The City of Westminster is moving forward with plans to build a park and monument commemorating the landmark Mendez et al v. Westminster decision that scrapped the legal justifications for school segregation.
As reported in the Orange County Register, the Westminster City Council voted March 28 to approve a pocket park on the northeast corner of Westminster Boulevard and Olive Street. In November, the city also approved a bike path along Hoover Street to be known as the Mendez Historic Freedom Trail.
Last year marked the 70th anniversary of the historic Mendez decision, which declared separate schools for Mexican American students unlawful and laid the foundation for the Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954. Central to the case — and featured in this podcast produced by OCDE — was Sylvia Mendez, who as a third-grader was denied enrollment at Westminster’s 17th Street Elementary. Seven decades later, she lauded the council’s vote.
“My father fought hard for my rights to go to a good school,” she said, “and he would be so proud to know that Westminster City Council is fighting to preserve his legacy.”
And here are some other education stories from the week ending April 13.
- A head custodian, a cook, a school secretary, an instructional assistant, a transportation official and a prevention specialist were celebrated as Orange County’s top classified employees at this week’s county Board of Education meeting.
- A week after the state named 43 Orange County campuses as California Distinguished Schools, the OCDE Newsroom reached out to local districts and asked them about the signature practices that helped their schools win the awards.
- As part of Career Success Week, a group of students from OCDE’s alternative education program visited the nonprofit organization Working Wardrobes, which helped them pick out professional attire for future job interviews.
- Environmental learning experiences contribute to higher test scores and improved conduct, and they can help promote a more sustainable future, according to experts and educators speaking at a symposium in Orange County.
- California eighth-graders made strong gains in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which is given every two years by the National Center for Education Statistics. Fourth-grade scores in the U.S. and California remained flat, however.
- The three-day Imaginology learning festival, which kicks off today at the OC Fair & Events Center in Costa Mesa, is expected to draw some 40,000 families over the weekend. The event features hands-on STEM activities for kids, including workshops and competitions.
- Newport-Mesa Unified’s deputy superintendent and chief academic officer has been tapped to conduct a six-month review of the district’s safety procedures and policies. Russell Lee-Sung will visit campuses, meet with local stakeholders and provide updates to the school board.
- OC teachers can afford just 5 percent of homes on the market in the county, according to an analysis by real estate website Trulia. By comparison, 12 percent of listings in L.A. County and 48 percent of homes in Riverside and San Bernardino counties can be bought on a local teacher’s salary.
- Reading to children and playing with them from birth produces long-term social and emotional benefits, according to new research.
- The Orange County Register, in partnership with Orange County Music and Dance and OCDE, has announced semi-finalists for its Artist of the Year awards in the categories of film/animation, 2D visual arts and 3D visual arts.
- High school students from Santa Ana and Orange have earned honors in a state contest hosted by a group that assists young people pursuing teaching careers.
- OCDE and VSA Orange County are teaming up to celebrate the artistic achievements of individuals with disabilities. Hosted by MainPlace Mall, the 42nd annual VSA Festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 21.
- Following two years of deliberations, state education officials have finally agreed on a plan to satisfy the requirements of federal education legislation.
- A district-level review of Mariners Elementary’s 2016 Gold Ribbon application found some inaccuracies in the document but also concluded that some later concerns were unsubstantiated or embellished, the Daily Pilot reports.