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    California Delays Release Of Student Test Scores Until After Election.

    By Dawn Collier

    The California Department of Education (CDE) is delaying the release of English, math and science test scores for California’s students on its “Smarter Balanced Assessments” until an undetermined date later this year. The move was called a “significant departure” in a damning article by the education news site EdSource.

    Typically, Smarter Balanced test results are issued between August and the first week of October. However, the CDE says it will release this year’s results with its “California School Dashboard” update, which is published between November and January.

    How convenient for State Superintendent Tony Thurmond to postpone the release of the test scores until after the November election! We’re sure it has nothing to do with the inconvenient truth that the results are expected to show record declines in line with the unprecedented failings of Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), which released its Smarter Balanced scores earlier this month.

    In LAUSD, an outrageous 72 percent of students failed to meet math standards. Math scores fell in every grade level tested, with eighth and sixth graders both showing almost a six-point drop. Students meeting English standards dropped to 41.7 percent. In reading, third graders fell by 4.5 percentage points. Shockingly, 11th graders’ math scores dropped seven percentage points and their reading scores fell by 10 points.

    So what about the rest of California? Shouldn’t education officials be clamoring to get the latest data released as quickly as possible to help educators address the historic learning loss suffered by students during the pandemic? Not with Thurmond up for reelection and an unprecedented number of fed up parents running for local school board races in November.

    “The fact that the department is not willing to publish now suggests that scores will be lower and the current state superintendent does not want to be held accountable for the results,” said Lance Christensen, California Policy Center’s Vice President of Education Policy and Government Affairs.

    Who else doesn’t want to be held accountable? California’s teachers unions. It was their relentless campaign to keep schools closed far longer than other states that caused this massive learning loss. Despite LAUSD’s abysmal scores, the teachers’ union is organizing a boycott of LAUSD’s planned “acceleration days” to help students catch up.

    Stay tuned as the drama heats up. EdSource has filed Public Records Act requests to access the Smarter Balanced scores of the state’s 30 largest school districts. Only two districts have responded with scores: Sacramento City Unified and Lodi Unified, where, like LAUSD, scores “showed significant drops in math and English language arts.”
    Register now for Tony Thurmond’s parent town hall.

    Last week, we reported that State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond is hosting a virtual town hall for parents and parent groups to hear “your concerns, needs, and ideas about California schools and any ways to improve your school experience.” The last minute PR stunt comes after two years of ignoring parent concerns in the wake of the pandemic and with just over six weeks left until the election.

    Yesterday, Thurmond released the registration information for the event and we encourage you to attend on Wednesday, September 28, 2022 from 6:00-7:30pm.

    Learn more about the event and register for the town hall here. And don’t forget that Thurmond also asked parents to send “any school thoughts on your mind” to [email protected].

    Charter schools celebrate 30 years in California.

    This week marks the 30th anniversary of the passage of the California Charter Schools Act, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to celebrate the success of the Golden State’s charter schools.

    Charter schools have educated more than 9.4 million California students over the last three decades. Today, there are nearly 1,300 charter schools in the state. As of the 2020–21 school year, 11.5 percent of California’s public school students were enrolled in charter schools.

    Unions don’t like charter schools because they thrive outside of union control, so they continue to run misinformation campaigns that cast charter schools as “corporate” or “industry” schools. The California Teachers Association’s “KidsNotProfits” campaign shamelessly claims it is dedicated to exposing “the agendas of billionaires to privatize our public schools.”

    But all of California’s charter schools are public schools and not-for-profit. They are funded with taxpayer dollars, tuition-free and open to all students. Charter schools do not have eligibility or entrance requirements — students are admitted regardless of income or academic achievement. Charter schools report to their own board of directors, not the teachers’ unions, so charters have more flexibility with teaching methods and curriculum, and can be more innovative than union-run schools.

    That independence often translates into better performing schools. In U.S. News and World Report’s 2019 rankings, four of the top ten California high schools were charter schools.

    What really triggers the teachers’ unions is that California’s charter schools are diverse — more than half of the state’s charter school students are Latino; 57 percent of charter students are low-income. And, student performance data shows charter schools have been especially successful for Latino, Black and low-income students as well as English Language Learners.

    A report from Innovate Public Schools in partnership with the University of Southern California found that in Los Angeles County, 45% of top public middle schools for low-income Latino students in math are charters, and 52% of top public high schools for low-income Latino students are charters.

    The results in the Bay Area are more staggering: 62 percent of top public middle schools for low-income Latino students in math are charters, and 87 percent of top public high schools for low-income Latino students in math and English are charters.

    A study based on student performance at charter and district schools on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests found that Black students at charter schools “made greater gains on reading and math tests than their peers at district schools” to the tune of nearly an additional half-year’s worth of learning.

    Of course, being free from union control allowed charter schools to pivot much more quickly during the pandemic to meet student needs. That fact wasn’t lost on parents. A recent survey found that over a quarter of California parents moved their children to a new school during the pandemic, and most of those families switched from traditional public schools to public charter schools.

    All of that doesn’t sit well with California’s teachers’ unions. They continue to use their mega-millions to try to undermine charter schools because they don’t actually care about students or families. They only care about union power and control.

    To learn more about California’s charter schools, be sure to check out the recording of this week’s Charter School Forum hosted by the Orange County Board of Education, “Strengthening California’s Charter Schools at a Local and State Level.”



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    1 year ago

    Every time I think public sector corruption could not get worse in California, it does. VOTE THE BASTURDS OUT !

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