By Louis Freedberg
California voters interested in the future of education in California will make a pivotal decision when they go to the polls twice next year to elect a successor to Gov. Jerry Brown, whose record four terms are drawing to a close.
The primary election will be held exactly six months from now (on June 5, 2018). The general election will be held on Nov. 6. The four leading Democratic candidates to replace him are Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Assembly Speaker and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin and former State Controller and current State Treasurer John Chiang. Because of Democratic dominance in statewide elections, it is a virtual certainty that one of them will be elected governor.
In the latest PPIC poll of registered voters, conducted between Nov. 10 and Nov. 19, Newsom was still leading the field, although narrowly. He received 23 percent voter support, compared to 18 percent for Villaraigosa. Chiang got 9 percent support, and Eastin 6 percent. But large proportion of voters — 30 percent — are undecided. The two leading GOP candidates — businessman John Cox and Assemblyman Travis Allen — received 9 percent and 6 percent support respectively.
Source: Where they stand: leading Democratic candidates for California governor offer visions for education | EdSource
By Cory Turner
A new report from the nonpartisan U.S. Government Accountability Office says many of the nation’s voucher programs — and the private schools that participate in them — aren’t giving parents the information they need to make an informed choice, especially parents of kids with disabilities.
Federal law says that students with disabilities are entitled to certain protections when they attend public school (more on those in a minute). If parents use a publicly funded voucher to enroll their child in a private school, they leave many of those protections behind. Some families do this knowingly, trading federal guarantees in a cash-strapped public school for the hope of something better on the private market.
Source: School Voucher Programs Should Be Clear About Disability Rights, GAO Report Says : NPR Ed : NPR
By Samer Rabadi and Betty Ray
Effective classroom management requires awareness, patience, good timing, boundaries, and instinct. There’s nothing easy about shepherding a large group of easily distractible young people with different skills and temperaments along a meaningful learning journey.
So how do master teachers do it?
To get a deeper understanding of experienced teachers’ go-to classroom management strategies, we took an informal poll on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Unsurprisingly, there is no silver bullet for classroom management success. That said, as we pored over the more than 700 responses, we did see some clear trends. Here are the most often cited and creative approaches.
Source: 5 Principles of Outstanding Classroom Management | Edutopia
By Dan Walters
Three recent and seemingly discreet events neatly frame California’s political and legal war over whether the state’s six million K-12 students are being adequately educated.
The conflict pits the state’s education establishment against a coalition of civil rights groups, education reformers and charter school advocates over the “achievement gap” that separates poor children, particularly Latinos and African-Americans, from more privileged white and Asian students.
The battle has been waged in the Legislature, before the state school board and local boards and quite often in the legal arena.
Source: CALmatters Commentary: California’s school war flares up on 3 fronts
By Richard Bammer
State Controller Betty T. Yee has updated the Government Compensation in California website to include 2016 self-reported salary and benefits data for K-12 education employers, including public school districts, charter schools and county offices of education.
The data, which can be found at www.publicpay.ca.gov, covers 634,314 positions across the state and more than $25.55 billion in wages.
But in Solano County, however, pay information for most school districts and employees was not reported.
While cities, counties, and special districts are required to report salary and benefits data to the State Controller, K-12 education employers, that is, school districts, are voluntary reporters, said Taryn Kinney, a spokeswoman for Yee’s office.
Yee — who, as the chief fiscal officer of California, is responsible for accountability and disbursement of the state’s taxpayer-funded resources — requested data from more than 1,900, K-12 school districts. However, only 514 chose to report “in the interest of transparency,” Kinney wrote in a press release issued Wednesday.
Source: State Controller posts pay info on some K-12 staff
By Daily Republic Staff
The 29th annual Child Haven Holiday Luncheon, Toy Drive and Raffle is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at The Clubhouse at Rancho Solano, 3250 Rancho Solano Parkway.
Proceeds benefit Child Haven, which, since 1983, has offered therapeutic services for children traumatized by abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, domestic and community-based violence.
Source: Child Haven shares plans for holiday luncheon
By John Fensterwald
Johnny Rebel, the 20-foot tall mural of a Civil war soldier carrying a rifle, may soon be sanded and scraped off the gym wall and into the dustbin of history at Savanna High in Southern California.
All because students got involved and came up with a recommendation for their school board.
Their work is just the type of civic engagement that in the future should earn students a California Seal of Civic Engagement, said Michelle Herczog, a history consultant with the Los Angeles County Office of Education and activist for civics education. When first awarded, probably in 2021, students who put good grades in civics, social studies and government to good use in the community will see the seal affixed to their high school diploma.
