CA Students Chosen for U.S. Senate Youth Program – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced two outstanding high school students to represent California in the 58th annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP), sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

Violet Wang of Petaluma (Sonoma County), a senior at Casa Grande High School in Petaluma City Schools, and Arushi Avachat of Pleasanton (Alameda County), a senior at Foothill High School in the Pleasanton Unified School District, were selected for this highly competitive program for their remarkable leadership qualities, scholastic achievement, and strong commitment to their schools and communities.

“These students have demonstrated exceptional leadership. I am impressed and inspired by what they have already accomplished in their young lives,” Thurmond said. “They have a strong passion for public service and activism and desire to make a difference in the lives of others. I am confident that they will make the most of this opportunity, continuing to make positive contributions, and be excellent representatives for California.”

Source: CA Students Chosen for U.S. Senate Youth Program – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

Public Comment Open for CTE State Plan – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced today that public comment is now open for the draft California Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) State Plan. The plan was developed by the California Department of Education (CDE), California State Board of Education (SBE), and California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO).

“This plan is a significant opportunity to strengthen Career Technical Education (CTE) programs and pathways for all students in both the K–12 and community college systems,” Thurmond said. “I encourage educators and stakeholders in the CTE field to submit their valuable input on this plan. These programs provide valuable skills to meet industry needs.”

Perkins V was signed into law on July 31, 2018. This bipartisan measure reauthorized the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 to provide nearly $1.3 billion annually in federal support for CTE programs across the nation. California receives approximately $127 million annually to support CTE programs and pathways.

Source: Public Comment Open for CTE State Plan – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

New Charter Schools Division Director Named – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed Stephanie Farland as the Director of the Charter Schools Division for the California Department of Education (CDE).

The Charter Schools Division oversees State Board of Education-approved charter schools throughout California and administers the Federal Public Charter Schools Grant Program.

Currently, Farland is the Executive Director and Founder of Collaborative Solutions for Charter Authorizers, a private consulting firm dedicated to assisting school districts and county offices of education in their work as charter school authorizers. In that position, she works on all aspects of charter authorizing and oversight to ensure that a fair process is being implemented in California.

Source: New Charter Schools Division Director Named – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

CAASPP Results and Achievement Gap Data Roundable – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

On November 5, 2019, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond and the California Department of Education (CDE) hosted a Data Dive Roundtable. The panelists shared insights about patterns, trends, and root causes for the 2019 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) results. They also shared suggestions for actions to take to close achievement and opportunity gaps for each and every one of California’s students.

Participants included notable experts and practitioners such as Linda Darling-Hammond, President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute and President of the State Board of Education; Pedro Noguera, Distinguished Professor at UCLA; Elisha Arriaga Smith, Executive Director of The Education Trust—West; Joe Johnson, Executive Director of the National Center for Urban School Transformation and Dean of the College of Education at San Diego State University; Adela Jones, Superintendent of Sanger Unified School District; Cynthia Glover Woods, Chief Academic Officer at Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE); Melissa Bazanos, Executive Director at RCOE; Trevor Painton, Superintendent of Romoland School District; and Laura Hill, Policy Director and Senior Fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California.

Source: CAASPP Results and Achievement Gap Data Roundable – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

New CDE ELC Division Director Appointed – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed Stephen Propheter as the new Director of the Early Learning and Care Division (ELCD) at the California Department of Education (CDE). The division provides leadership and support to contractors and the child development community, ensuring high-quality early education programs are provided to children ages birth to thirteen years.

“Stephen’s wealth of management knowledge, innovative leadership approach, and collaborative skills will enable his division to provide crucial support to the child development community,” said Thurmond. “His passion, expertise, and compassion will be well-utilized in ensuring that California’s youngest learners have the supports needed to succeed in school and life.”

