The Reporter: Solano Community College trustee races draw full slate of candidates

By Richard Bammer/

A long-serving incumbent and a Winters farmer and city councilman who touts his networking skills face off Election Day for the Solano Community College Trustee Area 7 seat, representing the Vacaville-Dixon area.

In Trustee Area 5, Fairfield, four candidates will square off on Nov. 6 for a seat on the Fairfield-based college’s governing board.

An SCC trustee from Area 7 for the past decade, Vacaville resident Phil McCaffrey Sr., 46, believes his experience, deep knowledge of the school’s affairs and issues, and his vision for its future are worthy of voters returning him to another term of service.

via Solano Community College trustee races draw full slate of candidates.

EdSource Today: Renewing California’s commitment to new teachers

By Ellen Moir

Over the past year, I was privileged to serve on State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson’s Educator Excellence Task Force. As a native Californian and founder of a nonprofit that does extensive work developing teachers and leaders in this state, I am pleased at the Task Force’s vision for how the state can broaden educator effectiveness in districts to provide a much higher quality of education for California students.

The strength of the Task Force’s recommendations, released last month and aimed at accelerating the effectiveness of beginning teachers, is notable. This is a critical priority because new teachers are more common in schools today than ever before. Whereas 25 years ago the most typical teacher was a veteran with 17 years of experience, today’s students are more likely to be taught by a novice teacher. The recommendations focus on restoring the structured professional support that once made California a national leader in meeting the needs of this burgeoning cadre of beginners.

via Renewing California’s commitment to new teachers – by Ellen Moir.

Daily Republic » Opinion: Teachers never stop caring, even when retired

Suzanne Carlson
Board Member
California Retired Teachers Association, Solano County Chapter


The week of Nov. 4-10 is California’s 14th annual Retired Teachers Week. Since 1998, the California Retired Teachers Association has sponsored Retired Teachers Week as a way to not only spotlight our members’ extensive volunteerism, but to encourage others to do the same.

Even during these rough economic times, California’s retired teachers are among our community’s most tireless volunteers. They cared about our students and our communities while they worked as educators, and that caring doesn’t stop at retirement. Statewide, CalRTA members logged more than 2.5 million hours of service to their communities, service that is worth more than $62 million.

via Teachers never stop caring, even when retired.

Daily Republic Letter: We should teach trades in schools

Rose Finkenbinder


Our schools, with the lack of budget as we are told, have moved away from teaching trades to our children

So much emphasis has been placed on computer education. We have a large retired/unemployed work force of very qualified individuals in many trades. Why can’t we put those skilled individuals together with our youths who are not college-bound, yet very intelligent and capable in many noncomputer-related fields?

via We should teach trades in schools.

Daily Republic Letter: In support of Measure Q

Jesse Branch, war veteran/former Marine


As a 30-year veteran who served in the military while attending school at night, I understand the value of education and the opportunities that Solano Community College can afford our local students and veterans.

Measure Q offers hope to returning war veterans – many of whom have been hit hard by the recession and some who even face living with permanent disabilities. Measure Q improves access for disabled students and expands the job placement programs and facilities that returning veterans need to retrain and strengthen their skills in order to re-enter the civilian work force.

via In support of Measure Q.

Daily Republic Opinion: Solano College kept promise, will do so again

When in 2002 the Solano County residents approved Measure G, the college made some important promises that have been fulfilled:

We built a center in Vallejo: Solano Community College 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. The new Vallejo center allows for convenient bus service to the Fairfield campus and to other drop-off points for citizens in Vallejo and Benicia. We built two science labs at the center to provide greater access to the sciences. We are poised to expand significantly all student services at the Vallejo campus in the years ahead.

via Solano College kept promise, will do so again.

Daily Republic Editorial: Measure Q deserves support

Voters must soon decide if they’re willing to pay a small amount of money for decades to come to enhance and expand college opportunities right here at home.

The Solano Community College District, through Measure Q, seeks $348 million for a host of somewhat speculative programs and facilities projects. The total sought is the limit allowed by law for the college, based on the value of all property within the district’s bounds.

Jowell Laguerre, superintendent and president of the college, made the rounds pitching elements of the district’s draft facilities master plan. He said Measure Q money would help to make those facilities in Fairfield, Vacaville and Vallejo a reality. He’s also pitched a number of programs that Measure Q money would support.

via Measure Q deserves support.

