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Community Colleges Celebrate Legislation Expanding High School Students’ Access to College Classes

On Nov. 4, California Community Colleges Board of Governors President Geoffrey L. Baum and Assembly Majority Leader Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) celebrated the signing of legislation that will expand high school students’ access to college level coursework, providing them with an early opportunity to acquire academic skills that will help them succeed in college. A ceremony was held at Pasadena City College to mark the occasion.

Holden’s Assembly Bill 288 will create partnerships between high schools and community colleges to allow a broader range of students to take college-level courses at their schools or on college campuses – what is known as concurrent or dual enrollment...

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Controller’s October Cash Report Shows Robust Income Tax Revenues

Driven by another strong month of personal income tax proceeds, state revenues in October beat estimates by $191.9 million, or 3.1 percent, State Controller Betty T. Yee reported on November 10.

Personal income tax revenues of $5.1 billion for the month exceeded projections in the state budget signed in July by $234.5 million, or 4.8 percent. That was more than enough to offset lower-than-expected collections from the states two other largest revenue sources, the retail sales and use tax and the corporation tax. Sales tax revenue of $935.0 million fell short of projections by $2.0 million, or 0.2 percent. The corporation tax missed estimates by $89.8 million, or 33.5 percent...

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Did the Common Core Assessments Cause the Decline in NAEP Scores?

When the NAEP scores were released last week, math achievement had fallen by 1.3 points in fourth grade and 2.4 points in eighth grade. It was the first time that math achievement had fallen in either fourth grade or eighth grade scores since 1990. Given the controversy surrounding the Common Core State Standards, and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), many commentators have been asking two questions:

  1. Did the states taking the PARCC or SBAC assessments underperform other states with similar prior achievement?

  2. Could PARCC/SBAC participation explain the decline?...

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Governance & Leadership


Human Resources


Operations & Technology


Teachers Unions File Brief in High-Stakes Case Going Before U.S. Supreme Court

The National Education Association and the California Teachers Association, together with a number of unions, today filed the union respondents’ brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a case backed by corporate special interests who are pushing their own agenda by asking the Court to overrule the sound law of Abood v. Detroit Board of Education.

In their brief, the unions argue that the rule established by Abood is constitutional and a common-sense principle that supports the rights of workers to come together, speak up and get ahead. Where employees have chosen to elect a union to represent them, employers have a strong interest in ensuring that all employees contribute their fair share of the costs of that representation...

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Study Finds Evaluations of Educator Effectiveness Rooted in State Policy, Examines Principal Evaluation Policy

On November 4, The National Council on Teacher Quality released State of the States 2015: Evaluating Teaching, Leading and Learning,” which provides a lay of the land on state teacher and principal evaluation policy in 2015. The report finds that more rigorous policies are continuing to take root across the states, with 43 states requiring that student achievement and growth be included in teacher evaluations; 35 of the 43 require it to be a significant factor.

The findings fly in the face of skeptics who suggest that student achievement based teacher evaluations are not grounded in state policy but driven instead by ESEA/No Child Left Behind waivers that states have obtained from the federal government since 2013...

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Toddlers Rely Heavily on Mobile Devices Even in Poor Families, Survey Finds

A small survey of an impoverished Philadelphia neighborhood finds startling penetration by and reliance on tablets and smartphones for young children, with the vast majority of households having both tablets and smartphones in the home and most 4-year-olds owning their own mobile device by the age of 4.

The survey, conducted at a pediatric clinic in a low-income urban area, suggests good news and bad news. The good news is that the income-based technological gap is not nearly as large as often supposed. The bad news is that children are left unsupervised for long periods of time.

Because of its limited scope, the survey is meant to point to further research...

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