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.
Three recent and seemingly discrete events neatly frame California’s political and legal war over whether the state’s six million K-12 students are being adequately educated.
The conflict pits the state’s education establishment against a coalition of civil rights groups, education reformers and charter school advocates over the “achievement gap” that separates poor children, particularly Latinos and African-Americans, from more privileged white and Asian students.
The battle has been waged in the Legislature, before the state school board and local boards and quite often in the legal arena.
he Sacramento City Unified School District and the teachers union have reached an agreement on a new contract that gives teachers up to an 11 percent raise over the three-year contract and averts a strike for the 43,000-student district. . . . The new deal will give teachers a 2.5 percent raise retroactive to July 1, 2016 and another 2.5 percent raise retroactive to July 1 of this year. A third 2.5 percent raise will be given July 1, 2018.
The contract includes another 3.5 percent adjustment to the teacher salary schedule that will take effect in the third year of the contract, starting July 1, 2018.
As CalSTRS rates are more than doubling, squeezing school budgets, an inflation-protection account that keeps teacher pensions from dropping below 85 percent of their original purchasing power has a large and growing excess of funding, $5.6 billion last year.
Double-digit salary increases for San Francisco educators proposed under contract terms agreed to over the weekend are among the highest being offered in the state, union and school district officials said a day after the two sides signed off on a tentative agreement. If approved by the 6,200 members of the United Educators of San Francisco, the city’s school workforce of teachers, early childhood educators, librarians, nurses, classroom assistants and social workers would receive an 11 percent raise over three years, in addition to annual bonuses. The overall compensation package would grow to 16 percent pending passage of a parcel tax that many city leaders hope to place on the ballot next year.