Another prominent education research and advocacy organization that disapproves of California’s approach to school accountability has ranked California’s new system at the bottom nationwide in a report released Tuesday.
The low score by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute reflects a core disagreement over how best to identify and work with schools needing help. California education leaders are unapologetic about the route they’ve chosen, and they say the Fordham analysis contains a key error.
Like Bellwether Education Partners, which harshly criticized the state’s approach in an August analysis, Washington, D.C.- and Ohio-based Fordham gives high grades to states that will rank schools with an A-F letter grade or a similar method that’s understandable at a glance. States will use rankings to select the lowest-performing schools, as required by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.
California’s public schools should be doing much more to prepare students who don’t go to college to enter the workforce, according to registered voters who responded to a Berkeley IGS/EdSource poll. But they are divided in their assessment of how well schools are doing in providing that preparation.
They also expressed strong support for community colleges and other institutions to offer more vocationally oriented apprenticeship programs that may not lead to a college degree but prepare students for specific jobs.
By the end of this month, CSU will drop math and English placement tests the system has been using for years and for the first time rely on multiple measures such as a student’s high school grade-point average, grades earned in math and English, and test scores on standardized tests like the SAT, ACT or Smarter Balanced assessments to determine whether incoming freshmen are placed in courses that include remedial work. . . .In fall 2018, CSU will also launch a new approach to teaching students who need extra academic help. Starting next fall, those students will enroll in credit-bearing classes while simultaneously receiving additional remedial support — a move aimed at allowing students to more quickly catch up on key math and English skills and avoid spending money and time on courses that don’t count toward their degrees. The “supportive course models,” as CSU is calling them, could include additional instruction, stretching one-semester courses over two terms, or “co-requisite classes” that pair remedial work with college-level content.
FOUND IN: Education
Rick Simpson didn’t write Proposition 98, the complex formula that determines how much money in the state budget goes to K-12 schools and community colleges each year. But for three decades after its inception in 1988, Simpson was an expert in its implementation as a senior adviser on education for eight Assembly Speakers. Now recently retired, he’s pitching a tax proposal that would liberate schools from Prop. 98’s constraints. He says the only realistic way for schools to raise significantly more revenue is to give districts more authority to tax themselves. It will take a constitutional amendment, which he hopes that either the Legislature or voters, through an initiative, will place on the 2020 ballot. At this point, though, it’s just talk. No leaders or groups have stepped forward to embrace it.
Before the budget change, a family of three that exceeded $3,518 in monthly income or $42,216 a year would no longer be eligible. This figure was calculated based on the current income limit for a family of three, which cannot exceed 70 percent of the 2005 state median income. The new state law still requires that a family’s income be 70 percent of the state median or less to be eligible for the subsidy. However, more families will be able to qualify, since the overall income limit will be higher when calculated using the most current state median income information. The new budget also states that families will be allowed “ongoing eligibility” as long as their income is not more than 85 percent of the state median income. This means families would not have to re-apply for services because of increases in income that didn’t exceed that level and more families will remain eligible.