tv NBC Bay Area News Special NBC October 27, 2014 12:00am-12:31am PDT
>> class action. new questions about public safety in california schools two months after the earthquake in napa valley. >> we were so lucky this happened at 3:00 in the morning on a sunday. >> expanding ethnic studies in south san francisco. >> you figure out that not everybody is the same. >> we really don't care of your ethnic background. >> the president of u.c. reflects on her first year on the job. >> the breadth and depth of the university of california is almost impossible to comprehend until you are sitting in a chair
like mine. >> janet napolitano dresses the controversy over record numbers of out of space students. >> we don't actually have a policy. we don't have a cap. >> latino wroe kindergarteners, they often around at school behind their peers academically. >> the surprising finding is -- >> research is shedding new light on latinos little known strengths. stwloo that just tells us that things are changing. >> now here's nbc bay area's jessica agirri. >> welcome to our class action news special. >> tonight we'll bring you some of our best daegs stories, and we begin with school safety. an increasing concern about earthquake readiness in the classroom. it has been two months sense the 6.0 magnitude quake struck napa jolting people away awake in the middle of the night. as we all know, there was significant damage, but what would have happened if the earthquake had hit during the day when school was in session? inspectors span out to assess the damage in napa schools soon after the quake, and what they
found should give all administrators and parents cause for concern. >> i know it's very scary, okay, but i need you to take -- >> i'm really scared. >> i know. i know. >> reporter: live and land mashes were forever altered. >> it seems like an earthquake. our power went out. i just need somebody to come here. >> the city of napa fires erupted, streets buckled, and downtown crumbled. >> the lights are completely off, and i was swoex woken up. >> we had an earthquake. is anyone injured there? >> but just a mile away the historic napa high school sustained no structural damage. even though it was built in the 1920s. it turns out despite the earth roaring none of the 35 schools suffered any structural damage. >> that's the real testament to how well schools are built. >> what was dramatic and hard to
see was what happened inside the classrooms. >> these still photos taken inside napa valley schools showed debris littered across the classroom floor. clean-up to be sure, and also some experts say an alarming indicate or of troubling problems. overheadlights fell to the floor. >> they were not built the way that they were designed. >> book shelves toppled and blocked exits. >> you want to leave quickly and suddenly a book case falls and blocks the exit. >> a file cabinet lungs forward. >> it's telling. pretty dramatic. >> mark is an architect who works with the napa valley unified school district. he was one of nine inspectors who walked through schools after the earthquake. >> we have book cases, teacher cabinets, upper cabinets. we saw a number of those that fell off because they weren't at all properly braced to the wall. in some cases they would have fallen and injured a student. >> at vista elementary school the biggest danger came from above.
>> when i walked into the first couple of classrooms, i realized that what we had was a complete failure with the suspension system of the light fixtures themselves. >> the lights in 13 classrooms have been removed for safety. wires still hang from the ceilings. before four weeks after the quake, only windows provide light for learning. >> another room -- >> one sempl truth remains. >> we are so lucky this happened at 3:00 in the morning on a sunday. let's not lose a gift that that's given us.
>> very lucky. napa valley unified has begun replacing fallen lights, and they're considering putting in place -- or blocking the way out. nap wra is taking steps to make classrooms safer. the photos you just saw raise a question. xwhpz what happens when the next quake hits somewhere else. >> some things you should know and what are to be considered nonstructural earthquakes happen in california classrooms. let's talk about these. we're talking about cabinets. less than six feet tall. back into the classroom. they canically they don't have to be bolted. the state recommends they should be secure, but it is not required. >> it could fall and block the way out. >> now the november election is right around the corner, and the race for state superintendent of public construction has emerged as one of the tightest races on that ballot.
