John Fensterwald, editor-at-large of EdSource Today, joined EdSource in 2012. Before that, he was editor and co-writer for the “Thoughts on Public Education (TOP-Ed)” website, a leading source of California education policy reporting and opinion, which he founded in 2009. For 11 years before then, John wrote editorials for the Mercury News in San Jose, with a focus on education. He worked as a reporter, news editor and opinion editor for three newspapers in New Hampshire for two decades before receiving a Knight Fellowship at Stanford University in 1997 and heading West. His wife is a retired elementary school teacher, and his daughter attends the UC Davis School of Medicine.
All posts by John Fensterwald
Windfall for California K-12 schools, more spending from early to higher ed in Newsom's first budget
Newsom would increase spending for education from early to higher ed, including a path to full-day preschool for every low-income child and full-day kindergarten for all 5-year olds. A surprise for K-12 districts — pension-cost relief — would free up money to spend as they want.
January 10, 2019
The Every Student Succeeds Act requires states to identify and improve student achievement in the lowest-performing 5 percent of schools. Districts with those schools will explain how in a new section of their Local Control and Accountability Plans.
January 9, 2019
Michael Kirst's parting advice: more teacher and principal training is critical to success of local control
In an exit interview, retiring state board President Michael Kirst urges more attention to professional development for teachers and principals, discusses the need for more school funding, an expanded school database and a new agency focused on children's needs.
January 8, 2019
Place your bets: curbs on charter schools, passage of universal preschool, more money for K-12, more teacher strikes and the resignation of Betsy DeVos; an untested governor and volatile president may affect the odds.
January 1, 2019
The California Career Pathways Trust funded alliances among school districts, businesses and colleges that established hundreds of new career pathway programs, but regional commitments were hard to sustain, a study found.
December 6, 2018
Two near indicators – chronic absenteeism and college/career readiness – debut and reemphasize the need to boost attendance of younger students and better prepare high schoolers for post-graduation.
December 6, 2018
Despite steady overall progress, gaps among student ethnic and racial groups persist. The new data will indicate which low-performing school districts will receive assistance when the California School Dashboard is released next month.
November 27, 2018
Lupita Cortez Alcalá, executive director of the California Student Aid Commission, will return to the state's department of education where she held key positions for a dozen years.
November 21, 2018
The Legislative Analyst's Office projects that a 3.1 percent increase would cover little more than inflation, but early education advocates see potential opportunities elsewhere in the state budget.
November 15, 2018
The Alliance for Continuous Improvement releases a "GPS" guide that calls for improving on sweeping changes already in place: new education standards, a more equitable funding system and higher expectations for student success.
November 14, 2018
Voters approved about 80 percent of 112 school facility bonds and 8 of 13 parcel but a lot of votes remain to be counted.
November 8, 2018
High-spending campaign for a job with little power but a big megaphone comes down to wire.
November 7, 2018
Whether it's clamping down on charter schools or changing teacher tenure, candidates can say a lot more than they can actually do.
November 2, 2018
Marshall Tuck has a more 2-to-1 advantage over Tony Thurmond in direct donations and $28.7 million in funding from independent committees.
October 28, 2018
The governor wants California Supreme Court to give public agencies, like school districts, the ability to change pension benefits for current workers in hard times.
October 25, 2018
Without a lot more money, the next state superintendent of public instruction must clarify the department's role under local control.
October 11, 2018
There are signs of "encouragement" and "distress" in implementing the Common Core standards after four years of Smarter Balanced testing. There is also a dilemma: 11th-grade results.
October 2, 2018
Dozens of districts are offering the tests at their own expense already, because scores on SAT and ACT, not Smarter Balanced, are what matters to high school juniors.
September 30, 2018
Two panels of teachers and principals were asked to design minimal staffing, programs and resources to meet state expectations for educating all students in California. Their finding: Add $22 billion to the tab.
September 30, 2018
Getting Down to Facts II finds strong support for education reforms but also obstacles to student achievement and a need for more funding.
September 17, 2018
Here are the take-aways from the studies on special education, funding needs, a teacher shortage, a data deficit, student mental health local control's unmet potential – and more.
September 17, 2018
The State Board of Education has no answer to a basic question: Should the state measure readiness for 'college and careers' or 'college or careers'?
September 6, 2018
Complaints that the state education data web site was too difficult to understand led to redesigned version.
September 4, 2018
The California Charter Schools Association says it's in favor of AB 406, but ambiguity of the language, potentially affecting non-profit charter schools' operations, could give the governor pause.
September 3, 2018
Foundation is funding school and district networks to heighten middle and high school success for low-income African American and Latino students. Six California-based organizations will receive $40 million out of $92 million awarded nationwide.
August 28, 2018
Superintendents say free college readiness testing for all would raise SAT/ACT scores and boost college admissions. Opponents say AB 1951 would undermine the usefulness of high school testing.
August 23, 2018
Strikes in low-paying states opened the public's eyes. In California, where teachers are among nation's highest paid – cost of living aside – Education Next's 2018 poll found more support for raising overall funding than teacher pay.
August 20, 2018
East Side Union in San Jose says state law should let districts consider a charter district's financial impact when deciding a charter application.
August 19, 2018
Promise Academy disagreements with San Jose Unified mirror tensions escalating statewide over charter schools.
