News about Education

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Back in the late 1990's, California voters passed Proposition 227, which imposed strict restrictions on bilingual education in California's public school classrooms.

Supporters of the effort said English immersion was the best way for English learners to succeed and assimilate into society. Critics said by teaching core subjects only in English, non-English speakers were at a disadvantage in the classroom.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

A group of 18 students from schools across Fresno State were hooded with rainbow banners today in a first for Fresno State:  a lesbian, gay, bi, transgender and questioning graduation ceremony.

“I was really inspired because I noticed a lot of openly gay people, but we didn’t have a ceremony of our own, a reception of our own,” says Curtis Ortega with Fresno State’s United Student Pride Club. “We were kind of there as openly gay students, but I felt we needed our own expression and graduation ceremony.”

Diana Aguilera

Schools on the east side of Fresno County are already feeling the impact of California’s ongoing drought.

Education officials from the Kings Canyon Unified District say they have seen a significant drop in attendance this year.

 Superintendent Juan Garza says families have been forced to relocate, taking their school aged children with them.

Come August of next school year, there may be even less kids having fun on the playground. 

Opponents Remains As Common Core Nears Implementation

Apr 30, 2014
Katie Orr / Capital Public Radio

California schools are adjusting curriculum and students are already taking tests based on new Common Core standards. But, as Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, opposition to the standards continues, as demonstrated by a small rally at the Capitol Wednesday.

A small group of families and parents gathered under the trees near the Capitol to express their concern about Common Core standards. The bi-partisan group said the Common Core assessment often leaves students confused and upset.

New California Community College Scorecard Shows Affects of Recession

Apr 17, 2014
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A new study says students at California’s Community Colleges are achieving many of their academic goals. But Community College officials say they’ll be recovering from the drastic cuts during the Great Recession for years to come. Capital Public Radio’s Max Pringle reports. 

Paul Feist with the California Community Colleges says there’s a lot to like in the findings of the “Student Success Scorecard.”

California Bill Would Put English-only Instruction Back Before Voters

Apr 16, 2014
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A voter-approved  law that requires all California public school classes to be taught in English would go before voters again in 2016 under a bill now in the state legislature. Capital Public Radio’s Max Pringle reports.

Professor Patricia Gándara with the UCLA Civil Rights Project says a state-commissioned 2006 study proves that English-only instruction has few, if any, benefits.

Gándara: “The conclusion was that there had been no appreciable closing of the gaps between English learners and other students as a result of Prop. 227.” 

New Teacher Dismissal Bill Deal Has Governor's Support

Apr 14, 2014
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

After three years of bitter disputes, there appears to be a deal in the California legislature on a bill that would make it easier for school districts to fire teachers accused of abusing students.  But as Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, not all education groups are on board.

California Begins Testing New Student Assessments

Mar 27, 2014
Katie Orr / Capital Public Radio

California is preparing to implement Common Core education standards. As part of that change, the state is replacing standardized tests with new “assessments” meant to better judge students’ knowledge. But, as Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, the state must first test the test.

In the media lab of an elementary school in Sacramento, fourth grader Aanyah Jacobs answers questions that pop up on a computer screen one at a time. She’s one of the more than three million California public school students testing out the state’s new assessment.

Twitter / Asm. Susan Talamantes Eggman /

Go to a rural high school in Central California, and one of the most popular extra-curricular programs will be FFA – Future Farmers of America. But now the people who run those programs say their future is threatened in Governor Brown’s new budget.

It’s all part of a big change to the way school districts get their money from Sacramento – the Local Control Funding Formula. In general it’s been good news for schools up and down the valley, as it redirects more money to districts with high populations of low-income families, English learners and foster youth.

California Students Rally At Capitol For Agricultural Education Funding

Mar 19, 2014
Twitter / Asm. Susan Talamantes Eggman /

As part of the annual “Ag Day” celebration at the state Capitol, Future Farmers of America students from around California rallied Wednesday in support of agricultural education programs. From Sacramento, Max Pringle reports.

With the state suffering through its worst ever drought, Jim Aschwanden with the California Agricultural Teachers’ Association, says only well trained Ag workers will be able to meet the industry’s future challenges.