A key date on the horizon: FEBRUARY 4TH - 1:30 pm at the Capitol.
Sen. President Pro Tem, Darryll Steinberg has set a hearing to consider the approval of Rae Belisle and Jorge Lopez for State Board of Education positions (appointed in March 2009 by Gov. Schwarzenegger). Most of the opposition focus has been on Belisle, but Lopez is on record as an opponent of bilingual education and multicultural education, and has trampled on parent rights in Oakland. His small charter school has shown impressive academic scores, but he openly employs intimidation and humiliation, and should not be a model for others.
See more: http://www.ibabuzz.com/education/2009/03/18/oakland-charter-academy-principal-named-to-state-board-of-education/
Blog of the Contra Costa Times;
Jorge Lopez, a former school dropout who directs the high-performing Oakland Charter Academy (shown here at his middle school in Fruitvale), has been appointed to the California Board of Education.
Lopez is not your typical educrat, if there is such a thing. He’s all about the hard work and humilation approach to schooling, a la Ben Chavis – at least, when it comes to educating poor kids. He says this method would never fly in a more affluent community, nor would it be necessary; in fact, he went the Montessori route for his own preschool-age children.
When I visited the charter academy last fall, Lopez readily acknowledged that the school played mind games with its students in order to motivate them – and that he imposed a daily detention quota on at least one of his teachers (A former teacher had told me that he sometimes had to arbitrarily pick on kids to meet his quota. Lopez confirmed it was true).
The Oakland Charter Academy is not for everyone, but the kids there do seem to be learning. A lot. The instruction is very math-focused, and includes extra class time (after school, summer, some Saturdays) for kids who need to catch up. I wrote about the school and its skeptics after it won a National Blue Ribbon award last fall from the U.S. Department of Education for its huge test score gains. (See story here.)