Propheter joined the CDE 12 years ago, serving in a variety of capacities in the Child Development and Nutrition Fiscal Services Unit in the Fiscal and Administrative Services Division, including budget and fiscal policy. He joined the ELCD as Associate Director in April 2019, overseeing the ELCD’s monitoring and administrative operations. As the ELCD Associate Director, he provided leadership in the implementation of the ELCD Strategic Plan, including continuing to build on the division’s work on equity and improving access to high-quality early learning and care programs.

Source: New CDE ELC Division Director Appointed – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

$37.5 Million Literacy State Development Grant – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that the California Department of Education (CDE) was awarded a $37.5 million federal Comprehensive Literacy State Development grant. The grant will provide the necessary funds to allow for the expansion of current literacy efforts statewide over the next five years.

“Many of the students who are struggling with reading comprehension or are not reading at grade level are our most vulnerable students—economically disadvantaged students, English language learners, students with disabilities, and students in rural communities,” said Thurmond. “This grant will allow us to promote and support equitable access to high-quality literacy instruction that will benefit not only our high-need students but all of our students from pre-K to high school.”

Source: $37.5 Million Literacy State Development Grant – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

Rollout and Webinar Series – CA School Dashboard and System of Support (CA Dept of Education)

This letter is to notify you of the timeline for the release of preview data on the state indicators for the 2019 California School Dashboard (Dashboard) and invite you to participate in the Dashboard webinar series. During the month of November, the California Department of Education (CDE) will release the state indicator data on a rolling basis. The Dashboard public release is scheduled for the week of December 9, 2019.

To support local education agencies (LEAs) with the rollout of the state indicators, the CDE will host a webinar series. Following each webinar, the PowerPoints will be made available on the California School Dashboard and System of Support web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/cm/. Information on accessing the webinars is provided in Attachment 1 along with the dates and times.

The Dashboard preview, along with downloadable data files, will be available on password-protected web sites. The link and single password to access these sites will be sent in a separate email to Dashboard and Secure Accountability Coordinators on November 5, 2019.

Source: Rollout and Webinar Series – California School Dashboard and System of Support (CA Dept of Education)

Shanine Coats Appointed as New CFIRD Director – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed Shanine Coats as the new Director of the Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division (CFIRD) at the California Department of Education (CDE).

“Like many of our talented staff here at the CDE, Shanine is and always will be a teacher with a passion for student achievement,” said Thurmond. “That drive will be invaluable as she guides the development of instructional resources for California’s schools. With her experience, she will be instrumental in making connections not only with state and federal programs but between curriculum, instruction, assessment, and accountability as a whole. We are very fortunate to have her leadership.”

As Director of CFIRD, Coats is responsible for the development of statewide policies, goals, and objectives for standards, curriculum, instructional resources, and translation programs. She is also responsible for providing leadership to advisory committees, including acting as Executive Director of the Instructional Quality Commission. In addition, Coats will provide administrative direction and supervision to approximately 60 employees who are organized into five offices.

Source: Shanine Coats Appointed as New CFIRD Director – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

Solano students’ CAASPP scores lag behind state averages – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Solano County students in grades three through eight and 11 scored below the statewide averages on major standardized tests in English and math this year, the state Department of Education reported.

In all grades tested throughout the state, according to CDE officials, results of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) assessments for English language arts/literacy and mathematics showed that nearly 51 percent of students met or exceeded standards in English, a nearly 1 percentage point increase from 2018, and a nearly 7 percentage point increase from 2015. In mathematics, slightly less than 40 percent of students met or exceeded standards, a 1 percentage point increase from 2018 and a nearly 7 percent percentage point increase from 2015.

Source: Solano students’ CAASPP scores lag behind state averages – The Reporter

2019 CAASPP Scores Announced – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today the statewide results of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) summative assessments for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics. School districts have had access to their own results since May.

For CAASPP, performance continues to improve slightly overall within grades as measured by the Smarter Balanced ELA and mathematics assessments. Statewide results in all tested grades showed that 50.87 percent of students met or exceeded standards in ELA, a .99 percentage point increase from 2018 and a 6.87 percentage point increase from 2015. In mathematics, 39.73 percent of students met or exceeded standards, a 1.08 percentage point increase from 2018 and a 6.73 percentage point increase from 2015.

