Happening Now

In Schools

Feb 26, 2015 |

Nearly $500,000 Awarded in the San Joaquin Valley

Funding provided to 27 organizations working to improve health and reduce disparities  Sacramento and Merced – Today, Sierra Health Foundation Center for Health Program Management announced nearly $500,000 awarded to 27 organizations working to improve...
[Christian Science Monitor] Schools' reliance on suspension, expulsion isn't necessary, report finds
Feb 24, 2015 |

[Christian Science Monitor] Schools' reliance on suspension, expulsion isn't necessary, report finds

What do Richmond County, Ga.; Visalia, Calif.; and Worcester, Mass., have in common? All three are among the school districts showing the biggest rates of improvement regarding their school discipline practices. A new report analyzing federal data on out-of-school suspensions found evidence of huge “discipline gaps” when it comes to suspension rates for minorities and students with disabilities. And it highlighted some districts with extremely high suspension rates – a factor that has been linked to lower achievement and lower graduation rates.
Feb 24, 2015 |

[Chronicle of Social Change] Positive Youth Justice, Part Two: Community Works, Oakland, Calif.

Last week, our series began with a look at a program that employed a positive youth development framework to steer kids away from behavior that might land them in the juvenile justice system. This, we posited, would be the first step in full “Positive Youth Justice System.” The second logical step in such a system would be a program or set of programs used to divert juveniles from formal involvement in the system after an arrest. That is the task at hand in the Oakland, Calif., where a nonprofit called Community Works leads a “community conferencing” model to mediate between juvenile offenders and the victims of their delinquency. After three years, the numbers suggest that youths who complete the program recidivate at a significantly lower rate than similar juveniles in the system. The strategy hinges on youth accepting responsibility for the crime, and recognizing the impact of their actions on a victim, their family and the community.
[NBC4]Thousands of Children Could Be Drinking Lead-Tainted Water Years After NBC4 Exposed the Problem
Feb 18, 2015 |

[NBC4]Thousands of Children Could Be Drinking Lead-Tainted Water Years After NBC4 Exposed the Problem

Seven years after the NBC4 I-Team first exposed lead-tainted drinking water at Los Angeles-area schools, thousands of schoolchildren are still drinking from fountains that might be unsafe.Aging pipes and fountains made of lead are leaching tiny particles of the toxic metal directly into water, exposing children to potentially harmful amounts of lead. According to the Centers for Disease Control, children are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can cause learning disabilities and a host of physical ailments.
[Edsource] Head Start programs in California rebound as funding increases
Feb 18, 2015 |

[Edsource] Head Start programs in California rebound as funding increases

Two years ago, federally funded early learning providers in California were forced to reduce the available slots for 6,000 incoming students after a gridlocked Congress could not agree on how to reduce the deficit, triggering a round of automatic spending cuts to Head Start and other federal programs across the nation.
[Atlanta Blackstar] Oakland Schools Are Taking a Simple but Effective Approach to Helping Black Male Students Excel
Feb 23, 2015 |

[Atlanta Blackstar] Oakland Schools Are Taking a Simple but Effective Approach to Helping Black Male Students Excel

Stop assuming Black boys are the problem. That’s the first step every school must take if the administrators are truly interested in helping their Black male students achieve academic success in the classroom, according to Vajra Watson, director of research and policy for equity at the University of California, Davis. It’s the crucial step that some schools in Oakland, California, have already made, and they are now reaping the rewards. Back in 2010, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) launched an initiative called the Manhood Development Program (MDP). The program offered a special set of elective courses that targeted Black male students.
[Imperial Valley News] Diverse Legislators, National and State Advocates for Children Applaud Launch of Bureau of Children’s Justice
Feb 23, 2015 |

[Imperial Valley News] Diverse Legislators, National and State Advocates for Children Applaud Launch of Bureau of Children’s Justice

Los Angeles, California - Last Thursday, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced the formation of the Bureau of Children’s Justice within the California Department of Justice. The Bureau will increase support for vulnerable children, work with stakeholders to improve policies affecting children, and enforce California’s civil and criminal laws with respect to California’s foster care, adoption, and juvenile justice systems; discrimination and inequities in education; California’s elementary school truancy crisis; human trafficking of vulnerable youth; and childhood trauma and exposure to violence. Attorney General Kamala Harris was joined by leaders of state and national organizations at a press conference in Los Angeles unveiling the bureau and other leaders from across the state and country are applauding this important step. Marian Wright Edelman, President of the Children’s Defense Fund: “The newly established Bureau of Children’s Justice will help ensure that many more California children, now at great risk of entering the state’s Cradle to Prison Pipeline, will benefit from new protection and supports they need to meet their full potential and succeed in school and in life.”
[Fresno Bee] Poor children in Fresno would lose funds under House education proposal
Feb 23, 2015 |

