Category Archives: Closing the Achievement Gap

Closing the Achievement Gap

Students who engage in civic life are healthier, aim higher — but gaps exist

2 Jan
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Higher rates of teenage civic engagement are tied to being healthier, missing fewer days of school, receiving better grades and having higher aspirations of attending college, according to a new study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. Researchers also found vast differences in rates of civic engagement across student groups, with activities consisting of volunteering, voting, and participating in school, community or political organizations. Low-income high school students were less likely to participate in two or more of...

Commentary: A commitment to equitable outcomes for all students

12 Dec
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students taking test
By Dr. Shawnterra Moore As a young African-American girl being raised by a single parent, I had no true understanding of the statistics that forecasted my future. My mother was single, not by choice; my father was gunned down a few months before I was born, but she was an educated woman who emphasized the importance of education. I was very successful academically; however, the harsh realities of the world in which we lived hit me upon entrance to college....

California’s trailblazing History-Social Science Framework earns national award

20 Nov
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For its groundbreaking efforts to provide all students with an engaging and relevant education, California’s instructional guide for history and social science standards recently won the American Historical Association’s Beveridge Family Teaching Prize for distinguished K-12 history teaching. The History-Social Science Framework for California Public Schools — approved by the State Board of Education in 2016 and published last year — was a joint project from the California Department of Education and California History-Social Science Project (UC Davis). Among other...

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...