Isn’t it ironic?
Almost no child left behind: Sacramento City Unified School District administrators recently chose to kick a few dozen disadvantaged students off the Hiram Johnson High School campus in order to hold an important public meeting. The topic: How to keep disadvantaged students in high school.
Throughout September, 88 Sacramento-area students were expecting to take the ACT test, a college preparatory exam equivalent to the SAT, on the Johnson campus, but a teacher forgot to fill out the right paperwork, according to Maria Lopez, spokeswoman for the district.
The paperwork was filled out, however, for a daylong conference on the same campus, on the same day, with the Coalition for African-American and Latino Academic Achievement, Now! The coalition’s motto is “Access + opportunity + equity = success.”
Access turned out to be the sticking point. A few days before the September 24 exam, someone noticed the double booking. Conference organizers were expecting a crowd, and since a campus full of education advocates probably would disrupt test-takers, administrators began pointing students to a new location, St. Francis High School.
Jean Crowder, director of the Math, Engineering, Science, Liberal Arts Honors Academy, had used a grant to pay the $43 fee for each of the economically disadvantaged students she’s tutored all summer in preparation for the exam. Crowder said that “up until late on the evening prior to the test, I was still taking telephone calls from anxious and angry parents.”
According to Lopez, only one student arrived at the wrong location on the morning of the exam. So, at least most of the students passed that test.
Arnold propositions reporters: It’s getting harder and harder in Sacramento these days to tell where governing ends and campaigning begins. The line between policy and campaign-season politicking got so blurry recently that dozens of daily-news regurgitators were, apparently, blinded to it. In a rare case of media accessibility, Schwarzenegger recently invited some print, radio and television reporters to “round table” style interviews. Several reporters at a time were able to meet with the guv for just a couple of questions. The interviews set off a flurry of “Schwarzenegger said” stories over the next few days.
But wait. Here comes the blurry.
Rob Stutzman, who left the governor’s office September 12 to begin working for the governor’s campaign, was put in charge of deciding who among the Capitol press corps got an interview (the Los Angeles Times and SN&R were snubbed). OK, so that’s a campaign thing.
But then an aide in the governor’s press office was put in charge of organizing the round tables. Now, that’s an official-state-business, taxpayer-funded governing thing. And the interviews took place in the governor’s office, including some in his cigar tent. Again, a governing thing.
But during some of the interviews, Schwarzenegger repeatedly pushed several propositions he had sponsored. Now we’re back to a campaigning thing.
The reporters, so thrilled for some face time with the man they are paid to write about, their senses dulled by a constant campaign season, neglected to point out that a line is supposed to be drawn somewhere in the political sand. It appears Bites is the only one even on the beach.
Recall recalled: Melanie Morgan is known in the talk-radio world as the “mother of the recall” because she was the first conservative talker to suggest that someone should attempt to recall then-Governor Gray Davis. She did that on the air on San Francisco’s KSFO 560 AM, where she co-hosts the 5 a.m.-9 a.m. morning talk program.
Last weekend, however, in a mass e-mail to her supporters, Morgan announced that the ABC-owned station had canned her at the end of her contract. She was not on the air Monday.
“I cannot help but think they decided to punish me for my continued conservative activism,” Morgan wrote.
Because Morgan is also chair of the pro-military, pro-John Bolton, pro-Gitmo, anti-Dick Durbin, anti- Cindy Sheehan, anti-Michael Moore conservative activist group Move America Forward. And she declared that, if her unemployment continued, she planned to devote herself more fully to that effort.
Alas, the station relented, apparently cowed by droves of Move America Forward callers and e-mailers (especially Sacramentans, Morgan noted), and she was back on the air after only a day’s absence.
So, depending upon which end of the political and conspiracy spectrums you twiddle thumbs on, her firing was either good news and then bad news, or bad news and then good news.