Nov 19, 2013 by Joseph DiSalvo Politics, Culture, Media Comments (5)
The new testing method in California’s public schools, called “Smarter Balanced,” will begin in Spring 2014.
I have been so preoccupied with writing columns on the local war between charter and traditional public schools that I have unwittingly neglected another contentious public battle. The standards for testing in California’s public schools are changing, and the looming fight could be as partisan and ugly as the roll out of the Affordable Care Act.
Nov 17, 2013 by Jennifer Wadsworth Politics, Business, Culture Comments (2)
This map shows where Rocketship charter schools are located within San Jose’s Washington/Tamien neighborhood. (Image courtesy of http://www.StopRocketship.com)
Despite vocal opposition from some community members, Rocketship Education could receive approval to start building another charter school in the Washington/Tamien neighborhood. The City Council this week will consider selling the nonprofit educational company an $850,000 parcel of land to develop the new campus. Also on the council agenda is an underfunded gun buyback, a contract agreement with the electricians union and an urban village plan.
Nov 15, 2013 by Rich Robinson Politics, Culture, Media Comments (7)
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has become a massive success not just because of its humorous reality checks of the far right, but also for taking Democrats to task. (Image via Comedy Central)
The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University held a program on campaign ethics Friday. The central question posed: Do campaigns have ethical standards? It is not a question that can be fully answered in a sound bite. So let’s start with the three core issues: lies, inconsistency and money.
Nov 14, 2013 by Sparky Harlan Politics, Culture Comments (0)
Omar, a young man interviewed this summer by San Jose Inside, was one of 1,200 homeless youth under the age of 25 in Santa Clara County. (Photo by Chip Scheuer)
A point-in-time count on the number of homeless individuals and families in San Jose and Santa Clara County was completed earlier this year. Santa Clara County had 1,200 homeless youth under age 25—either in homeless shelters or on the street. This was more than the number counted for San Francisco during the same time. It is hard to believe that we have more homeless youth and young adults than San Francisco, but the numbers don’t lie.
Nov 13, 2013 by The Fly Politics, Culture, The Fly Comments (4)
George Shirakawa Jr.‘s illegal actions have had a direct effect on multiple people’s careers. (Photo by Geoffrey Smith)
There is life after George Shirakawa Jr., as three men are proving with varying degrees of success. A former chief of staff to the incarcerated supervisor is rewriting history on his new blog, while a former county CFO has accepted a demotion after failing to catch Shirakawa’s crimes. Perhaps most interesting, though, is how the city’s acting police chief, Larry Esquivel, has managed to stay above the fray.
Nov 12, 2013 by Jennifer Wadsworth Politics, Business, Culture Comments (4)
Plans to build a four-field softball complex at a site by Eastridge Mall were delayed so the city could explore other options.
Two minutes shy of deadline to place it on the Nov. 19 City Council agenda, Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio logged a request for the city to revisit the discussion about where to place a softball complex paid for by the remaining balance of a $228 million pool of bond funds. That and more at Wednesday’s Rules and Open Government Committee.
Nov 12, 2013 by Joseph DiSalvo Politics, Culture Comments (4)
It’s a touchy subject, but county Board of Education trustee Joseph Di Salvo says it’s time local districts and charter schools looked at restructuring teacher contracts so only the best and the brightest are retained. (Image via http://www.sustainabilityadvantage.com)
An elephant in the room when discussing publicly-funded charters vs. traditional public schools is collective bargaining—union vs. non-union. I think it is time we face the issue head-on and begin a charter-by-charter, district-by-district conversation. One way to achieve this goal is to experiment with “thin” contracts that forego tenure and seniority-based layoffs, and provide opportunities for performance pay based on results—not just results from state tests.
Nov 11, 2013 by James P. Reber Politics, Culture Comments (2)
The Veterans Memorial of San Jose-Santa Clara Valley was opened on Park Avenue in 1997. (Photo courtesy of http://www.johnlewisglass.com)
What was once known as “Armistice Day” has become a day to honor American veterans of all wars. I suggest we honor veterans by spending a few moments at one or both of the veterans’ memorials in San Jose’s Guadalupe River Park.
Nov 11, 2013 by Jennifer Wadsworth Politics, Business, Culture Comments (0)
Ceremonies honoring the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces took place across the county Monday for Veteran’s Day. (Photo by brittanylynae, via Flickr)
Communities across the nation on Monday recognized the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces. A ceremony for San Jose’s 95th annual Veterans Day parade was held near the SAP Center, and hours earlier the Veterans Day National Ceremony commenced at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Nov 11, 2013 by Peter Allen Politics, Business, Culture Comments (6)
Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland A’s, has faced tight budgets when trying to assembly a top-notch team. Ed Shikada will have similar challenges as San Jose’s city manager, Peter Allen writes. (Photo by Muboshgu, via Wikipedia)
Every winter, Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane has one hand perpetually tied behind his back, as he tries to rebuild his rosters for the following season. Frugal ownership, a decrepit stadium, and multiple run-ins with raw sewage make the A’s one of the least desirable Major League Baseball landing spots for top free agents. So, Beane, the man profiled in Michael Lewis’ bestseller Moneyball, does his best to cobble together lineups with bargain basement prospects and aging journeymen. And because he’s exceptionally good at his job—and a little lucky—he manages to field competitive teams year after year. The city of San Jose faces similar obstacles in recruiting and retaining the best and brightest minds to run the day-to-day operations of America’s 10th largest metropolis.
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