By Donna Beth Weilenman
The 24 children enrolled in the Robert Semple Elementary School pre-kindergarten Summer Academy will have visitors Wednesday. And those visitors are bringing backpacks full of school supplies, said June Regis, program manager of Child Care Programs and Adult Education.
Solano County Superintendent of Schools Jay Speck and Benicia Unified School District Superintendent Janice Adams will visit the classroom, Regis said, and may observe the pupils at work, speak with teachers and possibly read a story to the children.
via Backpack giveaway for pre-K kids Wednesday | The Benicia Herald.
By Lillian Mongeau
A new poll released Wednesday suggests broad bipartisan support exists for federally funded public preschool.
The poll, commissioned by the early education advocacy group First Five Years Fund, found that 50 percent of the 800 registered voters polled nationwide said they “strongly” support President Barack Obama’s $75 billion proposal to expand public preschool offerings by raising the federal tobacco tax. Another 20 percent said they “somewhat” support it.
via Strong bipartisan support for public preschool, new poll suggests | EdSource Today.
By Ross Brenneman
It’s not precognition, but it’s still prescient: A new dropout-warning system being built in Montgomery County, Md., can flag 75 percent of future dropouts as early as the second semester of 1st grade. My colleague Sarah D. Sparks has a big story about the tracking system, which you should read.
Some things are hard to foretell: the lottery, the NFL playoffs, love. But there is so much data and research about what increases the odds of a student doing poorly that this system seems inevitable for many more districts. It’s not perfect—it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future—but it seems workable. This is the future of big data in education: more and better comprehensive modeling systems.
via News From the Future: You’re Going to Drop Out – Rules for Engagement – Education Week.
By Alyson Klein
Back in February, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan went on CBS’ “Face the Nation” and warned that school districts could be forced to cut 40,000 teacher jobs, thanks to a series of across-the-board federal budget cuts known as sequestration.
At the time, Duncan got his head handed to him by the national media, including the White House press corps. Reporters pointed out that there were no massive layoffs in the offing—and the department explained that school districts typically don’t begin their budgets for the next school year until the spring. The cuts, which were slated to hit at the start of the next school year, would likely be bad for districts, the administration argued, but February was too early to know the full impact on K-12 education.
via Arne Duncan: Fewer Layoffs Than Expected, But Sequestration Still ‘Heartbreaking’ – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
By Samantha Tran / commentary
Now that the state’s new system of funding schools has been signed into law, educators and community groups are trying to get their bearings. At an event recently a colleague from a county office of education said that she was being inundated by calls from the field “wanting to know what the new rulebook is” for transitioning to the new system and ensuring successful implementation.
The old rulebook that governed how schools spent their money, which was both stifling and (let’s be honest) comforting at times, has been replaced by the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), which now offers an opportunity for communities to take the reins to implement locally tailored approaches, while being held accountable for student outcomes.
via Local Control Funding Formula: Is there a new rulebook? | EdSource Today.
If you are planning activities for Attendance Awareness Month this September, check out our updated Count Us In! Toolkit. We have added even more resources, tools and templates to help you celebrate Attendance Awareness Month and raise awareness about the importance of going to school every day.
via Count Us In! Toolkit 2.0 « Attendance Works.
VACAVILLE – After a lifetime in education, it’s another learning experience for Kenneth Jacopetti.
Almost a month into his new post as superintendent of Vacaville schools, Jacopetti is quickly learning the ropes as he makes the transition from a much-smaller district.
via New head of Vacaville schools settles in, faces challenges Daily Republic.
By Karen Nolan/
Can a football stadium be built at Will C. Wood High School?
Call it a $27,000 question, as that’s how much the Vacaville Unified School District board has agreed to spend to find out.
And if all goes according to schedule, there should be a definitive answer by the end of the year.
via Karen Nolan: Let’s settle this question – The Reporter.
By Richard Bammer/
Vacaville Unified parents soon will know results from the 2013 Standard-ized Testing and Reporting (STAR) test. Scores will be made public in the coming days and weeks. By state law, the test results, which many parents use to make decisions about their child’s school or teachers, must be announced by Aug. 15.
Each spring, California students in grades two through 11 must take a series of tests. Grades two through eight tests cover mathematics and English (which includes writing in grades four and seven). Grades nine through 11 take tests in English, mathematics and science. History-social science tests are added for grades nine, 10, and 11, and science is added for grades five and eight. Except for the writing parts, all questions are multiple-choice.
via Crisis in education? Look to the U.S. economy – The Reporter.
Buckingham Charter Magnet High School still has a limited number of openings for incoming ninth-graders, it has been announced.
