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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The "Best of the Best"

Press release from the California Department of Education:

SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell today announced that 343 exemplary California public elementary schools from 189 districts in 39 counties have been selected as 2008 California Distinguished Schools.

The list of schools may be viewed at: California School Recognition Program.

"These outstanding elementary schools represent many different kinds of communities, organizational structures, and student populations," said O'Connell. "Sixty-four of these schools come from small, rural communities, 11 are charter schools, and nearly half or 156 schools have significant populations of students living in poverty and are supported by federal Title I funding."

This year, the selection criteria for the Distinguished School program were more stringent than ever. Schools wrote a substantive narrative application and then were subject to an extensive site validation.

"Most heartening, many of the schools we are recognizing today as the ' best of the best' have overcome significant educational challenges, showing that it is possible to provide opportunities for success to all students," O'Connell said.

This year, 300 (87.4 percent) of the award-winning schools serve populations high in minority student representation and 182 (53.1 percent) of them are educating students who are learning English.

Earlier in the week, O'Connell called each school principal to personally convey the good news.

"I was honored to be able to join in the excitement as these dedicated educators learned their schools earned this coveted title," he said. "From their stories, it became clear that they share a school-wide vision of excellence where every student can succeed and achieve at the very highest levels of performance."

O'Connell also applauded California's 34 nominees for the 2008 National No Child Left Behind – Blue Ribbon Schools Program that were announced in November. These schools will be honored along with the 2008 California Distinguished Schools during an awards ceremony and dinner at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim on May 16.

The California School Recognition Program is now in its 23rd year and identifies and honors the state's most exemplary and inspiring public schools with the California Distinguished School Award. Although participation is voluntary, the award is highly sought after by schools in all areas of the state. Elementary and secondary schools are recognized during alternate years.
For the current year, 839 elementary schools submitted applications and were identified for eligibility on the basis of their Academic Performance Index and Adequate Yearly Progress results.

All applicants underwent a rigorous selection process conducted by the California Department of Education, with the help of many local educators from across the state, and in partnership with the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association.

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Congratulations to all schools who have received the honor! And congratulations to the LAUSD exceptional schools who have been recognized as a California Distinguished School. Among them are: Balboa Gifted Elementary, Beckford Ave. Elementary, Beethoven St. Elementary, Calahan St. Elementary, Chatsworth Park Elementary, Coeur D’Alene Ave. Elementary, Danube Ave. Elementary, Dearborn St. Elementary, Fourth St. Elementary, Hancock Park Elementary, Haskell Elementary, Kester Ave. Elementary, Marquez Charter Elementary, One Hundred Fifty Six St. Elementary, Overland School for Advanced Studies Elementary, Parthenia St. Elementary, Stagg St. Elementary, Stonehurst Elementary, Superior St. Elementary, Synergy Charter Academy, Van Gogh St. Elementary, Welby Way Elementary, Wilbur Ave. Elementary, Woodland Hills Elementary.

Kudos to all the schools who manage to acheive excellence with no additional Title 1 monies! As a parent at one such school, it CAN be done thanks to the support of PTAs, booster clubs, parents, teachers, students, NC's (thanks to our wonderful Northridge West Neighborhood Council for their continued support and love for our little school), and our many Community Partners ... we can get the job done!

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Christ, WHO CARES????

Give me a writer who puts his name on the blog, rather than anonymous one who refers to herself as "Doll"

Or who talks about farts.
Now go bake some cookies.

April 09, 2008 12:15 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Note the two far better posts below this who-cares-a-damn one.

April 09, 2008 12:17 PM  

Blogger Valley Doll said:

12:15 Okay Hillary.

April 09, 2008 12:46 PM  

Anonymous Captain Jack Sparrow said:

Good afternoon Valley Doll (removes hat with flourish and kisses the Doll's hand):

Who cares? Fie, sirrah! The general public cares. The mums and dads care. The taxpayers care. We pirates care, for, little squids, if you will, grow up to become captains of industry, savvy?

