Tag Archives: 2020 Vision
Students in Berkeley schools are reporting declining substance use rates and decreasing exposure to violence, according to responses to a biennial survey administered across several grade levels, and at Berkeley Technology Academy, in January.
The survey data came with a range of caveats, but Student Services Director Susan Craig and Evaluation and Assessment Director Debbi D’Angelo told the board and co-superintendents that the results are “promising” and “reveal a change” in a pattern of “exceedingly high use rates” for marijuana and alcohol. … Continue reading »
A mobile asthma clinic designed to keep kids in school and out of the hospital debuted Thursday at Malcolm X Elementary School in south Berkeley.
The Breathmobile, a 33-foot-long Winnebago RV, drew inquisitive looks and questions from students throughout the day. The vehicle was parked in the school courtyard to offer easy access to families that signed up for its first day ever in Berkeley. The program, which provides free asthma and allergy treatment, has ties to ongoing city-wide efforts to target the achievement gap and bring more accessible healthcare to a high-risk population.
Dr. Washington Burns of the West Oakland-based Prescott-Joseph Center for Community Enhancement brought the Breathmobile program to the East Bay in 2009. It began in Emeryville and has since expanded to serve 18 sites around the Bay Area. It’s the only one of its kind in Northern California, according to Burns’ staff, though there are also about a dozen other Breathmobile RVs that operate across the nation. … Continue reading »
Last week, more than 100 community members, educators and city and school officials came together to share a meal and a vision for a future of equal opportunities for all children in Berkeley schools.
The theory behind the effort, 2020 Vision, is that success at school should not be predictable based on a child’s race or ethnicity. The goal, as the name suggests, is to eradicate the achievement gap by the year 2020. As it stands, Hispanic and black students, as a group, consistently score lower than peers on standardized tests, while having higher rates of chronic absenteeism, truancy, suspension and dropping out altogether, according to a statement posted by Berkeley Alliance, which is spearheading the Vision 2020 effort. … Continue reading »
Berkeleyside recently sent all the candidates for the School Board a set of questions, partly based on the suggestions our readers provided. Six candidates are running for three positions on the board: Josh Daniels, Norma Harrison, Karen Hemphill, Julie Holcomb, Priscilla Myrick and Leah Wilson. All except for Harrison responded to our questions. (If we hear from Harrison we will, of course, publish her responses.)
Berkeleyans who want to find out more about the school board candidates can attend a forum in the Community Theater at Berkeley High School tonight from 7 p.m. The forum is being held by the Berkeley High PTSA together with the League of Women Voters. The discussion will be moderated by BHS Principal Pasquale Scuderi and students from BHS Leadership.
These were our questions to the candidates:
- What do you think needs to be done about the achievement gap at Berkeley High?
- Do you think more charter schools should be allowed in Berkeley?
- What do you think can be achieved through the 2020 Vision process?
- What do you see as the most important issue today for Berkeley’s schools?
We didn’t give candidates a word count, but for those who asked, the answer was that space on the Internet isn’t limited, but readers’ attention spans are. We haven’t edited the responses in any way. We’ve listed the answers in alphabetical order of the candidates. Read the candidates’ answers below the fold. … Continue reading »
A couple of items distinguish Mayor Tom Bates’ office from the municipal run of the mill. Among the ceremonial tchotchkes exchanged with foreign mayors, there’s a large bottle of beer labeled AB 3601 and on the wall is a photo of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata. The Zapata image might be more in keeping with a Berkeley dorm room than the mayor’s office, but it’s in the character of the city that a mayor that is seen as a centrist conciliator has a place in his heart for a revolutionary army leader. (The oddly named beer bottle is a tribute to Bates’ leading role in passing Assembly Bill 3601 in 1982 which spurred the brew pub movement first in California, then across the nation.)
It’s clear from talking to Bates that social innovations like AB 3601, or the solar financing scheme Berkeley FIRST, are what really get him excited. He peppers his conversation with references to his long years in the California state assembly, his wife Loni Hancock‘s current tenure in the state senate and — next year — the distinction of being Berkeley’s longest serving mayor.
