Campaign finance: not for the impatient

One thing I hate about elections season: campaign finance. Sure, it could be important, and even interesting, to know which candidates have accepted money from special-interest groups and who’s backing whom. But getting one’s hands on those financial statements always ends up being a big pain in the butt.

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Governor vetoes CAHSEE waiver

Gov. Schwarzenegger has vetoed Senate Bill 1446, which would have exempted special ed students from having to pass the California High School Exit Exam to receive a diploma. The exemption would have been good through 2010.

State schools Superintendent Jack O’Connell applauded the governor’s veto.

Since 2006, California students in regular ed have had to pass the exit exam, which tests students in 10th-grade English and eighth-grade math skills. For the class of 2008, 90.2 percent of students statewise passed, and almost 54 percent of special ed students had passed as of May. We wrote a story about this last month.


image from SuzanneK’s site at flickr.com.

NHUSD launches new Web site

The New Haven school district’s Web site has a new look as of today.

The site is supposed to be easier to use, with separate navigation tools for students, parents, staff and community members. Plus, district news will be updated on its main page in real time.

The project is part of the district’s strategic plan for improving communications.

I’m sure the folks at NHUSD are looking for feedback, so check it out and let them know what you think.


Graduation v. dropouts

The California Department of Education today released revised graduation and dropout rates for the 2006-07 school year. For details, check out the state’s press release.

I’ve put together charts comparing the revised rates to the preliminary results that came out in July for schools in the Tri-City area.

Click here for the graduation rates and here for the dropout rates.


Candidate filing period ends

UPDATE (8/14/08): The registrar has confirmed the eligibility status of all the candidates below.



This blog has been inundated with comments about some Fremont council candidates. But let’s not forget there are other races in the Tri-City area.

The extended filing period for certain races ended this evening. Below are the updated lists. Names with an asterisk next to them are candidates whose eligibility to run have not been confirmed by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters Office. Continue Reading


State supe unveils algebra plan

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell unveiled his “Algebra I Success Initiative” today in response to the state Board of Education’s recent decision to require all eighth-graders to take Algebra I starting in three years.

O’Connell opposed the decision but said in a statement that “given the State Board’s decision, I believe it is imperative we focus on ensuring our students are now given the resources they need to successfully reach this mandate.”

His plan calls for $3.1 billion in state funding to lower seventh- and eighth-grade math class sizes, increase instructional time, expand afterschool and weekend tutorial programs, provide professional development and instructional materials to teachers, and recruit and retain quality instructors, among other things. Continue Reading


Deadline reminder

It should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following our coverage of local elections that the candidate filing period is tomorrow.

Just a reminder that while the deadline is 5 p.m. Friday for most candidates, the deadline is 4 p.m. for those planning to run for the Union City City Council.

Union City’s City Hall is closed every other Friday, including this week. But because of the filing deadline, the city clerk’s office will stay open tomorrow for special hours.

A reader called me yesterday to ask where people need to go to pull papers. Basically, if you want to run for a school board, Washington Hospital board or pretty much any race other than city council, you can file through the Alameda County Registrar of Voters office in Oakland.

Fremont and Union City City Council candidates can file through their city halls.

image from Joseph Dath's site at flickr.com

New Haven board calls special meeting tonight

UPDATE: The school board has named David Pava the interim superintendent. Pava, 59, was the deputy superintendent this past year and has worked more than 30 years in New Haven. A story will be in Friday’s paper.



In case you didn’t catch our breaking news story online, the New Haven school board has called an emergency meeting for 7:30 tonight to discuss naming an interim superintendent to replace outgoing schools chief Pat Jaurequi.

Jaurequi said she wasn’t actively seeking a new job, but the opportunity came, and she accepted the position over the weekend.

A story in tomorrow’s print edition will have some more details.


Dropout rates are in

A story in today’s paper talks about the latest student dropout rates, with figures for local schools, districts, the county and state.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have space in the print edition to compare results from the past two years. (Clarification: I’m really talking about dropout rates for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 school years because the state is always one year behind in reporting the results.)

What makes this year’s report noteworthy is that, for the first time, it was based on a new student tracking system that makes the data more accurate. Continue Reading