EdSource

A Guide to the Local Control Funding Formula

(repost from EdSource) The Local Control Funding Formula replaces California’s nearly half-century-old, state-controlled school finance system with one that promises more local control as well as greater transparency and fairness. Under the old system, school districts received approximately two-thirds of their revenues as general-purpose funding based on complex historical formulas (known as “revenue limit” funds), and about one-third through nearly four dozen highly regulated “categorical programs,” such as for summer school, textbooks, staff development, gifted and talented students, and counselors for middle and high schools. Under the new system, districts will receive a uniform base grant for every district, adjusted …

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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 …

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EdSource Symposium Reveals Financial Stress on Schools

Anaheim, CA–EdSource, a nonprofit that aims to make discussions of complex education policy issues accessible and participatory, hosted a symposium today in partnership with the California State Parent Teacher Association to evaluate the effects of the recession on education, on both the state budget and young students’ lives. California’s highly regarded Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor lead off the discussion with the latest developments on the state budget and its effect on schools. Leading researchers identified emerging data showing the impact of the economic crisis (including housing foreclosures and unemployment) on school performance. A panel of representatives from school districts and nonprofit organizations described innovative school …

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EdSource Announces Free Middle Grades Action Kit

It is only in the last decade that educators finally have access to high-quality, large-scale studies of what works and what doesn’t work to improve student outcomes is the middle grades. Particularly powerful was the monumental 2010 “Gaining Ground” study by EdSource, Michael Kirst, and the American Institutes for Research. Here at California GEAR UP we have successfully focused on middle grades for over 12 years with amazing results. It is research and tools like this EdSource kit that continues to support our work throughout California. The “Gaining Ground” report is the largest study of its kind. EdSource and Stanford University …

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Gaining Ground in Middle Grades: Why Some Schools Do Better

A new middle grades report from EdSource provided further affirmation of the capacity building efforts of California GEAR UP. What is particularly interesting for GEAR UP schools is the findings suggest schools who have high functioning Leadership Teams that focus the school community on a shared “future oriented” mission are far better off. Gaining Ground in the Middle Grades: Why Some Schools Do Better, is based on surveys from 303 principals, 3,752 English language arts (ELA) and math teachers in grades 6-8, and 157 superintendents in California. Educator responses were analyzed against spring 2009 scores on California’s standards-based tests in …

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