Berkeleyside sat down with Mayor Bates and his chief of staff, Julie Sinai, last week. The conversation ranged over numerous topics, many suggested by Berkeleyside readers.
Reading some of the questions people would like you to answer, it seems some people attribute to the mayor the powers of a prime minister or a dictator. How would you characterize your powers as mayor?
There’s a nine-member council and I’m a member of the council. As a mayor there are certain innate powers that go with the mayor’s office. First of all the media. The mayor is seen as the principal political person for the city. Second of all, I’m blessed to have the opportunity of having a staff.
I was in the legislature for 20 years, so I have a pension from my time as a legislator. And as such when I came to the mayor’s office I’m not entitled to take a salary as the mayor. So I use that money to have a very talented staff. It keeps me more in touch with what’s going on. And knowledge and information equate to power.
When I came in, I tried to break up the notion of polarized sides that were divided around rent control and other issues. Instead, I thought we should try to deal with problems rather than ideologies. That’s worked pretty well. It’s polarized more in the last couple of years, with councillors [Kriss] Worthington and [Jesse] Arreguin sticking together, but generally we vote all sorts of different ways. It’s not like, “If Tom is for it, I’m against it.”
The other thing that has happened is that, coming from my position as a legislator, I’m used to putting things together. I passed 220 laws and I know how to work across various groupings to make things happen.
Are there things that frustrate you in your role?
The downturn in the economy has really frustrated me. We were doing so many great things and suddenly so many of the initiatives we were going pell mell on have had to be rethought and restructured.
The most important one for me in the one we call the 2020 plan, where we try to deal with the health disparities and the achievement gap. It’s meant that we won’t be able to put the resources and the people power [in place], particularly with our health department being cut back and our mental health department being cut back. We won’t have the resources to do what I’d hoped to do, which is see real results that occur during the time that I’m mayor. That’s been frustrating.
It’s also true that Berkeley is a difficult place in that you have people who are brilliant on every side of every issue. And there’s also a great feeling of entitlement. They’re used to getting what they want. It’s difficult to get people to realize that if you get 95% of what you’re after, you don’t have to fall on your sword for the last five per cent. … Continue reading »
A second special joint meeting between the Berkeley School Board and the Berkeley City Council will be held tonight at 6 p.m. in the council chambers. They’ll discuss the 2020 Vision for Berkeley’s Children and Youth. The Berkeley Alliance developed the 2020 Vision, as a “citywide movement to ensure academic success and well-being for all of Berkeley’s children and youth, by closing the achievement and health gaps in Berkeley’s public schools”.
The document at issue tonight shows the first phase of initiatives proposed for July 1-December 31, 2010, and a preview of future phases. The report is lengthy and difficult to summarize in a blog post. One piece of it details four “pilot projects” in this initial phase of 2020 Vision. The pilot projects are:
1. Summer Opportunities
Goal: Develop high-quality cross-jurisdictional summer programs that offer academic support opportunities for targeted youth. In 2010, we will:
- Create a Summer Bridge program for 50 targeted 8th graders and their families to enter Berkeley High School successfully.
- Create a Summer Bridge program for at least 20 targeted, entering Kindergarteners and their families to enter school successfully.
- Create a piloted summer program for selected 4th- and 5th-grade students and their families within community-based programs and Berkeley’s Excellent Academic Road to Success (BEARS), within BUSD.
2. Early Childhood Development Initiatives … Continue reading »
Regular reader Deirdre Nurre writes:
Tonight, for one night only: a rare joint work session of the School Board and the City Council convenes to present the 2020 Vision. Session begins at 7 pm in the auditorium of Longfellow Middle School.
2020 Vision is a citywide movement to ensure academic success and wellbeing for all of Berkeley’s children and youth, by closing the achievement and health gaps in Berkeley’s public schools. The City Council and … Continue reading »