Breaking News -- Education Issues

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Early Warning, Timely Response -- A Guide to Safe Schools, a joint project of the U.S. Office of Education, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the National Association of School Psychologists, has been just released. The entire text is available for browsing or download by clicking on the title link.  An annotated guide, with extensive references is also available online.  In addition, the guide is also available in Spanish.

Proposition 8, the so-called Class Size Reduction Initiative, contains a lot more than just the class size issue. See my Proposition 8 Page for more details.


8/3/98: HarperPerennial Publishers has just announced the upcoming publication of the revised edition of The Quality School Teacher by Dr. William Glasser. Click on the title for more information as well as an opportunity to order a copy at a 20% discount. For a listing of other books by Dr. Glasser, see my Glasser Bibliography.


Educational Job Opportunities Information Network (ED-JOIN)

The State-Wide ED-JOIN System is a network of job information data bases developed for several regions throughout California. Funded by PASSCO, the personnel services arm of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, the ED-JOIN project will eventually result in the creation of job posting data bases for the majority of the 58 counties in the State.  

Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE)

PACE is an independent, nonpartisan, university-based education policy research center dedicated to issues facing California's K-12 education system. Founded in 1983, PACE is a cooperative venture in the Schools of Education at the University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University. PACE also maintains an office in Sacramento. PACE provides analysis and assistance to California policymakers, education professionals, and the general public.


School Voucher Faction Aids Candidate for Schools Chief
Contra Costa Times, 10/1/98

Gloria Matta Tuchman, the opponent of bilingual education who is in a runoff for public schools superintendent, has received most of her campaign funding from school voucher supporters, according to Mother Jones magazine's Web site.

School Discipline Going Off Campus
Sacramento Bee, 9/28/98

Spurred by campus shootings and the popular appeal of "zero tolerance" as a response to drugs, many public school districts are disciplining students for off-campus conduct.  Courts are deciding how far the schools may reach into their students' lives, and sometimes setting the limits far beyond the schoolhouse doors.  An informal survey turned up cases in almost all of the nine Western states under the jurisdiction of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

More Abuse Reported When Schools Start Again
San Jose Mercury News, 9/27/98

With more adults watching, subtle signs draw greater notice.

Teach the Teachers First
Wired Magazine, 9/23/98

The government gave a boost to US education on Tuesday when President Clinton announced a $30 million grant to train teachers how to use the latest technology in schools.

Anti-Social Promotion Bills Signed
Los Angeles Times, 9/24/98

Calling on public schools to overcome their fear of flunking children who fall behind, Gov. Pete Wilson on Wednesday signed legislation that he believes will end a "tragedy" that afflicts hundreds of thousands of California students: "social promotion."

Wilson Signs Two Bills on Education Skills
San Jose Mercury News, 9/24/98

No longer will California public school children automatically move up from one grade to the next no matter what they've learned.  Gov. Pete Wilson signed two new education laws Wednesday that end the common practice of automatic promotion and require schools to offer tutoring and other assistance to struggling students.

Schools Are Critical of Prop 8 Drug Plan
Contra Costa Times, 9/20/98

Some East Bay educators say Wilson's zero tolerance proposal (contained in proposition 8) would unfairly set punishment without considering circumstances.  At a time when more young people aren't getting high just on life, Gov. Pete Wilson's plan to expel most students caught with drugs sounds like a timely, get-tough approach to ridding schools of drugs.

See my Substance Abuse Prevention Page for more details.

New Site Has Free Data on Schools
San Jose Mercury News, 9/16/98

Silicon Valley parents who want the lowdown on their children's schools will have a new place to look today with the launch of the GreatSchools Web site.

Adair Lara -- The Correct Way to Inspire Students
S.F. Chronicle, 9/15/98

A FEW DAYS ago I wrote about English teachers, urging them not to correct student essays in red ink. Among the many responses to that was this one from Liz Arney, a young English teacher:

Sacramento Character Education Program
Sacramento Bee, 9/15/98

Joseph P. Maloney is executive director of the nonprofit Citizenship and Law-Related Education Center in Sacramento, which oversees a federally funded character education project designed to teach courtesy and responsible behavior. One of several dozen nationwide, it's the only such pilot project in California. Many see character education as a solution to student behavior problems that encroach into daily classroom life. The Sacramento County Office of Education is a partner in the local program, starting its fourth year.

California Won't Buy Unexcused Absences
Contra Costa Times, 9/15/98

The state will no longer pay schools for excused absences caused by illness or vacation, even though a student provides a note from home.

Like It or Not, Students Debate L'Affaire -- Presidential tryst has become topic A in public schools
S.F. Chronicle, 9/15/98

Students used the words ``sex'' or ``sexuality'' once every 7 1/2 minutes in teacher Dennis Gregg's social studies class yesterday, and it was all President Clinton's fault.

Parents Fib to Get Kids Into Top Public Schools -- Tactics include fake addresses, phones
S.F. Chronicle, 9/15/98

Desperate to get their children into the Bay Area's best public schools -- those that boast high test scores, low class sizes and safe campuses -- a growing number of parents are engaging in all sorts of manipulation.  There are fake rental agreements, phone numbers that ring nowhere, happily married parents who say they are separated and fabricated stories of sick and frail relatives.

