Edvoice - Issues

Viewpoints: California's school spending should target needy students

August 21 | The Sacramento Bee

By Shirley Weber

The stakes for our students are high. We need a smart approach in place to ensure greater transparency in the new funding system and that resources support all students, especially those with the greatest needs.

The Trouble With Tenure

August 18 | The New York Times

By Frank Bruni

“It provides no incentive for someone to improve their practice,” [Johnston] told me last week. “It provides no accountability to actual student outcomes. It’s the classic driver of, ‘I taught it, they didn’t learn it, not my problem.’ It has a decimating impact on morale among staff, because some people can work hard, some can do nothing, and it doesn’t matter.”

Judge tells California to teach English learners

August 13 | San Jose Mercury News

By Biran Melley

California was ordered to educate all children who don't speak English after reports revealed a quarter of its school districts fail to meet that requirement, which is mandated by both the federal government and California itself.

Michelle Rhee stepping down as CEO of Sacramento-based StudentsFirst

August 13 | Sacramento Bee

By Ryan Lillis

Michelle Rhee, the prominent and controversial education figure who is the wife of Mayor Kevin Johnson, revealed in a statement to The Sacramento Bee on Wednesday that she is stepping down from her post as chief executive of StudentsFirst, the national advocacy organization she founded in 2010.

California Education Policy Fund Announces Fourth Grantee Cohort, Totaling nearly $3 Million, to Boost Education Reform Statewide

August 13 | Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

Continuing its commitment to supporting education reform at the local and state levels, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) today announces the fourth year of grants from the California Education Policy Fund (CEPF) to foster Deeper Learning objectives across the California public education system. Deeper Learning is the set of rich academic knowledge and higher-order skills that students need to succeed in 21st-century work and civic life. ... The $2.65 million in grants will provide support to 10 organizations at the forefront of California education policy advancement.

Gloria Romero: Shine light on low-performing school

August 4 | Orange County Register

By Gloria Romero

What do Barack Obama, William Jefferson Clinton, George Washington, Sonia Sotomayor, Cesar Chavez, Carlos Santana and John Muir have in common?

Each has a chronically underperforming California school named for him or her. Sadly, following the celebratory ribbon-cuttings, these schools have been left to languish on state-identified “watch lists.”

Why Are Teachers Unions So Opposed to Change

July 20 | The Wall Street Journal

(Wall Street Journal subscription required to view full article) 

By Antonio Villaraigosa

At a time when only one in 10 low-income children is earning a four-year college degree and two out of three jobs of the future will require one, change is needed. At a time when more than half of young people attending community college need to retake high-school classes because the education they received was not rigorous enough, change is needed. At a time when American 15-year-olds trail their counterparts in 30 countries in math, 23 in science and 20 in reading, change is needed.

Research Finds Charter Schools Nationwide More Cost-Effective, Produce Greater ROI

July 22 | University of Arkansas Newswire

A first-ever report released July 22 by the University of Arkansas, which ties charter school funding to achievement, finds that public charter schools are more productive than traditional public schools in all 28 states included in analyses of cost-effectiveness and return on investment.

Proposed changes to LCAP renew debate

July 6 | EdSource

By John Fensterwald

In response to hundreds of public comments, the state board will consider explicitly requiring districts to consult with students as they write their Local Control and Accountability Plans, which lay out budget and student achievement priorities. The plans are a critical component of the community and parent participation that the state’s new school funding system mandates. The board will also review a redesign of the LCAP template and may add a requirement that makes it clear that extra money for “high-needs” students must be used “principally” to benefit them. Civil rights groups lobbied heavily for the new wording.

Poll finds Common Core opposition rising

June 26 | EdSource

By John Fensterwald

The poll indicated that some of the doubts and skepticism about the Common Core State Standards that have gained sway in other states are taking hold in California, too. As opposed to many states, in California the new standards in English language arts and math have the full support of the majority of the Legislature, the governor, the State Board of Education and organizations representing teachers unions, school boards and the state PTA.

But of the voters surveyed, the more they hear about Common Core, apparently the less they like it. Of the roughly three-quarters of voters who said they knew something about the standards, more had a “negative impression” (44 percent) than a “positive impression” (38 percent). Parents with kids in schools, who made up about 30 percent of those surveyed, had identical views.