Source: Seal on diploma will be badge of honor for civically active California students | EdSource
By Daily Republic Staff
The Western Growers Foundation has grants up to $1,500 available to support school gardens.
Any public, charter or private school that has a school garden program or wants to start one, or any school district or nonprofit that supports school gardens, can apply for the grants.
Source: School garden grants available through Western Growers
By Ashley Hopkinson
One of the state’s leading child advocacy organizations, Early Edge California, has appointed a new executive director.
Patricia Lozano will succeed Deborah Kong, who has been executive director since January 2014. Lozano has extensive experience in early childhood policy and research, as well as dual language education. She will continue the organization’s work in promoting increased access early education and steering policy strategies to attract and retain a quality early education workforce for California, according to a statement.Patricia Lozano has been appointed the new executive director of Early Edge California.
“We are thrilled that Patricia Lozano is taking the helm at Early Edge,” said Catherine Atkin, chair of the Early Edge California Advisory Committee and executive director of The Early Learning Lab. “As Early Edge California’s advocacy and policy for quality early learning grows, she brings a deep commitment to supporting educators and improving the early care and education of California’s children.”
Source: Early Edge California appoints new executive director to lead early education efforts | EdSource
By Theresa Harrington
While California legislators debate a bill to ban secondary schools from starting before 8:30 a.m., a new report shows the change could contribute $10.2 billion to the state’s economy within 10 years and $24.8 billion after two decades.
In fact, if all schools nationwide were to convert to this later start time, the RAND Corporation and RAND Europe found that the U.S. economy would get an $83 billion boost within a decade.
The RAND report released Wednesday is the first-ever economic analysis of 47 states based on a shift in school start times. It is a follow-up to research by RAND Europe in 2016 that found insufficient sleep among U.S. workers causes economic losses of up to $411 billion a year.
Source: State could reap big economic benefits with later school start time | EdSource
By Elissa Nadworny
The start of the school year can be rough on some kids. It’s a big shift from summer’s freedom and lack of structure to the measured routines of school. And sometimes that can build up into tears, losing sleep, outbursts and other classic signs of anxiety.
“Going back to school is a transition for everyone,” says Lynn Bufka, a practicing psychologist who also works at the American Psychological Association. “No matter the age of the child, or if they’ve been to school before.”
In the vast majority of cases, this is pretty standard stuff. It doesn’t mean it’s not painful — for you and your kids. Just watch this viral video — (Andrew is now in first grade and doing fine).
“If you see that in your kids, don’t panic,” says John Kelly, a school psychologist in Long Island, N.Y. “For most kids, there’s gonna be some level of anxiety.”
Source: How To Counter Back-To-School Anxiety : NPR Ed : NPR
By The Associated Press
The number of international students coming to the U.S. for high school is leveling off after years of rapid growth, according to a new study released Wednesday.
Researchers at the nonprofit Institute of International Education in Washington say growth is slowing as students face more education opportunities in their home countries and abroad. But the U.S. remains a top study destination for international students, researchers say.
“The numbers have been growing at slower rates each year, but there’s still definitely interest and growth in international students coming to earn a high school diploma in the U.S.,” said Christine Farrugia, author of the new study.
Source: More students coming to US for high school, but growth slows
By Thomas Arnett
If you’ve followed the K–12 education dialogue over the last decade, then you’re probably familiar with the term “disruptive innovation.” Edtech entrepreneurs and school choice advocates sometimes invoke it as an indomitable force that will redeem and transform broken school systems. Meanwhile, people on the other sides of these debates worry that “disruption” is a flawed yet rhetorically powerful narrative used to rationalize K–12 privatization. Somewhere in the middle are skeptics who give consideration to the idea, but wonder if disruption is an oversold term that is likely to underdeliver on its proponents’ promises.
So how do we make sense of the tumult of opinions? What is disruptive innovation and is it relevant in the current debates about K–12 education?
In the mid-1990s, Harvard professor Clayton M. Christensen coined the term “disruptive innovation” to describe how large and well-resourced industry incumbents like U.S. Steel and RCA were toppled by upstarts like Nucor and Sony. Christensen’s 1997 best-selling book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, articulated a theory to explain this phenomenon and catapulted the term “disruptive innovation” into the popular business lexicon.
Source: Is Disruptive Innovation Driving K-12 Privatization? – Education Next : Education Next
According to the latest Pew Research data, college graduation rates are up for Americans in nearly every racial and ethnic group.
Last year, former President Barack Obama spoke about how crucial this is for the U.S. economy.
“By 2020, two out of three job openings will require some form of higher education,” he said during an event at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C. “Our public schools had been the envy of the world, but the world caught up. And we started getting outpaced when it came to math and science education. And African American and Latino students, in part because of the legacy of discrimination, too often lagged behind our white classmates — something called the achievement gap that, by one estimate, costs us hundreds of billions of dollars a year.”
