Friday, May 28, 2010

Preparing Our Students for College: Explaining A-G on June 3rd

Preparing Our Students for College & Career: Access and Success in A-G

Date: Thursday, June 3, 2010 from 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM (PT)
Location: Kearny High School Auditorium
7651 Wellington Way, San Diego, CA 92111

Parents, students, teachers, administrators and other interested community members are invited to participate in a Community Conversation about college and career readiness in the 21st century on Thursday, June 3, from 6:30-8 P.M., at Kearny High School. The event, facilitated by the Education Trust West, is part of data gathering activities that will be included in an Educational Opportunity Audit being prepared for the district. The findings will be used to make informed decisions and determine next steps in the Board of Education's resolution to adopt the University of California A-G graduation requirements for all students. For more information and to RSVP, go to

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Failure of American Education

American education, which used to be the envy of the world, is in dire straits. The U.S. ranks 21st among 25 developed countries on overall educational achievement for 15-year-olds.

The U.S. spends almost three times as much per prisoner as per public school pupil.

Only 15 percent of Black 4th graders are reading at or above grade level and only 15 percent are doing math at or above grade level; for Hispanic students the respective percentages are 16 and 21 percent, and they are almost as low for American Indian/Alaska Native students.

46 percent of Black high school students, 39 percent of Hispanic and 11 percent of White students attend the 2,000 “dropout factories” across our country, where less than 60 percent of the freshman class will graduate high school in four years.

Read the full report on the failure of American education at

Thursday, May 13, 2010

In Politics, Fact, Fancy Can Blur in Keystroke Bogus Claim Linking Jail, School Raised Election After Election

By Maria Glod and Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post Staff Writers, Thursday, June 4, 2009

"Imagine if your entire future was determined by what you did in the third grade," says Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe in a television advertisement promoting his plan to expand preschool. "Did you know we use the failure rates of third-graders to help predict how many prison spots Virginia will need in 15 years?"

You didn't know? Could be because it's not true -- at least not in Virginia.

The startling claim has been cited by McAuliffe and one of his rivals, Brian Moran, as they seek the Democratic nomination for governor. It is an appealing bit of political rhetoric, providing a cinematic illustration of the benefits of expanding preschool: Society will reap long-term savings by spending money early on education.

In the world of politics, dubious claims can harden into conventional wisdom in a keystroke. Political campaigns now have access to an unlimited catalogue of reports, speeches and essays that swirl on the Internet. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Colin L. Powell and even the organizers of the Alexandria literacy festival have pointed to the link as a frightening example of how children can go astray. The Washington Post and the New York Times have published opinion columns that reference the connection.

"It's catchy," said Peter E. Leone, director of the National Center on Education, Disability and Juvenile Justice at the University of Maryland, often cited as the source of the link. "And it's totally bogus."

But the effort to link third-grade reading scores and prison population has been particularly persistent -- hopscotching from one campaign season to another.

In Virginia, at least, it is definitely untrue. Barry R. Green, director of Virginia's Juvenile Justice Department, said that when officials draw up six-year plans for how much prison space the state will need, they rely on factors that include arrest and conviction trends, but not test scores or any other education data. A policy group convened at the end of the process discusses general social issues, Green added.

Since the ad began airing in Richmond, Norfolk and Roanoke, McAuliffe's campaign has said third-grade scores aren't part of the official formula Virginia uses to plot prison construction. But the campaign says the ad was designed as a tangible and understandable way to bring home the idea that quality preschool is a smart investment.

"We feel comfortable using third-grade reading scores as a way of communicating, in shorthand, the importance of education in predictions of long-term social behavior, including predictions about crime rates, which are then used to determine the number of prison beds that we are constructing," said McAuliffe communications director Delacey Skinner.

Moran made a statement similar to McAuliffe's in a radio interview last month: "If you don't have them by third grade, it's hard to get them back. We use our third-grade reading exams to determine potential for prison later on."

Leone has not ruled out the possibility that a state uses elementary test scores this way, but he has not found one.

"It's like an urban legend," Leone said, adding that he has been fielding calls for years from reporters and politicians researching similar assertions. Last year, he said, a member of D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee's staff called to check it out.

Prison officials in California called the claim "absolutely untrue," saying they must perennially debunk assertions that the state uses elementary reading in prison forecasts. A New York-based education group co-founded by the Rev. Al Sharpton and New York City Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein pulled the information from its Web page in April after an online journalism site labeled it "fiction."

Still, the contention persists, growing more credible with each repetition. Grover "Russ" Whitehurst, former head of the U.S. Education Department's research arm, is sometimes cited as a source of the claim. He said he heard it and repeated it about six years ago in comments that can be found on the Internet. Later, he tried to trace it to its source and came up blank.

"I don't know if it is true or not and regret contributing to the dissemination of what may be an urban legend," Whitehurst said this week.

In campaign literature distributed with the ad, McAuliffe pegged the line to comments made by Norfolk Judge Jerrauld Jones at a teen violence summit he attended last year with another politician. Through his secretary, Jones, former director of the state Juvenile Justice Department, declined to comment.