August 16, 2018
Linda Darling-Hammond, chair of teacher credentialing commission, calls the state assessment out of date and not a good predictor of classroom performance.
August 15, 2018
Although former Sen. Gary Hart never imagined there would be 1,200 charter schools, overall he’s pleased. He would set up a different appeals process for charters whose applications have been rejected.
August 13, 2018
Out of 70 LCAPs selected, Public Advocates couldn’t find 27 online and most of the 43 reviewed lacked key spending data and evidence of parent involvement.
August 1, 2018
Corrected for problems with past years’ calculations, 82.7 percent in the Class of 2017 got their diplomas compared with 83.8 percent the year before.
July 27, 2018
The lawsuit demands that the state improve reading and writing instruction in schools serving low-income students of color.
July 26, 2018
An Urban Institute reports finds entitlements for the elderly, rising payments on national debt and spending caps on safety net programs will squeeze investments in America’s next generation.
July 18, 2018
Approval for the state’s plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act comes one day after State Board of Education makes final fixes.
July 12, 2018
Student advocacy groups and academics are seeking to adopt a model other states use to calculate the impact of students’ test score growth, but state staff urge patience.
July 10, 2018
A comprehensive survey of superintendents' views of the Local Control Funding Formula reveals support for extra money for low-income students and finds districts struggle to engage parents.
June 27, 2018
The 2018-19 state budget includes $13.3 million to create a network in which teams of parents, teachers and district administrators will identify ways to listen to and act on advice from the community.
June 25, 2018
Language added to the state budget will make it easier for unions to recruit and keep members as the high court is set to rule on the mandatory fees they charge.
June 22, 2018
Persistence pays off for Assemblywoman Shirley Weber with a compromise resulting in $300 million in one-time spending.
June 20, 2018
There's enough new money to "fully fund" the Local Control Funding Formula and stave off UC and CSU tuition increases.
June 14, 2018
California is one of handful of states awaiting federal approval of its education plan
June 12, 2018
Both say charter schools shouldn't be the focus of the campaign but big independent donors may think otherwise.
June 6, 2018
The rising costs of health care and pensions stand in the way of meeting the promise of the funding formula, says the United Way of Greater Los Angeles.
June 5, 2018
Tony Thurmond and Marshall Tuck aren't as far apart as millions spent for and against them would imply.
May 31, 2018
He has run charter schools and a nonprofit partnership of high-poverty schools in Los Angeles Unified.
May 29, 2018
Candidate for state superintendent ran programs for struggling kids 20 years before running for public office.
May 28, 2018
Assembly Bill 2808 sets a goal of $35 billion more in base spending for the Local Control Funding Formula; that would put California among the top 10 states in spending but without a deadline or means to reach it.
May 21, 2018
A recession is coming, so don't get 'giddy' over the prospect of adding or expanding programs, governor warns.
May 11, 2018
State Board of Education President Mike Kirst announces he'll retire — and reflects on changes he has led
He acknowledges that he couldn’t duplicate the special relationship advising a governor for 44 years.
May 9, 2018
As teachers’ unions scramble to blunt the impact of a looming Supreme Court decision regarding their ability to collect dues, the recent teacher strikes across the nation have handed them a rallying cry.
May 6, 2018
Periodically over the past century, state boards of education, governors and state superintendents have clashed over who should be setting education policy in California.
April 25, 2018
Bill would modify the Local Control Funding Formula to add money for the lowest-performing student group; it could violate the law barring preferential treatment based on race or ethnicity.
April 17, 2018
The state board is satisfied with compromises but will seek one waiver involving English learners.
April 13, 2018
San Diego, Los Angeles and Fresno make notable growth among urban districts in the 2017 NAEP.
April 9, 2018
To compromise or not: State education board to vote on California’s amended plan for meeting federal law
The state could still seek waivers from changes that board members don’t like — but only after a plan is submitted.
April 8, 2018
Districts must do more to reduce low-income schools' share of inexperienced, ineffective teachers under new federal law
Effectiveness has nothing to do with teachers' impact or performance, as California defines it under the new federal law.
March 29, 2018
A mid-career switch led him from the Air Force to Long Beach Unified to running the state's largest school consulting firm.
March 21, 2018
State Superintendent Torlakson and some superintendents are at odds on the issue. An analysis by the prominent nonprofit Achieve will add fuel to the debate.
March 15, 2018
Big question for board members: Would the deal undermine the state's strategy for reforms?
March 14, 2018
Lawmakers take the first step: discussing the growing needs and disparities in funding.
March 8, 2018
State Board of Education to vote next week on significant changes to meet the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
March 7, 2018
Districts strapped with rising expenses could use the money however they want.
March 1, 2018
Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch will break the court’s deadlock over compulsory union fees.
February 26, 2018
The court's newest justice, Neil Gorsuch, will decide if unions have cause for worry.
February 26, 2018
"Getting Down to Facts" studies will take stock of a decade of change and point to what other states are doing differently.
February 21, 2018
The governor also renominated Patricia Rucker and Ting Sun to the state board.
February 15, 2018
Defenders of local control worry time is running out to develop models that work for parents and districts
February 12, 2018
Depending how the question is framed, they also favor rating schools on multiple factors, not issuing a single grade.
February 5, 2018
The split in support echoes the expensive race for state superintendent four years ago.