Source: How Schools, Parents And Organizations Are Trying To Close The Achievement Gap (Rebroadcast) – 1A
By Lauren Camera
States across the U.S. are taking more seriously the importance of early childhood education and ramping up their offerings, but compared to the rest of the world, the U.S. has a long way to go.
While enrollment rates for children under age three hover just below 30 percent – the middle of the pack compared to other countries – the U.S. falls significantly behind when it comes to enrollment rates of 3- and 4-year-olds, according to a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
“Giving all children access to high-quality early education and care will lay the foundations for future skill development, boost social mobility and support inclusive growth,” said Gabriela Ramos, OECD chief of staff, in a statement. RELATED CONTENT Best Countries for Education [RELATED: Best Countries for Education] The report assessed early childhood education enrollment, access, funding, staffing and its impact on academic performance in later years across 36 industrialized countries.
Source: U.S. Falls Behind Other Developed Countries in Early Childhood Education Enrollment | Best Countries | US News
By Richard Bammer
In its first year, the Ernest Kimme Charter Academy For Independent Learning sends students, teacher Roxann Lynch-Burns said, on a “journey” toward academic and life success.
As a “dependent” charter school overseen by Vacaville Unified, it is a campus, currently adjacent to the Sierra Vista School campus on Bel Air Drive, that “serves everybody,” she added.
For students who do not quite fit in a traditional school setting, the K-12 school, with nearly 300 students, is “tailored” to fit the needs of the home-schooled or Independent Study student, noted Lynch-Burns.
Source: Kimme Charter sends students on ‘journey’ to academic, life success – The Reporter
By Kimberly K. Fu
Continuous squirming, talking, negative reactions due to sensory issues and more are just some of the issues plaguing families of special needs children.
On Sunday, all of that was embraced as, thanks to a local police officer and a theater executive, many of those local families were invited to a movie outing just for them.
“It was fantastic,” Said Nicole Neff, whose daughter, Rayna, is autistic. “It was very appreciated. … It was an awesome thing to do for the community.”
Turns out, about 70 people got to enjoy the exclusive showing of “Boss Baby,” complete with free popcorn, soda and candy. All of which usually come with a hefty price tag, especially if you have a large family.
Source: Special needs families enjoy outing thanks to cop, theater exec
By Richard Bammer
If you are a leader, student or parent in the Vacaville, Dixon, Travis or Fairfield-Suisun school communities, you may have a story you want to share with the public, say, about a teacher using cutting-edge technology or an exciting curriculum, a student’s achievement, a trend in education. Do you?
If you don’t know where to begin, that is, how to get word out via The Reporter, in print and online, then you may want to clip and save this column or cut and paste it into a document for reference later.
The Reporter welcomes your school news. So here are some tips and thoughts on how to get our attention, how to submit press releases for consideration:
• How to get in touch with the person who handles education-related news items: Email and phone are the first steps and means, letting us know you want something covered — or at least considered for coverage. (We want to establish a good working relationship with you and I’m sure the desire is mutual.)
Source: Richard Bammer: Help us get important school news in the newspaper
By Rob Peters
We’re not very good at waiting – our western culture rather abhors it. And up ’till now, many of Benicia’s families and students have been doing it for months – years, in some cases.
For these days, you can hear certain sounds ripping the air from the families of Benicia’s high school seniors: sighs and gasps, winces and cringes, crying and yelping and OMG’ing and trash-talk a la rap star prima donnas. All these wholesome wails are in service to the thin or slightly bulging (bulging is better) envelopes that come in the mail, announcing whether or not you’ve been fully – or partly – or conditionally – accepted to a college of your interest. Most colleges have been lined up in some sort of priority, numeric system: the first and second choices, the fall – backs, the I’m –desperate-for-someplace choices, the ones-momma-wanted-me-to-apply to, the I’ve -changed-my-mind-I-would-NEVER-go-freaking-there, and the also-rans.
Source: Counseling matters: Waiting for that little white envelope…
By Susan Hiland
Dark blue and silver pinwheels spun in the spring breeze, representing the bright future for children in Solano County.
Child Haven planted a garden of blue pinwheels for April’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month in front of its offices in Fairfield.
The agency displayed 762 pinwheels, of which 603 children were represented as being helped from Child Haven in 2016. The remaining 159 are children served by the Solano Courage Center, which is a new partner with Child Haven.
President Ronald Reagan proclaimed April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month in 1983, the same year Child Haven got its start. Since then, child abuse and neglect awareness activities have been promoted across the country each April.
Source: Pinwheels garden in Fairfield shows care given to Solano children