Theresa is covering the Common Core in Northern California. She came to EdSource from the Contra Costa Times/Bay Area News Group, where she covered regional, statewide and national education issues. She is well known by state education leaders, and education experts at universities and in the non-profit sector and has been recognized with multiple awards for her education reporting by the California Newspaper Publishers Association, the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club and the California Teachers Association among others. She began her career as a producer managing children’s and other educational programming and print outreach for KQED. Theresa is an alumna of San Francisco State University where she received a B.A. degree in broadcast communications.
All posts by Theresa Harrington
For months the district warned it needed to cut $30 million from its 2019-20 budget. When a plan to cut a lower amount came before them, the board put off a vote amid complaints that members didn't know how the cuts would impact students and schools. About 100 staffers, most from the central office, are slated to lose their jobs.
February 12, 2019
Oakland teachers voted overwhelmingly to support a strike if their union can't negotiate a new contract. They rallied Tuesday outside Oakland city hall and won support from the city council which has no authority to settle the contract dispute with the Oakland Unified School District. A strike can not legally occur until after Feb. 15 when a neutral fact-finding report is expected to be issued.
February 5, 2019
The Oakland school board voted Monday to close the first of up to 24 schools in the next five years due to budget constraints and low enrollment.
January 29, 2019
West Contra Costa Unified schools and charter schools participate together in first-ever education fair to help educate parents about their options.
January 29, 2019
Oakland Unified faces a budget deficit, in part because students are choosing charter and private schools. The district enrolls only 58 percent of the nearly 63,000 school-age children who live in Oakland.
January 24, 2019
Oakland Unified looks to higher teacher pay to improve student learning as teachers threaten to strike
Teachers' union has threatened to strike after rejecting the district's offer of a 5 percent salary increase. Both sides must first participate in a fact-finding with a three-member independent panel.
January 13, 2019
Oakland Unified teachers union president says educators are “fed up” with low salaries and poor working conditions.
December 20, 2018
After fact finder agrees with district's salary offer, union accuses district of failing to bargain in good faith and refuses further talks.
December 20, 2018
The West Contra Costa Unified School Board for the first time in its history has a Latina majority who will now join in the tough task of making $12 million in budget cuts to help pay for salary increases for teachers and other employees in a region with soaring housing costs.
December 4, 2018
Gary Yee, a former interim superintendent, principal, teacher and board member, was coaxed out of retirement to run for the board. He says he wants to be seen as a "village elder" on education issues.
November 18, 2018
School board races in Oakland Unified and West Contra Costa Unified attract contributions
November 3, 2018
District is surveying community and board plans to hear feedback from public on proposed budget cuts at meeting next month.
October 30, 2018
District proposes cuts of $7 million to central services and $3 million to schools, along with $6.5 million in other spending reductions or savings.
October 22, 2018
District leaders hope state committee reviewing charter school laws will look at grounds for revoking charters and financial impact on districts.
October 16, 2018
SB 328 would have mandated 8:30 a.m. or later start times for most middle and high schools in the state, based on teen sleep deprivation research.
September 20, 2018
Two districts facing budget deficits get state budget lifeline, but only if they make changes.
September 18, 2018
California housing programs help teachers and other school staffers who meet income limits to purchase homes. Assistance includes down payment and closing costs.
September 12, 2018
A champion of local control, Gov. Brown must weigh whether state should require school districts to delay start times for teens. Advocates say research shows benefits of more sleep.
September 9, 2018
Some California State Board of Education members questioned Rocketship's capacity to expand, citing concerns about finances and educational programs.
September 7, 2018
California poised to help Oakland and Inglewood dig out of budget deficits but with strings attached
Proposed legislation related to districts in fiscal distress would provide state aid to cover a portion of future deficits.
August 31, 2018
The Bay Area district is seeking donations to offset a $500,000 budget cut that originally would have eliminated 10 sports.
August 29, 2018
Amid backlash over cuts especially for girls sports, Oakland Unified restores girls’ golf, tennis and lacrosse
District scrambles to comply with Title IX requirements, seeks donations to keep other sports alive.
August 27, 2018
Bay Area district hopes city voters will approve a new bond measure in the future to pay for projects not completed through Measure J funds.
August 23, 2018
District adopts revised three-year budget after Alameda County Office of Education rejected budget adopted in June.
August 9, 2018
West Contra Costa Unified will give community committee updated information by November, according to settlement agreement.
July 24, 2018
California Department of Education official calls state's charter school laws outdated and says they are in need of revision.
