Category Archives: In the News

Recommendations from the LCFF Test Kitchen for Aligning Reporting Requirements

Making the Most of the Governor's Budget Proposal BriefGovernor Newsom’s January budget proposal outlines plans for a single web-based application that can merge various district reporting tools to increase efficiency and public understanding. Drawing on the experiences of the LCFF Test Kitchen, a new brief offers four recommendations for making the most of this proposal:

1. Articulate the goals and desired outcomes of a single web-based reporting platform to align reporting structures.
2. Engage end users throughout the development process.
3. Foster competition to generate an innovative, single web-based reporting platform design.
4. Create structures and supports to build trust between school districts and their communities.

DOWNLOAD THE BRIEF

Through a process that values end users and fosters innovation, we can both support and improve upon the Governor’s proposal, thereby helping to create the conditions for continued progress in our schools and communities.

For more information about the LCFF Test Kitchen, please visit lcfftestkitchen.org.

You can also find the brief and more information about LCFF on the California Collaborative on District Reform (CCDR) website.

LCFF Test Kitchen is a partnership with:

CCEE, CCDR, Pivot Learning, and WestEd.

A new report from Pivot Learning finds that California’s unfunded pension costs threaten educational equity.

California’s chronic underfunding of teacher pensions is pushing school districts into financial distress, forcing them to make painful cuts that will increasingly harm both the state’s teachers and its most vulnerable students, according to a report released today by Pivot Learning. Read more »

Our recent Crisis on the Coast event held earlier this March continues to bring attention to the homeless crisis in our community. The Monterey Herald mentioned Pivot Learning’s report, “Crisis on the Coast: The Bay Coastal Foster Youth and Homeless Student Populations.“ The report outlines a study we conducted in partnership with National Center for Youth Law about how the region’s soaring housing costs and lower wage jobs has contributed to the growing housing crisis. Learn more about the report and download a copy.

Excerpted from the Monterey Herald

MONTEREY — Cynthia Tiberend has posted a Go Fund Me video asking for help and explaining how the Monterey resident is facing the loss of her home of 23 years and the uncertainty that she will be able to afford a new place to live.

The short video did not explain the reason Tiberend must leave her home and an email to the Carmel resident who posted the page for Tiberend was not returned Monday.

“I’m very stressed, very frightened,” Tiberend said in the video. “I was given to May 7  to vacate my apartment. I might need movers because I may need to move farther away because I cannot secure housing in the Monterey area. I never thought I would find myself in this situation but here I am.”

She is not alone. New findings released on March 15 by an Oakland-based nonprofit called Pivot Learning highlight the role of region’s soaring housing costs and lower wage jobs has on the growing housing crisis. Pivot works with schools to tackle any number of educational challenges. It became involved with Monterey County when it found that 10 percent of students in the county were considered homeless by the state Department of Education.

On Wednesday, Monterey planning staff will present a new report to the City Council during a study session that presents both challenges and opportunities to address the crisis. The report notes both the income disparities in Monterey that contribute to the crisis and the policy measures the city can take to provide more affordable housing units.

Read the Full Story

    Calcurriculum and the California Department of Education are partnering to offer free workshops this May and June to help county offices, districts, and charter management identify opportunities and strategies to improve their math program implementation.

    May 20-21, Sacramento
    June 18-19, Santa Ana

    The workshops will be beneficial to districts needing Tier 1 math curriculum support as well as targeted support for districts designated for assistance. During the workshop, participants will:
    • Investigate their instructional materials
    • Consider possible adaptations or supplemental materials
    • Plan for how to improve the math program in their schools

    Want a preview of what will be covered in the workshop? Check out the Implementation Guide.

    Register your team today. Spaces are limited and the deadline to register is May 3rd. The workshop is free and meals will be provided. Participants will need to cover their own travel, hotel, and other incidental costs.

    CalCurriculum is a partnership between EdReports and Pivot Learning.

      The Californian is helping spread the news about the Crisis on the Coast event we held on March 11th at the Monterey County Office of Education in Salinas, CA. The panel and forum discussed the report “Crisis on the Coast: The Bay Coastal Foster Youth and Homeless Student Populations” that outlines the findings of a study conducted by Pivot  Learning and National Center for Youth Law. Read the full report to learn more.

      Excerpted from The Californian

      Local education and nonprofit leaders are hoping to better identify and help homeless students in Monterey County, where about one in 10 pupils qualify as homeless, according to a November study – a number some suggest is low.

      Monday, the Monterey County Office of Education and Salinas City Elementary School District co-hosted a discussion hoping to understand the state of education in communities impacted by family homelessness and recommend solutions for students.

