The 2013 EdSource Symposium was a meeting of the minds gathered to discuss the challenges to California’s education system today. Major topics included school finance, teacher quality, and standardized testing. Scroll down to read EdSource Symposium coverage and context on the issues.

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Thu, May 30 2013 10:11:06

Transforming Public Education: What’s next for students, teachers and schools?

The 2013 EdSource Symposium was a meeting of the minds gathered to discuss the challenges to California’s education system today. Major topics included school finance, teacher quality, and standardized testing. Scroll down to read EdSource Symposium coverage and context on the issues.

  1. Keynote Address: Linda Darling-Hammond

  2. California is on the brink of an extraordinary “educational renaissance” that – if done right – could help the state regain its position as a national leader in educational quality, Stanford University education professor Linda Darling-Hammond said in her opening address at the EdSource symposium.

    But true change will take years, she cautioned, likening the transformation to the Marshall Plan that helped rebuild Europe after World War II. “California is poised for this kind of transformation,” she said, “but we need to recognize this is going to be a long-term effort.”

  3. RachelWWilner

    Rachel Wilner@RachelWWilner
    Linda Darling Hammond at #EdSymp13 : 3 big issues facing schools: funding, 21st century learning, developing strong teacher workforce.

    Sat, May 04 2013 10:17:30

  4. Hammond: A “house on fire” that need to be fixed in the next year or two is better investment in teachers teaching SpecialEd. #EdSymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 10:41:16

  5. lrmongeau

    Lillian Mongeau@lrmongeau
    Darling-Hammond telling #EdSymp13 moving forward in #CAeducation means leveraging known best practices, high quality standards and money.

    Sat, May 04 2013 10:39:00

  6. Linda Darling-Hammond delivers symposium keynote address

    Tue, May 14 2013 14:28:30

  7. Darling Hammond was one of the authors of ‘Greatness by Design,”  which contains a blueprint for reform on teacher preparation and credentialing.
  8. Featured Speaker: Martha J. Kanter

  9. “I am obsessed about the achievement gap,” U.S. Under Secretary for Education Martha J. Kanter said during a special address at the EdSource Symposium, saying that closing the gap between poor children and their more affluent peers should be a focus of education reform.
    Kanter said sees promise in the implementation of the Common Core Standards in most states. Common Core, which sets a standard nationwide curriculum, will also bring much-needed changes to the way in which student skills are tested, providing a more meaningful measure of learning, said Kanter, who previously served as chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District in Santa Clara County and is a former member of the EdSource board of directors.
  10. michelle_maitre

    Michelle Noel Maitre@michelle_maitre
    Kanter: Common Core is the “most exciting thing” on nat’l ed scene. #edsymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 13:22:56

  11. RachelWWilner

    Rachel Wilner@RachelWWilner
    @USMarthaKanter asks everyone in room to weather the storm of #CommonCore implementation over next five years. #edsymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 13:24:54

  12. Kanter: Look at how to make Federal funding “catalytic.” Talking about strengthening pipeline from P through 20. @USMarthaKanter #edsymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 13:29:54

  13. Kanter: What is the capacity in Washington to do big things? Since 2009, no timely budget. @USMarthaKanter #edsymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 13:31:56

  14. Martha Kanter talks Common Core, school finance

    Tue, May 14 2013 16:54:09

  15. Post-Prop 30 – A Brighter Budget Future For California Education, But Will It Last?

  16. After years of spending cuts, the state is finally looking forward to “surpluses that are notable” said Jennifer Kuhn, head of the education division at the Legislative Analyst’s Office, in the first address of the day. Kuhn said the passage of propositions 30 and 39 in combination with better than expected income tax revenue had resulted in the first surplus the state had seen for years.
    Schools can expect to see some of this surplus in their bottom line during the 2013-2014 school year, Kuhn suggested, because a portion of it will be directed to the schools’ funding pool created by the passage of Proposition 98. The details of exactly how schools will be funded and how much each district will receive is still undetermined and will be hashed out in the coming weeks, Kuhn said.
  17.                                      Jennifer Kuhn leads the education analyst team at the Legislative Analyst’s Office 
  18. Kuhn: California budget forecast moving into surplus zone starting in 2014/15 and will grow from $1b to $9b by 2017/18. #EdSymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 10:51:47

