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Archive for the 'Schools' Category

CHEATER, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater

Test cheaters (illus. by Richard Hodges, KRT)Well, we don’t actually know about those cheating pumpkin eaters, but 64 percent of the nation’s teens say they’ve cheated on tests and 36 percent have plagiarized, according to a major study by the Josephson Institute, and 30 percent have stolen something from a store. The study, which included 29,760 high school students from across the nation, also found that 83 percent of them had lied to their parents about something major. And, in what New York Times columnist Lisa Belkin calls the most “jarring” news of all, not only had 93 percent professed themselves “satisfied with their personal ethics,” but 26 percent admitted they lied on the survey about lying. (Which reminds us of that old riddle about the tribe that always tells the truth, the tribe that always fibs and some question or other. Is a lie about lying a lie? And shouldn’t we be plagiarizing that joke right about now?)

Some educators think the grim news is a natural outcome of the increasingly high pressure world of high school, grades and college admissions. Others are appalled. What do you think?

Posted on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008
Under: Parenting Issues, Schools | No Comments »

SCHOOL NEWS: Vallejo Sexual Assault, Budget Woes

School activities (Lexington Herald-Leader)
School and university leaders are hitting the fax machines – wait, they still use those? – to vent their frustration over impending state budget cuts. And there’s outrageous news out of Vallejo, where district officials hushed up the sexual assault of a middle school girl on the tennis courts.

Let’s start with the budgetary woes, shall we? CSU officials are seething over proposals that would add another $66.3 million to cuts that were already estimated at $246 million. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, November 21st, 2008
Under: Schools | No Comments »

SCHOOL HEADLINES: Got Milk, Got Schools, Got Cash?

amador valley hsIt’s been a busy week on the Bay Area education scene. In the happy news department, Pleasanton’s Amador Valley High took the “Got Milk” slogan one step farther. Students in their ROP Marketing Class snagged second place in a “Got Milk” ad contest and won $1,000 for their school (pictured, left). Now, they’ve “Got Money” too.

Folks aren’t looking so happy in other quarters, though. Martinez schools are looking for a new leader after superintendent’s John Triolo’s surprise announcement that he will be stepping down at the end of the month.

West Contra Costa just announced it would be shuttering schools next year, due to declining enrollment and budget woes. Closing an elementary school saves $300,000 a year. A middle or high school saves $800,000. Needless to say, parents are upset, but…
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Posted on Friday, November 14th, 2008
Under: Schools | No Comments »

LOCAL School Election Returns

Stickers at Eaton School in Cupertino (San Jose Mercury News)What a night! The presidential election took center stage, of course, but once the hubbub had died down a bit, many parents started anxiously seeking out tallies for ballot battles closer to home.

School funding measures in Acalanes, Dublin, John Swett, Livermore, Martinez, Pittsburg, San Lorenzo and West Contra Costa passed handily. And school boards are being remade across the East Bay. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
Under: politics, Schools | No Comments »

SCHOOL NEWS: Cal Football Felony, Orinda, Brentwood & More

College libraryTwo Cal football players – one current, one former – were arrested in connection with that outrageous armed robbery a few weeks ago at one of the university dorms. Matt Krupnick has the full rundown but here’s the 10-second recap: the football athletes were offended by a racist remark made at a party (the offending player in that scenario was suspended from the university crew team), and the robbery was a retaliation. Only problem – besides the felonious part, of course, and the waving around of a gun inside a dormitory – was that their victims were not involved in the party incident at all. Unbelievable.
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Posted on Friday, October 24th, 2008
Under: Schools | No Comments »

SCHOOL Bullies ID’d by Name

Bullies (Illustration by Gaylen Floy/MCT) Score one for the good guys in Ely, Nevada, where school officials have taken the battle against bullies to an ingenious level. The principal at White Pine Middle School had students take a campus safety survey that asked not only which parts of campus feel less safe, but which kids are causing problems. After the same five or six names popped up on numerous surveys, school officials called those children in and gave them an ultimatum – get off the bully list in the next 30 days or face the consequences.

