News Briefs | FYI
December 5, 2022
CA assessment data show declines in reading, math
The California Department of Education released assessment data Oct. 24 that provide further evidence of the impact of COVID-19 on student academic achievement and underscore the urgency of continuing to address student needs through focused efforts such as expanded learning time and learning acceleration.
Statewide, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards on the 2022 Smarter Balanced summative assessments declined by 4 percentage points (from 51 percent to 47 percent) for English language arts and 7 percentage points (from 40 percent to 33 percent) for mathematics when compared to students who took the tests in 2018–19 — before the pandemic. The results released include California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress and the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California data.
“Our school leaders hold themselves to the highest standards and understand that California’s assessment scores represent a new baseline — as iterated by the U.S. Department of Education and the California Department of Education,” said ACSA Executive Director Edgar Zazueta, in a statement following the release of the data. “They will continue to hold themselves accountable for the growth and success of our state’s students and know that they need our comprehensive support now more than ever.”
The release of student data follows the earlier posting of the National Assessment of Educational Progress results in reading and math for fourth- and eighth-graders nationwide. Like most of the country, California’s NAEP math scores declined from 2019 to 2022, though not by as much as the average drop nationally. In reading, California fourth graders’ scores also experienced a small decline that was less than the drop nationally. Of particular note: California eighth graders held steady with no decline in reading over the 2019 NAEP.
As a result, California moved up in NAEP’s state-by-state rankings. In addition, LAUSD was the only Trial Urban District Assessment participant to show significant gains in grade eight reading.
“These baseline data underscore what many of us know: that the road to recovery is long and our students will need sustained support over many years,” said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, in a news release. “California has worked proactively to provide additional resources to help our students beyond 2024, when the federal relief funding expires. Through the $7.9 billion Learning Recovery Block Grant available to schools in this year’s state budget, $4 billion in the Expanded Learning Opportunities Program, and $250 million for literacy coaches for our most vulnerable students, the CDE will continue to work with schools so they identify the right tools and resources to address academic, behavioral, and mental health needs.”

CA administrators honored at ALAS awards
Two California administrators were among the honorees during the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents’ National ALAS Gala Awards Night held in October.
The 2022-2023 Leadership Awards program honored 17 individuals for their extraordinary education advocacy and leadership. The recipients were announced during a special awards gala following the 19th annual National ALAS Education Summit in Puerto Rico.
The award for Latino Assistant Superintendent of the Year was presented to Ruth Pérez, deputy superintendent of schools, Riverside County Office of Education. The award for Latino Technology Champion of the Year was presented to Sophia Mendoza, Instructional Technology Initiative director, LAUSD.

“Our 2022-2023 award honorees exemplify strong, mission-driven leadership, and their support and advocacy for Latino and historically marginalized youth is truly inspiring,” said ALAS Executive Director Maria Armstrong, in a news release.

Researchers on year-round school calendars: ‘Don’t do it’
Year-round school calendars do not increase academic performance and pose a host of logistical problems that are hard for schools and parents to solve, according to a new article published by Education Next.
As some states are looking at year-round school calendars to recoup lost learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Paul T. von Hippel (University of Texas at Austin) and Jennifer Graves (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) conducted rigorous research on nearly 1,000 public schools in the U.S., revealing that “balanced” calendars fail to raise academic achievement, and significantly complicate life for working parents and teachers.
“To school leaders who hope that changing calendars can undo pandemic learning loss, we offer this advice: Don’t do it. The case for year-round school calendars rests on several myths or misunderstandings,” von Hippel and Graves write.
Von Hippel and Graves present evidence on the impact of following a year-round calendar on student reading and math scores, as well as the impact that switching between a nine-month and year-round calendar have on student test scores. Among their findings: “Balanced” school calendars don’t equal more learning time and the summer academic “boost” at year-round schools fades during the school year. Read the article at

Yidan Prize awarded to Darling-Hammond
The Yidan Prize Foundation has given what is considered the world’s highest education accolade to education professor, researcher and California State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond.
Following a rigorous independent judging process, Darling-Hammond and Professor Yongxin Zhu receive the 2022 Yidan Prize for Education Research and the 2022 Yidan Prize for Education Development, respectively. Founded in 2016, the Yidan Prize Foundation has a mission to create a better world through education.
Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus, Stanford University, and President and CEO, Learning Policy Institute, is awarded this prize for her work in shaping education policy and practice around the most equitable and effective ways to teach and learn. Her research reveals the diverse ways children learn and how best to teach them — and feeds those insights into robust educator development programs and transformed schools that holistically support teachers to change children’s lives.
With the $3.9 million in Yidan Prize funds, Darling-Hammond will scale up her work at the Educator Preparation Laboratory (EdPrepLab).
ACSA seeking nominations for Negotiator of the Year
ACSA is accepting nominations for the 2023 Negotiator of the Year, which will be presented during the Negotiators Symposium, Jan. 18-20 in San Diego. This recognition is awarded by the ACSA Human Resources Council to the person serving as chief negotiator for a school district or county office as a full-time employee of that district. To fill out the nomination form, visit Nominations are due by Dec. 31, 2022.
Students with disabilities can apply for program
The California Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, through the California Department of Rehabilitation, holds an annual weeklong leadership program called the Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities. The program is for 10th-12th grade students who have any disability and exhibit leadership potential. Students should apply for the 2023 program, tentatively scheduled for July 13-19, 2023, by Dec. 30, 2022. Visit for more information.
Virtual trainings available for UPK educators
CASCD and San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools have partnered on a virtual symposium for Universal Pre-Kindergarten educators. Early education teachers, paraprofessionals, coaches and administrators will have access to recorded professional learning sessions to increase capacity around supporting young learners. Registration is open and content will be available throughout the 2022-23 school year. Register for this free opportunity at
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