The Education Trust-West works for the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-k through college.

ETW Press Releases

ETW Press Releases

Ed Trust–West Releases Fourth Annual Report Cards Grading the Largest Unified School Districts on Outcomes for Latino, African-American and Low-income Students

OAKLAND, CA (April 8, 2014) – Today, The Education Trust–West (ETW) releases its fourth annual District Report Cards, grading and ranking California’s largest unified districts on academic and college readiness outcomes for Latino, African-American, and low-income students.

 

New Analysis Finds FAFSA & Cal Grant Applications Rising; Too Many Students Across California Still Not Applying for Financial Aid

OAKLAND, CA (February 25, 2014) – An analysis of newly available FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and Cal Grant application data from the California Student Aid Commission released today by The Education Trust—West finds that while the number of California high school seniors who complete FAFSA and Cal Grant applications is up from last year, there are still too many students across the state who are not applying for financial aid.

The new data reveal that the number of high school seniors who completed FAFSA and Cal Grant applications rose from 2012 to 2013, from 54 percent to 61 percent for FAFSA and from 50 percent to 58 percent respectively. Still, the fact remains that nearly 170,000 12th graders (42%) from the class of 2013 did not complete a Cal Grant application. The new findings can be found in the latest “Equity Alert” brief from The Education Trust—West, titled, Doorways to College Aid, the follow up to last year’s full report, The Cost of Opportunity: Access to College Financial Aid in California. The brief also includes a list of the Top 100 high schools in California for FAFSA completion.

2014 Policy Agenda: Tectonic Shifts in California’s Education Landscape

Dear Friends,

The past several years have jolted California’s education system like never before. Seismic shifts in school finance, standards, curriculum, and instruction sent shockwaves through our state’s education policy landscape. Long-familiar landmarks in school finance, accountability, and assessment were replaced by a host of new initiatives, including the Local Control Funding Formula, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, Common Core State Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards.

The Education Trust—West Issues Response to Governor Brown’s January Budget Proposal

OAKLAND, CA (January 9, 2014) – Arun Ramanathan, on behalf of The Education Trust—West, issued the following statement in response to Governor Brown’s January budget proposal:

“The Governor’s budget represents a renewed commitment to California's future, its students and education system, while also learning from the difficult lessons of the last five years of budget crisis. We applaud the Governor for his investment of $10 billion in new spending for K-12 schools. We are also encouraged by his commitment to addressing the boom and bust budget cycles that have plagued California’s education system. The new influx in education funds will accelerate the implementation of Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), closing the gap toward full implementation by more than 28%. It will also raise the stakes for the implementation of the new model at the local level and the rules that will be passed by the State Board of Education on January 16th  that will guide local district and community planning and spending decisions. As the Legislature considers the Governor’s proposal, it should also assess how to ensure that this funding is used effectively at the local level to close the opportunity and achievement gaps that impact low income students, students of color and English Learners. It should also consider whether the additional funding is sufficient to not only fully jump start LCFF implementation, but also the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).”

CALIFORNIA’S NEW EDUCATION FUNDING FORMULA: What is it? Who benefits? What does it mean for students? How can I get involved?

In July 2013, California dramatically reformed the way we fund our schools. The new law, the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), replaces an outdated and unfair education funding system. In this guide, we provide parents and community leaders with the information they need to ensure that LCFF is not just about local control and flexibility, but also—and most importantly—about educational justice. 

To access this community guide and additional information about LCFF in multiple languages, go to the FairShare4Kids.org website. You will also find:

LCFF Explainer Videos;
District Funding Data Tool;
LCFF One-Page Overview (English, Spanish & Chinese);
LCFF Community PowerPoint Presentation;
Advocacy Letter Campaign Tool.

Statement & Analysis from The Education Trust–West on California’s 2013 NAEP Reading and Mathematics Results

OAKLAND, CA (November 7) -- Performance for California’s eighth grade students in reading and mathematics has improved since 2011, but fourth grade performance remains flat, according to data released today from the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The new data mark the tenth year where all states have participated in NAEP.

Scores for every group of students have been slowly improving over the last decade. Of particular note, California’s Latino students have gained 16 points in eighth-grade reading over the past 10 years, with a 7-point gain since the last assessment in 2011.

Unfortunately, California still ranks near the bottom in fourth-grade reading and math for students overall and for low-income and Latino students. In fact, California’s overall national rankings of 46th or 47th in fourth-grade reading and math have not budged since the assessment was last given in 2011.

Even more troubling, stubborn achievement gaps persist. While the gaps between Latino and African-American students and their white peers and the gaps between low-income and higher income students have slightly narrowed over the last decade, there are still yawning divides between these groups of students. For example, in eighth-grade math, only 11 percent of African-American students and 15 percent of Latino students are proficient, while 42 percent of white students are proficient.

Statewide and Grassroots Organizations Across California Launch FairShare4Kids Campaign to Make Sure Funding Benefits High-Need Students in their Schools and Classrooms

OAKLAND, CA (November 5, 2013) – Days before the California State Board of Education begins its review of proposed regulations for how school districts can use billions of dollars in funding for low-income students, English Language Learners and foster youth, organizations from across California are launching the FairShare4Kids Campaign (FairShare4Kids.org). Coalition members including Alliance for a Better Community, Alliance San Diego, Californians for Justice, Community Coalition, Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement, The Education Trust—West, Families in Schools, Great Oakland Public Schools Leadership Center, National Center for Youth Law, Reading and Beyond, Students for Education Reform, and United Way Los Angeles are committed to working together to make sure that Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) lives up to its promise and provides additional resources to low-income students, English Learners and foster youth.

National and State Organizations Respond to Elimination of Public Transparency on Student Academic Performance by CA Leaders

OAKLAND, CA (October 29, 2013) – As national and state organizations advocating on behalf of parents, teachers, students and communities, we believe that California’s leaders are violating the rights of parents and educators to receive critical information on the academic progress of more than four million students. Governor Brown’s signing of Assembly Bill 484 into law represents a dramatic step backward in public transparency for student academic results. It is also a clear violation of important federal protections for our most vulnerable student populations, including our state’s approximately 1.3 million English Learners and 650,000 students with disabilities. We believe that the Obama administration’s response to AB 484 is an important first step in protecting the rights of students and parents.  

As a result of AB 484, parents, students and educators will not receive any objective information on their children’s grade-level performance in English Language Arts and Mathematics for an indeterminate length of time. Parents and teachers of English Learners and students with disabilities will lose vital information necessary to assess English proficiency and progress in the general education curriculum. Teachers will lose critical information on student academic progress in transition grades such as third grade. Furthermore, AB 484 jeopardizes the ability of parents to ensure that their children have access to the fundamental right of a basic education and equitable opportunity to learn guaranteed by the California Constitution.

Ed Trust-West Response to Proposed Effort to Limit Public Transparency on Student Academic Outcomes

OAKLAND, CA (September 9, 2013) – The Education Trust-West issued the following statement in response to AB 484 and State Board request for a federal waiver:

“The Education Trust-West strongly opposes the effort to suspend all public transparency on student, school and district performance in math, English language arts and other academic subjects proposed by the California State Board of Education, the Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and Assemblymember Susan Bonilla.  

Remarks Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director, The Education Trust-West Remarks at California State Assembly Informational Briefing and Rally Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom


SACRAMENTO, CA (August 28, 2012) - It is truly a privilege to be here and I want to thank Assemblywoman Weber for her leadership in commemorating the
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The struggle against racial segregation that led to Brown v. Board and the March on Washington opened the doors of our public schools to many other marginalized and disenfranchised groups of students.  

