Education Leadership

Honoring a Lifetime of GEAR UP Achievement

At the 2017 GEAR UP Capacity Building Workshop, California GEAR UP director Shelley Davis was presented with a lifetime achievement award. These are her remarks. As the director of the California State GEAR UP program over the past 17 years, I have had the distinct pleasure to learn from and support a wonderful team of professionals in service to thousands of educators, students, families, and communities throughout the state of California. Our work has been driven by a deep commitment to social justice and equity for ALL in the pursuit of academic success. This is clearly demonstrated by the testimonials …

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GEAR UP Government Relations Update

  (this updated provided in part by NCCEP in Washington DC) The last week has been incredibly busy on Capitol Hill. Congress passed a resolution to set the 2017 budget and decide funding levels for 2018-2026. This means that Congress wants to create a budget that won’t have to be approved by the Administration and help speed up the process of creating the budget. The primary target of budget discussions has been the Affordable Care Act and not education funding levels. With the election of President Trump, we’ve been working hard to shore up support for GEAR UP among our Congressional stakeholders, while …

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Data for the People Build Community Power

This repost is courtesy from Education Week. (Editor’s note: The announcement that Education Trust-West and a number of civil rights and community organizations were founding a data hub in San Bernardino County, struck me as an important opportunity to increase the capacity for community voice in the California Local Control Funding Formula process.  Here, Ryan Smith, the organization’s executive director, expands on the value of getting actionable information to the people.) By Ryan Smith Recently, during a policy briefing in the Central Valley, a community leader asked if she could comment by telling a story.  She spoke of a small …

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California GEAR UP Core Values

 California GEAR UP – Core Values  We are proud to share our Core Values: principles we have been cultivating and working on since 1999 and it was through the extraordinary organizational work of our teams that we have published them all in one guiding document. California GEAR UP is committed to the principles of social justice, equity, and community combined with passion for teaching, learning, and positive impact on students’ lives. Professional Standards • We are responsible and accountable to our schools, communities, stakeholders and funders to ensure sustainability of our goals and objectives. • We take a purposeful and professional …

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School Success Stories: Using Tech to Support Students

One of our amazing schools, Jefferson Middle School, has a story to tell. We caught up with Darlene Pope, teacher and GEAR UP Leadership Team Member, who shared with us some of the technology she uses in her class to support her students and stay in touch with families. Zoom video conferencing (and it gaining in popularity across many fields, not just education) is free up to 40 minutes, but I have a subscription. I meet every Wed evening in a virtual online face to face session with students and parents. I meet for an hour. I answer clarifying questions. I …

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ESSA: What’s at stake for California’s students?

From our Partners at The Education Trust West. In December President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), a bipartisan bill that for the first time in 14 years provides a new framework and requirements for states as they develop their own systems to hold schools and districts responsible for student learning and growth. California is in the midst of redesigning the way we hold schools and districts accountable and policymakers have some important decisions to make: Will we measure student progress through an aspirational accountability system or will we compare schools to a state average? Will …

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Becoming a Transformational School Leader

  (This repost is courtesy of The Edvocate) Though community-building takes time, its impact is long-lasting. In order to implement change in a school environment, creating a common vision is paramount. The biggest challenge for school leadership is handling different kinds of people, with various goals and interests. A school leader has to ensure that students are following curricula, excelling academically, and becoming outstanding members of society. In comparison, teachers’ are focused on meeting curricula deadlines and ensuring that students keep up with class work. The leader must confront student deviance , as well as teachers’ possible cynicism and lack …

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7 Myths About Cage Busting Leadership

From the Harvard Education Publishing Group, this is reposted as part of our series on Leadership and is written by Frederick Hess about his new book, Cage-Busting Leadership.  I’ve been on the road this spring, talking with educators, community leaders, advocates, policy makers, and foundation types about my new book, Cage-Busting Leadership. In doing so, I’ve been struck by some of the mythology that seems to shape what people think it means to be a cage-busting principal, superintendent, or school system official. The book argues that school, system, and state leaders can do much more than they often realize but tend to be …

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