Friday, July 10, 2015

Sacramento News & Review - How to revive Sacramento’s trust in the mayor and city government - Editorial - Opinions - July 9, 2015

Sacramento News & Review - How to revive Sacramento’s trust in the mayor and city government - Editorial - Opinions - July 9, 2015:

How to revive Sacramento’s trust in the mayor and city government






We’ve opined and spent more than a few barrels of ink discussing 915 I Street in this Editorial space. Yet here we are, again, talking about City Hall and its issues when it comes to transparency, accountability and good government. These conversations invariably lead back to Mayor Kevin Johnson’s office. Here we go again.
Oftentimes, it feels as if we’re writing editorials that go straight into a black hole. But then, occasionally, we see the journalism in this paper impacting positive change. To that end, this week feels like the right time to revisit some of our City Hall editorials from recent months, a proverbial “Greatest Hits” from SN&R’s editorial board.
So, let’s start with the issue du jour: Johnson using private Gmail accounts for public business. This issue is new to many Sacramentans. But writers at this paper have put K.J.’s Gmails in the cross hairs for a while now.
We first dinged K.J. for his Gmail use in April, writing that “Mayor Kevin Johnson and his staff’s use of private email when conducting public business … is a problem.” (See “K.J., Hillary, email,” SN&R Editorial, April 30, at http://tinyurl.com/SacramentoEmailPolicy.)
The mayor dodges transparency by using secret and private email addresses to perform public work. This may be legal in California for now—the courts are hashing it out—but just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right.
As we also wrote back in April, “The city needs to stop this practice of allowing private email for public work, and should implement a policy directing staff as soon as possible.” It’s been more than two months since we wrote this, and the mayor’s secret Gmail has spurred even more problems—and legal costs—for the city.
If this all sounds familiar, it’s because Hillary Clinton, when she was secretary of state, also used private email and servers despite working as a public official. The hammer came down on Clinton this past February—but apparently the mayor did not pay much attention.
Email controversies abound at City Hall, another being the plan to delete older emails, ones between city Sacramento News & Review - How to revive Sacramento’s trust in the mayor and city government - Editorial - Opinions - July 9, 2015:

SNR & Sacramento Mayor Email Battle Continues | FOX40

SNR & Sacramento Mayor Email Battle Continues | FOX40:

SNR & Sacramento Mayor Email Battle Continues |








SACRAMENTO —
Another day — another email release from the Sacramento mayor’s office.
This batch included a message from former ‘Think Big’ employee turned Kings executive Kunal Merchant calling councilman Steve Hansen a quote ‘tool.’
Meanwhile, the battle between Mayor Johnson and the Sacramento News & Review continues – even though the city released 61,000 other emails tied to the mayor and city staffers’ work for outside organizations on Tuesday.
The SN&R cover you’ll see on news stands tomorrow features a caricature of the mayor sweating while reading an issue of the paper.
The weekly raised the mayor’s ire by filing a public records request for 475 emails tied to lawsuits over the Johnson-led dissolution of the National Conference of Black Mayors and the creation of mirror group, the African-American Mayor’s Association.
Johnson has sued the newspaper and the city to stop a release of those messages citing attorney-client privilege.
While other media outlets in town got thousands of related emails from the city Tuesday, SN&R was denied access.
Lawyers on all sides were supposed to meet about the matter Wednesday afternoon in a phone conference, but that has been postponed.
“We have a protected right to do news gathering….to do our jobs as journalists. And when we’re intimated and harassed by attorneys telling us that we can’t request public records…that’s unacceptable. So that’s why we’re pursuing this,” said SN&R co-editor Nick Miller.
SN&R is also taking issue with the mayor’s use of private Gmail accounts for public business and the subsequent denial of access to those records.
The mayor maintains what his staff is shown doing in the now publicized messages is well within the scope of their jobs, standard practice for mayors nationally and in the best interest of Sacramento.SNR & Sacramento Mayor Email Battle Continues | FOX40:

The Corporatizing of Rural Schools

The Corporatizing of Rural Schools:

The Corporatizing of Rural Schools






“As of 2009–10, there were a mere 785 rural charter schools across America, representing just 16 percent of the national charter schools sector, and most of these schools were located in ‘rural-fringe’ communities, just outside of more populated areas. But about 1.2 million students live in “rural-remote” communities, those areas farthest away from larger towns and cities. Just 111 charter schools across the country are in these areas (and 11 of these are online or ‘virtual’ charter schools).”
This statement is found in the report A New Frontier: Utilizing Charter Schooling to Strengthen Rural Education, released in January of 2014. In it, school reform leader Andy Smarick, of the Fordham Institute and the Bellwether Education Foundation (funded by Bill Gates, Teach for America and Goldman Sachs), outlines the challenges to opening charter schools in rural areas, and how policymakers can overcome them. This report is indicative ongoing corporatization of education and privatization of public schools in urban and suburban environments, however rural areas have remained relatively immune as rural schools generally have too few students and can be too remote to make charter schools or voucher schemes profitable.
Recently, advances in technology have changed the landscape and opened up rural schools to neoliberal venture philanthropy. Venture philanthropy, is described by Kenneth Saltman in The Gift of Education as “Educational philanthropy that appears almost exclusively in mass media and policy circles as selfless generosity poses significant threats to the democratic possibilities and realities of public education.” The result is generally to increase private control of public schools, limiting union power, and relaxing teacher certification standards, despite a lack of evidence that any of these strategies have been effective.
The charter school movement has gained support from both Democrats and Republicans as the policymakers in general have accepted the business model of improvement and believe choice and competition will produce better education results. Urban school The Corporatizing of Rural Schools:

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 7/10/15


SPECIAL NITE CAP 

CORPORATE ED REFORM



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