Kemerer and Sansom (2013) describe the disciplinary acts and consequences of current student discipline law on Table 9.1 of page 345-349. In it they describe the different acts a student must commit in order to get recommended for expulsion as in the Big Five and the rest of the actions a student must commit in order to get suspended. According to Kemerer and Sansom (2013) if a student commits any of the big five, which include possessing, selling or furnishing a firearm, brandishing a knife, unlawfully selling a controlled substance, committing or attempting to commit a sexual act and possession of an explosive, a student must be immediately suspended and mandatorily recommended for expulsion. Having said this the final if the student is found to have committed any of the big five actions the board can suspend the enforcement of the expulsion. Because of this possibility current disciplinary law can be used to bring interventions to all students.
I can recall one case a few years ago when a student brought a toy gun to school, one of those cap guns that tend to look real but have the red tip to show that they are not, and after he was discovered to have had the gun on school grounds he was immediately suspended and within a few days removed from the school. He was never officially expelled because the parent requested to transfer the student to another school rather than face the suspension hearing. When thinking of this incident I can’t think that this student didn’t have to transfer to another school. What if the school policy was to use actions like this to bring more awareness to these types of incidents? As Kemerer and Sansom (2013) point out that an expulsion could be dismissed if an “alternative means of correction would address the misconduct” (pg. 356). Why instead of having zero-tolerance policies we created a different policy of working with students to change their behavior.
At the school I currently work for we have a tool that we use to create dialogue between the teacher, parent and student. Some teachers like myself take advantage of this tool to reach all students (I’ve had up to 60), while others use it to reach the ones that have been described as needing extra attention, the tool we use is home visits. Every year teachers are required to do a minimum of 10 home visits a year, as I mentioned previously I’ve tried to take all my 60 students on home visits. The reason being that I have found once I begin to build that bond with that student outside of school the bond within the classroom becomes more powerful. My first year teaching I had many discipline issues in my classroom but I realized that once I took students out on a home visit, some of those issues diminished or went away. As schools become bigger and more complicated, the bond between teacher and student is slowly diminishing and I know that one way we can create interventions for all students is to get to know them and build a bond with them based on their interest. Yes, it takes a lot of time an effort to do this but I know it makes my life as a teacher a lot easier when my students know I care about them as people and because of it I have seen the need for behavior modifications within the classroom diminish.
Kemerer F, Sansom P. (2013) California School Law, Third Edition. Stanford California: Stanford University Press.
"In recent years, students increasingly communicate at school through their own wireless electronic devices such as cell phones, iPhones, and Blackberrys (Kemerer & Sansom 2013, pg. 234).” At the core of technology education is the barrier of access. One of the major hurdles we have been facing at our school is how can we move forward with technology implementation in the classrooms when many of our students do not have access to consistent forms of technology at home. As Kermer and Sansom mentioned, one of the keys to this obstacle is cell phones.
Last year was my second year using 1:1 with chromebooks, but as much as I wanted to flip my classroom I had the issue of my students not being able to access or create material outside of my classroom. What changed in my second year were the advances made by Google in the mobile technology field. Programs such as mobile Docs (which is where I'm typing this from), Google classroom, YouTube, and Drive have allowed students who did not have access to the curriculum previously be able to access it now. At this time I'm reminded of a student who told me this year very embarrassed that he didn't have a laptop or tablet where he could access the homework for that night. When I showed him how he could use his phone to complete his homework he was thrilled because he would be able to do it anywhere.
As far as how do we differentiate curriculum in order to reach all of our students with various language backgrounds and cultures the answer is to first focus on the California Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The second step is to know our students. One way to accomplish this is to survey both the students and the parents in order to better understand their cultural and linguistic background. Finally, as a teacher it is important to develop self awareness of what gaps exist in the cultural and linguistic knowledge of our student demographics and plan accordingly. In the end, unless we know our students both inside of the classroom and their lives outside, it will be difficult to plan curriculum that will reach them.