Wilson Seeks to Put Teachers to the Test
Contra Costa Times, 9/13/98

As California feeds its need for 25,000 new teachers a year through the start of the next century, parents and policymakers are worried that the new educators aren't educated enough.  Gov. Pete Wilson has put the issue of teacher competency on the Nov. 3 ballot, along with a slew of other school issues that make up his education package called Proposition 8. Wilson's initiative would tighten standards by making all new teachers take subject exams before setting foot in California classrooms.

Wilson Blasts Teachers Union, Pushes Prop. 8
Sacramento Bee, 9/12/98

Blasting California's largest teachers union as a "stout, militant protector of egalitarian mediocrity," Gov. Pete Wilson on Friday urged the state's business leaders to fight for a Wilson-conceived ballot measure he says will improve public education.

More information about Proposition 8

Chief Justice Troubled by Teens' Ignorance
San Jose Mercury News, 9/12/98

California's chief justice said Friday he's troubled by a recent poll indicating that only 2 percent of U.S. teenagers could name his national counterpart, William Rehnquist, while almost 95 percent could identify television's Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will Smith.

Board Expects to Rewrite Little of Science, History Standards
Sacramento Bee, 9/11/98

After hearing from critics who argued that proposed academic standards are short on the historical contributions of minorities and women but crammed with too many scientific facts, the state Board of Education indicated it probably will adopt the standards next month with few changes.

State Forges Ahead with Unpopular Standards
Contra Costa Times, 9/11/98

The state Board of Education ignored pleas Thursday to rewrite proposed science standards that groups of eminent scientists call preposterous, overstuffed with facts and destined to make kids hate the subject. Instead, the board left the proposed standards largely intact for likely approval next month.

Albany Schools Chief Under Fire -- Suspended Student Sues Superintendent
S.F. Chronicle, 9/10/98

As the last school year ended, two Albany High School students hung a protest banner from the roof of a portable classroom and ignited a fight about free speech and quality education. The debate is still raging in this usually sleepy East Bay town as another school year begins.

Would Kids Be Better Off  If  Schools Were Run Like Business?  Silicon Valley execs propose ballot initiative
San Francisco Chronicle, 9/8/98

With summer over and the kids back in school, Silicon Valley executives have reprised one of their favorite themes -- what to do about the sorry state of public education.  There's been an interesting change in the tenor of these complaints. Some in the Valley have started to talk in public about mounting an initiative campaign in 2000 to fundamentally change the public school system.

Parental Guidance Suggested
Contra Costa Times, 9/8/98

Prop. 8 would give school-site councils with a 2-1 ratio of parents to faculty the power to decide curricula, budgets at schools.

Gov. Pete Wilson has figured out a way to get parents involved in their children's schools: Make it a law.

One of the five components of Proposition 8, the governor's education initiative, would give substantial decision-making responsibility to parent-led school-site councils at each of California's approximately 8,000 public schools. With a 2-1 ratio of parents to teachers, these councils would make curriculum and budgetary decisions for each school.

For more information, see my Proposition 8 Page.

Classes Packed for the Coming Year -- State's schools are expanding, but today's kids won't see benefits
S.F. Chronicle, 9/8/98

California children are returning to the most crowded schools in state history as strained districts engage in a building frenzy to cope with growing enrollment, smaller class sizes and unsafe buildings.

Schools Bolster Budgets by Allowing Soda Ads
Sacramento Bee, 9/7/98

The offer from Pepsi-Cola had more than a little sparkle: The firm offered $162,000 worth of marquees and scoreboards for the new Folsom High School -- every single item on the campus wish list -- in exchange for exclusive advertising and sales opportunities.   Welcome to the front lines of the nation's soda pop war, where the battlegrounds are public schools and the question is whether it's right to expose teenagers to advertising at campuses where attendance is mandatory and the goal is learning.

Home-Based Charter School
San Jose Mercury News, 9/7/98

The first charter school in southern Alameda County will open this week in Mary Flack-Richmond's living room. And in 59 other homes throughout Fremont.

School Districts Are Not Funded Equally
Contra Costa Times, 9/6/98

Q: Can you explain why our school district (San Ramon) receives less money per student than the school districts around it?

America's Education Debate Hinges Upon Our Definition of "Good Schools"
Contra Costa Times, 9/5/98

Why is it so hard to get good schools?  To answer this question, I will begin by offering portraits of two local schools I know well, then examining how each might be a "good" school.

Here's to a New School Year (Editorial)
Contra Costa Times, 9/5/98

A new school year begins today for many. Whether it's met with high expectations or pure drudgery depends on a number of factors. Most great schools point to parental involvement as a key to their success. Certainly the attitude and commitment of parents and students are crucial. Yet success also hinges on the schools -- teachers and principals to be exact. Students need teachers who are enthusiastic about teaching. Principals must be strong leaders -- individuals willing to take risks, who have high expectations and who are committed to excellence.

School District Lets Argument Go Too Far
Stockton Record, 9/4/98

A Stockton school mom has been charged with a criminal offense because she went to a classroom and yelled at a teacher who had ridiculed her boy.

