Mothers of the Desert Trails Parent Union stand inside their headquarters in Adelanto. They are the first in the country to successfully employ a so-called ‘parent trigger law’ to radically transform a failing public school. They voted to hand over control of the elementary school to a local charter school group, after 18 months of battling the Adelanto Elementary School District and its teachers. (Ana Tintocalis/KQED)

Between 30,000 – 40,000 people headed to Shattuck Avenue on Sunday for Berkeley’s first Sunday Streets event which saw 17 blocks, from Haste to Rose, closed to traffic and open to pretty much everything else. (Nancy Rubin/Berkeleyside)

Anna Lisa jumps into a Stanford campus fountain dyed red in preparation for the Stanford football game against California Berkeley. (Kristina Krohn / Peninsula Press)

Festival-goers look on as the “Picasso of Pumpkin Carvers,” Mike Valladao, shows off his handiwork at the 42nd Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival. (Caroline Davis / Peninsula Press)

On Saturday, the sixth annual Home Front Festival paid homage to the importance of World War II in the shaping and growth of Richmond. Rod Woods, Richmond Fire Fighter, spent hours helping kids like Jawanda DK Moore in and out of the big red fire truck. (Jennifer Baires / Richmond Confidential)

A homeless man amid his belongings in the alleyway where he lives in Berkeley. (Anna Vignet/San Francisco Public Press)

This photo is part of a photo essay on homelessness entitled “Architecture of Homelessness.” The photographer’s statement on the project is included below.

Initiatives to help San Francisco’s homeless find shelter, jobs or medical treatment remain controversial. One recent law, the “sit-lie” ordinance, made it illegal to sit or lie down on city sidewalks. Some homeless people say this law takes away their right to dwell freely — essentially the right to be alive. How does one build a place of one’s own in a city where other opportunities are not available? We all have the need to create a sense of home, even in extreme circumstances. In these photos, the lines between public and private, urban and domestic, blur. They reveal the architecture of homelessness, and contribute to the understanding of a displaced people who make their own spaces.




News Pix: Parent Trigger Law, Berkeley Sunday Streets, Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Carving Contest 19 October,2012Katrina Schwartz

  • Regarding the Desert Trails Elementary School parent trigger update: Actually, one faction of parents supported the parent trigger and another opposed it. So it’s inaccurate to portray the controversy as parents (implying that the parents are unified on this issue) vs. the school district and teachers. Reporting has consistently been inaccurate on this issue.

    It’s in dispute whether a majority of Desert Trails parents supported the parent trigger, as approximately 100 asked to withdraw their names from a petition that had been signed by a majority of Desert Trails parents. A judge ruled that parents who wanted to withdraw their names could not do so.

    It’s not in dispute that in a school of more than 600 students, 53 parents participated in voting on which charter operator should take over the school.

    Parent Revolution, the billionaire-funded, ALEC-linked operation behind the parent trigger, has claimed that the school district used a variety of ploys to discourage parents who were eligible to vote (only parents who had signed the original petition were eligible) from participating in the vote. Among the charges were that the school’s principal was discouraging voters by serving as crossing guard after school at a crosswalk near the voting site, though actually the principal serves as crossing guard at that crosswalk every day.

    This story consistently needs more objective, thorough and accurate reporting. Almost all of the reporting tells only one side of a story with two distinct sides.


Katrina Schwartz

Katrina Schwartz is a journalist based in San Francisco. She’s worked at KPCC public radio in LA and has reported on air and online for KQED since 2010. She’s a staff writer for KQED’s education blog MindShift.

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