By Richard Bammer
Leaders of Vacaville Unified and a new charter school in the city are grooming and massaging the details and legal language of the recently green-lighted Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy petition, the revision of which may be completed in the coming days.
District trustees on Nov. 21 conditionally approved the TK-8 school, pending the clearing up of “items of concern,” among them specific plans for special education students, resolving conflicts of interest, achieving a racial and ethnic balance, selecting the school’s location, outlining projected expenditures, and liability insurance.
via Vacaville charter agreement nears completion – The Reporter.
By Dan Walters
The powerful political forces that have been skirmishing for years over the direction of California’s public schools appear to be headed for a multi-front political and legal war next year.
It pits the education establishment – led and mostly financed by the California Teachers Association – against a loose coalition of civil rights activists and business-backed school reform groups.
via Dan Walters: Powerful factions go to war over direction of California schools – Dan Walters – The Sacramento Bee#mi_rss=Dan%20Walters.
By Barry Eberling
Santa Claus came to Fairview Elementary School on Thursday and got an impressive reception.
“Santa! Santa! Santa!” the children in teacher Emily Haskell’s transitional kindergarten class chanted when Santa appeared at the classroom door.
Children rushed to hug him. Santa sat in a wooden chair that had a cloth draped on it, emblazoned with the words “VIP” and handed out gift bags.
via NorthBay brings holiday cheer to Fairview Daily Republic.
By Susan Winlow
Solano Community College has moved another step closer in acquiring property that would enable the college to expand its satellite campuses in Vacaville and Vallejo.
In a mass move to approve numerous contracts simultaneously, the board of trustees chose to forward its march Wednesday toward the acquisition of two properties totaling about $7.3 million.
via College board OKs purchase contracts for property buys Daily Republic.
By Alyson Klein on
School districts chafing under the across-the-board federal cuts known as sequestration are about to get a reprieve: The U.S. Senate gave final approval, on a vote of 64 to 36 Wednesday to a broad budget deal that would ward off the vast majority of the impending cuts to K-12 education spending—and nearly every other federal program—for the next two years.
The bipartisan deal, which was negotiated by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., would set spending levels at roughly $1.021 trillion this budget year. The U.S. House of Representatives has already approved the measure, so now it’s headed to President Barack Obama’s desk, and he’s expected to sign it.
via Congress Approves Budget Deal That Puts Brakes on Sequestration – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
Santa Comes to Visit SCOE Programs – check out the SCOE’s Facebook page to see these exciting pictures.
via Santa Comes to Visit SCOE Programs – Solano County Office of Education | Facebook.
By Ryan McCarthy
A retired real estate broker came Wednesday with black-and-white photographs to talk to Green Valley Middle School students so they might “better understand what people are capable of.
”“What hatred of the ‘other,’ ” explained Hans Angress, “can lead to.”
The 85-year-old Sonoma County resident spoke about surviving the Holocaust, hiding from the Nazis as a teen in Holland during World War II.
via Fairfield students hear of Holocaust from survivor Daily Republic.
By Laurel Rosenhall
A ballot measure submitted by a political consultant for education advocate Michelle Rhee seeks to remove seniority as a factor when California school districts lay off teachers, requiring instead that decisions be based on performance and student test scores.
That approach has been at the core of Rhee’s advocacy efforts as head of StudentsFirst, a national group headquartered in Sacramento. Rhee, who is married to Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, has said she established the group to try to counter the influence that teachers unions have in decisions about public education. Unions generally reject the idea that teachers should be rated based on their students’ test scores, and prefer contracts that call for the most recently hired teachers to be the first let go during layoffs.
via California measure would replace seniority with performance for teacher layoffs – Capitol and California – The Sacramento Bee#mi_rss=Education#mi_rss=Education#mi_rss=Education#mi_rss=Education.
SACRAMENTO—California is taking another step forward in implementing the Common Core for English language arts by gathering public comment on a new framework, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today.
The English Language Arts/English Language Development Framework for California Public Schools: Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (ELA/ELD Framework) will provide guidance for implementing the new Common Core State Standards and California’s new English Language Development Standards. Addressing both English language arts and English language development, the ELA/ELD Framework will help ensure that California’s students graduate with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in college and careers. The ELA/ELD Framework will help teachers, publishers, and other educators design instructional materials, curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional learning.
via Public Comment on First English Framework – Year 2013 (CA Dept of Education).
By Ian Thompson
After he hands the last Markham Elementary School kindergartner a bag of Christmas toys on Thursday, Chief Master Sgt. Mark Kloeppel, aka Santa Claus, will hang up his red suit.
“I don’t keep count any more. It has been so many years,” Kloeppel said of how many times he and his crew of Air Force Reserve assistant elves have visited local kindergartens to ask the children about their Christmas wishes and distribute bags of presents.
via Reservists spread Christmas cheer to kindergartners Daily Republic.
By Keri Luiz, Assistant Editor
It’s the final meeting of the year for the Benicia Unified School District Governing Board, and it’s also trustees’ annual organizational meeting — meaning they will vote on a president and a clerk.
