May 29, 2017

California teacher tenure ruled unconstitutional

teacher tenure

The ruling, which was enthusiastically endorsed by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, brings to a close the first chapter of the case, Vergara v. California, in which a group of student plaintiffs argued that state tenure laws had deprived them of a decent education by leaving bad teachers in place. The teachers’ unions said Tuesday that… Read more

Mystery illness afflicts California kids

mystery illness

A rare “polio-like syndrome” has caused paralysis in about 20 children from across California, according to a report released Sunday by physicians in the San Francisco Bay Area. The children, who are between the ages of 3 and 12, developed what is called acute, or sudden, flaccid paralysis — weakness or loss of muscle tone… Read more

Teacher Shortage Nears in CA

Chemistry Teacher with Students in Class

Nearly half as many candidates enrolled in teaching credential programs last year in California and areas like special education and mathematics already suffer a shortage of qualified teachers in the largest state’s public schools.  Read more

More Cities Approve Soda Tax for November Ballot- Is It a Good Idea?

soda giant

By Julie Samrick At first I thought the soda tax controversy in New York City was ridiculous.  Uncle Sam shouldn’t have a say in how much soda, whether it be normal or super sized, any of us choose to drink. Right? But after more thinking, soda is the taxpayers’ business if it’s the leading cause of… Read more

California Children Could Soon Have More than 2 Legal Parents

parents modern

In response to “America’s evolving families,” where for the first time married couples dropped below half of all households in 2010 according to the Census Bureau, there is a bill written by Sen. Mark Leno D-San Francisco that could soon be law. SB1476 would make it legal for California children to have more than two legal… Read more

California’s Once Great University System is Dying

University_of_California_Seal

Once heralded as having the best college system in the country, if not the world, the main arteries of California’s once golden University and state university systems are bleeding from excessive budget cuts and a call for even more tuition hikes. “I’d be lying if I said what we offer students hasn’t been changed and that… Read more

Grandma Drowns Trying to Save Grandchild

swimming pool

A true hero emerged, but unfortunately with a sad ending, on Thursday when a California woman in her 50s or 60s jumped into the pool to save her 3-year-old granddaughter.  Sadly, she didn’t know how to swim and both drowned.  Our thoughts are with the family.  Read more

Mass Teacher Lay Offs Happening this Week

classroom

For the fifth straight year California has issued pink slips by March 15th to the public school teachers with the least seniority.  In Sacramento alone, 2,000 pink slips are expected.  When my oldest child was in kindergarten during the 2007-2008 school year he had 19 kids in his kindergarten class.  This year my daughter has… Read more

Why is Private School Worth the Cost?

school uiform

I wrote a piece for Sacramento Parent this week that answers the question: Why Private School?  After talking to parents, teachers and private school administrators, it all came down to smaller class sizes, more arts and enrichment, a focus on values and teachers who aren’t held back by teaching only to standards.  Read the whole… Read more

CA Superintendent hands his salary over to cash-strapped district

larry powell

At a time when many high-ranking school officials are running to early retirement before the money dries out, Fresno County School Superintendent Larry Powell is making a heroic sacrifice- he’s giving up 3 years of pay, or $800,000, all while pledging to keep fighting for public schools.  Read the full story