributions.

via Yes on Q campaign in Solano County brings in $201770 to date.

Education Week: Early Autism Intervention Can ‘Normalize’ Brain Activity

A new national study has found that intensive early intervention therapy effective at improving young children’s cognition and language skills can normalize the brain activity of those with autism.

The Early Start Denver Model also has been shown to decrease autism symptoms and improve social skills, researchers found in the study published Friday in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

The randomized, case-controlled, multi-centered study found that children who received the intervention showed greater brain activation when viewing faces rather than objects, a response typical of the normal children in the study, and the opposite of the children with autism who received other interventions.

via Early Autism Intervention Can ‘Normalize’ Brain Activity.

EdSource Today: San Jose Unified, teachers reach breakthrough evaluation, pay plan

By John Fensterwald

The superintendent of San Jose Unified and leaders of the district’s teachers union have agreed on an innovative evaluation and compensation system that, if implemented, would be significantly different from any in California. With education groups in Sacramento and legislators still bruised over a grueling, failed effort to revise the state’s teacher evaluation law last summer, the San Jose plan offers hope that a progressive compromise on divisive issues is possible.

via San Jose Unified, teachers reach breakthrough evaluation, pay plan – by John Fensterwald.

Benicia Herald: SCC kept its promise and will do so again

By Jowel Laguerre

WHEN IN 2002 THE RESIDENTS OF SOLANO COUNTY approved Measure G, Solano Community College made some important promises. Those promises have been fulfilled:


1. We built a center in Vallejo. SCC promised to build a center in Vallejo, which has been accomplished. Upon opening the new building, enrollment almost doubled over those enrollments at the old Vallejo site. Students from all over the county and Winters are enjoying the new space, including two new science labs.

In addition to the two new science labs, which provide greater access to the sciences, we are poised to expand significantly all student services at the Vallejo campus in the years ahead. The new Vallejo Center also allows for convenient bus service to the Fairfield campus and to other dropoff points for citizens in Vallejo and Benicia.

via SCC kept its promise and will do so again.

The Educated Guess: Baron moderates discussion on “community college crisis”

By Brent Zupp

EdSource senior reporter Kathryn Baron moderated a discussion for CreaTV on the current community college crisis in California. Panel members included Dr. Rita Cepeda, Chancellor of San Jose/Evergreen Community College, and Dr. Laurel Jones, President of Mission College.

In addition to providing a knowledgeable overview of the challenges facing California community colleges, these experts offered an insiders view on the difficult decisions community colleges are making to address these enormous challenges.

via Baron moderates discussion on “community college crisis” – by Brent Zupp.

SacBee — Editorial: Why is teachers union leaving money on the table?

At a time when California has cut funding dramatically for K-12 education – and may have to cut more after next week’s election – it makes no sense for school districts to leave millions in federal education dollars on the table.

Yet California school districts have had to struggle to win teachers union support for a new round of Race to the Top competitive grants specifically for school districts – as much as $40 million per district, depending upon size.

This competition – for districts seeking to improve academic performance with personalized learning for students – is well worth pursuing in these tough financial times.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/30/4947410/editorial-why-is-teachers-union.html#mi_rss=Editorials#storylink=cpy

via Editorial: Why is teachers union leaving money on the table?.

Dan Walters: CSU plunges overboard into politics

The California State University system has traditionally been the steady workhorse of California higher education, generating the engineers, teachers, accountants and middle-managers that any society needs.

Meanwhile, the more prestigious University of California has been the racehorse, scooping up money from alumni, foundations and corporations, luring Nobel laureates to its faculty, awarding advanced degrees, fostering world-class scientific research and flaunting its constitutional independence from political control. While the state Legislature can mandate policy at CSU, UC answers only to its regents.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/30/4947554/dan-walters-csu-plunges-overboard.html#mi_rss=Dan%20Walters#storylink=cpy

via Dan Walters: CSU plunges overboard into politics.

FSUSD’s Facebook Wall: The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District is holding its final informational meeting on budgets

The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District is holding its final informational meeting for the community regarding school budgets and financing. Information on the initiatives that will appear on the November 6 ballot will also be reviewed. The meeting is scheduled for October 30 at Crystal Middle School, 400 Whispering Bay Lane, Suisun City, at 6:00 p.m.

This information may also be found on our website at www.fsusd.org/Page/5962 .

via The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District is holding its final informational….

EdSource Today: Texas, California do compete – in funding race to the bottom

By Peter Schrag

Steve Murdock isn’t a household name in Sacramento – but maybe he should be.