February 1, 2018
Patrick O’Donnell says students would benefit from subbing SAT or ACT for Smarter Balanced math and reading exams
January 31, 2018
The Every Student Succeeds Act is a battleground for the latest dispute between Sacramento and Washington.
January 30, 2018
With five candidates in the race, it may be more difficult for one to win a majority in the primary.
January 28, 2018
Civil rights group called on Tuck to renounce the money and denounce its donor, Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson.
January 24, 2018
“Split-roll” proposal would raise billions for schools and local governments by increasing property taxes on businesses.
January 17, 2018
More details and tweaks in wording may not resolve key differences over Every Student Succeeds Act.
January 16, 2018
Most must act on their own, without state or county assistance.
January 12, 2018
Infusion of revenue for K-12 should enable him to finish paying for Local Control Funding Formula ahead of schedule.
January 9, 2018
Place your bets: CTA troubles, pension woes, student deportations, battles with Trump, tax reform and other issues.
January 2, 2018
Is state board exercising flexibility or violating the Every Student Succeeds Act?
December 27, 2017
Special education teachers will again be qualified to teach in general education classrooms.
December 12, 2017
One in 4 California school districts required to get county help based on new state performance data
The updated California School Dashboard provides extensive data on schools, districts and a dozen student groups.
December 7, 2017
New improvement and accountability system provides extensive data on many measures of school life and performance.
December 7, 2017
EdSource sought the advice of experts, advocates and observers; common themes emerged on improving Gov. Jerry Brown's landmark law.
December 3, 2017
Many praise the formula's ambitious goals but criticize its burdensome documentation requirements, inadequate funding and the lack of fiscal transparency.
December 3, 2017
Study group recommends that districts conduct an annual survey of parents, students and teachers on school safety and students' wellbeing.
November 27, 2017
Gov. Brown could fully fund the Local Control Funding Formula ahead of schedule, with $2.5 billion to spare.
November 15, 2017
California at bottom in nationwide ranking of accountability systems; state board president disagrees
Fordham Institute gives high fives to what California dislikes: grading schools A to F with heavy weight for test scores.
November 14, 2017
State assumed more districts' scores would grow, and they didn't. That created a problem; designating fewer districts in the 'red' is part of the fix.
November 8, 2017
State may change color configurations on the school dashboard to reduce the number of districts and student subgroups requiring county assistance.
November 6, 2017
New research finds that a shift to school-based, peer-led teacher training also can raise student achievement.
November 2, 2017
Starting in 2021 students in California will be able to engage in civic activities earning them a diploma with a Seal of Civic Engagement. Created in a recently passed bill, the seal is part of an effort to revive civics education.
October 31, 2017
But support shrinks, with Democrats opposed, to idea of giving government subsidies for religious or private schools to all parents, regardless of income.
October 5, 2017
County officials are now demanding districts do a better job of justifying spending for low-income students and English learners under the funding formula.
October 3, 2017
Search results for the 2016-17 Smarter Balanced assessments of math and English language arts by school or district and see three-year trendlines for the Common Core-aligned tests.
September 27, 2017
Ineligible for unemployment relief during the summer, bus drivers, classroom aides, school clerks would pay into a state-matched furlough fund.
September 24, 2017
In a new book, Michael Kirst urges creation of a regional entity to unify and coordinate efforts.
September 20, 2017
A teacher's credential, not his or her performance, will define effectiveness under the state's education plan required by federal law.
September 15, 2017
California officials insist Every Student Succeeds Act will not alter the direction of the state's ongoing reforms.
September 13, 2017
Michael Fullan says the state has pursued the 'right drivers' with, so far, a flawed implementation.
September 7, 2017
Latest version would exempt it from most state education laws.
September 5, 2017
Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi says data will show if funding is really spent on English learners and low-income students.
September 2, 2017
Due to inaccurate data, state now anticipates releasing this year's math and reading test results by Sept. 13.
August 29, 2017
Backers envision a pipeline for poor kids to attend Caltech; opponents want to know who's behind it.
August 28, 2017
The state board says the report failed to look at total effort to help schools and hold them accountable.
August 24, 2017
Activists from the 1960s share memories as part of a high school program created by UC Berkeley.
August 16, 2017
More people still support charters, but the margin has narrowed in an Education Next survey.
August 14, 2017
Marshall Tuck explains his approach, Tony Thurmond points to bills he is authoring.
August 13, 2017
Colleges will have another option for a 4-year path to a teaching credential.
August 10, 2017
Three dozen California districts and charter networks say free tests raise expectations and remove a barrier for applying to college.
August 6, 2017
Districts' revenues may be back to pre-recession levels, but not their buying power, says FCMAT's Michael Fine.
August 2, 2017
That's the recommendation of Rick Simpson, the Assembly's retired expert on school finance.
July 26, 2017
A new icon in the school dashboard would signify less than 95 percent participation.
July 20, 2017
State board, advocacy groups fundamentally disagree over plan for complying with federal education law
Is the state's bare-bones response to the Every Student Succeeds Act a shrewd tactic or a missed opportunity?
July 17, 2017
Both bills would add optional third year; school districts prefer one version, CTA the other.
July 13, 2017
The proposal to use dashboard colors to identify the lowest-achieving schools is being sharply criticized.
July 10, 2017
Proponents said public needs to know where money from Local Control Formula goes.
July 9, 2017
As with Missouri, California's constitution bans public money for schools run by churches.
