Lawmakers Demand Accountability for Funds Earmarked for Disadvantaged Students

CA Capitol

On January 6, 2020, Assemblywomen Shirley Weber of San Diego and Sharon Quirk-Silva of Fullerton introduced Assembly Bills 1834 and 1835 as a result of the California State Audit that revealed that the funds earmarked for disadvantaged students for the purpose of closing the achievement gap under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) are not being used for these students as intended. Both bills will correct two deficiencies of the LCFF recommended by the audit.

Assembly Bill 1834 “would require the State Department of Education to develop, on or before January 1, 2021, a tracking mechanism for school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to use to report the types of services on which they spend their supplemental and concentration grant funds. The bill would require each local educational agency, commencing July 1, 2021, to annually report to the department the types of services on which it spends its supplemental and concentration grant funds using the tracking mechanism developed by the department.”

Assembly Bill 1835 “would require each school district, county office of education, and charter school to identify unspent supplemental and concentration grant funds by annually reconciling and reporting to the department its estimated and actual spending of those moneys. The bill would require unspent funds identified pursuant to these provisions to continue to be required to be expended to increase and improve services for unduplicated pupils, and would require each local educational agency to report the amounts of unspent funds identified in its local control and accountability plan.”

Read more here.

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2020 is the Year to Get Education Right for Black Students and Families

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Photo by Suad Kamardeen on Unsplash

Tanesha Peeples, the Deputy Director of Outreach for Education Post pronounces that “We Have to Get Education Right for Black Students and families in 2020” in her article published on January 10, 2020. She believes that hiring more educators of color, providing equitable resources that will enable low income Black students to be as successful as their White peers and ensuring that parents and students voices are heard will make a remarkable difference in the lives of students and families because “our kids deserve a “new year, new me” opportunity, too.

Read the full article at“We Have to Get Education Right for Black Students and families in 2020”.

 

Ogo Okoye-Johnson Promotes Early Literacy

Join author Ogo Okoye-Johnson as she continues to promote and celebrate early literacy with storytelling, arts and crafts. Ogo will be signing and reading her books, 5 Stars Chike the Invincible and Oma the Faithful Daughter with creative interactive arts and crafts! Don’t miss the opportunity to meet the author, be intrigued, and get your very own signed copies of her delightful must-have books! See you there!

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Successful Well Rounded Rigorous Teaching and Learning

Students who are exposed to an excellent well rounded education that is grounded in effective and rigorous teaching and learning that spikes their creativity would learn from the sheer curiosity and desire to acquire knowledge. Any gaps in learning should be immediately identified and addressed through targeted intervention, reinforcements and supplemental instruction. In such a vibrant learning environment, students would respond to learning and excel when tested on what they have been taught.

Teachers and Principals Believe in Santa Claus Too!

As 2014 winds down and we await the dawn of 2015 with anticipation, it seemed appropriate to share an uplifting human interest article that showcases faith, hope, trust, wonder, service and education. As educators we daily exhibit faith, hope, trust and wonder as we perform our services to our students in a climate of limited or lack of adequate resources.

According to an article by Valerie Srauss in the Washington Post, on December 25, 2014, New York City Laura Virginia O’Hanlon of the famous “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” served 43 years a teacher and principal after earning a master’s degree from Columbia University and a PhD from Fordham University in New York City. The Studio School which has a scholarship in her name was started in her Greenwich Village childhood home in New York City. The website gives her the following tribute:

“In the tradition of a curious young girl, Virginia, who lived in the house that became our school, we celebrate the promise and fulfillment of every child. The Virginia O’Hanlon Scholarship Fund will make it possible for more children to grow up to believe in themselves, and embrace the journey of learning. Virginia grew up to be an educator and advocate for children’s rights and believed that all children, regardless of social background, should have the same learning opportunities.”

Virginia, like most teachers and principals in order to keep motivating students to achieve beyond expectations, and to keep thriving against all odds still believe that there is a “Santa Claus”. We believe our students are capable and we work hard to help our students grow into well-rounded citizens of the world who can also succeed in college or in chosen careers. We choose not to act as “Virginia’s friends” described by the editor of the Sun in Sept. 21, 1897 as follows:

“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” “Virginia, Your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible to their little minds.”

in 2015 and beyond, keep up the great work you do with students in all schools across the globe in your roles as teachers, principals and educators!

Single Sex Education: A Solution For Low Achieving Inner-City Public Schools?

Single sex-education in public kindergarten through twelfth grade schools is a fairly new concept. During the past decade, there has been a remarkable increased interest in offering single-sex education in the United States K-12 public schools. The increase in single-sex education could be partly attributed to the May 2002 former President Bush’s proposal to spend $385 million from the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001’s allocation to create separate schools for boys and girls. The Bush administration’s proposal appeared to be in conflict with the 1972’s Title IX regulation 34 CFR106.34 which mandates that schools receiving federal funds shall not create programs and activities on the basis of sex except in cases of few contact sports, sex-education classes, remedial or affirmative action (Bronski, 2002). The appearance of the stated conflict reduced the surge to create single-sex education schools and classes as school districts across the nation cautiously awaited clarification from the Bush administration. The clarification came when the U.S. Department of Education issued final regulations that make it legal to educate boys and girls separately under certain conditions effective November 24, 2006.
The regulations are the U.S. Department of Education’s interpretation of the 1972’s Title IX regulation 34 CFR106.34 federal statute. The Education Department also emphasized that single-sex education is completely voluntary for districts and schools. Stephanie J. Monroe, the Education Department’s assistant secretary for civil rights, stated in a conference call with reporters in November 2006, “This is not a federal mandate. This is an option that can be helpful to some students.” Single-sex education is designed to offer parents more choices in public education (Davis, 2006).
One of the reasons for the rise of these schools and classes is the belief that single-sex education will bring about substantial changes in the academic performance of under-performing public schools which are mostly located in the American inner cities. Proponents of single-sex education believe that high dropout rates and discipline problems stemming from interaction between boys and girls will be reduced in single-sex classrooms and schools, thereby leaving room for higher student achievement. Some schools that have experienced success at varying degrees with single-sex education are spread across several cities in the United States such as Boynton Beach, Florida, Columbus, Ohio, Memphis, Tennessee, and Seattle, Washington.
This paper analyzed the historical background, policies, regulations, practices, challenges and successes of single-sex education in the United States K-12 public schools. The effects of single-sex education on student achievement, with emphasis on under achieving inner-city public schools were focused on. The academic research suggests positive educational benefits of single-sex schooling for girls (if not affluent), at-risk students, and African-American and Hispanic students (regardless of sex). Further, white males either benefit slightly or at worst realize a neutral outcome.