  19. HeidiEmberling

    Heidi Emberling@HeidiEmberling
    @EdSource #EdSymp13 Jennifer Kuhn from Legis. Anal. Off. says state owes schools $13 billion. How can state repay & still rebuild programs?

    Sat, May 04 2013 11:00:00

  20. TrentAllen78

    Trent Allen @TrentAllen78
    LAO’s Kuhn says projections of $5B shortfalls just 1.5 years ago have reversed to surpluses and Prop 98 guarantee going up #edsymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 11:01:25

  21. capta_capitol

    CAPTA Legislation@capta_capitol
    #CAPTAConvention2013 Kuhn problems with current funding overly complex, irrational, ineffective, out of date, highly centralized #EdSymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 11:00:55

  22. Jennifer Kuhn on state school funding outlook and local control funding formula

    Tue, May 14 2013 15:22:14

  23. Jennifer Kuhn’s Powerpoint Presentation at the EdSource Symposium:
  24. Also, check out EdSource’s coverage of Proposition 30:
  25. Panel 1: Local, Local, Local – Impact of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula

  26. Panel Speakers: 

                         Michael W. Krist: President, California State Board of Education
                         Liz Guillen: Director of Legislative and Community Affairs, Public Advocates
                         Eric Andrew: Superintendent, Campbell Union School District
                         Richard Carranza: Superintendent, San Francisco Unified School District
                         Robert Miyashiro: Vice President, School Services of California
  27. Governor Jerry Brown’s sweeping proposal to revamp California’s complicated school finance system found strong support from some panelists at EdSource’s symposium session on the issue and conditional approval from others.

    The proposed formula would eliminate categorical funds for special programs and tie funding to students, with low-income students and English learners receiving 35 percent more than other students. Districts with a majority of high-needs students would get an extra bonus.

  28. For one explanation of Governor Brown’s school funding proposal, see this recent report from the California Budget Project (Note: the organization favors Brown’s proposal). 

  29. Not everyone supports Gov. Brown’s school reform proposal. 
  30. And here is EdSource’s coverage of the debate over Brown’s proposal:
  31. Michael W. Kirst: President, California State Board of Education
  32. Michael Kirst, president of the State Board of Education and one of the authors of the Local Control Funding Formula being proposed by the governor, said the stakes are extremely high.

    “If you blow this one, it’s not coming back,” he said.

  33. RachelWWilner

    Rachel Wilner@RachelWWilner
    Mike Kirst: only thing missing from @JerryBrownGov proposal is a cost of living adjustment. #edsymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 11:17:19

  34. lrmongeau

    Lillian Mongeau@lrmongeau
    @EdSource: Krist: “We are in the fight of our lives…is it now or never.” #EdSymp13 #LCFF

    Sat, May 04 2013 11:53:48

  35. Michael Kirst on Gov. Brown’s proposed local control funding formula

    Tue, May 14 2013 15:23:10

  36. Liz Guillen: Director of Legislative and Community Affairs, Public Advocates      
  37. Liz Guillen, director of legislative and community affairs for Public Advocates, said she is a strong supporter of the proposed changes, but argued for strengthening the accountability provisions —including requirements to support community and parental engagement and transparency in how funds are spent down to the school site. This way, she said, “local control really means local.”
  38. michelle_maitre

    Michelle Noel Maitre@michelle_maitre
    Liz Guillen of Public Advocates supports LCFF but accountability must be strenghtened #edsymp13 @EdSource

    Sat, May 04 2013 11:39:31

  39. michelle_maitre

    Michelle Noel Maitre@michelle_maitre
    Guillen: concentration grant is “mile high, inch deep” contribution — must remain #edsymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 11:41:19

  40. Liz Guillen speaks about school finance in California

    Tue, May 14 2013 17:53:58

  41. Eric Andrew: Superintendent, Campbell Union School District
  42. Eric Andrew, superintendent of Campbell Union School District, said his district will lose about $4.4 million under the proposed formula. He said it is important to find a way to ensure that at least current funding is maintained for districts like his, in which disadvantaged children comprise less than half of the students.

