By Marisol Cuellar Mejia
With the passage of AB 705 in October 2017, California community colleges are in the midst of a major transformation of developmental education. The new law requires that community colleges restructure developmental education to maximize the likelihood that students will enter and complete transfer-level coursework in English and mathematics/quantitative reasoning in a one-year time frame.
Full implementation of AB 705 is expected no later than fall 2019. As colleges replace standardized test scores with high school records as their primary placement criteria, it is likely that the majority of entering students will enroll in transfer-level courses. To improve the likelihood of success, especially among students with the lowest high school performance levels, colleges are being encouraged to implement curricular reforms as well. Co-requisite remediation is an essential component of these reforms: it allows students who would otherwise be deemed underprepared to enroll directly in transfer-level math or English courses with concurrent remedial support.
While the vast majority of the state’s 114 community colleges have not yet implemented co-requisite models, a few colleges began experimenting with co-requisites and other reforms before the passage of AB 705. According to a recent PPIC report that looks at the efforts of these “early implementers,” co-requisites in English are more common than those in math. Nine California community colleges provided co-requisite courses in English to about 3,000 students in 2016–17 (the latest year of available data), and at least seven additional colleges began offering English co-requisite models in 2017–18.
Source: California Community Colleges Are Transforming Developmental Education – Public Policy Institute of California
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson thanked Gov. Brown for signing legislation to promote Dual Language Immersion programs in California. Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, D-Richmond, authored the bill.
Assembly Bill 2514 creates 10 grants of $300,000 that will be available to districts to start Dual Language Immersion programs.
Money will still have to be allocated by the Department of Finance, but Torlakson said he would strongly advocate for the funding.
“This is a great first step in creating a program that will support the expansion of Dual Language Immersion programs,” he said. “Students and their families want the chance to learn more than one language.”
Torlakson said the legislation advances the goals of his initiative, Global California 2030, to vastly increase the number of students who are fluent in two languages.
“Numerous studies show that fluency in another language boosts students’ mental flexibility and enhances their ability to learn all subjects. This legislation could open the door by giving more students the opportunity to become fluent in a world language by making it easier for districts to launch Dual Language Immersion programs, allowing students to start learning a world language in kindergarten.”
Source: Torlakson Applauds Dual Language Signing – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
By Nick Sestanovich
School safety, mental health and district budgeting were among the topics addressed by prospective school board trustees at Wednesday’s candidate’s forum at the Benicia Public Library.
As part of its efforts to ensure a more informed voting populace, Benicia’s League of Women Voters hosted a forum with the five candidates in the Dona Benicia Room. With board President Diane Ferrucci the only incumbent seeking re-election in 2018, this leaves four candidates vying to fill the seats being vacated by trustees Celeste Monnette and Peter Morgan: realtor Adrean Hayashi, Pittsburg middle school teacher Mark Maselli, Arts & Culture Commissioner Gethsemane Moss and retired school librarian Sheri Zada. Moderator and LWV member Jane Keene asked questions of the candidates crafted by the LWV and audience.
Source: Five school board candidates speak at LWV forum
By Paul Warren, Laura Hill
What are the most significant challenges in California’s K–12 school system today? A new report, Getting Down to Facts II, recently released comprehensive findings. PPIC was asked to weigh in on the topic of special education.
We contributed an update to our 2016 report, Special Education Finance in California. This report concluded that state funding for services to students with disabilities is inequitable, inadequate, and lacks transparency. It also fails to provide the same level of local control as other state funding programs. In addition, preschool services to infants and toddlers with disabilities are lacking.
Our new report, Revisiting Finance and Governance Issues in Special Education, expands the analysis of these issues. Overall, we suggest that weaving greater accountability into governance and finance of special education has the potential to improve equity for students with special needs.
Source: Improving Special Education in California – Public Policy Institute of California
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that a record 55,000 State Seals of Biliteracy, which signify fluency in another language, were awarded in 2017–2018. That means more graduating high school seniors than ever before can read, write, and speak at least two languages.