Student Achievement in California: Ed Trust-West Statement on 2013 STAR Data

OAKLAND, CA (August 8, 2013) – The Education Trust—West issued the following statement in response to the release of the 2013 Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) results by the California Department of Education (CDE) today:

“The results of the 2013 Standardized Testing and Reporting Program (STAR) were released today and show that California students’ progress is stagnant across grades and subjects and has even declined slightly in certain areas. Unfortunately, the percentage of students scoring at or above proficient decreased slightly in English-language arts and mathematics from 2012 to 2013. In addition to this lack of progress, we are disheartened by the stubborn gaps that continue to separate economically disadvantaged, Latino, and African-American students from their more advantaged and white peers. The achievement gap between economically disadvantaged students and their more advantaged peers remains persistent. In English-language arts, 44 percent of students qualifying for free- or reduced-price meals were proficient compared to 74 percent of middle- and high-income students. In mathematics, the gap that has existed for the past ten years between low-income students and their more advantaged peers did not change from 2012 to 2013. Specifically, low-income students demonstrated no progress, and the percent of English learners scoring proficient decreased by 1 point.

ETW’s New Practice Brief Offers Guidelines to Support Equitable Common Core Implementation Efforts

Dear Friends and Supporters:

With Governor Brown’s announcement of an unprecedented $1.25 billion dollars to accelerate Common Core implementation, the Education Trust—West releases a new brief, The One Billion Dollar Question: How Can Districts and Schools Equitably Implement the Common Core? The brief is designed to be an easy-to-use primer for district, charter, county, and community leaders to assess local Common Core implementation efforts based on best practices nationally and in California.

The Common Core State Standards are comprised of rigorous academic standards which can, when implemented with sufficient supports, help us close persistent achievement gaps. All students must have access to the deeper learning expectations and experiences called out in the new standards. However, many students—English learners, students with learning disabilities and students struggling academically—require targeted supports to ensure their success.

New Analyses Examine State Track Records in Performance and Improvement

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 9, 2013) — Common Core standards have the potential to dramatically raise the rigor of instruction – and the level of achievement – in schools across the country. But these standards will also demand more of our students and teachers than ever before. While there is much work to be done in all states to lift all students to the college- and career-ready level, a new analysis shows that the stretch is far bigger in some states than in others.
 
A new report by The Education Trust, Uneven at the Start: Differences in State Track Records Foreshadow Challenges and Opportunities for Common Core, uses data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress – the best available proxy for how states will fare on new college- and career-ready standards – to look at state track records in improvement and achievement and ask how slow or fast states moved in the last decade, compared to the nation as a whole. To get at how even the challenge is, the analysis looks both at patterns for all students in all states, and at patterns among the students who constitute America’s “new majority”: low-income students and students of color.

The Education Trust–West Responds to Budget Compromise

OAKLAND, CA (June 13, 2013) – Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director of the Education Trust—West, issued the following statement in response to the budget compromise:  

“ETW congratulates Governor Jerry Brown, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, and Speaker of the Assembly John A. Pérez  for their historic agreement to transform our state’s education finance system. Governor Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) will close longstanding funding gaps between rich and poor districts and direct additional funding to low-income students, English Learners, and foster youth.  We applaud the Governor and legislative leaders for retaining the concentration grant for students in our highest poverty districts and for moving forward with immediate implementation of the new funding formula. We are similarly encouraged by the massive new state investment in implementing the Common Core State Standards. We urge the legislature to approve LCFF and the funding for Common Core implementation.

The Future of Science Education in California: The Promise of the Next Generation of Science Standards for Students and Communities

With demand for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) jobs to exceed 1 million by 2018, California needs to prepare more students in STEM fields now if it is to keep the state globally competitive. In particular, California must prepare its low-income, Latino, African-American, and English learner students to successfully access and master rigorous science standards. These students constitute the majority of the state’s population yet have historically had inadequate access to rigorous coursework and instruction.

The Education Trust–West Responds to Governor Brown’s May Budget Revision

OAKLAND, CA (May 14, 2013) – Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director of The Education Trust—West, issued the following statement in response to Governor Brown’s May budget revision:


“The Education Trust—West applauds Governor Brown for his May budget revision. We are pleased that the Governor remains committed to his Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) proposal that would transform California’s antiquated and inequitable education finance system to a system based on student need.  We also applaud the Governor for providing additional funding to school districts to support the immediate implementation of the Common Core State Standards. We believe that this investment is in alignment with the Local Control Funding Formula and has the potential to transform teaching and learning in our schools and classrooms. We are similarly pleased that the Governor has strengthened his LCFF proposal to increase fiscal transparency and help ensure that supplementary and concentration funding benefits low-income students and English Learners. We commend Governor Brown for his commitment to educational equity and encourage the Legislature to support LCFF.”

 

Community Groups Across California Form Fair Share 4 Kids Campaign to Support Equitable School Funding; Support Governor Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula

OAKLAND, CA (May 6, 2013) – Community groups from across California have come together today to launch the Fair Share 4 Kids Campaign (FairShare4Kids.org) to push for equitable school funding based on student need. The coalition, which includes Alliance for a Better Community (ABC), Alliance San Diego, Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network (PLAN), Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth, El Centro de Acción Social, The Education Trust—West, Public Advocates, Reading and Beyond, Students for Education Reform (SFER), and Youth Together, is currently working in support of Governor Brown’s plan for a new school finance formula, called the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).

“For far too long, we have failed to adequately fund our schools and to fund students based on their needs,” said Luis Santana, Executive Director of Reading and Beyond, located in Fresno. “Governor Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula plan will fix California’s school funding system by increasing funding for all districts, closing gaps between rich and poor districts and supporting students with the greatest needs.”

Ed Trust–West Releases Third Annual Report Cards Grading the 148 Largest Unified Districts on Outcomes for Latino, African-American, and Low-income Students

OAKLAND, CA (April 3, 2013) – Today, The Education Trust–West (ETW) releases its third annual District Report Cards (http://reportcards.edtrustwest.org/), grading and ranking California’s largest unified districts on outcomes for Latino, African-American, and low-income students. Once again, this year’s report cards reveal higher poverty districts that are consistently achieving strong academic results, and graduating high numbers of college-eligible Latino, African-American, and low-income students.   

“Just as students receive report cards that measure their performance and progress in school, ETW develops annual report cards that grade California school districts on how well they are educating their Latino, African-American, and low-income students,” said Lindsey Stuart, Data and Policy Analyst at The Education Trust–West.  

New Ed Trust–West Study Finds Promising Practices for Student Success in Linked Learning Schools; Reveals Implications for District-Level Implementation throughout California

OAKLAND, CA (March 21, 2013) – As the Linked Learning high school reform initiative expands across California, the results of a two-year study by the Education Trust–West identifies promising practices in Linked Learning schools and districts. However, the study also notes variation in districtwide implementation of these best practices. The results of the study can be found in the new report released today titled, Expanding Access, Creating Options: How Linked Learning Pathways Can Mitigate Barriers to College and Career Access in Schools and Districts.

“Too many students are not achieving college and career success in California,” said Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director of The Education Trust–West, a statewide education advocacy organization that works to close gaps in opportunity and achievement for students of color and low-income students. “Based on our research, we see that Linked Learning has the potential to reduce these inequities and offer students a real connection between academic and career success.” 

Ed Trust–West Analysis Finds Only Half of California Students Applying for Financial Aid; Potentially Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Financial Aid Untapped

OAKLAND, CA (February 28, 2013) – An analysis of newly available FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and Cal Grant application data by The Education Trust–West finds that low-income California students may be missing out on potentially hundreds of millions of student aid dollars. 

