Promote student civic participation during High School Voter Education Week

20 Sep
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i voted sticker
The Annenberg Public Policy Center’s annual Constitution Day civics survey, conducted last month, resulted in some surprising numbers. While only 26 percent of respondents could name all three branches of government, 33 percent couldn’t name any at all. According to reporting from The74, nationwide only 17 states include civics in accountability frameworks. California, too, has a sizeable problem when it comes to voter registration and political engagement. Young adults have the lowest voter registration and participation rates of any age...

The DACA Repeal: Resources for school districts and Dreamer teachers

13 Sep
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teacher with student
Roughly 5,000 teachers in California are caught in the crosshairs of President Trump’s plan to cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, joining hundreds of thousands of individuals across the state and the country facing an uncertain future. Known as DACA, the Obama administration program provides undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States at a young age by their parents with temporary protection from deportation and permission to legally work. As the program heads to Congress with...

Supporting undocumented students & families after DACA decision

6 Sep
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mother and child at door
In light of the Trump Administration’s announcement to suspend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, commonly known as DACA, school board members are encouraged to remember that despite changes to federal policy, school districts’ and board members’ responsibility to serve all students remains unchanged. “The President’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is a disheartening development with serious implications for more than 200,000 Californians, most of them children and young adults,” said CSBA President Susan...

New ways to bring English learner success into focus

5 Sep
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student writing
More than 1.3 million California public school students are English learners. Some are new arrivals to the United States, others have attended American schools for years. Both groups, though, share the challenge of learning English through an unfamiliar language — English. Teachers and administrators are charged with the important role of guiding this student group to English language proficiency while also ensuring they graduate from high school ready for college and career. The lack of reliable data used to track the progress...

Teacher shortage continues, experienced teachers in demand

23 Aug
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math teacher
A new report from the Learning Policy Institute cites that about 90 percent of teacher vacancies are due to teachers leaving the profession, and posits that a national teacher shortage could be alleviated by improving retention. Further, by retaining experienced teachers, school districts could also boost student learning and reduce costs. There is a critical need for teachers in California. A 2016 survey from CSBA and LPI found that the state’s teacher shortage had reached alarming levels, with 75 percent...

California underperforms in protecting student athletes, report finds

21 Aug
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Helmet
Although California fields the second largest number of high school athletes nationally at just under one million students, the state has placed next to last in rankings for public high school athletic safety, according to a recent report. The report from the University of Connecticut’s Korey Stringer Institute looked at the health and safety policies relating to the leading causes of death for student athletes, including sudden cardiac arrest, traumatic head injuries and exertional heat stroke. The study reported 735...

After Charlottesville: Resources to help schools discuss intolerance

18 Aug
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kids together
As the school year begins, the recent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville has been a catalyst for national conversations about racism, bigotry and racially charged symbols. Educators can expect students to want to discuss these issues and their impact. California schools too have grappled with prejudice — a close-to-home reminder of the effects of intolerance. This year marks the 70th anniversary of Mendez v. Westminster — a landmark court decision that ended the segregation of Mexican American students into separate...

New survey report shares insights about parent perceptions

16 Aug
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A recent survey conducted by the nonprofit Learning Heroes found that nine in 10 parents think their children perform at grade level in reading and mathematics. In reality, only one in three students achieve those mastery levels. In response to this disconnect, Learning Heroes recently released “Parents 2017: Unleashing Their Power & Potential,” a survey report that examines this parental “perception gap” and shares insights into how parents think about education. The survey was conducted earlier this year among 1,423...

Stop Holding School Bond Funds Hostage And Start Supporting Students

11 Aug
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construction site
by CSBA President Susan Henry If we want our students to achieve, we must first create conditions that are conducive to success. California voters honored this principle in the November 2016 election when, over the objections of Gov. Jerry Brown, they approved $9 billion in school construction bonds, with $7 billion earmarked for K-12 schools. More than 55 percent of voters cast their ballots for Proposition 51, an important down payment on the investment needed for safe, healthy schools that...

School districts audit reveals lack of “Buy American” compliance

9 Aug
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Buy American - cafeteria
The California State Auditor found late last month that California’s schools are failing to follow one specific federal rule — keep food local and “Buy American.” Districts participating in the National School Lunch or Breakfast Program are required to comply with all requirements of federal law for purchasing commercial food products served in the school meals programs, including those outlined in the Buy American provision (42 USC 1760, 7 CFR 210.21). This provision indicates that a district must, to the...