Finding meaning in California’s constitutional guarantee of education

5 Aug
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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
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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 dry run for the...

A Stroll Down Memory Lane And A Glimpse Of The Future

22 Jul
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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
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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.    ...

Involving Students in LCAP Process is a Lesson in Civic Engagement

3 Jun
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by Paul Richman California Gov.  Jerry Brown’s May Budget Revise reflected a strong commitment to the improvement of public education through the Local Control Funding Formula. As school districts seek to involve local communities – parents, students, teachers, administrators and school boards – in shaping education and supporting student performance, I reflect on the opportunity we have for thoughtfully and authentically engaging young people in this process. In our ever-polarized political environment, today more than ever, we need to provide...

The Demographic Divide— African-American Students in Focus in California

17 May
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 by Manuel Buenrostro Demographics should not be destiny — all students are entitled to a quality education that enables them to meet their potential. It is for this reason that CSBA has continued to highlight the conditions and opportunity gaps of California’s diverse student population. This includes the nearly 400,000 African-American students, or six percent of all students, enrolled in California K-12 public schools. The group is the sixth largest population of African-American students in the country — larger than the...

Elected Boards Are The Best Way To Ensure Schools Remain Accountable To The Public

2 May
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by Chris Ungar Public schools are the most universal and intimate of our democratic institutions. A central role in this tradition is played by publicly elected school boards. Charged with the stewardship of their local districts, school boards provide the most direct (and often the only direct) connection to an elected official for the vast majority of Americans. This truth is especially important to remember amidst the sound and fury of the 2016 presidential primaries, when precious little time has...

California’s Substantially Underfunded Public Education System

20 Apr
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by Keith Bray A remarkable thing happened this past January in San Francisco. In the First District Court of Appeals, the attorney representing school boards, administrators, parents, students and community groups and the Deputy Attorney General representing the state of California argued the merits of Robles-Wong v. California. After waiting almost four years to make its case that the state’s school finance system is unconstitutional, plaintiffs in Robles-Wong argued that the state is failing to support, much less maintain, a...

Saluting our unsung heroes

1 Apr
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by Chris Ungar It’s 6 a.m. and her school bus is gassed up, inspected and ready to begin gathering students from throughout the district. She guarantees that the kids will arrive safely, and, as a bonus, she helps reduce air pollution and traffic congestion; It’s 10 p.m. and he’s just finished cleaning and sanitizing a kindergarten classroom. He wipes down the desks, vacuums the floor, empties the trash, replenishes paper towels and makes sure the restroom is spotless; It’s 7...

Legislative Action Day 2016: 200 Education Advocates Rally at Capitol

25 Mar
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CSBA President Chris Ungar shares the virtues of active engagement with local representatives in this 2016 Legislative Action Day video. “Remember the two A’s; advocacy and adequacy,” Ungar said. Watch this inspiring gathering of leaders fighting for public education and working on action for schools....