July 17, 2018
Higher pay, smaller classes, housing perks in San Francisco Bay Area district’s plan to attract teachers
West Contra Costa Unified has also launched a recruiting website and added new teacher training to attract and retain educators.
July 5, 2018
Oakland Unified needs to close schools and reform fiscal practices to stay solvent, county civil grand jury concludes
Panel issues nine recommendations aimed at improving budget oversight and reducing number of schools.
June 27, 2018
Inspired by successful strikes in other states, teachers from Southern California to the Bay Area are threatening fall strikes.
June 24, 2018
A fiscal analysis by an independent agency says the district is in “financial distress.”
June 13, 2018
Districts are hoping the upcoming state budget will include financial relief such as deferred state loans, flat per-student payments, and flexibility to sell or lease surplus property.
June 7, 2018
One of two international high schools in California, the small Oakland campus offers special programs for immigrant students.
May 20, 2018
West Contra Costa Unified, which already has two K-8 schools, plans to expand three more elementary schools to K-8 starting in the fall.
April 26, 2018
Data needed so public can have a say in how the district spends state funds
April 23, 2018
On National Day of Action Against Gun Violence in Schools, city violence also weighs heavily on Bay Area educators and community.
April 20, 2018
West Contra Costa Unified hopes partnership will help it to recruit and retain teachers.
April 16, 2018
Kate Gerson trains teachers to change their practices and to use standards-aligned curriculum materials to provide rigorous lessons to all students.
April 6, 2018
Oakland Unified junior says protecting undocumented students and their families from deportation is the most important issue to her.
April 3, 2018
Lawsuit asks the court to order West Contra Costa Unified to seek a State Board of Education waiver to bypass an election so new boundaries could take effect in November.
March 28, 2018
Standards focus on equity and achievement gap, teacher retention and leadership, academic standards, coaching, and school climate.
March 28, 2018
First time superintendent, in just his second year, faces demands to quickly improve student learning
Matthew Duffy said his primary goals are raising student achievement and reducing teacher turnover.
March 22, 2018
Oakland Unified is one of 28 districts that could face state intervention if at least three student subgroups don't improve in the next two years.
March 4, 2018
In response to warnings of potential ICE raids, Oakland reiterates support for undocumented immigrant families.
February 26, 2018
Jury is still out on personalized learning approaches taking hold in California and across the country, research finds
A RAND study found some personalized learning schools made gains, but it was difficult to determine which specific strategies worked and which didn't.
February 15, 2018
More than a dozen schools in California have received Next Generation Learning Challenge Grants, including nine in Oakland.
February 15, 2018
County offices of education are working with districts identified for "differentiated assistance" due to poor performance by student subgroups.
February 14, 2018
Culture shift included schoolwide writing, comprehensive teacher training, teambuilding, new classes, and stressing importance of standardized tests.
January 4, 2018
Webinar series looks at teacher recruitment and preparation, professional learning, appraisal and feedback, and career ladders in top-performing countries and U.S.
December 14, 2017
Four California school districts and four county offices of education will each receive $625,000 to train bilingual teachers for new classes.
December 14, 2017
LGBT activists, historians see possibility other states may look to California's texts as models despite controversy about describing sexual orientation of historical figures.
November 29, 2017
Hindus and others objecting to proposed history textbooks are expected to appear Thursday in Sacramento during a hearing before the State Board of Education. Critics waving protest signs showed up Tuesday outside the California Department of Education.
November 8, 2017
UC Santa Barbara researcher discusses high school dropouts, graduation rates and plans to study courses taken and grades earned to receive diplomas.
November 7, 2017
Two K-8 texts by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt did not comply with state's History Social Science Framework, according to Instructional Quality Commission.
November 6, 2017
California Dropout Research Project director says a student's GPA and course selections are better indicators of college readiness than test scores.
October 23, 2017
Possible free first year of community college amid flurry of education-related bills signed by governor
Brown signed nine out of 10 bills sent to him by the State Legislature by the Sunday night deadline.
October 16, 2017
DeVos said she learned a lot on tour of school, which drew protests from some who said they objected to her visit.
October 13, 2017
Exam suspended in 2015 no longer required for graduation, now that state has adopted new Common Core standards and school accountability metrics.
October 12, 2017
GreatSchools plans to expand school ratings in all 50 states and the District of Columbia by November.
September 21, 2017
Santa Anna is the latest of four California projects selected as part of the XQ 'reimagine high school' challenge, which will present a live television broadcast Friday night.
