Report Card

News and discussion on K-12 schools in the greater Sacramento region

August 31, 2012
Twin Rivers to name interim superintendent Tuesday

Twin Rivers Unified officials aren't quite ready to announce the name of the new interim superintendent.

The Twin Rivers school board will announce their choice Tuesday at its regular meeting, according to a press release from the district.

The board interviewed candidates over two days this week but is still negotiating the salary and other areas of the contract.

Tuesday's board meeting will be at the Twin Rivers district office at 5115 Dudley Blvd. Closed session begins at 6:30 p.m. and public session begins at 7 p.m.

August 31, 2012
Sacramento-area students post gains on STAR tests

By Diana Lambert
and Phillip Reese

Test scores in the Sacramento region continued to climb again this year despite state budget cuts that resulted in larger class sizes, fewer teachers and reduced programs at most schools.

In the Standardized Testing and Reporting, or STAR test, schools in the Sacramento region showed marked improvement on benchmark English tests and slight improvement on benchmark math tests, according to a Bee review of state data released this morning.

About 60.2 percent of students in the four-county region scored at or above proficient on English tests, up from 57.8 percent in 2011. Statewide 57 percent of students scored at or above proficient.

August 30, 2012
Did The Bee get it wrong?

Twin Rivers Police Officers Association President Arlin Kocher said my story in today's paper mischaracterized what Officer William Cho said during Tuesday's school board meeting.

During Cho's speech to trustees, the past police union president said the Twin Rivers police department's leadership has created a hostile work environment and that morale has never been worse. Cho did not identify the top brass by name, but his comments were clearly directed toward Acting Police Chief Scott LaCosse and Lt. Mike Sales, who are both resigning.

Cho also said the department had a sterling reputation prior to LaCosse and Sales taking over. I took those comments to be a defense of the previous Twin Rivers administration, which was rebuked by the grand jury.

Kocher said the Police Officers Association is not aligned with Police Chief Christopher Breck, who has been on paid administrative leave since November.

"We fully support a new revised mission in line with the job we were hired to do," Kocher said.

I asked Cho for a copy of his speech on Tuesday night. He refused.

August 30, 2012
Twin Rivers could save $1M by dismantling police, chief says

Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel told KFBK today he has concerns about the future of the Twin Rivers Unified School District police force following the departure of its two highly regarded leaders.

Twin RIvers Acting Police Chief Scott LaCosse and Lt. Mike Sales submitted their resignation letters after a showdown on Tuesday with the district's school board over who ultimately makes school policing decisions -- elected trustees or the police leaders chosen to turn around the troubled force. That story is in today's paper.

In the KFBK interview, Braziel said Twin Rivers Unified could save $1 million by contracting with the Sacramento Police Department. Twin Rivers' police department has an annual operating budget of $3.7 million.

The Sacramento Police Department is investigating the Twin Rivers police force for criminal conduct, mismanagement and misconduct.

Braziel told KFBK that most school districts should not be in the policing business.
To listen to the KFBK interview, click here.

August 30, 2012
Mickey has become PC

Kindergarten teachers, asking their students to make a sound like a mouse, are startled when the kids raise their hands to their sides, press their index finger down twice and say "click, click," according to an administrator at San Juan Unified.

August 29, 2012
High number of black students called emotionally disturbed

State data shows that a much higher percentage of African American students are designated as emotionally disturbed than other students. I'm looking for African American families with students in this category for a story I'm working on. Contact me at (916) 321-1090.

August 29, 2012
Welcome to Report Card, focusing on Sacramento area schools

Welcome to The Sacramento Bee's new Report Card blog, a new and valuable resource for teachers, parents and students.

The Report Card has been a long time in the making and we're excited to offer something more to our readers. My colleague Melody Gutierrez and I will offer insight on issues in our schools, spotlight achievement, and share research and reports of interest.

We'll write about stories we are working on and invite you, our readers, to contribute. We want to hear your suggestions and are eager to receive your tips. Email us at and

About Report Card

Loretta KalbLoretta Kalb started her reporting career at The Sacramento Union, moved to KOVR-13 as a television reporter, editor and producer, headed to The Associated Press in San Francisco and eventually returned to Sacramento and joined The Sacramento Bee. Throughout her career, she has covered the state Legislature, courts, local government and, now, education. She is a Chico native and an Elk Grove resident.

Diana LambertDiana Lambert began her journalism career as a proofreader at the Lodi News-Sentinel. She is now a senior writer at The Sacramento Bee covering K-12 education and California State University, Sacramento. Previously she was The Bee’s Elk Grove bureau chief. Lambert was raised in a military family and lived at bases around the globe. She attended four high schools, graduating from Tokay High in Lodi and then Sacramento State University. She lives in Elk Grove.

(916) 321-1073
Twitter: @LorettaSacBee
(916) 321-1090
Twitter: @dianalambert

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