Kemerer, F., & Sansom, P. (2013). California School Law Third Edition. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.
In order for education to function in today’s society many support systems are necessary to provide a healthy and educationally conducive learning environment. These systems are essential and should be in place whether the instruction provided to the students occurs online or in traditional school setting. In Townley and Schmieder-Ramirez the following support systems, transportation, maintenance and food service are mentioned as essential (2015).
According to Townley and Schmieder-Ramirez (2015) “A year of bus service cost an average of $1,400 per student in urban districts and more than $900 in rural districts” (p. 133). Having said this, Townley and Schmieder-Ramirez point out that in California the percentage of students who ride school buses is the lowest of any state with only 16% riding school buses compare to the national average of 54%. Because of this the School Transportation Coalition (STC) has mentioned that California “was facing a school transportation crisis” (Townley & Schmieder-Ramirez, 2015, p. 133). For this reason one way that a transportation system would support an online learning environment is through using the transportation system to get students to learning environments where they can have access to the tools necessary for online learning. Another way transportation systems can support online learning is through using some of those funds currently use for transportation to provide students with access to technology at their residence. Unfortunately this last example would take away a students ability to socialize face to face with other students, but there have been cases of this not being an issue. For example in Long Island has attended school through a robot (Alexandra Klausner, 2014).
Maintenance and Operations
Townley and Schmieder-Ramirez (2015) point out that there is a distinction between maintenance and operations. Maintenance refers to the department that “repairs and replaces buildings and equipment” (Townley & Schmieder-Ramirez, 2015, p. 141), while operations refers to “the district’s housekeeping routines that keep school plants functional” (Townley & Schmieder-Ramirez, 2015, p. 141). Maintenance and operations can support an online learning environment by providing students and the community with places where students can feel proud to attend. It can also promote the use of such type of learning environments because “The physical appearance of the school building is often a home buyer’s first evidence of the quality of a district’s schools” (Townley & Schmieder-Ramirez, p. 141). If homebuyers were attracted by the appearance of the learning environment they would be more willing to support these types of learning system. Personally, I have been present when a leaky roof has prevented students from completing a lesson until maintenance was able to fix it, which shows the importance of keeping facilities in an effective working condition.
When it comes to food and nutrition Townley and Schmieder-Ramirez (2015) point out that “This nation recognized more than a half century ago the importance of providing at least one nutritious meal a day” (p. 157). The reason being that we recognize as educators that a student who is hungry is a student who will be busy thinking about their basic needs to learn. The questions that are raised when discussing an online learning environment and food nutrition are several. From how will a child who stays at home to get educated be able to eat enough during the day if the school cafeteria is no longer available? According to Townley and Schmieder-Ramirez (2015) the USDA “department estimates that 11% of families went hungry at least part of the time” (p. 154). With these many families going hungry will new support systems have to be in place to support online learning communities? One solution that has risen due to students going hungry over summer breaks is the mobile school cafeteria. According to Ted Burnham (2012) some “brightly painted truck handed out 17,000 meals in just 20 days” (para. 6). As our educational system begins to evolve because of the rise of affordable technology there will also have to be a shift in how these support services that traditional schools now provide are designed.
Burnham, T. (2012, May 30). Food Trucks Draw Hungry Kids For Free Summer Meals. Retrieved June 20, 2015, from http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2012/05/29/153931434/food-trucks-draw-hungry-kids-for-free-summer-meals
Klausner, A. (2014, November 23). The most popular bot in school! Sick boy goes to school as a ROBOT and interacts with students and teachers via computer. Retrieved June 20, 2015, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2845762/The-popular-bot-school-Sick-boy-goes-school-ROBOT-interacts-students-teachers-computer.html
Townley, A.J., & Schmieder-Ramirez, J.H. (2015). School Finance: A California Perspective (10th ed.). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing Company.
