Jefe estatal de escuelas anuncia versión en español de Common Core

 

SACRAMENTO—A medida que California se dirige hacia la implementación plena de las normas estatales Common Core, un esfuerzo por separado para traducir los estándares del estudio del idioma inglés al español ya ha sido completado, el Superintendente Estatal de Instrucción Pública Tom Torlakson anunció hoy.

“Common Core en Español” es un esfuerzo conjunto de la Oficina de Educación del Condado de San Diego, el Consejo de Jefes Estatales de Educación (CCSSO) y el Departamento de Educación de California (CDE).

“En esencia, Common Core consiste en garantizar que todos los niños, sin importar de dónde sean ni dónde vivan, reciban una educación de primera clase que sea consistente de escuela a escuela y se gradúen preparados para contribuir al futuro de nuestro estado y nuestro país”, dijo Torlakson, señalando que, en California, uno de cada cuatro niños va a la escuela necesitando aprender inglés. “La traducción de los estándares del estudio del idioma inglés al español es un buen paso para ofrecer a los maestros y las escuelas el apoyo que necesitan para alcanzar y educar a cada niño”.

Los Estándares Comunes Estatales, que cubren el estudio del idioma inglés y las matemáticas, proporcionarán una comprensión clara y consistente de lo que deben aprender los estudiantes, para que las escuelas y las familias sepan lo que tienen que hacer para ayudarlos. Este es un esfuerzo liderado por el estado para asegurar que todos los estudiantes se gradúen de escuelas públicas listos para el mundo profesional y la universidad. El liderazgo de California significa que 45 estados de la Unión Americana y tres territorios que han adoptado los estándares tendrán libre acceso a la traducción al español de los estándares del estudio del idioma inglés. Funcionarios también anticipan la traducción de los estándares de matemáticas.

El esfuerzo es coordinado por Silvia C. Dorta-Duque de Reyes del condado de San Diego, quien recibió recientemente un reconocimiento como “Administradora del Año” otorgado por la Asociación de California para la Educación Bilingüe (CABE).
Un grupo de educadores a nivel de distrito y académicos del idioma tradujeron las normas, incluyendo “amplificación lingüística” para garantizar que el nuevo documento vaya más allá de una traducción literal, para comunicar conceptos de manera efectiva.

El grupo presentó su trabajo inicial en una conferencia de CABE el año pasado, y las traducciones finales ya están disponibles por internet para que educadores y padres los utilicen de manera gratuita. Información adicional sobre los estándares estatales Common Core están disponibles en el Departmento de Educación de California visitando http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/cc.

“California está implementado estas normas como base para la renovación de nuestro sistema educativo”, dijo Torlakson. “Esta traducción es importante porque sienta las bases para la evaluación equitativa y el desarrollo curricular”.

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El Departamento de Educación de California (CDE) es un organismo estatal dirigido por el Superintendente Estatal de Instrucción Pública, Tom Torlakson. Para obtener más información, visitehttp://www.cde.ca.gov o por móvil  en http://m.cde.ca.gov/. También puede seguir al Superintendente Torlakson en Twitter y Facebook en http://www.twitter.com/TorlaksonSSPI yhttp://www.facebook.com/CAEducation.

Promising Practices for Success in Linked Learning Schools

For Immediate Release 
March 21, 2013
Contact: Eric Wagner (510) 465-6444, ext 318
Email: ewagner@edtrustwest.org
New Ed Trust–West Study Finds Promising Practices for Student Success in Linked Learning Schools; Reveals Implications for District-Level Implementation throughout California

OAKLAND, CA (March 21, 2013) – As the Linked Learning high school reform initiative expands across California, the results of a two-year study by the Education Trust–West identifies promising practices in Linked Learning schools and districts. However, the study also notes variation in districtwide implementation of these best practices. The results of the study can be found in the new report released today titled, Expanding Access, Creating Options: How Linked Learning Pathways Can Mitigate Barriers to College and Career Access in Schools and Districts.

“Too many students are not achieving college and career success in California,” said Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director of The Education Trust–West, a statewide education advocacy organization that works to close gaps in opportunity and achievement for students of color and low-income students. “Based on our research, we see that Linked Learning has the potential to reduce these inequities and offer students a real connection between academic and career success.”

According to its proponents, the Linked Learning approach aims to prepare students for postsecondary education and careers by connecting academics to real-world applications in school and workplace settings. The study examines the impact of the Linked Learning approach in four schools and three districts. High quality Linked Learning schools mitigated or eliminated traditional high school barriers to student access and success in college-preparatory coursework.

“These Linked Learning schools showed a real commitment to providing every student with meaningful college and career preparation,” said Jeannette LaFors, Director of Equity Initiatives at The Education Trust–West. “Students, parents, faculty, and business/industry partners are all working together to link academic preparation with real life work experiences to deeply engage and motivate students.”

The authors found that students graduated from Linked Learning schools and accessed college- and career-preparatory coursework at relatively high rates. However, students had mixed results on standardized assessments of student achievement such as the Early Assessment Program (EAP). They found that districts expanding Linked Learning have made notable progress, but found wide variation in the implementation of best practices identified at the site level. For instance, districts are offering more college preparatory courses that integrate career and technical education than ever before. However, many of their schools have failed to eliminate practices that can lead to academic tracking by race and class.