We’re eager to hear what happens next … and we’re wondering why no one has thought to do this at local schools. Your thoughts?

Posted on Tuesday, October 21st, 2008
Under: Schools | No Comments »

SCHOOL NEWS: Teacher honors, Mt. D budget cuts & more

School (illus. by Heather Witherspoon, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, MCT Direct)In the headlines this week: Congrats are in order for San Lorenzo science teacher Jim Clark and Livermore science teacher Frankie Tate who were named Alameda County Teachers of the Year earlier this week. They’ll be competing at the state level next month. District teachers of the year from other Alameda County schools are listed here.

Hot dogs are on the firing lines this week as a vegetarian group takes aim at unhealthy school lunches. And election season’s heating up in several districts, including Dublin, where a $96 parcel tax is on the ballot.

And the Mt. Diablo school district must cut another $5 million from its budget in what has become an unhappy annual tradition. Board members say if the district wants to give teachers raises and health benefits – which they do not currently have – they’ll have to cut even more. Mt. Diablo teachers have been working without a contract for more than a year. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, October 17th, 2008
Under: Schools | No Comments »

HOT 4 TEACHER Soars with Blue Angels

Blue Angels (Jane Tyska/Oakland Tribune)One of our favorite science teachers, Foothill Middle School‘s Randy Monroe, went weightless with the Blue Angels last weekend – and it’s not as odd a pairing as you might think. Monroe, who fronts the Van Halen tribute band Hot For Teacher, has little Einstein molecules flowing through his veins. And the longtime earth sciences teacher, who also works for the Joint Genome Institute, has a special link to outer space, as well. His stepfather discovered Charon, Pluto’s moon … you know, back when Pluto was still a planet. (And in our hearts, always will be.) Munroe and his mom were on hand as VIPs for the January 2006 launch of the New Horizons probe to Pluto. Very cool.

Anyway, Hot For Teacher met the Blue Angels in Washington this summer, so when the flyboys came to town for Fleet Week, HFT played a private show for the company. One thing led to another and voila, on Sunday, there were Randy & Co., boarding Commander Russ Campbell’s C-130, the one they call the “Vomit Comet” for its effect on passengers’ bellies at zero Gs. Munroe says the whole experience rocked – spectacularly. “It’s pure insanity,” he says, “but there’s science involved too.”

We say, Munroe’s pretty spectacular himself. Want to hear more? Check out his Hot For Teacher website .

Posted on Wednesday, October 15th, 2008
Under: Schools | No Comments »

SPECIAL Ed Kids Doing Janitorial Work at School

Slide 1A Washington high school is teaching special education students about responsibility by assigning them janitorial duties. A district spokeswoman told the Tacoma News-Tribune it was simply a transition to vocational training, and that the program included recycling and yard work. But Puyallup High School dad Bernie Dalien, whose son is in the special ed program, said his daughter saw special ed kids wiping down cafeteria tables and – wait for it – picking up garbage, including condoms and cigarette stubs, with their bare hands.

And we’re left wondering, what kind of vocational training is this? Your thoughts?

Posted on Tuesday, October 14th, 2008
Under: Schools | No Comments »

SCHOOL NEWS: Lehman Brothers, Cash Flow & More

Seven Hills students in Tokyo
Elections lie just ahead and the Wall Street fallout has impacted some schools badly, but let’s start with the happy news, shall we? Exchange programs are a wonderful thing – and Seven Hills students are experiencing the wonders of Japan firsthand. The Walnut Creek kids (pictured above) are on a two-week trip to the Kita City School District in Tokyo, visiting the Japanese students who stayed with them here last year.

Walnut Creek’s Northgate High is celebrating an astonishingly successful “Go Green, Go Clean” clean-up day at their school. “There are not adequate words to describe the gratitude I feel for the almost five hundred parents, students and teachers who participated,” said new principal John McMorris, who participated in the volunteer clean-up day with his wife. “The school looks brand new!”

Not so happy news comes from schools in San Mateo County where the Lehman Brothers collapse has hit Menlo Park schools hard. How hard? Try a $3.5 million loss. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, October 10th, 2008
Under: Schools | No Comments »