CCIS congratulates the Distinguished Schools for 2013, especially those offering independent study as their primary mode of delivery:
* Classical Academy High
* Mt. Everest Academy
* Century Academy
The State Superintendent noted that Distinguished Schools "have gone the extra mile to provide high-quality instruction that puts their students on the right path..." (article below)
PBS LearningMedia offers free resources
PBS LearningMedia - May 20, 2013
PBS has a re-designed website to help preK-12 teachers easily access many free resources. The organization's digital resources total more than 30,000 and all material may be browsed by grade level or subject. A new feature is the Content Collections groupings which include...
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces California Distinguished Schools for 2013
CDE News Release - April 11, 2013
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today named 218 public middle and high schools California Distinguished Schools for their strong commitment and innovative approaches to improving student academic achievement.
Apples to apples comparison of Brown’s funding formula
EdSource - April 10, 2013
Twenty-two of the 50 largest districts in the state would receive more money under Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed K-12 funding formula when it’s fully funded, potentially in seven years, while 28 districts would do better if additional money were simply divvied up under the current system, with no reforms, according to data provided this week by the state Department of Finance. Of course, glaring...
Ten of the best virtual field trips
eSchool News - April 7, 2013
To help educators save time, we've chosen these 10 virtual field trips based on their relevancy, depth and quality of resources, and potential for student excitement.…
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Unveils New Recommended Literature List
CDE News Release - March 18, 2013
SACRAMENTO—To help students meet the new Common Core State Standards and prepare for a career, college, and the challenges of a changing world, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today unveiled the new Recommended Literature: Pre-Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve list. The books our students read help...
Study compliments and questions Brown’s funding formula
EdSource - February 22, 2013
An analysis by the Public Policy Institute of California, released Wednesday, praises Gov. Jerry Brown’s overall plan for school finance reform, while raising questions about elements of the formula that would…
State’s calculation of teacher misassignments gives skewed rate
CALIFORNIA WATCH K-12 - February 21, 2013
Teachers are required by law to have appropriate credentials, authorizations or permits for the subjects and students they teach. But in California every year…
Torlakson Announces Pilot Testing of Computer-Based Assessments
CDE News Release #27 - February 20, 2013
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced that more than 1,100 schools across California will be participating in computer-based pilot testing launched today by…
3 Websites for High School Teachers to Try in 2013
US News - February 4, 2013
Teachers can tap into free Web resources to incorporate tech into their lessons. Technology continues to make inroads into high school classrooms via bring-your-own device initiatives, 1:1 proposals that put a tablet or laptop in front of every student, and blended learning models that…
Common Core Timeline
Orange County Department of Education - Ready to use common core standards in 2013? Review this timeline to find out what is happening now and what is expected tomorrow.
September 14, 2012
Education Week - Larry Ferlazzo says schools should focus on teaching performance character -- self-control, persistence, grit, optimism -- as opposed to moral character for the practical reason that...
Student Assessment by Computer
September 14, 2012
SI&A - Will the state unveil a plan to use technology to assess student progress as common core is implemented throughout the state?
PE and Computers
August 1, 2012
eSchool News - One school in California has figured out a way to use iPads to help walk the tightrope between government fitness mandates and reduced budgets.
Education Roundup for Week Ending March
March 2, 2012
SACRAMENTO—The California Department of Education (CDE) today issued this week's Education Roundup featuring education-related announcements of public interest.
English Language Arts/English Language Development Focus Group Recruitment
New CDE tack on NCLB waiver would relieve both LEAs and state
February 24, 2012
California - State officials believe they may have finally found a way for California schools to take advantage of the Obama No Child Left Behind waiver by...
A Survey of teachers finds few know much about common core
February 23, 2012
California - A an analysis by WestEd's Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning raised the growing issue for state officials and district administrators that more outreach and professional development will be needed in the coming months to successfully bring the new standards in math and English language arts to teachers. Districts must...
Long Beach schools meeting mandate on technical education from state superintendent
February 15, 2012
Long Beach - State Superintendent Tom Torlakson this week unveiled his new Career Readiness Initiative designed to lower dropout rates and improve career readiness by promoting career technical education in high schools. The initiative stresses the need to increase ...
February 14, 2012
Sacramento - American students have been called the most tested and least examined of any in the world, writes Linda Darling-Hammond in an op-ed in The Sacramento Bee. This is especially true in California, where students take...
Beyond bodies in chairs
February 3, 2012
Education Week - Thirty-six states have established policies that give districts and schools some degree of ability to award credits to students based on mastery of a subject, rather than "seat time," according to a new report from the National Governors Association.
Introducing the Gateway Webinar Series
February 1, 2012
Gateway News - Join this online community for free webinars, valuable education resources, classroom activities, and more - all free.
Better than answers
Harvard - Who should be asking the questions and why? Three valuable changes are available by adjusting these basic practices.
Five things students want
eSchool News - Ideas from across the country on how to give students the education they want and need.
How does he spell relief? W-A-I-V-E-R
August 25, 2011
Los Angeles - California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has requested immediate relief from federal guidelines that ...
Ten of the best school-reform ideas from readers
June 6th, 2011
eSchool News - From competency-based learning policies to more time for creativity, readers weigh in with their suggestions for improving public education. See how many sound like independent study.
Nonprofit expands scope of online video lessons for students
March 16, 2011
The Web-based nonprofit Khan Academy was created as a tutoring and enrichment tool that now offers more than 2,000 original educational videos designed to help K-12 students improve in math, science, and testing. With the addition of a progress dashboard for teachers, the digital lessons are being used as part of a blended-learning model in one California district. Founder Salman Khan is also expanding the project's scope to include ...
2012 budget favorable to education
February 14, 2011
Washington - President Obama has proposed a 2012 Department of Education budget that would significantly increase federal spending for public schools, The New York Times reports. The administration's education proposal asks for...
Uncertain prospects on education gridlock
February 6, 2011
Los Angeles - Widespread dissatisfaction with NCLB may move President Obama and Republican leaders toward a compromise on education reform, according to The Los Angeles Times. Republicans dislike the law's prominent federal role, and Democrats say testing overloads the school day and unfairly judges teachers. Both sides are dismayed at the...
Forging multiple pathways to success
February 1, 2011
Cambridge - The Pathways to Prosperity Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education has released a new report that argues our national strategy for education is too narrowly focused on ineffective strategies as evidenced by the high dropout rate and multiple other indicators. The report advocates development of a comprehensive pathways network that would be based on three essential elements. The first is the development of a ...
CDE announces new application for independent study recognition
September 28, 2010
SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Education (CDE) and the California Consortium for Independent Study (CCIS) invite you to consider applying for the Exemplary Independent Study Recognition Award (EISRA). This award recognizes excellent educational practices in schools where independent study is the primary mode of instruction.
Students to get a voice on teacher performance under new state law
August 26, 2010
LOS ANGELES - High school students will get a chance to say what they think of their teachers under a bill signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. SB 1422 allows the student government at high schools to develop a survey of student opinions about their classes and "teacher effectiveness."
California students take advantage of online learning options
August 9, 2010
BAKERSFIELD - An increasing number of students in California are enrolling in online courses and programs as an alternative to brick-and-mortar high schools. Some students turn to online schools because of bullying, medical issues or learning disabilities, while others simply prefer the self-paced curriculum of virtual schools or need to ...
Virtual K-12 campus is LAUSD plan
August 14, 2010
LOS ANGELES - Distance learning at Los Angeles Unified has grown steadily over the past several years, but this fall the school district will open its first virtual high school. Los Angeles Virtual High School Academy will be a full-time online school enrolling some 650 ninth- and 10th-graders during the 2010-11 school year. The goal is to have ...
New Conejo Valley school offers 'hybrid learning'
August 14, 2010
THOUSAND OAKS - High school students looking for an alternative to a regular classroom setting can join a new academy in Thousand Oaks. At Century Academy, students have the opportunity to participate in “hybrid learning”— a combination of individualized and traditional learning with ...
Documenting what works
HARVARD - A new report from the Achievement Gap Initiative (AGI) at Harvard University looks at 15 outstanding public high schools from Massachusetts, Illinois, Ohio, Maryland, Texas, and Washington, D.C. These high schools faced questioning from experts about the methods by which they had achieved progress, such as high value-added test score gains on statewide assessment tests and narrowing test-score achievement gaps. The main lesson from the presentations was that student achievement rose when ...
Virtual school set to open: Chino Valley Unified attempts to recapture lost attendance funds
August 19, 2010
CHINO HILLS - The school formerly known as Los Serranos Elementary will open this fall as Chino Valley Unified's first online school. Established as a way to better serve students who may succeed academically outside of a traditional high school environment. It's also a way for the district to eventually recapture lost state attendance funds as a result of ...
Online school a first in the Bay Area
August 30, 2010
SAN JOSE - It's not that he dislikes learning, but Matt Pelletier hated high school -- teachers, homework, the environment and especially the schedule. As he begins his junior year, Matt, 16, doesn't have to deal with those annoyances. Last week he fired up his home computer to log on to Liberty Online, which may be the first district-sponsored virtual public school in the Bay Area. There are no classrooms, just students at home, and full-fledged ...
The right teacher is more important than the right school
August 14, 2010
LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Times has obtained seven years of math and English test scores from the Los Angeles Unified School District, and used the information to estimate the effectiveness of L.A. teachers. The Times used a statistical approach known as value-added analysis, rating teachers based on students' progress on standardized tests from year to year. Among its findings was that highly effective teachers ...
On-line Test Prep
California Learning Resource Network, February 2010
Are your students prepared for testing? Could they use some help? Need to know
where to go to find resources that you can share with your students?
The California Learning Resource Network has anticipated those
needs and has put together a sampling of free Internet sites that can
provide skill-building practice to assist your students in meeting their
Free instructional videos from Verizon Thinkfinity
K12HSN News, Friday, February 5th, 2010
Want to learn more about Verizon Thinkfinity's free online resources from a variety of educational partners but only have 5 minutes to spare? NO PROBLEM! The Verizon Thinkfinity Professional Development team has developed a handful of short training videos! How about watching "Searching for Thinkfinity's Resources" to open the door to a wealth of anytime/anywhere standards-based lessons? No login or registration is required, so check them out now! Be sure to bookmark the page and check back often for new videos!
State targets achievement gap
KPBS.org, February 4, 2010
State Schools Superintendent Jack O'Connell visited San Diego High School today to unveil a new set of tools that he says will help California close its persistent achievement gap.The tools come in the form of two surveys and a workbook for each school district in the state. Can these tools really make a difference?
Digital tools expand options for personalized learning
EdWeek.com, February 3, 2010
Digital tools for defining and targeting students' strengths and weaknesses could help build a kind of individualized education plan for every student. New applications for defining and targeting students’ academic strengths and weaknesses can help teachers create a personal playlist of lessons, tools, and activities that deliver content in ways that align with individual needs and optimal learning methods.
Recession takes toll on California schools according to a recent report from UCLA's Institute for Democracy, Education and Access.
California WatchBlog, February 2, 2010
California currently leads the nation in unemployment and mortgage foreclosures. The loss of tax revenue has forced schools to cut back on spending, programs and personnel. A recent study from UCLA's Institute for Democracy Education and Access called "Educational Opportunities in Hard Times" surveyed 87 school principals to assess how funding issues are impacting schools on a daily basis. The responses weren't pretty.
New school focuses on the individual
San Diego Union Tribune, November 19, 2009
The school wants to show students that it takes their educations seriously and wants to help them clear the obstacles are keeping them from earning a diploma. The setup is proving to be appealing. Three months after opening its doors, the independent study, K-12 school is within sight of its enrollment goal of 200 students for the year.
Enrichment classes a trademark of Pacific Coast Charter School in Watsonville
Santa Cruz Sentinel, November 11, 2009
The school's teachers, students and parents meet frequently to develop a personalized learning plan adapted to each student's interests and needs. While students complete their schoolwork at home with regular check-ins, pupils are also given the opportunity to attend on-site classes.
AASA hears what's about to disrupt schools
eSchool News, February 23, 2009
If Harvard Business School's Clayton Christensen is right, half of all instruction will take place online within the next 10 years--and schools had better get into the online-learning market or risk losing their students to other providers. Christensen was at the American Association of School Administrators conference in San Francisco Feb. 19 to discuss his book Disrupting Class, which looks at why schools have struggled to improve through the lens of "disruptive innovation."
Classical Academy wins state recognition award (no link)
The San Diego Union-Tribune, November 1, 2009
Escondido’s Classical Academy has received and Exemplary Independent Study Recognition Award from the state Department of Education.
Tamiscal High School in Larkspur wins state recognition
ContraCostaTimes.com, October 23, 2009
Each Tamiscal student meets with a supervising teacher for about an hour a week to receive assignments and discuss topics in English and social studies. Students attend math classes for five or six hours a week and spend two hours in science classes and labs. The rest of the time, they're on their own.
School cited as one of top three independent studies programs
Orange County Register, October 20, 2009
La Entrada High School was honored today as one of three shining examples of independent study programs in California for its academic strengths and the flexible, personal service it provides a highly mobile student population.
California Recognizes Three Schools for Exemplary Independent Study Programs
Imperial Valley News, October 20, 2009
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell today congratulated three California public schools selected by a joint project of the California Consortium for Independent Study and the California Department of Education to receive the Exemplary Independent Study Recognition Award (EISRA).
Enrollment in independent study high schools surges
The Sacramento Bee, June 24, 2009
Enrollment in California's "independent study" high schools has surged by 44 percent in the last eight years, a new study by WestEd, a San Francisco-based educational research organization, has found.
Tapping parent power
The San Diego Union Tribune, January 13, 2007
It's hard to put a price on parents' involvement in their children's education, but one charter school's partnership with parents has earned it a $250,000 state grant so it can share the secrets of its success with other schools.