[Fresno Bee] Poor children in Fresno would lose funds under House education proposal

Fresno Unified officials said Friday the district could lose $5 million to help educate the most disadvantaged children under a proposal approved by a House education committee. The proposal would redirect Title 1 funds for poor and disadvantaged students away from the nation’s poorest inner-city schools, including Fresno Unified, said Ruth Quinto, deputy superintendent and chief financial officer for the district. Under the proposal approved by the House Education and Workforce Committee in H.R. 5, funds would be transferred from school districts with high concentrations of at-risk students to school districts and schools that do not serve as many disadvantaged children, Quinto said. Nearly 85% of Fresno Unified students are eligible for free and reduced-price lunches because of their families’ low income.
[USA Today] California's school suspensions show racial disparity
Feb 23, 2015 |

[USA Today] California's school suspensions show racial disparity

Teenager Dwayne Powe Jr. got a suspension in eighth grade. He didn't get into a fight. He wasn't caught with drugs. He committed no crime. "I actually was asking for a pencil," Powe said. Powe said his class began an exercise and he asked to borrow a pencil from another student. That's when his teacher told Powe he was being disruptive and made him leave class. Powe tried explaining he had only asked for a pencil, but that only dug his hole deeper, he said. He was technically suspended for "willful defiance". Nearly 200,000 California students who were suspended for willful defiance last year can relate to Powe's story. What constitutes willful defiance is somewhat vague, but it generally allows teachers to remove students from the classroom if their behavior is thought to be disruptive or defiant. It's the most common reason California students were suspended—and students of color are overwhelmingly targeted. But there is a growing consensus that keeping kids out of the classroom for non-violent behavioral issues has done more harm than good, and students of color are paying the heaviest cost for this policy.
[Desert Sun] School breakfast touted to bolster student performance
Feb 23, 2015 |

[Desert Sun] School breakfast touted to bolster student performance

Research and results indicate that students who eat breakfast at school start the day ready to learn and reflect higher test scores and better classroom behavior. However, only half of the children who eat lunch at school also eat breakfast there, according to the Food Research and Action Council. To increase student participation in the school breakfast program, Palm Springs Unified District schools, where all students can receive free breakfast each day, will recognize National School Breakfast Week, March 2-6. An objective of the weeklong celebration is to increase awareness of the breakfast program among students and parents. The 2015 National School Breakfast Week theme, "Make the Grade with School Breakfast" reminds everyone in the school community – parents, students, administrators – that a healthy school breakfast sets students up for a day of learning and academic success. The theme will appear in school cafeterias during National School Breakfast Week.
[Richmond Pulse] What We Can Learn From a Transgender Teen’s Suicide
Feb 28, 2015 |

[Richmond Pulse] What We Can Learn From a Transgender Teen’s Suicide

Leelah Alcorn was born on November 15, 1997 as Joshua Ryan Alcorn. According to her suicide note she knew as early as age four that she wasn’t a “boy.” Ten years later, she learned what she had been trying to define about herself nearly her entire life: She was transgendered, a girl stuck in a boy’s body. At 14-years old she told her parents. And, in Leelah’s words recorded in her suicide note, her parents didn’t take it well.
[San Francisco Chronicle]Lawyer plays hardball with school districts over P.E. requirement
Feb 17, 2015 |

[San Francisco Chronicle]Lawyer plays hardball with school districts over P.E. requirement

Three dozen California school districts are looking to settle an unprecedented class- action lawsuit over the time students spend in gym class — a battle that has cost taxpayers $1.1 million in fees paid to an Albany attorney, in addition to untold millions in legal costs incurred by the districts. The suit, which includes San Francisco Unified School District, is unprecedented in its scope, with district officials questioning the motives behind the legal action, even as attorney Donald Driscoll is poised to sue countless other districts over the same issue.
[ABC News 10]Suspended: Inequality in School Discipline
Feb 18, 2015 |

[ABC News 10]Suspended: Inequality in School Discipline

Sacramento teenager Dwayne Powe Jr. got a suspension in eighth grade. He didn't get into a fight. He wasn't caught with drugs. He committed no crime. "I actually was asking for a pencil," Powe said. He was technically suspended for "willful defiance". Nearly 200,000 California students who were suspended for willful defiance last year can relate to Powe's story. What constitutes willful defiance is somewhat vague, but it generally allows teachers to remove students from the classroom if their behavior is thought to be disruptive or defiant. It's the most common reason California students were suspended -- and students of color are overwhelmingly targeted.
[Washington Post]Bake sales are out, healthier school fundraisers are in
Feb 11, 2015 |

[Washington Post]Bake sales are out, healthier school fundraisers are in

When it comes to school fundraisers, bake sale tables loaded with sugary goodies are out. Fun runs, auctions and sales of healthier treats are in. Government rules requiring many schools to hold more nutritious fundraisers, along with a trend toward healthier eating in schools, could mean trouble for the long-beloved bake sale. In response, schools are selling everything from fruit to kid-friendly shoelaces.
[Christian Science Monitor]Bullying prevention: Can students make kindness cool?
Feb 13, 2015 |

[Christian Science Monitor]Bullying prevention: Can students make kindness cool?

