By Kathryn Baron
It’s well known that foster youth change schools more frequently than other students, but a new study using pioneering data analysis shows foster youth are more than twice as likely to switch schools as their classmates.
Researchers at UC Berkeley’s Center for Social Services Research and at the Institute for Evidence-Based Change, a nonprofit based in Encinitas, found that about 95 percent of foster youth changed schools the first year they were placed in care compared to 37 percent to 38 percent of students in a comparison group.
via Foster youth switch schools at huge rate | EdSource Today.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today congratulated 13 California public and two private schools that are being recognized as 2013 National Blue Ribbon Schools.
The schools, which were either high achieving or made significant academic improvement, were among 236 public and 50 private schools identified Tuesday by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
via National Blue Ribbon Schools Named – Year 2013 (CA Dept of Education).
By Ryan McCarthy
New school standards called Common Core – the subject of a Vacaville town hall Wednesday night – require a significant boost in spending to train teachers and administrators, says a consultant with a Fairfield-based firm.
“You can’t make major changes without supporting the people who are making the changes,” said Nancy Peterson of Total School Solutions. “It is necessary to spend some money to do this.”
via Common Core boosts spending for teacher training Daily Republic.
By Ernest Kimme
Not within my recent memory has the Vacaville Unified School District Board had two vacancies to fill within two months.
Last month, Larry Mazucca, with months of warning, resigned. Now, suddenly, Terry Nutt has resigned.
Wisely, the board decided to draw on the previous list of applicants to fill her spot. In fact, they are focusing on the remaining two of the top three: Michelle Dally and Shawn Windham.
via Ernest Kimme: Meeting Vacaville school challenges – The Reporter.
By Christina Samuels
Janet Mino, a seemingly tireless special education teacher in New Jersey, is quick with smiles, hugs, and high-fives for the six young men with autism in her self-contained classroom at Newark’s John F. Kennedy High School.
The students in her class, and throughout the school that calls itself the city’s “best kept secret,” are used to a warm, supportive environment. All of the students have autism or multiple disabilities with cognitive impairments. But once those students reach the age of 21, they leave the school system for a fate that is sometimes unknown.
via PBS Documentary Explores Life After School for Students With Autism – On Special Education – Education Week.
By Louis Freedberg
Enrollments in teacher preparation programs in California are continuing to decline at a precipitous rate, according to new figures prepared for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
A report for the commission indicates that 26,446 students were enrolled in teacher preparation programs in 2011-12 – a 24 percent reduction from the previous year’s total of 34,838 students. That was by far the biggest decline recorded over the past decade, during which enrollments have steadily dropped. Enrollments have declined by 66 percent from a decade earlier, when 77,700 students were enrolled.
via Enrollment in teacher preparation programs plummets | EdSource Today.
By Randolph Ward
Of all the bills sitting on the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown, perhaps none is more important to the future of education in California than Assembly Bill 484. Sponsored by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and authored by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, AB 484 would end the standardized tests that have been in place since 1999 and move California forward in implementing tests based on the new Common Core State Standards.
via Billl would prevent double testing and double frustration for students, teachers | EdSource Today.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will be in Washington, D.C., next week as he continues his push for increased federal assistance to provide broadband access for all students and schools across California.
At issue is the federal Schools and Libraries Program, more commonly known as E-rate, a surcharge on long distance telephone bills established in 1997 that provides discounts to assist schools and libraries in obtaining affordable telecommunications and Internet access. Torlakson has championed efforts to update E-rate to narrow the digital divide. In March 2012, he convened his Education Technology Task Force to bring 21st century tools into California’s classrooms. He has also brought together other state superintendents via the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to work together on this issue.
via Torlakson Pushes for E-Rate – Year 2013 (CA Dept of Education).
Institutionalizing Full Service Community Schools “ Our Vision is for our diverse learners to be empowered, prepared and equipped with academic and life skills needed to be productive citizens, who can positively contribute to society” and “Our Goal is for every student to have clear attainable pathways to career and/or college success” As we solidify our Culture of Excellence, and make our Vision and Goal become a reality, we build on work that started last year to ensure that all students have access to the support they need to be successful in school.
via Institutionalizing Full Service… – Vallejo City Unified School District | Facebook.
Brianna Boyd, Editor
Do you have a question for one of Dixon’s three new school board members? Since there is not going to be a school board election this year, the Dixon Chamber of Commerce is going to forego its traditional candidates night forum and instead host an informal Meet and Greet at 7 p.m. Oct. 9 in the city council chambers.