    “I think there are ways in which we can all win,” he said.

  43. RachelWWilner

    Rachel Wilner@RachelWWilner
    Campbell union supe, small district, says LCFF will make significant cuts in some of his schools. #EdSymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 11:34:32

  44. michelle_maitre

    Michelle Noel Maitre@michelle_maitre
    Campbell would lost about $4 mill under LCFF. #edsymp13 @EdSource

    Sat, May 04 2013 11:36:53

  45. Eric Andrew speaks about the impacts of California school finance reforms

    Tue, May 14 2013 17:01:28

  46. Richard Carranza: Superintendent, San Francisco Unified School District                    
  47. Richard Carranza, superintendent of San Francisco Unified School District, said the argument that some districts would be “losers” under the proposed formula overlooks the history of school funding in California.

    “We already have losers, and we know what they look like and where they come from,” he said.

  48. HeidiEmberling

    Heidi Emberling@HeidiEmberling
    @EdSource #EdSymp13 Richard Carranza, SF Superintendent. This is an equity issue–we already have losers in CA. LCFF is an attempt to fix.

    Sat, May 04 2013 11:28:49

  49. Carranza: “The time is now. How long do our kids have to wait?” @SFUSD_Supe #EdSymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 11:31:13

  50. Richard Carranza speaks about school finance reform in California

    Tue, May 14 2013 16:59:05

  51.  Robert Miyashiro: Vice President, School Services of California
  52. Robert Miyashiro, vice president of School Services of California, agreed that the “broad architecture” of the formula is sound, but the mechanism of how it will be implemented “revealed some areas where it can be improved and fixed,” he said.

    “We wouldn’t want to see it fail because some of these mechanical issues are not addressed,” Miyashiro said.

  53. Miyashiro: Will legislators have courage to vote for the #LCFF formula even if it hurts their school districts in the short-term? #EdSymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 11:25:52

  54. RachelWWilner

    Rachel Wilner@RachelWWilner
    Miyashiro: too many looking at whether their own district will win or lose, not overall idea and what it will do for the state. #EdSymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 11:26:34

  55. Robert Miyashiro talks about Gov. Brown’s local control funding formula

    Tue, May 14 2013 16:18:30

  56. Panel 2: Changing the Conversation: High-Quality Teaching

  57. Panel Speakers: 

                         Linda Darling-Hammond: Chair, California Commission on Teacher Credentialing; Professor of Education, Stanford University
                         Ramona Bishop: Superintendent, Vallejo City Unified School District
                         Joan Buchanan: Chair, Assembly Education Committee, California Assemblymember
                         Tim Melton: Vice President, Legislative Affairs, StudentsFrist
                         Jennifer Thomas: President, San Jose Teachers Association
  58. Panelists at the EdSource symposium session on educator quality agreed that California, once a leader in innovative programs for training new teachers, must take substantial actions to improve the state’s teacher workforce. But they disagreed on priorities.