The campaign also noted a state Department of Criminal Justice Services report that lists failure on third-grade reading tests as a factor that increases the risk of committing a crime.

Where else might McAuliffe have gotten the idea? Robley Jones, lobbyist for the Virginia Education Association, said possibly from him. Jones said he can remember saying something very similar at a recent roundtable discussion on education attended by McAuliffe.

"If it's an urban legend, I'm probably one of those guilty of keeping it alive, because I thought it was true," Jones said.

Jones said he plans to stop saying that the state uses the scores to plan prison construction -- but he said he believes there is a correlation. "I think it may be almost a meaningless distinction, whether or not Virginia is actually using the figure," he said. "The fact of the matter is that the figure could be used accurately."

Diana Owen, an associate professor of political science at Georgetown University, said that despite the input of experts, future candidates will now have one more source to use to make the same claim. "A factoid like that will have another life in another campaign," she said. "Now that that ad's out there, people will cite the ad. I'm sure of it."

So now you know -- totally an urban legend.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

San Diego Career Connections Scholarship - May 17th deadline

Career Connections Scholarships are supported by 2009 Career Connections Event Sponsors and the San Diego Industry Liaison Group

Scholarship Criteria
Applicants for the Career Connections Scholarship must be youths who meet the following eligibility criteria:
· A senior in high school and planning on attending college or post-secondary education or training or currently attending college or post-secondary education or training or currently participating in a youth employment program
· Minimum GPA 2.5
· Between the ages of 16 and 21
· A resident of San Diego County
· Foster youth transitioning to independence and youth with disabilities are encouraged to apply
· Serious candidates are responsible youth who demonstrate leadership potential and/or provide positive role models for other youth, show the ability to make good choices, and who desire to improve their skills and abilities to succeed in an academic or trade environment.

Awards Process:
· Applications must be received by May 17, 2010
· Applications will be reviewed by the Scholarship Committee
· Scholarship Awards: 2 Scholarships will be awards in the amount of $650
· Scholarships Awards will be presented on Saturday, June 5, 2010, during the Urban League of San Diego County’s Golden Pyramid Scholars Event at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, in Balboa Park. Program begins at 10:00am
· Winners are requested to be present

Send completed applications and essays to the following address:
San Diego Industry Liaison Group
P.O. Box 261112
San Diego, CA 92196-1112
Attn: Career Connections Scholarship Committee

Applications must be received by May 17, 2010
Additional information can be obtained from

Monday, May 10, 2010

There is little room for meaningful fiscal reform

Until there is meaningful discussion and debate on the California state budget and the formula for funding and allocation to Student Education verse the Prison+Correction System, there can be no meaningful reform.

Did you know that the cost of a single 50-year prison sentence in California is $2,450,000 ($2.45 million dollars per prisoner).

This amount could pay for 277 years of tuition at the University of California; 499 years of tuition at California State University; or 3,926 years of tuition at a Community College.

Since 1984, California has built 21 new prisons and only 4 new universities.

Until we have a meaningful and honest debate on the priorities of our society and how we allow a small number of labor unions to shape and dictate the debate towards their own agenda, there will never be true reform.

Did you know that the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA), founded in 1957 is widely considered one of the most powerful political forces in California politics. CCPOA made the largest contribution to the No on 5 Campaign in 2008, contributing one million dollars. The CCPOA union members currently pay $79.87 per month to the union and as of 2002, the union had 31,000 members, at which time union dues totaled $21.9 million per year. Lobbying efforts and campaign contributions by the CCPOA have helped secure passage of numerous legislative bills favorable to union members, including bills that increase prison terms, member pay, and enforce current drug laws. The CCPOA takes the position that correctional officers perform an essential public service that puts their members in great danger, and strives for a safer California. CCPOA critics assert that the union has become too powerful in California politics, that it has used its power to unfair advantage, and that it has been an impediment to constructive debate and openness about the state of California prisons. The union has been criticized for the way it uses its relationship with crime victims, including its financing of two statewide victims' advocacy groups.

Please contact your CA Assemblymember and Urge YES Vote on AB 2401

Please send this letter or one of your own to your Assemblymember today. This is one of the most important bills the legislature will consider this cycle. We must stand together to help make it impossible for the Governor to veto this bill.

Some CSU campuses are building dormitories and moving towards giving out of state/service area students admissions preference. Providing housing can be a profitable enterprise for CSU campuses. But the real purpose of the California State University is to educate our young people not to run hotels.

Dear Assembly Member,

I urge you to vote for AB 2401 when it comes before you in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 12.

The purpose of this bill is to establish that the various campuses of the California State University (CSU) should give priority, in admissions, to applicants from each campus's service area. For example the California State University, San Diego, should give higher priority, for admissions, to applicants from the San Diego area rather than to applicants from other parts of the state, or from out of state.

Frankly, that has been part of the mission of the California State University for many decades. That policy makes it possible for students to limit their college expenses by living and eating in their parents home.

