Once-threatened programs that prepare high school students for careers and adults for jobs or college appear likely to get at least a two-year reprieve under the compromise budget plan negotiated between legislative leaders and Gov. Jerry Brown.
Under the compromise, districts that currently have adult education programs or are involved in Regional Occupational Centers and Programs, which provide hands-on learning in specific careers for high school students, will be required to keep their current programs for two more years, said state Senator Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, who was a key player in the negotiations.
By Susan Frey
In proposing to give school districts money with fewer strings attached, Gov. Jerry Brown is confident that local school boards and superintendents are best able to make the right decisions so that all students can graduate ready for college and work. A report released today by Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) questions that assumption. PACE is a joint research group based at UC Berkeley, Stanford and the University of Southern California.
“School Finance Reform: Can It Support California’s College and Career Ready Goal?” considers Brown’s proposed local control funding formula through the lens of career technical education programs. It concludes that removing all spending restrictions could lead to the dismantlement of important programs that the Legislature has created and protected, and it suggests that lawmakers could retain some broad but limited controls over spending in priority areas.
Like many of her classmates, Luwie Villapana hopes to someday enter the medical field and perhaps save a life.
But for now, the 17-year-old Jesse Bethel High School junior is content to chop away at her cow eyeball.
“I’m really enjoying this,” Villapana said as she attempted Thursday to remove the whitish fat surrounding the preserved eyeball.
The dissection was part of a lesson in how organisms communicate, both internally and externally, said Jackie Kearns, teacher and director of the Biomedical Academy at Bethel, which has about 70 students.
An eagle’s eye view of the Jesse Bethel High School campus revealed a “clean” but stark sea of concrete to students.
The American Forest Foundation’s Al Stenstrup asked a small audience of students and teachers on Tuesday to put on their figurative green-tinted glasses to think of ways to make the school campus a more environmentally friendly and sustainable place for students to work and learn.
Aiding in the school’s effort to put the students in the driver’s seat to make the school “greener” is a $10,000 grant, newly available to Bethel’s Green Academy this year. The academy, in its first year, has a goal of training students for “green careers,” and was limited to sophomores this year.
It didn’t take long for Jeanne Hillyard’s students to run out of her class last week, holding their noses.
“I think I put too much water in them,” said Hillyard of the beakers of compost her Jesse Bethel High School students were studying — beakers that were giving off a decidedly putrid smell.
Still, after a few minutes, the students were back at work in Bethel’s Green Academy.
It’s the latest academy established to fulfill the vision of the Vallejo school board and Superintendent Ramona Bishop of having every high school student eventually enrolled in an academy.
Financially threatened high school career academies will get a lifeline and new career tech programs will get a lift, now that Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation committing $68 million for those and related projects over the next two years.
SB 1070 will sustain the career technology programs in high schools and community colleges that were to lose their funding and authorization at the end of this fiscal year in June. Now they will have additional time, and the Legislature will have two more years, to consider their future. The bill’s author is Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, who has been a CTE champion in the Legislature.
The chief beneficiary will be 163 California Partnership Academies, about a third of the total 503 in the state, that were started three years ago under another bill that Steinberg sponsored. Their funding will continue through June 2015.
By Susan Frey
One in seven youths nationwide is disconnected from school or work, a percentage that has grown dramatically since the economic recession, according to a study released Thursday. Nationwide, 5.8 million young people, age 16 to 24, are living on the margins without even part-time jobs – an increase of 800,000 between 2007 and 2010.
The report ranks the 25 largest metropolitan areas, including five in California, based on the percentage of disconnected youth. One in Seven: Ranking Youth Disconnection in the 25 Largest Metro Areas was done by Measure of America, a project of the nonpartisan Social Science Research Council.
Thirsty for knowledge, Vallejo High School senior Carl Artist soaked up all he could about medicine, public health and osteopathic medicine through a summer internship program at Touro University.
Artist is undecided about his career path, and credits the summer program for giving him invaluable insight and knowledge about what it will take for him to succeed.
“This has been really, really interesting,” Artist said of the four sessions involving advanced courses in health-related topics.
In four intensive sessions, nearly a dozen students from Vallejo High School’s Biotech Academy, plus a few from St. Patrick-St. Vincent High School and Mare Island Technology Academy participated in the free program taught by volunteer Touro teachers.
Retiring Community College Chancellor Jack Scott watched his signature initiative move closer to becoming law. The Assembly Higher Education Committee yesterday unanimously passed SB 1456, the Student Success Act of 2012.
The bill would implement two of the 22 recommendations developed by the Student Success Task Force, a panel of educators, policymakers, students, and researchers that spent last year studying and taking testimony on ways to improve the completion rate at California’s community colleges.
“SB 1456 is about community college students and the tremendous fierce urgency of doing something now,” the bill’s author, Democratic Senator Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach, told the Assembly panel.
Over the past few weeks, several articles have appeared in TOP-Ed (here and here) identifying programs that have been threatened by the governor’s latest budget proposal. Gov. Brown would dramatically overhaul current funding for education in California by instituting a pupil-based formula prioritizing districts with high-poverty and English language learner populations, while eliminating virtually all existing categorical programs.
Glenn Antonio has been in the Apache Engineering Academy for just three semesters, but already he’s designing robots.
And because he’s also part of Vallejo High School’s Zombots robotics team, his creations will come to life.
Editor’s note: This story is part of a package looking at the district’s various high school academy programs.At 17, Guillermo Soria is already head of his own company.
Well, sort of.
“It’s a virtual company,” said Soria, a senior at Jesse Bethel High School who’s in his final year at the Hospitality and Tourism Academy.
Editor’s note: This story is part of a package looking at the district’s various high school academy programs.It’s sixth period at Vallejo High School, and Tammy Nguyen gasps as the solution in her vial changed from clear to a deep violet.
“It’s so cool. I’ve never done anything like this,” said the 15-year-old sophomore and first-year Biotechnology Academy student.
It’s like a family.
Or at least, that’s how Vallejo students often describe their experiences in the Vallejo City Unified School District’s five academies.
“If I was by myself, I wouldn’t have made it,” said 18-year-old senior Dashona Longmire, part of Jesse Bethel High School’s first senior Multimedia Academy class.
Monday, Thompson spent time at Benicia High’s ECH2O Academy where he watched students analyze water samples. “I don’t think we had this kind of opportunity when we were kids,” said Thompson as he toured the classroom.
By Keri Luiz
The man who hopes to be Benicia’s new congressman, Mike Thompson, paid a visit to the city Monday to get a firsthand look at Benicia High School’s new “green” academy, ECH2O.
He was impressed by what he saw.
“It’s wonderful!” the Napa Democrat said. “So often you hear criticism about kids today. Nonsense! Kids today are fantastic.”
Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed budget has cast a darker shadow over the future of hundreds of model high school programs that help prepare students for college and careers.
About half of the nearly 500 California Partnership Academies, essentially “schools within schools” on high school campuses, were already threatened by a loss of funding they rely on due to legislation that will expire this June.
But in his January budget, funding for the academies are among 42 so-called “categorical programs” that Brown is recommending be phased out, threatening $21 million which the remaining academies have relied on.