Report Details Abuse Leading Up to Alleged Hate Crime at San Jose State

It took more than a month after the incident was reported to campus police for the president of San Jose State University to learn of alleged racial harassment that resulted in the arrest of four students on hate crime and battery charges.This afternoon, the university released a fact-finding review of racist hate crimes reported from a campus apartment last semester. The 52-page audit set out to determine at what point the school became aware of the abuse, what steps it took to fix the situation and whether campus policies allowed the bullying to go unnoticed.

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Fire Chief to Report on Response Times; Survey Questions Racial Biases of Police

San Jose’s fire chief, William McDonald, will present a verbal report along with a 46-page written report about the department’s response times—and failure to accurately report them—at Thursday’s Public Safety, Finance and Strategic Support Committee meeting. Also on the agenda is a survey that finds San Jose police officers are about as racist as the rest of local citizens—which isn’t a good thing—and a report on crime around the city’s two casinos.


Reestablishing the Dream for Equality

Racial equality in our schools and communities is elusive, but a work in progress. The achievement gap is real and it has not budged significantly for the half century since Dr. King delivered his famous speech. On Sunday, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial will be dedicated to the American people in Washington D. C. The facts are stark and our work to “Build the Dream” must be re-energized. This new national monument to MLK is a great opportunity for us to do just that.


No Facts Behind Ugly Rumors About Oakland Chief Batts

A couple of days before Debra Figone finalized her selection of Chris Moore as the city’s next chief of police, councilman Sam Liccardo referred to the candidates’ race as “the elephant in the room”—Moore, acting chief for the last three months, is white while the other finalist, Oakland Chief of Police Anthony Batts, is black. The real “elephant in the room,” though, was an inflammatory online report by a small newspaper in Long Beach.

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Motivation is Not the Problem

Should we be celebrating Silicon Valley’s small educational gains this week? Are these gains scalable? Are we beginning to turn the educational tide? My answer to all these questions is a resounding “maybe.”

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SJ2020 Confronts the Achievement Gap

It has been 644 days since America elected its first African-American President and race issues continue to plague our nation in ways that indicate a trend line of grave concern. The racial achievement gap is one of the most pressing issues of our time. SJ2020 is working on a strategic plan to eliminate the achievement gap in the next 10 years in San Jose and Silicon Valley.


Morgan Hill and the First Amendment

I served as a principal of public schools for nearly 20 years, so it is with tremendous empathy toward the administrators at Morgan Hill’s Live Oak High School that I write this week’s post. I also have empathy for the students on both sides of the political maelstrom.


Enforce Educational Equity

Education is the great equalizer, and as society we must continually work toward improving equity for all students. Even though we continue to make significant strides we have a long way to go. The new muscle being exerted by the Department of Education with enforcement of equity issues is welcome, but will increase the headaches of already resource-depleted schools and their administrations

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Uncivil Discourse

Have Americans lost their ability to exchange ideas and discuss politics without the equivalent of a high-school cafeteria food fight breaking out? Over the past few weeks, from San Jose to Washington, some of the language and rhetoric that’s been on display has been quite amazing.

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Race and the 2010 Census

The “Census Tour” came to San Jose last week in an effort to promote awareness about the upcoming Census campaign.  San Jose residents will be asked ten questions.  Some of the questions are centered exclusively on race and ethnicity.  And, amazingly, one question contains labels that some people find offensive.


Race Takes Center Stage and Front Page

“Recession cranks up pressure on white men.”  So reads the subhead of a front page piece that appeared in the Aug. 23 edition of the Mercury News. According to Bay Area News Group reporters Mike Swift and Josh Richman, there seems to be something brewing in our nation’s “troubled soul.”

“Many say the tempest over health care has its origin in the new administration’s breathtaking pace of change.” Who are these “many?” The article doesn’t really say.