Education Feed

Age Well/Drive Smart: 10% off Car Insurance

News Story

Many, if not most, auto insurance companies offer a 10 percent discount on annual premiums for several years to motorists who take this state-approved Age Well/Drive Smart program. I went to the three-hour Daly City seminar in 2014 and continue to receive a 10 percent annual discount from Farmers Insurance because of it. (P.S. It's okay to sleep through the seminar.)

Alan Wald

F-35s or 20 Years' Free College Education

"Mind-blowing fact of the day: The total cost of the U.S. military’s F-35 program, $1.45 trillion, could provide free college education to every student in the U.S. for 20 years. Oh, and by the way, the program has been a total disaster. Nine years into development, the F-35 fighter jets (the most expensive American weapons ever built) are still not ready for combat, and their software is so flawed that they may never be ready. Great." (Sources: Military Times, Motherboard; cited in The Hustle online, April 28)

Survey: Safe Routes to School

All parents of schoolchildren in San Mateo County should fill out this survey on traffic safety funding:

Click for Survey


12. Do any of the following items concern or limit your child's ability to walk or bike to/from school?

13. Would you allow your child to walk/bike more often if this concern was addressed?

17. Is there anything you would like to change in the Safe Routes to School program at your school?

Coastside School District Test Scores Abysmally Low

According to the San Jose Mercury News, Pacifica school test results reveal that only 57 percent of Pacifica public school students met statewide standards in English. An even lower 50 percent passed the test in math. The new tests are based on Common Core State Standards. Low test scores also were reported at other Coastside school districts. Must be the salt air!

School Test Scores

Update: Is There a Picasso in Pacifica?

"If there is a Picasso in Pacifica, what is our responsibility to that kid?" asked S.F. school board member Rachel Norton in a front-page story in the San Francisco Chronicle, May 22. She was responding to a question about whether the school board should ban out-of-town kids from enrolling in the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts (SOTA), a high-demand public school in San Francisco.  (On May 26, the school board unanimously approved the ban.)

Oceana High School Parking Lot Lights Disturb Neighborhood

Oceana HS Lights
New lights (above) were installed in the upper parking lot at Oceana High School more than a month ago. I noticed them right away. They are too bright and absolutely way out of proportion for the neighborhood. The lights come on at 8:30 p.m. and go off at midnight, then come back on at 5 a.m. and go off an hour later. Jefferson Union High School District shows total disrespect for our neighborhood; the lights are invasive to the whole canyon area, ruining any enjoyment of the night sky in Pacifica, and actually serve no purpose, as the parking lot is seldom used after 9 p.m. Keeping the lights on actually will only attract people who have no business there. This is just real overkill on the school district's part. It needs to dim the lights and shield them to better direct the light to the parking lot instead of the entire canyon and homes in the vicinity; and especially, to turn them off at 9 p.m. I placed numerous calls to the school district and stated my complaint, but there has yet to be a response. The school district is on my list of most shameful!
Sylvia Payne

Help Keep City College Open (VIDEO)


Andrew Leone reports: "I was interviewed briefly on KPFA yesterday. They called me out of the blue. With no time to prepare, I tried to share some essential news. If you'd like to listen, the interview starts at about 02:38 on the media player (click link below):

The most essential points I can think of right now to tell folks:

1. City College is open and accredited, and it's time to register.
2. Class credits are transferable.
3. Quality of education is excellent and has never been an issue.
4. We are making good progress in reversing the unjust ruling by ACCJC.
5. If enrollment drops due to bad press and lies, classes will be lost for good.
6. We can win against the forces of austerity and save CCSF for the people.

Thank you for your support of City College!"

Opinion: SMCCD's Sustainability Initiative Is Pure Fiction

By Shawn Kann, Special to Riptide

San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) and sustainability? Fascinating. Sustainability of what?

Sustainably trying to destroy the historic half-century-old garden for a parking lot?

Sustainably removing more than 200 old-growth trees from the ridgeline and slopes of the College of San Mateo?

Sustainably chopping down additional mature trees to make way for a parking lot and an amphitheater with panoramic views of the bay after the recent court ruling, which stated that "SMCCCD failed to comply with CEQA when it failed to conduct mandated environmental review over 200 mature trees"?

Sustainably spending thousands of taxpayer dollars to fight two California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)-backed lawsuits filed by concerned community members and students? 

Sustainably spending millions of dollars in false
advertising about how much the district cares about the residents and doing the Right Thing? 

The only thing SMCCCD seems to be sustaining is the never-ending, relentless level of spending public money on artificial turf and private athletic-club locker rooms built relatively recently. 

SMCCCD's Sustainability Initiative is pure fiction.

Opinion: 20 Bucks to Swim at College of San Mateo Pool!

By Bill Collins, Riptide Correspondent

I was surprised when my swim coach told me that the College of San Mateo has a new Olympic-size swimming pool. Then he said it costs $20 per drop-in visit!

I searched the college's website, which says to call the private, for-profit company that manages the pool to find out the drop-in cost. I did find that college staff get free use of the pool, which may explain why it was built at district headquarters on the San Mateo campus instead of the other campuses (Skyline, Canada), which don't have swimming pools.

When the voters approved the prior college bond, the money was supposed to go for  "constructing and modernizing classrooms ... and the replacement of aging ventilation systems, removal of hazardous materials such as asbestos, and installation of alternative-energy programs."

The voters weren't told the college district was going to build a big swimming pool, much less charge us taxpayers who paid for it the highest per-visit charge in the state for any community college swimming pool.

The next time the college asks us to raise taxes for academics, its argument will be undermined by how it handled the new swimming pool, paid for by taxpayers but run like a private club for the moneyed and district staff.