September 7, 2017
Central Valley math improvement project aims to triple students' math proficiency in eight districts in four years.
September 1, 2017
Starting school after Labor Day appears to be passe — at least among the 30 largest school districts in California.
August 31, 2017
An 8:30 a.m. start time for middle and high schoolers could add $10.2 billion to California's economy within a decade, according to a RAND study.
August 30, 2017
California remains strongly committed to Common Core standards in math and English language arts, which focus on critical thinking and problem-solving. The standards have been adopted by more than 40 states.
August 25, 2017
Gabriela Orozco Gonzalez, a teacher in the Los Angeles area, discusses Common Core lessons, teacher collaboration, testing and educating English learners.
August 24, 2017
Spanish-speaking teachers getting special training to meet California's demand for more bilingual teachers
As districts expand bilingual programs, they're ramping up training so teachers who speak Spanish can teach Common Core and standards for English learners.
August 21, 2017
Virtual and in-person math conferences feature experts who share resources and strategies to help teachers foster mathematical curiosity in students.
July 31, 2017
Report is based on surveys of nine rural districts about support for implementation of Common Core standards in math and English language arts.
July 26, 2017
U.S. Education Secretary and American Federation of Teachers President's comments highlight division that exists between some school choice advocates and those who back traditional public schools.
July 20, 2017
New state policy is expected to help schools meet California's Vision of Success for English learners.
July 18, 2017
Project Lead the Way, the California Mathematics Council and Storyline Online provide ideas for activities parents and children can do together.
July 14, 2017
Former teacher Tracy Johnston Zager draws on classroom observations, personal experiences, research and other resources to inspire math teachers.
July 14, 2017
More students applied to CSU and UC colleges once they got timely information from counselors and others.
July 12, 2017
Oakland joins districts in California and across the country that see improvements in math proficiency among students who work with ST Math
July 4, 2017
Budget increases Local Control Funding Formula to 97 percent, boosts higher education spending and preschool eligibility.
June 28, 2017
High quality teaching is key to student success in high-performing countries and school systems, study finds.
June 27, 2017
Standardized test results from 2015 and 2016 show disadvantaged students aren't progressing as quickly as wealthier, English-fluent peers.
June 7, 2017
California students go online in record numbers to take Common Core-aligned tests, with few glitches
Familiarity with tests and increased Internet capabilities helped districts administer assessments, but state system experienced glitches when overloaded.
May 29, 2017
Better Math Teaching Network in New England is testing new high school math instructional strategies to be shared with educators around the country.
May 16, 2017
The State Board of Education agreed to spend $1.5 million more on testing, including nearly $500,000 on new "Science Academies" intended to help teachers better understand the Next Generation Science Standards.
May 10, 2017
The longtime education leader says public schools must serve the needs of parents and students as the Trump administration focuses on school choice.
May 8, 2017
The pilot Thrival World Academies program, which took 11 Oakland high school students to Thailand for three months, hopes to expand to 25 students next year.
May 2, 2017
Jeff Duncan-Andrade, an associate professor and school teacher and leader in Oakland, says a focus on equity could lead to a renaissance in education.
April 24, 2017
After educators say interim test reports designed to improve teaching were too vague to be useful, the consortium that created them promises to do better.
April 16, 2017
Dr. Corinne Hyde talks about Common Core controversy, standards implementation, tests, curriculum materials and USC's online guide to the Common Core.
March 22, 2017
Workshop participants expressed concerns about data timeliness, local indicators, how data relate to districts’ accountability plans, and how charter data are reported.
March 20, 2017
E.M. Grimmer Elementary in Fremont, which has a high percentage of low-income and Latino students, was among 19 district schools – or 58 percent – that were ranked at the highest level in math on state standards.
March 16, 2017
Two California schools among hundreds in U.S. taking international test to compare themselves globally
More than 100 U.S. schools are using an international test of 15-year-olds to see how they stack up against others around the world.
February 28, 2017
Sean Nank, American College of Education professor, discusses Common Core math, instructional strategies, curriculum and the beauty of patterns.
February 27, 2017
Anne Udall, of the New Teacher Center, talks about how the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, is affecting Common Core implementation.
February 9, 2017
Reviews of math and English language arts materials, along with a list of materials recommended by the California Board of Education, are available online.
February 8, 2017
The state formed committees to support implementation of the Common Core standards, Next Generation Science Standards and History-Social Science standards.
January 30, 2017
'Thrival Academies' program aims to expand to 100 Oakland Unified students next year and to launch in Indianapolis in 2018-19.
