By Richard Bammer
And it is practice that the 60 members of Vanden High’s Wind Ensemble will be doing from now until spring, when they journey to the storied temple for music at the corner of 57th Street and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan.
The honor to perform in the venerable, 124-year-old auditorium is only extended to a handful of public school band programs each year, Chris Hulett, human resources director for Travis Unified, wrote in a press release Thursday.
The ensemble, which will perform March 28, was selected after submitting a recording, he noted.
via Vanden High ensemble to play Carnegie Hall.
By Shia Smith
For a long time I did not know exactly what job I wanted, but I knew I had a passion for helping the voiceless.
I worked as a faculty research assistant for the Oregon Water Resources Research Center, led professional workshops for Dell Computer Corporation, became a mentor for young people through the the Austin Writers’ League’s writing and poetry workshops and was a part‐time teaching artist with the Theatre Action Project.
I finally settled on being a creative writer at Compass Learning, where I worked with a team of teachers, subject-matter experts and programmers to produce innovative educational software designed to support challenged learners in the area of mathematics.
via Alternative certification can help more people become teachers | EdSource.
By Grace Smith
California’s system of school construction and maintenance is subpar and unfair, with low-income districts often under-funding construction but overspending on patching facilities that need major restorations, according to a study by Jeffrey Vincent, deputy director of the Center for Cities + Schools in the Institute of Urban and Regional Development at U.C. Berkeley.
- “California must bolster – not recede from – its role in the state-local funding partnership for K-12 school facilities. Moving forward, the state should ensure that all school districts can reasonably meet both maintenance and capital investment needs” by combining local dollars with “stable and predictable state funding.”
The study was published as new data has been released showing inequality in facilities funding in the state. It is possible that school construction could be a controversial issue in the Legislature next year, writes John Fensterwald of EdSource.
via California Faces School Renovation Needs, Tight Budget.
How can technology help improve our quality of life? How can we navigate the world without using the sense of vision? Inventor and IBM Fellow Chieko Asakawa, whos been blind since the age of fourteen, is working on answering these questions. In a charming demo, she shows off some new technology thats helping blind people explore the world ever more independently … because, she suggests, when we design for greater accessibility, everyone benefits.
via Chieko Asakawa: How new technology helps blind people explore the world | TED Talk | TED.com.
By Andra Cernavskis, The Hechinger Reporter
On an early October morning, a mix of six kindergarten and third-grade teachers walked into Andrea Easley’s third grade classroom in Tracy, California to teach a science lesson. Students stared eagerly at the newcomers as Easley positioned herself the front of the classroom.
“Today we are going to do another experiment,” Easley said.
“Yay!” the third graders cheered, some jumping out of their chairs in excitement.
via What Teacher Training for New Science Standards Could Look Like | MindShift | KQED News.
By Richard Bammer
Vacaville Unified students, as they did last year, continue to generally lag behind state averages in physical fitness, data from a California Department of Education report indicate.
Released Nov. 20, the report noted that the percentage of public school students who met the Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ) performance standards in all six areas declined somewhat but mostly remained stable this year, according to the results of the 2014-15 physical fitness test.
Once again, local students are mostly failing to match or exceed statewide averages in the tests that measure aerobic capacity, body composition, abdominal strength, trunk extensor strength, upper body strength, and flexibility, the data revealed.
via Vaca students continue to lag behind state physical fitness standards.
By Claudio Sanchez and Anya Kamenetz
Its almost a decade overdue, but the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote later today on a bill to replace the No Child Left Behind law.
Since NCLB was signed by President George W. Bush in early 2002, the federal government has played a major role in telling states how to run — and reform — their schools. But this new bill signals a sea change in the federal approach.
Annual tests in math and reading, the centerpiece of the old law, would remain in place. But the consequences of those test scores would no longer be dictated by the federal government. The new law, known as the Every Student Succeeds Act, significantly shifts responsibility for improving schools back to the states.
via House Set To Vote On Education Overhaul : NPR Ed : NPR.
