Category Archives: Closing the Achievement Gap

Closing the Achievement Gap

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...

Smarter Balanced Assessments: Keep results in perspective for students and their families

14 Sep
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by Kathy Caric With the release of California’s new Common Core-aligned test results for students from the third through the eighth grades, and 11th graders, the following is a perspective from the front lines. The commentary originally appeared as a From the Field piece in California Schools magazine. In the coming years, California’s students will be graduating from high school into a 21st century world where the college and career environments demand innovative, technologically literate individuals who are critical thinkers...

Close the achievement gap by reducing the attendance gap

4 Sep
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by Hedy Chang September is attendance awareness month. To kick it off, CSBA invited Attendance Works Director Hedy Chang to address chronic absence and how school boards, superintendents and other education stakeholders can work together to help solve it. More students in California, just over 80 percent, are now graduating from high school. Sustaining and expanding this success, however, requires deepening our efforts to address a pernicious challenge that continues to undermine success for our most vulnerable students: the attendance...

Minding the DROPS: Water conservation projects teach awareness at schools

22 Jun
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by Renee Cashmere As a first and second grader in the Bay Area in 1976-77, an epic drought made impressions upon me that have lasted a lifetime. Even before the more recent drought began, I remembered the conservation rules all Californian’s were required to follow back then. We flushed our toilets with a bucket of water filled from the bathtub, washed our hands in a filled bathroom sink that was changed only once a day, and had timed showers. Conservation and a...

Extended Learning Time Key to Workforce-Ready Students

20 Apr
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This is the fourth in a series of blog posts by the Council for a Strong America highlighting creative partnerships between communities, boards and school districts. By Teresa Goodwin, Regional Director of HPA, Inc. When I was in elementary school, I attended class year-round. My parents preferred this schedule because it made it easier to manage their careers while raising school-aged children. My siblings and I, fortunately, were therefore spared the summer learning loss that negatively impacts the academic achievement of...