Tag Archives: 2020 Vision


Op-ed: How can you help Berkeley youth qualify for a good career?

High school graduation rates for Berkeley students
Print Friendly

Berkeley can certainly take pride in the remarkable rise in our local high school graduation rate, but we still fall far short of what’s needed to assure equal opportunity for all students, especially disadvantaged youth.

In the 2013-14 school year, the most recent year with comparative statewide data, Berkeley’s high school graduation rate was 89%, compared to 81% statewide and to 82.9% for Alameda County and 74.8% for San Francisco. Especially worth celebrating is the significant increase in Berkeley’s rate … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , ,

Rent Board commissioner Alejandro Soto-Vigil challenges 22-year incumbent Linda Maio in Berkeley’s District 1

alejandro Soto-Vigil
Print Friendly

Alejandro Soto-Vigil, city Rent Board commissioner and aide to Councilman Kriss Worthington, has filed to run for Berkeley City Council in District 1. He is the sole challenger to incumbent Linda Maio, who has occupied the seat since 1992.

Soto-Vigil said he is running to burst what he calls the “bubble” of the current council.

“I think I could take the bubble out, and bridge people who are on the ground to council,” said Soto-Vigil, who grew up in Richmond and graduated from UC Berkeley and the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law in Washington, D.C.  “I want to know what the pulse is of the people.” … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bridge Program helps narrow Berkeley’s achievement gap

Some of the kids in the Berkeley HIgh Bridge Program are (from left): Armando Maravilla, Jared Scott, Jacari Trent-Pontoon (in green shirt), Karina Juarez, Aia Abushareefh, Yakira Evans, Michelle Resendiz and Ariana Tamayo.   Credit: Jessie Luxford
Print Friendly

Four years ago Armando Maravilla came out of Longfellow Middle school a C-student.  Due to graduate from Berkeley High School next week, Maravilla is now heading to San Francisco State University, planning to study psychology.

How he got from there to here has a lot to do with the Bridge Program at Berkeley High, he believes.

The Bridge Program takes C-students from middle school – about 30 every year — and offers them summer programs, afterschool homework support, and lots of advice, nagging and hand-holding by dedicated teachers. The goal is to keep those C students from slipping, and hopefully make them B and A students.

“It felt helpful – all the advice, the summer programs, the information — how you’re supposed to talk to teachers,” said Maravilla. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Op-ed: The 2020 Vision and the next election: Is the goal in sight?

Test scores
Print Friendly

What evidence do we have that the 2020 Vision for equitable outcomes in Berkeley schools will reach its goal by the year 2020?

The photo, left, shows 10 members of the 2020 generation when they were in kindergarten. They are now in the sixth grade. Have they advanced significantly? Are they on target for outcome equity?

The 2019-2020 school year is just five years away. And we are nearing the point where the promise of the Vision will either … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,

2020 Vision: Skills improve, absences down, gap remains

Berkeley City Council and School Board special session, Jan. 28, 2014. Photo: Lars Skjerping
Print Friendly

A citywide initiative proponents hope will close the achievement gap in Berkeley public schools appears to be working, though significant disparities remain, according to data presented Tuesday night in a special session before the Berkeley City Council and School Board.

The 2020 Vision for Berkeley’s Children and Youth — called “2020 Vision” for short — is a broad collaboration dating back, in its earliest form, to 2008, and is designed to chip away at the achievement gap among racial groups in Berkeley schools by the year 2020.

According to organizers, African-American and Hispanic students consistently perform “significantly below their peers on state and district standardized tests and other measures that predict academic success, such as chronic absence, truancy, suspension, and dropout rates. By some measures, the disparity in the academic performance of Berkeley students along race lines, commonly known as the ‘achievement gap,’ is one of the widest reported in California.” … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Alcohol, marijuana use decline in Berkeley schools

Print Friendly

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.

Berkeley Unified School District officials reported preliminary results from the 2012 California Healthy Kids Survey on Wednesday night, Nov. 14, to the Board of Education and school administrators.

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 »

Tagged , ,

Mobile asthma clinic makes its debut at Berkeley school

Outside the Breathmobile at Malcolm X Elementary School, Oct. 18, 2012. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Print Friendly

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 »

Tagged , , , , ,

2020 Vision symposium highlights progress in Berkeley

A packed cafeteria at the 2020 Vision Symposium, Oct. 11, Longfellow Middle School, Berkeley, CA. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Print Friendly

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 »

Tagged , , , , ,

School Board candidates respond to key questions

Josh Daniels
Print Friendly

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:

  1. What do you think needs to be done about the achievement gap at Berkeley High?
  2. Do you think more charter schools should be allowed in Berkeley?
  3. What do you think can be achieved through the 2020 Vision process?
  4. 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 »

Tagged , , , , , ,

Berkeleyside interview: Mayor Tom Bates

Mayor Bates: "people will need to start contributing"
Print Friendly

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. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,

Pilot 2020 Vision projects announced

Photo: BUSD
Print Friendly

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.

Continue reading »

Tagged , , ,

What future for Berkeley’s schools?

Print Friendly

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 »

Tagged ,