National PDK poll: Public wants schools to focus on career prep, personal skills

21 Nov
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public school building
While Americans still view traditional academic coursework as valuable, not everyone agrees that academic preparation should be the only priority of public schools, according to the 2017 Phi Delta Kappan (PDK) Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. Eighty-two percent of the adults surveyed believe that coursework related to job or career skills is important enough to merit spending less time in academic classes. The poll also found that 82 percent of the respondents want schools to focus...

Cyber thieves target school districts

15 Nov
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cybersecurity
Schools and districts are being advised to safeguard against cyberattacks. The latest threat is from cyber bandits threatening to release student records if schools do not pay a ransom to retrieve their records. In some cases threats of violence have also been used. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the FBI is investigating the scheme. The hacking targets schools with weak data security using malicious software or through phishing attacks against district staff or employees. Phishing involves using an...

Member Profile: Emily Murase

8 Nov
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Emily Murase
Each issue of California Schools Magazine features a short interview with a CSBA member. Below is an unabridged transcript of the Member Profile featured in the Fall 2017 issue — an interview with Emily Murase, Ph.D., a board member in the San Francisco Unified School District. How long have you been a school board member? I am currently finishing up my second term and intend to run for a third term in November 2018. I am a graduate of the San...

CSBA video and governance brief resources on CAASPP scores

3 Nov
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pencil
In September, the California Department of Education released the results of the 2016–17 Smarter Balanced English language arts/literacy and mathematics assessments. Compared to the previous year’s results, scores remained relatively flat across all grade levels and student groups, while troubling achievement gaps persist. To help board members make sense of the scores, CSBA has released a new video and governance brief focusing on the 2016–17 CAASPP scores. CSBA Education Insights Video Grappling with CAASPP: Strategies for board members   “Grappling...

Celebrating Filipino-Americans in California

30 Oct
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Filipino student
As Filipino-American History Month draws to a close, state schools and educators are encouraged to raise awareness of Filipino-American history. Filipinos are the largest Asian-American group in California and the second largest in the United States. About 1.3 percent or roughly 18,500 students in California’s public schools speak Tagalog —  a principal language of the Philippines. The state is also home to the only public school named for a Filipino-American in the U.S., Union City’s Itliong-Vera Cruz Middle School. Meanwhile...

New dyslexia guidelines available online

25 Oct
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dyslexia - student reading
The California Department of Education recently released the new “California Dyslexia Guidelines” online to help educators and parents recognize the signs of dyslexia and ensure that dyslexic students receive an equitable education. The new guidelines are a result of Assembly Bill 1369, a law which took effect Jan. 1, 2016. The bill required the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop program guidelines for dyslexia that would be accessible to regular education teachers, special education teachers and parents by the...

Instructional Quality Commission approves LGBT-Inclusive Textbooks

11 Oct
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LGBT Textbook
At its Sept. 28 meeting, the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC), an advisory body to the State Board of Education that makes recommendations about curriculum and instruction, approved 10 of 12 K-8 social studies textbook series containing material about the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals. High school materials will be considered for adoption next year. These newly approved textbooks are a next step in the implementation of Senate Bill 48, also known as the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive,...

Natural disaster resources for schools and districts

10 Oct
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wildfire
This week’s wildfires in Northern California and Southern California have left school districts and students in a state of emergency. These devastating fires have destroyed neighborhoods, forced many schools to remain closed, displaced families and students and are an ongoing concern. In response, state and local authorities are working to provide relief and public safety. At the state level, the California Department of Education has said it will help schools and districts recoup Average Daily Attendance funds. The CDE also said...

Latino Students in California: A Snapshot

4 Oct
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Latino student
Latinos are an important part of California’s cultural fabric and are central to the state’s future and economic prosperity. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, we are taking a look at some key demographic and achievement data for Latino students in California’s K-12 public schools. This information is also available in a printer-friendly fact sheet here. Latino Students’ Enrollment Over half of the 6.2 million students who attend California public schools...

Advanced Placement (AP) scores on the rise in California

27 Sep
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test answer sheet
Mirroring national trends, the number of California students taking college-level Advanced Placement exams has increased according to the California Department of Education. Equally significant, the CDE said the number of Latino and African-American students taking the tests has also increased. Along with the Scholastic Achievement Test, or SAT, the AP tests are commonly viewed as indicators of college readiness. Students typically prepare for the AP test by taking a related class during the school year then sit for the exam...