The enactment of state legislation (AB 790) is expanding the Linked Learning initiative into dozens of districts through the Linked Learning Pilot Program. The authors recommend that stakeholders hold districts to rigorous standards such as those established by ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career.

“We found that when implemented with fidelity, the Linked Learning approach can fundamentally transform teaching, learning and educational systems,” said Tameka L. McGlawn, Senior Practice Associate at The Education Trust—West. “As with any initiative, expanding Linked Learning offers promise and challenges.  We can and must ensure that Linked Learning intentionally serves all students adequately and equitably,” she concluded.

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About The Education Trust—West, a California GEAR UP Partner. 

The Education Trust—West works for the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-k through college. We expose opportunity and achievement gaps that separate students of color and low-income students from other youth, and we identify and advocate for the strategies that will forever close those gaps.

EdSource: California eliminates incentives for 8th Grade Algebra

From 2003-10, the number of eighth graders who took Algebra I nearly doubled in California, and the percentage that rated proficient on the state Algebra test actually increased from 39 to 46 percent overall. Source: 2011 EdSource study “Improving Middle Grades Mathematics Performance.” (Click to enlarge)

The State Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday to remove state incentives encouraging schools to offer Algebra I in 8th grade.

The move was both a vote of confidence in the new Common Core standards for 8th grade, which districts are now beginning to implement, and a retreat from a decade-old policy of pushing universal algebra in 8th grade. Proponents of the state’s current policy are predicting that enrollment in Algebra by 8th grade, which has doubled over the past decade to nearly two-thirds of students, will plummet in coming years.

Under the current policy, students who take General Math in 8th grade, the less rigorous alternative to Algebra, are penalized on the results of their state standardized math test. If they test at the advanced level in General Math, their scores are knocked down one level to proficient, while those who test proficient are rated with only having basic knowledge. This, in turn, affects the school’s Academic Performance Index or API score, the  state’s chief and most recognizable measure of accountability. The penalties were a big reason districts pushed students to take Algebra.

The State Board’s new goal is to create guidelines that lay out two paths for math in 8th grade, one leading to a course based on Common Core 8th grade standards, which is basically pre-Algebra, and an accelerated route leading to a new, as yet, undesigned Common Core Algebra I course. Local districts will decide which students are ready for Algebra; the State Board’s position is to be neutral. Board members have expressed confidence that students who take Common Core 8th grade math will be well-prepared to take Algebra I or a new alternative, an Integrated Common Core high school course, as freshmen in high school. Then they can proceed to higher math, including Algebra II and pre-Calculus, qualifying them for admission to the California State University or University of California by their senior year.

“The decision by a former state board to create penalties and incentives for students to take algebra was probably wrong-headed. The decision about where students are placed for purposes of mathematics should be made at the local level not state level,” said Sue Burr, the former executive director of the State Board and now its newest board member.

Board members noted that Common Core 8th grade math is more rigorous than the current General Math, which does not include pre-Algebra. Removing the penalties on the API will enable districts to ease the transition to Common Core; districts won’t feel pressure to skip from seventh grade Common Core to Algebra.

However, Doug McRae, a retired test publisher from Monterey who has written frequently on the issue in EdSource Today, said that districts will no longer feel any urgency to offer Algebra I, and, as a result, fewer students will be on a path to take Calculus in high school and major in science, engineering and math in college.

“You are lowering standards for those kids who are capable of taking a full algebra course,” McRae said during the public comment period.

Board member Trish Williams expressed the ambivalence shared by others on the issue. In her former role as executive director of EdSource, she directed a study of middle school math that documented impressive numbers of 8th graders, particularly minority students, who took Algebra in eighth grade and did well on the state Algebra test. But the study also concluded that substantial numbers of students were misassigned and were taking it twice and even three times without success. Only 40 percent of African American and Hispanic students are scoring proficient on the Algebra exam – an improvement over a decade ago, but troubling nonetheless.

The increase in minority students taking Algebra “is not insignificant. It was a big advantage for those kids,” she said. “Social justice advocates worry that if pressure is not on then schools will revert and not prepare low-income kids. I hear that and I respect it, and I honor it.”

“It is important that the Board send a signal to schools that we want them to continue to keep open opportunities for low-income kids,” she said.

The Board’s policy to encourage more students to take Algebra was done, she said, with “good intentions.” But the “collateral damage” – too many unprepared students required to take Algebra – is why she said she would vote to change the policy.

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Saving For College Early is Essential to Planning for Success

Saving for college is more important than ever. With the cost of college tuition on the rise, ScholarShare  and California GEAR UP are working together closely to provide families, parents, and young adults with resources and tools to help them prepare for higher education.

ScholarShare, California’s 529 college savings plan, has long been a partner of the California GEAR UP Education Trust Awards. GEAR UP has awarded 5,370 middle school students with Education Trust Awards, opened in individual ScholarShare accounts established in the student’s name in the amount of $2,000 each, for a total of $10,740,000. The awards are available to students within one year of high school graduation and upon college enrollment.

