By Michele McNeil
Today, the Obama administration will announce details of a $100 million competition for high schools that better prepare students for college and high-tech careers, U.S. Department of Education officials confirmed this morning.
First reported in the Wall Street Journal, the competition is shaping up to be a mix between the federal Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation programs, and will be funded and run through the Department of Labor. Between 25 and 40 grants will be awarded next year for high schools that team up with colleges and employers. The grants will range in size from $2 million to $7 million. Just as with the i3 competition, winners will have to secure private matching funds of at least 25 percent to get their grant.
via High Schools to Compete for $100 Million in New Race to the Top-Style Contest – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
By Michele McNeil
For the second year in a row, the U.S. Department of Education decided not to award any of the largest “scale-up” grants as part of its 2013 Investing in Innovation grant competition. But this time around, it’s not saying who the passed-over almost-winner was. And at stake was a grand prize worth up to $20 million.
Scale-up is the largest award category for the i3 contest. This year, the department elected to make awards to the highest-rated applicants in the other two smaller categories: “validation” grants, worth up to $12 million, and “development” grants, worth up to $3 million. (In case you’re wondering, the categories are divvied up by breadth of proposal and track record of past success. The largest awards go the biggest ideas that have the strongest evidence base. The smaller awards go to promising, more-experimental ideas.)
via Transparency Watch: Ed. Dept. Refuses to Disclose Top i3 Scale-Up Applicant – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
SACRAMENTO—As school districts across California implement both Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards in their classrooms, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation [http://cdefoundation.org/] , and the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls [http://women.ca.gov/] today convened the 2013 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Symposium at the Sacramento Convention Center.
The two-day event is attracting 2,000 California teachers, administrators, students, STEM program providers, and philanthropic and business leaders from around the state. The goal of the Symposium is to equip educators with the best practices, ideas, and strategies to bring high-quality STEM education to life in the classroom with two days of keynotes, hands-on workshops, student/teacher STEM demonstrations, and unique women in STEM programming. Most of the job growth in the coming years will be in the STEM fields.
via STEM Symposium – Year 2013 (CA Dept of Education).
Dixon Unified Superintendent Brian Dolan has confirmed that a Gretchen Higgins Elementary third grader took five bullets to school this morning. Dolan said the 8-year-old boy had “no intent to threaten or scare or harm anyone.” The child reportedly stole the bullets – a combination of 9 mm and 40 caliber shells – from another relative living in his home and brought them to school to show his friends. “The way this became known was that the boy actually gave one of the bullets to a second boy and that second boy gave his bullet to the teacher,” Dolan said. “I applaud that other student who knew that adults needed to know about this and spoke to his teacher.
via Breaking: Dixon Unified Superintendent… – The Dixon Tribune | Facebook.
By Ryan McCarthy
An updated Safe Route to Schools plan – with higher priorities including an improved crosswalk on East Tabor Avenue, a new sidewalk between Olive Drive and Clay Bank Road and modified traffic signals along Travis Boulevard and Eisenhower Street – goes before the Fairfield City Council when its meets Tuesday.
Crosswalk work is recommended for East Tabor at Falcon Drive, Blossom Avenue and Manor Place. The new 1,200-foot sidewalk sought between Olive Drive and Clay Bank Road would be built across from the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. The modified signal on Travis Boulevard would allow all-pedestrian movement at Travis Boulevard and Eisenhower Street.
via Fairfield council eyes safe routes to schools Daily Republic.
By Lanz Christian Bañes
The Vallejo City Unified School District administration will recommend Wednesday that the school board approve changing the mascot of its namesake high school.
Vallejo High’s Apache mascot, first adopted decades ago, has long been a source of tension between those who believe the name honors the spirit of the Apache and those who feel an American Indian mascot is offensive.
via Officials propose changing Apache mascot – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Tony Burchyns
Pennycook Elementary School third grader Bryan Franco, 9, concentrates on coloring a skull in the Latino village classroom at Friday’s Multicultural Night at the school.
As parents mingled and students zipped through the halls, organizers of Pennycook Elementary School’s third-annual Multicultural Night knew Friday’s event was off to a strong start.The celebration — which has become one of the most popular affairs of the year at the school — drew a large crowd of students, parents and teachers who enjoyed food, activities and performances celebrating Pennycook’s rich ethnic and cultural diversity.
via Vallejo school’s multicultural fair embraces diversity – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Richard Bammer
Leaders of Pacific Charter Institute, a Rio Linda-based nonprofit operator of charters schools, have submitted a petition to have its Vacaville campus, Heritage Peak, fall under the oversight of Travis Unified in Fairfield.
Paul Keefer, the charter school group’s CEO, who in July unsuccessfully tried to align the local school with Vacaville Unified, submitted a petition in October at Travis Unified offices on De Ronde Drive.
via Charter looks to Travis Unified School District – The Reporter.
By Richard Bammer
Markham Elementary School third grade teacher Stephanie Jones works with her class on the cycle of water on Saturday. The students are part of the district’s Academic Attendance Recovery Program that affords the pupils extended educational support and enrichment, while receiving credit for missed classes. (Joel Rosenbaum/JRosenbaum@TheReporter.com#
Hemlock Elementary teacher Patty Wasielewski asked, “What is black? How do you make black?”A few of some 20 students, sitting Saturday in a classroom at the Hemlock Street school, raised their hands.”You mix two colors together,” said Wasielewski, and several students nodded in agreement.
via Saturday School in Vacaville: Program helps students, district – The Reporter.
