David Washburn covers school climate and discipline issues for EdSource.
He’s been practicing the art and craft of journalism for 25 years, most recently in the nonprofit sphere as editor of Voice of OC and reporter/editor at Voice of San Diego. He spent eight years as an enterprise/investigative reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune. His work included award-winning stories on financial elder abuse, lack of oversight of contractors in Iraq, San Diego’s high rate officer-involved shootings and mismanagement at the San Diego Red Cross. Early in his career he worked as a researcher for Dateline NBC. He has a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Missouri.
All posts by David Washburn
As students and educators in and around the town of Paradise begin a new semester, just two months since the deadliest fire in California history killed 86 people and destroyed nearly 14,000 homes, they are carrying with them levels of trauma that will certainly impact their ability to learn and teach, experts say.
January 15, 2019
Our newsroom wants to tell the stories of students and their families in rural California who are suffering from high rates of chronic absenteeism, and help in the search for solutions.
January 15, 2019
Many educators say restorative justice has transformed school climates. Others say it is over-hyped. A new study by the RAND Corp. lends support to both sides.
January 4, 2019
The report strongly recommended rescinding the Obama policies that both emphasized alternatives to suspensions and expulsions and highlighted data showing that students of color and those with disabilities were more likely than white students to face these punishments.
December 19, 2018
As needs far outpace resources, districts are increasingly turning to outside partnerships to provide services that they see as crucial to a student's success.
December 18, 2018
Paradise Unified School District officials have found a location in Chico that will, for the foreseeable future, serve as the district’s high school while campuses decimated by the Camp Fire are rebuilt.
December 12, 2018
About half as many students were sent home for disciplinary reasons during the 2017-18 school year as had been at the beginning of the decade.
December 11, 2018
At least 40 percent of California school districts and charter schools have rates of chronic absence in grades K-8 that are high or very high based on new performance measures that will be unveiled next month.
November 28, 2018
Officials have identified three elementary schools that will take Paradise Unified students displaced by the deadly Camp Fire and are close to securing a site for middle and high schoolers.
November 28, 2018
School officials throughout Butte County are working furiously to find classrooms for children who lost their schools in the Camp Fire, while also worrying about the emotional impact of the losses on students and teachers.
November 20, 2018
The Camp Fire damaged or destroyed the majority of the schools in the Paradise Unified School District and at least 3,800 of the district's students, along with scores of teachers and several school board members, lost their homes in what has become the deadliest fire in California history.
November 16, 2018
Organizers are attempting to reverse the historically low turnout among young voters.
October 23, 2018
A rundown of the governor’s decisions on some of the most-watched education legislation that crossed his desk this year.
October 5, 2018
Brown's decision is a bitter disappointment for youth and civil rights advocates who have made eliminating suspensions for "disruption and defiance," which are disproportionately meted out to students of color, a priority.
October 1, 2018
A surge in the pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds is an indicator that the youth vote might play a larger role than usual in this year’s mid-term elections.
September 25, 2018
Instruction days lost to suspensions dropped nearly by half from 2011-12 to 2016-17, according to a new report. But African American and Native American students -- and students with disabilities -- are still suspended at disproportionately high rates.
September 20, 2018
The state ranks at or near the bottom nationwide in student access to health and counseling services. But all schools could offer basic care for $90 in added annual spending per student, report finds.
September 18, 2018
The vast majority of large urban districts statewide have implemented the 2015 California Healthy Youth Act. Yet uproar over the landmark law has garnered headlines in a few places, most notably Orange County.
September 13, 2018
Nearly 8 million students nationwide were chronically absent during the 2015-16 school year; California accounted for more than 760,000 of those children.
September 6, 2018
The bill passed Friday would expand the current ban, which covers grades K-3, to grades K-8. However, Gov. Jerry Brown, who several years ago vetoed a similar bill, has yet to signal support.
September 4, 2018
The price of punishment — new report shows students nationwide lost 11 million school days due to suspensions
The report, based on federal government data from 2015-16, also found that racial disparities in suspensions remain an acute problem. Nationwide, African-American students lost five times as many days as white students.