The evening will include an opportunity for the candidates to introduce themselves to the community, as well as prepared questions from the chamber’s Governmental Affairs Committee and written and oral questions from the audience. The second portion of the night will consist of an informal Meet and Greet, where citizens can approach the new school board members and talk to them about their concerns and ideas for Dixon Unified School District.
via Meet Dixon Unified’s new trustees… – The Dixon Tribune | Facebook.
By Ryan McCarthy
A new five-year agreement between Suisun City and the Fairfield-Suisun School District to share facilities goes before school trustees Thursday for review.
“It’s a document for both agencies to use each other’s facilities – and to promote recreation,” said Kim Van Gundy, director of facilities and construction for the school district.
via Suisun City, Fairfield-Suisun School District eye agreement Daily Republic.
By Mike Corpos
The state’s new method of paying for public education will likely see schools in Vacaville add close to two dozen new teachers in coming years to keep class sizes small in primary grades.
That method, called Local Control Funding Formula, requires reduced class sizes, among other things, to ensure a district receives maximum funding.
via Vacaville school board gets update on funding, class size reduction Daily Republic.
By Mike Corpos
Racking up the miles was only part of the purpose for hundreds of people as they ran around the sandy running trail at Golden West Elementary School, Saturday.
Despite the rain, close to 300 people participated in the Viking Challenge to raise money for the Fisher House at Travis Air Force Base.
via Viking Challenge raises money for Fisher House Daily Republic.
Noah Zeichner and Lori Nazareno, American teachers, were at the Finnish Lessons conference in Seattle as well, and we all had a school reform conversation with Marianna that pushed our thinking about the propsects for teacher leadership and teacherpreneurism in the United States. As a former communication expert who now has taught for eight years, Marianna drew on her experiences both as a media consultant and a public school teacher in defining her vision for the teaching profession.
via Lessons From Finland: What Educators Can Learn About Leadership | MindShift.
By Alyson Klein
Career and Technical Education legislation has always been bipartisan—and lawmakers in the House are hoping that an upcoming reauthorization can continue the tradition.
CTE is the largest federal program for high schools, funded at about $1.13 billion. And its focus—career education—fits in with House leaders’ current embrace of workforce/job training issues. Still, it’s kind of an obscure step-child to the much more glitzy Higher Education Act and Elementary and Secondary Education Act. (Maybe CTE’s under-the-radar nature will help with bipartisanship?)
via U.S. House Kicks Off Renewal of Career and Technical Education Legislation – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
By Ryan McCarthy
The Solano County Office of Education isn’t participating in a Vacaville town hall Wednesday about new Common Core state standards put in place in California schools this year.
It’s because the state has already approved the standards, the county superintendent says.
“That is really a political question that was answered by the state,” Jay Speck said of the merits of Common Core.
via Vacaville town hall on Common Core won’t have Solano County office Daily Republic.
By Mike Corpos
Barely a week after it appointed Christopher Flask to replace Larry Mazzuca, the Vacaville school board determined the process Thursday for replacing Theresa Nutt, who handed in her resignation Monday.
Both Mazzuca and Nutt resigned because they moved out of the district’s boundaries.
via Vacaville board sets process for seating new member Daily Republic.
Educators who work in low-income schools understand technology could help them understand student needs better and create more engaging learning experiences. But tight budgets make some of the more ambitious schemes, like one-to-one computer, access a distant dream.
Yet it’s precisely the schools with under-served student populations that stand to gain the most from technology. Class sizes are often large and teachers are looking for ways to keep the class engaged and focused when they work one-on-one with a struggling student. Smart use of technology could save them time with grading and tracking student progress, for example. Still some high-needs schools are only just beginning to push for school technology.
via 10 Essential Tips For Meeting Tech Needs of Low-Income Schools | MindShift.
By Kathryn Baron
The current overhaul of California’s student testing program is skipping, for now, the California High School Exit Exam, the one test that’s truly high stakes. If students don’t pass, they don’t receive a high school diploma.
Gov. Jerry Brown has said he will sign Assembly Bill 484, which, as EdSource Today has reported, would suspend the current California Standards Tests in English language arts and math for grades 3 to 8 and 11. In its place, schools could give students a practice exam aligned to the new Common Core standards currently under development.
via Future of high school exit exam unclear as California revamps testing requirements | EdSource Today.
By Mike Corpos
A week after appointing Christopher Flask to fill a vacancy, the Vacaville School District’s governing board will begin the process anew Thursday.
The board’s regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. at the Educational Services Center.
Earlier this week, the board accepted the resignation of board member Theresa Nutt, who is moving out of the district’s boundaries.
via Vacaville school board to consider new vacancy Daily Republic.