Category Archives: Effective Governance

Effective Governance

Leaders dive deep into equitably expanding computer science offerings

19 Jun
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Faced with stark data showing 61 percent of California’s high schools don’t offer any computer science courses, district and county office administrators attended a June 18 workshop aimed to help them equitably implement such classes. Ensuring access and inclusion for all students and teachers was key to the 2019 Summer of CS program hosted at the Sacramento County Office of Education, which also included a policy luncheon featuring an array of speakers representing industry, the Legislature and students. This annual...

CCEE board meeting highlights successful district capacity building

10 Jun
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The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence’s board meeting on June 6 continued recent conversations about how the agency can play a key role in the state’s System of Support without the expectation of offering individualized assistance in every local educational agency’s time of need. A presentation from Vallejo City Unified School District shined a light on what that scenario may look like. The System of Support aims to assist LEAs and schools by promoting partnerships, building local capacity and focusing...

Commentary: ‘The root cause of teacher strikes is found not in Oakland or Los Angeles, but in Sacramento’

6 Jun
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“2019 is becoming the Year of the Teacher Strike, a phenomenon four decades in the making,” CSBA CEO and Executive Director Vernon M. Billy writes in a new opinion piece in The Sacramento Bee, pointing out recent strikes in Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, and the New Haven Unified School District in the Bay Area. “Since the 1970s, California has consistently shortchanged public education and tarnished a school system which was once the state’s crown jewel,” Billy says. “Forty years ago,...

CSBA plays key role in development of air quality guidance tool for districts

5 Jun
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Last year, one of California’s most destructive wildfire seasons on record resulted in school officials hundreds of miles from the disasters making difficult decisions amid toxic smoke and unhealthy air, oftentimes without formal guidance or existing policies. Concerned parents and community members questioned whether schools were taking the proper steps to determine whether they should limit or cancel outdoor activities or close campuses altogether. As the state’s schools head into summer break and Californians brace for a new wildfire season,...

Student data disconnect persists as California works to lower achievement gap

28 May
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An integrated data system to assess student performance and results is desperately needed in California, two researchers said at a May 10 talk in Sacramento. At the event, experts discussed key findings on data systems from the Getting Down to Facts II report and next steps. “California is falling short of other states [by not having] a comprehensive data system,” said Jesse Rothstein, director of the California Policy Lab at the University of California, Berkeley. “We have certain pieces but...

Enthusiastic Capitol crowd calls for Full and Fair Funding of California’s public schools

23 May
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From Humboldt County, Monterey, San Diego and beyond, school leaders converged on Sacramento by the busload on May 22 to make their voices heard and to fight for Full and Fair Funding of California’s public schools. About 200 school board members took that fight to the steps of the State Capitol, where they joined thousands including CSBA staff, the California Teachers Association and other education partners in an afternoon Day of Action Rally for Education. Whether teacher, administrator, school employee,...

CEO’s Note: The ‘big short’ in California school funding

22 May
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by Vernon M. Billy This past January, educators across the state (and nation) were fixated on the Los Angeles Unified School District’s six-day teacher’s strike. The LAUSD strike was followed almost immediately by a seven-day work stoppage in Oakland and a highly publicized one-day walkout for Sacramento USD teachers on April 11. These bargaining conflicts in some of California’s largest urban school districts are representative of the funding crisis looming large in districts across the state. The undeniable fact is...

Commentary: Fighting for students, rallying for public schools

21 May
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“Every student should graduate high school prepared for success in college, career and civic life. Unfortunately, our ability to deliver on this promise has been compromised by 40 years of underinvestment in public schools,” write Burbank Unified School District leaders in a new commentary published by the Los Angeles Times. “If we want to meet our responsibilities to the next generation of Californians, adequate funding must be restored so that we can reduce class sizes, retain and recruit quality educators,...

Report card: Districts must better implement laws supporting, protecting LGBTQ students

15 May
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A first-of-its-kind report card finds that many of California’s unified school districts must improve their implementation of LGBTQ-inclusive programs, policies and curriculum. The Equality California Institute surveyed and assessed 130 unified districts across the state to produce the 2019 Safe & Supportive Schools Report Card. While the institute reports that great gains and protections have been achieved for California’s LGBTQ students through the Legislature in recent years, policy implementation and management greatly varies at the district governing board level. Some...

Director-at-Large shares insights during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

13 May
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CSBA joins the nation in celebrating May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Of the 6.2 million K-12 students attending California public schools in 2018–19, 9.3 percent are Asian, 2.4 percent are Filipino and .5 percent are Pacific Islander. These populations are composed of students from many cultural backgrounds who are an important part of California’s fabric. They also each bring their own unique stories, aspirations and qualities to the state’s public schools. To help ensure representation for these students,...