Why an 1852 Speech by Frederick Douglass Should Be Taught to Students Today

By Valerie Strauss, Washington Post - Rep: July 15, 2019

“What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” That’s the revelatory title of a speech that black statesman and abolitionist Frederick Douglass delivered July 5, 1852, in Rochester, N.Y.

It is an oration that students should learn along with the history of how the Continental Congress, meeting July 2, 1776, in Philadelphia, declared independence from Britain and then on July 4 approved the document stating the reasons for the action.

Douglass delivered the speech in Corinthian Hall to white members of the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society. He expressed respect for the country’s Founding Fathers, calling them “brave” and “truly great.” He compared the way they were treated by the British before independence to the treatment of slaves and urged them to view slaves as Americans...

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The Rigor of a High School Diploma Is at Risk

By Sonali Mirpuri and Laura Jimenez - Rep: June 3, 2019

A high school diploma should be a crucial step on the path to social and economic mobility, documenting that students are prepared for life after high school. Unfortunately, far too many high school students aren’t fully prepared or equipped for success upon graduation. In fact, in 2013, only 8 percent of high school graduates completed a full college- and career-preparatory curriculum. This staggering statistic reveals a deep problem in secondary education: What is taught in schools does not reflect what students need to be eligible for postsecondary education.

In order to remedy this college and career readiness problem, states should ensure that a high school diploma requires all students to take rigorous courses that are aligned with postsecondary institutions’ eligibility requirements. However, a 2018 report by the Center for American Progress found that most states do not meet this threshold...

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Obesity is Rising Among Children, and Needs a More Aggressive Multi-Pronged Approach

By Dr. Angira Patel - Rep: December 4, 2017

The American Health Association (AHA) recently held their annual scientific meeting where leaders and scholars in cardiology shared their knowledge and discussed how to tackle future cardiovascular health problems for both adults and children.

Important on the agenda was how close or not close they are to the AHA 2020 goal to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent.

In the meantime, a recent report by WalletHub quantified the fattest citiesin America. It is common and true stereotype that 37 percent of the American adult population is obese...

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“The Enormous Downside Risk of Trump is the Most Compelling Reason for Us to Act…”

By Marshall Tuck - September 26, 2016

I wanted to share my thoughts on the upcoming Presidential election with my friends and colleagues.  I usually focus on education related topics with the people on this email list but given what I believe is at stake in the upcoming Presidential election, I thought it was appropriate to send you my thoughts on the election.

But before that, a quick update on the personal front. All is good in the Tuck household and we are grateful to be happy and healthy. Mason recently started Kindergarten at Beethoven Elementary and so far, he appears to be enjoying it – tough to completely tell with a 5-year-old :). Mae likes her new job as the VP of Marketing at SnackNation, which is an LA based start-up that delivers healthy snacks to offices on a monthly basis...

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Educational Leaders and the “Acknowledgment Gap”

By Dr. Kenneth Magdaleno - January 10, 2013

Meeting the needs of all students by addressing academic needs only is like “planting seeds on concrete,” so indicated the assistant superintendent of a local Central Valley school district as he spoke to my Fresno State class in the fall of 2011. This comment served to solidify that which I have been teaching in my classes for the last seven years in the Educational Leadership and Research department at California State University, Fresno. Although many see the achievement gap as the major dilemma in schools today; it is in fact my premise that it is the “acknowledgement” gap which precedes the presence of the achievement gap and threatens today’s educational system. Failure to “acknowledge” and act upon the reality that issues of race, ethnicity, class, and culture affect student learning and workforce attitudes is indeed a gap that must be dealt with...

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Report Finds Many Community College Students Struggling to Pass Math Courses Needed for Degree

By Dan Fost, EdSource - March 1, 2012

Large numbers of community college students are struggling to pass the college-level math classes they need to complete a degree or transfer to a four-year institution, with long-term implications for their futures.

Success in these more advanced courses represents a continuing challenge for the 112-campus California Community College system. Although results in individual colleges vary, completion rates across the system have remained virtually unchanged during the past two decades.

According to an EdSource analysis released this month, in the fall of 2010, 45 percent of students taking college-level math courses at California’s 112 community colleges received a failing grade below a “C” or dropped the class before the end of term...

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A Tale of Three Districts with Very Different Economies, Demographics and Education Programs

By Virginia “Ginni” Davis - August 25, 2011

My career in public education recently concluded after serving as Associate Superintendent in three very different districts.

One district is in a small Sacramento valley town surrounded by farm fields, with a high percentage of Latino students and families with commuting parents.

Another district is in a middle- sized town that grew up around a public university and is close to the State capital with a majority of educated, middle income families.

The third school district is in the center of Silicon Valley with a high-profile private university, a majority of Asian students and high income families...

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School Master Schedule, Access to Counselors, Linked Learning Can Impact College Readiness

By Fal Asrani, Ed.D. - August 18, 2011
(Part Two of Two)

The Ed-Trust-West report finds:

Grading Practices: School-level grading practices have a major impact on students’ ability to achieve UC/CSU eligibility. One D or F grade in a single course can prevent a student from completing the A-G sequence. Our partner districts displayed a broad variation in grading practices, with few standards in place for how teachers assign grades. Further, we consistently found insufficient opportunities to remediate D grades in order to maintain A-G eligibility.

Principals confirm that the high numbers of D/F grades in their schools raise high levels of concern, but as per the California Education Code(1) a teacher’s grade can only be questioned when and if inconsistencies are noted. Issues around student apathy in school and a disconnect leading to drop-outs have been directly related to failure rates and Reeves research around low performing schools confirms that existing grading practices directly contribute to this issue...

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School Master Schedule, Access to Counselors, Linked Learning Can Impact College Readiness

By Fal Asrani, Ed.D. - August 11, 2011
(Part One of Two Parts)

This report has addressed the great chasm that exists between college readiness and high school graduation requirements, because even though many districts offer A-G approved courses, they have not ensured that A-G guidelines parallel the district’s graduation requirements.

Parents sometimes express confusion about how completing A-G courses does not automatically translate into UC/CSU admissions track. Simply put, school districts prioritize increased graduation rates and decreased drop-out rates and continue to grapple with the four-year college track as an ongoing philosophical argument.

The argument stems from the conflicts around whether all students should be prepared for four-year colleges...

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New California Curriculum Standards, Coming Soon to a School Near You (and Don't Mind the Elephant)

By Gavin Payne - April 28, 2011

Much has been made about a new generation of tests being developed by two consortia of states under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Both consortia promise tests that delve more deeply and broadly into students’ mastery of skills and knowledge than ever before. These new tests will be built upon marvelous new standards that have been adopted by over 40 states.

While the excitement for these new assessments is palpable, the hard work of weaving the new standards into the fabric of classroom learning is beginning to take place in districts across California.

And it couldn’t be happening at a worse time...

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