      Published by Pivot Learning and the National Center for Youth Law, the study “Crisis on the Coast: The Bay Coastal Foster Youth and Homeless Student Populations” found increases in homeless and foster students in Monterey County. The county also had far fewer services for these students compared to urban areas in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

      It spoke to the community's future, said Gary Vincent, executive director of the Epicenter, a local nonprofit serving homeless and foster youth. “If you are concerned about the youth in this county at all, this should be a wake-up call for us and a call to action now.”

      While Monterey County had average rates of foster youth within the Bay Area region, it far outpaced other counties in the rate and total number of students experiencing homelessness. Local homeless and foster students are more likely to be English learners and people of color.

      “What it did, the bottom line, is it raised awareness in our community,” said Salinas City Elementary Homeless Liaison Cheryl Camany.

      Read the Full Story

        Our recent Crisis on the Coast event held on March 7th at the Community Center at Soper Field in Seaside, CA received coverage by the Monterey Herald. The panel discussion and forum was based on the report “Crisis on the Coast: The Bay Coastal Foster Youth and Homeless Student Populations“ that outlines the findings of a study conducted by Pivot Learning and National Center for Youth Law. Learn more about the report and download a copy.

        Excerpted from the Monterey Herald

        SEASIDE — Monterey County is in a huge crisis as the dramatic rise in family homelessness along the coast and rural areas continues to grow each day.

        The National Center for Youth Law and Pivot Learning hosted a presentation for the report “Crisis on the Coast: The Bay Coastal Foster Youth and Homeless Student Populations” inside the Community Center at Soper Field on Thursday afternoon.

        The event, which was co-hosted with Monterey Peninsula Unified School District, featured a panel of experts on homeless and foster youth populations and a public forum.

        The panel featured Adrienne “Bing” Goldsworth, who’s the National Center for Youth Law program manager for FosterEd in Monterey County and was on hand to talk about ways to help reduce the number of homeless and foster youth students in the area.

        Other panelist included Darius Brown of the Monterey County of Education, MPUSD board trustee Wendy Root Askew, MPUSD Social Emotional Support director Donnie Everett and MPUSD homeless liaison Carlos Diaz.

        Brown, who’s the coordinator for McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Services, said getting all the experts, liaisons and families in the same room to talk about the subject means people are acknowledging it is an issue.

        “If your district is not talking about the situation then that means you haven’t acknowledged family homelessness as an issue,” he said.

        Pivot Learning CEO Arun Ramanathan and program manager Hannah Melnicoe were at the forum to present the report findings.

        Read the Full Story

          FIRST REPORT IN THE “INVISIBLE CALIFORNIA” SERIES HIGHLIGHTS EDUCATIONAL NEEDS OF THE ANTELOPE VALLEY REGION IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY

          Los Angeles, CA, October 12, 2017 – Today, Pivot Learning, an Oakland-based nonprofit supporting dozens of CA school districts to improve college and career readiness, and PACE, an independent, non-partisan research center based at three California Universities, released The Antelope Valley: Over the hill and out of sight. The report’s authors will present their findings today at 2:00 PM at the California Community Foundation’s Joan Palevsky Center, 281 S. Figueroa St. Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

          Bigger than the state of Rhode Island, the Antelope Valley is the northern-most part of Los Angeles County. Composed of Lancaster, Palmdale, and the surrounding communities, it is one of the highest need regions in California. Over the past year, Policy Analysis for California Education has partnered with Pivot Learning to paint a comprehensive picture of the educational needs of students, families and educators in the region.

          The report discusses:

          • Dramatic increases and changes in the Valley student population as families flee higher-cost regions in Los Angeles
          • Large-scale movement of the Los Angeles African-American and Latino/a communities into the Valley
          • Dramatic rise in the number of foster youth and homeless students
          • Impacts on the education system of these rapid demographic changes
          • K-12, higher education, health and transportation infrastructure needs of students from pre-school through post-secondary

          A panel of experts, including school district, community, and city leaders and researchers will discuss the state of education in the Antelope Valley. They will provide recommendations to expand and improve educational opportunities for the large numbers of African-American, English Learners, low-income, homeless, and foster youth in the region.

          View the report here.

          For more information, contact Morgan Pulleyblank: mpulleyblank@pivotlearning.org / 510.808.4067.

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          Pivot Learning is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to revitalize our public school systems so that all students have the opportunity to succeed in college and career. We partner with education leaders at all levels of the system—including superintendents, mid-level district leaders, principals, teachers and community members—to provide the knowledge, skills and support proven to strengthen educational systems and transform teaching and learning.

          Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) is an independent, non-partisan research center based at Stanford University, the University of Southern California, and the University of California – Davis. PACE seeks to define and sustain a long-term strategy for comprehensive policy reform and continuous improvement in performance at all levels of California’s education system, from early childhood to postsecondary education and training. PACE bridges the gap between research and policy, working to increase the impact of academic research on educational policy in California.

