Edvoice - Issues

No Resolution to Annual-Testing Debate After First NCLB Reauthorization Hearing

January 21 | Education Week

By Lauren Camera

In the opening bid to reauthorize the federal K-12 education law, No Child Left Behind, the Senate education committee took up the divisive issue of testing, in which the overwhelming recommendation to the committee was to maintain the current law's annual-testing regimen. 

 

Group faults SUSD teacher evaluations

January 22 | The Record

By Elizabeth Roberts

A scathing report faulting state school districts for not complying with a decades-old teacher-evaluation law cites Stockton Unified, which has been mired in a lengthy stalemate over contract negotiations centered around the contentious issue.

The EdVoice analysis, “Student Progress Ignored,” looked at a sample of 26 school districts that serve 1.25 million students, 20 percent of California’s enrollment. Half of the districts do not mention any form of student progress in their evaluation or collective bargaining language, the report found. EdVoice points to those findings in pushing the Legislature and state Board of Education to take steps to rectify the issue, such as tying compliance to Local Control Funding Formula money.

Big changes buffeting our schools

January 21 | Sacramento Bee

BY DAN WALTERS

These are yeasty times for California’s public education system and its 6 million youngsters.

Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature overhauled how state school aid is distributed, removing limitations on billions of dollars, sharply increasing overall aid and directing that it be concentrated on poor and “English-learner” students...

...EdVoice, an education reform group, on Tuesday released a report noting that objectively evaluating teachers is already required by a state law enacted four decades ago, but ignored by all but a few school districts.

Many school districts in state don't comply with teacher evaluation law

January 20 | LA Times

By Teresa Watanabe

Major California school districts are failing to comply with a state law that requires them to evaluate teachers in part by how much their students have learned, according to a study released Wednesday.

The review of 26 school districts serving more than 1.2 million students found that only Clovis Unified near Fresno and Sweetwater Union High School District in Chula Vista fully complied with the law. Two others, Upland Unified in the Inland Empire and San Ramon Valley Unified in Contra Costa County, were "blatantly in violation" of the law by expressly prohibiting the use of state standardized test scores in their teacher evaluations, the study said. The findings were disputed by both districts.

Editorial: New day dawning for Palm Lane Elementary in Anaheim

January 13 | Orange County Register

By Orange County Register

According to Register reports, the signatures of more than 60 percent of Palm Lane’s parents have been collected – more than enough to make use of what is known as the “parent trigger” law – and will be submitted to the school district for review. The law allows parents to push for essential reform of their children’s schools.

Among the options: Replacing a principal, forcing the school to rehire for teaching and staff positions or even closing the school. What the parents of Palm Lane have chosen is the “Restart Model,” which will transition the elementary into a charter school.

Budget lifts teacher preparation oversight

January 13 | Cabinet Report

By Tom Chorneau

After struggling for most of the past five years to balance its books, the state’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing would receive a fiscal boost from the general fund as part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal.

The CTC, which is one of the few state agencies that typically is completely self-funded, would get $10 million over the next two years to assist with a variety of planning and streamlining projects tied to teacher training oversight.

Gov. Brown targets teacher preparation

January 9 | EdSource

By Louis Freedberg

Taking on an issue that has received relatively short shrift in the raft of reforms being implemented in California schools, Gov. Jerry Brown ventured for the first time during his governorship into the challenge of preparing – and retaining – teachers.

 

Brown's budget would add billions to K-12 funding

January 6 | Cabinet Report

By Kimberly Beltran

(Calif.) Public schools got a glimpse into their ever-brightening financial futures on Monday when Gov. Jerry Brown, in his inaugural speech, announced they will receive $65.7 billion next year.

That’s a $5 billion increase over 2014-15, and, said the governor, a 39 percent increase over four years.

“After years of underfunding and even borrowing from our local schools, the state now has significantly increased its financial support for education,” the 76-year old Brown said in an address to the Legislature following his fourth gubernatorial inauguration.

Gov. Cuomo rejects teacher evaluation change

January 5 | SFGate

By Carolyn Thompson

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vetoed a measure he introduced that would have temporarily protected New York teachers from receiving potentially career-ending evaluations because of low Common Core-aligned student test scores.

In his veto message late Monday, Cuomo called the bill unnecessary because recently released 2013-2014 evaluations rated fewer than 1 percent of teachers ineffective. He said those results were "not an accurate assessment" and that he would propose changes to strengthen the statewide evaluation system next year.

State to fight lawsuit by low-income students

December 18 | EdSource

By Jane Meredith Adams

State finance officials last week granted the California Department of Education $3.4 million to fight a lawsuit that demands the state fix disruptive conditions in some high-poverty schools where students allegedly are being denied the fundamental right to an education.

The lawsuit claims that some students are enrolled in multiple classes during which they receive no instruction, that some spend hours in security lockdowns, and that teachers and students are reeling from the trauma of violent shootings around campuses.

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