Education

Breaking
10:55 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Shooting At Taft Union High School in Kern County

Taft Union High School (file photo)
Credit Kevin Krejci / Flickr / Creative Commons

Less than a month after the devastating shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the Kern County community of Taft was rocked by a school shooting of its own.

This morning, a 16-year-old student at Taft Union High School walked into his first period classroom and shot another student with a 12 gauge shotgun. The victim is in critical but stable condition, according to Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood.

“The student that is in critical condition we believe was an intended target, one intended target, of this suspect,”  Youngblood said.

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Education
9:29 am
Tue December 18, 2012

California Schools Urged to Revisit Safety Plans

Credit Creative Commons licensed from Flickr user Glenngould / http://www.flickr.com/photos/for_tea_too/1957375742/

California law requires each school to have a safety plan – and make it available to the public.  In the aftermath of Friday’s mass shooting in Connecticut, education and public safety officials want schools to take a new look at those plans to see if they should be revised.  

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson wants to reassure parents who wonder if what happened in Newtown could happen to them.

“I believe our California schools are safe," says Torlakson.

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Education
9:53 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Study: Hurdles Remain for California College Transfer Students

A new study shows California community college students still face obstacles when they try to transfer to the California State University system. 

Despite a law passed two years ago intended to make it easier for students to transfer to CSU, many community colleges still don’t provide acceptable degrees.

According to a study by the non-profit “Campaign for College Opportunity,” an average of just five degrees have been developed by each of the 112 community colleges.

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Education
4:59 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Despite Prop 30, Fees Could Rise For Some CSU Students

Despite the passage of the tax initiative Proposition 30, some California State University students could see their tuition go up. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the CSU Board of Trustees will make its decision next week.

The proposal would increase fees on students who accumulate more course work than they need to graduate, or more than their major requires. And it would charge students who repeat courses. Assistant Vice Chancellor Eric Forbes says the changes are needed to improve access for new students.

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Education
5:26 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Majority of California Public School Students Improving

For the first time, a majority of California public schools met or surpassed academic achievement goals this year.

53-percent of schools scored at or above state achievement goals on the Academic Performance Index. That’s an increase of four percentage points over last year.

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Education
11:28 am
Thu October 4, 2012

New CSU Chancellor Is Fresno State Alumnus

Timothy P. White, the new chancellor of the CSU system
Credit UC Riverside

The California State University Board of Trustees has named Timothy P. White  as the new chancellor of the 23 campus system. White is currently the chancellor of UC Riverside.

He succeeds Charles B. Reed, who retired earlier this year after leading the system for the past 14 years. White will be just the seventh chancellor in the system's history.

White graduated from Fresno State in 1970 with a degree in physical education. He went on to receive a master's degree from CSU Hayward and a doctorate from UC Berkeley. 

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Education
8:48 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Dueling Tax Measures Release New TV Ads

A frame from a new TV ad from the Yes on 38 campaign

The campaigns for two rival tax measures on California’s November ballot each have new TV ads going on the air. That includes the first ones in support of Proposition 30, Governor Jerry Brown’s sales and income tax initiative.

“Join California teachers to restore school programs and reduce class sizes.”

Some of the Prop 30 ads feature teachers, while others, feature Governor Brown like this one:

“For the students and for California’s future, vote Yes on 30.”

Several make this claim:

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Education
9:52 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Molly Munger Criticizes California Governor Jerry Brown's Tax Measure

Proposition 38 proponent Molly Munger says California Governor Jerry Brown’s tax initiative doesn’t do enough for schools. But she also says she understands if voters cast their ballots for both measures.

Munger’s Proposition 38 would generate about 10 billion dollars annually for schools by taxing all but the poorest Californians. The Governor’s tax initiative, Proposition 30, raises about $6 billion a year primarily by taxing the wealthy, and through a sales tax increase.

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Education
5:52 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

CSU Trustees Approve Tuition Changes; Anti-Tax Group Threatens Lawsuit

Fresno State, one of the CSU system's 23 campuses
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

California State University trustees have set the stakes for the November election. If Governor Jerry Brown’s sales and income tax measure passes, the CSU will roll back a previously-approved nine percent tuition increase. If Proposition 30 fails, the university will leave it in place – and tack on an additional five percent increase.

Meanwhile, a draft letter to CSU applicants about Prop 30’s impact has Jon Coupal with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association threatening a lawsuit.

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Education
2:34 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

FUSD's Vang Resigns From Board of Trustees

Dr. Tony Vang (file photo)

Dr. Tony Vang announced his resignation today from his seat on the Fresno Unified School District Board of Trustees. The resignation, which Vang termed a "retirement" is effective today.

