Category Archives: Closing the Achievement Gap

Closing the Achievement Gap

Advanced courses in short supply at low-income schools

8 Nov
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computer science
As schools celebrate National STEM Day, more work is needed to increase access to advanced courses — particularly in science and math — new information shows. The new CSBA brief, “Supporting STEM Access, Equity, and Effectiveness: Equitable Access to Rigorous STEAM Coursework”, finds there will be openings for more than one million jobs in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) in the next decade. But uneven access to STEM courses for many California students presents a challenge to...

Spotlight on successful Latino student programs

10 Oct
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As Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15–Oct. 15) draws to a close, CSBA is pleased to highlight programs across the state that are engaging Latino students and their families, offering important community resources and ultimately helping close achievement gaps. Family Engagement Center draws crowds in Perris Big things are happening in Val Verde Unified School District’s bilingual outreach and education program: More than 9,000 people attended Family Engagement Center events during the 2017–18 school year. It’s all been done by officials...

2018 state assessments show minimal gains; achievement gaps remain

3 Oct
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African-American teacher
The latest standardized tests scores for California’s students show relatively flat results from previous years with minimal progress made for students overall. While Latino students improved at a slightly higher rate than the average, African-American student improvements were smaller than the overall increase, contributing to a growing achievement gap that Education Trust–West says could take a generation or more to close. California’s Department of Education made public the results of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP,...

Implementing the new state Dyslexia Guidelines

11 Sep
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Girl Writing in Notebook
by Leslie Lingaas Woodward Dyslexia is the most common learning disability, affecting up to 20 percent of the population. This means that, statistically, every classroom in California has several students with dyslexia who struggle to acquire literacy skills. In 2015, the California State Legislature passed Assembly Bill 1369, which required that the California Department of Education create state Dyslexia Guidelines to assist teachers and parents in identifying, assessing and supporting these students. The guidelines were developed with input from an...

How one district practices inclusive education

1 Aug
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By Adam Breen Inclusion is more than an educational buzzword at San Benito High School in Hollister, Calif., where students with special needs are not just included, but embraced and accepted by their general education peers. The school has no fewer than 10 programs that focus on preparing students in the Life Skills program “to be active and confident members of our community and of society,” according to Paulette Cobb, the district’s director of special education. Beyond the benefits that...

ESSA approved ending months of negotiations with SBE

18 Jul
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The State Board of Education unanimously approved final changes to Every Student Succeeds Act plan at its mid-July meeting. On July 12, the U.S. Department of Education approved California’s plan ending a monthslong process of negotiations with the U.S. DOE. The State Board developed the plan over a two-year period with input from thousands of stakeholders. ESSA, the federal accountability system for schools, brings with it roughly $2.4 billion in funding for low-performing TK-12 schools as well as funds for after-school programs,...

California aims to be a language leader in the classroom

6 Jun
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 Spanish, Vietnamese, Filipino, Korean, Armenian, Mandarin and are just some of the languages taught in California schools. A new initiative announced last week by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, Global California 2030, aims to expand the teaching and learning of world languages and the number of students proficient in more than one language over the next 12 years — thus creating a more globally prepared workforce. According to the California Department of Education, more than 40 percent of...

New federal data offers insights on school safety, STEM courses and more

22 May
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Kids together
Last month, the U.S. Department of Education released its Civil Rights Data Collection  for 2015–16, offering the public new statistics on enrollment demographics, opportunity gaps and other civil rights issues that affect K-12 public school students. The U.S. Dept. of Education also released two accompanying briefs on School Climate and Safety and STEM Course Taking using the new data. Here are some of the key findings from the new data briefs: School Safety & Climate Nearly 1.1 million incidents of...

Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

2 May
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May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. California has been home to communities of Asian heritage since before its entrance into the United States in 1850. According to 2010 U.S. Census figures, the largest populations of Samoan, Guamanian or Chamorro, Fijian, Tongan and Palauan Americans in the nation reside in our state. In addition, the Golden State contains the most substantial population of...

New report explores strategies for closing English learners’ achievement gap in math

18 Apr
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math teacher
Combine the entire K-12 student populations of Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, Vermont, Wyoming and Nevada — that group of children is the same size as California’s 1.4 million English learners. To look at that number another way, consider that of California’s 6.2 million public school students, one in five is an English learner. Unfortunately, significant achievement gaps exist between ELs and their English-fluent peers. For instance, in 2017, only 12 percent of the ELs who took California Assessment of Student...