12/16/2018

News

Sac City Unified school district says it will be broke in November 2019

The Sacramento City Unified School District announced Wednesday it expects to run out of cash by November 2019 after months of financial crisis. In a statement sent to the community, the district said unless major savings are found, it will be unable to pay employees and make necessary purchases. The statement suggested that moving forward […]

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Time ripens for much-needed school data system

A prudent investor would never consider buying shares of a company and then ignoring how the firm is performing in the marketplace. By the same token, it would be foolhardy for the state to spend $70 billion each year to educate six million K-12 students but stubbornly refuse to monitor whether those kids are receiving […]

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Free community college could soon be a reality in California

Californians could soon get two years of community college for free, enough to earn an associate’s degree. In 2017, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the California College Promise, waiving the first year of community college tuition for full-time students. Assembly Bill 2, announced Tuesday, would add a second year to that program. “When […]

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More California kids would attend preschool under push in Legislature

Democrats return to the California Capitol on Monday with their strongest political advantage in decades poised to fulfill a huge item on their list of pent-up demands: Vastly expanded access to preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds. Their plan comes with a big price tag, a problem that has doomed past proposals, most recently with outgoing […]

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Stanford Studies and State Spending Issues

A Stanford University and Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) report entitled Getting Down to Facts II comes ten years after an initial look at California’s education system taking into account all the changes over the past decade. Most newsworthy out of the report was the finance item declaring the need for a 38% increase […]

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School budgets squeezed despite ‘extraordinary’ state surplus

In addition to his overall review of state finances, Taylor also issued a special report on K-12 schools and community colleges, which are dependent on the state budget, and it contained a not-so-rosy projection of their finances. Enrollment in both systems has been declining, thanks to interrelated demographic and economic factors, while their costs have […]

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The jobs are here, but where are the people?

The US manufacturing industry continues to gain momentum. Job openings have been growing at double-digit rates since mid-2017, and are nearing the historical peak recorded in 2001.1 In this dynamic manufacturing environment, Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute launched their fourth skills gap study, to reevaluate their prior projections and move the conversation forward on today’s […]

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Blue-collar jobs will survive the rise of artificial intelligence. But the work will change

Call it the automation paradox: The infusion of artificial intelligence, robotics and big data into the workplace is elevating the demand for people’s ingenuity, to reinvent a process or rapidly solve problems in an emergency. The new blue-collar labor force will need four “distinctively more human” core competencies for advanced production: complex reasoning, social and […]

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The Virtue of Apprenticeship

Commentators and political factions blame these labor market problems on everything from bad trade deals, to declines in manufacturing jobs, to corporate greed, to outsourcing, to an uncompetitive tax and regulatory environment, to lax immigration policy. But there is another contributing factor that receives less attention: the weaknesses of secondary, postsecondary, and job-training systems in […]

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Everything You Know About State Education Rankings Is Wrong

You probably think you know which states have the best and worst education systems in the country. If you regularly dip into rankings such as those published by U.S. News and World Report, you likely believe schools in the Northeast and Upper Midwest are thriving while schools in the Deep South lag. It’s an understandable […]

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California’s school ‘achievement gap’ proves persistent

Generally, California’s six million K-12 students are not doing very well academically, as comparisons with pupils in other states on standardized federal tests have shown, and that’s particularly true of poor and English-learner students. The study’s findings were underscored last week by the release of the state’s latest “Smarter Balanced” test results. Once again, they […]

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Sacramento schools’ money trouble just got worse: $48 million in cuts over two years

The Sacramento City Unified School District is even more in the red than previously thought: By 2020, the district will have a structural deficit of $48 million by 2020 if cuts aren’t made, a gap that’s almost $12 million more than announced in June, and $8 million more than the district’s most recent estimates. “It’s […]

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The case for spending 32 percent more on California schools

Two separate panels of experienced California teachers and administrators were given background information and three days together to help answer a longer version of this question: How much would it cost to provide all California students the academic knowledge, skills and opportunities they’ll need to successfully pursue their plans after high school and participate in […]

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California’s test scores are so stagnant, it could take a generation to close the achievement gap

For the second year in a row, California students’ test scores have inched up so slowly that, by some estimates, it could take a generation for disadvantaged students to close the achievement gap with their peers. That was the sobering assessment on Tuesday as the California Department of Education released the 2018 results of the […]

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Political expediency worsens long-term consequences

The Sacramento Unified School District offers us another example of how expediency can backfire. Late last year, the district’s teachers were threatening to strike for higher pay, and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg intervened, mediating a new contract that averted the strike and gave teachers an 11 percent raise. Later, it emerged that the money for […]

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