June 26, 2017
Now's not the time to expand experimentation with school accountability measures, staff tells CORE Districts.
June 22, 2017
Unions fearing a loss of mandatory fees will get access to recruit new workers.
June 14, 2017
The proposed budget includes $30 million in incentives to attract new teachers.
June 12, 2017
The amended bill proposing longer probationary period clears the Assembly by a big margin but key provisions are left out.
June 8, 2017
Gov. Jerry Brown has his own idea, using $11 million in federal funding.
May 31, 2017
Standard metrics often don't capture the work of schools serving at-risk students.
May 25, 2017
The governor's view is it's better to wait to see if revenues come through than to cut later.
May 21, 2017
All agree on the goal of the proposed legislation: Uniform standards to judge when students are English proficient.
May 17, 2017
GreatSchools debuts a multiple-measure view of California's schools.
May 16, 2017
The Local Control Funding Formula and state preschools will get more money.
May 11, 2017
The staff of the State Board of Education will revise the plan for complying with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.
May 10, 2017
The Every Student Succeeds Act gives states more latitude to spend federal dollars and fix low-achieving schools.
May 4, 2017
The study finds "good-faith efforts" overall, but some districts are not spending on students targeted for extra money.
May 1, 2017
Assembly Bill 1220 would require teachers to spend three years in the classroom before getting tenure.
April 27, 2017
The current reserve cap limits the amount of money school districts can set aside for future needs.
April 26, 2017
However, twice in the past, they overwhelmingly rejected ballot initiatives that would have allowed vouchers.
April 19, 2017
Education Trust–West presses for tracking spending at the school level.
April 6, 2017
The complaint is contesting how the district spent $41 million in supplemental and concentration funding.
April 4, 2017
They're hoping the governor's May budget revision brings an increase in school revenue.
March 28, 2017
They fear districts wouldn't spend sufficiently on services for their children with disabilities.
March 23, 2017
Groups say the district isn't complying with its obligation under the funding formula.
March 20, 2017
Performance grid compares every school and subgroup in a district.
March 15, 2017
California School Dashboard debuts tomorrow; so what do parents want and need?
March 13, 2017
He lost narrowly to Tom Torlakson in 2014 in an expensive, divisive race.
March 13, 2017
Civil rights groups counted on ESSA accountability rules to force the state board to take tough actions.
March 9, 2017
SAT and Smarter Balanced explore the potential of a partnership, even as they compete for market share.
March 7, 2017
The coalition believes the new school dashboard minimizes the importance of 11th-grade Smarter Balanced results.
March 2, 2017
By one often-cited study, it's 46th in the nation, by another, 22nd; methodology matters.
February 28, 2017
Citing duplication, the state's third-largest district sought to drop the 11th-grade Smarter Balanced test.
February 23, 2017
The governor, who opposed Prop. 51, will get the oversight changes he wanted.
February 9, 2017
A new report says counties should compete to offer many of the services they now provide.
February 8, 2017
The CalSTRS board lowered its projected annual return from investments to 7 percent, requiring bigger contributions.
February 2, 2017
State law doesn't allow the Santa Clara County Board of Education to grant a zoning exemption to a San Jose charter.
February 1, 2017
Independent study charters no longer can run satellite centers for 38,000 students in nearby districts.
January 31, 2017
A more optimistic scenario could produce a couple of billion dollars more for K-12 schools and community colleges.
January 22, 2017
Many watching the president's addressed panned it; some are open to change.
January 22, 2017
Our experts would want to know about she'd address vouchers, early education, fears of immigrant students, Common Core and students' college debt.
January 13, 2017
It also decides which schools' English learners will fall in the accountability system's low-performing "red zone."
January 11, 2017
Gov. Jerry Brown is also demanding improved auditing before floating school construction bonds.
January 10, 2017
Trump will propose a voucher program; Brown will address the teacher shortage.
January 2, 2017
David B. Cohen profiles some of the state's best teachers in his new book.
December 22, 2016
Added contributions will come on top of already rising expenses.
December 21, 2016
Districts are worried the governor will slow down distribution of Proposition 51's matching funds.
December 18, 2016
The initiative is part of a national movement to boost computer science education in K-12 schools.
December 5, 2016
The recommendation would upend the way special education finance has worked in the state for nearly 40 years.
November 29, 2016
In final ESSA regulations, the U.S. Department of Education backs off its demand for a single index.
November 28, 2016
The new Legislative Analyst’s Office projection for 2017-18 includes funding from Proposition 55.
November 16, 2016
By approving local bonds, districts will be eligible for matching money from $9 billion state bond under Prop 51.
November 10, 2016
State board president, state superintendent say proposed rules on funding for low-income students would intrude on local control and exceed federal authority.
November 8, 2016
The new California accountability system for schools will use a "report card" format.
November 3, 2016
The Local Control and Accountability Plan's third version may not be a charm but it is an improvement.
November 2, 2016
Fans of abandoned API, rejoice: New index ranks schools 1 to 10 based on test scores.
November 1, 2016
Congress has given states more freedom to decide how best to use Title I dollars for low-income children.
November 1, 2016
But the revised LCAP templates may not end up shorter.
October 27, 2016
More than a third of teachers are projected to retire by 2023-24 in 20 mostly smalll counties.
October 19, 2016
The state's new credo to school districts: Look inward, not to us, for the answers.