tom, you know that face, is the incumbent. he is the democrat. he is a former teach frer the east bay and a former legislator. er lickson has the backing of the powerful teachers wrun and favors protecting teachers tenure. perhaps the most hot button issue in this race. his opponent, though, proposes hanging teacher tenure. he is also a democrat, though, and the burlingame native is an unknown. recently a handful of hollywood celebrities too. >> marm tuck. i got to tell you, i like this guy tim, your opponent. >> name is tom. >> tom. >> now, advertisements like this one show how unusual the normal race for state school chief is shaping up to be. we're talking about two candidates from the same party, but very different views on what is best for california schools. by the way, the election is november 4th. a follow-up to a story we've been covering on class action. we first introduce you to a bay
area dad at the forefront of a movement to keep students' private information private. lots of kids use educational technology, and as this dad pointed out, sometimes information actually ends up in the hands of outside companies. >> my first reaction was, like, wow. i can't believe that i'm protecting this. >> tony porterfield is a concerned dad, and he is also a sophomore engineer. he took a good look at educational technology companies used and was alarmed at the amount of unsecured information collected about kids. his, yours, mean. >> names, e-mail addresses. at least when i looked at the geolocation information from the profile photo. if that happens to be on the picture, and someone gets ahold of it, they might know where the kid lives. >> porterfield took his concerns public and wound up in the "new
york times". he says he wants better privacy protection for students and a guarantee that data is used for academics, not advertising. >> as a parent i don't want my 6-year-old to have a marketing profile. >> while apparently legislators were listening, california now has a new law that limits how technology companies can use the data. students who use their services. so put one in the win column for privacy advocates for kids. >> coming up, the president of the ten campus uc system sounds off on the higher cost of education. >> first of all, it's not as expensive as you think. >> fact, fiction, and the price of a college education. the university of california janet napolitano. >> there is an infrastushgt opportunity. a strong health care system, an economy that's built around well-paying jobs. >> a democratic party in a key
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welcome back to the class action news special. it's been just over a year since the university of california hired a high profile news chief janet napolitano. she's in charnl of all ten u.c. campuses ma make up one of the most highly regarded public systems in the world. i sat down with napolitano that talk her first year on the job. >> as an outsider coming in, the breadth and depth of the university of california is almost impossible to xlend comprehend until you are sitting in a chair like mine. >> janet napolitano says her role at the university of california is like being a ceo. it's a swrob that requires hard choices. like the decision by region i wants to emit a record number of out of state students. >> i heard a figure somewhere that for each international
student or out of state student they pay for themselves and they pay for another student to come to california. is that factual? >> that's pretty much how it works. >> there is a perception, though, and i want you to clarify this for that because -- >> one of those kids from out of town are from an international place. >> that is a misperception. >> what happens to the increase in the number of international students, napolitano inses that californians are not losing coveted spots. even though she believes it is time to reexamine how to stage enrollment. >> we don't have a policy. we don't have a cap. we don't have anything like that. it's become such a sensitive issue that i think we need some rules of the road moving forward. >> another sensitive issue. a ban of affirmative action. put in place by voters in 1996.
which resulted in admissions dropping for african-americans and latino wroes and top tier campuses. napolitano has pledged to increase enrollment for low income and under represented students. the university cannot consider race or ethnicity. >> we educate, for example, half the -- they're going to come out of the university of california and, yet, with the ban of being able to take any's or ethnim nift into account, we find it very difficult to maintain as diverse a student body as we would like. that's a concern. >> in a freshman year napolitano spearheaded several new initiatives, including a venture capital fund with up to $250 million to invest in companies that come out of u.c. >> obviously the goal is to raise money for the school. >> no, obviously the goal is to support the research in our university. >> napolitano says the new venture fund is a way to invest in u.c.'s own.
>> ten years from now we've pencilled in some revenue. that's a good thing. >> all right. explain in lay men's terms to parents that want to know where does it cost so much to go to college these days? where is the big expense in the university? >> i think several reasons. first of all, it's not as expensive as you think. this is where we get to -- i call it the sticker price, and it's the whole sticker price. >> most u.c. students, according to napolitano, graduate with no debt, and among those that do have debt, it's less than $20,000. >> that's an investment, and, you know, that's not even -- that's a car. think about it in terms like that. >> it will pay itself off and off and off. napolitano will continue to fight for at the state capital. >> it remains and is sacramento
and the budget. i just know it. you'll see it. we're going to keep working. >> a very public nudge from the governor to make a bigger commitment to the u.c. system. now, tuition has been frozen for three years now, so we ask president napolitano is a tuition increase is on the horizon, and she says that without a significantly bigger financial pot from the state, it will be difficult to maintain that tuition freeze. well, colleges across california offer classes and majors in ethnic studies. in fact, ethnic studies has been around for four years, and the bay area is its birthplace. yet, you won't find many ethnic studies classes in bay area high schools. one high school, though, is trying to hang that. not everyone supports that move. >> class is just getting started in south san francisco high school. >> everyone brought this, yeah? >> yeah. >> mr. la cruz's students are learning about ethnic studies.
