eduCAtion insider: Your Inside Connection to CA Education News
Published by Leader Services Logo Tuesday, November 15, 2011

CA names top teachers

Source: CA Department of Education

Red apple A+California’s five 2012 Teachers of the Year were announced Nov. 7 by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

"This honor is afforded to teachers who have demonstrated a special ability to connect with their students, a zest for the classroom, a genuine passion for an occupation that is so demanding yet oh so rewarding, as these five talented individuals will attest," Torlakson said in a CA Department of Education press release.

The following teachers were recognized: Rebecca Mieliwocki, Florence Avognon, Tom Collett, Shari Ann Herout, and Ken LaVigne.

The California Teachers of the Year Program, formed in 1972, is open to those who teach prekindergarten through 12th grade.


California gets ‘F’ in public education

Source: NBC LA

sad girl with failing report cardCA public schools rank near the bottom in math and reading, according to results from 2011 test scores compiled by the National Assessment of Education Progress; only Louisiana and Mississippi rank lower.

As examples, among fourth grade math scores, California came in 44th; among eighth grade scores, California is tied for 46th. And in reading, CA ranks 47th in fourth-grade scores, and is tied for 48th place in eight-grade scores.

Some speculate the low test scores can be attributed to the low number of required attendance days compared to other states, as well as its low per capita spending on public education and high ratio of teachers to students.


Charter schools continue to experience growth

Source: EdSource

Hands holding a sprouting plantThe number of charter schools in California has reached nearly 1,000, thanks to the recent opening of 100 new charter schools this fall.

According to the California Department of Education, the growth of charter schools in recent years is due partly to the influx of private philanthropic dollars and a number of state and federal funding programs designated for start-up charters.

Los Angeles County saw the largest number of new charters; nearly one third of the schools were granted charters there as part of an effort to give parents greater public school choice in the district.


Childhood obesity rates drop slightly; more work to be done

Source: SF Gate

The number of students in CA who are overweight is beginning to drop, but it's too early to declare victory over childhood obesity, according to a report by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy.

Thirty-eight percent of public schoolchildren in fifth, seventh and ninth grades were classified as overweight or obese in 2010 – a decrease of only 1.1 percent from 2005.

And in most counties, childhood obesity continues to rise, sometimes sharply. Still, there's hope that the report is an indication that the state's efforts to curb the problem are taking hold.


In this issue...

A word from Leader Services

Leader Reminders

The second quarter MAA time-study period is Nov. 14-18.

The following reports are due by Nov. 30:

  1. The 2011-2012 annual report and the Participation Provider Agreement (PPA).
    If the document is not completed and submitted by the due date, your LEA cannot participate in the program the following school year.
    You will receive an acknowledgment letter after your documents have been received; you must keep the letter in your records for auditing purposes. Also, please forward a copy to your Leader Account Manager.
  2. The 2009-2010 Cost and Reimbursement Comparison Schedule (CRCS) report.

Visit us at the CSBA show
Be sure to stop by Leader booth #317 at the CSBA show in San Diego Dec. 1-2, where you can learn more about the school-based Medi-Cal programs, and register to win a Vizio™ 42-inch LCD flat-screen HDTV! Hope to see you there!


New transitional kindergarten grade to be introduced

Source:Huff Post Education

California wants to add transitional kindergarten as a grade so that children who are not yet five-years-old by September will not officially enter kindergarten. The new grade will be implemented for the 2012-2013 school year.

The move stems from the belief that students who are not five-years-old by September don’t always have the maturity to succeed in kindergarten. Schools that have tested the new grade have been pleased with the results.



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