  59. Linda Darling-Hammond: Chair, California Commission on Teacher Credentialing; Professor of Education,
                                                  Stanford University
  60. “Salaries are disparate  among districts, class sizes are large and supports are few,” said Stanford education professor Linda Darling-Hammond, who chairs the state’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing, summing up the current state of the teaching force. The state’s one-year cap on credentialing programs is limiting aspiring teachers’ experience in the classroom. Once they become teachers, teaching can be isolating. “Teaching is a team sport,” she said. What’s critical is “a collaborative setting to work with other teachers.”
  61. michelle_maitre

    Michelle Noel Maitre@michelle_maitre
    Hammond: Teaching is not the most attractive profession in the U.S. #edsymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 13:41:08

  62. Hammond: In places like Singapore, there is a professional development ladder for teachers to improve. In U.S., nothing. #EdSymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 13:40:40

  63. RachelWWilner

    Rachel Wilner@RachelWWilner
    Darling-Hammond says u.s has none of the things to support high-quality teaching that highest-achieving countries do. #edsymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 13:41:06

  64. Linda Darling-Hammond on Reforming Teacher Preparation

    Tue, May 14 2013 14:59:33

  65. In April, Darling-Hammond published her latest book on teacher evaluations:
  66. Ramona Bishop: Superintendent, Vallejo City Unified School District                    
  67. Ramona Bishop, superintendent of the Vallejo Unified, said, “The best way to professionalize teachers is to bring them to the table” to make key decisions on curriculums and policies affecting the classroom. In her district, “our best and brightest teachers” work with those who are struggling.

  68. RachelWWilner

    Rachel Wilner@RachelWWilner
    Ramona Bishop, supe of Vallejo city schools, says we need the best teachers to be advising us. #edsymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 13:49:51

  69. Bishop: I chose to teach in E. Oakland, I felt I had a moral obligation to give 2 students who might not be as fortunate as I was. #EdSymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 13:48:38

  70. Ramona Bishop on Identifying Effective Teachers

    Tue, May 14 2013 15:41:38

  71.  Joan Buchanan: Chair, Assembly Education Committee, California Assemblymember                     
  72. Assemblymember Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, who chairs the Assembly Education Committee and will be introducing a teacher evaluation bill later this year, disagreed with Melton’s statement that all parents in a school know who the good and bad teachers are. “We say we know the best teachers, but I have twins. One says a ninth grade teacher is terrible; the other says it’s her best teacher.” The challenge is not just identifying weak teachers but providing help to those you identify, she said.

    he first priority to school improvement, Buchanan said, should be administrator training.  

    “I have never seen a great school without a great principal. Leadership starts at the top. Then I would put more dollars into teacher training.”

  73. CA Ambly Joan Buchanan: What’s not going to save education: technology and carter schools. What will: highly effective teachers. #EdSymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 14:02:08

  74. TrentAllen78

    Trent Allen @TrentAllen78
    Joan Buchanan says top priorities: Invest in admin training; invest in teacher training; invest in early childhood education #EDSYMP13

    Sat, May 04 2013 14:12:37

  75. Joan Buchanan: Working on bill to evaluate more frequently based off multiple measures, includ how teachers adapt to test scores. #EdSymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 14:09:19

  76. Assemblymember Joan Buchanan speaks about teacher evaluations

    Tue, May 14 2013 18:08:18

  77. Tim Melton: Vice President, Legislative Affairs, StudentsFrist                     
  78. Tim Melton, vice president of legislative affairs for the advocacy group StudentsFirst, called for a “rigorous evaluation,” in which standardized test scores are a significant factor, and then help for them “to see that all succeed.”

    “We talk about great teachers, so why have not a system that identifies them?” he asked.

  79. Melton: What’s frustrating as parent right now, why don’t we have a system that identifies exceptional teachers. #EdSymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 13:53:59

  80. michelle_maitre

    Michelle Noel Maitre@michelle_maitre
    Melton: We’ve got to find who those special people are and put them in the right place so they can teach kids who need it most. #edsymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 13:57:36

  81. Tim Melton talks about identifying effective teachers

    Tue, May 14 2013 16:46:54

  82. Jennifer Thomas: President, San Jose Teachers Association
  83. Jennifer Thomas, president of the San Jose Teachers Association, described the process that teachers went through in proposing an innovative evaluation system that is “fair, equitable, accurate and research-based.” The system, based on trust, asks teachers to take risks. “We have asked them to be the professionals they were born to be.”

