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
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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 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 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 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
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today congratulated the Trabuco Hills High School Unified Champion School Program in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District for winning the 2019 Grazer Outstanding Achievement in Learning (GOAL) award. This award is given annually by the California Advisory Commission on Special Education (ACSE), recognizing an outstanding program that serves students with disabilities.
Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools provide students with and without disabilities opportunities for peer-to-peer engagement through sports and leadership programs.
“The inclusion practices initiated through this program provide a tremendous benefit to not only the students participating, but the entire school community,” said Thurmond. “When students with and without disabilities are provided authentic opportunities to learn and play together, this creates a climate where inclusion is the norm and diversity is honored.”
Source: State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Congratulates Winner of Special Education Learning Award – CDE
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed new directors for the California Department of Education (CDE) Improvement and Accountability Division (IAD) and Career and College Transition Division (CCTD).
Denise Parnell, E.D., an expert administrator of student support services, will lead the IAD.
Pradeep Kotamraju, Ph.D., a nationally recognized researcher in career technical education (CTE), will head the CCTD.
“Dr. Parnell and Dr. Kotamraju are two established and highly regarded educators in their fields,” said Thurmond. “Both bring extensive experience, knowledge, and unique perspectives to their new positions. They are welcome additions to the CDE team, and their leadership will enable the work that supports and improves educational opportunities for all of our students to continue.”
Source: New CDE Division Directors Appointed – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed Stephanie Gregson, EdD, as the Deputy Superintendent for the Performance, Planning, and Technology Branch (PPTB) at the California Department of Education (CDE).
Dr. Gregson is the former Director of the Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division at the CDE. During her tenure as Director, her division developed frameworks for history and social science and health education. Dr. Gregson also led the largest state adoption of instruction materials for kindergarten through grade twelve science and the development of standards updates, including the first-ever state kindergarten through grade twelve Computer Science content standards.
“Stephanie is a dedicated and dynamic educator who brings a tremendous level of knowledge and expertise to her new role,” said Thurmond. “Her guidance was critical to the success of the Department’s most recent curriculum updates and adoptions, and she will bring that same leadership and experience to her new branch. I am pleased that she will take the helm and continue the innovative work that the branch is doing to improve student success throughout the state.”
Source: Thurmond Appoints New CDE Deputy Superintendent – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today congratulated Greg Barragan of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools for being named the 2019 Juvenile Court, Community, and Alternative Schools Administrators of California (JCCASAC) Teacher of the Year.
Barragan or Mr. B as his students call him, started as a Career Technical Instructor at the Fresno County Court School in 2015 and launched the school’s welding program. His instruction and expertise has enabled countless students to earn welding certifications and embark on the pathway to solid careers.
Source: 2019 Juvenile Court Teacher of the Year Named – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today praised Governor Gavin Newsom’s revised budget for fiscal year 2019–20. “Our Governor just announced the largest-ever investment in K–12 schools, with 45 percent of all proposed increased spending to benefit our schools. We applaud this commitment to public education, especially by adding funding to assist students with the greatest needs. The revision also makes significant investments in the recruitment and retention of qualified teachers, and supporting the financial burdens they face,” he said.
Governor Newsom proposed increasing K–12 education by $4.4 billion in non-Proposition 98 spending for the benefit of our schools, while Prop 98 funding is at $81.1 billion, the most it has been in years.“
I am pleased that Governor Newsom is placing a top priority on education and look forward to a strong, productive partnership with him, the Legislature, and all stakeholders in the next few years that will lift up all of our students by improving our education system and increasing the resources that go to our schools—today’s announcements prove his commitment to increasing funding for public education,” he said.
Source: Thurmond Praises Newsom’s K–12 Education Budget – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed Manufou Liaiga-Anoa’i as Co-Chair of his statewide Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative. She will partner with Co-Chair Ryan Smith 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.
“Manufou is a strong public servant and advocate for women, children, and all students,” said Thurmond. “I know that she will bring a unique voice and strong leadership to the Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative, which is one of the top priorities of my office.”
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 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: Co-Chair Named for Achievement Gap Initiative – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today honored six outstanding classified school employees for their dedication to California’s public school students.
“Meeting students’ basic needs, as well as their social and emotional needs, is essential to ensuring that every student can learn,” said Thurmond. “These dedicated employees make sure that kids have healthy meals, safe transportation on school buses, and have someone to talk to during difficult times in their lives—allowing California’s students to reach their greatest potential.”
The annual program honors six outstanding classified school employees from the following categories: Child Nutrition; Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities; Office and Technical Support; Para-Educator and Instructional Assistance; Support Services and Security; and Transportation. This year’s recipients were chosen from more than 100 nominations statewide.
Source: Classified School Employees of the Year Announced – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that 23 school attendance programs were recognized as model School Attendance Review Boards (SARBs) for outstanding strategies to reduce chronic absenteeism and increase student attendance.
“In order for students to reach their full learning potential, they need to be in school,” said State Superintendent Thurmond. “These exemplary attendance programs have reduced chronic absenteeism rates at the district level and have been able to provide the necessary support to students who are the most vulnerable and at risk of becoming a chronic absentee. This recognition is well-deserved, and I hope that other districts will follow the lead of the model SARBs and replicate their methods so we can get all of our students back in class and on the pathway to graduation and a successful future.”
Source: 2019 Model School Attendance Review Board Winners – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)