State Board of Education Approves Eagle Collegiate Academy Charter School

ECA LogoThe State Board of Education during its July 8, 2020 meeting approved the establishment of Eagle Collegiate Academy Charter School.

Eagle Collegiate Academy’s “ECA” founding team is very excited that ECA will answer the need of children and their families in the communities of Santa Clarita Valley, Antelope Valley, San Fernando Valley and surrounding areas for a public college and career preparatory International Baccalaureate (IB) World school that approaches teaching and learning holistically from the Primary Years Program (PYP), to the Middle Years Program (MYP) and to the Diploma Program (DP).  Our faculty and board are elated that our four-year passionate endeavor to bring the unique benefits of these programs to our community has been rewarded.  ECA’s selection of Spanish and Korean in its World Languages program is especially well aligned to the interests and desires of our community.  Eagle Collegiate Academy will open with Pre-K to 3rd grade in the Fall of 2021.

Eagle Collegiate Academy will empower students to become self-confident, egalitarian and authentic global citizens prepared for 21st century careers and responsibilities.  ECA encourages each student to develop talents and interests as an independent-minded person among a diverse body of students, parents and faculty who together embark on a continuous lifelong learning process.  Students will participate in a rigorous, college preparatory program that is characterized by low student-teacher ratios, an extended day for academic enrichment, frequent assessments to monitor student progress, and a series of intensive interventions that are focused on quickly accelerating the learning of scholars who are performing far below grade level.  ECA will use data-driven differentiated personalized instruction and innovative curriculum to ensure that students experience the discipline and excitement of academics, the pride of developing personal character and integrity, the creative opportunities provided by the arts and extracurricular activities, the rigor and pleasure of athletics, and an awareness of, respect for and involvement with the community in which they live which allows them to graduate college and career ready with a deep understanding of the relationships among disciplines.

For Further information on ECA founding team, board members, philosophy and programs, please contact Dr. Ogo Okoye-Johnson, founder and CEO and/or at: www.eaglecollegiateacademy.org; https://twitter.com/EagleCollegiate; https://www.facebook.com/eaglecollegiateacademy/; https://www.instagram.com/eaglecollegiate/

About California Public Charter Schools: a public charter school is a publicly funded, public school open to any student in the state of California. California’s legislature approved provision for the creation of public charter schools in order to accelerate and increase the drive for competition, excellence, and continuous improvement in the state’s free, public educational system.

Comment on the Proposed Regulations for Teacher Preparation Programs to Education Department by February 2nd!

I received this notification from William Buxton which I would like to share because I believe that it is very important. William Buxton, Associate Professor at State University of New York Cortland, on behalf of American Federation of Teachers, AFT, is calling on all educators to let the Department of Education know by February 2nd 2015 their opinions and comments on the proposed regulations for teacher preparation programs before the final regulations are written.

William Buxton writes

The Education Department wants to use unreliable, out-of-context data like K-12 standardized test scores and employment numbers to punish teacher preparation programs.

We have until Feb. 2 to comment before the department goes into the process of writing the final regulations. Who better to tell them what we need than educators like you?

Tell the Department of Education that testing and other invalid measures will not work to determine the success of teacher preparation programs.

The way the department wants to judge programs is complicated, so here’s an example. Sasha goes to UCLA to become a teacher. After graduation, Sasha gets a job as an eighth-grade English teacher in East Los Angeles. To judge whether UCLA’s program was good, California will use the standardized test scores from Sasha’s students. If the students’ scores aren’t high enough, UCLA will get a bad grade.

Crazy, right? And it gets worse. Because of the use of employment numbers, when a recession hits and Sasha is laid off due to budget cuts, UCLA can get another bad grade.

And those bad grades come with punishments. Schools with poor ratings can lose federal resources, like student grants and aid.

Using these measures also means that preparation programs whose graduates teach in high-need schools are more likely to receive those punishments, because of lower test scores and higher teacher turnover in those schools. As a result, preparation programs could be discouraged from preparing students to take on tough assignments, and may even steer students away from jobs in high-need schools. The last thing we need is a system that makes it HARDER to recruit teachers for our highest-need students!

Tell the Department of Education that this test-and-punish style of accountability is not a route to improvement, just as it has not improved K-12 education.

What is wrong with the proposed regulations? K-12 test scores were not designed to rate teacher prep programs. Cash-strapped states will have to build new data systems. And these regulations don’t set a level playing field for all programs. Alternative preparation programs, for example, where teachers learn on the job, are rated differently, giving them an advantage.

The AFT supports a rigorous, professional preparation process for aspiring teachers, as laid out in our Raising the Bar report. We believe that our system for preparing and licensing teachers should ensure that every teacher is fully trained and ready on their first day in the classroom.

We want systemic improvement, and we want the information that will help us to get there, including multiple measures of student performance and data on who enters the teaching profession and who stays. But taking this data out of context, and then attaching high-stakes consequences, isn’t the answer.

Teaching and learning in the K-12 system will improve when we invest in the teaching profession—investing in high-quality teacher preparation and supporting teachers before and while they are in the classroom.

Racial Disparities in Access to Educational Opportunities To Be Rectified in One New Jersey School District

The School District of South Orange and Maplewood in New Jersey has been prompted to provide its African American students equal access to and equal opportunities to Advanced Placement (AP), Honors and other college and career preparatory courses following a review by the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights which revealed glaring disparities in the opportunities that African American and white students are exposed to. The review was done to make sure that the school district complies with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq., as well as implements regulation 34 C.F.R. Part 100, which prohibit discrimination on the bases of race, color and national origin by organizations that receive funds from the Federal government. The review exposed that only 19 percent of African American students are enrolled in the district’s AP courses although they make up 38 percent of the student population. On the other hand, white students who make up 49 percent of the student population in the district hold most of the enrollment in the AP courses. The school district will take action steps to rectify the existing disparities.
The Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, stated that the US Department of Education will conduct investigations to ensure that school districts and states are providing “poor and minority students with access to strong teachers, demanding coursework and facilities that their white peers receive”.