So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

Embattled bill on teacher evaluation dies

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State lawmakers failed to revive a controversial measure that would rewrite state rules on teacher evaluations, but supporters vowed to bring it up again in the next legislative session.

State lawmakers failed to revive a controversial measure that would rewrite state rules on teacher evaluations, but supporters vowed to bring it up again in the next legislative session.

The Los Angeles Times reports the long-dormant bill, AB 5, was resurrected in recent weeks by Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes (D-Sylmar). It would institute a statewide uniform teacher evaluation system featuring more performance reviews, classroom observations, training of evaluators and public input into the review process.

Education advocates slammed the bill, especially the costs to financially strapped districts and the requirement to negotiate with unions on every element of evaluations.

Fuentes said there was not enough time for a public hearing on the last-minute changes proposed to address the concerns.

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California test scores: LA Unified, state schools gain in English, math*

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California education officials released standardized test scores Friday that showed overall statewide gains in English, math.

Schools statewide made overall gains on the annual standardized test results released Friday, doing more with less, as California has continued to slash education funding, forcing program cuts and thousands of teacher layoffs.

You can find out how your school district did on KPCC's interactive graphic map.

At the Los Angeles Unified School District, the state's largest district and the second-largest in the nation, student performance in English-Language Arts improved by 4 percentage points from last year, with 48 percent proficient or better. In math, that number went up 2 percentage points from last year to 45 percent.

Statewide, that trend was repeated with slightly smaller gains: Students taking the English-Language Arts test section improved 3 percentage points to 57 percent proficient or better. In math, that number grew by 1 percentage point to 51 percent.

"In less than a decade we've gone from having only about one student in three score as proficient or better to now having one student out of two,” said Paul Hefner, a spokesman for the California Department of Education. “That's nearly 900,000 more students reaching proficiency now than when we started this system back in 2003. Obviously, there's still work to do there, ... but a great deal of progress has been made.”

Scores ran the gamut in L.A County. (You can see the results on maps divided by district here.) La Canada Unified School District came in at the top with nearly 92 percent proficient or better in English-Language Arts and 87 percent in math. The district tied with San Marino Unified in math.

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California test scores: State to release results at 10 a.m.

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California education officials plan to release the annual standardized test scores at 10 a.m.

The California Department of Education plans to release its annual standardized test scores for school districts this morning.
 
The tests in English and math measure whether school districts meet state education standards. Students between the second and 11th grades take the exam.
 
California Department of Education spokesman Paul Hefner said the state aims for students to be at least proficient.
 
"They are our best benchmark that everyone or almost everyone in the school system up and down California participates in," Hefner said. "They’re our way to gauge what students know and can do over time."

The state's releasing this year's results a couple of weeks later than usual because of a security breach during testing. Students at a dozen schools, including some in LA County, posted questions online. The state Department of Education is investigating those results to make sure they’re valid.

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Measure to improve student success at California Community Colleges clears hurdle

Jack Scott, California Community Colleges

Tami Abdollah / KPCC

A measure to streamline the path to graduation, certification and transfers moves to the governor's desk for signature or veto. California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott has championed SB 1456.

California legislators voted overwhelmingly in favor of a measure Thursday that aims to streamline the path to student graduation, certification and transfers in the California Community Colleges.

The 36 to 1 concurrence vote in the state Senate means that SB 1456 now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown who has 30 days to sign or veto the measure. The bill, authored by Democratic state Sen. Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach, is one result of a year-long study by the 20-member Student Success Task Force. The group put together a 70-page plan that included 22 recommendations of reform. (The changes included in SB 1456 are the ones that require legislative changes, officials said.)

"We were very concerned about the fact that a lot of the students who got into community colleges, either they didn't get a certificate or degree, or didn't transfer," said system Chancellor Jack Scott. "And so we began to look at ways to ensure greater student success...This bill is a start of that."

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