Monthly Archives: February 2020

African American History Month: An interview with Bettye Lusk, CSBA Director-at-Large, African American

28 Feb
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. To help mark the month, California School News interviewed Bettye Lusk, CSBA’s Director-at-Large, African American and longtime trustee for the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District, for her perspectives on her childhood, the importance of educational equity and the path toward greater outcomes for all students. Question: Tell us a little about your background and upbringing. Answer:...

Training at CSBA on new LCAP template outlines key changes

27 Feb
As part of the rollout of the new Local Control and Accountability Plan template, CSBA hosted a free training for school board members and other education leaders at its offices in West Sacramento on Monday, Feb. 25. More than 80 people turned out to learn about the latest iteration of the three-year planning document that is at the heart of improving student outcomes at the local educational agency level. Adopted by the State Board of Education in January, the template...

Career technical education a growing priority for states, study shows

26 Feb
State policymakers across the country continue to make career technical education a priority, according to new research from Advance CTE, the Association for Career and Technical Education and the Education Commission of the States. The research found that roughly 60 more policies related to CTE were passed in 2019 than in 2018. In 2019, at least 45 states enacted or passed at least 208 policy actions related to CTE or career readiness through legislation, executive orders, board of education actions...

Settlement reached in literacy lawsuit against California

25 Feb
students with pencils
A settlement was approved last week in Ella T. v. California, ending a lawsuit against the State of California brought on behalf of 10 students attending three elementary schools in the state. Under the terms of the settlement, subject to approval by the Legislature, the state will provide a block grant of $50 million over three years to support literacy in the 75 California elementary schools with the lowest average reading scores (those, traditional public and charter schools, with the...

School leaders play a part in an accurate census count

24 Feb
Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau counts every person living in the United States. The census provides critical data that lawmakers, school leaders, business owners and many others use to provide daily services, products and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to schools, hospitals, fire departments, roads and other resources based on census data. The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in...

Bay Area organization works collaboratively to tackle the achievement gap

21 Feb
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
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
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
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
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...