February 26, 2021

For weeks, Gov. Gavin Newsom was saying that teachers should be be a priority to be vaccinated, but it wasn’t clear what he meant. This week, he put power behind his pledge to allocate 10% of the state’s vaccines to school employees over the next few weeks by setting clear and uniform priorities for which of them should be at the front of the line to get their shots.

Alameda County Supt. L.K. Monroe, president of CCSESA which represents all 58 county offices of education, explains the policy and its implications for California’s hardest hit communities. And Heber Marquez, a teacher in Los Angeles Unified who lives and works in Maywood, a Covid-stricken  city in Los Angeles County, explains why families, and teachers, are hesitant to send students back to school until vaccines are more widely available.

Also, Brooks Allen, executive director of the State Board of Education, and an advisor to Gov.Newsom, sums up the status of standardized tests in math and English this year known as the Smarter Balanced Assessments.   This week the  U.S. Department of Education told states they need to do testing of some kind, while giving them flexibility to modify the tests, how they can be reported and when they can be given.  The State Board of Education spent hours debating the issue this week.

For background on these issues, check out the following: