Supt. Kowba: Governor's January Budget Proposal
Governor Jerry Brown released his budget proposal for 2013-14 yesterday, Jan. 10. At first look, the Governor's proposal seems like a good starting point for restoring funding to public education, although it will take us time to analyze its impacts for our District. San Diego Unified is committed to providing stability for our students and schools in the 2013-14 year. As we study the details of the Governor’s proposal, we are hopeful that we can maintain stable school staffing in the next budget year. After five years of cuts to education, it is a relief to see that trend reversed but as the Governor stated, it will take time to return education funding to the adequate levels that we saw in 2008. Read more.
Need information on San Diego's schools? There's an app for that
San Diego Unified's new smart phone app, giving parents and the community quick access to locations of district schools, up-to-date news and other features, is now online. Available for the Apple iPhone, as well as phones and pads running the Google Android system, the app was co-developed by the district and its web content management system contractor, Schoolwires, Inc. Read more.
School board president optimistic
IN THE NEWS: The passage of Gov. Jerry Brown's Proposition 30 tax increases and San Diego Unified's $2.8 billion Proposition Z bond measure promise to breathe new life into school budgets and programs. Board President John Lee Evans said he is optimistic about the future, and is looking forward to a new brand of cooperation on the school board and in the community. Read more from U-T San Diego.
San Diego Unified gets high marks for school choice
IN THE NEWS: Increasing public school options to make schools compete for students is one popular idea in education reform. San Diego Unified ranked in the top 10 of more than 100 large school districts in a recent report on school choice by the Brookings Institute. The report looked at things like parents' ability to choose schools outside their neighborhoods, how many charter and magnet schools a district has and the availability of virtual courses. It also awarded points based on how many students used these programs. Read more from KPBS and UT San Diego.
MET student works water wizardry for Coastkeeper
IN THE NEWS: After learning that an automated water sampling device needed for storm water testing would cost $7,000, a 16-year-old San Diego Coastkeeper volunteer from San Diego MET High School figured he could do better. With a technical bent and an interest in robotics, Noah Thoron aimed to build a homemade version of the device for a fraction of that cost. Using off-the-shelf parts, he designed a water monitoring apparatus budgeted at about $500, and is raising funds to build it. Read more from UT San Diego.
Mira Mesa senior honored by local Veterans of Foreign Wars
Nicole Hardson-Hurley, a Mira Mesa High School senior, was recently awarded the Outstanding Spokesperson for Democracy Award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars California District 1, San Diego, receiving a $500 scholarship and a trip to Sacramento for the state finals. Just one of VFW's international programs for high school students, it encourages young adults to reflect on the United States' democratic ideals. Nicole's win means that she'll move on to the state competition in Sacramento. Read more.
GATE Distinguished Lecture Series kicks off Jan. 23
The 2012-2013 GATE Distinguished Lecture Series brings experts from all over the United States to the district to share with parents and educators the latest in research and classroom practice for advanced learners. The series starts Jan. 23 with "What's Out There for the Advanced Student – and Why Do They Need It?" The lecture is held from 7 – 8:30 p.m. and free childcare is available. These stimulating opportunities provide parents with knowledge to better understand the unique needs and attributes of advanced learners. Read more.
College prep and planning workshop series starts Feb. 23
Cal-SOAP Scholars is a free four-session program that helps ninth graders start planning for college and familiarizing them with tests like the PSAT/SAT and ACT. The series starts Feb. 23 and runs from 9 a.m. to noon. All programs are free and held at San Diego City College. Applications are available at Cal-SOAP's website and are due Jan. 25, 2013. Admission is not guaranteed because space is limited. Read more.
Apply for more than 100 scholarships with one application
The San Diego Foundation's 2013-2014 Common Scholarship application, which enables students to use one online form to access more than 100 scholarships, is now available. Open to graduating high school seniors, scholarships range from $500 to more than $5,000 and, depending on the scholarship, can pay for things like tuition, room and board or other related expenses. Read more.
Apply now for $10,000 Kyoto Prize Scholarships
If you're a graduating senior with a 3.0 GPA and actively involved in your community, apply now for the $10,000 Kyoto Prize Scholarship. Based on the annual Kyoto Prize categories of Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences, and Arts and Philosophy, the scholarships will assist three San Diego County students with higher education. Students are asked to submit an application and 500-word essay. The deadline is Jan. 14. Read more.
4 ways teachers are using technology now
This article compiles examples of how classroom teachers are using technology to further learning. Included among the case studies is a group of Minnesota third-graders who are using technology to compete in educational games with other students worldwide. The exercise has led to improved achievement in reading and math. In a San Francisco classroom, chemistry students are greeted each day by a text message asking them a challenge question related to what they will learn that day. KQED.org/Mind/Shift blog
Data show diminished enrollment in remedial college courses
Fewer college freshmen are having to enroll in remedial courses, according to the National Center for Education Statistics -- 20.4% of freshmen in 2007-08, down from 26.3% in 1999-2000, Caralee Adams writes in this blog post. The data also show that fewer white students enrolled in remedial courses than their peers, and students in private colleges also were less likely to need remedial courses, she writes. Education Week/College Bound blog
What's the best way to identify an effective teacher?
Research funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports a three-pronged approach in teacher evaluations that includes students' test scores, classroom observations conducted by multiple people and feedback from students. The findings, released Tuesday, are the result of a three-year study of teacher evaluations. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said the findings support the contention that teacher evaluations should consider multiple measures. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)
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