The soaring number of biliteracy seals represent progress in Torlakson’s Global California 2030 initiative, which seeks to rapidly expand the teaching and learning of world languages, in part by increasing the number of biliteracy seals awarded and by expanding the number of dual language immersion programs.
“I’m thrilled that so many of our students are learning a second language that will improve their cognitive abilities, better prepare them for the global economy, and broaden their horizons and understanding of other cultures and nations,” Torlakson said. “This is a great start in meeting the goals of Global California 2030.”
Source: Record Number of Biliteracy Seals Awarded – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today congratulated two California teachers who are among the 104 educators nationwide recently announced by the White House as recipients of the 2016 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). He also announced six outstanding teachers as the 2018 California state finalists.
The California mathematics winner is Gabriela Cárdenas, a first and second grade dual language teacher at the UCLA Lab School, the laboratory for the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies in Los Angeles. The California science winner is Nancy Wright, who teaches grades three through six at Lorin Eden Elementary School and serves as the Science Teacher on Special Assignment for Hayward Unified School District in Hayward, leading the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards for her district.
“I applaud these teachers who play an essential role in shaping and inspiring our students in the areas of mathematics and science—which is so critical especially in California, where technology reigns, “said Torlakson, a former science teacher. “Their students are our future scientists, engineers, and inventors who can make a huge impact in our country.”
Source: CA Math & Science Teachers Receive Honors – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
By Nick Sestanovich
Liberty High School is in the process of implementing a new internship program for its students. New Principal Kimberly Lewis provided an update on the process at Thursday’s school board meeting.
Lewis’ presentation was introduced by Dr. Leslie Beatson, assistant superintendent of educational services, who said the district has been exploring new opportunities for students at Benicia’s alternative high school.
“A couple of years ago, we started thinking about, ‘How do we continue to provide amazing experiences for our students over at Liberty?’” Beatson said. “‘What is it that our students at Liberty really need from us, beyond getting across the stage at graduation?’”
Source: Liberty High rolling out new internship program
By Susan C. Schena
The Solano County Office of Education is participating in “Operation Recognition” which honors U.S. veterans and Japanese-American citizens who were unable to continue high school due to wartime circumstances by awarding them with high school diplomas.
In the 1940s, ’50s, ’60s and’ 70s, thousands of young men and women left high school and home to join the U.S. armed forces in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Also during World War II, many Japanese-American citizens were interned in relocation camps across the United States, district officials said.
California Education Code section 51430 authorizes retroactive awarding of high school diplomas to eligible veterans and persons detained in internment camps during World War II — individuals unable to finish high school and receive diplomas.
Source: Nominees Sought For ‘Operation Recognition’ In Solano County | Dixon, CA Patch
The Benicia Teachers Association has finalized its endorsements for Benicia City Council 2018, the Association announced.
The association has endorsed Christina Strawbridge and Lionel Largespada. Two of the five seats on the city council are open during the fall election. Kari Birdseye, and William Emes Jr. are also seeking election the council.
The Association finalized its endorsements for the Benicia Unified School District Board of Education. Those candidates are Adrean Hayashi, Mark Maselli, and Sheri Zada. Three of the five board seats are open. Incumbent Diane Ferrucci is seeking re-election, while challenger Gethsemane Moss is also seeking election to the board.
Source: Benicia Teachers Association endorses candidates – Times-Herald
By Richard Bammer
Lisette Estrella-Henderson, superintendent of Solano County schools, will need to make space on her wall or shelf of awards in her Vacaville home.
Rep. John Garamendi, D-Solano, has named the 33-year educator as one of his 2018 Women of the Year, it has been announced.
“There are so many deserving women that I have the privilege to work alongside with each day,” Estrella-Henderson said in a press release Thursday. “For Congressman Garamendi to recognize me as someone who has made a positive difference in our community, I am truly honored!”
