06/26/2022

News

Friends, Foes of Vergara Ruling File Briefs to Appeals Court

The most important step our schools can take to help close the achievement gap, ready our students for college, and prepare our students for work in the 21st century, is to ensure that all students have equal access to effective teachers. These statutes operate counter to that goal by elevating seniority over the ability to improve student achievement, and undermining our schools’ ability to impose quality controls on their staff. Such quality controls are necessary for ensuring that all students have equal access to the sorts of teachers that are capable of teaching the 21st century skills students deserve to learn and need to succeed.

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Amid Criticism, State Officials Restore Past Years’ Test Data

The California Department of Education on Friday began restoring historical test data that it deleted from the most accessible part of its website earlier this month, following criticism that it did so to discourage the public from making comparisons to the results of new tests aligned to the Common Core standards.

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Raising Graduation Bar Poses Challenge for School Districts

But like many of the other districts, Los Angeles Unified struggled to implement the new requirement. Officials said they miscalculated the large number of students who would have trouble with the college-prep coursework. The loss in state funding caused by the recession hampered other districts’ efforts to add intervention programs, making them reluctant to punish students who could not meet the tougher targets.

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Gov. Brown Calls for “Balanced” Approach to Testing and Accountability

As millions of California students tackle new assessments aligned with the Common Core, Gov. Jerry Brown in one of his more expansive comments on testing and measurements last week called for a “balanced” approach to testing, and expressed skepticism about pressures to hold schools more accountable for achieving results, and on students to show constant improvement.

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New Agency to Support Schools Still Taking Shape

The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence was created by Senate Bill 91, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law in July 2013 to help school districts carry out the state’s new school financing law and achieve the goals that districts outline in their Local Control and Accountability Plans.

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API Should be Replaced, State Committee Recommends

In January, the State Board of Education asked the accountability advisory committee to study whether a single index – the API – was the best measure of school performance or whether a broader system would be more effective. Such a system could include measures like absenteeism, suspension and expulsion rates, course-taking patterns, test scores, graduation rates and other factors to evaluate how well schools are serving students.

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State Pushing for Exemption from NCLB Test Score Requirement

For the second straight year, California will ask the federal government to exempt it from using scores on the new assessments that students will take this spring to measure progress in math and English language arts, a key requirement under the No Child Left Behind law.

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Brown, Districts at Odds Over School Construction Bonds

Determined to shed long-term state debt, Gov. Jerry Brown wants the state to cease issuing K-12 school construction bonds, leaving school districts to pay the tab for building and renovating schools. A coalition of school districts and the building industry has responded with plans to go straight to voters with a $9 billion state school building bond in 2016.

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State’s Largest Urban Districts Post Gains on National Assessment

Three of California’s largest school districts showed gains on a national assessment of urban districts that also singled out Los Angeles and Fresno Unified for special recognition from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

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California Students Among Worst Performers on National Assessment of Reading and Math

California students performed about the same in reading and math on this year’s National Assessment of Educational Progress as they did in 2011, ranking among the 10 lowest performing states in the country.

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Report: College Promise Bypassing Latinos

Latinos are the fastest growing population of the state’s students, but they have the lowest college graduation rates, according a new report by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Campaign for College Opportunity.

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Infusion of Money for Career Education in State Budget

Programs that prepare students for college and careers are about to get a jolt of one-time state money that supporters are counting on to lead to a permanent and sustainable expansion of programs.

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More Charters, Including Those in California, Outperform District Schools in Reading, Study Says

The nation’s charter schools, including those in California, have made “slow and steady” progress over the past four years, with students in nearly a quarter of charters now outperforming their traditional school peers in reading and, on average, catching up to them in math, a group of Stanford researchers reported. The study also found that charter schools excel in teaching poor minority students and English language learners.

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Nearly 8 In 10 Graduating From High School In California

California’s high school graduation rate is continuing to rise, especially among African American and Hispanic students, according to figures released Tuesday by the state Department of Education.

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Committee Wrestles With Incorporating Graduation Rate Into API

As part of a push to measure how well a school is educating its students based on more than just test scores, California for the first time is planning to factor graduation rates into the state’s main measure of a school’s academic achievement.

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