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Torlakson Leads ‘Strong Schools for a Strong Economy’ Tour

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson launched a month-long statewide tour today highlighting innovative career technical programs that help prepare students for jobs in the 21st-century economy. Partnering with California School Boards Association (CSBA) President Jill Wynns along with teachers, parents, administrators, and school employees, Torlakson said the “Strong Schools for a Strong Economy” effort would underscore the link between California’s education system and the future of its economy. “Despite cuts of more than $20 billion over the last few years, schools across California are doing more than ever to connect students to careers and the modern world of …

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Math and English Scores Increase 9th Straight Year

PASADENA—The 2012 Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) test results marked the ninth straight year California students improved their performance on annual statewide mathematics and English-language arts exams, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced. Approximately 4.7 million students participated in the 2012 STAR program, with 57 percent scoring proficient or above in English-language arts and 51 percent scoring at proficient or above in mathematics, the highest percentage since the tests were fully aligned in 2003 to California’s content standards, which describe what students should know for each grade and subject tested. “In less than a decade, California has gone …

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California High School Exit Exam Results Shows Growth

95 percent of Students Meet Graduation Requirement LOS ANGELES—The percentage of students from the Class of 2012 meeting the California High School Exit Examination graduation requirement increased slightly over last year to 95 percent, marking the sixth straight year of improving performance, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today.  “When 95 percent of California students are hitting the mark — despite the tremendous challenges we face and the work we still have to do — there’s an awful lot going right in our public schools,” Torlakson said. “I congratulate the students who succeeded on this test, the teachers …

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Torlakson Reports Climb in Graduation Rates for California

SACRAMENTO—High school graduation rates are up across California and dropout numbers are down, state education officials said Wednesday. The biggest gains being made among English learners and the state’s largest minority groups, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today. The new numbers represent the most accurate picture of how many state students are making it through school to graduation day. More than three quarters, or 76.3 percent, of students who started high school in 2007 graduated with their class in 2011. That is up 1.5 percentage points from the 2010 graduation rate. Larger gains were seen among Hispanic and African American students at 2.2 …

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Top Ten Ways to Appreciate Teachers

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson urged all Californians to find ways to appreciate teachers during May 6-12, designated as National Teacher Appreciation Week. “Teaching is the most important job there is,” Torlakson said. “Ask just about anyone about the person who made the biggest difference in their life, chances are that person is a teacher. Let’s all take a moment this week to say `thank you’ to California’s teachers.” Here’s Torlakson’s top 10 list. For students: 1.     Thank your teacher for all of his or her hard work. 2.     Do your best on homework and in-class assignments. 3.     Behave in class, …

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Torlakson Announces New Family Engagement Framework

  SACRAMENTO—Sharing the vision of California GEAR UP in the vital importance of parent involvement in the success of students, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today released a new, free publication, Family Engagement Framework, a Tool for California School Districts, to help school districts engage families in their children’s education. “Parents are every child’s first teachers,” Torlakson said. “The good news is you don’t need an advanced degree to help your child succeed at school. It’s the little things that make a big difference—reading at home, talking with your child about school, and setting high expectations. Our Family Engagement Framework provides practical …

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Torlakson: Task Force to Expand Use of Classroom Technology

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced the creation of the Education Technology Task Force to recommend how to bring 21st century tools into California’s classrooms to improve teaching and learning. In creating the 48-member Task Force, Torlakson said he recognized the severe financial limitations currently facing schools, but was establishing the group now so that a plan for making better use of technology would be ready when more resources were available. “Technology is changing nearly every aspect of our lives. But in California—home to Silicon Valley and the world’s leading technology companies—many schools have been all but …

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