She and 45 other women will be recognized Friday during a 9 a.m.-to-noon ceremony in the Community Room at Woodland Community College, 2300 E. Gibson Road, Woodland. Each will receive a congressional proclamation that will be preserved in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
Source: SCOE supe named among Garamendi’s 2018 Women of the Year – The Reporter
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
The election of a new vice president, in the wake of former president Burky Worel’s resignation, will be among the topics discussed at the regular Governing Board of Education meeting at 6 p.m. today (Wednesday).
Also on tap: Officially recognizing CC and Amber Sabathia for their help to students, as well as another list of recommended contracts between vendors and the Vallejo City Unified School District.
Superintendent Adam Clark will make the case for recognizing CC and Amber Sabathia Day for their PitCCH In Foundation’s ongoing distribution of backpacks and supplies to Vallejo students — most recently 1,800 at Vallejo High School and one to every 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade VCUSD student and to every student at Cooper Elementary School. Since its inception, the PitCCh In Foundation has donated more than 47,000 backpacks to students, saving parents hundreds of dollars.
Source: Vallejo School Board to elect new vice president – Times-Herald
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson marked Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month today by reminding students, teachers, and staff at C.K. McClatchy High School to recognize the risk factors of suicide so they can help identify students who might be in crisis and need assistance.
Students from the C.K. McClatchy National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) on Campus Club and the California Department of Education (CDE) conducted the event to focus on student suicide risks.
“The suicide of a student is a terrible tragedy that devastates a family, a school, and an entire community. We must do everything we can to prevent suicide,” said Torlakson. “Every suicide threat made by a student should be taken seriously.”
Torlakson said peer-to-peer assistance programs, school mental health professionals, and trained school and district staff can reassure and support a student who might be struggling with depression, stress, anxiety, loneliness, or bullying.
A recent study in the Journal of Pediatrics stated that nearly one in five high school students in California experienced suicidal ideation.
Source: Torlakson Recognizes Suicide Prevention Month – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
By Daily Republic Staff
The Solano County Office of Education announced Wednesday that Lisette Estrella-Henderson, Solano County superintendent of schools, has been selected as one of Rep. John Garamendi’s 2018 Women of the Year.
The annual awards publicly honor outstanding women of the 3rd Congressional District improve the quality of life in the district through their work and volunteerism.
“There are so many deserving women that I have the privilege to work alongside with each day. I am humbled and astounded by this tremendous honor,” Estrella-Henderson said in a prepared statement.
Source: Garamendi taps Estrella-Henderson as among top women in region
By Rafujio Gonzalez, Courtney Lee
President Donald Trump recently signed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, or Perkins V, which reauthorized $1.2 billion dollars in federal funds for career and technical educational (CTE) programs. The new law gives states more flexibility to set their own goals for CTE programs, along with reporting progress toward those goals. Who might benefit from these changes, and what new challenges do they present to the state?
Perkins V supports programs that integrate career skills and prepare students at the secondary, postsecondary, and adult education level for the workforce—for such careers as IT technician, accountant, or nurse. Funding is based on student enrollment, and each year California receives more than $110 million in Perkins dollars, the vast majority (85%) of which go to CTE programs in high schools and community colleges. During the 2017–18 school year, close to 780,000 (40%) high school students and 420,000 (35%) full-time community college students participated in CTE.
Source: Career Technical Education: Funding & New State Oversight – Public Policy Institute of California
By Alyson Klein
States: Were you worried you missed the window to apply to the Every Student Succeeds Act’s innovative assessment pilot?
Then, some good news for you: The U.S. Department of Education is inviting more state applications for the testing leeway, which allows states to try out new types of tests in a handful of districts before taking them statewide.
States are being asked to let the department know if they are interested in applying by Oct. 17. Applications are due Dec. 17. More in this notice, published in the Federal Register Monday.
