By EdSource Staff
This survey by EdSource, in partnership with the California Teachers Association (CTA), provides new insights into teacher attitudes toward preparing students for college and careers, a principal goal of all major education reforms being implemented in California, including the Common Core State Standards.
Of the 1,000 teachers surveyed, 95 percent support setting college and career readiness as the goal for the state’s students. The teachers surveyed also said they felt critical thinking skills are a more important indicator of college readiness than standardized test scores.
But while indicating a high level of support for the Common Core standards, teachers also expressed a need for a clearer definition of what constitutes “college and career readiness” and for greater professional development to support these goals. The survey also found that teachers’ confidence in the attainability of the career and college readiness goals varied based on the socioeconomic background of their students.
via College and Career Readiness: An EdSource/CTA survey of teachers | EdSource.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today congratulated 29 California public and four private schools that are being recognized as 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools.
The California winners of the coveted award are among 285 public (traditional, charter, choice, and magnet) schools and 50 private schools announced this morning by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
“California’s newly selected Blue Ribbon Schools are among the best in the nation and reflect our states commitment to preparing students for college and career,” Torlakson said. “We celebrate these models of excellence as they shine in the national spotlight. I congratulate all the hardworking students, teachers, parents, staff, and administrators who made this recognition possible.” The federal Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private schools from elementary through high school.
via Blue Ribbon Schools 2015 – Year 2015 (CA Dept of Education).
By Ian Thompson
The West Texas Street Dutch Bros. Coffee shop made the start of the school year a little easier for children at E. Ruth Sheldon Elementary School this month by providing nearly filled coffee cards to customers in return for school items.
“The nine-stamp fundraiser was amazing,” said Kayleigh Slover, Dutch Bros. Fairfield owner, in a press release. “It was awesome to see our community get involved and give back to the students at Sheldon.”
via Dutch Bros. Coffee completes school supplies drive.
By Fermin Leal
The recently released Common Core-aligned test results show the percentage of California high school students identified as ready, or on pace to be ready by the time they graduate, for college-level English coursework increased; but for math, the percentage decreased compared to last year.
The Smarter Balanced assessments for English language arts and math, administered to almost 420,000 juniors in California this past spring, now serve as the main tool for California State University and nearly 80 community colleges statewide for measuring student readiness in those subjects.
Students who “exceed the standard” defined by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, which devised the test, are considered ready for college-level courses, including courses that provide credits toward degrees. Students who “meet the standard” are considered “conditionally ready,” which means they’re on track to be ready by the end of their senior year in high school.
via Test scores indicate more students ‘college ready’ in English language arts | EdSource.
By Dan Walters
The epic war between California’s education establishment and a loose coalition of school reform and civil rights groups rages on many fronts.
Combatants clash in the Legislature, in the state Board of Education, in local school board meetings, in school district, legislative and statewide elections, and, ultimately, in the courts.
One of their many specific issues is whether charter schools, despised by school unions and their political allies, should play a larger role in attacking the state’s persistent “achievement gap.”
via Cultures clash as court weighs in on school funding, accountability.
By Ryan McCarthy
Applications are due by 5 p.m. Wednesday for the Vacaville Unified School District trustee seat left vacant after the Sept. 3 resignation of Jeremy Jeffreys.
Any registered voter within the district boundaries, except employees of Vacaville Unified, is eligible to be a board member.
Applications can be obtained on the district website at www.vacavilleusd.org or picked up in the superintendent’s office at the Educational Services Center, 401 Nut Tree Road in Vacaville. The forms must be returned to the same office.
via Wednesday deadline to apply for Vacaville school board seat.
By Alyson Klein
A government shutdown on Oct. 1 now looks much less likely now that Rep. John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, has announced plans to step down at the end of next month. That will probably make it a lot easier for Congress to reach a short-term spending deal.
