At an East San Jose high school, students react to new Common Core test

By John Fensterwald

April 14, 2014 | 11 Comments »

The students in John Daniels’ U.S. history class at James Lick High School in East San Jose are a smidgen of the tens of thousands of juniors who are taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium …

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Petition to ‘save’ job training program forwarded to governor

By Michelle Maitre

April 14, 2014 | Please Comment Here »

About 2,000 people signed a petition to “save” the Southern California Regional Occupational Center, or SoCal ROC, one of the state’s largest and oldest providers of career training for students that advocates fear may be …

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More non-profits teaching parents to read with children

By Lillian Mongeau

April 13, 2014 | 13 Comments »

Uriel Torres, 4, wasn’t sitting quietly as his tutor read him a book about Clifford, that irascible big red dog. He wasn’t sitting at all. He leaned forward out of his high chair, almost laying …

Nikki Milevsky, president of the Sacramento City Teachers Association, left, and school board President Patrick Kennedy, announce the district's intent not to pursue a No Child Left Behind Waiver. Source: Sacramento City Teachers Association

Sacramento City Unified won’t renew No Child Left Behind waiver

By John Fensterwald

April 9, 2014 | 20 Comments »

Faced with intense opposition from teachers, Sacramento City Unified announced Wednesday it would not join other California districts in reapplying for a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law.
Its defection leaves seven of …

Los Angeles Unified’s draft accountability plan shows promise of new funding law

By Louis Freedberg

April 9, 2014 | 6 Comments »

The potential of the state’s new education funding system was on full display this week when Los Angeles Unified School Superintendent John Deasy presented a draft accountability plan that included a dizzying array of new …

“Student needs index” identifies highest needs L.A. schools

By Louis Freedberg

April 9, 2014 | 2 Comments »

The Advancement Project, the Los Angeles-based civil rights and advocacy organization, has come up with what it calls a “student needs index” to identify the schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District with the …

Parent Christopher Cooper talks with Erica Renfree, vice principal at Dana and Correia middle schools, Scott Irwin, principal at Dana Middle School, and Laura Caffo, a parent and president of the Point Loma Cluster Schools Foundation during a Local Control and Accountability Plan meeting at Correia Middle School in San Diego. Credit: Karla Scoon Reid

Southern California districts seeking parent input on funding plans

By Karla Scoon Reid/EdSource correspondent

April 9, 2014 | 1 Comment »

On paper, the task seems simple enough: Put parents in the driver’s seat alongside California school district administrators as they work to develop a comprehensive plan to address state-mandated accountability priorities outlined in the new …

Children race to kindergarten in a demonstration of the importance of the "head start" pre-kindergarten programs can provide. Credit: Lillian Mongeau, EdSource

Transitional kindergarten bill passed by Senate education committee

By Lillian Mongeau

April 9, 2014 | 4 Comments »

After several hours of testimony the state Senate Education Committee on Wednesday voted in favor of a bill that would expand transitional kindergarten to all 4-year-olds. 
The bill now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee, where …

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Deal in L.A. Unified designed to protect 37 high-needs schools from layoffs

By John Fensterwald

April 9, 2014 | 17 Comments »

The parties in a 4-year-old lawsuit challenging mass layoffs of teachers at low-income middle schools in Los Angeles Unified announced a settlement Tuesday that an attorney called a potential model for creating a stable work …

Jesus Lupian works on a framing project in his carpentry class in San Jose. Photo by Neil Hanshaw.

