Teacher shortage continues, experienced teachers in demand

23 Aug
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math teacher
A new report from the Learning Policy Institute cites that about 90 percent of teacher vacancies are due to teachers leaving the profession, and posits that a national teacher shortage could be alleviated by improving retention. Further, by retaining experienced teachers, school districts could also boost student learning and reduce costs. There is a critical need for teachers in California. A 2016 survey from CSBA and LPI found that the state’s teacher shortage had reached alarming levels, with 75 percent...

California underperforms in protecting student athletes, report finds

21 Aug
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Helmet
Although California fields the second largest number of high school athletes nationally at just under one million students, the state has placed next to last in rankings for public high school athletic safety, according to a recent report. The report from the University of Connecticut’s Korey Stringer Institute looked at the health and safety policies relating to the leading causes of death for student athletes, including sudden cardiac arrest, traumatic head injuries and exertional heat stroke. The study reported 735...

After Charlottesville: Resources to help schools discuss intolerance

18 Aug
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kids together
As the school year begins, the recent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville has been a catalyst for national conversations about racism, bigotry and racially charged symbols. Educators can expect students to want to discuss these issues and their impact. California schools too have grappled with prejudice — a close-to-home reminder of the effects of intolerance. This year marks the 70th anniversary of Mendez v. Westminster — a landmark court decision that ended the segregation of Mexican American students into separate...

New survey report shares insights about parent perceptions

16 Aug
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A recent survey conducted by the nonprofit Learning Heroes found that nine in 10 parents think their children perform at grade level in reading and mathematics. In reality, only one in three students achieve those mastery levels. In response to this disconnect, Learning Heroes recently released “Parents 2017: Unleashing Their Power & Potential,” a survey report that examines this parental “perception gap” and shares insights into how parents think about education. The survey was conducted earlier this year among 1,423...

Stop Holding School Bond Funds Hostage And Start Supporting Students

11 Aug
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construction site
by CSBA President Susan Henry If we want our students to achieve, we must first create conditions that are conducive to success. California voters honored this principle in the November 2016 election when, over the objections of Gov. Jerry Brown, they approved $9 billion in school construction bonds, with $7 billion earmarked for K-12 schools. More than 55 percent of voters cast their ballots for Proposition 51, an important down payment on the investment needed for safe, healthy schools that...

School districts audit reveals lack of “Buy American” compliance

9 Aug
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Buy American - cafeteria
The California State Auditor found late last month that California’s schools are failing to follow one specific federal rule — keep food local and “Buy American.” Districts participating in the National School Lunch or Breakfast Program are required to comply with all requirements of federal law for purchasing commercial food products served in the school meals programs, including those outlined in the Buy American provision (42 USC 1760, 7 CFR 210.21). This provision indicates that a district must, to the...

Tackling concussions: Resources available to help protect student athletes

2 Aug
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As interscholastic sports season kicks off, school boards and districts are encouraged to keep in mind head safety for student athletes. California fields the second highest number of high school athletes  —  roughly 800,000  — among U.S. states. (Texas is first.) These student athletes are also especially vulnerable to head trauma as their brains are still developing. Concussions from knocking heads, tackling, being hit by a ball or an elbow, or other blows can occur in two different ways. A...

New report on STEM deserts shows troubling trend for high-poverty schools

26 Jul
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science student
If you were to ask someone on the street today what they think the future job market will look like, it is likely you will hear the word “STEM.” The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics field is growing at a dramatic rate, and today’s students will be a vital part of the nation’s future STEM workforce. Given this information, a new brief from the nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition Change the Equation is particularly alarming. In Ending the Double Disadvantage: Ensuring STEM...

New video highlights LCFF Collaborative Working Group

14 Jul
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LCFF Working Group
The Local Control Funding Formula, or LCFF, first enacted in 2013–14, marked a major shift for school districts and county boards of education. The LCFF is intended to increase equity through local control, giving school districts and county boards of education a greater ability to ensure that all of California’s 6.2 million students receive a quality education. To make sense of the new changes, a group of school district and county office of education representatives convened by CSBA and California...

New study finds “adultification” bias toward African-American girls

5 Jul
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African American girl student
African-American girls face school suspension twice as often as white boys and five times as often as white girls. Even though African-American girls only make up 16 percent of the entire female school population, they are given 28 percent of referrals to law enforcement and account for 37 percent of arrests. White girls, who make up 50 percent of the female school population, only account for 34 percent of referrals and 30 percent of arrests....