  84. Thomas: SJTA pushed for different evaluation standards based on a rich narrative based on observations of teachers. #EdSymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 14:13:58

  85. RachelWWilner

    Rachel Wilner@RachelWWilner
    Thomas: we are probably going to screw some of this up, but we need to take the leap together. Build
    on tiny flame of trust. #EdSymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 14:15:15

  86. Thomas: Public ed/school systems are “a marriage where nobody picks their partner.” @michelle_maitre #edsymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 14:19:11

  87. Jennifer Thomas talks about reforming teacher evaluations

    Tue, May 14 2013 18:45:09

  88. Panel 3: Truth in Testing: Common Core and Standardized Testing

  89. Panel Speakers: 

                         Pedro Noguera: Professor of Education, New York University
                         Linda Montes: Principal, Adelante Spanish Immersion School and Director of English Learner Services, Redwood City School District
                         Lisa Andrew: Director, Assessment and Accountability, Santa Clara County Office of Education
                         Richard Colvin: School Accountability Expert and Former Director of Education Sector 
                         Deb Sigman: California Department of Education, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, Co-Chair, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium
  90. What is the quality of the state’s current student and school performance testing systems? What should effective testing look like, and will the proposed national assessments due for adoption in 2014 measure up?
  91. iPad_storytime

    Digital Storytime@iPad_storytime
    Wide agreement that the way we are doing #testing in this country is not working … #EdSymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 14:38:06

  92. capta_capitol

    CAPTA Legislation@capta_capitol
    Will new shift in testing truly transform education and can we effectively implement Smarter Balance? #EdSymp13 #CAPTAConvention2013

    Sat, May 04 2013 14:39:18

  93. EdSource Today’s John Fensterwald writes that the new assessment system based on Common Core State Standards is on track, according to the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium: 
  94. Pedro Noguera: Professor of Education, New York University                     
  95. California is taking the wrong approach to testing, said New York University education professor Pedro Noguera, during a panel on assessing student performance under common core.  Testing is important, he acknowledged, but in the top performing countries, when a school isn’t up to par, they send in experts to provide guidance and training.  The attitude in this country, he said, is that “pressure and humiliation will lead to improvement.”
  96. NanAustin

    Nan Austin@NanAustin
    Pedro Noguera, professor of ed NYU, assessment used inappropriately since NCLB, used to rank, not help. #EdSymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 14:46:35

  97. MelendezSalinas

    Claudia Meléndez@MelendezSalinas
    Professor of education Pedro Noguera: I do not believe the common core will be a game changer

    Sat, May 04 2013 14:42:40

  98. michelle_maitre

    Michelle Noel Maitre@michelle_maitre
    Noguero: Problem I see is we completely ignore the ability of schools to implement these policy decisions. #edsymp13 @EdSource

    Sat, May 04 2013 15:28:02

  99. Pedro Noguera questions Common Core

    Tue, May 14 2013 11:30:41

  100. Linda Montes: Principal, Adelante Spanish Immersion School and Director of English Learner Services, Redwood City School District                     
  101. Also on the panel were Lisa Andrew, Director of Assessment and Accountability for the Santa Clara County Office of Education, and Linda Montes, Principal of Adelante Spanish Immersion School, who expressed confidence that common core will bring new models of teaching that will engage students in a deeper level of learning and open the door to multiple ways of assessing students.
  102. MelendezSalinas

    Claudia Meléndez@MelendezSalinas
    Linda Montes, Adelante school: I’m hopeful about common core because it changes how we see instruction #edsymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 14:52:41

  103. michelle_maitre

    Michelle Noel Maitre@michelle_maitre
    Montes: I still believe I can change what happens in school, but I do need support. #edsymp13 @EdSource