Daily Republic Opinion: Prop 30 – State lacks will to devastate our schools

We hear it on the television, on the radio and over the Internet. We see it in mailers sent to our homes. It’s the threat to our schools should Proposition 30 fail.

The threat would be comical in any other circumstances, but this is California, where our elected leaders will try to hold residents hostage – through their children – to get a sought-after infusion of new tax dollars.

California’s budget counts on the new taxes to make ends meet, even though they won’t. Literally billions of dollars that our schools need to educate our children hang in the balance, the governor and proponents of Proposition 30 maintain.

via State lacks will to devastate our schools.

Daily Republic: SCC Scholars group stresses brotherhood, education

FAIRFIELD — Members of the Solano Community College African-American Males Scholars club asked themselves why young men, specifically young black men, would join a gang.

“Because of false support,” said club member Ron Glover.

Young, confused and impressionable men want a support system, Glover said. A gang gives them that support, but it’s not genuine or positive – it’s manipulative.

The African-American Male Scholars formed at the college last semester to give black men an alternative to gangs and other negative support systems.

via Scholars group stresses brotherhood, education.

Daily Republic: Youth entrepreneurial competition coming

FAIRFIELD — Youths with an entrepreneurial bent will get the chance to hone their business plans.

The Solano College Small Business Center will offer the third annual Young Entrepreneurs Business Plan Competition. The event will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 17 at the center, 360 Campus Lane.

The competition is free to middle school, high school and college students ages 14 to 27. Participants present their business plans to a panel of judges with members from the community. Winners will get cash and other prizes.

via Youth entrepreneurial competition coming.

California Watch: K–12: New environmental curriculum corrects plastic bag information

Susanne Rust

The state’s Environmental Protection Agency finalized a revision of a controversial K-12 environmental curriculum on plastic bags Friday.

California Watch reported last year that whole sections of an 11th-grade teachers’ edition guide for a new curriculum had been lifted almost verbatim from comments and suggestions submitted by the American Chemistry Council, the chemical and plastics industry trade group.

That investigation spurred politicians and state regulators to demand an examination into how the controversial text was compiled and changed, and whether industry bias was present.

via New environmental curriculum corrects plastic bag information.

SacBee — Opinion – Peter Schrag: Proposition 30: Can’t California do better?

If you’re old enough and have a perverse turn of mind, you may recall the National Lampoon cover from 1973 with the picture of a gun pointed at the head of a dog and the caption “If You Don’t Buy This Magazine We’ll Kill This Dog.”

That’s not quite like the “trigger” budget provisions attached to Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30, but close enough. If you, the voters, don’t pass this tax increase, the schools and community colleges will automatically lose $5.4 billion and the universities another $500 million.

Read more here:

via Peter Schrag: Proposition 30: Can’t California do better?.

Dan Walters: Jerry Brown’s tax boost is in trouble

The governor of California may not be toast – yet – but, one might say, he’s turning browner by the moment in the heat of a political campaign he hoped would be his legacy achievement.

Two new statewide polls confirm what political instincts – and Jerry Brown’s body language – were already telling us: His tax increase measure, Proposition 30, is fading fast with scarcely a week remaining until Election Day.

Proposition 30, a $6 billion per year boost in sales and income taxes that Brown said would resolve the state’s chronic fiscal problems, never was particularly popular with voters, whose disdain for Sacramento politics is palpable.

Read more here:

via Dan Walters: Jerry Brown’s tax boost is in trouble.

Vallejo Times-Herald: Vallejo youths recall battle with drug addiction at Red Ribbon event

Four years ago, 18-year-old Joseph Romer was one of many teenagers helping to restore an anti-drug mural on Tennessee and Monterey streets. But he wouldn’t get clean until this summer.

“All I cared about was money and drugs,” Romer said on Thursday, one of several youth recounting their struggles with addiction at Vallejo High School.

The event was the culmination of the anti-drug Red Ribbon Week events put on by Youth and Family Services, Fighting Back Partnership and Vallejo Together.

via Vallejo youths recall battle with drug addiction at Red Ribbon event.

The Reporter: Solano Community College trustee hopefuls report financials

By Richard Bammer/

With 11 days until Election Day, most Solano Community College trustee candidates in the Vacaville-Dixon and Fairfield districts turned in a second batch of campaign financial statements to the County Registrar of Voters by the 5 p.m. Thursday deadline.

