Thirteen years ago, the Legislature – spurred by then-Gov.Gray Davis – made one of its periodic forays into educational reform, or so we were told.
The Public Schools Accountability Act purported to give us an objective measure of how well local schools were doing via a single number reflecting standardized test results.
By and by, the API numbers became factors in the buying and selling of homes, and eventually spawned efforts to evaluate teachers and principals by their students’ test scores, as well as parental campaigns to wrest control of low-API schools via charters.
via Dan Walters: California tries a new way to reform education.
FAIRFIELD — When asked what he wanted for Christmas, one Anderson Elementary School kindergartner whispered in the ear of Chief Master Sgt. Mark Kloeppel – aka Santa Claus – that he wanted to get his father a truck because the family’s current one had broken down.
On Monday, the first Cleo Gordon Elementary School child made a similar, but more fillable request, asking if Santa/Kloeppel would provide a teddy bear so the child could give it to his sister.
via 349th spreads holiday cheer with Operation Teddy Bear.
When a website is created to raise money for a child who has cancer, it might get a million clicks. But that kind of sympathetic outpouring is far more rare for children with mental health disorders, behavioral issues, or neurological conditions, said Kristine Melloy, the president of the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders, who also works in St. Paul, Minn., public schools.
Yet when the media cited unnamed law enforcement officials who said the gunman in the horrific school shooting in Newtown, Conn., last week may have had a form of autism or a mental health condition, the unconfirmed diagnosis was quickly blamed for triggering the massacre of 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary.
via Conn. School Shootings Unleashed Attack on Disabilities, Too.
Want additional School Improvement Grant models, beyond the four the Obama administration is already using? You’re going to have to make a really strong case for why you can’t do what you want to do under one of the four strategies already offered under SIG, according to Carmel Martin, the assistant secretary for planning, evaluation and policy at the U.S. Department of Education.
Martin, who spoke on a panel at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute Dec. 17 that focused on recent, very preliminary SIG data said that the strategies the department has outlined may not be perfect, but they set a high bar for significant action on the part of schools, districts, and states. That’s what’s needed to fix the nation’s worst performing schools, she added.
via Obama Administration Still Not a Fan of Adding Turnaround Models.
By EdSource staff
It was a clean sweep as all seven finalists seeking federal Investing in Innovation (i3) grants for California schools received word that they won. Together, they’ll get nearly $31 million, plus an additional $5.2 million in matching funds to develop or expand innovative programs designed to improve student achievement, reduce the dropout rate, increase high school graduation rates or boost college enrollment and success, especially for English learners and low-income students.
via California wins millions in school innovation grants – by EdSource staff.
By Susan Frey
California 8th graders ranked in the middle of the pack overall but behind seven of eight states in math and science in the latest international tests.
The rankings are based on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) tests taken last year by a random selection of
representative students from 56 countries and education systems, which included eight states and Canadian provinces.
Although the differences between rankings are sometimes only a matter of one or two points, California 8th graders had below-average scores in both subjects. They scored 493 in math, out of a possible 1,000, with 500 being the international average. They ranked 26th, behind 8th graders in 15 countries (including the United States) and 10 education systems (including seven states).
via California 8th graders behind states and world on math, science tests – by Susan Frey.
By Susan Frey
This week San Francisco Unified chose Revolution Foods as its new school meals vendor, moving away from frozen entrées to fresh breakfasts and lunches made with produce purchased locally.
Oakland-based Revolution Foods came in with the lowest bid, but the district’s new requirements for fresh, local produce will raise the overall cost by $928,000, to nearly
$10 million annually. The district, which serves more than 56,000 students, will start offering the Revolution Foods menu in January.
via San Francisco Unified freshens up its school menu – by Susan Frey.
By Louis Freedberg
Less than a day after the California teachers pension fund threatened to withdraw its investment, a major private equity firm has announced that it will sell Freedom Group, a company it formed that includes the manufacturer of the rifle used by Adam Lanza to massacre 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.
Cerberus Capital Management is owned by billionaire Stephen Feinberg, who is a gun enthusiast and whose father happens to live in Newtown. Bushmaster, which produced the AR-15 semi-automatic weapon reportedly used by Lanza, was one of six gun companies that Cerberus had bought and consolidated into Freedom Group.
via California teachers retirement fund threat triggers sale of gun company – by Louis Freedberg.
Brianna Boyd, Editor
A killer’s deadly rampage through a Connecticut elementary school sent shockwaves through the United States and the world Friday, and left many all over the country asking the same question: Could this unimaginable tragedy occur in our schools?
