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Sally Ride talks K-12 science education at Cal

Sally Ride at UC Berkeley. Photo by Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group

Last night, I had the chance to see Sally Ride in person and hear her thoughts on the nation’s ailing science education programs. Granted, I’d heard most of it before — but not from an American icon.

The quote projected behind her, from Carl Sagan, reads: “It’s suicidal to create a society that depends on science and technology … in which no one knows anything about science and technology.”

You can read the full story here.

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Report: OUSD spent big $$ on consultants

No, this report was not written by the Oakland Education Association. Pepperdine University’s Davenport Institute of Public Policy released it. Researchers found that as California school districts received more money between 2003-04 and 2008-09, they spent a smaller portion of it on teachers, aides and supplies.

If this sounds familiar, it’s an expansion of a report that came out last summer. My colleague Theresa Harrington wrote about it; you can find her story here.

Pop Quiz: Guess the amount that Oakland Unified spent on consultants in 2008-09, per student? Continue Reading

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Sweat equity in Oakland

This spring, as California schools face yet another round of budget reductions, some are giving this fundraising formula a try: Oakland pride + a fitness challenge + a way to help a school in need.

Sankofa Elementary School library, photo by Hasain RasheedDagmar Serota was in a meeting at the Sankofa Academy library when she noticed the bare shelves. The few books that were on them, she said, were old and outdated.

Like other schools in the district, the North Oakland elementary can’t afford a library clerk, let alone a librarian, to manage the collection and lend books to the children.

Then Serota thought about Urban Promise Academy, a middle school in Fruitvale, and the money it was able to raise last year through the Oakland Running Festival. She thought of all the excitement surrounding the marathon, and the fact that people seem to like running for a cause.

Fast forward a few weeks, and we have Run for Sankofa.

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