More details will follow later, but for now the news is that there were no significant injuries when a collision between two vehicles ended with a Toytoa van on its side on Lincoln Avenue in front of the police department around 11 a.m. today.
Chuck Worcester from Oakland was heading for the library on Oak Street when the accident occurred. After the van rolled, he opened the back door, removed the back seat and helped the driver, a woman and the only person in the vehicle, out through the back door. She’d been unable to get o
Chuck Worcester of Oakland, who saw the accident, removed the back seat to help extricate the driver from the van.
ut by herself because she was on her side and the seat belt was keeping her locked in, Worcester said.
This Toyota took a dive in front of the police department after a collision with another vehicle.
Tonight is the first of three Alameda Unified School District community meetings about the future of Alameda schools. The idea, as I understand it, is to create a master plan for the public school system in Alameda. The meeting starts at 6:30 and Superintendent Kirsten Vital as well as members of the school board will be discussing three possible scenarios for addressing the long term fiscal sustainability of public education in Alameda. They’ll be discussing how dwindling state funding impacts the district, the possibility of chartering the district as on whole, as well as the possibility of generating more funds for Alameda schools at the local level. The meeting is at Haight Elementary.
I watched only the smallest snippets of last night’s school board meeting from the comfort of my own home, but Michele Ellson of The Island was there and issued a full report. One highlight: newly-elected board member Trish Spencer nominated Ron Mooney for board president and then, after Mooney withdrew his name from consideration, Spencer nominated Mooney a second time, that time for board vice president. In response to which, second term board member Tracy Jensen withdrew her name for consideration for the position.
So, Alameda, your new school board president is Mike McMahon and your vice president is Ron Mooney. Retired principal Niel Tam, rounds out the group of five. You will likely be hearing more about them as the state budget continues to collapse and board members are faced with ever-more-difficult choices about how to run AUSD schools with less.
In a sign of the miserable economic times, the Alameda Education Association, which represents district teachers, has asked simply to extend their current contract for another year. Hopefully, turning their energy toward fighting state-level mid-year budget cuts to education funding.
Ellson’s whole report is here.
The Alameda Unified School District board voted last night 3-1, with board president Bill Schaff out of town and Janet Gibson dissenting, to approve the Nea Community Learning Center charter. The school’s facilitators have requested space to house the new school at Longfellow Education Center. The Island has details.
Ten days ago I attended a two-hour workshop sponsored by the Alameda Unified School District on the finer parts of the laws governing charter schools. I learned a good deal about charter law, but by far the biggest takeway from the panel discussion, which included Chuck Cadman of School Consulting, Inc., Carlene Naylor, the associate superintendent for the Alameda County Office of Education and Carolina Monroy of the California Teachers Association, is that the key to a successful charter, however it’s organized, is cooperation between charter and district. Monroy:
The reason we have some really good charters is because they’re working in a very complementary manner with the school district. There’s give and take. There’s discussions of the financial aspects. There’s constant ongoing communication…
When I’ve see they haven’t been really successful is this mindset that’s competitive, that we’re doing what the district can’t…that’s really very harmful all around.
As those of you who followed the first application for charter from Nea last year may have noted, there seems to be some negative history between the district and the Nea organizers, many of whom are affiliated with the Alameda Community Learning Center. So whatever the school board decides tonight on Nea’s second application, my hope is that district administrators and charter administrators will work hard to work together.
As reported by the Alameda Journal (the host publication of this blog, where you can find all the stories from the print paper), the folks organizing Nea, a K-12 charter school, have submitted a new charter school application to the Alameda Unified School District.
Back in January 2008, the first Nea application was turned down by the District for lack of detail, and then turned down by the County Board of Education in April. While many people in the education field I respect have, over the years, made clear some of the problems with charter schools—primarily that they deplete already-scarce district resources—I understand, too, why they appeal to parents, especially those with children who, for whatever reason, are not thriving in the regular school system. My understanding is that Berkeley Unified has done a good job not losing money and students to charters by having programs that attract parents and children who are looking for options, including bilingual classes, an arts magnet, and a school-based garden and cooking program. The Alameda board will hear the proposal (thanks for the link, Mike McMahon) at their October 28 meeting.