Category Archives: Closing the Achievement Gap

Closing the Achievement Gap

Financial aid report illustrates need for schools to boost student participation

21 Nov
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With financial aid critical to many of California’s low-income youth and students of color seeking to attend college, a new report from the Education Trust–West finds that the students who would benefit the most are attending high schools with some of the lowest application completion rates for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. While schools and districts in some areas have made progress, the authors of Hidden Figures: A Framework to Increase Access to Financial Aid find that much...

Study finds California’s rural students falling behind in college readiness

14 Nov
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Close to 9.3 million students were enrolled in rural schools last year — nearly one in five public school students in the U.S. — and too few of those students have the educational resources that they need to succeed, according to a recent report by The Rural School and Community Trust. The organization’s ninth edition of its report on rural schools, Why Rural Matters 2018–19: The Time is Now, finds that despite the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress...

Audit finds state, LEAs not doing enough to identify and support students experiencing homelessness

12 Nov
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A new report from the State Auditor finds local educational agencies are not doing enough to identify youths experiencing homelessness, in turn limiting the opportunities to support these students. The report cites that many of these shortcomings stem from the California Department of Education’s inadequate oversight and management of the state’s homeless education program. Included in the Legislature-ordered audit is an interactive graphic that allows users to see how many students each LEA reported as being homeless in academic year...

State Board focuses on System of Support’s local impacts, ESSA compliance issues

11 Nov
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The Nov. 6 State Board of Education meeting featured presentations from two county offices of education involved in the State System of Support that explored how the connection between the work of lead agencies, COEs and local educational agencies can lead to positive outcomes for students. First, the State Board heard from the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office on the Valley to Coast initiative, currently focusing on improving outcomes for students with disabilities. The county office is a geographic...

Leaders call for increased funding and K-14 partnerships to promote equity in schools

4 Nov
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governance meeting
A recent Public Policy Institute of California event brought together two of the state’s education heavyweights, State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond and California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley, for a discussion on improving opportunities and enhancing outcomes for all students, and how partnerships between K-12 and community colleges can prepare those students for the future. To accomplish these goals, Darling-Hammond said policymakers must begin thinking of systemic solutions to the challenges both schools and students face. “I...

Oakland Unified program for black males leads to positive results, key lessons

28 Oct
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A decade-old program that provides targeted educational supports for African American males in the Oakland Unified School District has lowered dropout rates and increased graduation rates, new research finds. With a meaningful reduction of dropouts — 3.6 percentage points — My Brother’s Keeper? The Impact of Targeted Education Supports authors concluded that, particularly among ninth-graders, access to the African American Male Achievement program in the ninth and 10th grades increased the on-time high school graduation rate of black males by...

Study shows importance of helping children understand different social identities

23 Oct
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Girl Writing in Notebook
The results of a recent nationwide survey show that many teachers believe different social and demographic identities have an impact on children’s success in school, but far fewer feel comfortable discussing these in the classroom. Researchers from NORC at the University of Chicago and Sesame Workshop found that out of more than 1,000 pre-K through fifth-grade teachers across the country, more than 80 percent said social class impacts student success — 40 percent said it has a major impact. Yet,...

October President’s Message: The importance of equity-driven leadership

17 Oct
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By CSBA President Dr. Emma Turner One of the greatest responsibilities of school district and county office of education board members is to support the achievement of all students by providing them with the educational opportunities that will promote student success. This work begins by developing a vision and goals that support the particular needs of your district. Aligning resources to those goals is the next step, and one that should be informed by examining data in your district —...

Food insecurity remains critical issue for many households with children

15 Oct
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Buy American - cafeteria
California was among 22 states that saw food insecurity decline significantly from 2013–15 to 2016–18, but a highly concerning 10.6 percent of the state’s households were still categorized as food insecure in 2018, according to a new report from the USDA’s Economic Research Service. Food insecurity was also found to be significantly more common than the national average of 11.1 percent for households with children, particularly those headed by single men or women. Among U.S. households with children under age...

Five years of CAASPP results show slow improvements in student achievement

11 Oct
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students with pencils
On Oct. 9, the California Department of Education released the results of the 2018–19 Smarter Balanced English language arts/literacy and mathematics assessments. Given that these scores represent the fifth year of implementation, it is a good opportunity to reflect on the trends in California and opportunities and areas for schools, districts and county offices of education to focus on in the future. Review statewide, county, district and school CAASPP scores Outcomes for all students trending up but still not acceptable...