Category Archives: Closing the Achievement Gap

Closing the Achievement Gap

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...

First lady calls on school leaders to help children get active

19 Mar
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In a nationwide conference call hosted by first lady Michelle Obama and the Let’s Move! Active Schools initiative on March 19, CSBA Immediate Past President Jill Wynns and several school superintendents from across the country shared what they’re doing to encourage quality physical activity and nutrition as a way to improve students’ academic and physical performance. Mrs. Obama called on school boards and superintendents to become “role models and champions” in the campaign to make children’s school days more active....

Teacher intern credentialing dominates CTC Monthly Agenda

8 Mar
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By Teri Burns, Senior Director for Policy and Programs This month’s meeting of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) had comparatively light agenda because one item managed to stir up the whole of the education community and absorb a full afternoon of the two-day meeting. The leading issue before the CCTC is how teacher interns are credentialed if they are not fully prepared English language (EL) instructors.  As a result of the robust interest and dialogue, the CTC directed staff...

Long Beach Unified named among top 5 high-performing districts in the world

12 Feb
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Long Beach Unified School District has again been recognized for its outstanding programs that have helped students make substantial academic gains and acquire skills for success in college and career. Long Beach is one of just five school systems in the world recognized by the Ohio-based nonprofit Batelle for Kids, ranking alongside Ontario, Hong Kong, Finland and Singapore. Batelle for Kids, whose partners include the Carnegie Corporation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education as well...

58 outstanding programs win 2012 Golden Bell Awards

7 Nov
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CSBA’s Golden Bell Awards program is renowned for recognizing some of the many success stories in California public schools. This is the 33rd year of the program, which will salute 58 winners on Dec. 1 at the association’s annual conference. This year, programs in 18 categories were chosen as good examples of  innovative and sustainable ways to make a demonstrated difference for students. Programs that are helping schools close the achievement gap garnered the most Golden Bells. Eleven awards go to California...