New research report shines light on school crime and safety

24 May
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All California students have a right to feel welcomed and be free from emotional and physical harm at their public schools. School safety is one of the most important elements to consider in order to ensure that an environment is conducive to learning. According to Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2016, a newly released research report from the National Center for Education Statistics and the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, the last 20 years have seen a decline...

DeVos has turned attention to public education —  it’s up to school board members to keep it there

23 May
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by Vernon Billy Earlier this year, the confirmation hearings of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education was covered more exhaustively than any other education secretary in recent memory The curiosity surrounding the new education secretary demonstrated the deep interest and concern that Americans have about the policies and issues that can shape our education system. The American public recognizes the need to protect public schools and defend every American student’s fundamental right to a free, high-quality public education. Here...

Resources for Understanding the Experiences of Asian American and Pacific Islander Students

17 May
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It does not take much detective work to run into the stereotype that Asian American students are high-achieving. For instance, popular national television shows often reinforce the link between Asian American identity and technically adroit academic excellence: the Indian American engineer, the Korean American doctor or the Chinese American student who belongs to his middle school’s A.V. club. Despite its prevalence in American culture, this “model minority” stereotype does not ring true for all students who identify as Asian American,...

Recognizing world-class teachers today for California Day of the Teacher

10 May
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Today, May 10, is the California Day of the Teacher, an annual celebration that takes place on every second Wednesday of May to applaud the instructors who enrich the lives of California’s 6.2 million public school students. According to the California Department of Education, California’s K-12 public schools are home to almost 300,000 teachers. “Research has shown that teachers are the most essential players in the public school system,” said CSBA President Susan Henry. “On this California Day of the...

Foster Youth in California’s Schools

5 May
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Until recently, the unique needs of California’s K-12 students in foster care were often overlooked. Recent research sponsored by the Stuart Foundation has shed new light on the challenges these students face. Board members are encouraged to view the CSBA Fact Sheet and short videos, and to share them. CSBA Resources     Video: “Not Invisible” (5/16/16)       Video: “What Boards Can Do” (5/18/16) Video: “Not Alone” (5/25/16   Governance Brief: Foster Youth: Supports for Success (5/16) Fact Sheet: Our Foster...

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...