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)

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)

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)

State schools superintendent discusses education at Solano breakfast – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Elected officials, school board trustees and superintendents from throughout Solano got an understanding Thursday of the current state and future of education at Solano County Office of Education’s annual State of Education Breakfast Forum.

State superintendent of public instruction Tony Thurmond was the guest speaker.

With the theme of “Full STEAM Ahead,” the breakfast was an opportunity to bring educators, business leaders and elected officials together for a discussion on educational opportunities and showcase what certain school districts are doing to prepare students for the workforce in the new decade, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

Source: State schools superintendent discusses education at Solano breakfast – The Reporter

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)

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

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Congratulates Winner of Special Education Learning Award – 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

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

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)

Thurmond Appoints New CDE Deputy Superintendent – 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)

2019 Juvenile Court Teacher of the Year Named – 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)

Thurmond Praises Newsom’s K–12 Education Budget – 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)