Students play at Lincoln Elementary School in San Bernardino. The district's accountability plan is expected to set aside funds to repair the school's playing field. Credit: Karla Scoon Reid

Districts may have funding flexibility to repair and improve school facilities

By Karla Scoon Reid/EdSource correspondent

April 24, 2014 | Please Comment Here »

To weather deep cuts in public school funding, many California school districts shifted much-needed dollars away from repairing and maintaining their buildings to keep teachers in the classroom and save instructional programs from being eliminated.
Now, …

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$700 million wish list for career pathways grants

By Michelle Maitre

April 24, 2014 | Please Comment Here »

Grant applications totaling just over $709 million have been submitted for a piece of the California Career Pathways Trust, a one-time grant program to fund job training programs for students, according to updated figures provided Thursday by …

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Survey finds Californians back both Common Core and new funding formula

By John Fensterwald

April 23, 2014 | 6 Comments »

 
Resistance to the Common Core State Standards may be spreading in parts of Red State America, but Californians are learning more about  the new math and reading standards and generally like what they have heard, …

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Common Core now the common element in college-preparatory courses

By Michelle Maitre

April 23, 2014 | 3 Comments »

Updated April 24 with additional information. Lesson plans and teacher training programs at the K-12 level aren’t the only things being updated to reflect the new Common Core State Standards.
The requirements of the battery of …

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Job skills programs to receive $18 million boost

By Michelle Maitre

April 23, 2014 | Please Comment Here »

JPMorgan Chase will provide $18 million in grants over the next five years to nonprofit groups providing job training in California, with programs for high school and community college students among the first recipients, the financial …

A handwritten sign welcomes students to their transitional kindergarten classroom in Long Beach. Credit: Lillian Mongeau, EdSource

Transitional kindergarten teachers say they need more training

By Lillian Mongeau

April 23, 2014 | 5 Comments »

Ninety-five percent of the first transitional kindergarten teachers in California had previously taught preschool, kindergarten or 1st grade, but said they could have used more training on how to teach 4-year-olds, according to a new report …

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Three California schools win national Green Ribbon awards

By Lillian Mongeau

April 22, 2014 | Please Comment Here »

Three schools and one school district in California were honored today in the U.S. Department of Education’s annual Green Ribbon contest, which recognizes environmentally friendly facilities, outdoor education and healthy living.
Lowell Elementary and Mark Twain …

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County offices to cut districts some slack for now on their LCAPs

By John Fensterwald

April 20, 2014 | 25 Comments »

State and county education officials are seeking to reassure school districts that might be worried that county superintendents will reject the new accountability plans they’ll submit by July 1 for the 2014-15 year. Tighter scrutiny …

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State task force offers blueprint for education technology

By Susan Frey

April 18, 2014 | 4 Comments »

Embracing the mantra “no child left off-line,” a state task force is offering a vision of how California classrooms can embrace education technology to enhance learning.
Convened by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson in …

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EdSource symposium to tackle ‘seminal’ public school reforms

By Michelle Maitre

April 18, 2014 | 7 Comments »

New tests, new lessons, new acronyms.
Public education in California is undergoing radical reforms that change everything – from how students will be tested on what they learn to the fundamental way schools are evaluated.
An EdSource symposium in Los …

Higher college attainment will raise wages but not narrow income gap

By Marisol Cuellar and Hans Johnson / commentary

April 23, 2014 | 1 Comment »

In both California and the nation, income inequality is at or near record levels. Because educational attainment is by far the single most important determinant of an individual’s income, a key question, then, is whether …

New education funds in Los Angeles Unified must target highest-needs schools

By Maria Brenes, Marqueece Harris-Dawson and John Kim / commentary

April 22, 2014 | 2 Comments »

More than 300 students, parents and community members from the Eastside of Los Angeles and South Los Angeles demonstrated during the first week of April in front of the Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters to …

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 | 9 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 | 19 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 | 26 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 …

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EdSource Publications

April 2014 Majority of California voters support universal preschool for 4-year-olds

Most California voters think the state should increase the availability of preschool for the state’s 4-year-olds, according to a Field Poll conducted in partnership with EdSource.

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.