Letter To NSBA On Importance Of Transgender Rights

14 Oct
by Chris Ungar As the home to more than 6 million public school students — by far the nation’s largest contingent — it’s natural that California assume a leadership position on issues of great importance to public education. Our equity focus is reflected in our desire to improve conditions and outcomes for all students, regardless of their background. Much work remains in this area, but in many ways, California is setting the standard for the nation. In 2013, California passed...

A Conversation with CSBA President Chris Ungar on the Charter School Task Force

27 Sep
By Gayle Romasanta Staff writer for CSBA Why did you think it was important to create the Charter Schools Task Force? Chris Ungar: Several years ago the CSBA Delegate Assembly Region 1 Director Bob Berkowitz and had a conversation about charter schools. He owned radio stations in Humboldt and Del Norte counties. He related his experience during the rise of FM radio, which was dismissed by many in the 1960s as a passing fad … radio folks never believed that...

Food for Thought: September is National Food Safety Month

20 Sep
by Mary Ellen Taylor Packing lunches?  Preparing snacks for when kids get home?  Here are some things to be aware of during September – National Food Safety Month.. Hepatitis A in frozen strawberries, pathogenic E. coli in flour and Listeria in frozen vegetables, – even Salmonella in peanut butter – these foodborne outbreaks have led to hundreds and hundreds of illnesses.  The American food supply is among the safest in the world, but according to CDC there are ~48 million...

Changing the Story of Summer

16 Sep
by Michael Funk Which sounds more appealing to you for a summer activity: sitting in a stuffy school classroom doing remedial work, or hopping on a bus with your friends to go chase minnows in a nearby river? The traditional paradigm for summer learning has been the former, and it’s felt like a punishment. At the California Department of Education, we’re working to change that paradigm and write a new narrative about a summer that is as engaging as it...

Charter School Law Can Lead To Lack Of Oversight

9 Sep
by Chris Ungar In early August, I had the opportunity to testify before the State Senate Education Committee on an issue of grave importance to CSBA and to the future of public education in California — the oversight of charter schools. Many of you know that this topic has been a point of emphasis during my presidency. I joined with other officials from schools districts and county offices of education, as well as charter school leaders, in addressing the lack...

Finding meaning in California’s constitutional guarantee of education

5 Aug
by Keith Bray All children can succeed, but not all children have equal opportunity to do so. A child’s background and social station continue to play an inordinate role in his or her scholastic outcomes, both in California and across the nation. Schools, given the right circumstances, have the ability to disrupt this pattern of inequality, but may only do so if they are adequately and equitably resourced. In Robles-Wong v. California,(2016) 246 Cal. App. 4th 896, the California School...

The echo of Mendez v. Westminster 70 years later

28 Jul
by Vernon M. Billy In May, Sylvia Mendez captivated CSBA’s Delegate Assembly with her recollection of the historic case in which she and her parents, Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez, fought to desegregate California schools. The heartfelt presentation brought to life the intensity, emotions and history of one of the most important education and civil rights cases of the last 70 years. Prominent civil rights activist Robert L. Carter once described the history-altering civil rights case of Mendez v. Westminster as...

A Stroll Down Memory Lane And A Glimpse Of The Future

22 Jul
by Chris Ungar They say you can’t go home again. That’s not exactly true. You can return home, just be prepared for a lot of change. That’s what I found when I journeyed south to my childhood stomping grounds in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The setting was familiar, but the level of innovation I saw when I toured my alma maters, Wright Middle School and Westchester High, and Shenandoah Street Elementary, where my wife attended, was entirely new....

School officials and equity groups team up to close achievement gap

24 Jun
CA Fwd and California School Boards Association have been working together to build the capacity of local school districts and county offices of education to boost academic achievement under the Local Control Funding Formula.  As part of a collaborative of 15 school districts and two county offices of education. the two groups are working to improve public engagement and apply data to better bridge the educational gap in California. In the video below from CA Fwd, CSBA President Chris Ungar discusses the effort to improve equity.    ...