By Ashley Cronin
Chances are high that computer-science literacy will be increasingly relevant for jobs of the future. Some theorists even suggest that the ability to read and write code is a fundamental 21st-century competency. Yet, according to an August 2015 Gallup survey, many students get little exposure to these concepts at school; opportunities are even more limited for low-income students. To address these realities, there are a variety of free resources that can help teachers of all grades and subjects give students exposure to computer science, as well as access to opportunities that develop the skills required to approach coding problems.
via Calling All Learners and Teachers for Hour of Code 2015 | Edutopia.
By Alyson Klein
The newest proposed version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act—dubbed the Every Student Succeeds Act—has officially been released.
Votes in both chambers of Congress are expected over the next couple weeks. If all goes as planned, the bill will reach President Barack Obamas desk by the end of the year—and hes expected to sign it.
So what is in the ESSA, when it comes to accountability, testing, programs, and more? And how does it compare to No Child Left Behind Act, Classic Edition, and the Obama administrations NCLB waivers?
via ESEA Reauthorization: The Every Student Succeeds Act Explained – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
By Sarah Tully
Children who attended transitional kindergarten performed better on language, literacy and math skills when they started kindergarten, compared to their peers who weren’t in the program, according to a new report.
The American Institutes for Research on Tuesday released its first report that examines the impact of California’s transitional kindergarten program, which was created through the California Kindergarten Readiness Act in 2010.
Transitional kindergarten is a unique, state-funded program that allows children to get an extra year of schooling before kindergarten if their 5th birthdays fall between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2. Lawmakers added the new grade after they changed the cutoff birthdate for kindergarten, which required children to turn 5 by Sept. 1 in order to enroll. About 83,000 children attended transitional kindergarten, also known as TK, in 2014-15.
via Study: Transitional kindergarten students are better prepared for school | EdSource.
By Gary Hoachlander and Christopher J. Steinhauser
Young people growing up in California will face stiff competition for jobs when they enter the workforce. Lasting success in the rapidly changing world of work requires ever increasing levels of proficiency with technical knowledge and skills. And the future prosperity of our state depends on a highly skilled workforce able to compete with the rest of the world.
Fortunately, career and technical education – once called vocational education – is enjoying a resurgence of interest and support in California, with an additional $900 million included in this year’s state budget. Just two weeks ago, the superintendent of public instruction gave school districts until Nov. 30, 2015 to apply for grants to develop and enhance high-quality career technical education programs.
via Career and technical education must be integrated with academic coursework | EdSource.
By John Glidden
Well-known educator and Benicia school board member Rosie Switzer has died, officials said Monday.
Switzer taught for more than 35 years as an elementary school teacher in the Benicia Unified School District, before serving on the school board for the past 10 years.
“Rosie cared deeply for students, families and staff. Her energy, integrity and compassion made a tremendous difference in our community,” said BUSD Superintendent Charles Young, in a statement from his office. “She will be deeply missed.”
via Benicia school board trustee Rosie Switzer dies.
The Solano Adult Education Consortium will meet Friday afternoon in Fairfield, it has been announced.
Members will gather at 2:30 p.m. in the Fairfield-Suisun Adult School Library, 900 Travis Blvd.
Agenda topics include 1) establishing position of transition specialist; 2) a review of progress on consortium objectives; and 3) a report on observations at the consortium plan reading conference.
Consortium members include Vacaville Education Extension Program, Benicia Unified School District, Fairfield-Suisun Adult School, Solano Community College, and Vallejo Regional Career Center.
via Adult ed consortium to meet Friday.
By Daily Republic Staff
More than 40 teams are expected to compete next week in the Nothing But Net robotics contest at Vanden High School.
The Vex Robotics Competition, which takes place Dec. 12, features primarily Solano County teams. It takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 12 in the gymnasium. The school is located at 2951 Markley Road in Fairfield.
Team inspections and practice take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 11. Pits open at 7 a.m. Dec. 12, followed by an opening ceremony at 8:15 a.m., qualifying rounds from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and elimination rounds from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. A closing ceremony and awards presentation starts at 5 p.m.
via Vanden High to host robotics contest: Winners qualify for state finals.