One program left behind: Chapman Elementary School, the most ethnically diverse school in the Chico Unified School District, will have no bilingual-education program next year.
Chico school trustees on May 4 followed through on a staff proposal, ending the dual-immersion program and moving the principal so the school can, the district hopes, comply with federal No Child Left Behind rules. English-speaking students who want to learn in Spanish, and vice versa, must transfer to Rosedale or Parkview elementaries.
Chapman is in year four of “program improvement,” meaning it must choose from a list of drastic actions or face being taken over by the state. But the test score goals, which educators admit are nearly impossible to reach, will likely prove too lofty to some other Chico schools in a matter of a couple of years.
Also at the meeting, students from Fair View High School came forward to say how angry and disappointed they are that no one from the district consulted them before deciding to move alternative education programs to the to-be-closed Jay Partridge Elementary campus.
BEC says dump cleanup inadequate: The Butte Environmental Council wants to put a hold on the Humboldt Road Burn Dump cleanup. In a press release Barbara Vlamis, BEC’s executive director, says the delay will allow the State Water Resources Control Board time to review six petitions the environmental group filed last August challenging the legality of the project approvals issued by the Regional Water Quality Control Board.
BEC says the RWQCB rushed the project, failed to demonstrate that the level of cleanup was consistent with the existing threat or ensure sufficient wells were in place to monitor ground water. BEC accuses the state board of requiring developer Tom Fogarty to start work before obtaining federal wetland and endangered-species permits and failed to use current health risk standards for the remediation.
BEC also charges there are “serious conflicts of interest between the RWQCB and the dischargers,” citing a reference in this paper from last year to a romantic tie between a RWQCB official and landowner whose property is under the state-monitored cleanup.
“BEC participated over two decades in the plans to clean the HRBD and has consistently advocated for an open public process, full disclosure of the threats to current and future residents, and protection of the environment,” the press release says.
The alliance strikes back: Citing unfair labor practices on the part of CSUs across the state, the California Alliance of Academic Student Employees/United Auto Workers (CAASE/UAW) announced that 6,000 academic student employees would strike at all 23 CSU campuses.
The strike is set to begin today (May 12), even though talks between the CAASE/UAW and the CSU are continuing.
“We are ready to do what it takes to hold the CSU accountable,” said Ryan Locklin, a teaching associate in Chico State’s Kinesiology Department, in a press release. “Their stalling and unlawful tactics have gone on too long.”
In the press release Rosalie Roberts, a graduate assistant in the Women’s Studies Department at San Diego State University, said she knows a strike will affect teaching and grading activities, but that bargaining with the CSU has proven unsuccessful.
“That’s why we feel we have no alternative but to strike at this time.”