A Final Letter to Our Amazing California GEAR UP Schools

June 2017 California GEAR UP Schools, On behalf of the California State GEAR UP program, I wish to express our sincere gratitude for the opportunity to collaborate with your schools. Since 2011, we have been inspired by you and your dedication to making a difference for All students. Your success has been shared broadly throughout California and with the national GEAR UP community. As we near the end of this grant cycle, we are proud of the experiences and lessons learned on this journey with you. Because of your dedication, we have had broad systemic effect beyond the 48 schools …

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What Trump’s Proposed 2018 Budget Would Mean for Higher Ed

  The Trump administration on Tuesday released its budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year. All told, the budget would cut federal education programs by more than $10 billion. The Department of Education’s total operating budget would be slashed by $9 billion, and spending on secondary-education programs would be redirected to school-choice initiatives — the chief policy goal of Betsy DeVos, the education secretary. President Trump’s budget would eliminate the public-service loan-forgiveness program, subsidized Stafford Loans, and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants; begin to phase out the National Endowments for the Arts and for the Humanities; and allow the Perkins Loan …

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3 Tips for Understanding and Comparing Financial Aid Offers

  (from the Dept. of Education blog) Congratulations! You’ve been accepted to multiple schools. Now you need to determine which schools are most affordable so you can factor school cost into your decision. If you listed a school on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form and have been offered admission by that school, the school’s financial aid office will send you a financial aid offer. The amounts and types of aid you’re offered will likely vary from school to school, so it’s important to compare your financial aid offers. Here are a few tips and resources to …

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Caruthers Principal Shares GEAR UP Journey

    Marla Dominguez, Principal Caruthers Elementary, has been the principal for five years. She shares her GEAR UP story and passion for her profession with us. Please tell us about the community.  Caruthers Unified is located in the central San Joaquin Valley, approximately 15 miles south of Fresno. The District covers a large rural area (120 square miles) of approximately 2,500 residents, including the two small unincorporated communities of Caruthers and Raisin City. An additional 4,800 people live in the area surrounding Caruthers. Of our 1,442 students, 1266 or 89 % of them are LI and qualify for free …

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Closing Thoughts on California GEAR UP 2017

  Friends of California GEAR UP:  This is the final edition of our newsletter as we celebrate the end of the 2011-2017 grant cycle. Across the country, graduation ceremonies mark accomplishment and success – for students and the whole school community.  As another school year ends, we join our school leadership teams, families and friends in extending CONGRATULATIONS to the class of 2017! Since 1999, the GEAR UP network has continued to thrive.  We have expanded our reach to share experiences, resources, lessons learned and success stories with the growing GEAR UP community.  Along with many other States, we have …

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63rd Anniversary of the Brown v. Board Decision

  Today we rightly celebrate the milestone Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision issued on May 17th, 1954 striking down school segregation. Yet today also marks another anniversary – the annual issuing of statements reminding us that, decades later, we still have not closed the gaps in access and opportunity that segregate our students and limit their ability to learn. When asked about William Faulkner’s essay urging the nation to “go slow” on integration,Brown v. Board attorney and future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall pointed out “They don’t mean go slow. They mean don’t go.” In education, we …

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Achievement Gap a National Crisis

There is a national crisis in American higher education, and it threatens to exacerbate the most pressing challenges facing our nation. Consider this sobering fact: For every 10 African-American students who enter college, only four will graduate. Just four in 10. That is a shameful record, and we cannot hope to address the underlying causes of social and economic inequality in our country if this trend continues. College enrollment in the U.S. continues to stand at record highs. Dr. Kim Wilcox According to the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. colleges and universities enrolled 20.5 million students last fall, an increase …

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California graduation rates continue uptick, as achievement gap narrows

  High school graduation rates in California climbed for the seventh year in a row, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, announced Tuesday. The class of 2016 had a record-high graduation rate of 83.2 percent, with significant gains for student populations that have historically lagged behind. “Graduation rates have gone up seven years in a row,” Torlakson said in a written statement, “reflecting renewed optimism and increased investments in our schools that have helped reduce class sizes; bring back classes in music, theater, art, dance, and science; and expand career technical education programs that engage our students with hands-on, …

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The Gap Within the Gap

  (reposted from the Brookings Institution)  Researchers and policymakers devote considerable effort to understanding gaps in academic achievement between low-income students and their better-off classmates.[1] And rightly so: the income-based achievement gap is a large and growing source of educational inequality in the United States. The test-score gap between high- and low-income students is 40 percent wider today than it was 25 years ago.[2] One widely-used marker for poverty in schools is a student’s eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch. But while nearly half of students nationwide are eligible for subsidized meals, only a quarter of US children live in poverty. …

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Torlakson Files Court Brief to Protect Federal Funding for Schools

SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson filed a court brief Wednesday supporting Santa Clara County’s request to halt an executive order by President Donald Trump that threatens to stop federal funding for California cities, counties, and possibly public schools. Torlakson filed a friend of the court brief in the Federal Court’s Ninth District, where Santa Clara County has filed for a preliminary injunction to stop the President’s Executive Order of January 2017. The injunction request said the order is unconstitutional because it would compel local governments to take an active role in enforcing immigration law and could withhold …

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