October 18, 2016
Depending on stock market returns, it would generate $2 billion to $4.5 billion annually for schools.
October 11, 2016
Results of other surveys indicate that wording of the questions matters.
October 10, 2016
Current method doesn't credit progress by lowest and highest performing students.
October 5, 2016
The California Teachers Association campaigned hard for its passage.
September 30, 2016
He also nixes more money for Dream Centers for undocumented students at state colleges.
September 29, 2016
AB 2548 also called for simpler, clearer school and district reports cards.
September 25, 2016
The issue: Can targeted dollars fund across-the-board teacher raises?
September 22, 2016
Backers of extending the tax on wealthy residents also have yet to seal the deal.
September 21, 2016
California Collaborative for Educational Excellence will focus on tying LCAPs to data.
September 20, 2016
Some issues are unresolved, but speakers agreed the board is headed in the right direction.
September 8, 2016
Organizations say parents need a simpler school report card.
September 7, 2016
Schools and districts will be measured based on parent involvement, college and career readiness and, of course, test scores.
September 5, 2016
Plaintiffs weigh their options, including another lawsuit to define how much funding is adequate.
August 31, 2016
Smarter Balanced scores show some groups exceed average while English learners lag.
August 24, 2016
Three justices issue dissents arguing they should consider overturning tenure, layoff laws.
August 22, 2016
California is making big changes in how it evaluates school and district performance.
August 11, 2016
Study finds the gap reaches 17 percent and 11 percent in total compensation.
August 9, 2016
The advocacy groups that challenged the district want an immediate remedy.
August 8, 2016
District authorizers and charter operators air complaints at legislative hearing.
August 3, 2016
The letter criticizes the proposed rules, saying they say would "derail" the state's progress toward a new accountability system.
August 2, 2016
A new analysis says federal system would discount California's school climate, college and career indicators.
August 1, 2016
They cite innovative work measuring high school readiness and learning mindsets.
July 31, 2016
The districts are no longer restricted from matching pay and years of work experience.
July 25, 2016
The state board agrees with a USC professor studying the issue – minimum proficiency is too narrow a measure.
July 20, 2016
Hundreds of Muslim, Hindu Americans took offense at references to their religions.
July 14, 2016
The state board hopes parents and the public will embrace a multi-colored dashboard.
July 11, 2016
Changes would make the document better organized but not easier to track expenditures.
July 11, 2016
Even sympathetic senators cite misgivings with bill's current form.
June 29, 2016
Students Matter pulls its support, but Assemblywoman Bonilla gains other backers.
June 26, 2016
The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence will spread the word on new metrics and work with pilot districts.
June 23, 2016
Paul Tough discusses the highlights of his new book, "Helping Children Succeed."
June 20, 2016
The district plans to fight the ruling; the community group wants it enforced now.
June 19, 2016
4% increase in Prop. 98 next year; early ed to receive $500 million more over 4 years
June 15, 2016
More money will also go to better prepare low-income students for state universities.
June 10, 2016
Unclear regulations and inconsistent enforcement undermine oversight of the LCAP process.
June 9, 2016
Students value the extra effort that teachers take to pronounce their names.
June 2, 2016
The shortfall for students with the highest needs will grow to $450 million, the complaint says.
June 1, 2016
The bill would mandate coaching for ineffective teachers and make it easier to fire them.
May 24, 2016
Reducing the subgroup size gives a more complete picture of performance, a new study finds.
May 18, 2016
College and career readiness indicators may also make the first cut.
May 11, 2016
CSU foresees teachers with dual credentials as one solution.
April 28, 2016
The state board would have to measure school climate and chronic absenteeism.
April 26, 2016
The split decision says the Legislature has the prerogative to determine how much to spend.
April 20, 2016
The PPIC survey also shows widespread support for pre-school funding.
April 20, 2016
Three reports cite a lack of transparency in local accountability plans.
April 14, 2016
Teachers' concerns extend beyond bread-and-butter issues, union leaders say.
April 5, 2016
The case challenged public employee union's right to collect mandatory dues.
March 29, 2016
Without more transparency, districts can play shell game with money, law firm charges.
March 28, 2016
Parents and student advocates press for school climate and parent involvement metrics.
March 21, 2016
Researchers criticize CORE districts' use of student surveys of their social-emotional skills.
March 17, 2016
California teachers say they're not getting enough quality training and materials.
March 11, 2016
The California Charter Schools Association says other districts should do so, too.
March 3, 2016
Transition to new funding and accountability systems creates a vacuum for answers.
February 24, 2016
At stake is the ability of the CTA and public employee unions to charge mandatory fees.
February 15, 2016
A coalition of districts and developers have placed a $9 billion bond on the November ballot.
February 12, 2016
Great Schools provides clear information and tools for advocacy.
February 9, 2016
Any district could become a District of Choice, but few do.
February 7, 2016
California has a plan and timetable to meet the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
February 1, 2016
The federal government grants a waiver from the last vestige of No Child Left Behind.
February 1, 2016
Robles-Wong and Campaign for Quality Education plaintiffs take their case to appeals court.
January 26, 2016
Governor repeats call for fiscal restraints while citing accomplishments.
January 21, 2016
But civil rights advocates urge clarity and guidance, not just flexibility.
January 19, 2016
State laws defining teacher tenure, layoffs by seniority and dismissal procedures are at stake.
January 15, 2016
California officials are requesting maximum flexibility under the new federal law.
