News Briefs | FYI
January 23, 2023
Legislative education committees get new leaders
The California Legislature has two new leaders chairing education committees. State Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, has been named chair of the Senate’s Committee on Education and State Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, has been named chair of the Assembly Education Committee.
Newman was appointed by Senate President pro tem Toni Atkins.
“I’m very honored and grateful for Senator Atkins to have entrusted me with responsibility for providing direction and oversight on some of the pressing issues facing California when it comes to the critical area of education,” Newman said, in a news release. “As Chair, I plan to focus my attention on providing students with urgently needed mental health services, restoring and modernizing our school campuses, re-engaging our students in civic education, and ensuring that every California family has access to the highest-quality education possible.”
In a Jan. 8 tweet, Muratsuchi said he was honored to be appointed by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.
“As an educator, former Torrance school board president, former SCROC trustee, and public school parent, I will fight for a good public education for all, regardless of where you live,” he said.
The education committees for each house were previously chaired by Sen. Connie Leyva and Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell. Both legislators did not seek reelection in 2022.
Speaker Rendon also announced other appointments for the 2023-24 session: Assemblymember Megan Dahle will serve as vice chair on the Assembly Education Committee and Assemblymember Kevin McCarty will serve as chair of the Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance.
College prep courses have impact on youth
New UCLA-led research finds that a college preparatory program for youth experiencing educational inequities that operates in about 13 percent of U.S. public high schools has a positive effect on students’ social networks, psycho-social outcomes and health behaviors.
The findings, published Dec. 16 in the peer-reviewed journal Pediatrics, suggests that the Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) program, aimed at increasing educational opportunities for under-represented and economically disadvantaged students, also significantly reduces substance use.
“Academic tracking” is a common practice in high schools through which lower-performing students are clustered with others of similar academic achievement. Although intended to tailor academic rigor to students’ level of preparation, the study findings suggest that this practice may be counterproductive by reinforcing risky behaviors that students pick up from their peers.
“Untracking” these students by mixing them in with higher-performing peers may lead to better physical and psychological health, said lead author Rebecca Dudovitz, associate professor of pediatrics and director of pediatric health services research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
“This is the first randomized controlled trial of AVID in the United States, so it’s really exciting to see that this program that was designed to help open up educational opportunities for kids, also improved their health,” Dudovitz said.
AVID works with high school students earning B or C grade averages who might not otherwise be placed in more rigorous college preparatory tracks. It operates in 5,400 secondary schools, including both middle and high school, in 46 states and exposes academically middling students to tougher courses than they would have been assigned to under normal circumstances. AVID helps students develop agency, relational capacity and opportunity knowledge.
NSPRA selects three California ‘Supts to Watch’ for 2022
The National School Public Relations Association has selected three California school leaders as “Superintendents to Watch” for 2022.
Adam Clark, Ed.D. of Mt. Diablo Unified School District; Alfonso Jiménez, Ed.D. of Hacienda La Puente Unified School; and Rosanna Mucetti, Ed.D. of Napa Valley Unified School District were the three California superintendents to receive the honor.
Each leader was recognized for their innovative and effective use of technology to engage and inform the school community, and to expand two-way communication and outreach efforts.
Each year, NSPRA recognizes up to 25 superintendents as Superintendents to Watch. Honorees are school district leaders who have fewer than five years of experience as a superintendent and who demonstrate dynamic, fast-paced leadership with strong communication at its core.
Find the complete list of winners online at
Submit proposals for CEL Institute by Feb. 24
Are you a classified leader with knowledge to share? Submit your proposal today to present at ACSA’s 2023 Classified Educational Leaders Institute, held May 17-19 at the Embassy Suites Waterfront in Sacramento. Visit and click the “Submit Proposal Now” button for more information. Proposals are due Friday, Feb. 24.
SBE seeks Special Education advisory applicants
The State Board of Education is currently seeking applications to fill two positions on the Advisory Commission on Special Education, preference will be given to applicants who are representatives of charter schools, and parents of students with disabilities. All applicants must provide evidence of demonstrated knowledge of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act laws and regulations. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Feb. 3, 2023. Applications can be found at
Virtual symposium for UPK educators
California Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools have partnered for their first virtual symposium for Universal Pre-Kindergarten educators. Early education teachers, paraprofessionals, coaches and administrators will have access to free recorded professional learning sessions via the Canvas Learning Management System to increase understanding and capacity around supporting young learners. Registration is open and content will be available throughout the 2022-23 school year. Register for at
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