In the News Archive: December 2014


CCSF accreditor takes beating in panel hosted by Rep. Jackie Speier
San Francisco Examiner | Dec. 16, 2014
Panelists at City College of San Francisco unloaded on the state's accrediting commission Monday, accusing it of unfair actions against the embattled institution.

Teachers need to be honest about their unions
U-T San Diego | Dec. 15, 2014
This editorial page often is critical of the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers. This prompts bafflement, anger and disappointment among many individual teachers. “Your narrative about public school teachers is totally off base,” a veteran history teacher wrote in a recent email.

Kent Wong to Keynote SFV JACL Installation
The Rafu Shimpo | Dec. 14, 2014
The San Fernando Valley JACL chapter has announced that Kent Wong, director of the UCLA Labor Center, will be the keynote speaker at its installation luncheon at the Odyssey Restaurant in Granada Hills on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015.

Mission improbable: City College may soon close. And if it doesn't, it may never be the same.
SF Weekly | Dec. 9, 2014
Football players clad in black hurl themselves into football players wearing white. "You call that hittin' somebody?" the black-clad quarterback shouts as he picks himself up after a tackle. It's the last Saturday in November, and the City College of San Francisco's Rams, in black, and American River College, in white, square off for the Northern California football championship. 

Proposition 30 tax hikes should expire as scheduled: Jon Coupal
LA Daily News | Dec. 9, 2014
No matter how high taxes are increased, it’s never enough for public officials and bureaucrats who live off taxpayer-funded paychecks. According to these people, there is always one more dollar that is needed to make government “whole.” And being made “whole” in California means maintaining the highest paid government employees in all 50 states.

Will state reject Obama's teacher-training reform?
U-T San Diego | Dec. 4, 2014
President Barack Obama deserves credit for being the nation’s leading education reformer. For nearly six years, the president and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have used both the bully pulpit and federal grants to encourage states and large school districts to focus on improving teacher quality. 

Districts need to recommit to classified workers to make schools work better: Guest commentary
LA Daily News | Dec. 3, 2014
The women and men who clean classrooms, drive school buses, maintain security on campuses, assist students, greet parents, prepare and serve food in cafeterias, maintain and repair schools and assist teachers in the classroom are the glue that keep our schools and public education working.

Proposition 30 tax hike is working and must be kept in place
Sacramento Bee | Nov. 30, 2014
Proposition 30 is the best thing to happen to public education and the economy in California in a generation. Two years after voters adopted the tax measure, funding for public education has rebounded and the state economy and budget have improved. 

California students take a stand to topple teacher tenure; New York up next
PBS | Nov. 29, 2014
MEGAN THOMPSON: Sisters Beatriz and Elizabeth Vergara attend public high school in a low-income, mostly Hispanic section of northern Los Angeles. The girls are aiming for college, and would be the first in the family with higher degrees. 

Legislature needs to increase funding for UC and CSU
SF Gate | Nov. 24, 2014
The students protesting the decision by the University of California Regents to raise tuition 28 percent over the next five years have every right to be angry. Years of escalating tuition and fee increases for higher education have put a college education out of reach for too many families in this country. Students able to borrow the money will be saddled with debt for as long as 30 or 40 years. No wonder they are angry. 



Teaching English learners language of math
EdSource | Dec. 18, 2014
As teacher David Ramirez strode around his 7th-grade classroom at Oakland’s Urban Promise Academy, he was taking on a central challenge of the new Common Core standards: how to ensure that students who lack proficiency in English are able to benefit from a more language-based approach to learning complex math concepts.

Ferguson school board elections unfair to black candidates, lawsuit alleges
Education Week | Dec. 18, 2014
A federal lawsuit filed today by the American Civil Liberties Union alleges that school board elections in Ferguson, Mo., use a system that keeps blacks "all but locked out of the political process."

For first time in 18 months, CCSF board of trustees to hold official meeting
San Francisco Examiner | Dec. 17, 2014
The City College of San Francisco board of trustees will meet today for the first time since losing power a year and a half ago after the state's accrediting body threatened to strip CCSF of its accreditation.

State to fight lawsuit by low-income students
EdSource | Dec. 17, 2014
State finance officials last week granted the California Department of Education $3.4 million to fight a lawsuit that demands the state fix disruptive conditions in some high-poverty schools where students allegedly are being denied the fundamental right to an education.

California schools step up efforts to help 'long-term English learners'
LA Times | Dec. 17, 2014
After more than 11 years in Los Angeles public schools, Dasha Cifuentes still isn't speaking or writing English at grade level. The U.S. native, whose parents are Mexican immigrants, was raised in a Spanish-speaking household and she acknowledges that the two languages get confused in her mind.

