Category Archives: Uncategorized

Student Advisory Board grows next generation of leaders

29 Nov
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students
In a small conference room above a restaurant a few blocks from the State Capitol, a group of high school students sit in a circle to discuss education and advocacy. After each student speaks, the group snaps in response. The snaps are a way to let the speaker know the group has listened, and that each voice counts. That message also extends to their participation on the Student Advisory Board on Education. Fifty students from across California come to Sacramento...

National PDK poll: Public wants schools to focus on career prep, personal skills

21 Nov
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public school building
While Americans still view traditional academic coursework as valuable, not everyone agrees that academic preparation should be the only priority of public schools, according to the 2017 Phi Delta Kappan (PDK) Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. Eighty-two percent of the adults surveyed believe that coursework related to job or career skills is important enough to merit spending less time in academic classes. The poll also found that 82 percent of the respondents want schools to focus...

Member Profile: Emily Murase

8 Nov
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Emily Murase
Each issue of California Schools Magazine features a short interview with a CSBA member. Below is an unabridged transcript of the Member Profile featured in the Fall 2017 issue — an interview with Emily Murase, Ph.D., a board member in the San Francisco Unified School District. How long have you been a school board member? I am currently finishing up my second term and intend to run for a third term in November 2018. I am a graduate of the San...

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...