Monthly Archives: February 2020

Bay Area organization works collaboratively to tackle the achievement gap

21 Feb
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Each February, African American History Month marks a time for celebrating the achievements of African Americans and recognizing their central role in U.S. history. This month, the CSBA blog will highlight innovative programs that aim to boost African American student achievement. African American students in California, and nationwide, face challenges and systemic barriers that have resulted in wide achievement and opportunity gaps. The California counties serving the largest concentrations of African American students are Solano, Sacramento, Alameda, Contra Costa and...

Analysis: Schools with high proportions of students of color face teacher quality inequities

20 Feb
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African-American teacher
A new analysis finds that, both across the nation and in California, teachers in schools with high proportions of students of color are much more likely to be uncertified or inexperienced than teachers in schools with a low number of students of color. The Learning Policy Institute’s report, Inequitable Opportunity to Learn: Student Access to Certified and Experienced Teachers, uses the U.S. Department of Education’s two most recent years of Civil Rights Data Collection — 2014 and 2016 — to...

What the California Science Test Scores say about access and opportunity

19 Feb
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The first statewide results of the California Science Test (CAST) were released by the California Department of Education in early February. The new assessment is tied to the California Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which districts have been in the process of implementing since their adoption in spring 2013. Students in grades 5, 7,10, 11 and 12 take the CAST. While NGSS implementation is a work in progress and will take time, what is clear from the scores is that...

President’s message: Promoting student success through teacher recruitment, training and retention

18 Feb
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By Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez, CSBA President Providing all students with a high-quality education is our greatest responsibility as school board members. In order to succeed in this work, we must prioritize teacher quality and invest both intellectually and finan­cially in the recruitment, retention and development of an effective and diverse educator workforce for California’s preK-12 schools. This is not just a moral ambition, it’s a practical measure to improve overall student outcomes and help close opportunity and achievement gaps that shortchange...

California Supreme Court finds some district employees eligible for unemployment benefits during summer term

17 Feb
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On Jan. 16, 2020, the California Supreme Court reversed a court of appeal decision and held that section 1253.3 of the Unemployment Insurance Code (section 1253.3) does not bar public school employees from collecting unemployment benefits if the summer session constitutes an “academic term.” The Court’s decision in United Educators of San Francisco v. San Francisco Unified School District means that some school districts employees may be eligible for unemployment benefits during the summer, but it’s not yet clear how...

Study finds foster youth face significant barriers in transitions to college

14 Feb
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California students in the foster care system face more significant barriers during their transition from high school to college than their peers and require tailored supports to overcome them, according to a recent study from the Educational Results Partnership and California College Pathways. Authors of the study analyzed outcomes of more than 4,000 California foster youth and over 621,000 of their peers from their 2016–17 academic year high school cohort. Foster youth included in the study experienced lower rates of...

Polling finds strong support for more funding, school facilities bond

13 Feb
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A majority of California voters continue to say the state should spend more money on schools, new polling shows, reflecting the severity of chronic underfunding that has left California well below the national average in per-student spending. Additionally, a robust 64 percent of voters support the $15 billion school facilities bond measure on the March 3 ballot. The results from 2,000 registered California voters detailed in “Californians and Public Education: Views from the 2020 PACE/USC Rossier Poll” finds that only...

Grassroots group helps build momentum in diversifying tech industry

12 Feb
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Each February, African American History Month marks a time for celebrating the achievements of African Americans and recognizing their central role in U.S. history. This month, the CSBA blog will highlight innovative programs that aim to boost African American student achievement. The College Board reported in 2017 that the numbers of female students and underrepresented minority students taking the Advanced Placement exam for computer science more than doubled from the previous year. Participation among these groups rose once again in...

CCEE turns System of Support focus to mindsets and cultures

11 Feb
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At their Feb. 6 board meeting, California Collaborative for Education Excellence board members and staff discussed ways to ensure the Statewide System of Support is taking root, a continuing theme for the under-resourced organization. The system aims to assist local educational agencies by promoting partnerships, building capacity and focusing on continuous improvement by connecting LEAs with the CCEE and other state resources. Thus far, the CCEE’s task of implementing the system and producing results at the local level has proven...

March 15 layoff notices: What boards should know

10 Feb
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public school building
As a member of a school board governance team, few situations are more sensitive than a district delivering March 15 layoff notices. It is essential for governing board members to be familiar with information about the March 15 notice, its implementation process and the strict legal requirements attached to the process. The March 15 notice is a formal, written announcement from a school district to certificated employees — required by Education Code section 44949 — informing them that they may...