The Education Trust–West calculated FAFSA completion rates and Cal Grant completion and award rates both statewide and for individual California high schools. The findings are presented in the newly released report, The Cost of Opportunity: Access to College Financial Aid in California and related website, financialaid.edtrustwest.org. The data reveal that only 54 percent of high school seniors in California’s public high schools completed the FAFSA in the 2012-13 financial aid year. Only 50 percent of seniors completed the Cal Grant application.  

New Ed Trust–West Report Paints a Detailed Portrait of How African-American Youth Fare in Los Angeles County Schools

OAKLAND, CA (February 26, 2013) – Today, The Education Trust–West releases At a Crossroads: A Comprehensive Picture of How African-American Youth Fare in Los Angeles County Schools and accompanying Prezi. Using data from multiple sources, the report finds that academic and socioemotional outcomes for African-American students in L.A. County are poor overall. However, it also identifies school districts where African-American students are doing better on a range of outcomes including academic performance, graduation rates, A-G completion rates, suspension rates, special education identification rates, and health and wellness indicators.  

“One in three African-American students in California attend an L.A. County public school. This report reveals that the vast majority of these students are not receiving the opportunities they need to succeed and to ultimately achieve their college and career dreams,” said Lindsey Stuart, author of the report and a research analyst at The Education Trust–West, a statewide education advocacy organization that works to close gaps in opportunity and achievement for students of color and low-income students. 

The Education Trust-West Releases 2013 Policy Agenda

LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR:

The year 2013 will be a pivotal one for education reform in California. In the coming months, our education leaders will be asked to grapple with efforts to improve teacher evaluation; the state’s education finance system; the implementation of new, more rigorous standards; and district and school accountability systems.

The Education Trust—West Issues Response to Governor Brown’s January Budget

OAKLAND, CA (January 10, 2013) – The Education Trust—West issued the following statement in response to Governor Brown’s January budget release:

“The Education Trust—West applauds Governor Brown for his proposal to shift California’s school finance system to a formula that targets funding based on student need. We agree with the Governor that the current system is unjust, inequitable, and must be fixed.  

New Education Trust—West Report Finds California Lagging Far Behind Other States in Implementing the Common Core State Standards

OAKLAND, CA (December 10, 2012) – Timed with the release of a new Education Trust—West (ETW) report, Catching up to the Core: Common Sense Strategies for Accelerating Access to the Common Core in California, a group of prominent advocates andeducation leaders are calling on California’s leaders to fully implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) adopted by the State Board of Education in 2010.  

“Over the past two years, California has lagged in efforts to implement the Common Core while other states have accelerated forward,” said Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director of The Education Trust—West, a statewide education policy, research, and advocacy organization. “With so many examples of progress, state leaders have run out of excuses. Catching up to the Core should be their top priority.” 

The ETW report finds that California has fallen far behind other states and even local school districts in implementing the new English Language Arts and Math CCSS. This lack of progress will leave millions of California students trailing their peers in other states, two years before new assessments aligned with the Common Core are expected to come online.

New Education Trust—West Report Exposes Stark School Funding Gaps in California’s Largest Districts; Calls for School Funding Equity and Transparency

OAKLAND, CA (October 25, 2012) – As the debate over school funding and weighted student formula continues to heat up in California and around the nation, The Education Trust—West releases its latest report, Tipping the Scale Towards Equity: Making Weighted Student Formula Work for California’s Highest-Need Students. Using new data submitted by school districts to the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education, this report reveals disturbing school funding inequities and inconsistencies in California’s twenty largest school districts.

New Analysis of Civil Rights Data Highlights Critical Need for Reforms to California’s Education System: Education Trust—West Calls for State to Follow the Lead of Innovative Districts and Charters

OAKLAND, CA (September 6, 2012)On the heels of the release of the 2012 STAR testing data, a startling new infographic and presentation from The Education Trust—West (ETW) exposes previously hidden gaps in California’s college and career pipeline, impacting more than four million students. Combining new data from the U.S. Office of Civil Rights (OCR) with data from previous ETW reports, the analysis reveals how low-income, Latino and African-American students in California are getting less of everything they need to achieve their college and career dreams. As a result, nearly a third of these students fail to graduate from high school and only 14% of those who do graduate enter the University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) system. According to the analysis, low-income students in California’s schools receive:   

Broad Coalition of Education Stakeholders Opposes AB 5

OAKLAND, CA (August 22, 2012)A broad group of reform minded school districts, education advocacy and civil rights organizations have come together to oppose California Assembly Bill 5.  AB 5 guts all objective accountability on adult job performance in public schools while undermining local authority and adds new unfunded state mandates of over $50 million.

Latest Graduation Data Reveal an Ongoing Crisis for California’s Highest Need Students

OAKLAND, CA (June 27, 2012) – For the second year in a row, the California Department of Education (CDE) has released accurate and transparent graduation and dropout rate data thanks to the state’s use of CALPADS, the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System. The data once again reveal that California’s schools are graduating Latino, African-American, and low-income students at alarmingly low rates.

The Education Trust—West Statement on Governor Brown’s May Budget Revision

OAKLAND, CA (May 14, 2012) The Education Trust—West issued the following statement regarding Governor Brown’s May budget revision:

“After five straight years of budget deficits, Governor Brown is rightly acknowledging the severity of our current crisis. In this difficult context, we applaud the Governor for continuing to press for a weighted student formula proposal that would fund school districts based on the needs of their students. We also commend him for requiring districts to spend the additional dollars generated by low-income students and English Learners on these students.

The Education Trust—West Statement as State Board Considers California’s Application for a Waiver of No Child Left Behind

OAKLAND, CA (May 9, 2012) The Education Trust—West issued the following statement as the California State Board of Education considers an application for a waiver of No Child Left Behind:

“On Thursday, the California Department of Education and State Board President Mike Kirst will present a proposal to the State Board of Education to apply for a waiver of No Child Left Behind.  Unlike the 37 states and the District of Columbia who have already submitted waiver applications, this request will not meet the requirements of the Obama administration's waiver application process. Unlike the leaders of these 37 states and the three additional states who have committed to following this application process, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and Board President Mike Kirst will ask for a “special” waiver that provides California with flexibility from federal law for essentially doing nothing.  Rather than committing to the development of concrete plans to improve student outcomes, close achievement gaps, and prepare all students for college and career, California’s education leaders will complain about the state budget crisis and rehash disturbing, old arguments about federal interference with state’s rights and local control.”

Ed Trust—West Releases Latest Annual Report Cards for California School Districts, Grading 147 Largest Districts on Latino, African-American and Low-Income Student Outcomes

(OAKLAND, CA) Today, The Education Trust—West releases its latest annual report cards for California’s 147 largest unified school districts revealing how well they are serving their Latino, African-American, and low-income students.  The grades and ranks for each of these districts for the 2010-2011 school year are posted on The Education Trust—West’s “District Report Cards” website at http://reportcards.edtrustwest.org/.

