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This Week in California Education

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Counselors or cops in Pomona Unified; full-day kindergarten in every school

This week: We interview Jesus Sanchez, a community organizer and founder of Gente Organizada, and Iris Villalpando, a student leader, about why they fought so hard to change spending priorities in Pomona Unified School District; and we speak with reporter Zaidee Stavely about a bill on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk that would require every school to offer at least one full-day kindergarten class.

Big school bond with reforms, new pitch to presidential candidates

This week: We interview Jeff Vincent, of the Center for Cities + Schools at UC Berkeley, about whether the proposed $15 billion bond measure will solve funding inequities; and we interview Laura Schifter, the policy director of a new coalition, ED2020, whose goal is to persuade presidential candidates.

Debating the merits of ranking schools; finding funding to repair them

This week: We interview Michael Kirst, the former president of the State Board of Education, about why adopting a ranking system for district and charter schools can be arbitrary and unhelpful; and we also discuss the possibility of a state construction bond for K-12 and community college facilities on the March 2020 ballot.

Historic deal on charters, contention over more high school math

This week: We discuss big changes that could affect the state's charter school law; and we also interview two key players with opposite perspectives on a controversial proposal by the California State University chancellor's office to require a fourth year of math.

Fixing the college dropout ‘scandal’

This week: We interview David Kirp about his new book, The College Dropout Scandal; and we chat with Cal State Long Beach President Jane Conoley about efforts, starting in local high schools with the Long Beach Promise, to build an institutional culture that helps students to pursue and thrive in college.

Guidance on resilience, trauma from Paradise and El Paso

This week: We interview the new superintendent of Paradise Unified, about how the district is preparing for the emotional needs of students on their return to school; and we also interview Fernando Garcia, from the Border Network for Human Rights, about the existential threat to Latino and immigrant communities that a white supremacist shooter exposed.

Big bills in play when lawmakers go back to work

This week: We take a look at some of the key issues that California lawmakers will take up next week when they end their summer vacation.

Physics teachers in high demand; sticker-shock estimates for early ed

This week: We interview the president of the California Science Teachers Association to discuss the need for more physics teachers, as California schools move to implement new science standards; and we explore a new report that calculates the true cost of quality early education in California for all kids under 5.

How school districts are joining forces to take on Common Core math

This week: Two educators involved with a collaboration by 10 California districts to raise achievement under the Common Core math standards share their insights; and we discuss the Gates Foundation’s Networks for School Improvement initiative.

Newsom administration seeks compromise in push to reform charter law

This week: We discuss the compromises that the Newsom administration proposed on Assembly Bill 1505, and hear testimony from San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten; and we talk with Todd Ziebarth of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, about how events in California fits in with what is happening around the country.

Coming to grips with children facing trauma

This week: We interview Dr. Jonathan Goldfinger, chief medical officer of the Center for Youth Wellness in San Francisco, to discuss a new parent survey created to identify children facing adverse experiences, such as violence, neglect or divorce; And we talk with Lisa Eisenberg, the policy director of the California School Based Health Alliance, about how hundreds of school-based health clinics will use the survey.

Teaching districts the ABCs of charter oversight; putting a school bond on 2020 ballot

This week: We interview the executive director of CARSNet, an organization run by the Alameda County Office of Education that offers bootcamps and tutorials in charter school responsibilities; and we talk with Kyla Johnson-Trammell, who has faced a teachers strike and possible insolvency during her first two years as Oakland Unified superintendent.

What’s new and novel in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first education budget

This week: We dissect Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first education budget to see which campaign promises he kept and which new directions he’s taking.

Stunning defeat of parcel tax in L.A.; a bright idea to name California’s newest college

This week: We explore reasons for the Los Angeles Unified's Measure EE defeat and talk with LASUD board member Nick Melvoin and David Tokofsky, a former board member and strategist for the district administrators' union; and we reveal the name of California's new online community college.

Alarming absences in rural schools; big fight over new money for special ed

This week: Listen to students and counselors in rural California put a human dimension on disturbing data about why children struggling with poverty and isolation are staying out of school; and find out why a huge proposed increase for special education has become a major disagreement between the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Early push to rein in charter schools squeaks by; vote of confidence in Chancellor Oakley

This week: After an intense debate, legislation that could substantially reduce the number of new charter schools in California got just enough votes to pass the Assembly; and we interview Tom Epstein, president of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, which extended Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley’s contract.

Linda Darling-Hammond on districts that ‘beat the odds’

This week: Linda Darling-Hammond talks about a new study that focuses on school districts in California that achieved higher test scores for all or most students than their demographics predicted; and we discuss the new SAT "Adversity Score".

Betsy DeVos meets the press; an update on community college reforms

This week: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks to reporters about school choice and her latest initiative; an update on California's efforts to reduce remediation courses in community colleges; and the governor's revised budget proposal.

Despite reforms, foster students lag behind on multiple measures of success

Learn what schools are doing right, and what has yet to be done.

Housing affordability for teachers and strategies to boost education funding

This week we talk with California school finance expert Kim Rueben about several ways the state could generate additional funds to support public education in the state.