But the U.S. Department of Education is clearly a fan of the boy-scout motto: Be prepared. Especially since the next shutdown drama might not be that far away.
via Education Department Updates Its Government Shutdown Plan – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
By Kevin W. Green
The Suisun Valley Review, the literary magazine of Solano Community College, has been awarded second-place honors for the Pacific-Western Division of the Community College Humanities Association’s 2015 Literary Magazine Competition, according to a Solano College press release.
Suisun Valley Review is the product of English 058/059, a spring semester course for the students of Solano College to study and practice the craft of editing a literary journal, the school said.
via Solano College’s Suisun Valley Review receives honors.
By Todd R. Hansen
Solano County school districts lost nearly $11.5 million in state student funding due to increased truancy at its elementary schools during the 2012-13 school year, the state Attorney General’s Office reported.
The countywide truancy rate for 2012-13 was 22.01 percent, up 3.41 percent from the previous term, the state reported, for a loss of $189.96 per elementary school pupil.
Those figures are up from $182.77 per pupil in the 2011-12 school year, totaling nearly $11.128 million, the report states.
via Solano truancy up; costs districts millions.
By Dr. Jennifer Fraser
We would never let a teacher or coach physically strike or sexually molest our child. Why then do we allow teachers and coaches to bully our children? There are three major reasons why this occurs:
- Sexual and physical abuse can be documented on the body and are in the criminal code. The law takes them seriously, therefore so do parents. In contrast, emotional abuse is not in the criminal code, so it can still be confused with “motivation” — especially in the education system.
- Bullying can be hard to detect because, when done by teachers and coaches, its often mistaken for passion and a demand for excellence. Parents believe in authoritative teachers and coaches who say they know whats best for children.
via What Neuroscience Reveals About Bullying by Educators | Edutopia.
By Louis Freedberg
The results of the Smarter Balanced assessments, the centerpiece of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP, were released Sept. 9 and showed the vast achievement gaps that decades of education reforms have failed to close. In a series of interviews, EdSource executive director Louis Freedberg interviewed several leading experts about the continuing gap – and what additional reforms are needed to narrow or close it. Part Three of the series features Michael Fullan, professor emeritus of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Fullan is working closely with several California school districts and the California Department of Education to implement what he calls the “right drivers for whole system reform.” He has written elsewhere that California “needs to go slow, to go fast” and has “three years to get it right.”
via Fullan: Achievement gap an ‘indicator that right strategies are not being used’ | EdSource.
By Paige Miller
Federal standards for school meals are intended to keep kids healthy. But with emphasis solely on nutrition, schools are missing another component critical to students’ health – exposure to toxic chemicals, according to a study led by Jennifer Hartle, a postdoctoral researcher at the Stanford Prevention Research Center.
School meals may contain unsafe levels of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical often found in canned goods and plastic packaging, according to the first-of-its-kind study published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. BPA can disrupt human hormones and has been linked to health effects ranging from cancer to reproductive issues.
via Stanford Study Indicates School Meals May Expose Children to Unsafe Levels of BPA | Suisun City, CA Patch.
By Kristin DeCarr
A new report that analyzes student data from massive open online courses (MOOCs) suggests that instead of being simply offered information, student learn best through experiences and doing things for themselves.
The study, “Learning is Not a Spectator Sport: Doing is Better than Watching for Learning from a MOOC,” explores the interactive activities included in MOOCs and compares them to the learning benefits provided through videos and text of such courses. Findings suggest that those students who participate in the activities learn more than those who only watch the videos and listen to the lectures. Researchers estimate that the effects of learning by doing are 6 times that of watching more videos or reading more text.
The online course “Introduction to Psychology as a Science” was used for the study and offered at the Georgia Institute of Technology. While some of the students in the course opted to take part on a traditional level by watching video lectures, others chose to participate in a different version that allowed them to make use of interactive materials made available by Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative.
via Study: Active Participation in MOOCs Boosts Completion Rate.