today they're sharing a tree of life. >> the roots are like the values. the limbs are like family or love or hope. >> they also write about topics like race, violence, and sexuality. >> it kind of gets you lowers and, like, to know more about the people around you. you figure out that not everybody is the same. >> and that's the crux of this class. >> the idea everyone is not the same. ethnic studies is a smes ebbing-long examination of identity. >> if you are an immigrant, is it hard to come here right away? yes? maybe? >> mr. de la cruz talks about the challenges facing immigrants. >> racism, language barriers, learning the culture, being away from who? your family. right? >> i prefer to consider all americans. >> the president of the conservative form of silicon valley opposes ethnic studies because he says it draws
attention to ethnic identity. >> our nation is founded on principles of freedom, individual liberty, and we are a meritorious societied. we don't care your social background. we want to know what can you do for owes society at large? >> the opposition to ethnuclear studies is not unique. >> let's do this. united. >> we'll never be divided. >> in tucson mexican-american studies was banned in 2011 amid vocal protest by high school seniors. >> while the classes in south san francisco haven't generated heated debate here, the students and teachers know they're on the frontline. >> every human being knows how to adapt, right? that's part of being a human. >> ethnic studies in south san francisco is an elective, but there is a school in southern california that will soon require ethnic constituted wriz for graduation, and there has
been several efforts in sacrament wroe to look at a statewide ethnic studies curriculum, but they haven't gotten very far. >> well, coming up next on class action, the social set. kindergarten in full swing, and while teachers are ready to tackle the achievement gap, research shows that latino kids are ready to learn.
welcome back. it's well documented that latino kids often arrive in kindergarten behind their peers in english and other subjects too. it's a disadvantage that can persist for wreerz to come. it turns out that even at a very early age latino students have skills that are often overlooked and that could help them catch up. >> in five seconds everyone should be ready. >> in many ways kindergarten at this elementally school is a reflection of the shifting demographics of california. more than half of the students
at this school and statewide are latinos. latino wroe students have historically led behind their peers. but research is shedding new light on a little known strength. >> the common perception about language delays, lower english proficiency, some at lower kog nettive skills, problem solving skills, that's all true. that's born out in our findings. >> i need your magazines to be closed up. it's okay that the pages are torn. we're going to use them again another day. >> that doesn't track against their social skills. >> clear. >> on your table. see the pile that leslie is making? >> they have strong socialing and emotional skills. >> you're going to move to the next station. on your mark. >> they show from kindergarten mature. they respect their teachers.
they're ready to share. >> i need a one. >> and to learn. >> what comes after four? >> five. >> what we're realizing now is as i talk to my kindergarten teachers is that when looking even at the classrooms that we have here, most classes, the kids that were really ready socially were our latino families and children. that just tells us that things are changing. >> the principle says latino families increasingly take advantage of education opportunities before age 5. that includes three transitional kindergarten. >> we thought it would be hard for him. no. very happy. he wants to come every day. >> rebecca says her daughter went to a year of preschool, and she says it really helps a lot. she says she and her husband are committed to helping with homework at home. introo it's that environment at home that may be having the biggest impact at school. >> it's a shift, and it's
extremely important for us to look at it differently and to have a different attitude about how we embrace the latino families when they come to -- >> my research shows that latino children may be hesitant to speak up in class, and it's important to recognize that a quieter, shy latino child is not necessarily any less intelligent. it may be a cultural difference. back with more in a moment. my grandson's got this
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now to a soft spoken congressman from texas with strong bay area ties. his name is juaquin castro. he and his twin brother are rising stars in the democratic party, and some say a mrep political counter weight to prominent republican latinos. >> juaquin is no stranger to san francisco. he often visited the city by the bay when he was a student. back then, though, he was low key and personal. today they are high-powered and
political. with the likes of democratic heavy hitters and house minority leader nancy pelosi. >> we talked about things of value that i think have made us great whether in california or texas. freedom, democracy, and then opportunity which i think is really at stake in the coming years. >> those coming years have castro in the bay area raising money for his re-election campaign to congress. he is also here spreading his message on immigration and education, and how the two key to the success of latino wroes living in america. >> my -- my grandmother came here almost 100 years ago now as a orphan and never made it past the fourth grade. because she never hey formal education, she works with a baby-sitter and a cook her entire life, but my mom was able to be -- my brother and i were blessed to go on to stanford here and then a law school and go back home and become public
servants. >> lowsing the achievement gap for creating what he calls an infrastructure of opportunity has been castro's calling card. >> in america mrs. an infrastructure of opportunity. a strong health care system. an economy that's built around well-paying jobs. it allows people to fwet to where they want to go in life. >> castro is sharing his emerging lookout with his already politically entrerchged identical twin brother julian. he was a former mayor and the first latino wroe to give a keynote address at a democratic national convention, and in july he was named second of housing in urban development. >> a lot easier to work with him. >> a cabinet level appointment that has rumors swirling of the first of its kind clinton castro ticket in 2016. >> i see my brother would be great at whatever he does. he is sharp. he is compassionate. he is completely dedicated to public service. >> juaquin castro has endorsed
welcome to on the money. oil, europe and earnings worries. they are so last week. why the market had two of the best days and where we go from here. he's not a typical billionaire. the man that wants to save his town. >> the city is coming out of bankruptcy. there's a bullish season. how to find bargains, where to find them and whether oil prices will matter if you fly. are they a great retirement tool or something to stay away from? we have the school scoop on annuities. "on the money" starts right now. >>. >> here's a look at what is