In addition, when trustees meet Thursday Chief Business Official Tim Rahill will present the first interim financial report, which shows the district operating at a $1.7 million loss in 2013-14.
A key part of the annual organizational meeting is electing a new president and clerk, or re-electing the incumbents. Rosie Switzer currently serves as president, and Gary Wing is clerk.
via Shortfall for ’14 to get trustees’ focus | The Benicia Herald.
Published by The Reporter
Last Thursday night, I went to two very different meetings. One was about Vacaville’s future and hardly anybody was there. The other was about a stadium, and more than100 people attended. At one meeting, our elected representatives got an accurate accounting of community feeling, while at the other — nothing.
The well-attended meeting was a presentation to the Vacaville Unified School District Governing Board about building a stadium at Wood High School. Organizers explained how they walked neighborhoods, organized community meetings, and met with community organizations.
via Speak up now for what you want – The Reporter.
By Jay Speck:
The Common Core State Standards adopted by the California Board of Education in 2010 describe the skills all students are expected to demonstrate at the time of graduation and at each grade level along the way.
The basic purpose of the standards is to help students become both college- and career-ready. Ensuring that our students are both career- and college-ready is an important and sensible goal.
While preparing students for their futures has always been one of the main goals of public education, the path to achieving these goals has continually evolved to meet the needs of a changing world. The Common Core State Standards are a natural next step in that progression.
via Common Core will prepare students for their future – The Reporter.
By Dan Walters
Seemingly, devising a replacement for redevelopment and overhauling the California Environmental Quality Act are two discrete legislative issues.
They are, however, intertwined in that both were legislative agenda items that didn’t bear fruit in 2013 and thus will be back in 2014, and that both potentially will impact how California evolves economically as it emerges from the worst recession since the Great Depression.
via Dan Walters: Redevelopment, CEQA reform are intertwined issues for 2014 – Dan Walters – The Sacramento Bee#mi_rss=Dan%20Walters.
By Michele McNeil
In Nevada during the 2011-12 school year, 86 schools were in “restructuring” under the No Child Left Behind Act—the most aggressive sanction under the federal school accountability law.
But after the state got an NCLB waiver, by the 2012-13 school year, 75 of those schools got relief from the toughest interventions. These are schools that hadn’t made adequate yearly progress for six years in a row.
For half of the worst NCLB-era schools in 15 states, waivers proved to be an escape hatch, according to a new paper released today from New America Foundation policy analyst Anne Hyslop, who has delivered some of the most comprehensive research yet on the implications of new NCLB waivers.
via Are NCLB Waiver States Intervening in the Right Schools? – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
K.I. Jones Elementary School fifth-grader Zenab Eid already knows three languages – Arabic, English and now French. The last she learned through Solano Community College’s Cross Age Teaching Program.
The partnership between the college and Fairfield-Suisun School District pairs college students and elementary children from K.I. Jones, B. Gale Wilson and Suisun Valley elementary schools. The college students get some hands-on teaching experience. The children have the opportunity to learn Spanish, French or German.
via Program pairs college students, elementary children for foreign language Daily Republic.
By Jay Speck
The Common Core State Standards, adopted by the California Board of Education in 2010, describe the skills all students are expected to demonstrate at the time of graduation and at each grade level along the way. The basic purpose of Common Core is to help students become both college and career ready.
Ensuring that our students are both career and college ready is an important and sensible goal. While preparing students for their futures has always been one of the main goals of public education, the path to achieving these goals has had to continually evolve to meet the needs of a changing world. The Common Core State Standards are a natural next step in that progression.
via Common Core standards make sense Daily Republic.
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
Children at Dan O. Root Elementary School are making Christmas a little brighter for their peers.
A two-week toy drive netted a few hundred toys that the children gave to the Suisun City Fire Department. They will be distributed Wednesday into the community.
The toy drive started in teacher Lisa Christensen’s classroom about 15 years ago and grew to include the whole school. Christensen estimated that over the years, the school has collected about 5,000 toys for the toy drive.
via Children spread Christmas cheer to peers Daily Republic.
By Richard Bammer
As the nation and California continue to emerge from the Great Recession, the state of Vacaville Unified’s annual budget appears to be rosier than in recent years.
But it is still a mixed bag of numbers, some more positive than others, Kari Sousa, the school district’s chief business official, explained during a governing board meeting this week in the Educational Services Center.
Delivering the 2013-14 first interim budget report, which the board approved on Thursday, she noted that the latest revised budget lists $83.4 million in revenues, the first increase since the U.S. economy began to turn sour in 2007-08.
via Vacaville schools still in red, but not as deeply – The Reporter.
By Alyson Klein
School districts and early-childhood education programs are one step closer to getting some relief from across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration, which trimmed about 5 percent of federal K-12 spending this school year.
The U.S. House of Representatives Thursday approved 332-94 a plan that would roll back the majority of the cuts slated to hit most school districts during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years. The agreement, which was written by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., will now proceed to the U.S. Senate.
via U.S. House Votes to Roll Back Sequestration – Politics K-12 – Education Week.