Thurmond acknowledged the slight score increases but expressed deep concern that improvement is less consistent across the score range in the later grades of 7, 8, and 11, with a persistent percentage of students of color not meeting standards and, in several grades, showing declining scores from last year.

Source: 2019 CAASPP Scores Announced – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

The 2020 California Teachers of the Year – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today named five extraordinary educators as the 2020 California Teachers of the Year. Thurmond, who began his career as a social services worker, said he is pleased to honor five outstanding and talented teachers who have made a great impact in their schools and communities.

“These five incredible teachers receive this prestigious honor for their focus, drive, and determination to teach young people in California,” he said. “They are not only wonderful representatives for our state, but they also make profound differences in the lives of their students and their communities by employing innovative strategies to increase academic success and narrow the achievement gap among a broad range of students.”

Presented by California Casualty and supported by the California Teachers of the Year Foundation, the California Teachers of the Year Program began in 1972 to honor outstanding teachers and encourage new teachers to enter the profession.

Source: The 2020 California Teachers of the Year – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today congratulated 30 California public schools that have been chosen as 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools. This coveted award honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve high learning standards.

“Congratulations to these schools that have tremendous programs dedicated to, and invested in, creating state-of-the-art learning and teaching environments,” Thurmond said. “This recognition is well-deserved, and special thanks go to the educators and the school communities that meet students’ unique needs in order for all of their students to reach their full potential.”

The award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. In its 37-year history, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has presented this award to more than 9,000 schools.

Source: 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

Virtual Town Hall “Listening Session” – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, in partnership with county offices of education throughout the state, hosted a virtual town hall yesterday where local educational agencies spoke about some of the unique challenges they face in ongoing efforts to close the achievement gap for California’s most vulnerable students.

“This town hall was an opportunity for me and key members of my team to hear first-hand from districts and staff members who are working with students at risk of falling through the academic cracks,” said Thurmond. “We can’t provide an effective system of support if we don’t know what the challenges are at the local level and what is truly needed to ensure that all of our students have opportunities and access to a quality and equitable public education.”

Source: Virtual Town Hall “Listening Session” – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

Closing the Achievement Gap Virtual Town Hall – Initiatives & Programs (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond would like local educational agencies to share how the California Department of Education (CDE) can best assist them in working to close the persistent achievement/opportunity gap. A survey will be sent out two weeks prior to the town hall to gather input.

Source: Closing the Achievement Gap Virtual Town Hall – Initiatives & Programs (CA Dept of Education)

Continuing to Reduce Chronic Absenteeism Rates – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, in recognition of September as Attendance Awareness Month, encourages local education agencies (LEA) throughout the state to continue efforts to combat chronic absenteeism.

“Students of color, foster youth, homeless youth, students with disabilities and students who are in rural areas have some of the highest chronic absenteeism rates in the state,” said Thurmond. “When these students – who are already facing academic challenges due to poverty, unstable home environment or inequitable resources – miss school that widens the achievement gap, especially for our early learners. Everyone who comes in contact with our students can contribute to their learning success. Parents, teachers, attendance supervisors, caregivers and community groups must work as a cohesive unit and implement positive strategies to ensure that students are in class each day.”

Source: Continuing to Reduce Chronic Absenteeism Rates – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

Funding for School Construction and Modernization – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced the approval of more than $275 million to assist school districts in repairing schools and providing new classrooms. The funds were approved by the State Allocation Board (SAB), on which Superintendent Thurmond serves as a voting member.

“I would like to thank the State of California’s voters for these much-needed funds, which combined with local funds, will help to improve the learning environment for California’s students, and prepare them for the challenges of the future,” said Thurmond. “The research is clear that high-quality facilities improve student outcomes and helps districts recruit and retain highly qualified teachers.”