Murdock is the former state demographer in Texas. This month, he testified in a trial in which hundreds of Texas school districts are suing the state for failing in its constitutional obligation to adequately fund its schools.

The suit was prompted by the $5.4 billion the Legislature cut from public school funding and education grant programs last year. If that level of funding continues, Murdock warned, businesses will go elsewhere in search of skilled workers. Texas’s average household income, now about $66,000 a year, could shrink by $7,700 by 2050 which, of course, could cost the state many more billions – in taxes and prison and welfare costs – than it’s saving now.

via Texas, California do compete – in funding race to the bottom – by Peter Schrag.

EdSource Today: Boards, teachers must be careful to toe the line on advocacy

By John Fensterwald

The humanities professor from California State University, Monterey Bay who was sued by the conservative Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association this month for urging his students in an email to vote for the tax initiative Proposition 30 ran afoul of the state law (Government Code Section 8314) that bans the use of public resources for campaign activities.

CSU  acknowledged as much, calling Professor Ernest Stromberg’s message over the campus email system, which urged students not only to vote for Prop 30, but to work to pass it, “inappropriate and unfortunate.”

via Boards, teachers must be careful to toe the line on advocacy – by John Fensterwald.

Daily Republic Letter: Mark Laluan for SCC District 5 trustee

Margie Keck


I woke up to a troubling editorial endorsing all candidates but one running for trustee in District 5 and the only difference, Mark Laluan is not a teacher or professor. Having been a student at Solano Community College before going on to a place of higher learning would give Mark an edge and also a fresher look at student challenges provided by starting at the community college level. Most other candidates are concerned with Measure Q (there are still funds remaining from a past measure passed some time ago

via Mark Laluan for District 5 trustee.

Daily Republic Letter: Measure Q: A $350 million slush fund

Brian Thiemer


This election, the citizens of Solano County are being peppered with tax increase requests from all levels of government, among which is Measure Q from Solano Community College trustees.

Despite getting $150 million from Measure G passed 10 years ago, the proponents’ flimsy logic goes like this: “If you think it is impossible to get a job in this economy, then give us $350 million!”

The two major issues facing Solano Community College:

  • There is not enough funding from the state to run the classrooms we do have.
  • Solano Community College’s accreditation is in jeopardy again after receiving numerous warnings.

via Measure Q: A $350 million slush fund.

Daily Republic: Measure Q funding continues to grow

FAIRFIELD — Supporters of Solano Community College’s Measure Q brought in more than $80,000 in the latest filing period, mostly from firms from outside Solano County.

The latest filing period ended Oct. 20 and financial documents were due Thursday. The Yes on Measure Q-Solano College group reported a total of $190,250 to this point. That includes $81,150 from the period between Oct. 1 and Oct. 20.

Measure Q is a $348 million bond titled “Classroom Repair, Safety and Job Training Measure.” The college hopes to use the money to refurbish an aging Fairfield campus and improve both the Vacaville and Vallejo centers.

via Measure Q funding continues to grow.

SacBee — Education: Q&A: Director chosen to lead state schools’ accountability overhaul

By Diana Lambert

Keric Ashley doesn’t mind a challenge. The former schoolteacher and principal spent the last eight years at the helm of the Educational Data Management Division at the California Department of Education. He and his staff worked to complete a state data system to track student information known as CalPADS – the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System.

State Schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson has named Ashley director of the Analysis, Measurement and Accountability Reporting Division of the state Education Department. He is a key player in redesigning the state’s accountability system for schools. This is particularly important as the state prepares to begin computerized testing tied to new curriculum, as well as to revamp the Academic Performance Index – which compares the academic performance of students in each school.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/29/4944864/qa-director-chosen-to-lead-state.html#mi_rss=Education#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/29/4944864/qa-director-chosen-to-lead-state.html#mi_rss=Education#storylink=cpy

via Q&A: Director chosen to lead state schools’ accountability overhaul.

The Reporter: Vacaville High School robotics team to host open house on Tuesday

The Vacaville High School “Robodogs” are inviting the public to their annual Open House event from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Vacaville High School’s Robotics Lab, 100 West Monte Vista Ave. Signs will be posted to direct visitors to the lab on campus.

The open house will give visitors a first-hand look at the robots in action and a chance to meet the staff and students, enjoy some refreshments and take the group’s newest robot, named “Ball-e” for a spin!

via Vacaville High School robotics team to host open house on Tuesday.