By Annie Murphy Paul
“When you get to be our age, you all of a sudden realize that you are being ruled by people you went to high school with,” noted the late novelist Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. “You all of a sudden catch on that life is nothing but high school.”
I thought of Vonnegut’s observation this week when I read a new study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research—titled, simply, “Popularity.” Individuals’ social status in high school has a “sizable effect” on their earnings as adults, reports lead author Gabriella Conti of the University of Chicago: “We estimate that moving from the 20th to 80th percentile of the high-school popularity distribution yields a 10% wage premium nearly 40 years later.”
via Does High School Determine the Rest of Your Life? | TIME.com.
During the past decade, the reform movements toward greater accountability have highlighted the achievement gap that exists among students based on race/ethnicity, family income, language ability, and disability. While progress has been made to address the inequities evidenced in our educational outcomes, students with disabilities remain among the lowest performing subgroup in California and implementation of Common Core State Standards CCSS could further exacerbate the differences that exist.
via Statewide Special Education Task Force – State Board of Education CA Dept of Education.
By Monica Burns
For families traveling this winter or teachers simply looking for an alternative to tablet games, there are lots of great apps for winter reading. Android devices, iPhones and iPads can be turned into ebook readers with a quick tap or swipe. Portable and kid-friendly, these interactive storybooks will support and engage young readers.
Snowman Joe (iOS (3))
Follow along with this musical storybook as readers travel through a winter wonderland. Auto Play reads the book aloud as it zooms into parts of the illustrations and highlights keywords.
via Apps for Winter Reading | Edutopia.
By Sean Cavanagh and Michele Molnar
The increasingly ubiquitous flow of data across education has caused anxiety among parents and privacy advocates, who fear that information about students will be released or shared with outside entities without permission. Yet a new report, while acknowledging those concerns, focuses on a potential payoff in expanding the openness of data across K-12: robust economic growth.
That analysis, released by the global consulting business McKinsey & Co., concludes that creating more open and transparent data in education from both public and private sources could “unlock” between $900 billion and $1.2 trillion in annual economic value worldwide, about a third of it in the United States.
via Education Week: Opening School Data Carries Economic Value, Report Contends.
By Catherine Bowen Mijs
It’s everyone’s worst nightmare: shots fired at a school.
That nightmare became something of a reality Thursday evening as a barrage of gunfire erupted at the otherwise quiet campus of Vacaville’s Sierra Vista Elementary School.
Fortunately, the hailstorm of gunshots and booming explosion that followed moments later were part of a planned countywide exercise geared toward preparing Solano’s first responders for the worst – a mass casualty incident with multiple victims requiring immediate treatment and an unknown number of suspects.
via Solano County police, fire do their best to train for the worst – The Reporter.
California educators will share their stories of success in preparing students for college and careers at a national conference next week in Virginia, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today.
Hosted by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills P21, the conference will recognize Savanna High School in Anaheim as an “Exemplar School” for its comprehensive, innovative approaches to teaching and learning. The opening keynote address for the event will be delivered by Stanford Universitys Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, who co-chaired both Torlaksons Transition Advisory Team, which crafted the Blueprint for Great Schools, and his Educator Excellence Task Force.
via Teaching 21st Century Skills to Students – Year 2013 CA Dept of Education.
By Richard Bammer
As he walked toward the Wood High School gymnasium Wednesday night, science teacher Lloyd Chan, referring to the school’s long-held desire to have its own football stadium on campus, said, “It’s the whole idea that it’s home turf.”
Chan was among some 900 people who attended a 6:30 p.m. community meeting to hear a Vacaville Unified official and two architects lay out the challenges and possibilities of placing a full-fledged stadium on east side of the campus, alongside stretches of Peabody and Marshall roads.
via Consultant: Stadium feasible at Vacaville’s Wood C. Wood High School – The Reporter.
Golden Hills Community School was privileged to participate in the “Continuing the Dreams” Youth conference hosted by the Association of Black Correctional Workers. This youth conference included an anger management workshop as well as a live video conference with individuals housed at the California Department of Corrections. “Continuing the Dreams” founding members are committed to honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy by committing to mankind through embracing and keeping his dream alive.
via Continuing the Dream Youth Conference | Facebook.
By Lanz Christian Bañes
When John Finney first walked into the burned-out building that served as the center of Vallejo’s continuation school nearly four decades ago, he knew he had come home.
“I’d died and came to heaven when I came to Peoples High School,” Finney said Wednesday night, standing in a multipurpose room where that building once stood.
But the campus was no longer Peoples High School, a name Finney helped students develop in 1974 to replace the outdated “Work%
via Vallejo school celebrates renaming as John Finney High – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Mayrene Bates
This delightful verse by Scottish novelist and poet Robert Louis Stevenson reminded me that we recently rolled our clocks to return to standard time. I often wonder about this, especially when I see children walking to school or waiting for the school bus, sometimes in the dark.
This time of the year reminds me of the years that I had to rise very early on dark, chilly mornings to ride not a school bus but a shirt factory workers’ bus many miles to my high school. There are somethings that one seems never to forget. My high school bus riding days could make another column quite unto itself, but not this time around.
via School bus safety deserves our attention Daily Republic.
By Barry Eberling
Grange Middle School eighth-grader Francis Ancheta on Wednesday took a career class that offered him the jobs choices of a river guide or a computer engineer.
He preferred engineering, given the monthly paycheck of $8,180. The $1,480 paycheck of a river guide wouldn’t earn him enough to buy a house, he said. But he really prefers another career option.
“Armed forces,” he said during this four-day, career-and-budgeting session in math class.
via Schools build links between classrooms, real world Daily Republic.