Edvoice - Issues

Truancy Rising in California; Worst Among Low-Income Students, Minorities

September 12 | Capital Public Radio

By Ben Adler

The report from the California Department of Justice estimates that more than a quarter-million elementary students were “chronically absent” last school year – missing class at least 10 percent of the time. That’s about 7.5 percent of all K-through-6th graders.

About 40,000 students missed twice that much – and of that group, nearly 90 percent are low-income. African-American children are chronically truant at nearly four times the rate of white kids.

California teacher tenure finally a major election issue

September 10 | Los Angeles Times

By George Skelton

The quality of California public schools — and most specifically their teachers — is a top issue in this election season. And it's about time.

It's front and center because of a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge's ruling in June. Judge Rolf M. Treu, appointed by Republican Gov. Pete Wilson in 1995, threw out some state laws governing teacher job security, declaring them unconstitutional.

Tom Torlakson will appeal California teacher tenure ruling

August 29 | Sacramento Bee

By Alexei Koseff

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will appeal the June court ruling that California’s teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional, he decided Friday.

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.