The SAB convenes monthly to distribute state matching funds for the construction of new classrooms, the modernization of existing schools, and other programs to improve learning environments, and adopts policies and regulations regarding SAB programs.

Source: Funding for School Construction and Modernization – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

2019–20 Advance Principal Apportionment – CDE

The California Department of Education (CDE) certified the 2019–20 Advance Principal Apportionment (Advance) on July 19, 2019, pursuant to California Education Code (EC) Section 41330. The statewide total was $39,593,565,617. At the end of each month from July 2019 through January 2020, county treasurers will receive warrants that reflect state aid for Advance programs for local educational agencies (LEA). County superintendents of schools should advise school districts and charter schools immediately of this apportionment.

The 2019–20 Advance is apportioned on the basis of an LEA’s Second Principal Apportionment (P-2) funding from the preceding fiscal year pursuant to EC Section 41330 and funding appropriations provided in the 2019–20 Budget Act and Senate Bill (SB) 75, Chapter 51, Statutes of 2019.

A summary of the Advance calculations is described below. This letter, as well as Excel files that provide funding and monthly payment amounts, are available on the CDE website at https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/pa/pa1920.asp. Additionally, the CDE has posted the 2019–20 Funding Rates and Information web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/pa/ratesandinfo.asp.

Source: 2019–20 Advance Principal Apportionment – CDE

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Appoints Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga as Co-Chair for Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative – CDE

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga as the final Co-Chair of his statewide Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative. She will partner with Co-Chairs Ryan Smith, Manufou Liaiga-Anoa’i, and Roseann Torres to lead work aligning with the initiative’s goals, which include addressing ways to close the achievement gap and improving educational outcomes for all California public education students.

“Elisha’s approach to education and research embodies community-first thinking,” said Thurmond. “I know her perspective and expertise will be a huge asset in our work to close gaps faster, and increasing student and parent involvement in this important work.”

Thurmond launched his Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative with a forum in February focusing on schools throughout the state that have shown success in closing the gap for African Americans and other students of color. He followed that up with a second forum in April to address recruitment and retention of teachers of color. Appointing Arrillaga, Torres, Liaiga-Anoa’i, and Smith as Co-Chairs of the initiative is the next step in assuring that these efforts continue with the highest priority and level of expertise.

Source: State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Appoints Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga as Co-Chair for Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative – CDE

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Launch of Mobile App for California School Dashboard – CDE

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond has announced the release of the California Department of Education’s (CDE) first-ever mobile app for the California School Dashboard, the new accountability system that helps identify strengths and improvement areas for every public school district and school statewide.

Everyone can use this mobile app to access information based on the Dashboard, providing parents and educators the critical information that empowers them in decisions to improve student learning. Through the Dashboard, California reports how districts, schools (including alternative schools serving high-risk students), and student groups are performing across state and local measures.

“Parents need to know what’s going on at their children’s school, and educators need an evaluation of their respective schools to serve our students better. This app is an excellent tool for both,” said Thurmond. “It not only evaluates academic performance and progress, but engagement and school climate, among other things—all critical factors to student well-being and success.”

Source: State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Launch of Mobile App for California School Dashboard – CDE

State Superintendent Thurmond Praises New State Budget with Increases to Education Funding – CDE

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond thanked Governor Newsom for signing a 2019–20 state budget that increases funding for public education, education data systems, and teacher and administrator development.

“This budget helps to lift all of our students by improving our education system and increasing the resources that go to our schools,” said Thurmond. “The Governor and Legislature have adopted a budget that reflects their commitment to education as a priority for California.

“I look forward to working with the Governor, the Legislature, and stakeholders in the months ahead to make sure that we make the most of this unprecedented opportunity—building a comprehensive education system that serves all children and families, meeting them in the communities where they live, and preparing our students for higher education and the 21st century workforce.”

Source: State Superintendent Thurmond Praises New State Budget with Increases to Education Funding – CDE