Category Archives: Closing the Achievement Gap

Closing the Achievement Gap

Board members encouraged to keep attendance issues front and center year-round

5 Sep
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September is Attendance Awareness Month, but experts say a year-round focus is required of district leaders and board members to make sustainable inroads and cultural shifts. “I think that school board members really play a central role in monitoring whether chronic absence is improving or getting worse,” said Hedy N. Chang, executive director of Attendance Works. The effects of poor attendance habits on student achievement pose a major challenge to many students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. By the ninth...

Education governance and the importance of equity-centered leadership

3 Sep
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By David B. DeLuz, CSBA Director, Strategic Initiatives and Development Since its inception in 1933, CSBA has been, at its core, about leadership and governance. Our work preparing education governing board members and governance teams to address the diverse needs of today’s students in the face of a rapidly changing world has increasingly focused on the role of the school board in creating conditions for student achievement. The School Board Role in Creating the Conditions for Student Achievement highlighted research...

Newly released 2017–18 California college-going rates in perspective

17 Jul
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Last week, the California Department of Education released the 2017–18 college-going rates for high school graduates. This release continues to reveal an achievement gap between students of color and their white peers, but also offers an opportunity for school leaders to assess how well their high schools are doing at preparing students for college, career and life success. A quick glance at the data reveals one important point: to improve college-going rates AND college success, the focus must be on...

State Board of Education adopts new five-year graduation rate for Dashboard

11 Jul
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Future versions of the California School Dashboard will include a combined four- and five-year graduation rate, which officials say provides schools with an opportunity to demonstrate their success with students who may need additional time to earn a high school diploma. The State Board of Education unanimously approved the new measure at its July 10 meeting, although with some concerns about certain schools potentially no longer being eligible for comprehensive support. The combined four- and five-year rate — which will...

CEO’s Note: What a CSBA poll tells us about Californians’ views about education funding

9 Jul
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In my last CEO’s note in the spring California Schools magazine, I discussed the ongoing “big short” in how the state of California has funded its schools over the past several decades. A new statewide poll from CSBA confirms that, in a year when statewide teacher strikes persist and the financial strain of our schools becomes more prevalent in the California news cycle, the general public is also acutely aware of the funding crisis facing our schools. What is often...

Leaders dive deep into equitably expanding computer science offerings

19 Jun
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Faced with stark data showing 61 percent of California’s high schools don’t offer any computer science courses, district and county office administrators attended a June 18 workshop aimed to help them equitably implement such classes. Ensuring access and inclusion for all students and teachers was key to the 2019 Summer of CS program hosted at the Sacramento County Office of Education, which also included a policy luncheon featuring an array of speakers representing industry, the Legislature and students. This annual...

Student data disconnect persists as California works to lower achievement gap

28 May
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An integrated data system to assess student performance and results is desperately needed in California, two researchers said at a May 10 talk in Sacramento. At the event, experts discussed key findings on data systems from the Getting Down to Facts II report and next steps. “California is falling short of other states [by not having] a comprehensive data system,” said Jesse Rothstein, director of the California Policy Lab at the University of California, Berkeley. “We have certain pieces but...

Enthusiastic Capitol crowd calls for Full and Fair Funding of California’s public schools

23 May
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From Humboldt County, Monterey, San Diego and beyond, school leaders converged on Sacramento by the busload on May 22 to make their voices heard and to fight for Full and Fair Funding of California’s public schools. About 200 school board members took that fight to the steps of the State Capitol, where they joined thousands including CSBA staff, the California Teachers Association and other education partners in an afternoon Day of Action Rally for Education. Whether teacher, administrator, school employee,...

Coalition rallies at Capitol with funding message of ‘Our students deserve more!’

3 Apr
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Alameda County school board members, teachers, administrators, other staff members, students and parents rallied at the Capitol steps in Sacramento on April 3 behind a unified call for increased state education funding. More than 300 people attended the event organized by the East Bay Coalition for Public Education, with a majority carrying red signs reading “Our students deserve more!” Speakers such as Alameda County Superintendent of Schools L. Karen Monroe said the coalition’s unprecedented alliance of people and groups from...

Study finds achievement gap is as large as it was 50 years ago

2 Apr
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teacher with student
As the United States grapples with growing inequality, a new analysis finds that the achievement gap between haves and have-nots remains as large as it was 50 years ago — neither having widened, as some have suggested, or closed. “Two surprises emerge from this analysis,” the paper’s authors — a team of Stanford University, Harvard University and University of Munich researchers — conclude. “First, gaps in the achievement between the haves and have-nots are mostly unchanged … Second, steady gains...