Category Archives: Effective Governance

Effective Governance

President’s Message: Welcome all students back to school — and plan to keep them there

7 Aug
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We cling to the last days of summer, but the passage of time is relentless and unsentimental. Vacation has already ended for some school districts and county offices of education; others will open their doors in the coming weeks. This is a critical time as children transition back to the schedules and rigors of school life. Educators have to be ready to welcome students from day one, and we must also keep that same energy and engage all students —...

Comprehensive special education report is a powerful resource for board members

25 Jul
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Special education plays a critical role as schools strive to increase equity and improve outcomes for California’s 6.2 million public school students. To help guide this work, CSBA recently released The Landscape of Special Education in California: A Primer for Board Members, available at www.csba.org/specialeducation. The report provides an extensive look at the state’s special education system, including its laws, structures and best practices. Q: California continues to struggle to meet the needs of many of its students with disabilities,...

Latest national data: Cyberbullying is on the rise in schools

24 Jul
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The latest national data show more bullying of students than ever before is occurring in digital spaces, with 15 percent of victims reporting the behavior happening online or through text messages. The survey results for the 2016–17 school year marked a 3.5 percent increase in cyberbullying from the year prior, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The new data on rising instances of cyberbullying echo findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2017 Youth Risk Behavior...

Diverse consortium lays out policy priorities to boost English learner achievement

8 Jul
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A new policy priority report from The Consortium for English Learner Success finds that if California does not boost the achievement of English learner students, “it will lose the linguistic, cultural, social and economic assets of these students needed to develop a global, diverse and multilingual state and economy.” CSBA was among the more than 100 organizations and groups that participated in meetings and discussions to identity the five policy priorities aimed to improve access, quality and outcomes for English...

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,...