Category Archives: Closing the Achievement Gap

Closing the Achievement Gap

CSBA joins work to link students with college and career opportunities

20 Jun
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The Linked Learning approach to high school reform is based on the principle of equity and has a fundamental goal of increasing postsecondary opportunities for California’s Latino, African-American, and low-income students. Common to the Linked Learning approach are the practices of project-based learning, career-themed courses and experience, and personalized support—and reducing the use of practices associated with limiting college prep access, such as tracking and lack of articulation across grade spans. ...

CSBA kicks off post-doctoral fellows program

10 Jun
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The CSBA post-doctoral fellows program is a new collaboration between Drexel University and CSBA. The fellows program is the result of CSBA’s effort to establish partnerships with universities and other organizations. These partnerships help advance the policy leadership and priorities of CSBA by adding to CSBA’s human capital, expanding the high-quality information we provide to the members, and building understanding of governance issues and the needs of governance teams....

Communicate now about Common Core

6 Jun
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With the governor’s announcement in the May Revision about potentially directing $1 billion to support the implementation of Common Core State Standards, the buzz is beginning about Common Core among the general public, parents and those who look for reasons to point to the failure of our public schools. Do you have a communications plan in place to communicate to your parents and constituents about Common Core?...

CORE’s Rick Miller briefs CSBA delegates on federal NCLB waiver request

28 May
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Local Educational Agencies can’t rely on the California Department of Education to figure out how to implement the Common Core State Standards and other key education reforms looming on the horizon. Speaking to members of CSBA’s Delegate Assembly in Sacramento May 18, Rick Miller, former deputy state schools superintendent and executive director of the California Office to Reform Education, said that’s one reason 10 school districts banded together to form the CORE coalition, which is optimistic that federal education officials...

Common Core tests, new science standards trump API changes at SBE’s May meeting

10 May
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An update on assessments being developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium showed progress on test development including the conducting of cognitive labs, small-scale trials and the almost completed assessment pilot to ensure validity of the tests for 2014-15. The process is also validating methods of special presentation styles for special needs students. Next to come is the one-year public field test of the system to develop customer familiarity....

School interrupted: Designing a partial credit policy that works

8 May
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students
Representatives from the Legislature, the California School Boards Association, the California Department of Education, a host of public and private children’s interest groups, county offices of education and school districts gathered at CSBA’s offices in West Sacramento this week to tackle a tough problem: How to standardize the rules for awarding partial credit to students forced by difficult life circumstances to change schools frequently....

California schools tackle Common Core challenges

30 Apr
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How are school districts and county offices of education preparing to implement the Common Core State Standards? It’s a daunting task, reveals the spring 2013 issue of California Schools magazine. To be ready for new common national academic standards, local educational agencies will have to dramatically change instructional methods and prepare students—and technological systems—to handle revolutionary computerized tests. This would be a tall order in the best of budgetary times. Yet despite years of harsh cuts in state support for...

Torlakson’s good news: More students are graduating; fewer are dropping out

10 Apr
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State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson had some good news for the California public education community: more students are earning high school diplomas and fewer are dropping out.  According to the latest figures from the state’s new data system, which tracks progress of individual students rather than using aggregate numbers, 78.5 percent of students who entered high school as freshmen in 2008-09 graduated with their class in 2012—up 1.4 percent from last year. Although an achievement gap still exists...

Fontana teamwork is turning young lives around

10 Apr
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Fontana USD's FLIP program
Suspensions and expulsions were out of control in the Fontana Unified School District in 2010-11, and more than 20 percent of students did not graduate. Further complicating matters, the local police department had arrested more than 1,000 students. Clearly, the situation called for decisive action. School district staff joined forces with the Fontana Police Department to create a special course on Saturdays for middle and high school students referred to the program along with their parents. During the 16-week program,...

SBE applauds boldness of unique 9-district NCLB waiver request

20 Mar
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The State Board of Education last week agreed to draft a formal comment for federal officials to consider when they rule on an unusual request from a consortium of nine California school districts to receive a waiver from No Child Left Behind requirements. The unified school districts comprising the California Office to Reform Education, or CORE, serve more than one million students. CORE includes the Los Angeles, Long Beach, Fresno, San Francisco, Sacramento City, Santa Ana, Oakland, Clovis and Sanger...