In her first remarks as president of the State Board of Education, Linda Darling-Hammond says that California must prepare kids "to work with knowledge that hasn't been discovered yet, using technologies that haven't been invented yet, solving big problems that we have not yet managed to solve."
Although students will begin taking the California Science Test in March, most school districts have yet to approve textbooks or materials aligned to the new standards adopted six years ago by the State Board of Education. Still, federal law is requiring California to begin testing this year.
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.
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.
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.