Interested parents should contact the school office between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., for enrollment information.
via Charter school openings available – The Reporter.
With regard to the column by Solano Community College’s superintendent and president, Jowel C. Laguerre (July 14, “Solano College considers PLA pros, cons”), I personally have sat in on some of these meetings concerning project labor agreements.
Union and nonunion companies all agree that there is a need for further education for the trades at the private, high school and college levels. From the sound of the column, if a PLA is not passed, the union would not be very involved in this furthering of education for the future labor pool. This thought is rather foolish due to all of the training centers that the unions have in Fairfield alone and the labor pool involved for future membership.
via PLAs are discriminatory Daily Republic.
The LCFF, enacted as part of the 2013-14 budget package, establishes a new uniform funding formula and a new system of academic accountability. The formula replaces revenue limits and most categorical programs with uniform base rates for all pupils and provides significantly more funding for English learner and low-income students. The new system of academic accountability requires school districts and charter schools to publicly report how they will use the funds provided under the formula, as well as establishes a new system of support and intervention support for underperforming school districts and charter schools. While the transition to the LCFF begins in 2013-14, it will take several years before all provisions are fully implemented and districts and charter schools are fully funded to formula targets. Moreover, a number of key decisions have yet to be made regarding the implementation of the new fiscal and academic accountability provisions.
via An Overview of the Local Control Funding Formula.
By Christina Samuels
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, along with federal leaders who oversee special education, told a conference of special education leaders and parents of students with disabilities that their experiences can help guide a number of national initiatives, including expanded preschool and preparing students for college and work.
The audience was gathered here for the yearly IDEA Leadership Conference. Duncan, repeating the administration’s focus on creating a $75 billion federal investment in state-run preschool, said that preschool can help reduce the number of students enrolled in special education.
via Ed. Dept. Leaders Say Special Education Offers Lessons for All – On Special Education – Education Week.
By Michele McNeil
The U.S. Department of Education continues to quietly approve—and negotiate over—states’ teacher-evaluation systems as part of its No Child Left Behind Act waiver process.
via More NCLB Waiver States Get Federal Approval for Teacher Evaluations – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
By Michele McNeil
For the real edunerd in us all, mark your calendars for November—that’s when a new searchable website is expected to debut that catalogs all of the data the U.S. Department of Education collects, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.
Of course, this is the federal government we’re talking about, so don’t hold your breath on November.
via What Data Does U.S. Department of Education Collect? Stand By… – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
By Ernest Kimme
Vacaville Unified’s school board had an obscure item on its recent agenda. The district applied to the state for a CBEST waiver for substitute teachers.
Yep, it’s one of those boring but important items we occasionally read about. Substitute teachers, you see, are supposed to take and pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test.
via Ernest Kimme: In need of qualified substitute teachers – The Reporter.
We’re hearing great things from communities across the country about what they’re doing to mark September as Attendance Awareness Month. The Salt Lake City area already has secured a public service announcement from Utah Gov. Gary Herbert. Del Ray Beach, Florida, is working with a local arts school on a jingle for their “Rise ‘N Shine” campaign and coordinating with the local Chamber of Commerce to give mini-grants to schools for attendance incentives. Grand Rapids, Mich. and Palm Beach, Florida are planning forums on attendance. You can read all about it on the Attendance Awareness Month map.
via In Attendance Awareness Month, Don’t Forget Your Superintendent! « Attendance Works.
By Barry Eberling
FAIRFIELD — About 25 children, ages 4 and 5, sat in a Sheldon Elementary School classroom learning their letters on a day that featured “S” and Sammy the Snake.
“I’m a special snake who loves to sings solos,” teacher Mary Ann Michelon read from a book. “Sometimes I’m silly.”
The children had embarked on a four-week push to get ready for kindergarten.
via Pre-Kindergarten Academy gives kids a leg-up on school Daily Republic.
By Susan Winlow
FAIRFIELD — Tanya Ortega just graduated from high school and is beginning college in the fall.
She is also working.
As a foster youth, the 18-year-old has bucked the statistics that show fewer than 60 percent of foster youths graduate from high school and fewer than 5 percent finish college. Fewer than 50 percent are employed.
via Foster youth team advocates for others in care Daily Republic.
Posted by JB Davis (Editor)
Nearly $100-Million originally allocated for Solano County local Redevelopment Agencies has instead flowed into accounts of public entities in Solano County since Gov. Jerry Brown abolished Redevelopment Agencies two years ago.
Redevelopment agencies financed their activities through a share of the increases in property tax realized over the life of a project area, money that is now being divided among other public entities.
via Suisun Schools Reap the Benefits of Reallocated Redevelopment Money – Schools – Suisun City, CA Patch.