In this data-driven age, a new report questions why states don't compare various pieces of information - like teacher training and Kindergarten success - to find out what's working in early childhood education.
The Early Childhood Data Collaborative, which includes U.C. Berkeley, National Conference of State Legislatures and non-profit groups like Child Trends, said most states cannot provide an overall snapshot answer because “data on young children are housed in multiple, uncoordinated systems, managed by different state and federal agencies.”
“State leaders will have a difficult time understanding [and] answering questions about how many children are being served in high-quality early learning programs and whether they enter school ready" unless they connect those dots said Carlise King, Executive Director of the Early Childhood Data Collaborative.
Photo courtesy CSU Dominguez Hills
A look at each freshman class each year at the California State University system in the last decade reveals a paradox in academic achievement: all the students have met CSU's class and grade requirements to gain acceptance yet every year a significant portion test unable to do college level math and English work.
It's called remediation and it exists - to varying degrees - at all 23 Cal State campuses. It's now caught the attention of more Sacramento officials.
What's behind California's high remediation rates?
According to the most recent numbers, one in three freshmen entering the California State University system in fall of 2012 failed the math test that measures whether they're ready for college work. About the same proportion failed the English test.
To help them catch up, Cal State spends about $30 million every year on remediation courses.
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In this file photo, Omarosa Manigault speaks onstage at the "All Star Celebrity Apprentice" breakfast session of the 2013 Winter TCA Tour - Day 3 at the Langham Hotel in January 2013 in Pasadena, Calif. Manigault has filed papers with the L.A. City Clerk's office to run for the open school board seat left by the late Marguerite LaMotte.
A 10th candidate has joined the race for an open seat on the Los Angeles Unified school board: Omarosa Manigault, best known for her role as a contestant on the first season of Donald Trump's "The Apprentice."
In her filing with the Los Angeles City Clerk, Manigault describes herself as a teacher and children's advocate.
Manigault said she has a special education substitute teacher credential and has been called twice by L.A. Unified to teach but her schedule hasn’t allowed her to work in the classroom.
“I am running because I am passionate about making sure that every student has a high quality public education,” Manigault told KPCC> “I believe that education is a civil right. I've taught for Howard University, I'm currently an executive education professor there, I am the director of education and curriculum for the LA Clippers Youth camp, have been an arduous ambassador for St Jude's Children's Hospital.”
It was a moment of soul-searching, Tonia McMillian said. Downsizing at the healthcare company she'd worked for cost her her job. That left her with a big question: what did she really want to do with her life?
Her answer: “I've got to do something about this tugging at my heart to work with children."
McMillian, a new mother, enrolled in child development classes at nearby Long Beach City College, earned her Associates Degree, and got licensed by the State of California to open a family child care business in her Bellflower home. She called it “Kiddies Depot.”
McMillian - now in the 21st year of running her child care business - is one of about 32,000 licensed family home child care providers statewide.
They are independent contractors and many receive subsidies to serve low-income families. The funding is a blend of state and federal funds - but McMillan and other providers are paid through third-party child care agencies. And that's where it gets complicated.
Facebook/Repairs not iPads
The staff behind the social media campaign to shame the Los Angeles Unified School District into repairing tattered and infested campuses won a first victory.
After every local media outlet - and some national ones - reported on the "repairs not iPads" Facebook group, a school board committee overseeing facilities scheduled a discussion on campus repairs for its Thursday meeting.
“It’s very difficult to get the school board’s attention," said Matthew Kogan, an L.A. Unified teacher who created the Facebook group. "I’ve waited many hours sometimes to speak for three minutes.”
KPCC first reported on the group's photos of busted toilets and dead mice February 4th. At the time, the group had about 70 members. As other news organizations picked up the story over the next few days, it ballooned to over 3,000 members.