Vang cited family and workload related issues with his job at Fresno State for prompting his resignation.

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Education
3:16 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

New Report Guides California Teacher Recruitment, Evaluation

A new report calls for major improvements in the way California teachers are recruited, trained, and evaluated. It’s a result of the state’s 48-member Task Force on Educator Excellence.

Education officials say the 90-page report is the first comprehensive look in a generation at how to recruit the best teachers, develop their work and provide useful feedback.

Linda Darling-Hammond co-chaired the task force. She says despite both local and state budget cuts, there are changes that can be made now.

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Fresno State
9:10 pm
Sun September 2, 2012

Fresno State Student Dead, Frat Suspended After Party, Drinking

Fresno State's Theta Chi fraternity has been suspended following the death of an 18 year old student who spent a night drinking at a fraternity party.  The university says that freshman fraternity pledge Philip Dhanens of Bakersfield died at an area hospital on Sunday. He had accepted an invitation to join the fraternity earlier in the week. The university says it learned of the incident Saturday morning. The Fresno Police Department is investigating the death.

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1:44 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Science Museum At Former Castle Air Base to Close

A science and technology museum at the former Castle Air Force Base in Atwater is closing its doors due to financial woes. The Merced Sun-Star reports that the non-profit foundation which operates the museum is planning to file for bankruptcy.
ATWATER -- The Castle Science and Technology Center will be closing permanently, according to officials with the nonprofit that runs the museum. The Challenger Learning Center foundation board has announced that it is meeting with an attorney to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, said Dave Olsen, foundation chairman.
Education
12:47 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Blacks and Latinos Gain Ground in High School Exit Exam Results

Blacks and Latinos continue to improve at a faster rate than other ethnic groups when it comes to California’s High School Exit Exam. The preliminary results from this year’s exam are out and continue several positive trends.

According to the California Department of Education, 95 percent of all twelfth graders passed the English and Math exams.

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Education
6:57 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Dinuba Unified, ACLU Settle Suit

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Dinuba Unified School District have settled a lawsuit over a controversial education program for English language learners.

The suit alleged that the district’s Second Language Acquisition Development Instruction program led to some first and second-grade students falling behind their peers.

The program emphasized grammar, spelling and sentence structure. Critics said the program didn’t expose students to literature and vocabulary.

Education
12:16 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Fresno State President John Welty to Retire Next Summer

Fresno State President Dr. John Welty announced today that he plans to retire at the end of the academic year
California State University Fresno

Fresno State President Dr. John Welty announced his retirement today before an assembly of university faculty and staff. His retirement will take effect in summer of 2013, after the conclusion of the current academic year. He will turn 68 later this month.

Welty began his term as university president in 1991, and oversaw a period marked by both growth and controversy. Welty led the effort to build the Save Mart Center, the new addition to the Henry Madden Library and several other major campus buildings.

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Education
10:40 am
Fri August 17, 2012

California Launches New Grade Level "Transitional Kindergarten"

California now has a new school grade level called “transitional kindergarten”. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the goal is to make sure the youngest children are prepared to enter school.

More than 800 California school districts are offering transitional kindergarten for the first time. The program offers age appropriate curriculum for children who don’t meet the age requirements to attend traditional kindergarten. Senator Joe Simitian wrote the law creating the grade level. He says beginning school at an older age improves a child’s social and academic development.

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Education
6:13 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Bill to Fund Middle Class Scholarships Passes California Assembly

A California bill that would fund a middle class college scholarship program has squeaked by the Assembly… getting the two-thirds vote it needs to move to the Senate.

The measure is authored by Assembly Speaker John Perez. It would end a tax break in California law, which allows out-of-state corporations to pay less in taxes than businesses based in California.

The bill required Republican support in order to pass, but Assembly member Brian Jones made it clear that would not come from him.

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Education
6:38 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Group Announces Effort to Recall FUSD's Vang

Javier Guzman, Rev. Floyd D. Harris Jr, and Mai Summer Vue speak at a news conference announcing the recall effort
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

A coalition of teachers and education activists gathered today to announce an effort to recall Fresno Unified school board member Tony Vang. 

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Education
4:06 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

UC Merced Chancellor Calls For Off-Campus Growth

Lance Johnson Licensed under Creative Commons from Flickr user LanceJohnson http://www.flickr.com/photos/lancejohnson/5703722259/

UC Merced may be less than a decade old, but the struggling economy and environmental concerns are already leading campus officials to explore the possibility of directing some of the university's future growth to off-campus locations. 

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