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Association of California School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators
News Briefs | FYI
April 26, 2021
Thurmond issues statement on verdict in Floyd killing
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond issued a statement in response to the guilty verdicts in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of all counts in the death of George Floyd in 2020.
Floyd’s death sparked worldwide protests against police brutality toward African Americans and started a national dialogue about racism that also occurred in schools across the country.
“Today’s verdict is an important and long-overdue step for accountability, yet tremendous work remains if we want to truly eliminate the systemic racism that persists in all of our institutions — including public education — and which has denied students and communities justice for generations,” Thurmond said, in an April 20 statement. “It is also important to remember that despite today’s verdict, our students, educators, and families have experienced extraordinary trauma as they’ve struggled to make sense of this tragedy, the trial, and everything that transpired in between. I encourage all of our schools in the coming days to create space for open, honest dialogue for students and adults to process their emotions and use their voices to create lasting change.”
In the months since Floyd’s May 25, 2020 killing, Thurmond said he has pushed schools to “harness this moment” and use the power of education to end all forms of hate. One such effort, the Education to End Hate Initiative, has bestowed grant money to schools in order to train educators on ways to advance racial justice.
“Today is an opportunity to renew our commitment to ending systemic racism and using our power to level the playing field for all students,” Thurmond said.
Borba elected to national principal’s association board
Scott Borba, principal of Le Grand Union Elementary School in Le Grand, has been elected to the National Association of Elementary School Principals Board of Directors.
NAESP Executive Director L. Earl Franks, Ed.D., CAE, announced the results from the association’s headquarters.
Borba begins a three-year term as director of Zone 9 starting Aug. 1, 2021, representing principals in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Guam and American Samoa.
“I believe in the system of public education,” Borba said, in a news release. “I believe in the incredible responsibility we have as educators to impact the fabric of our society through education. I believe as leaders within this system that we have an ethical obligation to empower all children to become the greatest versions of themselves. As Zone 9 director, I bring a zealous passion for doing what is right for all students and a desire to challenge the status quo in regard to our profession across the nation.”
Borba has served as a principal for 15 years. He started his career as principal of Stanislaus Elementary School from 2006-2007 and Arleta Muncy Elementary school from 2006-2009. From 2009-2011, he led Josephine Chrysler Elementary School before becoming principal of Alice Stroud Elementary School from 2011-2017. Borba then moved to Le Grand Union Elementary School in 2018, where he currently serves as principal and superintendent.
He’s been a member of NAESP since 2008, serving as an NAESP state representative for California. A member of ACSA, Borba served in many leadership positions, including president of the Elementary Education Council from 2013-2016 and representative to the Elementary Education Council from 2008-2013.
Borba earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies in 2001 and a Master of Arts in Education in 2012 from California State University at Stanislaus.
SB 540 would provide grants to low-performing schools
New legislation designed to lift up some of the lowest-performing school districts in California — sponsored by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and authored by Senator Monique Limón, D-Santa Barbara, — received bipartisan approval from the California State Senate Committee on Education April 14, providing a pathway to help close opportunity gaps that disproportionately affect students of color.
Senate Bill 540, which heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee to be heard later this month, will establish a grant program to provide additional targeted assistance to 10 low-performing school districts with identified opportunity gaps for students of color.
“While there are hopeful signs as more and more students return to classrooms, it is important to remember that the inequities that existed before this crisis have only been deepened by this incredibly challenging time,” Thurmond said, in a news release. “SB 540 will allow the California Department of Education to invest in 10 of the highest-need school districts through an aggressive three-year funding package that focuses on equity coaching and intervention, professional development, and family engagement strategies. We cannot let students already at a disadvantage slip further behind because of our failure to invest in these schools.”
The equity gaps that have existed in the educational system are systemic and long-standing. Research shows that on average, Black students attend schools that are 48 percent Black, while white students attend schools that are only 9 percent Black. By the time Black children enter high school, they are often more than four academic years behind their white counterparts. Suspensions for African American children are approximately three to five times higher than for white children. In the United States, by age 24, only 78 percent of Latinos and 87 percent of Blacks have earned a high school diploma compared to 94 percent of whites. The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened these disparities.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the educational disparities that exist among school districts. SB 540 begins to address the equity gaps that exist in our education system and provide the proper resources to make sure that students, especially those in low-income and communities of color, do not fall behind,” said Senator Limón.
SB 540 would allocate grants of $1.25 million to each of the 10 highest-need school districts for the 2021–22 fiscal year and the following two fiscal years. This key investment in underserved California students will urgently and immediately pro-vide assistance to recover and help schools build the structures to accelerate learning for students and to support families hardest hit by a global pandemic.
Looking ahead: Observances in May
Asian/Pacific Heritage Month: Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month is a month to celebrate and pay tribute to the contributions generations of Asian/Pacific Americans have made to American history, society and culture. Find teacher resources from the Smithsonian, the National Archives and more at School Principals’ Day (May 1): Find examples of social media posts to honor school site leaders on this day at Teacher Appreciation Week (May 3-7): The National PTA is encouraging everyone to #ThankATeacher during this year’s campaign. Download the Teacher Appreciation Week Toolkit at Classified School Employee Week (May 16-22): Show these essential school employees how valued they are during this appreciation week, which was added to the state’s Education Code in 1986.
CDE releases new guidance document on assessments
The California Department of Education has updated the COVID-19 Assessment FAQs web page with new frequently asked questions and answers for the 2021 Spring Summative Assessment Administration. Also posted on the COVID-19 Assessment FAQs web page is the 2020-21 Spring Summative Assessment Administration Flexibility Guidelines, which covers testing options for each summative assessment this spring. New FAQs will be added in the future, so be sure to check back often. Visit
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