So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

Long Beach sends librarians on Cambodia book buying trip for 1,000 books

The Long Beach Public Library is sending two staffers to Cambodia this weekend. Once there, they'll purchase 1,000 books to satisfy the reading needs of Cambodian patrons.

Library Services Director Glenda Williams said her staff looked for books online. “Books written in their script  in the Khmer language - are not available in the quantity nor the quality that we need,” she said as she prepared for the 17-hour flight.

Her book shopping list includes children’s books, adult fiction by Cambodian authors, books on health, martial arts, and marriage customs. “We’re also going for bilingual material in English and Khmer,” she said.

Staff at the Mark Twain branch in the city’s largely Cambodian neighborhood said books in Khmer – pronounced k'may – as Cambodia’s language is called, are in such demand that many are in tatters.


Parent Trigger group votes on new group for charter take over


Desert Trails has some of the lowest standardized test scores in the state – its most recent Academic Performance Index rating is 699 on a scale of 1000. LaVerne recently ranked more than 200 points higher than that.

The first group of parents in the nation to successfully invoke California’s Parent Trigger law has voted on a new operator to take over a failing school: LaVerne Elementary Preparatory Academy, a non-profit charter organization based in nearby Hesperia, will run the new school starting next August.

After 18 months and two court victories, members of the Desert Trails Parents’ Union voted overwhelmingly for LaVerne because of its success with low-income students.

Doreen Diaz, a leader of the trigger movement, said that was the deciding factor for her. As a member of the selection committee, Diaz said she and a handful of others spent a day at the charter school and emerged impressed. “I looked in the classrooms and I liked what I saw. I liked that the teachers keep the children engaged,” she said, adding that the children also appeared enthusiastic about being in school. “That’s what did if for me and why we recommended them.” 


At PCC: Confusion and complacency on Prop. 30

Pasadena City College Prop. 30

Tami Abdollah/KPCC

Pasadena City College students gathered in the quad holding "Yes on Prop. 30" signs to educate their peers about $6.7 million in cuts they'll face if it fails. They also put up a voter registration table to allow students to register electronically.

A handful of students gathered in the Pasadena City College quad at noon Thursday holding "Yes on Prop. 30" signs and trying to educate their peers about the nearly $7 million in more cuts they'll face if the measure fails to receive a majority of votes next month.

Most students kept walking. A few stopped at the laptops on the table to register to vote or to ask questions; others to grab some Milk Duds.

Benjamin Rincon stopped by the table to change his address. Rincon, 22, couldn't remember whether he's a second- or third-year — "it's been too long," he joked. He's studying accounting and communications and had been planning a while ago to transfer to a four-year college. 

He's planning on voting against Prop. 30.

"I'm against increasing our taxes," Rincon said. "...Budget cuts have been happening, so I guess I'm getting accustomed to it. I'm not sure. I'm doing OK so far with the budget cuts. Of course, I wouldn't like to spend another year here, but I'd rather spend an extra year than increase taxes again."


Cal State Monterey Bay sued over pro-Prop 30 email

Mercer 10707

Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

An anti-tax group is suing Cal State Monterey Bay over an email that urged students to support Proposition 30.  That’s Governor Jerry Brown’s tax initiative to stem further cuts to education. 

The email was written by Professor Ernest Stromberg, director of Humanities and Communications at Cal State Monterey Bay.

Stromberg's email laid out a passionate case for a "yes" vote on Prop 30. He wrote that the Cal State system would face $250 million in cuts if Prop 30 fails, and he wrote that faculty jobs are on the line.

Then Stromberg hit “send” - and the email landed in the "in" boxes of 360 Monterey Bay students.

It would have been legal if Stromberg had used a Gmail or Yahoo email account. But the professor used his Cal State Montrey Bay work email.

That’s why the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has sued, claiming Stromberg violated a state campaign law against using public resources for mass political mailings.

And the CSU system agrees. General Counsel Christine Helwick released the following statement:


Compton College on road to accreditation after mismanagement 7 years ago

Compton College lost accreditation and local control seven years ago after a mismanagement scandal and a corruption probe of the board of trustees led California officials to take over the campus.

That's when California Community College officials allowed El Camino College in Torrance to run Compton College under a new name: El Camino College Compton Center. Compton Mayor Eric Perrodin wants academic accreditation and the old name back.

“I wish it was a lot faster than it has been proceeding,” he said.

Perrodin said many people in Compton didn’t believe El Camino College was acting in their best interest. That’s changed, he said, in part because Compton College CEO Keith Curry is talking publicly about the road to re-accreditation.

“I don’t get stuck on timelines and I don’t get stuck on dates. What I get stuck on is processes and if we continue to make improvements, it’s going to happen,” Curry said.