In Trustee Area 7 (Vacaville-Dixon), for the reporting period that ended Oct. 20, Winters farmer and City Councilman Michael A. Martin reported total contributions of $1,024 to date, listing no loans or in-kind donations, and an equal amount of expenses.

Martin did not submit a campaign statement by the previous reporting deadline, Sept. 30.

He is endorsed by several supervisors from Solano and Yolo counties; and some city officials from Vacaville, Dixon and Winters.

via Solano Community College trustee hopefuls report financials.

Suisun City Patch: Presidential Dreams at Nelda Mundy Elementary School

By Whitney Skillman

Recently, we caught up with a class of fifth graders at Nelda Mundy Elementary School in Fairfield, and asked them what they would do if they were elected President.

You may be surprised to find that they weren’t interested in free candy for the masses or even extra recess at school.  Topping the list of concerns were higher taxes for the wealthy, more funding for schools and a specially mandated holiday in order to watch the World Series.

Check out what some of them had to say and don’t forget to peruse our gallery to see just what’s on our kid’s minds.

via Presidential Dreams.

The Reporter: Solano, Yolo high schoolers learn about Cal Grants

By Richard Bammer/

The topic was money — free money — for college.

So the eager-to-listen students, some 400 of them, mostly seniors from Solano and Yolo high schools, packed the ballroom in the Activities and Recreation Center on the University of California, Davis, campus.

Seated cheek by jowl, they assembled on Wednesday morning for the 2012 Cal Grant presentation sponsored by Travis Credit Union and heard speaker after speaker encourage them to apply for grants and scholarships — money that doesn’t have to be paid back, noted Bob Lortz, a spokesman for Napa Valley College’s Cash For College workshops.

via Solano, Yolo high schoolers learn about Cal Grants.

Education Week: Transparency Watch: Obama Has Touted SIG Data, So Where Is it?

In the last two debates, President Barack Obama has told the nation that one of his biggest accomplishments on K-12 is helping to spur turnarounds at hundreds of underperforming schools around the country.

“We’ve seen progress and gains in schools that were having a terrible time. And they’re starting to finally make progress,” Obama said during the third presidential debate in Florida, earlier this week.

Even though he didn’t mention it by name, Obama was clearly referring to the School Improvement Grant program—by far the administration’s biggest initiative aimed at fixing low-performing schools. The program was actually first authorized in 2002 under the No Child Left Behind Act, but the Obama administration “supercharged” it, pouring $3 billion into it under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and requiring states to employ one of four highly controversial turnaround models.

via Transparency Watch: Obama Has Touted SIG Data, So Where Is it?.

Education Week: What Would a Second Obama Term Look Like on Education?

President Barack Obama has talked a lot on the campaign trail about his education record—but not as much about what he would do in a potential second term.

Yesterday, the Obama campaign put out a big, glossy brochure with ideas for next steps, including:

• Cutting tuition growth in half over the next ten years; recruiting and preparing at least 100,000 new math and science teachers;
• A plan to “strengthen public schools in every community,” in part by expanding Race to the Top to school districts
• Offering states waivers from the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act;
• Using community colleges as economic development engines.

via What Would a Second Obama Term Look Like on Education?.

EdSource Today: Report: weighted student formula alone not enough

By John Fensterwald

Less experienced, lower paid teachers tend to teach in schools with the poorest children, while veteran, higher paid teachers work predominantly in schools with fewer needy children, contributing to significant funding disparities among schools within most of the state’s largest school districts. That gap wouldn’t necessarily change under the education finance reform that Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed; it might even worsen under a new formula, says Oakland-based Education Trust-West in a new school spending analysis released on Thursday.

In Tipping the Scale Towards Equity, Ed Trust-West reaffirms its support in principle for Brown’s concept of a weighted student formula, allocating potentially thousands of dollars per student to districts with the heaviest concentrations of English learners and low-income students. But Ed Trust-West, which advocates for needy children, calls for the governor to include provisions that will assure that the extra money for disadvantaged students actually will be spent in the schools that those students attend ­– and isn’t diluted throughout a district. Brown’s weighted student formula did not include these requirements.

via Report: weighted student formula alone not enough – by John Fensterwald.