Education

Education
10:59 am
Mon November 11, 2013

At Reedley College, Veteran Finds New Mission

Matthew Walker tutors other Reedley College students in history and study skills.
Rebecca Plevin Valley Public Radio

From the time he graduated from Dinuba High School, Matthew Walker was on a mission. And it didn’t include a college education.

“That was for ‘other people,’ that hadn’t gotten enough of that ‘book learning,’ he says, with a twinkle in his eye. “I was going to make a man’s choice, and not a geeky choice, and join the Marine Corps.”

He served as a Marine for six years.

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Education
9:43 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Geronimo's Story: Valley Teen Torn Between Gangs And Grades

Manny Castro, left, encourages Geronimo Garcia, right, to pursue a life beyond gangs and drugs.
Andrew Nixon Capital Public Radio

From a young age, Geronimo Garcia wore a uniform to school: high socks, shorts and a white T-shirt.

It wasn’t a school requirement. Rather, it was an older brother requirement.

“They used to dress me up like a little gangster,” Geronimo says. “To me I always thought that was cool, but you know, as I think of it now, I don’t think that was cool when I was young. Come on, looking at a little kid dressed up in gangster?”

Since then, his clothing has determined who he hung out with at school.

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Education
10:30 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Teacher Discipline Bill Passes Legislature

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A bill that would streamline the process for disciplining or firing a public school teacher or other employee charged with child abuse has cleared the California legislature. 

Democratic Assembly member Joan Buchanan says her measure is a big improvement over the status quo in the public schools when it comes to getting rid of bad employees.

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Education
6:27 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

California Bill Would Immediately Begin New Academic Test Standards

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Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A bill that would immediately start phasing in California’s new computer based standardized school achievement assessment has passed out of a key senate committee. The bill would allow most districts to opt-out of the old system.

The new Common Core academic standards will be in place this academic year. Assembly member Susan Bonilla authored the bill. She says it gives most districts a chance to evaluate students based on those standards now.

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Education
6:31 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

FUSD's Michael Hanson Praises Waiver for 'No Child Left Behind' Act

Fresno Unified School District Superintendent Michael Hanson (file photo)
Credit FUSD

A day after the U.S. Department of Education gave eight of California's largest school districts a waiver from provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, Fresno Unified Superintendent Michael Hanson praised the decision, saying it will improve accountability and student performance, and "allows us to do work very differently." 

The districts, which include Sanger Unified and Fresno Unified, are all members of a coalition called the California Office to Reform Education or CORE.

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Education
6:14 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Bills Allowing Vets to Pay In-State College Tuition Move Forward

Military veterans new to California would be allowed to pay in-state tuition in the state’s colleges and universities under competing bills now making their way through the legislature.

One bill would waive the in-state tuition eligibility rule that requires veterans to be stationed in California at least one year before being honorably discharged.  Assembly member Sharon Quirk-Silva is one of the bill’s co-authors. She says it would save some vets from crushing debt.

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Education
4:25 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Fresno and Sanger School Districts Get 'No Child Left Behind' Waiver

Fresno Unified Superintendent Michael Hanson (file photo)
Credit Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Two Valley school districts – Fresno Unified and Sanger Unified – were granted a one-year waiver from requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act today by the U.S. Department of Education. The move will allow school officials to introduce their own plans for a new statewide curriculum and avoid costly penalties under the law.

The districts were among eight in California to receive the waiver, and are all members of a coalition called the California Office to Reform Education, or CORE.

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Education
10:32 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Stakeholder Meetings Announced for New School Funding Formula

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Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California education officials are reaching out to school districts, teachers and parents as they prepare to implement the state’s complicated new school funding system. They’re holding informational meetings starting this week at several county education offices across the state.

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Education
6:16 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

CSU Campuses Expand Online Course Offerings

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Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California State University students can now enroll in more online classes than they’ve been able to.

CSU’s Mike Uhlenkamp says starting Thursday students can take online classes at any CSU campus - even courses not available at their home campus.

“A student can be enrolled at Sacramento State but take a course that’s available online from Channel Islands," says Uhlenkamp.

He says the new system will help make up for a lack of available spots in high-demand classroom courses.

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Education
6:04 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Controversial Transgender Rights Bill Awaits Action from Governor Brown

Sixteen-year-old Ashton Lee says he sometimes feels isolated in school.
Credit Max Pringle / Capital Public Radio

A controversial transgender student bill is awaiting action from California Governor Jerry Brown. As Max Pringle reports from Sacramento, it would

allow transgender students to play on sports teams and use the facilities of the gender with which they identify.

Sixteen-year-old Ashton Lee says he sometimes feels isolated. His school district in Manteca views him as a girl but he identifies as male.  Lee says getting assigned to girls P.E. and having to use the female restrooms unfairly singles him out. 

