Stephanie Preston-White, Cordelia
It is great we finally have our park completed after many years. I can appreciate the enthusiasm and outstanding involvement of the Fairfield parents to create and sustain the impressive Cordelia/Tri-Valley Little League Program. But what about the youth of the Cordelia area of Fairfield who may want to do more than skateboard, play baseball and basketball?
via Fairfield forgetting about our youth Daily Republic.
By George Guynn Jr.
Common Core is a series of educational standards created and copyrighted by two Washington, D.C., lobbying organizations, without any input from state legislators, local school boards, teachers or parents.
It will prescribe a new curriculum that all publicly funded schools must follow; however, at this time, there is no curriculum for educators or legislators to judge. It is entirely a federal program and violates the U.S. Constitution and three federal laws limiting the U.S. government’s role in education.
via Next public schools disaster: Common Core Daily Republic.
Ben Johnson HS Principal, consultant, author and instructional learning coach
“Put your wands away!” Professor Umbridge from the Harry Potter stories would tell the students at the beginning of each class. After a few classes when Professor Umbridge would make the announcement, “Put your wands away,” the students did not have to do anything because they never even bothered to take the wands out. Interestingly enough, I witnessed a similar experience in my own wizarding school, um, I mean just school. Forgive the allusion to Harry Potter, but there are just too many wonderful parallels.
via The Dos and Don’ts for Integrating iPads | Edutopia.
By Ross Brenneman
The Associated Press reported Tuesday on a safety program in Clarksville, Ark., where the district plans to arm over 20 teachers and staff members throughout its public schools, because of a state law that allows schools to hire armed security guards. So, the district reasoned, it could thoroughly train teachers to double as armed guards. Problem solved!
Except that on Thursday, state Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued an objection in response to questions by state Rep. Henry Wilkins IV. McDaniel stated that the law allows only the hiring of private contractors. But a school district, McDaniel writes, is a “profoundly public, rather than private, entity.” Teachers are therefore clearly public employees, and thus ineligible to be armed.
via Sorry, Arkansas Schools, You Can’t Just Load Up on Guns – Rules for Engagement – Education Week.
By Michele McNeil
Yesterday, I sat down with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for a 30-minute, wide-ranging interview, which produced these key takeaways: He doesn’t seem worried at all about the larger, federal-policy implications of the Tony Bennett grading scandal. A decision about the California CORE waiver is not imminent. And, he thinks working on ESEA reauthorization, as of right now, is a waste of time.
What follows are snippets from our conversation in his office yesterday.
via Arne Duncan on Tony Bennett, NCLB Waivers, and ESEA Renewal – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
By Christina Samuels
A handful of recent studies are delving into new methods of screening children and adults for autism. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1 in 88 children has this disorder, which affects communication, behavior, and socialization.
In one study, researchers suggest that “micromovements” some people with autism make when asked to point to a dot on a screen may be indicative of the disorder. These results have been published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience. (The journal Medical Daily offers a less-dense synopsis of the research.)
via Researchers Pursuing Novel Methods to Diagnose Autism – On Special Education – Education Week.
By Ross Brenneman
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that contains good news for students with allergies.
Under the Public Health Service Act, Congress entitled the U.S. Department of Education to set up grants for states that work to address asthma in their school systems. The new bill, H.R. 2094, directs the Education Department to give higher priority to states that also take measures to address anaphylaxis, or severe allergic reactions. Measures include maintaining a secure supply of epinephrine and having personnel trained in its administration on the premises during school hours. The bill would also shield trained employees who put forth their best effort to save students experiencing an attack, even if unsuccessful.
via House Passes Bill Aiming Grant Money at Allergy Attacks – Rules for Engagement – Education Week.
By John Fensterwald
Georgia last week became the fifth state to pull out of the nationwide efforts to create the same tests for the new Common Core standards. Indiana is in the process of withdrawing, Florida lawmakers have serious misgivings, notwithstanding full support of former Gov. Jeb Bush, and other states are indicating they may go their own way over concerns of cost and curricular independence.
California is not one of the doubters. The Legislature appears poised to pass legislation this month reaffirming the start of student testing aligned to the Common Core standards in spring 2015. The inclusion of $1.25 billion in the state budget for districts to prepare for the new standards has added momentum for moving ahead.
via California committed to move forward with Common Core tests as planned | EdSource Today.
By Lanz Christian Bañes/Times-Herald staff writer
BENICIA — Wednesday marked the final day of class for Benicia’s youngest children, and Solano County Superintendent Jay Speck had a treat for the class.
But only if they could answer three important questions.
“What’s the most important thing to learn?” Speck asked the group of 24 students at Robert Semple Elementary School.
via Benicia Pre-K summer academy wraps up – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Richard Bammer/ RBammer@TheReporter.com
An update on the centerpiece of Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2013-14 budget, the Local Control Funding Formula, will be the main topic of discussion when Vacaville Unified School District leaders meet tonight in open session.
New Superintendent Ken Jacopetti will update the governing board and the public on the funding formula, the most comprehensive reform to California public school financing in 40 years, widely regarded as a way to help close the achievement gap for poor and minority students.
via Vacaville Unified School District trustees to discuss funding formula – The Reporter.
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.