Jessica comes to CALmatters from The Mercury News, where she worked as a one-woman Sacramento bureau covering politics and state government. She also investigated a Wall Street-traded online schools company that's reaping millions in state funding while failing thousands of California students. That work got the attention of California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who recently reached a $168.5 million settlement with the company over claims it manipulated attendance records and overstated its students’ success.
Before moving to California three years ago to follow Gov. Jerry Brown and the state Legislature, Jessica lived in her native New Jersey and wrote about state education policy and the Newark schools for The Star-Ledger. There she covered New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's war with the powerful teachers union, Mark Zuckerberg's $100 million gift to the Newark schools and a fiery community activist with political pull whose charter school used millions in public money to bolster a real estate fiefdom she controlled.