News Briefs | FYI
August 8, 2022
PPIC: COVID has stunted Next Generation Science Standards
The COVID-19 pandemic has derailed district efforts to adopt Next Generation Science Standards, according to a recent report from the Public Policy Institute of California.
California adopted the Next Generation Science Standards in 2013, with the aim of improving scientific literacy and strengthening the global competitiveness of the state’s workforce.
Most districts were in the early stages of implementing the standards when the pandemic began in March 2020, with some districts heading toward full implementation. However, according to districts surveyed by PPIC, many shifted their priorities in the 2020-21 school year.
“Key CA NGSS implementation activities, such as textbook adoption and course alignment, were delayed,” according to the report. “Contributing factors included staff shortages, teacher burnout, a lack of dedicated funding, and an emphasis on English Language Arts (ELA) and math. However, some districts with large English Learner populations have been using science content to engage students in ELA and math.”
Of districts surveyed by PPIC, only 27 percent made science a high priority in their recovery plans, whereas more than 80 percent prioritized math/ELA.
The report authors recommend California educators and policymakers get back on track by including science in district accountability requirements and by providing dedicated funding to help districts build capacity, provide high-quality professional learning, and adopt and purchase standards-aligned instructional materials.
Read the full report at
Report: Students’ privacy rights violated during online learning
Governments of 49 of the world’s most populous countries harmed children’s rights by endorsing online learning products during COVID-19 school closures without adequately protecting children’s privacy, according to a May 25 report from Human Rights Watch.
“‘How Dare They Peep into My Private Life?’: Children’s Rights Violations by Governments that Endorsed Online Learning during the Covid-19 Pandemic” examined 290 companies found to have collected, processed or received children’s data since March 2021, and calls on governments to adopt modern child data protection laws to protect children online.
“Children should be safe in school, whether that’s in person or online,” said Hye Jung Han, children’s rights and technology researcher and advocate at Human Rights Watch, in a news release. “By failing to ensure that their recommended online learning products protected children and their data, governments flung open the door for companies to surveil children online, outside school hours, and deep into their private lives.”
Of the 164 ed tech products reviewed, 146 (89 percent) appeared to engage in data practices that risked or infringed on children’s rights. These products monitored or had the capacity to monitor children, in most cases secretly and without the consent of children or their parents, in many cases harvesting personal data such as who they are, where they are, what they do in the classroom, who their family and friends are, and what kind of device their families could afford for them to use.
Read the full report at
Researchers find interventions that help ‘underachievers’
One in five students in the United States will not earn a high school diploma — and young adolescents who fall behind in school risk never catching up, leading to unemployment, poor health and poverty, research has shown.
But a new University of California, Davis, study of intermediate school students in urban California and New York shows promise for underachievers. Researchers found that early intervention with teachers training students that intelligence is malleable caused struggling students to flourish and improve their grades.
“These results were exciting,” said the study’s lead author, Tenelle Porter, a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Human Ecology who studies the psychology of education. “Here we show that we can change people’s minds about how education works — that abilities can improve with effort, and struggling students can see progress.”
The study was published June 14 in the journal Psychological Science.
Porter explained that there is often a mindset among children, their families and even teachers that students who are low achievers in middle school may never catch up — that intelligence levels will not increase much after early adolescence.
The study showed, however, that implementing an educational philosophy called a mindset intervention, which holds that the brain, like a muscle, can be strengthened and trained — combined with training teachers how to implement the program in classrooms — raised grades a couple of percentage points over a year, on average. The intervention used in this case was a particular program called “Brainology.”
The study was the first of its kind to include the effect teachers have on the technique, which proved to be doubly effective, grade-wise, to delivering the message by computer to each student without teacher involvement. Underachieving students benefited more than students who already had higher grades.
“Students learned, ‘wow, I can be smarter,’” Porter said.
This research was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Find the report at
U.S. schools remain segregated along racial, income lines
Schools remain divided along racial, ethnic, and economic lines throughout the U.S. — even as the K-12 public school student population grows more diverse.
That’s according to an analysis from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which sought to examine the prevalence and growth of segregation in schools in a report published in June.
According to the report, more than a third of students (about 18.5 million) attended a predominantly same-race/ethnicity school — defined as having 75 percent or more of the student population is of a single race/ethnicity. GAO also found that 14 percent of students attended schools where 90 percent or more of the students were of a single race/ethnicity.
The data also show that district secession — a process by which schools sever governance ties from an existing district to form a new district — usually results in new districts having a greater share of students who are white and fewer students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
Read the full report at
Submit your proposal to present at ECC Symposium
ACSA’s Student Services and Special Education Council invites you to submit a proposal to present at the 2023 Every Child Counts Symposium, to be held Jan. 11-13, 2023 at the JW Marriott Palm Desert. The 2023 ECC Symposium’s theme is “Championing Possibilities.” Proposals are due Monday, Aug. 15, 2022 at 5 p.m. Selected presenters will be notified at the end of August and will receive a discounted registration rate. For conference strands and to submit your proposal, visit
ACSA Awards nomination window for 2023 now open
The nomination window for ACSA’s 2023 Administrator of the Year and special awards is now open. Visit to use the online portal to submit a nomination. The deadline for submitting nominations for the awards, in all regions, is Jan. 19, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. Regions will then select their region winners and state finalists, which are forwarded to the statewide Awards Committee.
Submit articles for Mental Health issue by Aug. 22
ACSA is accepting submissions for the November/December edition of Leadership magazine titled Mental Health. Suggested topics include: Student wellness, SEL, behavioral health, CTE pathways for mental health careers, clinicians in schools, classroom implementation, pandemic effects on mental health, staff burnout/mental wellness, and suicide prevention. The deadline has been extended to August 22. Send submissions to Naj Alikhan, ACSA Senior Director of Marketing and Communications.
Contact Us
© 2022 Association of California School Administrators