Category Archives: Uncategorized

Rural education report reveals both achievement and need

21 Jun
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Some may assume that rural schools are the small minority, but the numbers don’t lie — more than one in four of the nation’s public schools can be categorized as rural, and almost one in six American students live in a rural area. California is home to one of the nation’s highest percentages of small rural districts and America’s 16th largest absolute rural student enrollment. California schools also serve the largest percentage of rural English learner students in the nation...

From Small Learning Communities to Yoga: A Different Approach to Urban Education

21 Apr
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by Betsy Schulz In the 1970s, I began my teaching career at the Emiliano Zapata Street Academy, a small public high school in Oakland founded to help academically at-risk students of color graduate. Inspired by school’s values and the Civil Rights movement, I signed on as a teacher because I felt the school enabled me to merge the personal with the political, as well as make a real difference. More than 40 years later, I am still here and the...

New federal budget blueprint slashes education funding

16 Mar
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Written by CSBA Staff On Wednesday, the Trump Administration unveiled a budget proposal that ramps up funding for defense and homeland security while cutting education spending by 13 percent. Under the proposal, which would apply to the 2018-19 school year, the U.S. Department of Education budget would fall $9 billion to a total of $59 billion. Among the items on the chopping block are Title II programs which support states and districts in teacher recruitment and development (a critical need...

Charter Schools: Good governance practices and lack of transparency a subject of dispute

3 Mar
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by Keith Bray There are elements of good governance that for decades have been sewn into the statutory fabric of how elected officials do their work on behalf of the people they represent. For example, meetings, with limited exceptions, are open to the public. Documents generated while conducting the public’s business, with limited exceptions, are accessible to the public. Public servants must regularly disclose under the penalty of perjury their financial interests, so their decision making can be weighed against...

Letter To NSBA On Importance Of Transgender Rights

14 Oct
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by Chris Ungar As the home to more than 6 million public school students — by far the nation’s largest contingent — it’s natural that California assume a leadership position on issues of great importance to public education. Our equity focus is reflected in our desire to improve conditions and outcomes for all students, regardless of their background. Much work remains in this area, but in many ways, California is setting the standard for the nation. In 2013, California passed...

California’s Substantially Underfunded Public Education System

20 Apr
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by Keith Bray A remarkable thing happened this past January in San Francisco. In the First District Court of Appeals, the attorney representing school boards, administrators, parents, students and community groups and the Deputy Attorney General representing the state of California argued the merits of Robles-Wong v. California. After waiting almost four years to make its case that the state’s school finance system is unconstitutional, plaintiffs in Robles-Wong argued that the state is failing to support, much less maintain, a...

Saluting our unsung heroes

1 Apr
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by Chris Ungar It’s 6 a.m. and her school bus is gassed up, inspected and ready to begin gathering students from throughout the district. She guarantees that the kids will arrive safely, and, as a bonus, she helps reduce air pollution and traffic congestion; It’s 10 p.m. and he’s just finished cleaning and sanitizing a kindergarten classroom. He wipes down the desks, vacuums the floor, empties the trash, replenishes paper towels and makes sure the restroom is spotless; It’s 7...

Invest in Health to Improve School Climate and Student Engagement

11 Mar
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by Juan Taizan The Student Perspective: Omar’s Story For Omar, being a part of a gang simply meant he had other men from his neighborhood in whom he could confide, trust  and depend on to look out for him like a brother or son. These relationships often put Omar in situations where he had to stand up for his friends, which sometimes meant physically fighting other students. After being suspended for one such fight, Omar was referred to his high...

Court should protect privacy of California’s students

4 Mar
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By Sherry Griffith, Vernon M. Billy and Wesley Smith “When parents entrust a child to public schools, the system accepts a special responsibility to protect and enrich the student. That responsibility includes safeguarding personal information – a right guaranteed by state and federal law. Yet, a recent federal court order threatens student privacy rights by forcing the California Department of Education to release as many as 10 million student records containing names, addresses, phone numbers and Social Security numbers, as...

State’ s Schools Are Still Underfunded

22 Feb
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by Chris Ungar “A recent report released by the California School Boards Association and its Education Legal Alliance found that California is underfunding K-12 schools by as much as $42 billion annually. The study looks at state funding levels and what it would actually take for all students to meet state standards and be prepared for college and career upon high school graduation. By nearly every measure – funding, staffing or infrastructure – we’re lagging behind other states and countries....