True Community School Inspires Parents at Harmon Johnson Elementary in Sacramento
Harmon Johnson educators met with parents the first Friday of every month at a forum to hear their priorities and stay connected. Parents used two QEIA-funded computer labs for classes. Parents served as bilingual instructors in parenting classes for adults, and took nutrition and cooking classes on campus. They even handled some cafeteria tasks that older students did in some schools so that students didn't miss instruction time.
West High School Transforms Learning Culture in Bakersfield
QEIA funds allowed for student intervention. Incoming freshmen needing remedial work spent one period with one teacher per day until they were up to speed. When QEIA funding ended June 30, the interventions continued but the program shrank. In recent years, teachers noted students were not showing up for remedial or intervention work during lunch or after school and made it mandatory during the school day, an idea borrowed from a QEIA professional development training.
Smaller Classes Inspire at Francisco Sepulveda Middle School in LA
Being in the nation’s second-largest school district serving about 653,000 students means overcrowded classrooms. QEIA mandated no more than 25 kids could be in subject-specific classrooms for grades 4-12. Before QEIA, students here had to sit on counters in packed classrooms. Suddenly there were more supplies in science and other classes to go around, said Sue Crosby, science teacher and former QEIA site coordinator. You can’t measure on tests the value of being able to know students better. “When you have small class sizes, you have a moment to check in with them, to see how they’re doing, to ask about the new kitten they got,” she said. “It just makes for a better environment.”
QEIA Symposium Held in Pasadena
In a CTA school reform symposium here, local teachers at schools supported by an acclaimed state school turnaround law confirmed what research showed – California’s highest-performing at-risk schools reduced class sizes, and added more time for teachers to collaborate and share ideas. They also focused on classroom data to improve student learning.
QEIA Helps Livermore Elementary School Thrive
A press conference held at the award-winning Marylin Avenue Elementary in Livermore highlighted research showing how the Quality Education Investment Act helped high-poverty schools excel and thrive. More time for professional development made a big difference at the school, as did smaller class sizes and more resources provided by what was the largest school turnaround law of its kind in the nation. For its academic gains, Marylin Avenue Elementary won an achievement award from California Business for Education Excellence, and its faculty collaboration made headlines.
Lauderbach Elementary in Chula Vista Benefits from QEIA
Independent research shows the state’s Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA) of 2006 helped high-poverty schools like Lauderbach Elementary in Chula Vista to thrive and excel. “With QEIA, we are finding new and effective ways to help our vulnerable students and to discover practices that all teachers can learn from,” said Jim Groth, a teacher in the Chula Vista Elementary School District and a former CTA Board member. “Research shows that these proven reforms are leading to positive impacts in achievement, school reputation, school climate and parent engagement at our schools of greatest need.”
Parent Ofelia Antuna de Dios on the QEIA turnaround program
Zamboni Middle School Honored
You can hear the pride and accomplishment in sixth-grade teacher Nelda McCone’s voice when she talked about her 922-student Zamboni Middle School in Los Angeles County earning a prestigious state “School to Watch” award.
“We are excited by our success,” McCone said. “We have made a lot of growth over the years. And we really are fortunate to have had QEIA funding, especially to keep our class sizes small.”
Zamboni was one of only 12 new California middle schools named by the California Department of Education as model schools in the state’s “Schools to Watch — Taking Center Stage” program. The state partners with the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform and the California Middle Grades Alliance on the program.
QEIA Program Praised by Education Experts
Two books by top education experts singled out the acclaimed, CTA-sponsored Quality Education Investment Act of 2006 as cutting edge reform that inspired and empowered California’s educators.
Taking nearly $3 billion won in a CTA lawsuit in and investing it in hundreds of at-risk schools backed by the QEIA program over eight years instead of spreading the funds statewide for bargaining purposes showed inspiring vision, tenacity and leadership, said the authors of the 2014 book Uplifting Leadership: How Organizations, Teams, and Communities Raise Performance.