Tug-of War Gone Awry
Contra Costa Times, 9/4/98

TURLOCK -- An 11-year-old Turlock boy is recovering at home after doctors reconnected his right hand, which was ripped loose by a school tug-of-war contest gone awry.

30 Principals Get Warning to Improve Schools
Los Angeles Times, 9/3/98

Supt. Ruben Zacarias put 30 Los Angeles school principals on notice Wednesday that they could be stripped of their authority, and ultimately removed, if their schools' test scores don't improve. Those principals were singled out because their schools failed to make gains in the year since they were placed on Zacarias' list of the district's 100 lowest performing schools.

Cutback Forces Education Department Belt Tightening
Sacramento Bee, 9/2/98

A victim of Gov. Pete Wilson's budget knife, the state Department of Education has implemented a hiring freeze and ordered its staff to sharply curtail travel and halt "general purchases." Wilson, in a dispute with state Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin, cut $8 million, or about a fourth of the department's operating budget, when he signed the new state budget last month.

Social Promotion Bills Called Flawed
Sacramento Bee, 9/2/98

Although hailed as a crucial reform for education in California, three bills headed for the governor's desk and intended to stop the promotion of students who don't make the grade may have one major flaw.

PTA Sells Name and Logo
S.F. Chronicle, 9/2/98

The National PTA has sold its name and logo for use in back-to-school advertising by the office-supply chain Office Depot, drawing criticism from former PTA officials. Neither the Parent-Teacher Association nor Office Depot would disclose how much the 102-year-old nonprofit education group was paid for the use of its name, which began appearing in TV commercials and store advertising last month under a one-year agreement.

School Promotion Bill OK'd
Sacramento Bee, 9/1/98

As their two-year session entered its final hours Monday, lawmakers sent Gov. Pete Wilson legislation to end the practice of "social promotion," under which California schoolchildren are routinely passed to the next grade even though they're failing to meet academic standards.

D.A.'s Program Tries to Head Off Truancy Early
Los Angeles Times, 8/30/98

...Abolish Chronic Truancy program, a collaborative effort in 16 Los Angeles County school districts aimed at forcing parents to stop writing notes claiming sickness for kids who aren't really sick. The program focuses on young children, not teenagers, because they are at an age at which their parents can more easily wield strong influence.

Parents, Kids Anticipate School
San Jose Mercury News, 8/30/98

Anxiety, expectation mix as opening day nears

From Oakland Out
S.F. Chronicle, 8/30/98

This is not another story about scrappy inner city -- read black/Latino/Asian -- kids who overcome great odds and graduate from high school. For Ibrahim Adesanya, Cecilia Chavez, Karl Reid, Kathy Ly and David Philoxene, high school was a station on their road to college, careers, the universe.

A Back-to-School Ritual that Drains the Pocketbook
Los Angeles Times, 8/29/98

Spread out on our dining room table for well over a week, the many color-coded sheets of 8 1/2-by-11-inch paper were a nagging reminder of yet another back-to-school ritual that needed tending to--and soon. The papers arrived as efficiently packaged missives from the schools my kids will enter in a week and a half. There were the usual emergency cards to be filled out, "home language" surveys to be completed, bell schedules to post, and pages of dress codes and student-conduct rules to be read and digested.

Judge Delivers Large Bilingual Education Win
San Francisco Chronicle, 8/28/98

In the first legal blow to Proposition 227, the voter-approved measure outlawing bilingual education, a judge ruled yesterday that the state Board of Education must consider school district requests for a waiver from the new law.

For more details, see my Bilingual Education page.

Mixed Feelings on School Bond Plan
Contra Costa Times, 8/28/98

Skeptics at area districts say the $9.2 billion building measure on Nov. 3 ballot limits developer fees needed to keep pace with the future.

Judge Rules Against Eastin on 'Teacher' Ballot Listing
Sacramento Bee, 8/27/98

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin cannot list herself as a teacher on the November election ballot, a Sacramento County Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday. Judge James T. Fordruled that Eastin must have more recent classroom experience and must derive income from teaching in order to call herself a teacher on the upcoming ballot. Ford's order applied only to the state schools chief race between Eastin and Gloria Matta Tuchman.

Eastin Can't Say She's a Teacher on the Ballot, Judge Rules
Los Angeles Times, 8/27/98

State Supt. of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin can't call herself a teacher on the November ballot, a Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday. Eastin's opponent on the Nov. 3 ballot, first-grade teacher Gloria Matta Tuchman of Santa Ana, contended in a suit that Eastin's experience as a community college instructor in the 1970s doesn't entitle her to call herself a teacher today.

Testing the New Teacher
S.F. Examiner, 8/26/98

Nineteen 5th graders swarmed around her. Three boys seated together egged each other on. A handful of timorous types sat patiently, while others giggled and guffawed. In the middle of all this was 27-year-old Christina Velasco, who maintained a composure that belied the daunting reality: It was the first day of school in San Francisco and her very first day of teaching.