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Education
6:54 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

New School Funding Formula Mandates Parental Involvement

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California’s new education funding formula sends more dollars to disadvantaged students – with new strings attached.  School districts will have to show how they’ll spend the money to improve student achievement – and how they’ll measure success.  And as KPCC’s Julie Small reports, they’ll have to hear from one important group before they adopt their plans.

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Education
6:30 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Napolitano Confirmed as Next UC President

Janet Napolitano (file photo)
Credit Janet Napolitano / DHS

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will be the first female president of the University of California system. But it’s her experience with the federal government that had students talking at her confirmation hearing. Katie Orr reports from San Francisco.

The afternoon started with a few UC students and staff protesting outside of the Board of Regents meeting in San Francisco. They were concerned Napolitano’s experience running the Homeland Security Department would lead to the deportation of undocumented students.

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Education
5:46 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Nine California School Superintendents Lobby for No Child Left Behind Waiver

Education officials from nine California school districts are lobbying the US Department of Education this week in Washington, DC for waivers to the “No Child Left Behind” Act. Max Pringle reports from Sacramento.

The superintendents represent a good chunk of the state’s population. They’re making the case that the “No Child Left Behind Act’s” focus on boosting test scores leaves instructors too little time to teach skills that students will need later in life. Troy Flint is with the Oakland Unified School District.

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Education
7:49 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Praise, Skepticism for UC's Choice of Napolitano

Credit University of California

She’s a political veteran who’s run large bureaucracies.  But Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano hasn’t worked in academia – and now she’s about to become the next president of the University of California.  As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, the choice is drawing both praise and skepticism.

Janet Napolitano gets strong praise for her personal and political skills.

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Education
10:42 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Restorative Justice Earns Passing Grade in Le Grand

Le Grand High School student Natthan Sherriff scrubs a toilet.
Andrew Nixon Capital Public Radio

It was a case of teenage boys being teenage boys that led Natthan Sherriff to spend an afternoon cleaning the locker room at Le Grand High School.

“Me and my friend were like messing around with the others’ lockers,” Sherriff says. “I told him I peed on his locker and I was just kidding, and then he actually peed on mine so I punched him.”

Sherriff and his friend, Esaiah Villalobos, might have been suspended at another school. But Le Grand High School resolves conflicts through a disciplinary approach called restorative justice.

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Education
5:50 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

School Districts Have Varying Views on School Funding Formula

file photo
Credit Fresno Unified School District

School districts in California will receive varying amounts of money under the state’s new school funding plan. And attitudes about the plan vary as well. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

Under the new formula, districts will receive a base level of funding for every student. They’ll get additional money for every low-income and non-English speaking student they have.

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Education
3:52 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Incoming Fresno State President Castro: 'I'm Going to Be President For Every Student'

Incoming Fresno State President Joseph Castro
Credit Fresno State

Later this summer, for the first time in a generation, Fresno State will have a new president. The CSU Board of Trustees late last month selected Joseph Castro to become the university’s eight president, replacing the soon to retire John Welty, who has led the institution for the last 22 years. Castro will become the first Californian to hold the position, and the first Latino.

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Education
5:34 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Teachers Association Backs Brown's School Funding Plan

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Credit Fresno Unified School District

The California Teachers Association says it backs Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal to change how the state distributes money to school districts. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, that puts them at odds with legislative Democrats.

Brown’s plan includes giving more money to districts with a majority of low income and non-English speaking students. These “concentrations grants” are controversial among some legislators because they’d come at the expense of other districts.  

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Education
12:29 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Welty Offers Advice For The Next Fresno State President: 'Have A Thick Skin'

Fresno State President John Welty (file photo)
Credit FresnoStateNews.com

Fresno State President John Welty will retire this summer, bringing an end to a 22-year tenure as head of the university. He recently sat down with Valley Public Radio's Joe Moore to reflect back on his career.

Interview highlights:

Welty on advice to his successor:

Good luck, have a thick skin, and take time to laugh at yourself from time to time.

Welty, (who is a member of the NCAA Board of Directors) on paying student athletes:

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Education
11:36 am
Tue May 7, 2013

New Approach To Classroom Discipline Pays Off at Fresno's Yosemite Middle School

Yosemite Middle School in Fresno has seen a new approach to classroom discipline pay big results.
Credit Fresno Unified School District

Teacher Jenna Perry’s 7th grade English class at Fresno Unified’s Yosemite Middle School sounds like most others. Kids work to finish up their assignments, as the period is about to end. But there is something that makes her classroom different.

“Ok, before we leave today, let’s go over our class goal today. Somebody tell me, should we earn a point for staying on task? Why or why not? Regina?” says Perry.

At the end of every class before students are dismissed, they go over their goals, which are spelled out in a social contract they all wrote and all signed.

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