Tag Archives: Karen Hemphill
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 »
Julie Sinai, former chief of staff to Mayor Tom Bates and now director of local government and community relations at UC Berkeley, was unanimously appointed to a vacant school board seat on Wednesday night. Sinai emerged from a slate of nine candidates in a quick, non-contentious vote by the four sitting members of the Berkeley Unified School District board.
“I’ve been a parent, I’ve been past staff, I’ve been a partner,” Sinai said in her three-minute presentation at the special board meeting. Before her position with Mayor Bates, Sinai had been director of school-linked programs for BUSD. “I’m ready to help get the work done with the board.”
The vacancy was created when board president Leah Wilson resigned in March because of her appointment as Court Executive Officer for the Alameda County Superior Court. Sinai will serve the remainder of Wilson’s term, which expires in November, 2014. … Continue reading »
A national search for a new Berkeley schools superintendent has ended practically right next door in Hayward with the announcement Friday morning that Donald Evans has been chosen by the School Board as its preferred finalist for the position.
Evans has been superintendent of the Hayward Unified School District since 2011, and has previously worked in Compton, Oakland and East Palo Alto. He started out as an elementary school teacher in San Diego in 1988.
Karen Hemphill, Berkeley School Board president, said Evans’ range of experiences — with elementary and secondary students, and struggling students as well as high-performers — and his long history in California set him apart from the pack. … Continue reading »
Berkeley Unified School District’s board Wednesday night agreed on the procedure to appoint a replacement director for Leah Wilson, who resigned earlier this month. The board has posted an application for directors on its website, with responses due by April 15. The board plans to make an appointment at a special May 1 meeting, with the regular board meeting on May 8 as a fallback in case agreement can’t be reached.
The Berkeley city charter allows the board make an appointment within 60 days of a vacancy occurring. After that point, the County Supervisor can order a special election. … Continue reading »
The Berkeley Unified School District may have new leadership as early as next week, but it will only be temporary.
The school board voted in closed session Wednesday night to hire two administrators to serve as tandem superintendents. The idea is to have the pair lead the district for two to three months while the search for a permanent superintendent continues, according to Karen Hemphill, a member of the BUSD board. The current superintendent, Bill Huyett, is retiring.
The board voted in closed session on the concept of hiring tandem superintendents, but did not vote on any individual contracts, so the names of those under consideration do not have to be released, said Hemphill. She added that two have stepped in for Huyett in the past when he went on vacation.
“We don’t have a contract signed,” said Board President John Selawsky. “It’s premature to name people.” … Continue reading »
In the last two weeks, Berkeley High officials have sent out close to 2,000 letters telling students they have been truant, but they are regarding the number as an achievement.
While it might seem worrisome that 60% of the school’s 3,300 students are routinely skipping class, the situation is actually better than last year thanks to new programs on preventing truancy, according to Daniel Roose, the dean of attendance.
While in 2010, only about 90.7% of the students attended regularly, the number is up this year, said Roose. Attendance in September, October, and November of 2011 was more than 94%, he said.
“It’s still way too high,” said Roose. “The state of California would like all California schools to be in the high 90s. We are below average for our peer schools in California.” … Continue reading »
A special joint meeting of Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) and the Landmark Preservation Commission tonight will consider the final environmental impact reports (EIR) on the South and West branch libraries and their planned demolition. The plans approved by the Board of Library Trustees for new branch library buildings are the subject of a lawsuit between the city and Concerned Library Users (CLU), which has called for renovation of the existing buildings.
The staff reports to the ZAB recommend … Continue reading »