Category Archives: Effective Governance

Effective Governance

Finding meaning in California’s constitutional guarantee of education

5 Aug
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by Keith Bray All children can succeed, but not all children have equal opportunity to do so. A child’s background and social station continue to play an inordinate role in his or her scholastic outcomes, both in California and across the nation. Schools, given the right circumstances, have the ability to disrupt this pattern of inequality, but may only do so if they are adequately and equitably resourced. In Robles-Wong v. California,(2016) 246 Cal. App. 4th 896, the California School...

Involving Students in LCAP Process is a Lesson in Civic Engagement

3 Jun
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by Paul Richman California Gov.  Jerry Brown’s May Budget Revise reflected a strong commitment to the improvement of public education through the Local Control Funding Formula. As school districts seek to involve local communities – parents, students, teachers, administrators and school boards – in shaping education and supporting student performance, I reflect on the opportunity we have for thoughtfully and authentically engaging young people in this process. In our ever-polarized political environment, today more than ever, we need to provide...

Elected Boards Are The Best Way To Ensure Schools Remain Accountable To The Public

2 May
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by Chris Ungar Public schools are the most universal and intimate of our democratic institutions. A central role in this tradition is played by publicly elected school boards. Charged with the stewardship of their local districts, school boards provide the most direct (and often the only direct) connection to an elected official for the vast majority of Americans. This truth is especially important to remember amidst the sound and fury of the 2016 presidential primaries, when precious little time has...

Legislative Action Day 2016: 200 Education Advocates Rally at Capitol

25 Mar
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CSBA President Chris Ungar shares the virtues of active engagement with local representatives in this 2016 Legislative Action Day video. “Remember the two A’s; advocacy and adequacy,” Ungar said. Watch this inspiring gathering of leaders fighting for public education and working on action for schools....

Call to Join the California Community Schools Network

19 Oct
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by Deanna Niebuhr A few years ago, I worked with a team to write a Healthy Start grant proposal for an elementary school. The principal understood that this proposal writing process presented an opportunity to offer her students a valuable leadership experience. To give students a chance to actively participate in improving their school, she made sure that a group was on the proposal writing team. These students had a real job, editing the student survey that was part of...

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...

Leadership Matters in the Reserve Cap Policy Debate

26 Aug
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by School Services of California, Inc. staff We have written quite a number of negative articles outlining the potentially disastrous financial effects of the reserve cap policy contained in Senate Bill  858 enacted in June 2014. We think that the education community is well informed on the substantive issues related to limiting reserves. And we also think that the effects of political pandering as they relate to this trailer bill language are widely understood within the education community. But we...

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...