According to Townley & Schmieder-Ramirez (2012) the Chief Business Official or CBO is the person who is in charge of managing the schools financial resources. For this reasons, the CBO has many responsibilities under their direct supervision. For example, Townley & Schmieder-Ramirez (2012) point out that some of the task that the CBO is responsible for include “strategic planning; financial planning and budgeting; information technology” (pg. 49)
In terms of strategic financial planning the CBO is responsible for many task within this scope. The strategic plan is a long-term financial plan that is developed to plan out the financial objectives for the district. However, as Townley & Schmieder-Ramirez (2012) point out “effective strategic plan must include several assumptions and “what if” scenarios” (pg. 50). Because of the role of the CBO as the strategic financial planner in long-term financials within a district, it is important for a technology leader to use the CBO as a resource. The CBO as the long-term financial planner along with other stakeholders can facilitate the planning of long-term technology plans by incorporating these expenditures into the districts financial plans. As an example, if a school wants to incorporate Chromebooks in their districts it is the CBO along with other stakeholders who help develop the financial planning for such an undertaking. Since most technology will need to be update and professional development will need to be done for more than one year it is the CBO who can help plan out the strategic financial plans for the duration of the undertaking and account for this when preparing the overall plan for the school district.
Additionally, it falls under the CBO to develop a budget along with other stakeholders. According to White (as cited by Townley & Schmieder-Ramirez, 2012, pg. 50) “district’s CBO has a major responsibility for examining the district’s goals, ensuring that they are student-centered, and calculating the dollars needed to accomplish those goals.” Because the CBO is responsible for the yearly budget, which is the projected income and expenditures that are determined by the districts educational plan, for a particular year, it is important for technology leaders to be aware of changes in the budget that can affect long-term and short-term goals. As Townley & Schmieder-Ramirez (2012) point out “A budget is never etched in stone” (pg. 59). Due to this, it is important for technology leaders to effectively communicate with CBO’s in order to maintain an appropriate budget for technology needs within a district.
Finally, a CBO can be a resource for a technology leader because they are up to date on financial budgets a the state, local and district level which in turn provide technology leaders with financial information in order to make decisions on technology needs and implementations in their districts or schools.
Townley, A., & Ramirez, J. (2012). School finance: A California perspective (9th ed.). Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Pub.
According to Kremer and Sansom (2013) “The research is divided on this point because school spending does not demonstrate a clear or consistent relationship with student achievement” (pg. 97). Having said this, there is still a belief by the general public that there is a link between expenditure and student achievement. For example, in 1997 there was an approval of funding by the state legislature to reduce class size in California with an overall “expenditure of approaching $2 billion a year” (Kremer & Sansom, 2013, pg. 98). The thought process being by the general public that as class sizes were reduced there would be more time for each teacher to spend with each pupil, seems logical. Yet according to Kremer and Sansom (2013) “a consortium of research institutions found that math cores increased slightly, and reading scores were unchanged” (pg. 98).
However, let’s assume that money does matter when we discuss student achievement. If this is true why must there be mandates to ensure equity in our school financial system? According to Bruce Baker “on balance, in direct tests of the relationship between financial resources and student outcomes, money matters” (paragraph 8). Based on Dr. Baker research, he has found that there is a benefit between expenditure and student achievement. Mainly that if we do not spend money on students then their achievement drops. Yet Baker points out that this expenditure “such as how that money is spent – in other words, money must be spent wisely to yield benefits” (paragraph 8) is a very important piece of the puzzle.
This is the key to why there must be mandates to ensure equity in our school financial system. Without the public having a say on how money should be spent there would be areas that would not be funded or under funded. For example, before the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, special needs students could be denied an equal education. According to Raymond (2008) “issues led to the establishment of a two-track system of public educational services, one for typical children, the other for children with disabilities” (pg. 33). It took a mandate and an act of Congress to change this. Obviously with the influx of students with disabilities into the schools there was a need to provide funding to those programs. Without a shift in public opinion students with disabilities might still be relegated to being thought in institutions by programs that might not be adequate to their educational needs or by teacher who do not have the expertise to teach them.