Critics say college graduation rates don't tell the whole story
LA Times | Dec. 17, 2014
Pushing public colleges and universities to increase graduation rates has become a key objective for President Obama and California Gov. Jerry Brown, among others, as they seek to hold higher education institutions more accountable.

The Jury Remains Out on Teacher Tenure and the Courts: A TC conference weighs the implications of Vergara and two New York cases
TC Columbia | Dec. 16, 2014
In June, a trial court ruled that California’s procedures on teacher tenure and dismissal violated the state constitution because they disproportionately exposed low-income and minority students to “grossly ineffective” teachers.

Women's colleges lead push to redefine gender rules
LA Times | Dec. 15, 2014
At a women's college, gender should be the easiest qualification for entry. That's no longer the case. Women's colleges across the country are reconsidering their admission policies to adapt to a changing world in which gender norms are being challenged and more transgender students are seeking to enroll. 

Young Kim introduces bill to freeze CSU tuition while Prop. 30 is in effect
Daily Titan | Dec. 14, 2014
Assemblywoman Young Kim (R-Fullerton) introduced AB 42, an Assembly Bill that would institute a tuition freeze for the California State University, preventing CSUs from increasing student tuition for as long as the state receives Proposition 30 funds.

Latinos underrepresented among CSU applicants
Sacramento Bee | Dec. 12, 2014
California State University released preliminary data on Thursday showing a sixth straight year of record application numbers: 290,473 high school seniors and transfer students sent 790,900 applications to the system’s 23 campuses, almost 4 percent more than last fall.

Districts want to highlight retirees’ costs
EdSource | Dec. 11, 2014
A coalition of school districts wants Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature to clarify how much money will be available to schools following the deal that legislators struck earlier this year requiring districts to make higher pension payments.

Brown, Legislature study ways to avoid UC, Cal State tuition hikes
LA Times | Dec. 11, 2014
The fate of the proposed tuition increase at University of California campuses now rests in the hands of the governor and state lawmakers, who are aligned in opposition to it but divided over how to scrap it.

UC, CSU applications surge to record highs
Sacramento Bee | Dec. 11, 2014
Concerns over rising tuition costs and new student fees haven’t dimmed interest in California’s public university systems. Both the University of California and California State University saw a record number of applications from high school seniors and transfer students this year, according to figures released Thursday.

Funding to expand schools’ high-speed Internet
EdSource | Dec. 11, 2014
The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to increase funding that supporters say will expand the Internet capacity for an additional 40 million students in 100,000 schools nationwide.

Re-evaluation of CCSF pitched during trial’s closing arguments
San Francisco Examiner | Dec. 10, 2014
City College of San Francisco may know as early as next month whether it will qualify for restoration status or be re-evaluated by the commission that voted to revoke the school's accreditation last year.

Fate of SF Community College put to trial
Courthouse News Service | Dec. 10, 2014
The bid to save the City College of San Francisco's accreditation is now in a judge's hands after closing arguments Tuesday.

Spending bill would fund preschool grants, but not race to top
Education Week | Dec. 10, 2014
Congress unveiled its long-awaited spending bill Tuesday evening, which would fund most of the government, including the U.S. Department of Education and federally funded education programs, through September 2015.

UC student workers' union urges divestment from Israel
LA Times | Dec. 10, 2014
Members of the union that represents UC students who work as teaching assistants, tutors and readers have voted to urge the UC regents to divest itself of stock in Israeli institutions and international companies that backers say violate human rights and aid the occupation of Palestinian territories.

Fate of City College of S.F. now in judge’s hands
SF Gate | Dec. 9, 2014
The fate of City College of San Francisco is now in the hands of a judge after lawyers made their final arguments Tuesday about whether the beloved institution deserves to have its accreditation revoked.

Judge hears closing arguments in City College case, will rule in January
San Francisco Appeal | Dec. 9, 2014
A San Francisco Superior Court judge said today he will rule in January on whether to overturn a regional agency’s termination of accreditation for City College of San Francisco.

CCSF faculty irked by planned departmental changeups
San Francisco Examiner | Dec. 9, 2014
City College of San Francisco administrators and faculty are clashing over a potential series of changes to various departments, fueled by a purported lack of communication between faculty and the college district.

L.A. Unified to require ethnic studies for high school graduation
LA Times | Dec. 8, 2014
Students in the Los Angeles Unified School District will be required for the first time to take ethnic studies classes as part of an effort to encourage stronger cultural understanding.

Common Core qualms spike homeschool numbers
One News Now | Dec. 6, 2014
The proliferating numbers of homeschoolers in America — estimates place the population at more than 2 million — have been boosted even higher of late due to increasing agitation from parents over the federally imposed Common Core in public schools from coast-to-coast.

