Solano County educators spent time learning about the new Common Core Standards (CCS) at SCOE’s P-12 Common Core Innovision Summit on August 8 and 9. Keynote speaker Dr. Edwin Lou Javius, Ed.D., assisted participants in creating an Equity Common Core Support Plan. Educators were given tools to design culturally-conscious lessons aligned with the CCS. Other sessions explored the integration of CCS in technology, arts, STEM, kindergarten, and mathematics – among other topics.
By John Fensterwald
The complex language skills that are the focus of Common Core’s English language arts standards will be required in math and the new science standards and are integral to the newly adopted California language standards for English learners (courtesy of Dr. Norma Sanchez of CTA’s Instruction and Professional Development Department and presenter at CTA’s Summer Institute this month.
The complex language skills that are the focus of Common Core’s English language arts standards will be needed to excel in Common Core math and the new science standards. They are stressed, too, in California’s new language standards for English learners. Courtesy of Dr. Norma Sanchez of CTA’s Instruction and Professional Development Department and a presenter at CTA’s Summer Institute.
With an emphasis on developing verbal and analytical skills, the new Common Core standards will pose a big step up for most students. For English learners, who comprise a quarter of California’s children, it’ll seem more like a pole vault.
“Common Core is pushing us toward a higher level of achievement, and that depth is predicated on an ability to use language in sophisticated ways,” said Ben Sanders, director of standards, assessment and instruction for the 10 districts that formed the nonprofit California Office to Reform Education, or CORE.
An administrator’s contract, district goals and a Vanden High School roof project are on the agenda when Travis Unified leaders meet Tuesday in open session in Fairfield.
The governing board is expected to approved a one-year contract for Michelle Richardson, the new assistant superintendent for business services and operations. She replaces Catrina Howatt.
By John Glidden
ROCKVILLE — Jowel Laguerre implored Solano College Community to do everything in its power to reverse the plight of underrepresented students, fix the accreditation issue and help to grow the college district’s student population.
Laguerre, the district’s superintendent and president, spoke Friday about civics and what it means for students who attend Solano College during his annual state-of-the-school address.
By Mike Corpos
VACAVILLE — No candles, no planning. Just memories and lots of hugs.
Hundreds of people gathered at Vacaville High’s Tom Zunino Stadium Saturday to remember longtime Vaca High teacher and coach Steve Green, who died Friday after a battle with cancer.
It’s customary to make resolutions at the start of a new year, so here’s one for Solano County students as they head back for a new school year: I resolve to get to school every day, on time.
Older students may roll their eyes and groan, but it’s a resolution worth following if they want to graduate from high school. (And remember, a high school graduate makes, on average, $1 million more than a dropout over a lifetime.)
It turns out that, like so many things in life, just showing up can make the difference between success and failure.
By Lanz Christian Bañes/Times-Herald staff writer/
Following a statewide trend, Vallejo City Unified School District test scores slipped this year and still remain behind the state average.
Meanwhile, Hogan Middle School and Benicia High School in the neighboring district were both tagged by the state as having students who used social media while they were taking tests.
Those schools were among more than 200 listed by the state, of which only 16 had postings of test answers or questions. Hogan and Benicia were not among those 16. Students are not allowed to use electronic devices during testing, and the incidents could potentially put those schools’ scores in jeopardy.
By Richard Bammer/ RBammer@TheReporter.com
Six Solano County schools, including two in Vacaville and two in Fairfield, are among the 242 statewide identified for STAR testing irregularities in which social media postings were used during tests, including 16 cases of postings of test questions and answers.
State education leaders on Friday said no postings affected scores of the annual Standardized Testing and Reporting exams, results of which were made public Thursday.
By Dan Walters
State schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson tried to put a positive spin on it, but the harsh reality is that academic test scores in California’s public school system of 6 million students declined this year after years of apparent gains.
Moreover, scores are likely to get worse when new Common Core standards are applied.
By Peter Schrag / commentary
The waivers that eight large California school districts got this week from U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan are yet another measure of the power of the federal law they tried to escape from.
The law has been cumbersome and stupid enough to prompt them — and many states — to seek better ways to pursue the same, or better, goals. But the waivers are not the end of this odyssey; they’re barely the beginning.
