Survival Of The Fittest: Adapting To Drive The Public Education Agenda

27 Apr
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by Susan Henry In biological terms, fitness is defined by the ability to survive and reproduce — a condition dependent on how well an organism has adapted to its environment. As leaders in public education, we are operating in an extremely difficult environment. The political climate is changing rapidly, the landscape is constantly shifting, and we are surrounded on all sides by special interests with competing agendas. The old ways are no longer sufficient. We must adapt to our new...

From Small Learning Communities to Yoga: A Different Approach to Urban Education

21 Apr
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by Betsy Schulz In the 1970s, I began my teaching career at the Emiliano Zapata Street Academy, a small public high school in Oakland founded to help academically at-risk students of color graduate. Inspired by school’s values and the Civil Rights movement, I signed on as a teacher because I felt the school enabled me to merge the personal with the political, as well as make a real difference. More than 40 years later, I am still here and the...

What Parents Must Know About Type 1 Diabetes

7 Apr
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by Debbie George So many times I hear my teenagers complain about aches and pains much like we all do at times. Most of the time I attribute it to growing pains or whatever bug seems to be going around at the time and don’t give it much thought. But what if it wasn’t something as simple as that?  What if there was actually something happening inside your child’s body that you were not aware of or even heard of...

CSBA President Susan Henry Issues Statement Regarding Cuts to Federal Education Budget that Threaten Teacher Training and Class-Size Reduction Programs

31 Mar
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Educators apprehensive about budget which piles new mid-year cuts on top of reductions already proposed for fiscal 2018 “The California School Boards Association is deeply concerned about the Trump Administration’s plan to slash federal education spending. The $9.2 billion in cuts for the upcoming fiscal year was bad enough, but proposing an additional $3 billion in surprise mid-year cuts is particularly worrisome,” said CSBA President Susan Henry. “These reductions target funds marked for important teacher training and class-size reduction programs that improve...

Storm Relief Needed For Pension Increase Crisis

27 Mar
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by Susan Henry After you’ve survived a few financial storms, you begin to recognize clouds forming on the horizon. So, experienced weather watchers know a menacing front is headed for California schools in the form of major pension increases. Rising pension costs exceed new revenues in many districts and threaten to roll back the gains school districts have made under the Local Control Funding Formula. Even the thriftiest districts, ones that battened down the financial hatches under LCFF, aren’t equipped...

New federal budget blueprint slashes education funding

16 Mar
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Written by CSBA Staff On Wednesday, the Trump Administration unveiled a budget proposal that ramps up funding for defense and homeland security while cutting education spending by 13 percent. Under the proposal, which would apply to the 2018-19 school year, the U.S. Department of Education budget would fall $9 billion to a total of $59 billion. Among the items on the chopping block are Title II programs which support states and districts in teacher recruitment and development (a critical need...

California Arts Education Data Project Provides Road Map for Districts

10 Mar
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by Patricia Wayne  All students in California deserve to have access to high quality arts education that will provide them with important skills they need to succeed in today’s competitive workforce. But up until now, we lacked the tools to show us where (and how) arts education is offered across the state. Create CA, in partnership with the California Department of Education and the Arts Education Data Project, have launched a first-of-its-kind suite of tools designed to help increase participation in...

Charter Schools: Good governance practices and lack of transparency a subject of dispute

3 Mar
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by Keith Bray There are elements of good governance that for decades have been sewn into the statutory fabric of how elected officials do their work on behalf of the people they represent. For example, meetings, with limited exceptions, are open to the public. Documents generated while conducting the public’s business, with limited exceptions, are accessible to the public. Public servants must regularly disclose under the penalty of perjury their financial interests, so their decision making can be weighed against...

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Commends California’s Continued Progress in Advanced Placement Exams

24 Feb
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State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced that annual Advanced Placement results released today show that the number of California public high school graduates taking and demonstrating success in AP courses continues to climb. California placed fifth in the nation in the percentage (28.5 percent) of graduates who scored at least a 3 out of 5 on an AP Exam during high school—an increase of nearly eight percentage points since 2006 (20.6 percent). “I applaud and congratulate these outstanding...

DeVos Confirmed as Ed Secretary, but Questions Remain

14 Feb
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by CSBA On Tuesday, Feb. 7, Vice President Mike Pence cast the decisive vote in favor of Betsy DeVos as the 11th U.S. Secretary of Education. While Pence broke a 50-50 tie and put an end to the confirmation process, the debate over DeVos’ fitness for the position and her potential impact on public schools continues unabated. Every Senate Democrat, along with a pair of Republican Senators — Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski — voted against DeVos and...