OAKLAND — California's substandard school system is depriving students of the opportunity to receive a meaningful education and to meet the standards the state has set for them, a coalition of parents, students and civil rights advocacy groups argued in a lawsuit filed Monday in Alameda Superior Court against the state and the governor.
The plaintiffs argue that education is a fundamental right under California's constitution, and far too many students are failing to read and write at grade level or graduate from high school.
To remedy the problem, the coalition is demanding equal access to preschools, increased school funding, better data systems and an efficient, coherent school finance system that
provides more resources to children with greater need.
The Campaign for Quality Education suit was filed less than two months after a similar case, Robles-Wong v. California, began to make its way through the court system. Attorneys involved with the second suit said the two cases are complementary, but that Monday's complaint gives voice to the needs of the state's low-income students.
Both cases were initiated in the context of ongoing school budget cuts, which have led to teacher layoffs, shortened school years and elementary school class sizes of 30 students or more in some districts. Per-student funding, already below the national average, dropped 14 percent from 2007-08 through 2009-10 during the state budget crisis,
according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office.
"These are not the conditions we should ask our children to thrive in, or even to survive in," said John Affeldt, managing attorney for Public Advocates, the San Francisco-based nonprofit law firm that will handle the case with the pro-bono support of two
(Oh well, she just tweeted about it but has suddenly vanished from Twitter. Clearly she's been kidnapped and sent to an island for trouble-making historians somewhere.)
I'm looking forward to my private meeting with Ravitch and Congresswoman Judy Chu tomorrow evening. And by private, I mean the one I'm in with 100 other people. As far as I'm concerned, the most important movement in ed policy
A BU spokesman says the body of 62-year-old Franco Cerrina was found Monday morning in a fifth-floor lab at the Photonics Center, where the science and engineering of light are studied. The cause of death hasn't been determined.
Investigators don't suspect foul play. They've ruled out homicide.
Cerrina was a native of Italy. He joined the BU faculty in 2008 as chairman of
Michael Kundu, a member of the Marysville School Board who was under fire for writing an allegedly racist e-mail, told The Seattle Times on Monday he would resign from his post.
Michael Kundu, the Marysville School Board member who was under fire for writing what many charge is a racist e-mail, resigned Monday from the board.
"This is the right thing for him to do, and it's in the best interest of the district," said Sherri Crenshaw, the board president.
Mel Sheldon, chairman of the board of the Tulalip Tribes, said Kundu handed in his resignation at about 5 p.m., an hour before a board meeting. During the meeting, the board voted unanimously to accept the resignation.
"We are very, very grateful that he resigned, and look forward to some healing," said Sheldon, adding that the whole saga had been traumatic for the tribal community.
Kundu's decision came after the NAACP, the Tulalip Tribes, the Hispanic Commission and four board members asked him to resign in the weeks following a June 3 e-mail in which Kundu suggested that different races have different brain sizes and intellectual capacities. Those racial differences, he implied, help explain the school district's achievement gap.
"He crafted that e-mail, and he knew what he was doing," Crenshaw said. "His resignation is the best thing for students."
In an e-mail to the Times, Kundu said he has always felt unwelcome by the board and the school-district administration.
"That's what happens when you try to make changes
Four fellow board members asked Michael Kundu to resign.
"Kitzhaber understands that our schools are the cornerstone of our democracy and the lynchpin to our long-term, economic health," OEA President Gail Rasmussen said in a statement. The union represents 48,000 Oregon teachers, faculty members, school staff and retirees.
The OEA's political action committee, People for Improvement of Education, sat down with the former governor and asked questions before determining his experience and history of supporting Oregon public schools made him the best candidate, spokeswoman Becca Uherbelau said.
But LeRoy Coleman, a spokesman for Republican Chris Dudley's campaign, said the state of Oregon schools is a sign of Kitzhaber's failed education policies.
"John Kitzhaber did nothing to stabilize funding for our schools, and now many are forced to make tough decisions during this economic downturn, such as laying teachers off and cutting school
So many schools are getting turned around, restructured, or intervened-upon these days that parents have added a new phobia to their list: the school-closure fever.
Parents at a Bronx elementary school recently scheduled a protest demanding that their school not be shut down and their principal keep his job. They also wrote a blog post. But the school is not actually scheduled for closure at all.
The Bronx’s P.S. 73 is one of 47 schools in the city who haven’t made the annual progress on their test scores required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act for five years running. The schools are assigned a “Joint Intervention Team,” a group of city and state officials who visit the school and recommend how to improve
A reader recently drew my attention to a deceptively unassuming chart that the city often uses to defend its heavy reliance on state tests.
The chart shows how neatly eighth graders’ scores on the tests predict their future academic success. The higher the score they get, the better their shot at graduating high school with a Regents diploma — the only kind that will count come 2014.
But the reader pointed out that the chart also includes a more frightening statistic: Students who score at a level considered proficient by every measure, a 3 out of possible 4, only have a 55% shot of getting a