The Education Trust—West Issues Statement as California State Board of Education Considers a Waiver of No Child Left Behind

OAKLAND, CA (March 7, 2012) – The Education Trust—West issued the following statement as the California State Board of Education considers an application for a waiver of No Child Left Behind:

“The Obama administration has offered California an unprecedented opportunity to apply for a waiver of No Child Left Behind. To date, thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia have seized this opportunity and submitted waiver applications. This includes states with Democratic and Republican leadership. It includes states that have, like California, suffered from sizable budget deficits. In contrast, California’s leadership has failed to submit an application and focused instead on criticizing the Obama administration for the reasonable requirements of the waiver application process. These requirements include the implementation of Common Core State Standards adopted by the California State Board of Education; the development of a robust district and school accountability system focused on closing achievement gaps; and long overdue reforms to California’s abysmal teacher and principal evaluation requirements. Rather than seizing this opportunity, Governor Brown and Superintendent Torlakson have decided to submit a ‘California-specific waiver’ that would ignore the administration’s application requirements. Given the high stakes, this approach is appalling. Like thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia, California should support the Obama administration’s plan and submit a waiver proposal that adheres to the requirements of the application process. Doing otherwise would be an incredible lost opportunity and an abdication of our leadership’s responsibility to improve California’s education system. We encourage the state board to reject the California-specific waiver proposal and vote to submit a high quality waiver application that adheres to the Obama administration’s requirements for approval.”     

New Education Trust—West Report Details How California Shortchanges its Poorest School Districts of Millions in Funding

OAKLAND, CA (February 23, 2012) – A new report released today paints a step-by-step picture of startling inequities in California’s system of education funding that harm our state’s poorest school districts. In The Cruel Divide: How California’s Education Finance System Shortchanges its Poorest School Districts, The Education Trust—West reveals that California’s highest poverty districts—those with the largest concentrations of low-income students—receive $620 less per student from state and local sources than the state’s wealthiest districts. For a mid-sized school district of 6,000 students, that amounts to over $3.7 million per year.

“Students with the greatest needs should receive additional funding to accelerate their learning, close achievement gaps and help them catch up with their better off peers,” said Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director of The Education Trust—West, a statewide education advocacy organization that works to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement for students of color and students in poverty. “This report reveals that California’s education funding system is shortchanging our highest need districts and schools and giving less to those students who desperately need more.” 

New Education Trust—West Study Reveals Stunning Inequities in Access to Effective Teachers for Latino, African-American and Low-Income Students in Nation’s Second Largest School District

OAKLAND, CA (January 12, 2012) – Today, The Education Trust—West releases the findings of a two- year-long study of data from the second largest school district in the nation, revealing profound inequities in access to effective teaching.  In Learning Denied: The Case for Equitable Access to Effective Teaching in California’s Largest School District, The Education Trust—West finds that low-income students and students of color in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) are less likely to be taught by the district’s top teachers – the very teachers capable of closing the district’s achievement gaps. These inequities are exacerbated by teacher mobility patterns and quality-blind layoffs.

The Education Trust—West Issues Statement in Response to Gov. Brown’s January Budget

OAKLAND, CA (January 6, 2012) – The Education Trust—West issued the following statement in response to Governor Brown’s January budget release:

Yesterday, the Governor released his January budget. In what has become an unfortunate pattern, this Administration has focused its cuts on our state’s most vulnerable children, slashing the safety net both inside and outside our schools. All of these cuts – from the $4.8 billion education trigger cuts to the elimination of transitional kindergarten to cuts to child care and social services—will hurt children, especially children of color and low-income children. We should not have to remind the Governor that these communities now constitute a significant majority of California’s students, and in the future, will represent the majority of our state’s working population. While we are encouraged by the Governor’s proposal to spend our education dollars based on the needs of students through a weighted student formula, it certainly would not offset the damage caused by this budget’s inequitable cuts.

Improving Teacher Evaluation in California

Most teachers say they teach because they love their students, and because they love helping them to learn. And it shows. Research shows that the single most important school-based factor in improving student academic performance is the quality of the teacher in the classroom. Students who have strong teachers year after year soar academically. 

The Education Trust—West Statement on the Nation’s Report Card Results for California

OAKLAND, CA (November 1, 2011) – The 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reveals that the performance of California’s fourth and eighth-grade students on the NAEP reading and math assessments has slowly improved from 2003. Yet, when you peel back the layers of data, a more comprehensive picture emerges.  California still has a long way to go, particularly for students of color and students in poverty. Achievement gaps between students of color and their white peers have remained relatively unchanged over the last two decades. And the gap in 4th grade math performance between Latino and white students has actually grown larger since 2000, from 27 to 30 points.

New Ed Trust—West Report “Turning Back the Clock” Spotlights the Negative Impact of Shortening California’s School Year on Students; Calls on State Leaders to Prevent Cuts to Critical Learning Time

OAKLAND, CA (October 31, 2011) – Today, in coordination with a broad range of advocacy organizations, the Education Trust—West, releases Turning Back the Clock: The Inequitable Impact of Shortening California’s School Year. The policy brief highlights research findings that confirm the critical importance of increased classroom time for improved student achievement, particularly for students in poverty and discusses the negative impact of decisions made to shorten California’s school year.  

The Education Trust—West’s Statement on President Obama’s Plan for Waivers to NCLB

OAKLAND, CA (September 22, 2011) – The Education Trust—West issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s announcement that it will provide states with the opportunity to apply for waivers to No Child Left Behind (NCLB):

“President Obama’s announcement of an application process for waivers of No Child Left Behind provides California with an unprecedented opportunity to improve our education system to better serve all students. Our state’s leaders have been consistently critical of NCLB and asked for relief from its requirements without presenting a real vision for closing California’s persistent achievement gaps. They now have the flexibility to develop a new accountability system focused on cutting our state’s achievement gaps in half. They also have an opportunity to reform our broken teacher evaluation system and guarantee access to college and career ready curriculum for all students. In a state where students of color and low income students represent the majority of our student population, closing opportunity and achievement gaps and implementing critical reforms should be our leaders’ top priorities. California’s future and our students’ hopes and aspirations depend on the willingness of our state leaders to be courageous enough to turn this unprecedented opportunity into a reality.”

Ed Trust—West Statement on 2011 Accountability Progress Report (APR) Results

Oakland, CAThe Education Trust—West issued the following statement in response to the California Department of Education’s (CDE) release of the 2011 Accountability Progress Report results:

The APR results released today by the California Department of Education make one thing clear: we need to do more for our state’s Latino, African-American, and low-income students.  

Both California’s accountability system, the Academic Performance Index (API), and the federal accountability system of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) indicate that far too many California schools are failing to adequately educate their students—especially the low-income students and students of color who now comprise the majority of our state’s student population.

For 2010-11, slightly more than two-thirds of students were required to reach proficiency in English-language arts and math for schools to meet federal AYP targets. The vast majority of California’s Title I schools did not meet this benchmark.

Ed Trust—West Statement on 2011 California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) Results

OAKLAND, CA (August 24, 2011) – The Education Trust—West issued the following statement in response to the release of the 2011 California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) results today:

The Education—Trust West is encouraged by some of the results of the 2011 California High School Exit Exam. More students than ever are passing the CAHSEE by twelfth grade, with all groups of students passing at higher rates. In particular, passing rates for African-American students have increased more than any other group. The percentage of African-American students passing the CAHSEE has steadily increased since 2006 by 7.2 percentage points for an overall rate of 91 percent. Latino and economically disadvantaged students are passing the CAHSEE by their senior year at similar rates.

Student Achievement in California: Ed Trust—West Statement on 2011 STAR Data

OAKLAND, CA (August 15, 2011) – The Education Trust—West issued the following statement from Executive Director Arun Ramanathan in response to the release of the 2011 Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) results by the California Department of Education (CDE) today:

This year’s STAR data demonstrate how far we still have to go in our effort to educate all California students to their fullest potential. Over the last eight years, we have seen slow, incremental growth in the achievement of low-income students and students of color, who now represent the majority in our state’s public schools. The sad truth is that wide achievement gaps still persist between African-American and Latino students and their white peers.

