California Educator

JUNE 2010

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U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee visits Oakland school to observe benefits of CTA’s QEIA reforms LEFT: U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (inset) listens to students, teachers and school officials at Claremont Middle School in Oakland, a QEIA- assisted school. targeted resources to ad- dress their specific needs. I am pleased to have had this opportunity to tour Clare- mont Middle School. Addi- tionally, I want to thank the California Teachers Asso- ciation for taking the time t o s h ow me t h e QEIA program.” Preliminary research da- the CTA- sponsor ed l aw bringing more resources to our state’s schools of greatest need got a special visitor recently. Seeing firsthand how re- T forms like smaller class siz- es and bet ter training for educators increase s tudent learning, U.S. Rep. Barbara Le e (D-Oakland) visited Claremont Middle School in early June. It’s one of nearly 500 Cali- fornia public school s re- ceiv ing ext ra res ources from the Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA) of 2006. Lee visited Claremont to see how the landmark in- he students and staff at a successful Oakland middle school helped by tervention law, SB 1133 by As sembl y Memb er Tom Torlakson (D-Antioch), is working. It provides nearly $3 bi llion over eight years for teacher-suppor ted re- forms such as smaller class s izes in al l grades , more school counselors, and bet- ter teacher and pr incipal training. The law stresses and minority students and Engl ish learners. The law mandates a class size maxi- mum of 20 students in K-3 classrooms; class sizes are reduced to an average of 25 in grades 4-12. A creden- t ialed counselor for every 3 0 0 s t u d e n t s i n h i g h s chool s i s provided, and quality professional devel- opment for al l staf f is es- tablished. Teachers get col- laboration time to develop lesson plans that work, an- a lyze s tudent dat a, and mentor new educators. Al l QEIA schools benefit from ta show many QEIA schools are making academic prog- ress. On average, the 499 QEIA schools scored f ive points higher than similar schools in the state’s Aca- demic Performance Index (API) for the school year 2008-09, the first ful l year of extra QEIA resources. In the s ame pe r iod, the API s core at Cl aremont Middle S cho ol ros e 90 points to 703. Speaking with Claremont “Our young people are our future. It is imperative that we equip them with the best education possible, providing targeted resources to address their specific needs.” U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee the collaboration of admin- istrators, teachers and par- ents working together to increase student learning. The QEIA schools serve ne ar ly 500,000 s tudent s who are mostly low-income 22 California Educator | JUNE 2010 having experienced teach- ers. “Our young people are our future,” said Lee. “It is imperat ive that we equip them with the best educa- tion possible , providing teacher s gathered in the school librar y, including teacher Lacy Lefkowitz, the CTA site leader for QEIA, Le e prai s ed the school’s progress in these times of widespread cuts. “I love it,” she said. “It’s real ly amaz- ing t o s e e t he kinds of 21st cen- tury technology that you have, as well as the garden, and to see how you’re fight- ing to preserve art and mu- sic and the sciences. I am ver y impressed. I’m glad you’re in my district, and I’m CTA photos by Mike Myslinski

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