As California’s new charter law takes effect, schools bracing for shutdowns could win a reprieve from pandemic
Last year, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new charter school law intended to settle a longstanding feud between charter operators and those calling for tighter restrictions on their growth. Known as Assembly Bill 1505, the compromise between charters and the teachers union gave local districts the authority to consider whether the opening of a...
By Linda Jacobson | November 24, 2020
Makeup of Senate means Biden will likely lack votes and ‘big buckets of funding’ for expansive education agenda
President-elect Joe Biden might have won the White House, but his expansive education plan will soon hit a Congress that has far fewer Democrats than envisioned under the “Blue Wave” forecast prior to the election. Democrats’ hopes for flipping the Senate now largely depend on capturing two seats in Georgia that won’t be decided until...
By Linda Jacobson | November 17, 2020
With defeat of California’s ‘split roll’ tax, advocates wonder how to increase educational equity
Californians have long complained that the state doesn’t adequately fund education. But last week, they still opted not to amend a 40-year-old property tax formula that could have added roughly $4 billion a year to the state’s education budget. Proposition 15 divided the state in half, with official results released Wednesday showing it fell 51.8...
By Linda Jacobson | November 12, 2020
California ban on affirmative action in college admissions to stay in place
Updated The effort to reinstate affirmative action in California officially failed Wednesday, with the no vote staying at 56 percent. Ward Connerly, who led the effort to pass the original ban in 1996, tweeted that voters “said to the Legislature and all who want to impose ‘equity’ race politics on California, NO, NO, NO! We are...
By Linda Jacobson | November 4, 2020
California voters to decide crucial school-related ballot measures on taxes, teen voting and race-based admissions
Supporters of three education-related ballot initiatives in California are hoping the potential for what one advocate called “record-shattering” turnout on Tuesday will give their measures a lift at the polls. Voters in the Golden State will decide if a tax assessment formula that has been in place for more than 40 years should be amended...
By Linda Jacobson | November 2, 2020
Report estimates that up to 500,000 students across California — and 1 to 3 million kids nationwide — have been missing from schools since March
Between 1 to 3 million students in the U.S. possibly haven’t attended school since pandemic-related closures began in March, according to estimates released last week by Bellwether Education Partners. Pulling from news reports and federal data sources, the team of researchers predict that between 10 and 25 percent of students in the most marginalized populations have...
By Linda Jacobson | October 27, 2020
Study: In 28 districts, middle and high school students lose more than a year of learning due to suspensions
In 28 districts across the U.S., students in middle and high school lost more than a year of learning due to suspensions, according to a new study released Monday. The study from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA analyzed discipline data from 2015-16 for almost every district in the nation. The most extreme losses ranged from 183...
By Linda Jacobson | October 20, 2020
Students could have lost as much as 183 days of learning time in reading, 232 days in math during first four months of largely virtual schooling
The last time Deyanira Hooper’s son Jeremy took California’s state assessment, he was 15 points from meeting proficiency standards. But when schools closed last spring, his live instruction from a teacher dropped to 20 minutes every three days. Even though her fifth grader is now getting three hours of class on Zoom each day from...
By Linda Jacobson | October 13, 2020
‘Where are the rest of you?’ With as many as 600,000 students skipping kindergarten during the pandemic, districts plead with parents not to delay
Like many preschool parents last spring, Sara Mauskopf tried to keep her 4-year-old daughter, Bryn, interested in Zoom sessions with her classmates. “She didn’t hate it,” said Mauskopf. “Kids will just sit in front of the screen, but they’re not engaging and not getting much out of it.” With two younger siblings at home, Bryn...
By Linda Jacobson | October 6, 2020
Barrett’s SCOTUS confirmation would give conservatives a supermajority on education issues from race-based admissions to school choice, but could create a ‘desert for equity,’ experts say
Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, is the product of a Catholic education who served as a trustee for a religious school participating in Indiana’s publicly-funded school choice program. The background of the conservative federal appeals judge could draw scrutiny at a time...
By Linda Jacobson | October 5, 2020