Software Firm's Standardized Tests a Hit with Parents
Los Angeles Times, 8/26/98

Educators make no secret of their deep skepticism about standardized testing. But parents--especially many affluent, overachiever types--don't tend to share those doubts. They want to know, as precisely as possible, if their kids are keeping up or falling behind.

Click here for more standardized testing information.

Wilson is Lampooned in Teachers' Union 'Boot Camp'
Los Angeles Times, 8/26/98

In surgeons' masks and gowns, the top four leaders of the 253,000-member California Teachers Assn. hover over a gurney. Then they prepare to operate on a sheet-draped, body-shaped lump labeled . . . "Gov. Pete Wilson's clone." "We'll have to give him a brain transplant," says one of the mock surgeons, "assuming he has one."

School Revamp Headed for Veto
San Jose Mercury News, 8/26/98

A far-reaching proposal to make public schools more accountable for student achievement suffered a major political blow Tuesday when lawmakers pushed forward with a bill that Gov. Pete Wilson has said he will veto.

Wilson vs. Eastin, Round ??
Sacramento Bee, 8/26/98

The state budget signed by Gov. Pete Wilson last week cut nearly a fourth of the funding for the California Department of Education, the latest round in an escalating battle involving the Republican governor, his appointed state Board of Education and elected schools chief Delaine Eastin, a Democrat. At the crux of the matter is Wilson's insistence that Education Department attorneys be transferred to the office of the attorney general in exchange for some restoration of the $8 million cut from the department's $34 million budget.

Some Back to School Tips for Parents
Contra Costa Times, 8/26/98

Here are some tips for parents to start the new school year, from the National Education Association.

State Plans Crackdown on Schools
San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/26/98

Getting tough on schools, Gov. Pete Wilson and legislators reached agreement yesterday on a policy that will force some failing students to repeat grades and take remedial courses after school or in the summer. Meanwhile, a two-house committee approved legislation that would identify low-performing schools and place them in a corrective program. If the schools did not improve after several years, they could be placed under new administration or closed.

Private Company Makes Its Debut in S.F. Schools
S.F. Chronicle, 8/26/98

As school doors opened in San Francisco yesterday, 6-year-old Sarah Hershon stood shyly in the middle of the Edison Academy playground -- and at the center of the city's most controversial new public education program.

Data Foul-Ups Delay Analysis of State Tests
Los Angeles Times, 8/25/98

Major foul-ups in the handling of score sheets are hampering efforts to analyze results from the most ambitious student testing program in California history, state officials say. The worst problems affect as much as 18% of the test data statewide and could sharply limit the value of a program that cost taxpayers about $35 million and was intended to give them a public school report card.

For more information see my Standardized Testing page.

Record School Bond Deal
San Jose Mercury News, 8/25/98

With the economy on a roll and education on voters' minds, Gov. Pete Wilson and legislative leaders reached a tentative deal Monday night to place a $9.2 billion school-finance bond on the November ballot.

Definition of Teacher Made Issue in State Race
Contra Costa Times, 8/25/98

SACRAMENTO -- Gloria Matta Tuchman, the first-grade teacher running against incumbent state Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin, has filed suit to keep her opponent from listing herself as a teacher on the Nov. 3 ballot.

School of Hard Knocks Awaits Rookie Teachers
S.F. Examiner, 8/24/98

When more than 64,000 fresh-faced, playful and nervous kids pour into San Francisco classrooms for the start of school Tuesday, many will be greeted by equally eager and apprehensive first-time teachers. Some 475 new teachers will replace veteran educators who took early retirement last spring, surpassing a record of 300 teachers hired by San Francisco Unified in 1968.

Wilson Takes Final Swing at Educational Reform
Los Angeles Times, 8/24/98

SACRAMENTO -- This is it for Gov. Pete Wilson, the end of the game. Not only is it his last at-bat, it's his last swing. It's his last week to drive in runs, to produce legislation. He's mainly playing for more education reforms, a school bond issue with construction finance reforms and a water bond that agriculture can support.

Teachers Get Lesson in Teen Injury Prevention
Chicago Tribune, 8/24/98

As Jaleel Abdul-Adil took the podium in the Whitney Young High School auditorium to talk about ways of stopping youth violence, he wondered aloud if he could tell the 700 Chicago Public School teachers in attendance anything they hadn't heard before.

Lottery Allocations Just a Small Part of Education Funding
Sacramento Bee, 8/24/98

Sandra Silva of the state Department of Education's education finance division offered the following figures with the understanding that most come from the governor's version of the recently signed budget, and that the percentages are calculated only on the state's general fund. Local property tax revenues are not included.

Schools New Battleground in Soft Drink Wars
Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, 8/24/98

Coca-Cola outbid two rivals for exclusive rights to sell soda at Petaluma junior high and high schools, an increasingly popular deal for cash-strapped schools and fiercely competitive soft drink bottlers.

Educators Prepare for Focus on Reading
Contra Costa Times, 8/24/98

Teachers around the country have been getting special instruction so they can do a better job teaching children to read. Lackluster scores on state and national tests have spurred parents, teachers, their unions and lawmakers into revamping instruction and putting millions of dollars into training.

