WatchSonoma Watch
Overflow Santa Rosa crowd divided over adding gun controls

Madeleine Melo of Fort Bragg, widow of the North Coast’s most prominent recent victim of gun violence, spoke out Thursday night in defense of gun ownership at a public forum convened by Rep. Mike Thompson.

State court upholds abolishing redevelopment agencies

Officials in Sonoma County struggled Thursday to gauge the local impact of a state Supreme Court ruling that upheld the state’s elimination of redevelopment agencies. Uncertainty remained about the ruling’s implications, especially to redevelopment projects already under way.

Agencies in county brace for big cuts

Agencies across Sonoma County were scrambling Tuesday to determine the impact of the $1 billion in statewide cuts Gov. Jerry Brown announced as part of his latest bid to balance the state’s budget. The range of public services affected includes programs for the ailing and developmentally disabled, fees charged to the county for housing violent juvenile offenders and support for higher education.

Sonoma schools to review election system

The Sonoma Valley Unified School District is looking at its election practices after being alerted by Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools Steve Herrington that its current hybrid practice might not meet Voting Rights Act standards. “The biggest thing is we want to be sure that we do have representation from the voting population here in Sonoma and that the minority voice is being accounted for and addressed,” Superintendent Louann Carlomagno said.

‘No Child Left Behind’ changes draw local skeptics

Local educators are casting a wary eye on the Obama administration’s recent offer to release states from some of the most stringent aspects of the federal No Child Left Behind law in exchange for taking on a new set of regulations. Obama’s Race to the Top initiative would make test scores a component of teacher and administrator evaluations, while imposing standards meant to better prepare students for college and careers.

Educators say test system is broken

Sonoma County schools continue to outpace their peers statewide academically, yet a record number of schools and districts in the county have failed to meet federal benchmarks laid out in the No Child Left Behind law. Educators say the goals are arbitrary and unrealistic.

GOLIS: For schools, hard times continue

As summer winds down, 71,000 local students are returning to the classroom. If you don’t care about their success, you should. As legions of local baby boomers count the days until retirement, the success of these kids will go a long way toward determining the quality of life in Sonoma County.

State schools chief lashes out at No Child Left Behind law

A state official says California’s schools need relief from “inappropriate labels and ineffective interventions” that result from the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Reshaping Sonoma County schools

When nearly 71,000 public school students return to classrooms across Sonoma County this week and next, the scene won’t seem dramatically different than when they left in the spring. But look back as few as four years ago and the reshaping of the public school system comes into focus. Years of declining enrollment, recurring state funding crises, a growth of charter schools and decline of private schools have combined to alter the education landscape.

State extends deadline for students to get vaccinations

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed into law a bill that allows seventh- through twelfth-graders 30 days after the start of school to show proof of a current pertussis, or whooping cough, vaccination. Without the extension, students would have been barred from school and school-related activities without proof of the shot.

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