January 13, 2016
Money from the tax extension would be subject to the rainy day fund.
January 12, 2016
The state board is leaning toward a measurement "dashboard."
January 11, 2016
The teachers in Friedrichs lawsuit claim mandatory fees violate their rights.
January 11, 2016
Arguments begin in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association.
January 11, 2016
Per-student spending for the Local Control Funding Formula would increase 5.6 percent next year.
January 7, 2016
A judge initially dismissed the grounds for the two companion cases in 2011.
January 6, 2016
Troubles loom for unions but not for schools, after Prop. 30 is extended.
January 3, 2016
High school juniors who opted out didn't significantly lower state's total.
December 22, 2015
Legislators call for action in response to judge's ruling in Vergara lawsuit.
December 20, 2015
New law is intended to ensure all qualified students proceed to advanced math.
December 14, 2015
The group was established as part of the Local Control Funding Formula.
December 8, 2015
CORE districts hope the new school improvement system will become permanent.
December 7, 2015
A $9 billion bond is on the 2016 ballot, but the governor opposes more debt.
November 30, 2015
Carol Dweck explains the difference between saying, "Work harder," and nagging.
November 23, 2015
Revenue will tail off and expenses will rise as temporary tax expires.
November 19, 2015
Researchers find districts expressing frustration, worry in the second year of LCAPs.
November 16, 2015
The state had to delay reporting Smarter Balanced test results.
November 4, 2015
Brown guards local control and is wary of more spending and collecting more data.
November 2, 2015
WestEd's questionnaire asks what they've done and what they need.
October 30, 2015
Recommendations include new policies on classifying and re-designating students.
October 22, 2015
Public employee unions could lose their right to charge members mandatory fees.
October 20, 2015
Districts will develop middle school students' soft skills, such as perseverance.
October 14, 2015
One was orchestrating local control as the other was leveraging federal power.
October 5, 2015
This will be the first time in 20 years the state won't get startup funds.
September 29, 2015
Districts must negotiate a new form of teacher evaluations with their unions.
September 25, 2015
Law professors, educators and others on both sides make their arguments.
September 23, 2015
Vincent Matthews also was the last state administrator of Oakland Unified.
September 17, 2015
The groups disagreed over a proposed compromise.
September 17, 2015
State board considers other measures of student engagement and achievement.
September 15, 2015
A survey had found some districts failed to provide services to English learners.
September 14, 2015
September 9, 2015
Learning Policy Institute opens with Linda Darling-Hammond as CEO.
September 2, 2015
The bill sets a higher limit and exempts small districts from the current cap.
September 1, 2015
Education department acknowledges its move created confusion it had sought to avoid.
August 28, 2015
Poll finds majority support more money for schools and extending Prop. 30.
August 27, 2015
Officials say it will avoid confusion; critics say the data should be accessible.
August 26, 2015
Teachers share insights about implementing the Common Core.
July 31, 2015
A new report suggests creating partnerships and job pipelines.
July 30, 2015
Democrats' bills would give teachers the right to negotiate what goes into an evaluation.
July 22, 2015
Latest federal study provides the most reliable data to date.
July 16, 2015
Lawsuit says districts must include test scores to measure effectiveness
July 16, 2015
Charter school system envisions creating a university to grant degrees.
July 12, 2015
Hundreds of millions of dollars are at issue in the spending dispute.
July 1, 2015
Friedrichs v. CTA threatens financial strength and clout of public-employee unions.
June 30, 2015
Six California CORE districts seek extension from the federal law.
June 25, 2015
The Legislature grants more time as the state board struggles to define "evaluation rubrics."
June 22, 2015
Memo drops unequivocal restrictions on money intended for high-needs students.
June 15, 2015
Retired McKinsey executive Lenny Mendonca likes what he sees in California.
June 7, 2015
Law imposes barrier to using funds aimed for poor kids and English learners.
May 28, 2015
Researchers recommend more clarity, better state guidance and better metrics.
May 25, 2015
Current law limits the amount of money districts can keep in reserves.
May 19, 2015
Proposition 98 channels new revenue to schools to partially make up for past cuts.
May 14, 2015
San Jose principal took a chance based on trust.
May 5, 2015
Districts would replace private tutors with after-school, summer programs.
May 4, 2015
Teachers, districts disagree over who determines how teachers will be judged
April 28, 2015
EdSource Symposium will examine the impact of reforms under way.
April 15, 2015
CSU's Early Assessment Program switches to Smarter Balanced with uncertain impact.
March 29, 2015
Gap closes by more than 60 percent, data shows.
March 23, 2015
High-need schools in wealthier districts receive less supplemental money.
March 18, 2015
Board buys time to create broader measures of school performance.
March 11, 2015
Lawmakers say they need to respond now to Vergara ruling.
March 5, 2015
Districts would get $900 million if extra revenue comes through.
March 4, 2015
Over the past decade, the free instructional website Khan Academy has transformed how tens of millions of students across the globe perceive and approach math. Now, it’s pursuing a bigger aim: transforming how students perceive themselves.
February 9, 2015
For the second straight year, California will ask the federal government to exempt it from using scores on the new assessments that students will take this spring to measure progress in math and English language arts, a key requirement under the No Child Left Behind law.
February 3, 2015
The state could be liable for as much as $1 billion per year in costs if a group of school districts succeeds in winning reimbursement for expenses associated with the implementation of computer-based tests in the Common Core and other new state standards.
