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WA State’s I-1351: Successful K-12 Class Size Reduction

Great news for WA state coming out of the 2014 elections! Voters there passed a class size reduction ballot initiative. Provisions include: Initiative 1351 would lower class sizes for kindergarten through 12th grade and create 25,000 more jobs, including about 7,400 for teachers. The state Office of Financial Management estimates the measure would cost $4.7 billion through 2019. Mostly supported by teachers’ unions, the measure would establish limits for class sizes – 17 students for kindergarten through 3rd grade and 25 students for grades 4 through 12. Low-income schools would have smaller classes. Read about the margin of voter approval and other details having to do with the funding requirements to support this new policy change here. Bill text from the state of Washington is attached as a pdf.

K12NN Site Admin November 13, 2014 November 13, 2014 class size reduction, laws (passed)
Presuming Incompetence: Decolonizing Epistemologies of Deficit Thinking by Rebeca Burciaga

Presuming Incompetence: Decolonizing Epistemologies of Deficit Thinking by Rebeca Burciaga Email Message from local administrator: “Hi Rebeca, […] Do you know of anyone at SJSU who is an expert on Latino issues in education maybe in the area of decolonizing epistemology?” My thoughts as I read the email: I have known this school administrator for five years and I’ve discussed my work with her on this very topic, so why was she looking for someone else? Perhaps I need to be more clear. I have “this nagging preoccupation of not being good enough.” I decided not to respond to her email immediately because I was not sure if she did not remember our conversation, or because she presumed me incompetent and wanted to speak with someone else. I am becoming more accustomed to seeing surprise when I tell people I am a faculty member – their faces convey a clear message that I am not the one they are expecting. There are assumptions people make about what professors look like – I am not a White male. A must read. Here’s a condensed bio of Dr. Burciaga: Rebeca Burciaga is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and a member of the Core Faculty for the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership in the Connie L. Lurie College of Education at San José State University. Dr. Burciaga’s research centers on understanding and challenging educational practices and structures that (re)produce social inequalities for historically marginalized communities, including/specifically Latino students.  Her research in schools and communities spans over 20 years and includes mixed-methods research on pathways from preschool to the professoriate, the experiences of students who leave high school before graduation, and the ways in which geographic regions structure inequalities. She specializes the study of qualitative research methodologies including testimonio and ethnography. Her current research and teaching is focused on cultivating asset-based mindsets in teachers and administrators that work with youth of color.  Dr. Burciaga is a co-founder and co-coordinator of the Institute for Teachers of Color Committed to Racial Justice. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz, a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Ph.D. in Education from the University of California at Los Angeles.  Her research has been supported and recognized by the Spencer Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Institute of Health, and the American Association of University Women. Her most recent scholarship can be found in Equity & Excellence in Education, the Association of Mexican American Educators Journal, and the Educational Administration Quarterly.

K12NN Site Admin November 30, 2014 November 30, 2014 deficit thinking, implicit bias
Tennessee’s 2014 Community Schools Law

In 2014, State Representative Gloria Johnson passed a law to facilitate the creation of Community Schools in Tennessee. These schools are described in the law, Section 3.8: (8) A community school is a traditional school that actively partners with its community to leverage existing resources and identify new resources to support the transformation of the school to provide enrichment and additional life skill opportunities for students, parents, and community members at large. Each community school is unique because its programming is designed by and for the school staff, in partnership with parents, community stakeholders, and students; Social services, adult ed, health clinics, and other resources for the entire family are offered at Community Schools. See our brief description of what a Community School is in the FAQ here. Check out the University of Pennsylvania’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships on Community-Student Partnerships and also from UPenn, their examples of Community-Assisted Schools.   Here’s what the law’s text says: Tennessee Community Schools Law, 2014

K12NN Site Admin January 10, 2015 January 10, 2015 Best Practices, community schools, Tennessee
Basic Ed Tech Infrastructure Needs and Competency, Federal Department of Education, LAUSD Report, January 2015

Director of the Office of Education Technology Michael Culatta’s letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District serves as a basic guide to implementing teaching that uses computers to benefit a wide range of students.

K12NN Site Admin January 21, 2015 January 21, 2015 ed tech, education technology, ipads, ipads for schools, K-12, K-12 computers, LAUSD ipads, school district IT
Washington State’s Democratic Party Opposes Common Core: How-To

Washington state’s Democratic Party passed a resolution opposing Common Core State Standards on Saturday, January 24, 2015. Here’s the text of the resolution, as well as a description of the dozen or so steps various Washington state Democratic Party insiders and affiliated people took in order to pass the resolution: Resolution Opposing Common Core State Standards WHEREAS the copyrighted (and therefore unchangeable) Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a set of controversial top-down K-12 academic standards that were promulgated by wealthy private interests without research-based evidence of validity and are developmentally inappropriate in the lowest grades; and WHEREAS, as a means of avoiding the U.S. Constitution’s 10th Amendment prohibition against federal meddling in state education policy, two unaccountable private trade associations–the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)–have received millions of dollars in funding from the Gates Foundation and others to create the CCSS; and WHEREAS the U.S. Department of Education improperly pressured state legislatures into adopting the Common Core State Standards and high-stakes standardized testing based on them as a condition of competing for federal Race to the Top (RTTT) stimulus funds that should have been based on need; and WHEREAS as a result of Washington State Senate Bill 6669, which passed the State legislature on March 11, 2010, the Office of the Superintendent of Instruction (OSPI) adopted Common Core State Standards (CCSS) on July 20, 2011; and WHEREAS this adoption effectively transfers control over public school standardized testing from locally elected school boards to the unaccountable corporate interests that control the CCSS and who stand to profit substantially; and WHEREAS the Washington State Constitution also calls for public education to be controlled by the State of Washington through our elected State legislature, our elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction and our elected local school boards; and WHEREAS implementation of CCSS will cost local school districts hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for standardized computer-based tests, new technology, new curricula and teacher training at a time when Washington is already insufficiently funding K-12 Basic Education without proven benefit to students; and WHEREAS some states have already withdrawn from CCSS; THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we call upon the Washington State legislature and the Superintendent of Public Instruction to withdraw from the CCSS and keep K-12 education student-centered and accountable to the people of Washington State.