School District in Oregon, decided to launch an anti-bullying initiative in his district, he knew he had to get the students on board. “We knew based off of research that this had to be a student-led effort. The days of having schools initiate things without the buy-in of the students are over. We had to capture the students’ voice,” Mr. Waletich says. So he got a group of students together and asked them how they would like to do things. The resulting campaign, “Re-think, Redefine, Where Do You Stand?” launched in October 2014 to coincide with National Bullying Prevention Month.
Reporting on Health: A tale of two towns in California’s Ventura County
Feb 23, 2015 |

Reporting on Health: A tale of two towns in California’s Ventura County

The story I reported for the California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship focused on obesity and diabetes in two communities in California’s Ventura County. Though not far apart in terms of distance, the two towns are worlds apart in terms of childhood obesity. Ojai, which is well off, offers a sort of mirror image to Santa Paula to the south, which is one of the poorer towns in the county and has a greater proportion of Latinos. Young people in Ojai are much more likely to be in a healthy weight range, whereas Santa Paula has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the state (48 percent). It took me about six months to bring this story to publication. Given the length of time it consumed, it’s worth getting out of the way a few things that were not helpful. Although I quoted many numbers in the story, public health databases did not help at all. The spark for the story was lit by a study published by the county’s health care agency in December 2013. The study offered much insight into childhood obesity in the county, but trying to dig further into the data on various online databases – including the one from the county – turned out to be a phenomenal waste of time. The study had already culled the best stats, and even consulting with the statistician for the health care agency didn’t bring me any more useful numbers. Instead, what I really needed was the human dimension: the personal stories, an understanding of obesity’s causes locally, threats to long-term health, and, most of all, a sense of the actions being taken in Santa Paula to help stem the problem.
At the Crossroads of Two Sectors
Feb 23, 2015 |

At the Crossroads of Two Sectors

Here at Greenlining, we see diversity and equity as the key to success. Only by allowing everyone to contribute their talents and creativity across all sectors can we build an inclusive, fair, and prosperous society. As President Obama recently stated in...
[Capital Public Radio] Education Funding Debate Begins At California Capitol
Feb 09, 2015 |

[Capital Public Radio] Education Funding Debate Begins At California Capitol

California’s economy is on the rebound, but there’s little extra revenue to go around for the next state budget. Yet there’s one area that will see a big increase in funding: education. And that’s sparking a debate at the Capitol over how to spend the money. Governor Jerry Brown and the Legislature’s majority Democrats agree on the need to raise per-pupil K-through-12 spending. The governor also wants to set aside money for adult education and career tech programs.
[Huffington Post] Increasing School Counselor Time With Students Is Important
Feb 11, 2015 |

[Huffington Post] Increasing School Counselor Time With Students Is Important

Counselors like Gerry Oxx, at Godinez Fundamental High School in Santa Ana, California, are particularly inspiring. In his office by 5:30a.m. on most days, Gerry gets his paperwork out of the way early, so that he can maximize the in-person time with this students during the day. Despite a caseload of over 500 students, mostly at-risk, first generation kids, Gerry, working with his colleagues, has sent dozens of students to top liberal arts colleges. The counseling department at Godinez has helped the class of 2014 earn over $200,000 in private scholarships, and over $6M in institutional aid (over a four year period).
[Sacramento Bee] Sacramento County schools classify fewer students as emotionally disturbed
Feb 08, 2015 |

[Sacramento Bee] Sacramento County schools classify fewer students as emotionally disturbed

Sacramento County school districts are classifying fewer students as emotionally disturbed, though the county rate per 1,000 students is still far higher than the state average. County school districts designated about 1,530 students as emotionally disturbed in 2013-14, down from 2,060 in 2008-09, according to the California Department of Education. The number of African American students with the classification fell from 655 to 438 during the same period. That decline is significant because the county’s four largest districts received warning letters in 2012 that a disproportionate number of African American students were designated emotionally disturbed and moved to special education classes.
1 2 3 4 541
Showing 4160 of 810 Items