New CALPADS Data Reveal Accurate California Graduation and Dropout Rates for All Students; Shows Unacceptable Results for Students of Color and English Learners

OAKLAND, CA (August 11, 2011) -- Today’s release by the California Department of Education (CDE) of the state’s graduation and dropout rates has good news and bad news. The bad news is clear: The data show that California students, particularly low-income students, students of color, and other high-need populations, graduate from high school at alarmingly low rates. The good news is that for the first time, the graduation and dropout rates are accurate, transparent, and are no longer estimates, thanks to the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System, or CALPADS.

New Book Provides School Leaders with Tools for Preparing All Students for College and Career

OAKLAND, CA (August 3, 2011) – In her new book, Diploma Matters: A Field Guide for College and Career Readiness (Jossey-Bass; $29.95; ISBN13: 978-1-118-00914-7; August 2011), Dr. Linda Murray provides practitioners and advocates throughout the nation with a practical set of tools to transform schools so that all students have the opportunity to achieve their college and career aspirations.

New Analysis Finds Few California Students Are Prepared for College and Career and Reveals Widespread Student Tracking; Ed Trust—West Calls for High School Reforms, Equity for All Students

 
OAKLAND, CA (July 25, 2011) – California’s prosperity has long depended on the quality of its workforce, yet California’s high schools are falling short when it comes to preparing students for college and career.  Indeed, just three quarters of students earn a high school diploma. Among those who do, few have completed the coursework needed to provide genuine college and career options.

Ed Trust—West Condemns Potential Cuts to Education in Proposed 2011-12 Budget; Implores State Leaders to Find a Budget Solution That Protects California’s Highest-Need Students

(OAKLAND, CA)  Dr. Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director of The Education Trust—West, issued the following statement regarding the proposed 2011-12 budget:

“While Democrats slap each other on the back for their ‘budget’ deal and Republicans applaud their efforts to prevent any tax increases, California’s poorest students are once again getting a raw deal from our state’s leadership.  The potential budget deal is based on Wizard of Oz assumptions that there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  If that pot of gold does not materialize, our poorest students and most vulnerable communities will once again take the brunt of state budget cuts through inequitable approaches such as shortening the school year.  It is long past time to develop a real budget solution that solves the boom and bust cycles of California’s state budget.  We have seen courageous Democrats and Republicans in other states forging the difficult compromises and showing the visionary leadership necessary to confront entrenched interests and solve their states’ fiscal crises.  As long as California’s children and communities are at the mercy of lawmakers beholden to special interests from public employee unions to taxpayer associations, we will continue our pattern of smoke and mirrors budgeting.  The result will always be reprehensible cuts that force our children to pay the long-term price for our current dysfunction.”

 

More than Just Seniority: Tools to Help You Fight for the Rights of Students and Communities

By now, you are probably well aware that nearly 20,000 California teachers received a layoff notice telling them that they may be out of a job in the fall. State law requires districts to issue teacher layoffs based on seniority—how long they’ve been teaching.  This means that newer teachers are more likely to be laid off first regardless of how effective they are in the classroom or the needs of their school and community.

Ed Trust—West Applauds Prioritization of K-12 Funding in Governor Brown’s May Budget Revision; Deeply Concerned About Cuts to State Education Data Systems

(OAKLAND, CA) The Education Trust—West issued the following statement regarding the release of Governor Brown’s May Revision:

The Education Trust—West is pleased that Governor Brown has chosen to limit further cuts to education in his revised budget.  However, we remain concerned about the continuing budget shortfall and hope that a compromise can soon be forged that results in the long-term budget solution vital to our students and schools.

Ed Trust—West Issues Statement Regarding the Latest 2010-11 California English Language Development Test (CELDT) Results

(OAKLAND, CA) The Education Trust—West, a statewide education advocacy organization that works to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement for students of color and low-income students, issued the following statement regarding the release of the results of the 2010-11 California English Language Development Test (CELDT) by the California Department of Education earlier this week:

The release of data from the California Department of Education (CDE) showing a decline in the performance of English Learner (EL) students on the CELDT is a cause for profound concern. However, the CDE’s statement on this data raises even greater concerns. The release gives Californians the impression that our state is making reasonable progress in serving its English Learner students, while attributing this setback to the ongoing budget crisis. The data tell us a different story.

Ed Trust—West Grades and Ranks California’s Large, Unified School Districts to Reveal How Well They Are Serving their African-American, Latino and Low-income Students

(OAKLAND, CA) Today, The Education Trust—West launches its California District Report Cards website featuring a new online tool and releases an accompanying publication titled, A Report on District Achievement: How Low-income, African-American, and Latino Students Fare in California School Districts.  Both provide grades and rankings for the state’s largest unified districts on four indicators that reveal how well they are serving their Latino, African-American, and low-income students.  Through this unique online tool, the public can look up any one of the 146 largest unified school districts across the state to learn more about the overall performance, improvement over time, size of achievement gaps, and college readiness rates for these students. 

New Ed Trust—West Report Shows the Damaging Impact of Teacher Layoff Policies on California’s Highest Need Schools and Students

(OAKLAND, CA)  With school districts across California announcing budget cuts and plans for massive teacher layoffs, a new report by The Education Trust—West titled, Victims of the Churn: The Damaging Impact of California’s Teacher Layoff Policies on Schools, Students and Communities in Three Large School Districts, shows the negative impact of California’s teacher layoff policies on students in high-poverty schools in three urban school districts.  These students were found to bear more than their fair share of the pain when it comes to teacher layoffs, with their schools 65 percent more likely to have a teacher laid off than a low-poverty school.  Some high-poverty schools lost more than 15 percent of their teachers.  (As seen on NBC San Diego)

The Education Trust—West Comments on Governor Brown’s Proposed January Budget

(OAKLAND, CA)Dr. Arun Ramanathan, executive director of The Education Trust—West, issued the following statement regarding the release of Governor Brown’s proposed budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year:

“The proposed budget by Governor Brown identifies painful cuts in education. These could be worse without legislative action and public approval of a potential proposition to extend tax increases - both of which have been difficult to secure in the past.”

“We are deeply concerned about the cuts to education and the potential for deeper cuts. Over the past three years, our state’s budget has been balanced on the backs of our children.  These cuts have disproportionally impacted students of color and students in poverty by increasing class sizes, cutting summer school and eliminating intervention programs that support student learning in districts across California.  For far too long, our education decisions have been made based on adult interests, not the needs of students.”

Ed Trust—West Urges New State Leaders to Prioritize Ending the Dropout Crisis; Highlights Urgent Need for Accurate Statewide Data on Full Extent of Crisis

(OAKLAND, CA)  The Education Trust—West issued the following statement regarding the latest data on dropout and graduation rates:

The latest education data collected for the first time through the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) and released yesterday by the California Department of Education (CDE) reveals that the dropout rate remains at crisis levels for the state’s Latino and African-American students.

ETW Statement on Ed Trust’s For-Profit Colleges Report; Too Many of California’s Low-Income & Students of Color Left with High Debt, No Diploma

(OAKLAND, CA)  The Education Trust—West issued the following statement today regarding the release of a new report on for-profit colleges and universities by its national office, The Education Trust:

In California, for-profit institutions are growing at a rapid rate in a time when state support for higher education is declining.  In opening their doors to—and often directly targeting—disadvantaged students, these schools offer the promise of college and career opportunities. But how effectively are they fulfilling students’ dreams of a great career, and at what cost?