Source: Betsy DeVos Reopens Application Process for ESSA’s Innovative Assessment Pilot – Politics K-12 – Education Week
By Dave Alley
Older students in California may be able to sleep in a little longer in the future if Governor Brown signs a bill that is now on his desk.
SB 328 would require that all middle and high schools start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. and was recently approved by the both houses of State Legislature.
It was written by Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) in an effort to help give students more time to sleep.
Source: Bill to start school later close to becoming law – KEYT
By Nick Sestanovich
The Performing Arts Network (PAN-Arts) announced its nominees for the 34th annual Arty Awards, which honor theatrical productions at all levels in the counties of Solano, Napa and– for the first time this year– Yolo, this morning. Once again, Benicia High School and Benicia Old Town Theatre Group are well-represented among the nominees.
Benicia High School’s fall play, the fantasy/comedy/drama “She Kills Monsters,” racked up a total of 13 nominations, including outstanding high school production. Drama instructor Nathan Day received nods for directing, sound design and set design. Additionally, Brandon Nelson and Meghan Guertin received nods for lighting design, and Linda Wichelman received a nomination for costume design. In the acting categories, Eleanor Bettencourt and Pilar Gonzales are up for best lead actress, Kevin McLarty and Garrett Mingardi are in the running for best lead actor, Tate Reeves received a nod for best supporting actor, and Guertin and Skylear Clouse are competing for best supporting actress.
Source: BHS nabs 13 Arty nominees apiece for 2017-18 productions; BOTTG nets 5
By Austin Petolillo
What started off as a problem for one turned into a solution for thousands.
Every new school year, Margie Sabathia-Lanier would fret over the decision she had to make with regards to her son, CC Sabathia. New clothes? Or new school supplies?
She would ultimately choose the latter but that left CC wearing beat-up sneakers while everyone else flashed their brand new shoes. Sure that may not seem like a big problem, but that’s just one of the many financial issues that a lot of people not as well known as CC has to deal with every year.
So in 2009, CC, his mother, and his wife Amber decided to take advantage of his platform and take matters into their own hands and start the PitCCh In foundation.
Source: Gregorius and Hicks PitCCh In at Bronx Public School – Pinstriped Prospects
By Richard Bammer
Solano County Office of Education leaders voted unanimously Wednesday to deny the appeal of a Vallejo charter school petition at a time of increasingly intensive debate over the role of charter schools in the state.
The 7-0 decision, coming nearly five weeks after a public hearing about the appeal, occurred during a regular trustees meeting in the county schools headquarters on Business Center Drive in Fairfield.
In many ways, the vote to deny the appeal from Marie Issa Gil, whose petition to form Rocketship Vallejo Elementary Charter School also was denied June 20 by Vallejo City Unified trustees, came as no surprise.
At the June school board meeting, VCU administrators described Gil’s document as “deficient in many key respects” and offered “an unsound educational program,” the latter phrase almost always resulting in denial of a charter petition by a school district or its appeal to a county board or the state Board of Education in Sacramento.
Source: Solano County Office of Education board denies Rocketship charter appeal
As we approach the upcoming November 6 statewide general election, it is important to ensure that our students are learning to become active and engaged participants in our democracy. It is never too early to motivate our students to get involved. That’s why we strongly encourage your school to observe High School Voter Education Weeks on September 17–28 to put our students on the path to a lifetime of civic engagement and voting. With online pre-registration available for sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds, it’s now easier than ever to get students prepared to cast their own ballots. Once pre-registered, they will automatically become active voters on their eighteenth birthday.
California Education Code designates the last two weeks of September as High School Voter Education Weeks and authorizes schools to designate students as “voter outreach coordinators.” With county elections officials as partners, we provide resources to make it easy for schools to participate. Teachers can help eligible students pre-register or register to vote either on a paper form or online. Voter outreach coordinators can lead registration drives and other school activities aimed at civic participation.
Source: High School Voter Education Weeks for 2018 – Letters (CA Dept of Education)