Issue: November 17, 2011

Greetings SN&R readers,

In this week's issue:

Jonathan Raymond, Sacramento's Superintendent of Schools, last year launched a plan to turn around the city's failing schools. He declared the seven with the worst test scores to be "priority schools" and set about reforming them, despite the controversy that attracts. Recently, he's announced the efforts to have been successful. But an SN&R investigation of the test data seems to indicate otherwise. Cosmo Garvin reports in this week's feature.

Also this week, Bites gets sport with this politics and explores the possibility of Sacramentans using the referendum process to vote on the proposed Sacramento Kings arena. In news, Hugh Biggar looks at drug testing at UC Davis and Sacramento State on the eve of the annual Aggies versus Hornets Causeway Classic. Also this week: beloved Midtown newsstand and shop Newsbeat says goodbye, Laura's Law fails to be implemented in most California counties, and Bill McKibben celebrates the green movement's XL win.

On the Arts&Culture front: Every Monday night, come rain or shine, a rotating cast of aspiring stand-up comedians descends on Po' Boyz Bar & Grill in Folsom to hone their craft in often soul-deadening conditions. The patrons range from indifferent to absent, leaving the comics in attendance to stare into the spotlight abyss saying funny things to a dwindling audience. So goes the local comic open-mic scene; Raheem Hosseini reports. Also this week: Josh Fernandez talks pipes and dreams with Arden Park Roots, and winter gets spelled with a "Y."