And there is a significant difference between attending CSU, while living at home, or attending a distant campus of CSU and living on campus or in town. According to the CSU web site, in academic year 2009-2010, the cost of attending CSU while living at home is an average of $14,591. Attending a campus, that is distant from home, while living on campus, costs an estimated $20,106 or living off campus costs an estimated $21,145. So living at home could save a student almost as $6,000 per year.

Some CSU campuses are building dormitories and moving towards giving out of service area students admissions preference. Providing housing can be a profitable enterprise for CSU campuses. But the real purpose of the California State University is to educate our young people not to run hotels.

The California State University has a long, honorable history of providing quality education at minimal cost to the people of California. It should continue to focus on that; superior education at minimal cost.

AB 2401 directs the California State University to do just that. Please vote for it in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.


Saturday, May 08, 2010

SDSU Says “No!” to Local Students

Did you know that SDSU has denied admission to 4,000+ CSU-qualified students from San Diego who applied for Fall 2010?

SDSU’s administration (President Stephen Weber, Provost Nancy Marlin, Ethan Singer and Sandra Cook) says it’s due to budget cuts. But many community leaders, parents, students and taxpayers know otherwise and have made their opposition known for months!

Join us in opposing this injustice against our youth. We are fighting to keep the doors to SDSU open for local students!

Use your cell phone ASAP and call the CSU Chancellor and our local CSU Trustee and tell them to restore the local guaranteed student admit policy and make SDSU stop denying our students!---Chancellor Charles Reed (562) 951-4700 & CSU Trustee Linda Lang (CEO of Jack in Box): (562) 951-4020 or (858) 571-2121

Please also ask your friends to call!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

USC Leventhal's School of Accounting, Summer Leadership Program - application deadline May 14th

**Application Deadline extended to May 14, 2010
On-line NOW!!!

We are seeking 45 high school students who will enter 10th, 11th, and 12th in the Fall of 2010 for USC Summer Leadership Program, July 18-24, 2010

**Preferred GPA Minimum 3.0**

Students must be entering 10th, 11th or 12th this Fall 2010

The primary objective of the Leventhal School of Accounting Summer Leadership Program is to increase the understanding and awareness of accounting and business career opportunities among high school minority youth in the public and private school system. We are seeking 45 high school students who will enter 10th, 11th, and 12th in the Fall of 2010.

The goal of the Summer Leadership Program (SLP) is to bring the accounting experience to the selected participants. As a result, the week-long event is tailored to show students the opportunities available to them in the accounting industry and at the University of Southern California . For example, the Accounting Workshops provide students with a preliminary understanding of the profession in terms of careers, methodologies, and education. In addition, the Case Study Competitions allow SLP students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the workshops through hands-on activities. Other activities include:

Accounting Workshops
Case Study Competitions
Tours of two of the Big Four Accounting Firms
Field Trip to the Paramount Pictures
USC Information Sessions
Social Bonding

Leventhal's Summer Leadership Program (SLP) is a week-long on-campus event to introduce High School students to the opportunities available to them in the accounting profession and at USC. In true college freshman fashion, the students live in dorms for the duration of the program and attend a regimen of classes at USC.

Parents are also involved. On the first day SLP reviews the week's activities and program facilitators discuss critical issues that will assist parents in preparing their children to enter the university. Parents will also attend the students' end of program presentations and banquet.

USC Summer Leadership Program
Ms. Audrena Goodie
Program Coordinator

Monday, May 03, 2010

Hey, Soul Sister

Hey, hey, hey

Your lipstick stains on the
front lobe of my left side brains
I knew I wouldn't forget you,
and so I went and let you blow my mind
Your sweet moving,
the smell of you
in every single dream I dream
I knew when we collided,
you're the one I have decided who's one of my kind

Hey soul sister,
ain't that Mr. Mister on the radio, stereo,
the way you move ain't fair, you know!
Hey soul sister,
I don't want to miss a single thing you do...tonight

Hey, hey, hey

Just in time,
I'm so glad you have a one-track mind like me
You gave my life direction,
a game show love connection we can't deny
I'm so obsessed,
my heart is bound to beat right out my untrimmed chest
I believe in you,
like a virgin, you're Madonna,
and I'm always gonna wanna blow your mind

Hey soul sister,
ain't that Mr. Mister on the radio, stereo,
the way you move ain't fair, you know!
Hey soul sister,
I don't want to miss a single thing you do...tonight

The way you can cut a rug,
watching you's the only drug I need
You're so gangsta, I'm so thug,
you're the only one I'm dreaming of
You see,
I can be myself now finally,
in fact there's nothing I can't be
I want the world to see you be with me

Hey soul sister,
ain't that Mr. Mister on the radio, stereo,
the way you move ain't fair, you know!
Hey soul sister,
I don't want to miss a single thing you do tonight,
Hey soul sister,
I don't want to miss a single thing you do...tonight

Hey, hey,hey


Hey, hey,hey


lyrics by Train