Teachers Flock to Fill Jobs
Contra Costa Times, 8/24/98

At the teacher recruiting office in Richmond, Ana Souza fields nearly 100 e-mails, 50 voicemails and 50 live phone calls every day from would-be teachers looking for jobs and principals who are ready to hire them. Contrary to widespread predictions that school districts would experience another agonizing year of teacher shortages spurred by class size reduction, many in the East Bay are quickly snapping up enough applicants to fill their classes.

Mentioned in the article: Educational Job Opportunities Information Network (ED-JOIN)

Courage and Confidence -- S.F. Program's Outdoor Adventures Challenge Kids, Help Them Grow
S.F. Examiner, 8/23/98

JENNER - Strapped into helmets and safety harnesses, the girls scanned up, up, UP the rock face they were going to have to climb - and at the skinny black rope that would be their lifeline.

School Uniforms Suddenly High Style
San Jose Mercury News, 8/23/98

Attitudes appear to be changing...

Schools Hold Firm as 1,300 Fail Twice
Chicago Tribune, 8/22/98

In a dramatic gesture to emphasize their intention not to soften a ban on automatically promoting failing pupils, Chicago school board officials will ``double flunk'' more than 1,300 3rd graders and 6th graders who failed to pass summer school two years in a row, officials said Friday. The decision means that those students, will in effect, be enrolled in their respective grades for the third consecutive year when school begins Tuesday.

Schools Seek Alternatives to Social Promotions
Oakland Tribune, 8/20/98

After getting D's and F's in eighth grade, Brandon Perkins was neither promoted to high school nor held back in middle school. Instead, he spent the last school year wearing a uniform -- the navy shirt and khaki pants uniform of Long Beach Unified School District's Preparatory Academy, an innovative alternative to "social promotion."

New Law Means School Just Got Longer for Students
Oakland Tribune, 8/20/98

Summer vacation just got shorter for California's public school children, who because of a bill signed Wednesday by Gov. Pete Wilson will have to spend up to seven more days in class each year.

New Law Adds Another Week to School Year
Contra Costa Times, 8/20/98

Gov. Pete Wilson signed bills Wednesday that would extend the school year by a week, buy new textbooks, expand after-school programs and provide additional training for math teachers.

Veto Pen a Powerful Tool to Help Parents
Capitol Alert, 8/17/98

If I locked a child in an attic or basement for punishment, I could be charged with reckless endangerment. If I locked a child inside a parked car on a hot day, I could be convicted of manslaughter. But if I locked a child in a school with out-of-date textbooks, crumbling classrooms, indifferent teachers, and gang- and drug-infested hallways, then I would be the California Teachers Association.

Funding Speak Volumes for Lean School Libraries
San Jose Mercury News, 8/16/98

Understaffed and stocked with musty, outdated books, California's school libraries may be on the verge of a renaissance. For the first time, money for books, magazines, software and other materials makes up a sizable chunk of the state education budget, offering hope libraries can finally begin recovering from years of neglect.

Some facts about California public school libraries, which are slated to receive a badly needed $158.5 million for materials in this year's budget.

Legible Handwriting Isn't a Loopy Idea, Study Says
Contra Costa Times, 8/16/98

Many children have to write more these days because of teaching methods that stress journal-keeping and tests with more written responses. Teachers are noticing, and complaining about, poor handwriting.

47% Fail Mass. Teaching Test
Associated Press, 8/12/98

BOSTON (AP) — The success rate on the second round of the controversial new state teaching test improved slightly with more than half passing, results released this morning show.

Forty-seven percent of the 2,500 test-takers failed the July test, compared to 59 percent of the 1,795 who took the test in April.

More Teacher Training Vital
Scaramento Bee, 8/11/98

Higher teacher-training standards -- especially techniques that recognize California students' varied cultural backgrounds -- are a crucial key to raising achievement levels, the keynote speaker at a statewide conference said Monday in Sacramento.

Public Education The Defining Issue For Davis, Lungren
S.F. Chronicle, 8/11/98

California's two gubernatorial candidates have declared war over complex issues like Indian gaming pacts, oil derricks and car taxes. But the real battle for voters this year may rest with an issue as profoundly simple as ABC -- education.

Fight Over Teachers' Free Speech
S.F. Chronicle, 8/10/98

A First Amendment battle is still raging in the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District two years after a middle school math teacher accused district officials of violating her free speech rights. Lorraine Immel filed a suit in federal court last year contending that district officials tried to control her correspondence with parents about a much-debated new math curriculum and reprimanded her for sharing materials critical of the program at an open house night at East Avenue Middle School.

Reiner Directs Ballot Campaign (Proposition 10)
San Jose Mercury News, 8/10/98

``Anyway, I'm calling you about this ballot initiative,'' he says, going on to describe Proposition 10, his November ballot measure that would raise cigarette taxes to pay for programs for young children.

School's Chunk of Surplus Less Than Hoped For
San Jose Mercury News, 8/7/98

With the state coffers overflowing, this could have been a fabulous budget year for California schools. Instead, educators will have to settle for just a good year. If Gov. Pete Wilson eventually signs the 1998-99 budget deal he brokered with top lawmakers this week, school districts will get a nice cost-of-living raise, more money for textbooks, libraries and science materials and at least $10,000 for each school to spend as it pleases.

