Edvoice - Issues

Preparing Students for Success in California's Community Colleges

November 15 | Public Policy Institute of California

By Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Olga Rodriquez and Hans Johnson

Community colleges identify 80 percent of incoming students as underprepared for college-level work. Fewer than half of these students advance to and succeed in a college course (44% in English and 27% in math). Concerns about poor outcomes have led to institutional reforms.

This research was supported with funding from The Sutton Family Fund.

Tuition expected to rise at UC, CSU next year

November 15 | SF Gate

By Nanette Asimov

Here’s a safe bet in an era of guesswork gone awry: Tuition will go up next year at the University of California and California State University for the first time since 2011.

And students and faculty won’t like it.

Neither university has a firm tuition proposal on the table. But the UC regents will discuss the possibility Wednesday and Thursday at their meeting in San Francisco, and the CSU trustees led that discussion Tuesday in Long Beach.

Editorial: The state school board flunks its accountability exam

Los Angeles Times

By The Times Editorial Board

Despite complaints from the school-reform movement in California and others, the State Board of Education appears intent on going ahead with an overly complicated, color-coded system for judging public-school performance and progress. It’s vague and confusing, larded with too many factors. Using it to compare one school with another is pretty much impossible.

BART janitor grossed $270K in pay and benefits

November 1 | East Bay Times

By Thomas Peele

A BART janitor was paid $162,000 in overtime last year, almost three times his base salary, according to public pay data.

Liang Zhao Zhang also received nearly $15,000 in other pay to gross nearly $235,000, records show. Benefits brought his total cost of employment to the rail agency to more than $270,000.

How well are California's students doing in science?

October 26 | Los Angeles Times

By Joy Resmovits

California has produced some of America’s most celebrated innovators, but its students test below the national average in science, according to a new federal report.

The state’s results on a science test that is periodically administered nationwide also compared poorly with those of most other states — though averages for most states’ public school students were somewhere in the vicinity of half of the test’s top score of 300 points.

Science Scores on 'Nation's Report Card' Rise in Fourth and Eighth Grade, Stay Stagnant in 12th

October 27 | The 74 Million

By Carolyn Phenicie

Scores on national benchmark science tests rose for fourth and eighth graders from 2009 to 2015, while high school seniors' stayed flat and science proficiency for all grades tested remained at basic levels for vast numbers of U.S. students. 

Achievement gaps on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, often called the Nation's Report Card, between white students and students of color narrowed in fourth and eighth grade but remained largely unchanged in 12th grade. There was no gap between boys' and girls' scores in fourth grade, but boys continued to score a few points higher than girls in eighth and 12th grade. 

1 in 4 U.S. teachers are chronically absent, missing more than 10 days of school

October 26 | The Washington Post

By Alejandra Matos

More than 1 in 4 of the nation’s full-time teachers are considered chronically absent from school, according to federal data, missing the equivalent of more than two weeks of classes each academic year in what some districts say has become an educational crisis.

California high school graduation rates close in on national average

October 17 | EdSource

By Louis Freedberg

California lags slightly behind the national average in high school graduation rates, but has increased more substantially over the last five years than the national average, according to figures for 50 states released Monday by the U.S. Department of Education.

President Barack Obama touted improving graduation figures at a speech at a Washington D.C. high school Monday morning as part of an effort by his administration to showcase the progress officials say has occurred during Obama’s eight years in office.

More Students Are Graduating But That's Not The Whole Story

October 17 | Education Writers Association

By Emily Richmond

As federal education officials tout a fourth consecutive year of improvement in the nation’s high school graduation rate, the reactions that follow are likely to fall into one of three categories: policymakers claiming credit for the gains; critics arguing that achievement gaps are still far too wide to merit celebrating; and policy wonks warning against misuses of the data.

New Federal Teacher-Prep Rules Draw Praise and Criticism

October 14 | Education Week

By Brenda Iasevoli

While the U.S. Department of Education's long-awaited teacher preparation rules drew praise from some longtime critics of teacher training quality, groups representing teachers see the final rules released Wednesday as punitive and say they will end up deterring graduates from working in high-needs schools.

On the one hand, supporters hope the data that states are required to collect under the new rules will guide teacher-training programs toward more effective practices. And data was a main topic at a roundtable discussion about teacher prep at University of Southern California Rossier School of Education in Los Angeles on Wednesday after the new rules were released.