Commentary: California’s proposed school rating system will only lead to confusion
By Laurie Benn As a mother of seven children, I’ve spent a lot of time involved in my local public schools. I’ve always known that a good education was one of the most important things that I could give to my children. I was shuffled around in the foster care system from birth until I...
By Guest contributor | September 6, 2016
More CA students taking Advanced Placement exams
The data from the College Board’s 10th Annual Advanced Placement Report to the Nation shows a steady increase in AP exam participation among California public high school students, with the state ranking sixth nationally in the quality of its scores. In 2013, 40.6 percent of California’s public high school graduates took at least one AP exam before graduation,...
By Chase Niesner | February 12, 2014
California offering $250 million in career program grants
The California Department of Education is setting aside $250 million for school districts to link high school curricula to careers beyond the classroom, an initiative designed to keep students engaged in classes often consider dull and dry, while preparing them for a high-skilled job market. The 40 one-time grants bundled in the Career Pathways Trust –...
By Chase Niesner | January 22, 2014
LA Unified ending GED tests, awaiting alternatives on paper
When 2013 comes to a close, LA Unified will stop offering GED tests over concerns about cost and computer-only access. Until the state chooses an alternative that provides a version with paper-and-pencil, degree seekers will have to visit schools outside the district. “The populations that we serve, especially the adults, are among those who need...
By Chase Niesner | December 20, 2013
State Tries a ‘STEM’ Video to Confront Lagging Math Scores
While some education researchers may question the validity of the nation’s “STEM crisis,” it remains clear that California students continue to struggle in mathematics when compared with their peers across the nation. According to the recently released Report Card from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), California fourth and eighth graders ranked 47th and...
By Chase Niesner | November 25, 2013
California Launches ‘Charter School Best Practices Project’
Charter schools now have a digital space to share the secrets to their success. The California Department of Education today announced the launching of the Charter Schools Best Practices Project, a trove of information aimed at assisting people interested in starting charter schools, evaluating charter school petitions and increasing student achievement in charter school classrooms. The project...
By Chase Niesner | November 5, 2013
District Waivers Worry State Education Chiefs
LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy has expressed great enthusiasm for the 10-district effort to win a so-called “waiver” from some aspects of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, which sets accountability rules and governs the distribution of billions in education funding from Washington. California State Board of Education members recently voted in support of the effort,...
By Alexander Russo | March 21, 2013
No NCLB Waiver — No “Freeze”
California appears to be the only state in the nation that has applied for — but not yet received — a so-called “waiver” from NCLB but doesn’t already have a one-year freeze on NCLB’s ever-escalating proficiency requirements in its back pocket. That means California schools will be among the only ones in the nation operating under...
By Alexander Russo | August 14, 2012