Friday, July 14, 2017

English Learner Roadmap - Step Forward in Computer Science Education (CA Dept of Education)

English Learner Roadmap - Year 2017 (CA Dept of Education):

State Board of Education Approves “English Learner Roadmap” to Help More than 1.4 Million California Students

SACRAMENTO— The State Board of Education on Wednesday approved a revolutionary “English Learner Roadmap” to help California’s more than 1,000 local school districts welcome, understand, and educate the diverse population of students who are learning English.
California has about 1.4 million students—one of every four public school students statewide—classified as English Learners. The Roadmap is the first new language policy adopted in nearly 20 years, removes outdated barriers to bilingual and multilingual instruction, and will help schools meet updated state and federal education laws and requirements.
“This is a terrific step forward to help students in the wonderfully diverse state of California,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. “The road map will guide teachers and school districts all across California as they help students on their way to success in 21st century careers and college.”
State Board President Michael W. Kirst said passage of the roadmap marks both an end and a beginning. "With this vote, the state puts regressive policies in our past and embarks on a new, inclusive path toward ensuring California's promise of college and career readiness for all students is fulfilled."
California voters last year overwhelmingly approved Proposition 58, which removed a number of legal barriers to bilingual learning. The measure will ensure that all students receive the highest quality education, master the English language, and access high-quality and innovative language programs.
Past restrictions date back to 1998, when Proposition 227 passed and placed nearly all English Learner students in English-only classrooms.
Demand for bilingual and multilingual instruction has been growing as proficiency in more than one language helps students compete for college admissions and jobs. For example, high school seniors who demonstrated dual language skills can earn a gold “Seal of Biliteracy” on their diplomas. In the Class of 2016, more than 40,000 students earned the seal, four time the number when the state-authorized program started in 2010.
The English Learner Roadmap will also help California schools comply with the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the state’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), both of which require specific assistance so English Learners can meet the same academic standards as other students.
The Roadmap started as a recommendation of Torlakson’s “Blueprint for Great Schools Version 2.0” in 2015. The California Department of Education, with support from the Sobrato Family Foundation and the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation, received advice on the recommended policy from over 370 educators during three public meetings. The Roadmap will be available online. For more information, go to the CDE English Learner Roadmap Web page.
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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

SACRAMENTO— State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that the State Board of Education (SBE) took action to improve and update computer science education in California.
The board appointed 21 members to the Computer Science Standards Advisory Committee and approved guidelines for the development of new standards.
“These actions will modernize and upgrade computer science education in California” Torlakson said. “Enhancing and expanding the teaching and learning of computer science will help California’s students succeed in a fiercely competitive environment, while maintaining our state’s position as the global high-tech leader.”
The guidelines were recommended by the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) and are based on focus group meetings, public comment and updates for current state law. The committee members include math and science teachers, principals, university professors and business leaders. The committee will develop standards that provide guidance to local educational agencies.
The IQC, a panel of experts that advises the SBE on curriculum and instruction, will develop and recommend standards before August, 2019. The standards must:
  • Reflect industry trends
  • Contain concepts that can be learned without the use of a computer
  • Focus on solving real-world problems
  • Emphasize the artistic and creative nature of computer science.
Torlakson, who started his public service career as a high school science teacher, has placed a high priority on expanding and improving Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. He strongly promotes Next Generation Science Standards, which emphasize hands-on science learning, problem solving and working in teams.
The public can comment on the proposed standards during two separate 60-day review periods next year.
Another initiative includes establishing the California Computer Science Strategic Implementation Advisory Panel. The panel will consider the best and most equitable ways of implementing the new standards, including how to expand the pool of computer science teachers, and will start work in March 2018.
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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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