The Education Trust—West Issues Statement on Passage of California Budget

(OAKLAND, CA) The Education Trust—West issued the following statement regarding the passage of a budget for the state of California:

“The Education Trust—West is pleased that our state leaders have passed a state budget package.  However, after waiting 100 days through the state’s longest-ever budget impasse, we expected more.  This budget falls far short of the real solutions we need to solve our state’s annual budget deficit.  With K-12 education and other social services receiving the most severe cuts, our neediest children and families will once again bear the greatest sacrifice. Now more than ever, we must invest in our children or we risk the future of California.  We are long past the time for excuses and truly hope that our next Governor and Legislature can work on finding sustainable, long-term budgetary solutions that allow us to put kids first.”

EQUITY ALERT: As White House Convenes Summit on Community Colleges, New Equity Alert Reveals Too Few California Students Transfer to Four-Year Institutions

(OAKLAND, CA)  As the White House convenes the first-ever Summit on Community Colleges today, a new Equity Alert by The Education Trust—West reveals that an inexcusably low number of California community college students actually transfer to a four-year institution in order to earn a bachelor’s degree.  The Equity Alert, titled California Community Colleges: Lost in the Path to a Bachelor’s Degree, focuses on a cohort of those students who showed intent to transfer to a four-year college. According to the findings, after two years, only 6 percent of students system-wide who have shown an intent to transfer to a four-year institution were actually able to do so.  In particular, the rates of transfer for African-American and Latino students are unconscionably low. Only 4 percent of African-American students and 3 percent of Latino students who show intent to transfer actually transfer after two years.

Ed Trust—West Applauds Signing of Legislation to Help California Schools Identify Students at Risk of Academic Failure or Dropping Out

(OAKLAND, CA) The Education Trust—West applauds Governor Schwarzenegger for signing Senate Bill 1357 into law yesterday.  Authored by Senate President pro tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), the law includes attendance data in California’s longitudinal data system and moves the state towards the development of the attendance-based early warning systems that are critical for identifying students at risk of dropping out or graduating with low-levels of college or career readiness. 

Statement by California’s Leading Child Advocacy Groups on Budget Standoff

(OAKLAND, CA) – Enough is enough.  California’s state budget is now more than 80 days overdue, marking the record for the longest budget impasse in our state’s history.  Today, California’s leading advocacy groups, including Alliance for a Better Community (ABC), Californians for Justice Education Fund, Children Now, Education Trust—West, InnerCity Struggle, and Public Advocates call on state leaders to pass a budget that protects education and provides funding for other critical services for children in poverty and their families.

New Ed Trust—West Reports Dissect the Continuing Crisis in Achievement and Opportunity for African-American and Latino Students in California Schools

(OAKLAND, CA)  Two new reports from The Education Trust—West, a statewide education advocacy organization, demonstrate the disturbing impact of California’s failure to close opportunity and achievement gaps plaguing African-American and Latino children who together now make up almost 60 percent of the state’s student population.  In Opportunity Lost: The Story of African-American Achievement in California, 2010, and Futures At Risk: The Story of Latino Student Achievement in California, 2010, the group reveals a number of local school districts successfully dispelling the myth that African-American and Latino students cannot perform at grade-level or make great gains toward proficiency.  The reports call on California policymakers to no longer be satisfied with convening task forces that highlight problems everyone knows exist, and recommend that state leaders instead focus on finally implementing high-impact solutions that have long been avoided or ignored.

Statement by Ed Trust—West on California’s Losing Bid for Race to the Top

(OAKLAND, CA) – Today, Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the second round Race to the Top winners.  California was not on the list of recipients.  It is estimated that the state lost $700 million for much-needed education reforms. 

“We are deeply disappointed by California’s loss," said Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director of The Education Trust—West, a leading statewide education advocacy organization.  "Although our second round showing was much stronger, the early indication is that strong legislative support for teacher effectiveness reforms separated the winners from the losers."

Student Achievement in California: Ed Trust—West Statement on 2010 STAR Data

OAKLAND, CA (August 16, 2010) – Results from the 2010 Standardized Testing and Reporting Program (STAR) released today by the California Department of Education (CDE) show marginal statewide improvement across most grade levels and content areas.  Since last year, the percentage of students at or above the proficient level increased by two points in English-language arts (ELA) and two points in mathematics.  While there have been measured gains over the last eight years, we still have much work to do.

Data Reveals Alarming Disparities in Achievement Among Asian American and Pacific Islander Students in California Schools

OAKLAND, CA (August 12, 2010) – In advance of the upcoming California Standards Tests (CST) results, The Education Trust—West is releasing Overlooked and Underserved: Debunking the Asian ‘Model Minority’ Myth in California Schools, a new policy brief detailing alarming disparities in achievement that exist among subgroups of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students.  Issued jointly with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, the brief finds the state is under-serving students by not recognizing the full diversity of its AAPI communities.  Most disturbing, opportunity gaps are being exacerbated by the state’s failure to collect and report comprehensive, critical student achievement data.

Statement by The Education Trust-West on California State Board of Education's Adoption of the Common Core Standards

OAKLAND, CA (August 2, 2010) The Education Trust—West applauds the unanimous vote of the California State Board of Education and the decision to adopt the Common Core Standards.

California has long been a national leader in both standards and assessments.  We, at the Education Trust-West, have long been advocates for increasing the rigor of our standards and graduation requirements with the goal of ensuring that all of our high school graduates have a true choice between college and career.  We have consistently highlighted the opportunity and achievement gaps that prevent so many students of color and students in poverty in our state from achieving the goal of college and career readiness. Over the past eight years, we have relentlessly pressed on our state’s leaders to close those opportunity and achievement gaps and live up to the promise of our rigorous standards.

While we understand that the adoption of the Common Core will not by itself close those opportunity and achievement gaps, we do believe that adoption of the Common Core is an important step in the right direction.

Statement by The Education Trust on President Obama’s Speech at the National Urban League Conference

WASHINGTON (July 29, 2010) – President Obama captured the essence of what’s at stake for our country when he said earlier today, during a speech at the National Urban League’s annual convention, “If we want success for our country, we can't accept failure in our schools.”

As a nation, we can no longer accept schools in impoverished communities that fail their students year after year, when we know that no middle-class neighborhood would ever tolerate it.

We can no longer accept evaluation systems that deem virtually every teacher in a school to be excellent, while half of our black and Hispanic fourth graders possess reading skills that are below basic.

Statement by The Education Trust—West on California's Selection as Round Two Race to the Top Finalist

OAKLAND, CA (July 27, 2010) – Today, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the finalists for Round Two of the Race to the Top Competition.  The Education Trust—West is pleased that California has been selected as one of 19 finalists.  The nod from the U.S. Department of Education means California still has a shot at a portion of $4.35 billion in federal education stimulus dollars.

The Race to the Top Competition has been a driving force for education reform in California.  After a disappointing finish in the first round, our second round application used a collaborative approach, leveraging the best thinking from a group of reform-minded California school districts.

Prioritizing Effectiveness, Not Seniority Critical for Schools Disproportionately Hit by Teacher Layoffs

OAKLAND, CA (June 3, 2010) – As California policymakers attempt to address the disproportionate impact of seniority-based layoffs on high need schools, a new brief by The Education Trust—West called Effectiveness, Not Seniority contends that attempts to correct this inequity must prioritize teacher effectiveness.  The brief argues that solutions to this problem must ensure that high need schools can retain their most effective teachers.