More School Time Means Training Cuts
Sacramento Bee, 8/7/98

California is on the verge of expanding the school year by eight days, but there's a compromise to consider: More time spent in class means less time for teacher training in many districts.

Class Size Reduction in High School?
Contra Costa Times, 8/7/98

SACRAMENTO -- A possible expansion of California's popular class-size reduction program drew praise from education groups Thursday who said the focus on high school students is a good idea after targeting earlier efforts at much younger kids.

For more information, see my Class Size Reduction Page.

Many Latinos Fare Better in Catholic Schools
Los Angeles Times, 8/3/98

As wealthy California parents put their children in suburban private schools, low-income immigrants from Latin America and Asia have turned to inner-city Catholic schools where a host of national studies say disadvantaged black and Latino students are outperforming their public school counterparts.

Theodore Sizer: Educational Theorist as Charter School Principal
New York Times, 8/2/98

HARVARD, Mass. -- Toward the end of this last school year, Theodore Sizer, the author and strategist of school reform, was sitting at a long table in the windowless office of the Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School here. He and his wife, Nancy, had just agreed to become co-principals of Parker, a three-year-old junior and senior high school founded on the progressive principles with which he is associated.

Teachers are a Hot Commodity
San Jose Mercury News, 8/2/98

Supply and demand: Districts wheel and deal to counter effects of attrition, class size reduction.

Education Plan Debated
San Jose Mercury News, 7/30/98

Supporters and opponents of a ballot measure designed to permanently lock in money for class size reduction and create a special office to rate and rank California public schools appeared before the Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group's Education Task Force on Wednesday, in a discussion aimed at whether the group should endorse the measure.

For more information, see my Proposition 8 Web Page.

School Performance Plan Sidetracked
Contra Costa Times, 7/30/98

Plans to create a statewide program to hold schools more accountable for student performance hit a speed bump Wednesday when Gov. Pete Wilson unveiled a proposal that differs in key areas from the one being crafted by a special group of six lawmakers.

Survey: Parents care more about education than integration
Dallas Morning News, 7/29/98

Both groups of parents value racial diversity, but more as an idea than a reality, the survey by Public Agenda found. Fifty-one percent of the black parents surveyed and 72 percent of the white parents said integrated schools made little difference in the education that their children receive.

District Turns Up the Heat on Poor Students
Sacramento Bee, 7/27/98

To be promoted to the next grade, poorly performing third-, fifth- and eighth-graders must attend summer classes and meet minimum reading standards by the end of the eight-week course. Many politicians statewide have called for mandatory summer classes to avoid social promotions.

The Bite On Teachers -- Politicians are fighting for voters' hearts by going after bad apples in the classroom
Time Magazine, 7/20/98

Dan Waters: School Boards Then and Now
Sacramento Bee, 7/26/98

Once upon a time -- a generation or two ago -- service on a local school board was considered to be a civic duty, something one performed for the good of the community. Five things happened in California a generation ago to change that generally positive situation.

Vivid book incites fury, recall drive -- Trustees let a graphic denunciation of gangs into classrooms.
San Jose Mercury News, 7/24/98

Tempers flared and threats were made Thursday as three members of the San Jose Unified school board were officially notified that they are the targets of a recall campaign because they declined to ban an intensely realistic book about gang life in Los Angeles.

For further information on the book described in this article, click here.

Schools Chief Race Heats Up
Contra Costa Times, 7/24/98

CUPERTINO -- In a year of burning education issues and intense attention on California's public schools, the race for state schools superintendent promises to be equally as hot. It's still July, and incumbent state schools Superintendent Delaine Eastin has already squared off against challenger Gloria Matta Tuchman.

Lungren Spells Out Ideas for School Reform
S.F. Chronicle, 7/23/98

GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Lungren, hitting the statewide campaign trail to push a broad ``educational reform agenda,'' argued yesterday that ``accountability and local control'' are the key to improving California schools.

CSU to ease admission to teacher training: Plan will speed candidates' move into classroom
Sacramento Bee, 7/16/98

A plan to boost systemwide teacher training output from the current 12,000 to 15,000 by the year 2000 was adopted on a unanimous voice vote of CSU trustees meeting in Long Beach.

Assembly Passes $9 Billion Bond
But biggest-ever school issue may not reach the ballot
S.F. Chronicle, 7/14/98

On a bipartisan vote yesterday, the Assembly passed what lawmakers said was the largest bond in California, and United States, history -- $9 billion for repair of old schools and construction of new ones.

Dan Waters: Movement -- but No School Bond
Sacramento Bee, 7/14/98

It's supposed to be for the kids, the 5.5 million-plus California students who are housed in schools that are often overcrowded and/or dilapidated. But the years-long political struggle over how to finance tens of billions of dollars in needed school construction has had little, in reality, to do with the welfare of young students. Rather, it's been about pressure from developers for relief from construction impact fees and about internal and external political gamesmanship.