All of the schools are to be commended for their distinction, for it is YOUR tax dollars, sots, that pay for the education the children of this particular state receive. Wouldn't you want your tax dollars spent wisely? (Raises eyebrow) Of course not! Rather, you would continue to support them that bully the general public about under the cloak of elected office. We would point out to you that a rather large number of those particular sots went to PRIVATE school and did not have the opportunity to truly labour side-by-side with the masses they purport to advocate for.

(Whispers) Them two must live in a con-do or apartment for they know not that a school's distinction raises property values in the adjacent neighborhood. Perhaps if THEY had attended a school of distinction they would, if you will, give more than a tinkers damn, savvy?

As for baking cookies, valuable is the woman who bakes for she is better connected than most Armani-wearing sots. (Wipes mouth and sips milk after enjoying some home-baked cookies) After all, the way to a man's wallet is through his palate and not his pallate, savvy?

April 09, 2008 12:47 PM  

Blogger Valley Doll said:

Dear Captain Jack,

Have I mentioned lately how much I adore you? I'd be happy to bake you a batch of cookies any day, darling. Ahhr!

xoxo

April 09, 2008 1:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

87% are heavily minority: but that's most schools, even on the westside and west valley -- maybe Tarzana and Woodland Hills have some that aren't, but they're just barely registering on any objective level compared to schools in Ventura/ Bell Canyon or West Hills, or Calabasas. Clearly, this is a P C list to "encourage" certain schools and sucker parents into sending their kids there, means no more than the Galaviz honor.

April 09, 2008 2:44 PM  

Blogger Valley Doll said:

Sorry, but it does actually mean more than the Galaviz award. Along with the fancy-shmancy plaque and flag, schools are also eligible for financial awards from California Distinguished Sponsors; money that we desperately need, especially without a single drop of Title I money.

Sponsors:
Visionary ($15,000 and up)
Belkin Corporation (Outside Source)
California Teachers Association (Outside Source)
The Disneyland Resort (Outside Source)
Washington Mutual (Outside Source)
Wells Fargo (Outside Source)

Champion ($10,000 - $14,999)
California State Lottery (Outside Source)

Benefactor ($5,000 - $7,499)
Apple Computer (Outside Source)
AT&T (Outside Source)
The Boeing Company (Outside Source)

Associate ($2,500 - $4,999)
Bank of America Foundation (Outside Source)
California Conservatory of the Arts (Outside Source)
California School Employees Association (Outside Source)
California's Coalition for Adequate School Housing (Outside Source)
GTECH (Outside Source)
Microsoft (Outside Source)
Pepsi (Outside Source)
WestEd (Outside Source)

Supporter ($1,000 - $2,499)
Anaheim/Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau (Outside Source)
Association of California School Administrators (Outside Source)
California Association of School Business Officials (Outside Source)
California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (Outside Source)
California School Boards Association (Outside Source)
California State PTA (Outside Source)
Chevron (Outside Source)
IBM Corporation (Outside Source)
The J. Paul Getty Trust (Outside Source)
Lucasfilm Ltd. (Outside Source)
Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Outside Source)
Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (Outside Source

April 09, 2008 3:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Your right CHRIST does care!!! It's good to see that this DOLL is ready to bake hundreds of cookies for these kids and works along side their teachers and administration to make a better learning place for all. Capt. Jack you're soooo, too good. Kisses back to you.

April 09, 2008 7:29 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

California Distinguishes schools may be looking at the total average of the school. What we need to understand is how it was achieved. There are five levels Advanced, Proficient, Basic, Below Basic and Far Below Basic. How the Title I Funds are used is up to the principal. The principal may chose to use these funds for the students that are in Proficient and Basic to raise the school scores. By totaling the scores it will show the whole school has improved but in reality those that need it the most Below Basic and Far Below Basic are left behind. The scores do not tell you the true picture.
Parent involvement is another fallacy, the principal is the one that decides how the funds are going to be use. Parent Involvement is Parent for “Rubber Stamping”.

April 10, 2008 12:07 AM  

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