Assembly subcommittee pledges to fight for career technical education

By Michelle Maitre

April 8, 2014 | 10 Comments »

Raising alarm about the future of programs that help prepare students for jobs after high school, a key Assembly budget subcommittee signaled Tuesday it intends to fight to restore dedicated funding for career technical education …

Districts should make early learning a priority in their local accountability plans

By Ted Lempert and Mark Friedman /commentary

April 13, 2014 | 1 Comment »

The achievement gap is a term used so regularly in the education world that its realities can sometimes lose their significance. But according to new research from The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the gap is …

Bullets fly, but the test must go on

By Maggie Terry / commentary

April 9, 2014 | 5 Comments »

This commentary was written the day last month that 10th graders in Los Angeles were due to take the math portion of the California High School Exit Exam.
Five pops that sounded like fireworks. Short and …

Districts’ stringent criteria can delay reclassifying English learners

By Laura Hill and Margaret Weston / commentary

April 4, 2014 | 10 Comments »

English learners have been a subject of policy concern in California since the early 1970s. The needs of these students — who make up about 25 percent of the state’s public school students today — …

Baseball can teach education a real lesson about making better decisions

By Arun Ramanathan / commentary

April 1, 2014 | 18 Comments »

With baseball season starting, I’ve been reading scouting reports on my favorite team. Because my immigration journey started in Philadelphia, I am cursed to spend my life as a Phillies fan. The scouting reports all …

Repay schools their stolen property taxes now, while times are good

By Jennifer Bestor

March 20, 2014 | 51 Comments »

Should California schoolchildren be the state’s interest-free lenders of first resort? Most people would say no. Yet they are.
Should California, in opposition to the equitable school financing principles outlined in Serrano v. Priest, take the …

California can be national leader in reforming testing and school accountability

By Louis Freedberg

March 18, 2014 | 9 Comments »

Beginning next week, California students will begin taking field tests of the new Smarter Balanced assessments, replacing the mostly multiple choice standardized tests that have been administered in schools for the past 15 years.
This represents a …

School districts should begin planning now for new science standards

By Trish Williams / commentary

March 4, 2014 | 5 Comments »

The Next Generation Science Standards, adopted last September by the State Board of Education, will better engage and educate all students in science, and better prepare them to enter more in-depth science, computing and engineering …

Now is the time to seize the parent engagement moment

By Colleen You / commentary

February 26, 2014 | 25 Comments »

Well-informed, engaged parents make a vital difference in the health and education of children. When families, schools and communities work as partners, student achievement is boosted and children are better prepared to lead happy and …

Community schools can help break the cycle of poverty

By Ed Center / commentary

February 18, 2014 | 8 Comments »

We’ve known for some time that children from low-income families are less likely to succeed in school relative to their higher-income peers. Many solutions to address this achievement gap have been explored, such as greater …

CalSTRS shortfall will require a shared responsibility

By Rob Bonta / commentary

February 14, 2014 | Please Comment Here »

The California Teachers Retirement System, or CalSTRS, is facing a significant unfunded liability with respect to its Defined Benefit Program. CalSTRS has a shortfall in funding of approximately $71 billion and will run out of …

EdSource Publications

March 2014 Reforming Testing and Accountability: Essential Principles for Student Success in California

California is fundamentally remaking the way students get tested and schools are evaluated. This new EdSource report clarifies the complex timeline for the revision of California's current testing and accountability system, identifies key principles that will help ensure the effectiveness of the new system and makes recommendations on how to ensure the system is developed in a timely way and that is most likely to improve student achievement.

February 2014 The Power of Parents: What the Research Shows

Produced in collaboration with New America Media, this EdSource report reviews compelling research showing that parent involvement in their children's school is associated with a range of positive outcomes for students and greater teacher satisfaction.

December 2013 EdSource Survey: Measuring Parent Engagement in Schools

With a change in state law that gives parents a larger role in school budget-making decisions, a first-of-its kind statewide poll by EdSource gives new insight into how involved parents are with their children's schools.

November 2013 School Funding Reform: An Essential EdSource Guide

Available in English and Spanish – this easy-to-read guide explains the essential elements of California's new school funding reforms and the Local Control Funding Formula.

August 2013 Recovering from the Recession: Pressures Ease on Largest School Districts

This report, based on a survey of California's 30 largest school districts serving some 2 million students, looks at how California schools are beginning to recover from years of budget cuts.