GOP Still Won't Buy Democrats' School-Repair Bond Proposal
Assembly Republicans insist on limiting fees developers are charged

S.F. Chronicle, 7/11/98

For the second time this year, Assembly Republicans yesterday blocked an effort to place a bond on the November ballot to spruce up run-down schools and build new ones.

GOP Wants Reforms Tied to School Bond
Contra Costa Times, 7/11/98

Before the Friday bond vote, Governor Wilson told reporters that he would veto any bond that simply provides more money without any of the other changes GOP legislators have been seeking. "I'm not interested in the clean bond. A so-called clean bond is just kicking the can down the road," Wilson said. "If you keep getting clean bonds, you never get reform."

Mass. Weighs Bonus for Teachers
Associated Press, 7/8/98

If the simple desire to teach isn't enough to draw the best to the classroom, maybe cold cash will. A top Massachusetts legislator is proposing a $20,000 signing bonus to lure top college graduates to become teachers.

Full-Time Teaching Mentors
Districts finding that new instructors need guidance
S.F. Chronicle, 7/7/98

Districts from Southern California to Eureka have applied to consolidate some state funds for part-time mentors into full-time positions. In the Bay Area, Oakland, San Leandro and Gilroy are developing programs. San Francisco has had its own locally funded program for two years.

Nation's Biggest Teachers Union Flunks Merger Proposal
Contra Costa Times, 7/6/98

The National Education Association, the nation's largest teachers union with 2.3 million members, decisively rejected a merger Sunday with the smaller and more militant American Federation of Teachers.

Student Discipline Starting Earlier
Contra Costa Times, 7/6/98

An outbreak of shootings by troubled high-schoolers and middle-schoolers marred the last school year. But most teachers will tell you that violent words and deeds show up as early as kindergarten.

Bill seeks to fight school daze: Later start times proposed to foster more alert teens
Sacramento Bee, 6/25/98

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, introduced legislation to encourage high school starting times of 9 a.m. or later -- with subsidies at up to $25,000 per school district. "It's time for high schools to synchronize their clocks with their students' body clocks so that teens are in school during their most alert hours and can achieve their full academic potential," Lofgren said at a news conference in Washington, D.C.

JOHN KING -- Journey Back to Junior High -- '72 grad finds that life is a lot like middle school
S.F. Chronicle, 5/31/98

Except for the computers in the classrooms and the Spanish- language signs on the walls, things look the same as ever at Oak Grove Middle School in Concord. And that's reassuring -- at least to this proud graduate of the class of '72.

New Calls for Reform Of Oakland Schools -- Teachers, officials gather at City Hall
S.F. Chronicle, 6/10/98

In the latest signs of frustration with the state of Oakland's public schools, an assemblyman (Don Perata) is opening a Web site ( today to log complaints from the classroom while teachers are calling for audits.

For-Profit Plan to Run School in S.F. Draws Fire
S.F. Chronicle, 6/10/98

The New York-based Edison Project, a private enterprise that manages 25 schools in eight states, is hoping San Francisco will hand over the curriculum and administration of one of its worst elementary schools in exchange for a promise of improvement.

Catholic Schools Overflowing (Santa Clara County)
San Jose Mercury News, 5/31/98

Related article: Other Private Schools are Opening, Too

Clinton Asks for Crusade Against Juvenile Violence
Los Angeles Times, 5/24/98

...the president described the rash of school massacres as "more than isolated incidents" and declared: "We cannot ignore these conditions."

Clinton's plea for his legislation highlighted anew the sharp philosophical differences between Democrats and Republicans over how best to combat juvenile crime. The GOP proposals, including one bill already passed by the House, are tougher than Clinton's but ignore prevention programs--a contrast that the president and congressional Democrats are quick to point out.

Explicit Book on Gang Life Back in San Jose Schools
S.F. Chronicle, 5/23/98

For further information on the book described in this article, click here.

New Wrinkle In School Pranks -- Prior Approval
Students are reminded of danger of stunts
S.F. Chronicle, 5/19/98

New School Dress Code Gets Mixed Marks from Students
Contra Costa Times, 5/17/98

Powerful Drugs Given to Children in State's Care
Contra Costa Times, 5/17/98

Parents in San Jose Criticize School Book -- District reviewing use of explicit novel
S.F. Chronicle, 5/16/98

For further information on the book described in this article, click here.

How Wilson Would Spend Huge Surplus -- Final plan cuts taxes, gives more to education
S.F. Chronicle, 5/15/98

Schools May Get Windfall -- Wilson plans $500 million more for education
S.F. Chronicle, 5/13/98

A Closer Look at Campus Fights
Los Angeles Times, 5/4/98

Schools Learn to Take Threats More Seriously
Los Angeles Times, 5/2/98
S.F. Examiner, 5/3/98

Gap Founder Gives Charter Schools a Boost
$25 million pledged to bring in Edison Project's management
S.F. Chronicle, 4/29/98

Educational Burden Falls on Kid's Backs (Life without Lockers)
S.F. Examiner, 4/27/98

Key Oakland Schools Administrator Quits -- She blames 'climate of secrecy'
S.F. Chronicle, 4/23/98

