Month: November 2011

Study: Dropouts Decreased Through Middle School Transition

Middle and high schools can reduce the dropout rate by working together to plan the transition to high school, holding activities to familiarize students with the campus, and helping them feel connected to their new schools, according to a new report issued by the California Comprehensive Center at WestEd (WestEd is a California GEAR UP Partner and external evaluator). “The transition from middle school to high school can be challenging for students,” California State Superintendent of Education Tom Torlakson said. “The good news is that some simple steps to make students welcome, can give them the confidence they need to …

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Schools to Watch Model Middle Schools Announced

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that four high-performing California schools are newly designated model middle schools in the Schools to Watch™−Taking Center Stage (STW™−TCS) program. Another 11 high-performing California schools will also retain their model middle grades schools status under the same program. “I commend the students, their parents, teachers, and administrators, for their efforts in helping make these 15 schools models of excellence,” Torlakson said. “Their success is amazing, especially considering they are swimming against the tide of massive budget cuts, crowded classrooms, and school employee layoffs.” The four newly designated schools are: 1.     Granite Ridge …

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Funding Restored to Time Saving Accountability System

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that the California Department of Education (CDE) has restored a time-saving Web tool to make it easier for school districts to create state-mandated School Accountability Report Cards (SARCs). “The few dollars the state saved by eliminating this service were clearly outweighed by the time and trouble being shifted to California’s more than a 1,000 school districts,” Torlakson said. “I’m glad we’ve found a creative way to restore this tool, and I’m grateful to Ed-Data for stepping up to the plate to help us meet this need.” SARCs contain valuable accountability information …

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4th and 8th Grade Students Continue Math and Reading Gains

SACRAMENTO—The latest National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results show California’s fourth and eighth grade students continue to make incremental gains in reading and mathematics scores, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson reported today. The average scores of California students tested on the 2011 NAEP were statistically unchanged from 2009, but higher than in 2005 or 2007 in both subjects, continuing a long-term trend of steady progress. Average scores for California as well as the nation continue to place at the Basic achievement level, which denotes partial mastery of fundamental skills, although California’s average scores were lower than the national average. (NAEP scores fall …

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