California's K-12 funding overhaul slowly takes root
Education Week | Dec. 4, 2014
Aiming to fund its schools more efficiently and effectively, California has chosen an unusual, lead-from-behind approach that provides more state money to districts, but pushes communities to hold their local schools accountable for how that aid is used and for student performance.

Mapping can point out education inequities
EdSource | Dec. 4, 2014
Communities interested in supporting students’ learning need a clear picture of where the gaps in resources are, according to a report by the New America Foundation that highlights the use of maps to identify inequities.

Cooperation works best
Petaluma Argus-Courier | Dec. 3, 2014
In regard to the Nov. 20 Argus-Courier editorial, “Teachers need to be reasonable,” we would like to provide your readers with relevant facts so that they might better understand the situation. The unfounded opinion that “the labor dispute could be resolved in short order if the teachers union would drop its unreasonable insistence that hundreds of its members be allowed to observe negotiations” intimately mirrors the same condescending attitude that the superintendent and school board president exhibit toward the teachers and support staff of Petaluma City Schools.

City College San Francisco students sue police for excessive force
NBC Bay Area | Dec. 3, 2014
The City of San Francisco and City College of San Francisco were hit by civil rights lawsuits filed in federal court on Tuesday.

Police broke protesting students' bones and caused a concussion, lawsuit claims
Huffington Post | Dec. 3, 2014
Two City College of San Francisco students who report suffering from broken bones and a concussion, as well as being choked and pepper-sprayed, at the hands of campus and city police filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Tuesday.

White House's college ratings system controversial even before completion
LA Times | Dec. 3, 2014
The Obama administration is developing a national rating system for colleges and universities to provide more transparency and give students and taxpayers a better sense of where to spend their education funds.

Sen. Lara proposes giving lawmakers some control of UC system
LA Times | Dec. 3, 2014
Alarmed by a proposal to raise tuition at University of California campuses by up to 5% annually for five years, Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) on Wednesday proposed a constitutional amendment be placed on the 2016 ballot to strip the UC system of its historic autonomy and give lawmakers new controls as they see fit.

California’s temporary tax increase should be extended, most say
SF Gate | Dec. 2, 2014
A majority of Californians are willing to renew the Proposition 30 taxes they voted for two years ago, even though Gov. Jerry Brown said the boost in the state sales tax and the income tax of the richest residents would be temporary, a new Public Policy Institute of California poll shows.

FBI seizes LAUSD records related to troubled iPad program
LA Times | Dec. 2, 2014
Fallout over the Los Angeles school district's $1.3-billion plan to provide iPads to every student intensified Tuesday with the revelation that the FBI is conducting a criminal investigation into the failed effort.

California offers budgetary lessons for U.S. government, Stanford professor says
Stanford News | Dec. 2, 2014
Once the fodder of late-night comedians, California's budgetary strategy is actually one that national lawmakers might emulate, a Stanford tax scholar says.

Can collaboration between schools, unions fix failing campuses?
LA Times | Dec. 1, 2014
In 2011, Fedde Middle School faced a dilemma. The federal government was offering the struggling campus, located in the low-income and heavily immigrant city of Hawaiian Gardens, $1.5 million to help it improve. The catch was that the school had to use student test scores to evaluate teachers.

As new Legislature begins, Speaker Atkins takes aim at UC tuition
LA Times | Dec. 1, 2014
Amid the feel-good proceedings of the Legislature's swearing-in ceremony, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins sent a clear signal Monday of a brewing policy showdown: the proposed University of California tuition hikes.

Stanford teams with teacher union CTA to train for Common Core
LA Times | Nov. 30, 2014
Stanford University is joining with the state's largest teachers union to prepare schools for new learning goals that will change the way California students are taught and tested.

Cal State funding talks include scenario of turning away freshmen
LA Times | Nov. 30, 2014
The University of California's decision to raise tuition generated much controversy. But the California State system could consider what by some measures is an even more radical plan as it struggles with budget constraints and increasing demand from freshmen and community college transfers. Rather than increasing tuition, Cal State has reduced enrollment targets for this fall. And trustees recently discussed the dark scenario of having to stop accepting freshmen.

Big state tax decisions lie ahead for California voters
LA Times | Nov. 27, 2014
Picking a new president might not be the only crucial issue before California voters at the polls in two years' time.

S.F. district, union agree to pay raise for teachers, assistants
SF Gate | Nov. 25, 2014
After 11 months of negotiations, the San Francisco Unified School District and the United Educators of San Francisco have agreed on a tentative contract that would give teachers and teaching assistants a 12 percent raise over three years.

Could Minnesota be next for a Vergara-style lawsuit?
Education Week | Nov. 21, 2014
The Minneapolis Star Tribune has an interesting interview with Marcellus McRae, one of the lawyers representing plaintiffs in the Vergara v. California lawsuit. In it, he suggests that the state could be ripe for a similar challenge.

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