For Rep. Barbara Lee: Nicole Williams, 202-225-2661 For CTA: Mike Myslinski, 408-921-5769 (cell)
Seeing firsthand how reforms like smaller class sizes and better training for educators increases student learning, U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee today visited an Oakland school showing academic progress that’s one of 499 public schools receiving extra resources from the CTA-sponsored Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA) of 2006.
Lee, D-Oakland, visited Claremont Middle School to see how the landmark intervention law (SB 1133 by Assemblyman Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch) is working. It provides nearly $3 billion over eight years for teacher-supported reforms such as smaller class sizes in all grades, more school counselors, and better teacher and principal training. The law stresses the collaboration of administrators, teachers and parents working together to increase student learning.
“Our young people are our future,” said Lee. “It is imperative that we equip them with the best education possible, providing targeted resources to address their specific needs. I am pleased to have had this opportunity to tour Claremont Middle School. Additionally, I want to thank the California Teachers Association for taking the time to show me the QEIA program.”
Preliminary research data show many QEIA schools are making academic progress. On average, the 499 QEIA schools scored five points higher than similar schools in the state’s Academic Performance Index (API) for the school year 2008-09, the first full year of extra QEIA resources. In the same period, the API score at Claremont Middle School, which Lee visited, rose 90 points to 703.
“QEIA is a win-win for all education stakeholders at our schools of greatest need,” said David A. Sanchez, president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association. “When you invest in students and schools, good things happen.”
The QEIA schools serve nearly 500,000 students who are mostly low-income and minority students and English learners. The law mandates a class size maximum of 20 students in K-3 classrooms; class sizes are reduced to an average of 25 in grades 4-12. A credentialed counselor for every 300 students in high schools is provided, and quality professional development for all staff is established. Teachers get collaboration time to develop lesson plans that work, analyze student data, and mentor new educators. All QEIA schools benefit from having experienced teachers.
Complete QEIA background is available at www.cta.org/Issues-and-Action/QEIA/QEIA.
The 325,000-member CTA is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.