Category Archives: Closing the Achievement Gap

Closing the Achievement Gap

A Stroll Down Memory Lane And A Glimpse Of The Future

22 Jul
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by Chris Ungar They say you can’t go home again. That’s not exactly true. You can return home, just be prepared for a lot of change. That’s what I found when I journeyed south to my childhood stomping grounds in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The setting was familiar, but the level of innovation I saw when I toured my alma maters, Wright Middle School and Westchester High, and Shenandoah Street Elementary, where my wife attended, was entirely new....

School officials and equity groups team up to close achievement gap

24 Jun
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CA Fwd and California School Boards Association have been working together to build the capacity of local school districts and county offices of education to boost academic achievement under the Local Control Funding Formula.  As part of a collaborative of 15 school districts and two county offices of education. the two groups are working to improve public engagement and apply data to better bridge the educational gap in California. In the video below from CA Fwd, CSBA President Chris Ungar discusses the effort to improve equity.    ...

Involving Students in LCAP Process is a Lesson in Civic Engagement

3 Jun
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by Paul Richman California Gov.  Jerry Brown’s May Budget Revise reflected a strong commitment to the improvement of public education through the Local Control Funding Formula. As school districts seek to involve local communities – parents, students, teachers, administrators and school boards – in shaping education and supporting student performance, I reflect on the opportunity we have for thoughtfully and authentically engaging young people in this process. In our ever-polarized political environment, today more than ever, we need to provide...

The Demographic Divide— African-American Students in Focus in California

17 May
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 by Manuel Buenrostro Demographics should not be destiny — all students are entitled to a quality education that enables them to meet their potential. It is for this reason that CSBA has continued to highlight the conditions and opportunity gaps of California’s diverse student population. This includes the nearly 400,000 African-American students, or six percent of all students, enrolled in California K-12 public schools. The group is the sixth largest population of African-American students in the country — larger than the...

The Power of Partnership: The Vital Role Family Resource Centers Can Play in Schools

5 Feb
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by Fiona Lavelle Family Resource Centers, known as FRCs, are community-based organizations that provide comprehensive family support services to children and their families. Centers work in deep partnership with parents, teachers, school officials, and a vast network of service providers to facilitate lasting personal and academic growth for students. A strong partnership between a school district and its local Family Resource Center can help with early intervention and lead to improved academic success and personal outlook for students. FRCs can...

Lessons Learned at AEC

18 Dec
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by Hector Camacho, (courtesy of San Mateo Daily Journal) A recent report from the California School Boards Association indicates that California schools are underfunded by approximately $42 billion every year. Filling that gap would bring our state to a position of adequate funding for public schools. Just how comfortable are we with adequate? More importantly, is adequacy the goal for which we should strive to meet the educational needs of students in California? Adequacy was one of the buzz words...

Engaging Families from the Classroom Out

6 Nov
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By Teneh Weller I remember being a new 5th grade teacher, full of excitement and hope. I had the opportunity, in some small way, to change the world. I had a vision that all of my students, no matter where they started out, would reach proficiency in reading and math. I envisioned that they would all go to college and be happy and productive citizens. The majority of my students were at least two years below grade level in reading...

New Adult Education Program Benefits District Students

26 Oct
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by Alan Helfman School districts looking to leverage student success would be well-advised to look to $525 million on the table. The funds are from the California’s Adult Education Block Grant. This grant provides significant discretion for local planning and implementation as part of the Local Control Funding Formula and is intended to help restore and grow the adult education system. This new grant program focuses on education and workforce preparation. The program also reinforces the state’s overall effort to...

Call to Join the California Community Schools Network

19 Oct
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by Deanna Niebuhr A few years ago, I worked with a team to write a Healthy Start grant proposal for an elementary school. The principal understood that this proposal writing process presented an opportunity to offer her students a valuable leadership experience. To give students a chance to actively participate in improving their school, she made sure that a group was on the proposal writing team. These students had a real job, editing the student survey that was part of...

New mathematics placement law may take effect Jan. 1

18 Sep
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by Gina Dalma Starting Jan. 1, 2016, school districts across the state could be called upon to develop and adopt a fair, objective and transparent mathematics placement policy for all students entering 9th grade.  Under legislation currently awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature, districts would have until the start of the 2016-17 school year to adopt a policy if they have not done so already. One would think that this policy is not needed. The problem is that it is. The ratified...