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Tuesday, December 03, 2019


OCDE Alternative Education looks to deepen connections with local families
As a principal in OCDE’s Alternative Education division, Vern Burton sees the bigger picture in his work. “I really think our program can be instrumental in helping to transform communities, and that starts with investing in people, our parents and students, and building those relationships,” he says. “Our schools have the potential to be a cornerstone of the community.” To that end, Burton, who oversees Area 3 of OCDE’s Alternative, Community and Correctional Education Schools and Services program, or ACCESS, recently invited parents and students over to enjoy some coffee, donuts and other goodies — and to discuss their educational trajectories.


Two arrested in investigation of possible threat to Estancia High School, Costa Mesa police say
Two people have been arrested after a potential threat to Estancia High School was posted to social media, according to authorities. A man and a girl have been taken into custody, the Costa Mesa Police Department said Tuesday morning. Their names have not been released, but the man is 18 and the girl is a student at Estancia, according to department spokeswoman Roxi Fyad. “In light of these arrests, there is no credible threat to Estancia High School,” the department wrote on Twitter.


Oakland students’ tales of witches and bullies inspired by writing program
Bryan Palacios, 11, poked at the keyboard, letters stringing into words, then sentences, as he hatched his story about five friends with orb-fueled superpowers. “I like I get to choose everything that happens,” Bryan said as he snacked on chips while working on the story during his school lunch break. Unlike many first-time authors, Bryan already knows his first book will be professionally illustrated, published and sold. That’s the deal he made when he signed up to write an entire book in one month, with the help of Chapter 510 & The Dept. of Make Believe, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Oakland K-12 students improve their writing skills and find joy in putting thoughts on paper.


‘It Just Isn’t Working’: Test Scores Cast Doubt on U.S. Education Efforts
An international exam shows that American 15-year-olds are stagnant in reading and math even though the country has spent billions to close gaps with the rest of the world. The performance of American teenagers in reading and math has been stagnant since 2000, according to the latest results of a rigorous international exam, despite a decades-long effort to raise standards and help students compete with peers across the globe. And the achievement gap in reading between high and low performers is widening. Although the top quarter of American students have improved their performance on the exam since 2012, the bottom 10th percentile lost ground, according to an analysis by the National Center for Education Statistics, a federal agency.


Multiple school transfers contribute to high absenteeism among foster students
As many California foster students struggle to succeed academically, they face multiple obstacles just getting to school. Foster students miss the most school days of any group of students in the state. But school districts and county agencies are trying to improve attendance by eliminating transportation barriers and ensuring that students don’t change schools too frequently, among other efforts.

U.S. math scores remain flat on international test of 15-year-olds
Despite recent instructional reforms, American students continue to struggle with math, according to the latest results of one of the most watched international assessments. U.S. math scores have not budged significantly since 2003 on the Program for International Student Assessment and the country ranks 31st among 77 education systems worldwide, according to a report on the fall 2018 results released Tuesday by the National Center for Education Statistics, which is part of the U.S. Department of Education.


The Value of Perspective
Laguna Beach High School teacher Mindy Hawkins and her husband have taken more than 380 high school students on service and adventure expeditions to Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Kenya, Tanzania, Nepal, Dominican Republic and Ecuador since 2009. Many of the students are from Laguna Beach, but some are siblings, cousins or social media friends from all over the United States.


The future of sex ed has arrived. Is America ready?
Even in liberal California, families are pushing back against lessons on gender identity. The battles could be a blueprint for the rest of the country. What’s happening in California is a version of a conflict that’s likely to ramp up around the country in coming years. What some parents and conservative groups call “indoctrination,” sex education advocates call changing the world: teaching students to respect each other’s identities and autonomy in ways they hope will lead to less sexual assault, harassment, and homophobia in society at large.

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