    Sat, May 04 2013 14:53:22

  104. Linda Montes talks about standardized tests

    Tue, May 14 2013 12:12:46

  105. Lisa Andrew: Director, Assessment and Accountability, Santa Clara County Office of Education                     
  106. iPad_storytime

    Digital Storytime@iPad_storytime
    Lisa Andrew (Office of Ed, Santa Clara): Biggest issue with #CCSS is teacher training – fear of change may hold us back. #EdSymp13

    Sat, May 04 2013 15:00:55

  107. michelle_maitre

    Michelle Noel Maitre@michelle_maitre
    Andrew: no matter what assessment looks like, it will still be used by fed govt to rank us. #edsymp13 @EdSource

    Sat, May 04 2013 15:09:11

  108. michelle_maitre

    Michelle Noel Maitre@michelle_maitre
    Andrew: anytime you put a 2nd or 3rd or 4th grader in front of a computer to take a test, that causes a lot of anxiety. #edsymp13 @EdSource

    Sat, May 04 2013 15:19:53

  109. Lisa Andrew talks about Common Core

    Tue, May 14 2013 13:18:40

  110. Richard Colvin: School Accountability Expert and Former Director of Education Sector                      
  111. Richard Colvin, a school accountability expert, said the fast pace of common core could lead to less than stellar tests, but added there’s a lot of political capital invested in making it work.  
  112. michelle_maitre

    Michelle Noel Maitre@michelle_maitre
    Colvin disputes idea that it takes a bunch of new $. “Can’t keep spending all $ you have now in same way” #edsymp13 @EdSource

    Sat, May 04 2013 15:23:01

  113. michelle_maitre

    Michelle Noel Maitre@michelle_maitre
    Colvin: API is targeted toward a proficiency that’s a pretty low level. #edsymp13 @EdSource

    Sat, May 04 2013 15:03:09

  114. Richard Colvin talks about Common Core

    Tue, May 14 2013 19:31:05

  115. Deb Sigman: California Department of Education, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction,
                           Co-Chair, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium
  116. “I think I’m a little bit more optimistic,” responded, Deb Sigman, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State Department of Education.  Sigman, who co-chairs the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, said because of common core, the state can invest in tests that allow students to demonstrate knowledge and critical thinking.
  117. michelle_maitre

    Michelle Noel Maitre@michelle_maitre
    Sigman: new common core assessments will be “more precise measurement of what your student is able to do.” #edsymp13 @EdSource

    Sat, May 04 2013 15:05:30

  118. Deb Sigman talks about standardized tests

    Tue, May 14 2013 11:45:38

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  1. Paul 7 years ago7 years ago

    Just a note to our EdSource Today hosts: It's exciting that you're branching out into dynamic content, with Twitter feeds, video, and so on! I do want to let you know that this particular article loads very slowly on desktop browsers, due to its scripts and its large, non-optimized image files (four images at over 300 K apiece!). If you try to access the article using the standard Safari browser on Apple mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod … Read More

    Just a note to our EdSource Today hosts:

    It’s exciting that you’re branching out into dynamic content, with Twitter feeds, video, and so on!

    I do want to let you know that this particular article loads very slowly on desktop browsers, due to its scripts and its large, non-optimized image files (four images at over 300 K apiece!).

    If you try to access the article using the standard Safari browser on Apple mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch), whether with your site’s mobile or desktop theme, the images are excruciatingly slow to load, and attempting to view the videos can crash the browser app.

    It’s a good idea to optimize image files for the Web, to embed video using standard, cross-platform methods, and to test the results on mobile browsers.

    Thanks for considering these suggestions!

  2. Bill Younglove 7 years ago7 years ago

    For an “educational renaissance” to occur, the current reforms being undertaken (e.g., implementation of the Common Core State Standards) must do something unprecedented: Put the students and teachers at the center of the decisions and changes to be made; not top, tech, and government and foundations and commercial enterprises downward.