          “We don’t really have the expertise on site so we rely on working with other small school districts and the curriculum department at our [county] office of education.”

                                                                                          -Rural School Leader

          Over the past two years , with generous support from the S.H. Cowell and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Pivot Learning has supported and collaborated with twenty-one rural districts and counties in Northern California to create the Rural Professional Learning Network (RPLN). Through an iterative design process, the RPLN has joined forces to overcome unique challenges due to their limited budgets and remote locations and effectively implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards.

          Pivot partnered with Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), an independent, nonpartisan research center at Stanford University, to conduct research and present findings on the current challenges facing rural districts in California. The research was lead by Dr. Thomas Timar, an expert in education finance, policy, and governance, director of the UC Davis Center for Applied Policy in Education (CAP-Ed), and member of the PACE steering committee. In the report, “Surprising Strengths and Substantial Needs: Rural District Implementation of Common Core State Standards”, Dr. Timar and his colleagues found that “If small rural districts are to succeed in meaningful, deep implementation of CCSS, the state, COEs and other support providers must provide small and rural districts with access to relevant exemplars of systemic standards implementation.”

          Based on research collected from RPLN’s first year, recommendations on how to better support rural districts included:

          1) Encouraging rural districts and schools to think strategically and effectively about time management and resources.

          2) Providing ongoing resources to small and rural districts to support professional development according to diverse teacher and student needs, innovative delivery methods, and effective, measurable impact.

          3) Redefining the State and Local Role for Instructional and Curricular Support with specific consideration to the needs of small and rural districts.

          Pivot and PACE are continuing to collaborate on this work, with the addition of El Dorado County into the RPLN. Additionally, Pivot is working with the Collaboration in Common platform to support the sharing of tools, resources, and supports between districts and between different networks.

          The RPLN seeks to alleviate local capacity and statewide infrastructure issues within rural districts by leveraging both in-person meetings and virtual collaboration tools. As part of this network, education leaders identify their core implementation challenges (problems of practice or PoPs). The larger network works collaboratively to develop and share solutions for these challenges. Through this model, counties and districts identify, employ, and disseminate best practices in CCSS.

          Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) is an independent, non-partisan research center based at Stanford University, the University of Southern California, and the University of California, Davis. PACE seeks to define and sustain a long-term strategy for comprehensive policy reform and continuous improvement in performance at all levels of California’s education system, from early childhood to post-secondary education and training. PACE bridges the gap between research and policy, working with scholars from California’s leading universities and with state and local policymakers to increase the impact of academic research on educational policy in California. For more information, see edpolicyinca.org.

          PIVOT LEARNING ACQUIRES CONSORTIUM ON REACHING EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION, INC. (CORE) THROUGH A GENEROUS GIFT FROM OWNERS

          Oakland, CA – On May 22, 2017, the Pivot Learning Board of Directors approved the acquisition of the Consortium on Reaching Excellence in Education, Inc. (CORE) through a generous gift from the founder and owner Bill Honig, as well as owners Catherine Honig and Linda Diamond. This gift brings together two of the longest tenured and most respected education service providers to districts and schools in California and the nation.

          Over the past 23 years, Pivot Learning has become the largest and most experienced non-profit technical assistance provider for school districts in California. Pivot’s mission is to revitalize our public school systems so that all students have the opportunity to succeed in college and career. Pivot works at the state, district, and school levels to develop systemic solutions in the areas of standards implementation, education finance, leadership development, and school redesign.

          CORE is a national professional learning organization that has been serving schools, districts, and states for 23 years. CORE applies the research on best practices and effective adult learning principles to equip educators with the knowledge and skills to significantly improve academic achievement. Through targeted professional development, job-embedded coaching, principal mentorship, and careful selection of curriculum and assessments, CORE collaborates with school systems to implement high quality reading, writing, language, and math instruction PreK-12.

          CORE will become a subsidiary of Pivot Learning and its CEO, Dr. Arun Ramanathan, will serve as Chairman of the CORE Board of Directors. Linda Diamond will serve as President of CORE. Pivot and CORE will continue to deliver their respective services and will work together to implement comprehensive solutions that take advantage of the unique strengths of each organization.

          “CORE’s decades-long history of providing quality professional learning services to classroom teachers is a natural complement to Pivot’s long history of working in partnership with district and school leaders to transform education systems,” said Diamond. “We are thrilled by this new phase in our proud history.”

          Said Ramanathan, “We are grateful to CORE’s owners for this generous gift. Together, Pivot Learning and CORE can better support schools and districts across California and nationally to achieve our mission of ensuring that all students graduate college and career ready.”

          Contact:
          Morgan Pulleyblank
          mpulleyblank@pivotlearning.org
          510.808.4067

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