Category Archives: Closing the Achievement Gap

Closing the Achievement Gap

Common Core is Like the Grateful Dead

25 Aug
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California School Boards Association logo; www.csba.org
by Christopher Maricle, Policy and Programs Officer Words are powerful things. When I was in college, a friend tried unsuccessfully to convince me to listen to the Grateful Dead.  But the word ‘dead’ had a strong negative image for me—and their trademark symbol, the skull, didn’t help. My resistance had nothing to do with music itself, which I actually hadn’t heard. My resistance was to some assumptions I made about the music based on the band name and symbol. I...

Hungry kids can’t learn: More districts are expanding their free lunch programs

15 Apr
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Lunch will now be free for students in the Palm Springs Unified School District who used to receive a reduced lunch price of 40 cents per meal, the Board of Education recently decided. This will positively impact the achievement of some low-income students whose families still cannot afford the reduced meal prices. Research has shown that children learn better when they are properly nourished. The change is set to go into effect at the start of the 2014-15 school...

New suspension/expulsion stats confirm use of discipline alternatives

5 Feb
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The report that suspensions are down in California schools is welcome news to educators, students and their families—and a focus on alternative disciplinary strategies is getting the credit. A reduction in the number of actions for willful defiance (called student defiance in the official report) and a shift to programs like restorative justice that promote respect and personal responsibility have helped reduce expulsions by 12.3 percent and suspensions by 14.1 percent during 2012-13, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson...

CSBA-Drexel partnership yielding practical guidance for school boards

17 Dec
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The CSBA/Drexel University Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program, launched in the spring of 2013, provides CSBA members with valuable information from the research work of the post-doctoral fellows and for the fellows, in turn, to have the opportunity to share their research with a key audience of school board members. Working with Policy and Programs staff, the fellows edited their extensive dissertation research into user-friendly governance briefs and succinct presentations at this year’s Annual Education Conference and Trade Show....

How can parents help their children succeed in school?

16 Dec
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School district and county Local Control and Accountability Plans provide excellent opportunities for school district and county leaders to form new relationships with parents, as well as enhance existing ones. According to the panelists, if school district leaders genuinely engage parents in the LCAP process they will find enthusiastic allies in their children’s education. ...

Do healthy kids make good learners?

10 Dec
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Regular check-ups, dental care, eyeglasses, and other needed preventive care make a difference in how well children learn. Kids who are insured miss fewer school days and are better able to concentrate in class....

Let’s restore the civic mission of California schools

4 Nov
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Guardian of Democracy: www.civicmissionofschools.org
In California and across the nation, research is revealing a very troubling ‘civic learning opportunity gap.’ Students attending schools that serve populations with higher socio-economic status have many more civic learning opportunities than students attending schools serving lower SES populations, minority populations and those serving high concentrations of recent arrivals to our nation. Schools facing pressure to make ‘annual yearly progress’ are all too often significantly reducing instructional time for civic learning/social studies, or in some cases eliminating the subject...

Grant Watch: $700 million in grant funds available for student success

14 Oct
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For 34 years CSBA's Golden Bell Awards program has identified quality best practices focused on student success. The larger education grant funding world has taken notice. Golden Bell Award winners, like Corona Norco, have gone on to win national recognition. Remember, funders are interested in a track record of success and view their funds as investments in innovative but tried and true methods with a verifiable track record. In future editions of Grant Watch I'd like to share with...