August 31, 2018
The measures include mandates for classroom door locks, school safety plans and the addition of school personnel to the list of people who can file gun violence restraining orders.
August 30, 2018
Youth activists are mobilizing students from Bakersfield to Stockton with hopes of making an impact in the age of Trump.
August 15, 2018
Though still angry over the deal Sacramento lawmakers made with the sweetened beverage industry, children's health advocates are busy plotting a new course.
July 31, 2018
UCLA and two county education departments are collaborating to train teachers and administrators throughout the state on alternatives to traditional discipline.
July 25, 2018
A nationwide poll found that while an increasing number of parents fear for their children's safety at school, a significant majority do not want teachers to be armed.
July 16, 2018
More than 80 individuals and organizations have come together to urge the commission established by President Donald Trump to retain federal guidelines issued by the Obama administration to combat racial disparities in school discipline.
July 15, 2018
Top U.S. Department of Education official says he will recommend approval if the State Board of Education votes for a revised plan at its meeting in Sacramento
July 3, 2018
In a decision that could do significant damage to the finances of the California Teachers Association and other public sector unions, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that unions can no longer collect compulsory fees from the workers they represent.
June 27, 2018
A flurry of state legislation aimed at making schools safer was proposed after the Parkland school massacre. Here’s where the various proposals stand now.
June 17, 2018
Tucked inside Gov. Jerry Brown’s May Revision of the state budget is a proposal to extend California's ban on suspensions for “willful defiance” in early elementary grades.
June 4, 2018
The current era of discipline reform in California is putting greater emphasis on an aspect of teaching that has long gotten the short shrift in teacher credentialing programs.
May 16, 2018
While awareness of restorative justice is high among school officials statewide, budgets for programs remain tiny in most school districts.
May 15, 2018
Augustus F. Hawkins High, which is situated at the crossroads of multiple gang territories, almost died at its birth. A commitment to restorative justice helped save it.
May 14, 2018
Many tout the practice as a groundbreaking alternative to zero-tolerance policies and a way to alleviate discipline disparities, while some say it's being oversold as a quick fix.
May 13, 2018
A system being unveiled at Anaheim High School this week includes high-resolution images of the school’s every nook and cranny.
May 1, 2018
Thousands of students across the state Friday participated in the third national walkout since the February school massacre in Parkland, Fla. The event also recognized the 19th anniversary of the mass shooting at Columbine High in Colorado.
April 20, 2018
Students throughout the state are showing more interest in “high school voter education weeks” than ever before.
April 19, 2018
A judge’s ruling in a case brought on behalf of schoolchildren in a Grand Canyon reservation could impact whether school districts are required to provide disability services to students impacted by trauma and adversity.
April 5, 2018
Researchers will spend five years studying California schools in order to get a better picture of how they can become places where people feel safer and more connected.
April 3, 2018
The association also endorses Marshall Tuck for superintendent of public instruction.
March 27, 2018
The report finds no other state does a better job than California at holding districts accountable for reducing overall school suspensions. But districts still don't adequately prioritize cuts in suspension rates for students of color and other marginalized groups.
March 21, 2018
Civil rights advocates worry that if the Trump administration decides to rescind federal school discipline guidance established in 2014, the action could hamper reform efforts at the local level. Meanwhile, state officials say it would have no real effect on statewide policy.
March 20, 2018
Inspired by the activism of those who survived February's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., students from elementary schools to college campuses walked out of class Wednesday and staged a variety of protests to demand stricter gun control laws.
March 14, 2018
The National School Walkout, which is being staged to honor the victims of the Parkland, Fla., massacre and advocate for stricter gun control laws, is the latest example of students making a difference in national affairs.
March 12, 2018
While many districts favor a hands-off approach focused on safety as they prepare for the nationwide protest on March 14 — in which students throughout the country will walk out of class to advocate for gun control — some see it as a teachable moment.
March 6, 2018
School districts are trying a variety of strategies aimed at creating safe and welcoming school environments, but there is controversy over the role and frequency of student surveys, and how to use them.
February 28, 2018
With the current ban on such suspensions for grades K-3 set to expire in July, a bill that would expand the ban to include all schools is making its way through the state Legislature.