Harry “Doc” Ervin named superintendent of Bakersfield schools

By: | April 8, 2016

Harry “Doc” Ervin is the new superintendent for Bakersfield City School District, the largest elementary school district in California, effective July 1.

Ervin, who is fluent in Spanish and is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, has served in education for more than two decades as a classroom teacher and principal. He is currently superintendent of the Greenfield Union School District in South Bakersfield, where he reduced truancy rates.

For six years, he was assistant superintendent of the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, where he established initiatives that boosted Academic Performance Index scores.

Idaho Governor Butch Otter signed state House Bill 514 into law in late March, creating the new Office of School Safety and Security. The office will assess security threats and vulnerabilities, provide school staff safety training and create a central repository of best practices in regard to public school security and safety.

“This legislation helps ensure all of our school facilities and the students in them are safe,” Otter said in a statement released after signing the law.

Alycia Meriweather is the new interim superintendent of Detroit Public Schools, having been named to the position in March after previously serving as executive director for the curriculum office.

Raised in the district and a 1991 graduate of Renaissance High School, the former middle school science teacher now oversees a financially challenged system that has recently endured teacher sick-outs and shortages, as well as multiple state-appointed emergency managers. She intends to return the district to local control, and to focus on early literacy and college and career readiness.

Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo launched the Computer Science for Rhode Island (CS4RI) initiative with a goal of having a computer science curriculum in every K12 school in the state by December 2017.

“Part of turning our economy around and creating jobs is making sure every student, at every level, has access to the new basic skill: computer science,” Raimondo said in a statement. Only 1 percent of state public high school students are enrolled in computer science courses now.

Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, was awarded the Harold W. McGraw Prize in Education, which honors individuals who have improved education through new approaches. Since taking over the nation’s fourth-largest school district in 2008, Carvalho has raised graduation rates 15 percent, balanced a $4.8 billion budget, and helped right nine failing high schools.

He also has narrowed the district’s achievement gap through initiatives like iPrep Academy, a high-performing, innovative tech-centric magnet high school.

New York City Council Member Julissa Ferras-Copeland is spearheading an initiative to make free feminine hygiene products available in city public schools. The former director of a beacon school-based community center program, the councilwoman’s initial pilot program has installed hygiene-product dispensers in 25 middle and high schools in Queens and the Bronx.

“Feminine hygiene products are as essential as toilet paper, helping women prevent health risks and fulfill their daily activities uninterrupted by nature,” Ferras-Copeland said in a statement.