Charles Weis

How Can Educators Solve the Racial Achievement Gap by 2020?

There are several critical “gaps” in the education of our children. One is the gap of how our high school students compare to high school students in cities like Helsinki and Shanghai on PISA (Program for International Student Assessment). Let’s call this gap the “Global Achievement Gap.” It is related to how students perform on comparable international assessments to real world problems in reading, math and science.

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County Superintendent Xavier De La Torre Agrees to Help Pay Home Loan

Xavier De La Torre, superintendent for the Santa Clara County Office of Education, has agreed to give back nearly $100,000 of his salary over the rest of his contract to help pay down the interest and principal of a housing relocation loan he received last year. The manner in which he announced the giveback, however, was a little curious.

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County Has Call to Make on Condo

Outraged! Angry! These two emotions were prevalent last week after Mercury News reporter Sharon Noguchi broke the story that former county superintendent Dr. Chalres Weis wants the county to take back a condo the Board of Education loaned him money to buy in 2008. It is conceivable that this loan might cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Yet, as I said last week, I feel strongly that “the primary interest in this matter is to guard the financial interests of the taxpayer, and the fiscal integrity of the organization.”


Oversight Doesn’t Always Equal Results

Flummoxed? Outraged? Ineffective? Embarrassed? These feelings are not necessarily compatible all at once. However, when I got a call two weeks ago from Mercury News Education reporter, Sharon Noguchi, I experienced all four emotions at the same time. I was totally mystified that as president of the county Office of Education Board of Trustees I didn’t know the answers to a series of questions she asked to begin the interview.

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De La Torre Named New Superintendent

Dr. Xavier De La Torre will be officially appointed Mar. 7 as the Superintendent of Schools in Santa Clara County, replacing retiring Superintendent Dr. Charles Weis. The announcement was made simultaneously to the leadership teams at the Santa Clara County Office of Education and the Socorro Independent School District in El Paso, Texas, where Dr. De La Torre is superintendent. As was made clear to him during several interviews by the SCCOE Board of Trustees, Dr. De La Torre understands the “fierce urgency of now” relative to increasing achievement for all students.

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County, DOE May Clash on Superintendent

Today marks my 150th column for San Jose Inside. It has been a bittersweet experience to write these posts for these last three years. I wish to thank Dan Pulcrano for the opportunity he has given me, an elected member of the Santa Clara County Office of Education Board of Trustees, to be heard on a variety of public education issues. One of the most important issues currently at hand is who will become the next county superintendent.


Shaky Math Doesn’t Help Local Schools

Next Tuesday, Jan. 31, is the deadline to apply to be hired as Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools. This new leader must have courage to identify and publicize real solutions to our county’s ethnic and socioeconomic gaps in math and English student proficiency and to support those solutions with verifiable data.

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Troubled District’s Trustees Scolded by County School Superintendent

Dr. Charles Weis, the county’s superintendent of schools, is shortening the leash on the East Side Union High School District following a damning report that was released last month. Weis attended the board’s meeting last night and grilled the members, demanding that they hire an internal auditor immediately—before he pulls their power over their own $200-million-plus budget.

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