January 8, 2017
Los Medanos Elementary students learn Common Core concepts in fun ways and excel academically.
December 14, 2016
University of Chicago and University of Southern California study found 13 percent return on investment in high-quality early education programs for children from birth to age 5.
December 13, 2016
PISA tests show a lower-than-average percentage of U.S. students were high-performing in math, while a higher-than-average percentage of U.S. students were below proficient in math last year.
December 6, 2016
The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, or TIMSS, assessed 4th-graders, 8th-graders and advanced 12th-graders in 2015.
November 29, 2016
State propositions extend tax on wealthy residents, fund a $9 billion construction bond and repeal English-only instruction law.
November 9, 2016
Results from standards-aligned tests are closer to NAEP scores, and California's tests were among the more "honest" in assessing student performance, report finds.
November 1, 2016
The State Board of Education is expected to vote on withholding a small portion of the contract payment.
October 31, 2016
Schools must spend improvement grants on one of seven different reform options.
October 25, 2016
The Oakland superintendent is the only California leader who is part of the national coalition.
October 23, 2016
It is the first statewide school construction bond measure since 2006.
October 20, 2016
Symposium speakers offer variety of opinions about state education reforms.
October 7, 2016
About 700 schools entered the competition to “reimagine high school.”
September 14, 2016
Survey respondents grade campuses and weigh in on fixing failed schools.
August 29, 2016
The district hired more than 400 teachers before school started last week.
August 28, 2016
Students made gains at all grade levels in math and English language arts.
August 24, 2016
Liz Serrato doesn't want English learners to fall through the cracks.
August 18, 2016
Students learn by doing through agriculture-themed lessons on a campus farm.
August 10, 2016
More than 13,000 teachers participated in the second annual event.
August 2, 2016
The project aims to build students' language skills in all classes.
July 5, 2016
2016 reports will show how students progressed from last year to this year.
June 7, 2016
Teachers' group aims to improve instruction for unique student populations.
May 27, 2016
Districts are also receiving reports to review student subgroups' performance.
May 22, 2016
Education officials and experts discuss changes in state standardized tests.
May 17, 2016
Difficult to know how much money is being spent on standards implementation.
April 25, 2016
California ranked 10th among 35 states based on achievement gaps in large cities.
March 25, 2016
Oakland is one of seven Next Generation Learning Challenge network regions.
March 15, 2016
A total of $900 million will be awarded over three years through the grant program.
March 9, 2016
The weeklong challenge was organized to build empathy and spur action and sharing.
March 7, 2016
The judge is allowing parent objections, but it's unclear if those will block the release of data.
February 18, 2016
Curriculum materials, teacher training and technology are expected to boost scores.
February 16, 2016
Smarter Balanced stacks up well compared to three other tests, reports show.
February 12, 2016
Districts required to meet participation rates and tell parents they can opt out.
February 3, 2016
Jo Boaler published Mathematical Mindsets to help improve math education.
January 24, 2016
The Commission on State Mandates ruled in favor of five local education agencies.
January 22, 2016
New science standards require teachers to alter their practices, study says.
January 20, 2016
The state board wants to avoid the problems encountered with the Common Core.
December 13, 2015
Code.Org awards $10,000 prize to Fremont High for Hour of Code participation.
December 9, 2015
The public is invited to comment on the draft curriculum through Jan. 19.
November 18, 2015
Shift in curriculum and instructional materials aims to help English learners.
November 2, 2015
Report urges state and education leaders to address inequities.
October 28, 2015
California's rank dropped from 30th to 33rd, although graduation rate increased.
October 19, 2015
A new report predicts a deficit in the supply of workers with bachelor's degrees.
October 15, 2015
The union seeks changes in discipline of black males, cultural training for teachers.
October 9, 2015
Study reviewed traditional and charter public schools in 50 cities nationwide.
October 7, 2015
Parents were originally supposed to receive their children's scores on the new Smarter Balanced tests within first 20 working days of the school year.
October 2, 2015
Districts say more detailed information is needed for tests to be useful.
September 30, 2015
The study urges doing more to recruit and retain a diverse teaching force.
September 18, 2015
Another bill that aims to suspend the exit exam for three years is pending.
August 26, 2015
Bill to exempt class of 2015 seniors from exam heads to Senate on Monday.
August 20, 2015
Bill would remove high school exit exam requirement for class of 2015 seniors.
August 19, 2015
Students were left in limbo after the July test was cancelled.
August 18, 2015
The Educational Testing Service is offering test scoring training for teachers.