Parent-Students Deal with Textbooks and Diapers

BERKELEY—Two-year–old Palomi murmurs quietly as dad Daniel Schacht pushes her stroller down the bumpy Berkeley sidewalk. With both hands busy maneuvering past cracks and divots, Schacht cups a cell phone between his ear and shoulder, occasionally interrupting his conversation to reply to Palomi’s requests. It’s Saturday morning and he’s on the way to the grocery store.

Multitasking is something that comes naturally to Schacht, 33. He’s a student at UC Berkeley’s prestigious Boalt School of Law, a dad and a husband. Continue reading

Parents and Teachers Concerned About Intern Educators

OAKLAND — Approximately 10,000 other interns working in California’s public schools are at the center of a controversy over whether college graduates should teach before they become certified. The debate landed in court on August 21 in a lawsuit filed by teachers and parents seeking to prevent California from using intern teachers to fulfill the federal requirement that all teachers be “highly qualified.” Continue reading

New National Scores Hit Berkeley

BERKELEY — Claire Haug finds standardized tests boring. As a fourth grader at Rosa Parks Elementary, Claire is hardly alone. Her mother, Lynn, doesn’t like the tests either.

“The school has a choice: they could teach to that test, or they could teach what the kids need to learn,” she said. “I’m grateful that the teachers at Rosa Parks are teaching in a holistic way.”

Claire and her mother echoed the reaction of other parents and teachers in Berkeley on Wednesday who said the recently released state’s results in national tests failed to bother them. Continue reading

One Effect of Tuition Increase is Certain – Better Education

BERKELEY — After regents approved a dramatic increase in University of California-Berkeley professional school tuitions last week, reaction was muted Monday among students, faculty, and administrators – most of whom agreed that higher tuition will increase the quality of the schools.
But some said they’re concerned that the higher fees will make it hard to attract a wide range of students.
Continue reading

School Bus Drivers Fast Becoming a San Francisco Rarity

SAN FRANCISCO — They’ve been called terrorists, child molesters and drunk drivers. Rocks have been thrown at their rides, spitballs hurled at their heads and balled-up paper tossed out of their kids’ windows into convertible sports cars whizzing by. And if anything goes wrong on the road amid blind spots, bloody noses, bathroom pit stops, and the tortuous San Francisco terrain, they’re the first to be blamed. Continue reading

Getting Schooled in Alternatives

A School’s Beginnings in East Oakland

OAKLAND—In a school district like Oakland’s, where the dropout rate is staggeringly high, new schools with encouraging names and attractive student-to-teacher ratios have sprouted like mushrooms in recent years, each vowing to combat the problem.

Yet at no school is the ratio quite as attractive as at the Alternative Learning Community, a brand-new middle school in East Oakland. Continue reading

New Bill Funds, Liberates Charter Schools

BERKELEY—Charter school enthusiasts breathed a sigh of relief today as the state senate approved a compromise bill that preserves $18 million for low-income charter schools.

The legislation, which Governor Schwarzenegger is expected to sign swiftly, replaces an earlier draft that tied the money to more restrictive rules on charter school expansion. Continue reading