It might sound counter productive to have the public decided what educational needs are best for students since a large majority of the public is not verse is educational research but I know that at times it is necessary for the public to push for changes that the state or federal legislatures are not willing to undertake. With a mandate there may not be equity in public funding of schools since in the end the most underserve groups are the ones that demand the least rights.
Baker, D. (2012, January 15). Does Money Matter in Education? Retrieved June 5, 2015, from http://www.shankerinstitute.org/resource/does-money-matter
Kemerer F, & Sansom P. (2013) California School Law, Third Edition. Stanford California: Stanford University Press.
Raymond, Eileen B. Learners with Mild Disabilities: A Characteristics Approach. 3rd ed. Boston: Pearson, 2008. Print.
As education has become a bigger expenditure of the California budget the political forces through initiatives have created a bigger impact on the financing and accountability of public schools. According to Kemerer and Sanson (2013)“About 40 percent of the total state budget is devoted to public schooling” (pg. 1).
According to Kemerer and Sanson (2013)“Because the provisions of the Education Code have been enacted in piecemeal fashion over the years, they are difficult to find and often overlap” (pg. 1). One of the major pieces of legislation that have contributed to the impact of these initiatives is the case Serrano v. Priest I, where the court based on public opinion due to the lack of evidence of a correlation between educational expenditure and quality of education noted sided with the defendant John Serrano who sued state treasurer Ivy Priest and others who administered the California school system. The reason public opinion impacted school finance in this particular case was because the perception among the general public then and now, due to the Coleman Report commissioned in 1966, that educational spending levels are related to student achievement. Because of this perception the California Supreme Court rejected the states argument “that levels of educational expenditure do not affect the quality of education” (Kemerer and Sanson, 2013 pg. 103) Unfortunately Kemerer and Sanson note that “school spending does not demonstrate a clear or consistent relationship with student achievement” (pg. 97)
Another initiative that affected the financing of public schools was Proposition 13. In this proposition the overall goal was to limit taxes to 1 percent of assessed value. The proposition also required two-thirds of the legislature to increase state taxes and prohibited the imposition of a statewide property tax, which could be use by the state to fund public schools. Because of the passage of this proposition it “established a system taxed everyone at the same low rate and centralized authority over school funding at the state rather then the local level” (Kemerer and Sanson, 2013 pg. 109) Because of the passage of this proposition the state became more involved in the funding of schools and it started looking for other sources of revenue as the main funding for the schools, such as sales or income taxes. The impact this had on the funding of public schools was that schools now depended on California’s overall economic health for it funding. This dependence on California’s economy by the school systems on their funding was clearly present in the latest economic downturn for the state when teachers had to be laid off for lack of resources.
Most recently Proposition 30 was passed by California that allowed the state to increase state sales taxes from 7.25% to 7.5%. The proposition also increases income taxes on taxpayers earning over $250,000 for 7 years. According to the Proposition description it “Allocates temporary tax revenues 89% to K–12 schools and 11% to community colleges. (California Proposition 30, Sales and Income Tax Increase). This proposition was enacted because of the backlash to the 1% who after the recession that began in 2008, were still able to increase their wealth, according to reports and data, while the rest of the state suffered through layoffs and reduction of public services.
Overall the public perception that money or funding is related to student achievement has created a multitude of initiatives and propositions that have tried to reduced the achievement gap in California but as Kremer and Sanson pointed out it is not the amount of money we spend per pupil that we need to worry about but how that money is being spent. No matter how much money we throw at a problem it will not be sufficient if we do not have the correct tools to fix it.
Kemerer F, Sansom P. (2013) California School Law, Third Edition. Stanford California: Stanford University Press.
California Proposition 30, Sales and Income Tax Increase (2012). (n.d.). Retrieved May 29, 2015, from http://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_30,_Sales_and_Income_Tax_Increase_(2012)