Month: January 2013

Celebrate College Awareness Month at UCOP in February

Did you know that February is College Awareness Month? The Department of Education Partnerships is lining up several events and an exhibit to spotlight some of the UC individuals working to make college a reality for every deserving student. The California GEAR UP program is administered by the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) and works closely to sustain the capacity of schools across the state to prepare all students to be successful in college. “We’re taking the opportunity to educate our UCOP colleagues about the work UC does to contribute to college preparation and access for K–12 students throughout the state,” …

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EGUSD selected to participate in Linked Learning Pilot Program

January 9, 2013 The Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD), a California GEAR UP Partner and Bridge Project school district has been selected as one of 20 participants in a new state pilot program designed to help students graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college and careers.  EGUSD will implement the four-and-a-half year pilot program in its 16 “Linked Learning” California Partnership Academies as well through other district-wide programs. The state-facilitated Linked Learning Pilot Program was established in 2011 through the passage of AB 790 by former Assembly Member Warren Furutani.  “Linked Learning” programs use coursework, technical training, …

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Sweeping Updates to Career Technical Education Announced

SACRAMENTO—Sweeping updates to California’s career technical education (CTE) standards—designed to reflect the changing face of technology and set higher academic goals—received approval from the State Board of Education Wednesday, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced. The new standards are one of the cornerstone achievements of Torlakson’s Career Readiness Initiative. Building on the previous CTE standards, the revised standards were created with input from more than 300 representatives from business and industry, labor, and postsecondary and secondary education, ranging from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to mental health experts and environmental innovators.           “This new framework sheds light …

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California Adopts Math Standards with Local Decision Making

  SACRAMENTO—The State Board of Education yesterday voted to modify the California Additions to the adopted Common Core State Standards for Mathematics(CCSSM). The Board’s action will help the state continue its progress toward implementing the Common Core State Standards, and provides options for accelerating to higher mathematics in middle school while maintaining the requirement that all students pass Algebra I before graduating from high school. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, who was required under Senate Bill 1200 to propose modifications that include basing Algebra I on the Common Core State Standards, praised the Board’s action. “The Common Core—and common …

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State Superintendent Proposes New Statewide Testing System

Common Core Assessments to Focus on Problem Solving and Critical Thinking SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today recommended shifting the focus of standardized testing in California to require students to think critically, solve problems, and show a greater depth of knowledge—key tenants of the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS). In a report to the Governor and Legislature, Recommendations for Transitioning California to a Future Assessment System, Torlakson made a dozen recommendations that would fundamentally change the state’s student assessment system, replacing the paper-and-pencil based Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program assessments with computerized assessments developed by the Smarter Balanced …

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2013 “Schools to Watch™” Model Middle Schools Announced

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Congratulates California’s 2013 “Schools to Watch™–Taking Center Stage” Model Middle Schools   SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that 12 high-performing California middle schools have been newly designated as model middle grades schools in the Schools to Watch™−Taking Center Stage (STW−TCS) program. Another nine high-performing California schools will also retain their model middle grades schools status under the same program. “My congratulations and admiration go out to these schools for continually striving to improve student performance,” Torlakson said. “Their success is the result of effective and innovative practices that motivate their students …

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Last Minute ‘Cliff’ Deal Avoids Education Cuts

In a late night vote Tuesday, Congress averted the deep, automatic spending cuts set to affect a wide range of federal programs, including many important to higher education. The vote to avoid the tax hikes and spending cuts, known together as the “fiscal cliff,” gives lawmakers two months to cut $6 billion from the federal budget and sets up a probable spending showdown later in the year. The bill averts tax hikes for all but the wealthiest Americans as the Bush-era tax cuts expire. It also puts off sequestration, the across-the-board spending cuts originally scheduled to take place because Congress did …

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