By Susan Frey
A federal class action lawsuit filed by juvenile justice advocates alleges that Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall officials have kept teenagers with disabilities in solitary confinement for up to 100 days and have denied them special education services that the county is legally required to provide. About a third of all students in the county’s Juvenile Hall are estimated to have disabilities.
“Despite knowing that many students have a learning disability, mental illness or other disabilities, Contra Costa County puts students in solitary confinement for behavior that is related to their disabilities, denies them general and special education services and holds them in conditions that can make their disabilities worse,” according to a news release issued by Disability Rights Advocates, Public Counsel and Paul Hastings LLP, the groups that filed the lawsuit.
By Kathryn Baron
TestResults of the last California standards tests that most students will ever take were also the most disappointing.
The percentage of students scoring proficient or better on the 2013 Standardized Testing and Reporting assessment fell for the first time in more than a decade in results released Thursday.
SACRAMENTO—Scores on the annual Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) assessments slipped by a fraction of a percentage point this year as schools dealt with ongoing budget reductions and the transition to the Common Core State Standards, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today.
Students managed to hold on to the vast majority of gains posted over the last 11 years, with a majority of students statewide continuing to achieve at the proficient or advanced level in mathematics and English-language arts. Only one student in three achieved proficiency in 2003, the year that the STAR tests became fully aligned to the former state content standards.
By Lanz Christian Bañes / Times-Herald staff writer
The Vallejo school board voted unanimously Wednesday to file a final response to a county report criticizing safety issues at the district’s namesake high school.
“This is an opportunity for us to take a look at Vallejo High School, and it’s also an opportunity to address concerns, to clarify any statements that were made or maybe misinterpreted, or maybe things we need to work on,” board President Hazel Wilson said, initiating the discussion on the response.
Released in May, the report by the Solano Grand Jury listed numerous safety concerns at Vallejo High School, ranging from staff lacking access to two-way radios during emergencies to existing rules and polices not being enforced by staff, including having students wear I.D. cards.
By Holly Valentine
Founded on the philosophy of “people helping people,” Travis Credit Union is helping a group of local youth financially, by awarding college scholarships.
Chosen from a pool of 125 applicants, 20 recent high school graduates were awarded the Mary Keith Duff Memorial Scholarship, 13 of whom are from Solano and surrounding counties.
Brianna Boyd, Editor
There were likely mixed emotions in Dixon Thursday following the release of the 2013 Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) test results.
In Dixon Unified School District, 47.7 percent of the 2,690 second to eleventh graders who participated in the 2013 STAR program scored proficient or advanced in English-language arts and 43.7 percent scored proficient or advanced in mathematics. As a district, Dixon Unified’s results were significantly below the state average of 51.2 percent of students at proficient or advanced in mathematics and 56.4 in English-language arts.
By Ian Thompson
FAIRFIELD — Their goal was to stuff 100 backpacks with everything a child needs to start the school year, from pencils to notebooks.
Armijo High School athlete Trevor Finley was there because, he said, “I just like helping my community.”
Fellow student Corey Stewart was another who took up his coach’s call for volunteers, “because I like to help and this shows we care about the community.”
By Richard Bammer
Perhaps a sign that years of budget cuts have taken a toll in classrooms, statewide standardized test scores made public this morning show a slight dip for the first time in nine years.The results of the Standardized Testing and Reporting STAR’s annual statewide exams in English, math, science and history were reported during a press conference in Sacramento and come just as California public schools begin their historic change to Common Core State Standards, said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
“As you would expect for a school system in transition, results varied from grade to grade, subject to subject, and school to school, but the big picture is one of remarkable resilience despite the challenges,” he said.
By Loretta Kalb
Fed up with episodes of cyberbullying, Lodi Unified School District officials are requiring high school athletes and club members to sign a contract vowing not to post inappropriate language or photos online.
The contract, which took effect when the new academic year started July 26, prohibits online posts, Facebook “likes” or retweets of profane or sexual material. It also prohibits demeaning statements about other people.
Does setting lower achievement levels for minorities help or hurt students? Host Michel Martin talks with Jerri Katzerman of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The organization recently filed a civil rights complaint against the Florida Department of Education.