January 29, 2015
The leaders of 20 nonprofit organizations have called on Gov. Jerry Brown to name “an individual with a track record of advocating on behalf of English learners” to one of two vacancies on the State Board of Education.
January 29, 2015
Attorneys for teachers who are challenging the right of the California Teachers Association to force them to pay union dues petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to hear their case this year. There’s a good chance that it will.
January 28, 2015
Paying kids to do homework is a controversial issue among parents. Paying parents to do homework – about critical issues affecting their kids’ schools – is a good deal from the California PTA.
January 23, 2015
The California School Boards Association’s campaign to persuade the Legislature to reverse a cap on school district reserves got a boost this week when the Legislative Analyst’s Office issued a report endorsing a repeal.
January 22, 2015
Gov. Jerry Brown wants the state to cease issuing K-12 construction bonds, leaving school districts to pay the tab to build schools. A coalition of districts and the building industry says it will put a $9 billion bond before voters next year.
January 21, 2015
With California students set to begin taking new Smarter Balanced tests in the Common Core State Standards this spring, state education officials are worried about how parents will view the results – especially if, as experts predict, their kids’ initial scores will be low.
January 14, 2015
Midway through the school year, about half the state’s teachers have access to a new "Digital Library" the state purchased to help them teach the Common Core State Standards, but it’s unclear how many teachers are actually using it and how useful it is.
January 8, 2015
Education Week’s annual state rankings on K-12 education had welcome, though outdated, news for California: No longer rock-bottom, California moved from 50th to 46th in per-student state spending in 2011-12, the latest data cited.
January 7, 2015
An advocacy organization that analyzed dozens of school districts’ inaugural improvement plans under the state’s new school funding law praised the level of community involvement but criticized the lack of clarity in the finished product.
December 16, 2014
A coalition of school districts wants Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature to clarify how much money will be available to schools following the deal that legislators struck earlier this year requiring districts to make higher pension payments.
December 11, 2014
California policymakers say they intend to create a different system for reporting results of the upcoming tests on the Common Core standards than parents and schools have become used to in the era of the No Child Left Behind Act.
December 3, 2014
Ryan Smith, the new executive director of Education Trust-West, got an early lesson in the inequities of education in California when, as a 6-year-old, his single mother used her savings to move from low-income South Los Angeles so that her only child could attend better schools.
November 24, 2014
Dozens and possibly hundreds of the state’s charter schools have adopted policies that illegally require parents to volunteer, the nonprofit law firm Public Advocates charged in its report, “Charging For Access,” issued on Thursday.
November 20, 2014
The State Board of Education, as expected, voted Thursday to move ahead in the spring with the new Smarter Balanced tests on the Common Core State Standards while leaving open, for now, the decision on what to do with the test results.
November 13, 2014
State and federal financial aid has protected low-income and some middle class families from state universities' big tuition and fee increases – but not enough eligible families sought help, a report from the Public Policy Institute of California concluded.
November 12, 2014
In the hours since Marshall Tuck’s daunting but failed effort to unseat incumbent State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, education and political observers have reached different conclusions about the election and its significance.
November 6, 2014
Voter support for Proposition 2, a new version of a state budget rainy day fund, is increasing but is still shy of the majority backing that Gov. Jerry Brown will need to pass his signature ballot measure, according to a new poll.
October 22, 2014
With a nod to California, a new report suggests overhauling how school and student success is measured in the United States. It says there should be far more emphasis on ongoing assessments of students as part of the regular classroom instruction.
October 21, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown won’t have key education groups helping him make the case to voters for a bigger and more restrictive state rainy day fund. The most he can count on is they won’t actively campaign against it.
October 7, 2014
Marshall Tuck and Tom Torlakson, the two candidates for state superintendent of public instruction, disagreed on the condition of education in California, the influence of teachers unions and who is best qualified for the job during a recent debate.
September 30, 2014
Teachers and others from California have until Friday to sign up for a crowd-sourcing exercise that will help determine how questions will be scored on the new Common Core tests students will take next spring. The deadline was extended to encourage greater participation.
September 24, 2014
A lawsuit working its way through the courts is striking at the core of the California Teachers Association’s power: its authority to automatically deduct hundreds of millions of dollars a year in dues from the paychecks of both members and non-members.
September 16, 2014
Updated with correction: With the State Board of Education’s approval, California became the eighth state Wednesday to award a contract to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium for the standardized tests in the Common Core State Standards that students will take next spring.
September 5, 2014
The staff of the State Board of Education will decide in the next several weeks whether to tinker further with regulations governing the Local Control and Accountability Plans – the accountability and budget plans that school districts completed for the first time in June.
September 5, 2014
The State Board of Education next week will consider and possibly settle a debate over one word in the proposed final regulations for the Local Control Funding Formula. The decision would end a year-long disagreement over spending flexibility.
August 28, 2014
Legislation that would make it easier for the state and school districts to track chronic absenteeism, an early indicator of students at risk of dropping out, will soon reach Gov. Jerry Brown, where it faces an uncertain fate.
August 28, 2014
An EdSource survey of a sampling of county offices of education found that they approved nearly all school districts’ inaugural Local Control and Accountability Plans, laying out spending and academic priorities under the state’s new funding formula, by the Aug. 15 initial deadline for the review.