Lawsuit Over Anti-Gay Harassment -- Morgan Hill students cite lack of protection
S.F. Chronicle, 4/23/98

Playing For Keeps -- Are kids' sports a harmless outlet, or a way for frustrated parents to live out vicarious dreams?
S.F. Examiner/Chronicle Magazine, 4/19/98

America's War Against Parents (Joan Ryan)
S.F. Chronicle, 4/19/98

School Says It Tried To Protect Student
Harassment continued for student who told of rape
(Palo Alto)
S.F. Chronicle, 4/11/98

Teen Girl Who Reported Rape Terrorized (Palo Alto)
S.F. Chronicle, 4/10/98

Nurses Also Counselors in Today's Public Schools
S.F. Chronicle, 3/31/98

The Jonesboro gunfire: A search for explanations (Stephanie Salter)
S.F. Examiner, 3/29/98

Gay in Suburbia -- A Special Report
Contra Costa Times, 3/29/98

Fighting for Awareness, Acceptance in Suburbia (Gay Teens)
Contra Costa Times, 3/29/98

High Schoolers Feel Unsafe in Oakland -- Plea for improved campus security
S.F. Chronicle, 3/27/98

Middle School Violence Doesn't Faze Educators
S.F. Chronicle, 3/27/98

Boy Arrested After Allegedly Shooting At Principal (Daly City)
S.F. Examiner, 3/25/98

5 Slain at School, 2 boys Held (Jonesboro, Arkansas)
Contra Costa Times, 3/25/98

CALIFORNIA INSIDER -- What Katie Did, or What Sacramento Plans to Do for Her
S.F. Chronicle, 3/15/98

A thought-provoking column on the death of the school bond measure in the state legislature.

State's Teachers Agree -- Book List Too White
S.F. proposal leads to call for diversity

S.F. Chronicle, 3/14/98

State Plan For Public Preschools
Proposal to pay for every California child
S.F. Chronicle, 3/13/98

Doubts About Same-Sex Classes
No proof that segregated education helps girls, report says

S.F. Chronicle, 3/13/98

SACRAMENTO -- School Bond Measure Dead for Now
$9.2 billion proposition could be back for November ballot

S.F. Chronicle, 3/7/98

Schoolyard Lesson in Democracy
Teen takes on hazards at De Anza High School

S.F. Chronicle, 3/5/98

SACRAMENTO -- State Senate OKs Schools Bond
$9 billion plan to build facilities, renovate others

S.F. Chronicle, 3/4/98

Computing Computers' Effect
Critics ask if there's too much technology in the classroom
S.F. Chronicle, 3/3/98

The Atlantic Monthly article referred to in this piece can be located on the internet at

State to Quit Supporting Computer Donor Program
Foundation asked schools to pay fee
S.F. Chronicle, 3/3/98

Disabled Students' Program Assailed But Mount Diablo district defends it
S.F. Chronicle, 2/28/98

More crime reported in Bay Area schools
S.F. Examiner, 2/26/98

Crime in Public Schools Drops Across California, Report Shows
But San Francisco sees increase in all except robbery

S.F. Chronicle, 2/26/98

DEBRA J. SAUNDERS -- School to Work: Making Dumb Even Dumber
S.F. Chronicle, 2/24/98

Oakland School District Shelves Logo Project -- "Not a priority," superintendent says of $68,000 project
S.F. Chronicle, 2/21/98

College Park Parents Call Staff Unresponsive -- Group set to take gripes to school board
S.F. Chronicle, 2/21/98

Total Solar Eclipse to Be Visible From Aruba -- or S.F. Museum (and their internet site)
S.F. Chronicle, 2/20/98

Again, not an article about education, but of interest to teachers and learners. Eclipse is next Thursday. Links to Exploratorium website's eclipse information are included in the article.

U.S. Hockey's Final Disgrace
Olympic Village room trashed after men's loss (C.W. Nevius)

S.F. Chronicle, 2/20/98

Though not an article about education, per se, I decided to include it here because of a number of conversations I've had with elementary and middle school classes recently regarding olympic and professional sports.

Families Head for the Slopes In Defiance of School Calendar
S.F. Chronicle, 2/17/98

Students Not Seeking Condoms -- Richmond High giveaway has seen little demand so far
S.F. Chronicle, 2/16/98

Flunking the Tests
S.F. Chronicle, 2/15/98

Lungren Champions Charter Schools -- Stump speech to high-tech leaders
S.F. Chronicle, 2/13/98

Hard Work Takes the Place of Tuition at Ozark School
Contra Costa Times, 2/13/98

No love lost between kids, school on public affection
Contra Costa Times, 2/13/98
Mt. Diablo schools to review special ed
Contra Costa Times, 2/12/98

Education Issues Top Davis Agenda -- Lt. governor suggests reforms
S.F. Chronicle, 2/11/98

CLASSROOM CHRONICLES -- Too Young for Middle School?
Trend worries some parents of 6th-graders

S.F. Chronicle, 2/10/98

3-Year High School A Thing of the Past
9th-graders too old for middle school

S.F. Chronicle, 2/10/98

Works With Others (Deborah Saunders Column)
Chronicle, 1/18/98


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