K12NN Site Admin January 26, 2015 January 26, 2015 Oppose Common Core, Resolution, Washington state
2014 – 2015 Florida State Lawmaker Emails, House & Senate Ed Committee

Florida House and Senate Ed. Committee member email addresses:   alan.williams@myfloridahouse.gov bob.cortes@myfloridahouse.gov bruce.antone@myfloridahouse.gov charlie.stone@myfloridahouse.gov Chris.sprowls@myfloridahouse.gov colleen.burton@myfloridahouse.gov cynthia.stafford@myfloridahouse.gov dan.raulerson@myfloridahouse.gov dennis.baxley@myfloridahouse.gov dwayne.taylor@myfloridahouse.gov elizabeth.porter@myfloridahouse.gov erik.fresen@myfloridahouse.gov fred.costello@myfloridahouse.gov heather.fitzenhagen@myfloridahouse.gov irving.slosberg@myfloridahouse.gov janet.adkins@myfloridahouse.gov jose.diaz@myfloridahouse.gov joseph.geller@myfloridahouse.gov keith.perry@myfloridahouse.gov larry.ahern@myfloridahouse.gov larry.lee@myfloridahouse.gov larry.metz@myfloridahouse.gov manny.diaz@myfloridahouse.gov marlene.otoole@myfloridahouse.gov mia.jones@myfloridahouse.gov mike.miller@myfloridahouse.gov richard.stark@myfloridahouse.gov ross.spano@myfloridahouse.gov shawn.harrison@myfloridahouse.gov shevrin.jones@myfloridahouse.gov Gaetz.don@flsenate.gov Montford.bill@flsenate.gov Bullard.dwight@flsenate.gov Galvano.bill@flsenate.gov Legg.john@flsenate.gov Ring.jeremy@flsenate.gov Simmons.david@flsenate.gov Stargel.kelli@flsenate.gov Detert.nancy@flsenate.gov Benacquisto.lizbeth@flsenate.gov Brandes.jeff@flsenate.gov Clemens.jeff@flsenate.gov Garcia.rene@flsenate.gov Sobel.eleanor@flsenate.gov Compiled by Cindy Hamilton

K12NN Site Admin January 26, 2015 January 27, 2015 Contact Your Representative, Florida, House & Senate Ed Committee
Community Schools in a re-authorized ESEA

This is the Coalition for Community Schools’ fact sheet on how Community Schools work in ESEA’s reauthorization and how they should be given permanent funding status and elevated as a remedy for schools in impoverished districts.    

K12NN Site Admin July 21, 2015 July 21, 2015 community schools, ESEA, Every Child Achieves Act
#Ferguson, MO Commission Report

[From Forward Through Ferguson, A Path To Racial Equity, a report by the Ferguson Commission.] CHILD WELL-BEING AND EDUCATION EQUITY Working Group Co-Chairs: Commissioner Becky James-Hatter Commissioner Grayling Tobias (December 1, 2014 – April 13, 2015) Desired Changes: Build a region that ensures that all children and youth, ages 0-25, are thriving in their daily lives by: • Growing and developing to their full potential; • Retaining the ability to be children; and • Preparing to become fulfilled and contributing adults Secure educational achievement, fairness, and opportunity for all youth by: • Setting high expectations; • Recognizing unique differences and developmental stages; • Advancing outcome-based approaches; • Aligning and coordinating customized services; and • Producing college-ready and career-ready students Topics Explored: • School District and School Accreditation • Hunger and Food Instability • Public Education Funding • College Access and Affordability • Human Capital in Education • Social Service Coordination with Schools • Caring Adults (mentors, coaches) • Early Childhood Education • Parent Education and Engagement • Childhood Health Review the full list of calls to action from this working group in the “Calls to Action” section of the report. Sept 14, 2015 Forward Through Ferguson: A Path Toward Racial Equity by k12newsnetwork

K12NN Site Admin September 15, 2015 September 15, 2015 BlackLivesMatter, education equity, Ferguson, racial justice, whole child
Model School Board Resolutions: Sacramento City Unified School District

Note incorporation of “tolerance and acceptance over hate speech,” and  “allocating adequate resources necessary to support diversity, inclusion, and the values of a multicultural society.”

K12NN Site Admin February 8, 2017 February 8, 2017 Sacramento City Unified School District, safe haven resolution
Model School Board Resolutions: Pasadena Unified School District

Note the court case that establishes precedent of public education provided to children regardless of immigration/citizenship status, Plyler v. Doe (1982). Note also the key “whereas” statements here regarding restrictions on ICE raids made in sensitive spaces: WHEREAS, ICE’s 2011 policy states that it will not conduct immigration enforcement activity at any sensitive location, which includes schools, without special permission by specific federal law enforcement officials unless exigent circumstances exist; and WHEREAS, there is no written state or federal law that mandates that local districts assist ICE in the enforcement of immigration laws; The 2011 ICE document referred to above is also attached to this wiki entry as is the PUSD “safe haven” resolution.

K12NN Site Admin February 10, 2017 February 10, 2017

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