Category Archives: Closing the Achievement Gap

Closing the Achievement Gap

Senators’ letter to Congress highlights need for dedicated funding for digital access in student homes

3 Apr
The sudden and extended closures of America’s schools have brought into the spotlight a persistent problem well known to education advocates: unequal access to both internet access and devices in student homes. Across the country, 12 million students do not have internet access at home. According to a 2019 report from the Public Policy Institute of California, nearly 16 percent (roughly 945,000) of California’s school-aged children had no internet connection at home in 2017, while 27 percent (about 1.7 million)...

Celebrating the impact of music in California schools

13 Mar
For more than 30 years, March has been officially designated by the National Association for Music Education for the observance of Music in Our Schools Month, a time of year to raise awareness of music education and the value it adds to student learning. A growing body of research shows the benefits of music — and other arts — education to overall student achievement in schools. For example, a 2012 study by the College Board found that, of the students...

Board members share what they’ve learned in final meeting of CSBA Equity Network

10 Mar
Closing persistent opportunity gaps requires a commitment to educational equity. In summer 2018, CSBA launched an Equity Network with a grant from the Stuart Foundation, providing extensive support and professional development to board members across California on concepts related to educational equity. Topics addressed included implicit bias, cultural proficiency, the history of public education and the role of education leadership in disrupting a system of inequity. The second cohort of network participants met at CSBA’s offices in West Sacramento for...

New guidance offers approaches to improve alternative schools and programs

5 Mar
Alternative schools typically have lower graduation rates than traditional campuses, are often expensive and challenging to operate, and rank lower on accountability measures than more conventional schools. However, researchers find that shifts in district and county office of education practices and policies can contribute to improving outcomes for students enrolled in these schools. New guidance developed by the National Dropout Prevention Center — “Effective Strategies for Alternative School Improvement” — notes that alternative schools are frequently “ground zero” for dropout...

Teachers need support as expectations on educators grow, study finds

2 Mar
teacher with student
Policymakers aiming to address an array of stubborn challenges in K-12 education can begin with improving teacher training and preparation; ensuring the equitable distribution of highly qualified, experienced teachers; and taking steps to diversify the educator workforce, according to new research. A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that, with all the additional expectations and demands placed on teachers in the past two decades related to everything from shifting curriculum standards to developing a...

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:...

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...

Study finds foster youth face significant barriers in transitions to college

14 Feb
California students in the foster care system face more significant barriers during their transition from high school to college than their peers and require tailored supports to overcome them, according to a recent study from the Educational Results Partnership and California College Pathways. Authors of the study analyzed outcomes of more than 4,000 California foster youth and over 621,000 of their peers from their 2016–17 academic year high school cohort. Foster youth included in the study experienced lower rates of...

President’s Message: Investing in student success with transparency and accountability

30 Jan
By CSBA President Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez January is School Board Recognition Month, a time to appreciate district and county office trustees and the special obligation we have as stewards of America’s greatest public trust — its public school system. As we reflect on our unique role, we would do well to remember what hangs in the balance. More than six million California students are counting on us to provide each and every one of them with a high-quality education. This may...