Little light has been shed on what triggered 20-year-old Adam Lanza to carry out the second deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. What is known is that the man, after murdering his mother in their Newtown, Ct. home, stormed into nearby Sandy Hook Elementary through a secure door – part of the school’s security system that is far more sophisticated than most in the country, including all in Dixon – and used a high-powered rifle to kill 20 small children and six adults before turning the gun on himself.
via Dixon Unified superintendent responds to school shooting
SUISUN CITY — The last of 27 sixth-grade classes visited the Suisun Marsh Monday to try on the roles of soil scientist, hydrologist, botanist and poet.
Almost 900 children participated in the Suisun Marsh Watershed Program this year, according to a press release from Marianne Butler, educational program manager for the Solano Resource Conservation District.
The educational event includes studying the soil, water and plants encountered on a hike. It ended with penning a poem to commemorate their experience. The poems will be submitted by teachers to the River of Words, an international art and poetry contest.
via Sixth-grade classes wrap up Suisun Marsh visits.
SAN FRANCISCO — A Northern California man was in custody Tuesday after police said he made threatening comments on the Internet related to the deadly Connecticut school shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead.
Sergio Cabada, 18, of Suisun City was arrested without incident Monday just hours after police were notified that he glorified the school rampage on his Facebook page and said he had thought of committing similar acts, Fairfield police Sgt. Kevin Carella said.
via Police take Facebook threats seriously.
Check out our website to read the letter from the Benicia Police Department and our Superintendent.
via Check out our website to read the letter from the Benicia Police Department and….
An 18-year-old Suisun City man allegedly posted comments on the Internet saying he supported the actions of the Newtown, CT, school shooter and had thought about committing a similar crime, authorities say.
The incident was reported to the Fairfield Police Department around 9 a.m., and by 3:30 p.m. police served a search warrant at the Suisun City home of Sergio Cabada.
via Teen Allegedly Threatened to Duplicate Newtown School Shooting.
Grade 7-12 classroom teachers and English learner (EL) support staff: Register today for SCOE’s EL Professional Development Strategic Workshop on February 12.
via Grade 7-12 classroom teachers and English learner (EL) support staff: Register t….
by Diana Lambert
It’s Monday and the kids were back in school after a weekend at home. But today was different than most Mondays. It comes on the heels of the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at a school in Newtown, Connecticut. Parents and students are worried. They are wondering if the schools are safe.
Locally that is hard question to answer. Many school districts have decreased the police presence on their campuses in order to balance budgets. In the Sacramento region that means that there is a police presence at most high schools and at some middle schools, but rarely at elementary schools.
via Report Card: Are local schools safe? Some taking closer look.
VALLEJO (CBS13) – Two juveniles, 12 and 13 years old, have been taken into custody after a witness reported spotting the two near Solano Community College’s Vallejo campus with a rifle case on Monday.
California Highway Patrol officers and Vallejo police responding to the area spotted the two juveniles running from a nearby hillside. They were both taken into custody without incident following a foot pursuit.
via 2 Armed Juveniles Spotted Near Solano Community College Taken Into ….
Anne OBrien Deputy Director of the Learning First Alliance
It is easy to ignore the noise from Washington, DC, about the upcoming fiscal cliff. The tone from the Capitol hardly seems changed from the pre-election rhetoric that made many of us tune out what politicians have to say.
But we need to tune in on this. The fiscal cliff, particularly the aspect of it known as sequestration (automatic 8.2 percent budget cuts to all federal discretionary spending programs that will occur in January unless Congress acts), has very real implications for our nation’s schools. The National Education Association (NEA) estimates that it will cut $4.8 billion in education funding (including cuts to Head Start), impacting 9.3 million students attending pre-K, elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools.
via The Fiscal Cliff: Why You Should Care and What You Can Do.
By John Fensterwald
Is it legal to buy personal computers for students using school construction bonds? And if it’s legal, is it wise to pay interest long-term on devices with a short shelf life?
Last month, the Bond Oversight Committee for Los Angeles Unified balked at endorsing Superintendent John Deasy’s plan to buy tablet computers with bonds intended primarily for building and renovating schools. In doing so, the Committee raised questions that other school districts also should be asking.
via Districts face questions in spending long-term bonds for short-lived technology – by John Fensterwald.
FAIRFIELD — A Solano Community College vice president has been tapped to take over the top job at Mendocino College.
Arturo Reyes, Solano’s executive vice president of academic and student affairs, was recently named the new superintendent/president of the community college in Ukiah. Reyes has held the Solano College position for two and a half years and will make the move official on Jan. 7.
via Solano College VP takes top job in Ukiah.
FAIRFIELD — Solano Community College will host 200 eighth-grade girl math and science students in January.
A conference for the Expanding Your Horizons and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education Coalition will take place Jan. 9, 2013, at the Fairfield campus, 4000 Suisun Valley Road.
via Solano College to host educational conference for girls.