Future of California’s Student Data System in Question after State Fails to Win Key Grant

(Oakland, CA) – Last Friday, California learned that it lost yet another critical opportunity for federal funds to support education reform— this time $20 million for data systems.  According to the California Department of Education, securing a grant from the Institute for Education Sciences (IES) would have supported the state’s effort to further develop and implement a longitudinal system linking data across time and databases, from early childhood into career, including matching teachers to students while protecting student privacy and confidentiality.

California's Neediest Students Will Take Brunt of Proposed Budget Cuts

(Oakland, CA)  – Today, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger released his revised budget plans for the fiscal year 2010–2011.  Although the Governor proposed no additional cuts that would directly impact the classroom, The Education Trust—West remains deeply concerned about the cumulative effect of two straight years of devastating cuts to public education overall.

It is evident that California’s neediest students and their families will endure the collective brunt of all the budget reductions proposed thus far.  The consecutive loss of education funding, c

Crisis in California's Chronically Underperforming Schools Continues

(Oakland, CA) – The state released its API base rankings today and one thing is clear, California’s schools continue to demonstrate vast disparities in achievement, particularly among chronically underperforming schools serving thousands of Latinos, African-Americans, and English learners.

Across the state, the 2009 API base data from the spring 2009 statewide tests reveal a familiar picture:

  • African-American and Latino students substantially trail their white and Asian peers across all grades.
  • Roughly 150 points separate African-American students from their white peers (670 compared to 827, respectively).
  • API scores decrease for all subgroups from elementary to middle and high school.

API scores and rankings for California’s persistently underperforming schools, which serve high concentrations of students of color and students in poverty are even more discouraging. These schools are almost exclusively Latino (75%) and African-American (14%), with 78% of students qualifying for free or reduced price lunch. After an infusion of state dollars in both good and bad economic times, these schools should have improved outcomes for our most vulnerable students.

Keeping the Promise of Change in California's Lowest Performing Schools

(Oakland, CA) – According to a new report by The Education Trust—West,
Keeping the Promise of Change, California has thrown more than $265 million over the last six years at its bottom five percent of Title I schools in a series of unproductive “reform” initiatives.  These reforms have skimmed the surface of school improvement, while producing minimal gains for the thousands of African-American and Latino students trapped in drop-out factories throughout the state.  Now these schools and other low performers are eligible for tens of millions in new school improvement funding from Washington, D.C.

Statement by The Education Trust—West on California's Intent to Apply for the Second Round of Race to the Top

(Oakland, CA) – After much speculation as to whether or not California would drop out, The Education Trust—West commends California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senator Gloria Romero and state education leaders for formally announcing a new strategy to win a share of $4.35 billion in federal education stimulus dollars in the second round of the Race to the Top Competition.  As the state faces massive budget deficits and persistent achievement gaps, California’s continued pursuit of funds aimed at improving teaching and learning in our public schools is worthy of praise.

CALIFORNIA CAN STILL CLINCH A SPOT IN THE RACE TO THE TOP

Oakland, CA) – California still has a shot at $4.35 billion in federal education stimulus dollars as part of Round Two of the Race to the Top Competition.  According to a policy brief released today by The Education Trust-West, California’s Race to the Top: A Road Map for Round Two, the Golden state can achieve second round success by quickly understanding why it lost, what other states did better, and what it must do differently to win.

Ed Trust West Launches Blog: The Edvocate West

Friends & Colleagues:

The Education Trust-West is thrilled to announce the launch of our new blog: The Edvocate West.  Authored by Executive Director, Arun Ramanathan, The Edvocate West will explore and critique California's most pressing education reform issues.  Specifically, we will examine those issues impacting low-income students and students of color and utilize our voice to advocate for an equitable and excellent education for those students most often left behind.

We hope you will join us on this journey and add your voices to this very critical public dialogue.

Sincerely,

The Education Trust-West

Please visit our first entry of The Edvocate West by clicking http://edvocatewest.org/ 

STATEMENT BY THE EDUCATION TRUST—WEST ON RACE TO THE TOP WINNERS

(Oakland, CA) – The Education Trust–West congratulates Tennessee and Delaware, winners of the first round of the Race to the Top (RTTT) competition.

“Tennessee and Delaware have blazed a path for others to follow,” said Arun Ramanathan, executive director of The Education Trust—West. “We call on California’s leaders to follow the lead of Tennessee and Delaware by including bold and innovative reforms in our application for the second round of Race to the Top funding.”

THE EDUCATION TRUST—WEST RESPONSE TO THE 2009 NATION’S REPORT CARD

(Oakland, CA) - The 2009 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) reading assessment reveals that the performance of California’s fourth and eighth-grade students has failed to improve since 2007. Once again, in overall performance, California places near the bottom.

“Our state leaders insist that we have some of the highest standards in the nation,” said Arun Ramanathan, executive director of The Education Trust—West.  “What good are high standards if we fail to ensure that our students can master them?”

Statement by The Education Trust—West on Teacher and Staff Layoffs

(Oakland, CA) – Today, the California Department of Education (CDE) announced that 22,000 teachers and staff in public schools will receive layoff notices.  The pending $2.4 billion cut to California’s public schools comes on top of two years of massive budget cuts that have resulted in tens of thousands of teachers and other staff losing their jobs.     

STATEMENT BY THE EDUCATION TRUST—WEST ON RACE TO THE TOP FINALISTS

(Oakland, CA) – Today, the US Department of Education released the list of finalists for Phase One of the Race to the Top Competition (RTT). California was glaringly absent from the list.  Given our state’s $20 billion dollar budget deficit and some of the widest achievement gaps in the nation, our failure to produce a competitive application is deeply disappointing.

The College Board Released the Results of the 2009 Advanced Placement (AP) Tests Earlier This Week With Their 6th Annual AP Report to the Nation

(Oakland, CA) – The College Board released the results of the 2009 Advanced Placement (AP) tests earlier this week with their 6th Annual AP Report to the Nation.

“These AP results serve as yet another example of how California’s schools are failing to teach our African-American and Latino students to the highest levels.  And they are another indicator of the wide and pervasive achievement gaps that plague our state,” said Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director of The Education Trust—West. 

Equity among students must mean that the d

PERSISTENT ACHIEVEMENT GAPS MAY IMPEDE CALIFORNIA’S EFFORTS TO WIN THE RACE TO THE TOP

As California signs its application for federal Race to the Top (RTTT) funding, many recognize that we may never achieve the excellence the Obama administration seeks without focusing our proposal squarely on equity for low-income students and students of color.

Statement by The Education Trust—West on Governor Schwarzenegger's 2010-2011 Budget Proposal

(Oakland, CA) – “Today, Governor Schwarzenegger released the details of his budget plans for the fiscal year 2010 – 2011. After two straight years of dramatic and devastating cuts to public education – we applaud the Governor’s realization that we cannot dig our way out of our fiscal crisis by forcing our education systems to bear the brunt of the cuts.”

 “That said – we are deeply concerned about cuts to health and human services programs that will undoubtedly devastate the social safety nets of the very students that attend our highest-need schools.  Policymakers should not have to choose between protecting the services that ensure children are ready to learn and the classrooms where learning occurs.”

Statement by The Education Trust—West on California and Race to the Top

OAKLAND, CA (November 19, 2009) - Last week, the US Department of Education released its final regulations for the Race to the Top application.  California must now – in short order – decide  if it is going to sprint or step off the starting block to win a share of the $4.35 billion pot.

