Category Archives: Education and Training

Education and Training

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...

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...

Physical Activity Key to Fitter, Smarter Kids

1 Jun
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This is the fifth in a series of blog posts by the Council for a Strong America highlighting creative partnerships between communities, boards and school districts. By Gary W. Hall, Jr., Olympian.   Today, we know that the number on the scale can be a matter of life or death. Inactivity alone is now on par with smoking in its ranking as the fourth leading cause of death worldwide. In California, an estimated 40 percent of ninth graders are considered to...

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...

Access to Water Key to Healthy Students, Safe Nation

14 Apr
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This is the third in a series of blog posts by the Council for a Strong  America highlighting creative partnerships between communities, boards and school districts. By Brigadier General David Brahms, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.) It’s more than just a story on the evening news. By now you’ve likely noticed it in your communities and schools: obesity rates are on the rise in this country. The obesity epidemic is especially problematic when it comes to children because it has both...

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...

Unexpected Messengers

3 Apr
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This is the first in a series of blog posts by the Council for a Strong America highlighting creative partnerships between communities, boards and school districts. By Barrie Becker,  Council for a Strong America These days, it seems it’s hard to get anyone to agree on anything. Democrats vs. Republicans. Teachers vs. parents. Rich vs. poor. This is why it is refreshing to see so many unlikely allies working together to secure smart investments in at-risk children and youth: Police chiefs speaking...

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 –...

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...