Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
School board mulls University HS charter renewal
GV-Wire-1
By gvwire
Published 7 years ago on
October 27, 2016

Share

by David Taub

The future of University High School (UHS) hangs in the balance of the Fresno Unified School District (FUSD) Board. The school’s charter is up for renewal. The trustees heard nearly two hours of testimony at its meeting last night. They will make their final vote on November 9.

The award winning, music-themed school needs the board to grant it permission to operate by renewing the charter every five years. Students are determined by a lottery. Nearly 60% of the students come from outside the Fresno Unified boundary lines.

Dr. James Bushman, the Head of School, provided a 13-minute opening statement extolling the virtues of University. He was followed by 20 of speakers, parents and current students, in support of the work UHS has done.

Trustee Cal Johnson at the FUSD board meeting October 26, 2016.
Trustee Cal Johnson at the FUSD board meeting October 26, 2016.

Trustee Cal Johnson, expressed reservations based on the lack of black students on campus. “I don’t see color, and that’s a problem; and when I don’t see me, after six years ago that I come out and visit and I told you I don’t see myself. So, there is no point in me coming out there.” Johnson is the school board’s lone black member.

Bushman replied that while numbers were low when he arrived at the school in 2006, things have improved and there is always room to be better. He said the racial breakdown approximates to 35% white, 35% Asian, 27% Hispanic and 3% black.

Another issue was an ACLU report this past summer criticizing UHS and other state charter schools over too stringent admission standards in violation of state law. Bushman addressed a question from Trustee Valerie Davis, saying UHS removed an Algebra prerequisite, which satisfied ACLU’s objections. ACLU has since removed UHS from its list.

Brooke Ashjian then waxed philosophic. “Why are you guys even here? Top 50 in the nation. Why is this even a discussion? This makes no sense to me,” the trustee said to thunderous applause. “I would hope we could be able to emulate some of the things you guys have done that has raised Fresno Unified from the bottom to where we need to go.”

Access to UHS was a concern brought up by trustee Christopher De La Cerda. “There is a concerning gap in the diversity of the school,” De La Cerda said. He brought up racial statistics as well as socioeconomic and English learner numbers. He also showed concern about one of UHS’ unique admission criteria- a musical background.

Other issues addressed included transportation, recruiting from other FUSD schools and the school’s finances. Trustees Carol Mills, Janet Ryan and Luis Chavez expressed support for UHS.

A Fresno Unified official tells GV Wire that administration has questions about the lack of students of color and special education students. If those issues can be addressed, Superintendent Michael Hanson could support re-chartering of UHS.

Watch the board meeting:

(Part 1 starts around 1:44:00)

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

DON'T MISS

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

DON'T MISS

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

DON'T MISS

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

DON'T MISS

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

DON'T MISS

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

DON'T MISS

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

DON'T MISS

Dr. Green Thumb’s Is Open. Sweet Flower Debuts Saturday in Fresno Cannabis Rollout.

DON'T MISS

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

DON'T MISS

Community Leaders Call for Transparency in Fresno Superintendent Search

UP NEXT

From Tragedy to Triumph: The Land Before Time Litter’s Journey

UP NEXT

Fresno Monopoly is Coming. You Have a Chance to Make It Your Own.

UP NEXT

After Fong Ruling, a ‘Bitter Pill to Swallow’ for US Senate Losers Katie Porter & Barbara Lee?

UP NEXT

Fresno’s ‘Rods on the Bluff’ Is Driven by Friendship, Creativity, and Achievement

UP NEXT

This Chill Tabby Cat Loves Hanging Out With People. Is He Your ‘Purrfect’ Match?

UP NEXT

Legendary Comedians Seinfeld and Carolla Lead Fresno Entertainment Lineup

UP NEXT

Fresno’s Marjaree Mason Center Secures $850K Federal Funding Boost for New Resource Center

UP NEXT

Pistachio Growers Banking on World Famous Chef to Grow Their Markets

UP NEXT

Fast Food Wage Hike Impacts Fresno Restaurateurs of All Menu Types and Sizes

UP NEXT

Appeal Court Rules Fong Can Stay on CA-20 Congressional Ballot

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

3 hours ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

15 hours ago

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

16 hours ago

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

17 hours ago

Dr. Green Thumb’s Is Open. Sweet Flower Debuts Saturday in Fresno Cannabis Rollout.

17 hours ago

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

18 hours ago

Community Leaders Call for Transparency in Fresno Superintendent Search

18 hours ago

Israeli Settlers Rampage Through a West Bank Village, Killing 1 Palestinian and Wounding 25

20 hours ago

US Intelligence Finding Shows China Surging Equipment Sales to Russia to Help War Effort in Ukraine

20 hours ago

From Tragedy to Triumph: The Land Before Time Litter’s Journey

22 hours ago

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

When Sacramento changed its plan to demolish a homeless encampment on a vacant lot on Colfax Street, instead offering the homeless occupants...

1 hour ago

1 hour ago

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

2 hours ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

3 hours ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

3 hours ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

15 hours ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

16 hours ago

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

17 hours ago

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

17 hours ago

Dr. Green Thumb’s Is Open. Sweet Flower Debuts Saturday in Fresno Cannabis Rollout.

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend