By Renee Schoof
The pass rate on rigorous Advanced Placement tests went up by 72 percent last year at high schools that took part in a National Math and Science Initiative program that trains teachers and gives students extra help on Saturdays.
The program has been especially helpful in boosting success for girls and minority students – groups that have been under-represented in advanced math and science classes, said initiative CEO Sara Martinez Tucker. The nonprofit group announced its 2012-13 results on Wednesday.
via Math, science program sees big improvement on AP tests – Education – The Sacramento Bee.
By Ross Brenneman
There’s a bully for everyone.
Based on the success of the Safe Zone movement propelled by gay rights advocates, the Secular Student Alliance announced in a press release this week that it plans to start safe zones for secular students, too.
The SSA contends that despite the growth in atheism over the past decade, nonreligious students continue to face ridicule and need a place to discuss faith—or at least a lack thereof.
via How Many Kinds of Safe Zones Does a School Need? – Rules for Engagement – Education Week.
Times-Herald staff report
A 25-year-old Vallejo man was arrested in connection with a shooting Wednesday morning near an elementary school, police said.
Officers were dispatched at about 6:20 a.m. to the area of Beverly Hills Elementary School to investigate a report of shots fired in the unit block of Hollywood Avenue. As officers were responding, police received an additional call of a man down in a front yard on the east side of the street, Vallejo police Lt. Herman Robinson said.
via Vallejo man arrested in shooting near elementary school – Vallejo Times Herald.
The results of this year’s PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Towards the Public Schools offers some heartening news for public education advocates. Despite the rhetoric dominating the national media, which gives the impression that our schools are struggling and that educator quality is to blame, 71 percent of parents give the school their oldest child attends an “A” or “B” (these numbers drop substantially when it comes to the national level, perhaps because of the media’s rhetoric — a mere 18 percent give the nation’s schools as a whole an “A” or a “B”).
via What Do Parents Think About the Common Core Standards? | Edutopia.
By John Fensterwald
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is proposing to eliminate an alternative test for students with disabilities, arguing it undercuts their academic potential. The value of the test has divided the education and disability rights communities, with some advocates agreeing with Duncan and others saying the test accurately captures what students have learned.
via Duncan wants to end test for disabled students that California overused | EdSource Today.
By Kathryn Baron
States with waivers from No Child Left Behind may be letting schools off the hook from helping their most at-risk students, according to a report released Tuesday by the Campaign for High School Equity, a coalition of civil rights organizations.
NCLB waivers give states flexibility from some of the most challenging requirements of the federal education law, including that 100 percent of students in Title I, or low-income, schools must be proficient in math and reading by the end of the current academic year. In exchange, the states agreed to implement a teacher evaluation process that is tied to student test scores.
via At-risk students may lose under NCLB waivers, civil rights groups say | EdSource Today.
Aug. 26, 2013 — As 55 million students return to U.S. schools this fall, 40 national organizations and as many as 900 schools and community groups are sounding the alarm about a crisis of absenteeism that is eroding academic achievement and putting students at greater risk of dropping out.
Research shows that 5 million to 7.5 million students are missing nearly a month of school every year and that these absences – excused or unexcused – add up to academic trouble. Too many absences in the early grades can leave children unable to master reading by the end of third grade, a key indicator of school success. By middle and high school, chronic absence becomes a red flag that a student may not graduate from high school.
via Press Release: New Research, Policy Brief, Contest Announced in First-Ever Nationwide Attendance Awareness Month « Attendance Works.
KIDS TAKE THE FIELD
Merrill Lynch Bank of America chose Mundy Elementary School to participate in Kids Take the Field Day with the SF Giants September 8. All students who took the California Standards Tests last year were included in a random drawing – 13 lucky students will attend the game. Five will run the bases, get autographs and hang out with the players; the remaining eight get to hang out in the dugout! THANKS, MERRILL LYNCH BANK! GO-O-O-O, GIANTS! (FSUSD is an equal opportunity fan base and does not endorse one sports team over another.)
via Timeline Photos | Facebook.
By Susan Winlow
Rick Vaccaro is a happy educator these days.As the director of alternative education for the Solano County Office of Education and the on-site administrator for Golden Hills-Court Community School, he now heads up an accredited institution.
It’s not common for community schools to be accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Vaccaro said. The distinction allows the school to give out diplomas to students.
via Community school earns accreditation Daily Republic.
By Michele McNeil
On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called on educators and students to advance a civil rights agenda that presses for equal opportunities—and not just equal rights.
“Integration alone doesn’t guarantee a world-class education,” he told the crowd in the auditorium at the School Without Walls, a magnet high school in the District of Columbia. “Civil rights means having the same opportunities as other people do. Too many left on the sidelines are black or brown or poor.”
via Arne Duncan: Integration Alone Doesn’t Equal a World-Class Education – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
School is just about to start, or has already started, and you have been armed with iPads for this year. Whether your students will be 1:1 or you have access to a handful of shared devices, the expectation now exists that these tools will be put to good use. So now what? How do you get started? What can you do in the first five days of school to get going on the right foot?
via Back to School with iPads: 5 Steps for the First 5 Days | Edutopia.
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces Two Publications to Help Schools and Students Transition to Common Core State Standards
With schools beginning the year deeply engaged in the transition to the Common Core State Standards, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that they are available in print for the first time.
via CCSS Publications Available – Year 2013 (CA Dept of Education).
Second grade students from Ms. Julie Victor’s class at David Weir K-8 Preparatory Academy discuss college with the Vice Chancellor at U. C. Berkeley http://vimeo.com/70992631
via Second grade students from Ms. Julie… – Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District | Facebook.
A snapshot in time: CA Jacobs Middle School
Here is another historic picture provided by the Dixon Public Library. This is an aerial view of Dixon in 1980, focusing on CA Jacobs School at the corner of West B Street and North Lincoln Street. The photograph was taken by the late Harold Axelson, a longtime Dixon resident. The picture can be found in the Dixon Public Librarys archives, #2005.16.20
via Timeline Photos | Facebook.
By Loretta Kalb
A top Twin Rivers Unified School District administrator resigned this week and will receive nearly $175,000 on his way out, the district confirmed Friday.
Rob Ball, associate superintendent of business support services, submitted his “voluntary resignation” to the Twin Rivers Board of Trustees, which accepted it on Thursday, according to a statement.
via Twin Rivers administrator resigns, will receive nearly $175,000 on way out – Education – The Sacramento Bee.
By Jane Meredith Adams
Responding to concerns that schools should do more to stop bullying, a new state audit found that most schools do not track whether their anti-bullying programs have made campuses any safer and that schools are inconsistent in how they record and resolve bullying incidents.
Oversight and guidance from the California Department of Education has been insufficient, the audit said, noting the department went four years without noticing that it was not monitoring schools to ensure they were addressing student complaints, as required by law. At the same time, funding has been cut for statewide surveys on student safety, making it more difficult to determine students’ experiences with bullying.
via School bullying prevention efforts falling short, state audit says | EdSource Today.
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
Two local school districts welcome new faces to the helm as Solano County schools see a brighter financial future.
Kenneth Jacopetti leads the Vacaville United School District. He will oversee 12,000 students in 10 elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools and two other schools.
via School districts look ahead to brighter days Daily Republic.
By John Glidden
Kindergarten is where most 4- and 5-year-olds begin the journey outside of the family structure. They learn the building blocks of education while roaming the playground with classmates, forming friendships that can last a lifetime.
This isn’t always easy for parents. So to help, here are some steps parents need to know before the first day starts:
via How to register a child for kindergarten Daily Republic.
By Barry Eberling
Five-year-old Dylan Cameron gave kindergarten a passing grade and he hadn’t even started his first day.
“I like kindergarten,” Dylan said after he arrived at Center Elementary School on Thursday morning, carrying his supplies in a light-up Avengers backpack.
via Travis district kicks off new school year Daily Republic.
By Barry Eberling
Superintendent of Schools Jay Speck on Wednesday will give an overview of the changes taking place in public education and how they will transform the way California provides education.
via Board of Education plans study session Daily Republic.