By Todd R. Hansen
It wasn’t that long ago when DeLisa Fracchia was on top of her rodeo world – celebrating her championship as the top barrel racer in District 3 of the California High School Rodeo Association.
And she was only a freshman.
Fracchia, a rural Vacaville resident and a junior at Dixon High School, finished seventh in barrel racing as a sophomore and was looking to reclaim her title this year when her rodeo world seemed to crumble.
via Rodeo community helps Vacaville teen ‘cowgirl up’ to salvage season.
By Ryan McCarthy
New school boundaries intended to maintain neighborhood schools return Thursday for review by Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees, who are expected to vote Oct. 8 on the boundaries affecting reopened Dover School along with nearby David Weir, Grange, Cleo Gordon, Laurel Creek and Tolenas schools.
Brian Purcell, chairman of a boundary advisory committee, told school board members in August that safer walking distances – including issues surrounding children who cross Air Base Parkway to go to school – were among matters the committee discussed.
via Fairfield-Suisun district eyes new school boundaries.
While there is individual variation within any culture, cultural learning patterns form along continua of learning styles. In some cultures making errors in public is a huge social shame to be avoided at all cost, while in others, they are thought of mainly as fodder for more learning (even if no one likes making them). In some cultures, people tend to favor learning collaboratively, while in others, there’s more of a focus on the individual. In some cultures, people like to build their wall of learning brick by brick, while in others, the bricks get sketched in as you think about the whole wall, or sections of it.
via How Awareness of Cultural Differences Can Help Underachieving Students | MindShift | KQED News.
By Andrew Miller
In the past, I wrote about how, along with other teachers, Ive ventured into truly personalized project-based learning. I discussed the challenges we face as well as what it looks like in the classroom. Many of us may be personalizing PBL without even knowing it.
Teachers have always had students pursue their own research projects on their own questions. Students around the globe are engaged in genius hour activities about their passions and are given voice and choice in how they show their learning. These are just some aspects of personalized PBL, and we can improve the model further still when we adopt more tenets of personalization into the already-existing PBL framework. In addition, many teachers are claiming that theyre personalizing learning for students when in fact they are not. However, PBL and personalized learning make an excellent match that creates engagement for students through authentic, personal work on content and skills that they want and need. Here are six strategies that you can try.
via 6 Strategies to Truly Personalize PBL | Edutopia.
By Corey Mitchell
The U.S. Education Department is developing a tool kit specifically for educators who work with immigrant English-learners who are new to the country, said Libia Gil, the head of the U.S. Department of Educations office of English-language acquisition.
The upcoming how-to guide will mark the latest federal effort to provide an equitable education for ELLs, the largest-growing segment of the United States public school population. The document could be released as early as December, Gil said.
via Ed. Department Project to Focus on Newly Arrived English-Language Learners – Learning the Language – Education Week.
By Daily Republic Staff
Solano Community College announced Tuesday it will induct eight people into the athletics Hall of Fame at a ceremony to be held Oct. 3 at the Hiddenbrooke Golf Course in Vallejo.
The inductees include:
Alison Aubert – Athletic Trainer
Aubert has been the head certified athletic trainer at Solano Community College since 1993, and has been a college athletic trainer since 1987. She has also worked for USA track and field since 1984.
via SCC to induct eight into HOF.
By Christina Samuels
Almost 5 percent of students in New Hampshire have disabilities that are covered solely by “Section 504,” which offers protection to students who have a “physical or mental disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” These disabilities might include conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, food allergies, depression, or mobility impairments.
In contrast, in New Mexico and Wisconsin, less than half a percent of students have such plans.
These findings come from a recent analysis of Section 504 enrollment conducted by the Advocacy Institute of data from the U.S. Department of Educations Civil Rights Data Collection. That data collection covers the 2011-12 school year, and about 16,500 school districts, 96,500 schools, and 49 million students were included.
via States Vary in Proportion of Students With Disability-Related 504 Plans – On Special Education – Education Week.