New Reports Challenge States to Commit to Bold Teacher Effectiveness Reforms in “Race to the Top” Applications

WASHINGTON (November 9, 2009) – The Education Trust and The New Teacher Project (TNTP) today released two reports  challenging states to focus on bold reforms to increase teacher effectiveness in their applications for federal “Race to the Top” funding.

Statement by The Education Trust—West on The Federal Government's Release of "Race to the Top" Fund Regulations and California's Failure to Meet Them

OAKLAND, CA (July 27, 2009) - “Friday, the U.S. Department of Education released regulations for its ‘Race to the Top’ fund that contained sobering news for California. Our state’s ban on using student achievement data to help measure teacher effectiveness threatens our eligibility to apply for portions of the $4.35 billion fund.

California’s potential exclusion from this competitive grant process is a blow to students already burdened by massive budget cuts, as well as a forceful wake-up call to state leaders.

The Education Trust—West Welcomes Arun Ramanathan as their New Executive Director

Friends and Colleagues:

After a long search and thorough interview process, The Education Trust—West is pleased to announce that Arun Ramanathan will be joining us as our new Executive Director starting on November 2.

Statement by The Education Trust—West on Governor Schwarzenegger Signing Senate Bill 19

OAKLAND, CA (October, 13, 2009) - “The Education Trust—West applauds Governor Schwarzenegger for signing Senate Bill 19 (Simitian), thus making California eligible to compete in the Race to the Top Grant.

The Education Trust—West's Statement on the Release of 2009 NAEP Data

OAKLAND, CA (October 14, 2009) - Today’s results from the 2009 National Assessment of Education Progress mathematics (NAEP) released by the U.S. Department of Education reveal that California’s 4th and 8th grade students are neither progressing nor declining in their academic achievement.

Indeed, the data show stagnant NAEP mathematics scores for California’s students since the last time the test was administered in 2007.

Statement by The Education Trust—West on Governor Schwarzenegger's Call For a Special Session on Education and The “Race to the Top” Fund

OAKLAND, CA (August 20, 2009) - “Governor Schwarzenegger’s call for a special session on education today means that California may have a chance to participate in the “Race to the Top” after all.

The Governor is providing clear leadership and keeping his word that California will aggressively compete for every available stimulus dollar. This special session provides an opportunity to change state laws that currently make California ineligible for grants from the $4.35 billion in competitive grant funding.

 

Achievement in California 2009: Ed Trust—West Statement on 2009 STAR Data

OAKLAND, CA (August 18, 2009) – Results from the 2009 Standardized Testing and Reporting Program (STAR) released today by the California Department of Education (CDE) show marginal statewide improvement across most grade levels and content areas. More students are demonstrating mastery of state standards than at any point since standards and assessments became fully aligned in 2003.

Statement by Kati Haycock, President of The Education Trust, On The Announcement of the Intent to Nominate Russlynn Ali as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

 

(Washington DC) – I could not be more delighted by today’s announcement of the intent to nominate Russlynn Ali as the assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education.

Statement by The Education Trust—West on High School Drop-out and Graduation Rates Released Today by The California Department of Education

OAKLAND, CA (May 12, 2009) Today, the California Department of Education (CDE) released information on high school graduation and drop-out rates. The CDE reported a four-year graduation rate of 68 percent for the class of 2008. Continuing its use of the Statewide Student Identifier (SSID) system introduced last year, the state was able to reveal a more accurate accounting of the number of students who dropped out of California’s public schools. Of the students who started as freshman in 2004, 20 percent dropped-out of high school.

Statement by The Education Trust—West on The Governor's Recommendation to Suspend Proposition 98

OAKLAND, CA (July 2, 2009) - “The Governor’s recommendation to suspend the minimum funding guarantee of Proposition 98 is a crippling blow to an already wounded system of education in the state of California.  

Statement by The Education Trust—West on The Budget Conference Committee Vote to Eliminate the California High School Exit Exam

OAKLAND, CA (June 17, 2009) - “Yesterday’s vote by the state’s Budget Conference Committee to eliminate the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) as a graduation requirement represents a huge step backward for California’s schools and students. Attempting to dig our way out of the current fiscal crisis by pillaging our education system ensures that we will still be digging our way out of this same hole—or rather our children will—for many years to come.

Statement by The Education Trust—West on The Federal Government's Release of "Race to the Top" Fund Regulations and California's Failure to Meet Them

OAKLAND, CA (July 27, 2009)- “Friday, the U.S. Department of Education released regulations for its ‘Race to the Top’ fund that contained sobering news for California. Our state’s ban on using student achievement data to help measure teacher effectiveness threatens our eligibility to apply for portions of the $4.35 billion fund. California’s potential exclusion from this competitive grant process is a blow to students already burdened by massive budget cuts, as well as a forceful wake-up call to state leaders.

California's Imperative: Closing the Achievement Gap

New Report Reveals Deep Flaws in California's Teacher Equity Plan

(Oakland, CA) - A new Education Trust—West analysis of California’s plan to address teacher quality distribution among poor and minority students, as required by the No Child Left Behind Act, finds that California not only fails to sufficiently analyze the state’s teacher quality gap, but also neglects to provide a clear plan for correcting the problem.

 

The Unfinished Business of Brown v. Board of Education

Letter-to-the-Editor, Los Angeles Times

Opt-Out Rule Inappropriate in Era of Standards

AYP Crucial for California

Education Trust—West Releases Report on Importance of Rigorous "A-G" Curriculum

(OAKLAND, CA) – The workforce is demanding more from California's high school graduates. A new report released by the Education Trust -- West details why a rigorous high school course sequence (a.k.a. the A-G curriculum) is necessary to prepare young Californians for the new economy.

2004 API and AYP Results: Making Progress?

Defining Failure

College-bound or Not, Kids Need Tough Classes

New Report Shows that LAUSD Already Has Teaching Staff Needed to Offer A-G Curriculum

(Oakland, CA) —The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) already has the vast majority of the teachers it would need to provide every student with so-called “A-G” curriculum, according to a report released today by the Education Trust-West. On Tuesday, May 24th, the LAUSD Board of Education will vote on whether to implement so-called “A-G” course requirements for all students in the district.

Study of State's 12 Largest School Districts Shines Spotlight on Hidden Teacher-Spending Gap at Individual Schools

OAKLAND, California –The Education Trust-West today released “A Tale of Two Schools,” an unprecedented series of reports that further exposes the hidden teacherspending gap within 12 of the largest school districts in California. The reports shine an even more focused spotlight on the previously invisible teacher-spending gaps first uncovered by the Education Trust-West in its February report, California’s Hidden Teacher Spending Gap: How State and District Budgeting Practices Shortchange Poor and Minority Students and Their Schools.

 

SMALL GAINS, HUGE GAPS: The Education Trust—West's Statement on the Release of the 2009 California High School Exit Exam Results

OAKLAND, CA (September 2, 2009) – Results from the 2009 California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) released today by the California Department of Education (CDE) show marginal statewide improvement across both English and Math and for all ethnic groups throughout the state.

The Education Trust—West releases new report: "Achievement in California 2009: Persistent Challenges and Paths Forward"

OAKLAND, CA (August 24, 2009) –Today, the Education Trust—West released its annual report Achievement in California 2009: Persistent Challenges and Paths Forward.

At a time when Governor Schwarzenegger has calledstate leaders to ‘seek any reforms or changes to the law deemed necessary’ and bring about significant education reform, this report makes clear that the time for crucial change is now.

Utilizing the Standardized Testing and Reporting(STAR)data released last week by the California Department of Education (CDE), Achievement in California 2009 makes clear that the incr

AYP v. API: What Does It All Mean?