The City of Sacramento announced a partnership with Berkeley SkyDeck, the startup accelerator program from the University of California (“UC”) Berkeley. Through this cooperation, SkyDeck will introduce seven startup companies to Sacramento to pursue investment and advancement opportunities.
SkyDeck will work with the Sacramento Urban Technology Lab (SUTL) to navigate the city’s business landscape, aiming to establish new, local, high-paying jobs.
When SUTL launched in 2018, it focused on developing, piloting, and growing technology in the city environment. According to the agreement, Berkeley SkyDeck will refer program alumni to the city at no cost. All of the founders of SkyDeck are alumni of one of the UC campuses. Startups accepted to the program go through a rigorous screening process.
1.4 million Californian English learner students will soon be getting language education supported by a recent federal settlement. The Department and Board of Education has consented to put in place additional training and monitoring procedures to ensure language services to the English Learner-students comply with what is required by the federal Equal Educational Opportunities Act.
Meanwhile a new way of judging school performance – moving away from the Academic Performance Index score that has been used until now – was approved by Californian state education leaders. This accountability system instead will look at schools on how English learners are progressing, what the graduation rates look like, how ready graduates are for college and/or careers and the level of suspension rates.
It was also reported at the end of August that those students from Sacramento made “modest progress” in both English and Math. According to Sacramento County schools superintendent, Dave Gordon, this new is “encouraging…We are making gains across the board and across our student subgroups. … I would say our districts and our teachers are making good progress in delivering a new curriculum and using a new assessment.”
Certainly, university is a place to learn things that will be applied to the real world. Rarely, however, do university students get to actively apply what they are learning in real time, while completing their course work. Academy of Art University students had this rare opportunity recently when they completed an assignment in their undergraduate architecture course with Professors Doron Serban and Sameena Sitabkhan. Every semester, they task their students with completing a public-private development. But this was the first time that they asked them to work on homeless shelters.
The first step was to interview homeless people in San Francisco and to learn about their needs. As Serban explained, “The premise to that was to design a portable sleeping unit for someone, specific to that person’s situation. We called it ‘improvised guerrilla sleeping units,’ and the idea behind that is it doesn’t have to be a city-mandated-type thing.”
From these experiences and many others, the students of the Academy of Art University pout together a public-private homeless shelter model. Most of the students who arrived to take the course thought they would be working on public schools and they were very surprised to learn that they would be working on a homeless project.
As Serban explained, “The first day of class, we asked, ‘Who walked by a homeless person today?’ Almost everyone raised their hand. And then we said, ‘OK, who looked at a homeless person?’ and only about half raised their hands. ‘Who said hi?’ No one. It’s been wonderful to see students wake up, in a way, to what’s going on around them.”
The Tenderloin Museum has housed the neighborhood models that the class built and should have them there for another week or two. The opening reception was on May 13th and the exhibit is entitled unSHELTERED.
Sacramento has a rich history of Gold Rush. And today, that history is being exhibited throughout the capital state. There are so many ways to learn about this. These include: the Old Sacramento State Historic Park, the State Indian Museum, Maidu Museum & Historic Site, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park, Sacramento Historic City Cemetery, California State Capitol Museum & Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park, Sacramento History Museum, Sojourner Truth African American Museum, the California Museum and the California Statewide Museum Collection Center.
Through these institutions, one can learn about those who perished, how Sacramento grew into the state it is today in its development of Central Valley, retrieve memories of history and understand who the state’s earliest residents were, and, perhaps most significantly, understand the way Sacramento has played such a key role in the growth and development of what comprises Northern California today.
Sacramento also marks the crossroads of Northern California and thus has a special affinity for the Wells Fargo History Museum, California State Railroad Museum, and more. The art arena is always growing, as can be seen through the Verge Center of Arts and the agricultural element of Sacramento is booming too. Every part of culture is represented in Sacramento. From its rich history to its adventurous present, Sacramento is a culturally booming place.