Category Archives: Closing the Achievement Gap

Closing the Achievement Gap

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...

Classrooms or Crime?

8 Apr
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This is the second in a series of blog posts by the Council for a Strong  America highlighting creative partnerships between communities, boards and school districts. By Sheriff Adam Christianson Preventing kids from turning to a life of crime, that’s basically what it comes down to: classrooms or crime. The steps we take to address student absences and misbehavior in the K-12 years have a direct impact on whether or not that student will drop out and potentially end up...

Freedom Schools and Summer Learning Loss

6 Oct
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group of children
by Nathaniel Browning, CSBA Policy & Programs Officer Imagine an excited group of elementary students gathering in a school cafeteria. It’s the middle of summer and these students are enrolled in a local summer enrichment program. Now picture them singing, chanting and dancing to Swahili rhyme. The message is clear: we are proud of ourselves, of our families and we stand tall. The students glow as the lyrics resonate within them, and the onlookers are struck with emotion and goose...

Closing the Achievement Gap With Attendance

23 Sep
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by Kathryn Ramirez, Trustee, Salinas Union High School District and CSBA Director-at-large, Hispanic While I am optimistic about the direction education is headed in California, we must acknowledge that far more needs to be done if we are going to close race-based achievement gaps that are all too persistent in California. The solution begins with attendance. After all, how can we hope to close the academic achievement gap if Latino students go to school less than their peers? Unfortunately, in...

Two Languages: Multiple Benefits

12 Sep
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students reading
by Julie Maxwell-Jolly, Programs & Policy Officer In an increasingly globalized economy, California will need a population with the skills and understanding to thrive in multiple settings, languages, and cultures. One way to prepare our young people for this interconnected future is by providing them with the fluency in two languages, cross cultural experience and understanding, and increased brain flexibility that they can gain through dual language or two-way immersion (TWI) programs. Two-way immersion programs use English and a partner...

Why Attendance Matters; At Least To Me

9 Sep
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by Mike Walsh, Trustee, Butte County Office of Education and CSBA Director-at-large County I’ve come to appreciate a few accomplishments in my life thus far.  Some were planned, such as starting my own company, completing my graduate degree, and learning to play the guitar.  Many of them were not planned.  They just seemed to have happened.  One of the more interesting unplanned events that just sort of happened was an award I received for perfect attendance in high school.  I...

Reducing Chronic Absence: An Overlooked Opportunity for Raising Student Achievement

2 Sep
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September is Attendance awareness month! To celebrate, we have invited four guest bloggers to provide insight throughout the month about the importance of student attendance.  In this first installment, guest blogger Hedy Chang explores how reducing chronic absence can raise student achievement. By Hedy Chang, Director, Attendance Works Do you know why the Local Control Funding Formula holds districts accountable for monitoring chronic absence?  It is because investments in improving curriculum and instruction, including adoption of the Common Core –...