ScholarShare is a way for parents to share in their child’s road to a higher education.  There are a number of benefits offered by ScholarShare.

  • Any adult or U.S. legal resident with a social security number or federal taxpayer identification number can open an account.
  • Grandparents, friends, aunts, and uncles can open an account or contribute to an existing one.
  • Earnings are tax free when withdrawals are used for qualified higher education expenses.
  • Accounts can be opened with as little as $25.
  • Funds can be used at eligible schools nationwide and many international schools.
  • Funds can be used for a variety of qualified higher education expenses.
  • A variety of low cost investment options are offered.

College remains important to California parents.  According to the California College Saving Survey in September 2012, 84 percent of parents strongly believe in the importance of a higher education as an objective in its own right, and as a way to open doors to other dreams and aspirations.  Even during challenging economic times, parents are still putting a priority on saving for a higher education while making sacrifices in other areas. Many California parents are willing to cut back on family vacations or eating out, even more striking delaying their retirement.

While California parents consider a college education crucial, most are worried about being able to afford it.  Here are some helpful tips on how families can save for college.

  • Be supportive:  Children will aspire and be prepared for college if they are surrounded by adults who foster a positive educational environment not only in school but at home.
  • Set realistic goals:  You may not be able to save enough for all four years of tuition, room and board, and other expenses, but you could save enough to help put your child’s education within reach.
  • Reach out to friends and family:  Instead of birthday and holiday gifts for your child, let your friends and family make contributions. Of those that know about 529 plans, few know that people other than the child’s parents can contribute, such as grandparent’s aunts, uncles, and even the students themselves.
  • Let your child know you’re saving for their higher education:  You may be surprised at how much pride and appreciation they demonstrate, knowing that college is in their future.
  • Start saving as earlier as you can:  The key to saving for college is to start early and save regularly. By saving a set amount regularly, your money can grow as your child does. And before you know it, you’ll be just as ready for college as they are.

ScholarShare offers a way for families to save for college and to help make college become affordable. When it comes to college savings, it is never too late for families to share in their child’s future.

For more information about ScholarShare, visit www.ScholarShare.com, call toll-free 1-800-544-5248, or visit the ScholarShare Facebook [link to www.facebook.com/scholarshare529] and Twitter [link to www.twitter.com/scholarshare529] pages.

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Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in the ScholarShare College Savings Plan. Visit ScholarShare.com, or call the Plan, for a Disclosure Booklet containing this and other information.  Read it carefully. Before investing in a 529 plan, consider whether the state where you or your Beneficiary resides has a 529 plan that offers favorable state tax benefits that are available if you invest in that state’s 529 plan. The tax information contained herein is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties. Taxpayers should seek advice, based on their own particular circumstances, from an independent tax advisor. Investments in the Plan are neither insured nor guaranteed except for TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company’s guarantee to the ScholarShare College Savings Plan under the Funding Agreement for the Principal Plus Interest Portfolio, and there is a risk of investment loss. Account values will fluctuate based on a number of factors, including general market conditions. TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., Program Manager

California GEAR UP Statement on Sequestration

For Immediate Release

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March 6, 2013 (Sacramento, CA) – As of Friday, March 1, 2013, sequestration went into effect.  On a national level, GEAR UP will be forced to take a 5.3 percent reduction.  On a state level, California GEAR UP is prepared to manage the implications of a mandated reduction with the least amount of impact on the schools and large communities served by the program.  For further information on the impact to the GEAR UP program nationally, please visit www.ed.gov and http:///www.edpartnerships.org.

Education Trust Awards:

The 5,370 Education Trust Award recipients should be relieved to learn that no reduction will occur in your award level. All Education Trust Awards to date have been fully funded.  Education Trust Awards provide $2,000 in resources to defray the costs of college attendance. The awards are available to students within one year of high school graduation and upon college enrollment.

The goal of California GEAR UP is to provide a network of support for schools towards implementing long-term, sustainable strategies to create a college-going culture.  We look forward to their continued growth and success as we collaborate to achieve this common purpose, regardless of the adversity presented by the current federal budget crisis.

Since 1999, California GEAR UP has impacted:

  • 256 California Middle Schools
  • 440,000 California Middle School Students
  • 51,000 Families
  • 2,100 Middle School Teachers
  • 5,370 Education Trust Awards

“GEAR UP is an efficient program in local communities designed to increase the number of low-income and first-generation students prepared to enroll and succeed in college. Our economic prosperity and global competiveness is at stake when we put programs like GEAR UP at risk. We urge our leaders to consider the impact on low-income middle and high school students to enter and succeed academically when funding for effective programs, such as GEAR UP, is decreased.”   –Penny Edgert, Executive Director California Education Round Table Intersegmental Coordinating Committee.

If you have questions regarding California GEAR UP and the effects of sequestration, please contact Sean Brennan, Communications Manager: sean.brennan@ucop.edu, 415-948-9262.

Sincerely,

Penny Edgert,  Principal Investigator, California GEAR UP