A daily round-up of education news and views for the Golden State.
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 Principal News
 A daily round-up of education news and views for the Golden State. To add a recipient please click here
Thursday, 10th June 2021




Ed Dept announces actions to advance equity in education

The Department of Education has announced a series of actions it is taking to advance equity in education and ensure schools across the nation are serving all students. The actions include an Equity Summit Series, launching virtually on June 22nd, that will initially explore how schools and communities can reimagine our school systems so that every student has a voice in their school and classroom, particularly students from underserved communities. In advance of this, there is a new report from the Department's Office for Civil Rights exploring how the impacts of the pandemic have fallen disproportionately on students who went into it with the fewest educational opportunities, many of whom are from marginalized and underserved communities. Also of note are new Maintenance of Equity provisions, central to ensuring that essential resources are meeting the needs of students who have been subject to longstanding opportunity gaps in our education system. These student groups have also experienced the greatest impact from the pandemic. In addition to the historic resources the American Rescue Plan is providing states to address inequities made worse by the pandemic, President Biden’s fiscal year 2022 budget proposes $36.5 billion in formula grants for Title I schools, a $20 billion increase from the 2021 enacted level. The investment will provide meaningful incentives for states to examine and address inequities in school funding systems, as well as ensure teachers at Title I schools are paid competitively, provide equitable access to rigorous coursework, and increase access to high-quality preschool. States would be required to collect and report data analyzing gaps in these key foundational areas, and work with their districts to make plans to address them. 

US Department of Education 




Resolution supporting teen moms passed by LAUSD

A resolution that aims to help teenage mothers navigate parenthood while achieving academic success has been passed by the Los Angeles USD Board of Education. Proposed by Student Board Member Kamarie Brown, the “Mommy, Daddy and Me” resolution seeks to prevent students from dropping out of school because of pregnancy or parenthood by creating spaces on school campuses for daycare, and a designated lactation area. It also calls on the district to create a curriculum on prenatal care and child development for all students.

Valley Post News 


New principal named for Beverly Vista Middle School

Beverly Vista Middle School will get a new Principal for the upcoming school year. Beverly Hills USD's board has approved the appointment of Kelly Skon, who holds several degrees in philosophy, mathematics and arts, for the position. According to the school district, Skon has more than 14 years of experience starting as a Middle School Math teacher, later becoming a Common Core Site Lead at Laguna Beach USD, and most recently the Assistant Principal at Fountain Valley High School.

The Patch 


Madera USD receives major land donation

Madera USD has been given nearly 50 acres from King Husein, CEO of SPAN Construction & Engineering, valued at nearly $9m. The district has earmarked the land as the future site of a K-8 school pending a review by the California Department of Education and the California Environmental Quality Act. If approved, Madera Unified intends to honor the donor by granting naming rights of “King Husein School” subject to the school board’s final discretion in constructing the project. The new school would help provide student capacity for new residential development and help overcapacity issues at nearby schools, including Lincoln and Adams Elementary and Howard School. This project was also listed on the 2018 GO Bond Project List as a new K-8 school.

The Madera Tribune 




How 'Grow-Your-Own' programs are helping recruit teachers of color

School districts are increasingly making use of "Grow-Your-Own" programs designed to encourage students of color to become teachers in their home communities. Some identify potential teaching candidates as early as high school; others recruit existing paraprofessionals and career changers to become certified teachers. Many aim broadly to increase a state or district’s local pipeline of future teachers, while others work specifically to enhance the diversity of the next generation of educators. Grow-your-own program leaders say that recruiting community members to become teachers is both a practical and effective long-term solution to increasing educator diversity. “Whether it’s students or bus drivers who want to become teachers, it’s OK. You want to look at who’s right in front of you,” said Joshua Starr, CEO of PDK International, a professional association for educators that oversees Educators Rising, a community-based model for recruiting teachers that has a presence in every state plus Washington, D.C., and official agreements with departments of education in 31 states. Among the program’s participants, 52% are people of color.

Education Week 




State takeovers have limited effect on struggling schools, study claims

A new national study, written by Beth E. Schueler of the University of Virginia and Joshua Bleiburg of Brown University, casts doubt on the notion that states are better positioned to run schools than locally-elected officials, finding little evidence that districts see test scores rise as a result of being taken over. The new study focuses on the 35 school districts from across the country that were taken over by states between 2011 and 2016. These takeovers often happened in small cities and the vast majority of affected students were Black or Hispanic and from low-income families. Schueler and Leiburg used national test score data to compare districts that were taken over to seemingly similar districts in the same state that retained local control. In the first few years of the takeover, the schools generally saw dips in English test scores. By year four, there was no effect one way or the other. In math, there were no clear effects at all. Some places, including Camden, New Jersey and Lawrence, Massachusetts, did see improvements in the wake of takeover; others, such as East St. Louis, Illinois and Chester Upland, Pennsylvania, saw their academic records get worse, relative to other schools in the states. One reason results might have diverged so much is that there’s no single playbook for what happens after a state takes control from an elected school board. It’s also possible that state takeovers don’t typically improve student achievement simply because they often don’t lead to meaningful changes in  per-student spending, class sizes, or the number of charter schools.



CTE directors share tips for strong school-business partnerships

A report released in March by the Association for Career and Technical Education noted "significant enrollment declines" in Career and Technology Education (CTE) courses this school year, along with concerns about possible funding declines and instructor shortages in the years ahead. One major struggle during the pandemic has been providing work-based learning experiences, the report said. K-12 Dive speaks to CTE leaders to garner advice for keeping school-business connections strong by cultivating relationships and working through challenges. Insights include casting a far net to draw businesses and organizations of all sizes into partnerships, thus ensuring better matches for student and employer needs, and to create a full-time workforce development coordinator role, to both promote CTE programs and work on curriculum updates; 

K-12 Dive 




State's community colleges took a massive hit during the pandemic

Student enrollment in higher education took a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, with an annual decrease in undergraduate enrollment by 3.6% nationwide. In California, changes in enrollment at the three state-financed university systems - California State University (CSU), University of California (UC), and California Community College (CCC) - varied greatly. While the CSU and UC systems had slight increases in undergraduate enrollment, the community college system’s enrollment decreased dramatically, according to a recently released study from economists at the UC Santa Cruz. The study found that in the spring of 2020, community college enrollment fell by over 60,000 students, or 4%, from the spring of 2019. The decline was even larger in the fall. More than 230,000 fewer students enrolled than the previous fall - a 15% decrease. 

San Francisco Chronicle 

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