August 26, 2014
In the midst of her first swing through California, the president-elect of the National Education Association praised the Common Core State Standards and California’s measured approach in implementing them but warned about the use of standardized tests.
August 20, 2014
Update: After a week in legislative limbo, a bill that would have placed a $4.3 billion school construction bond on the November ballot is now officially dead. With a veto by Gov. Jerry Brown likely, Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, pulled AB 2235.
August 14, 2014
In moving to the Common Core State Standards this year, California school districts had to choose between offering a blended or "integrated" approach to math or a traditional sequence of courses, setting off strong, sometimes passionate disagreements among parents and teachers.
August 12, 2014
With the implementation of Common Core, some districts are changing how and when they place students in accelerated math classes prior to high school. An accelerated path ensures students are able to take Calculus by their senior year, although studies indicate that some students were being placed in classes too soon.
August 12, 2014
A judge has ruled that the state is ultimately responsible for seeing that school districts provide services to all English language learners not receiving the help they need to become proficient in English. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Chalfant ruled Tuesday in the lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Southern California and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center.
August 12, 2014
In a report released this week, a state task force called for a revival of civics education, transforming it from “an afterthought” – an undervalued social studies class – to a core element of community engagement and learning in all grades. The California Task Force on K-12 Civic Learning issued its final report this week.
August 7, 2014
Despite widespread bipartisan support from state legislators and school districts, Gov. Jerry Brown is remaining mum on whether he supports a bill that would put a multi-billion-dollar school construction bond on the ballot in November. Backers of the bill hope to strike a deal with Brown within the next two weeks.
August 5, 2014
A new report concludes that California’s mentoring program for novice teachers, once a national model, has deteriorated due to lack of funding and district commitment, and provides little help for the many new teachers who enter the profession as permanent substitutes or temporary hires.
July 28, 2014
The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California has found an ally in the U.S. Department of Justice for its lawsuit charging that the state abdicated its obligation to ensure all students classified as English learners get extra instructional services to become fluent in English.
July 24, 2014
State Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Marshall Tuck this week launched a petition calling on his opponent, incumbent Superintendent Tom Torlakson, not to appeal a lawsuit ruling that struck down statutes giving California teachers firing protections and rights to tenure and seniority.
July 17, 2014
Riding the wave of record high stock prices on Wall Street, the fund providing pension benefits for California teachers and school administrators reported Monday that it earned a return of 18.66 percent on its assets for the year that ended June 30.
July 14, 2014
Uniformly praising how school districts have created plans to comply with California’s new school improvement and accountability system, members of the State Board of Education agreed to move ahead with modest changes in regulations while counseling patience before making more. “Trust the process, be patient and thoughtful, not precipitous,” said board member Patricia Rucker.
July 10, 2014
The shift to local control has given school districts much leeway in adopting the Common Core State Standards, the challenging math and English language arts standards that California and 41 other states have adopted. But that flexibility may also create disparities in implementation that the state should reduce, concludes a new report by researchers from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education.
July 9, 2014
The State Board of Education this week could revise the process that districts use to create their funding and accountability plans. At a hearing in Sacramento on Thursday, critics will argue that the proposed changes don’t go far enough.
July 6, 2014
Vergara v. State of California, in which a Superior Court judge struck down California’s teacher tenure, layoff and dismissal laws, may be headed for a lengthy appeals process. A clue to how long may lie in another far-from-resolved education lawsuit.
June 30, 2014
An annual poll of Californians’ views on education contains bad news for teachers unions and for advocates of the Common Core standards, good news for backers of charter schools, mixed news for preschool supporters and a warning for State Superintendent Tom Torlakson in his re-election campaign against Marshall Tuck.
June 26, 2014
In passing the district's first Local Control and Accountability Plan, the trustees of the East Side Union High School District agreed that the LCAP needs more details to meet the commitment to improve the academic performance of African-American students.
June 20, 2014
A Superior Court judge’s ruling last week in the Vergara case, striking down the state’s two-year teacher tenure law, has given new impetus to the San Jose Unified School District’s pursuit of a longer probationary period for teachers in some cases.
June 20, 2014
For the first time, the political arm of the California Charter Schools Association campaigned heavily against a proposed school construction bond in a district that hadn’t agreed to share the proceeds with charter schools. The $100,000 that it spent helped defeat the West Contra Costa Unified School District’s $270 million Measure H.
June 19, 2014
The Legislature passed a state budget Sunday with a big funding increase for K-12 schools that pleased school district leaders and a last-minute statutory change that angered them.
June 16, 2014
With a deadline looming, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders have cut a deal for the 2014-15 state budget that, at the governor's insistence, keeps his revenue projections but still makes room for additional money for the Local Control Funding Formula and other programs.
June 12, 2014
A joke around Sacramento is that it takes a Ph.D. in Proposition 98 to understand how California schools are funded and governed. The truth is that a good short course is probably all that’s needed for the basics of California’s complex education policies. And now there is one – Ed100.org.
June 12, 2014
Michael Fullan, who is credited with transforming the Canadian province of Ontario into one of the world’s most effective school systems is ready to help California do the same.
May 2, 2013
Seven advocacy and civil rights organizations, led by Washington-based The Education Trust, have called on Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to deny nine California districts a waiver from the No Child Left Behind law, saying any deviation from a statewide wavier “would be the wrong path forward.”