So many issues face us, and so I offer today the issues I feel the strongest and the latest issues that I believe our parents must know about. Together we and our board will tackle them and many, many others, and make our community and our school a better place for our kids to grow, to learn, to live, and to succeed in both the jobs of today AND tomorrow.
Fine Arts Education, California Prop 28 Education Funding Initiative.
Studies show that increased Fine Arts & Music in schools impact students and schools by improving attendance, achievement and improved mental health, which we in San Bernardino City Schools need for all students including our trauma impacted students. We must all support these efforts by voting November 8, 2022, and be ready to usher in a time for Art Projects across the curriculum, where all of our students can work to gain the 21st Century skills- Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration and Communication, all possible through the arts. Additional benefits include improved verbal, reading, and math skills, and students also show a greater capacity for higher-ordered thinking skills such as analyzing and problem-solving. These are the skills that all of our students of today and tomorrow must be well versed in to compete in a global world. Additionally, we will work to promote our efforts for equity and efficacy within our districts’ Fine Arts & Music programs. The Turn Around Arts Program is evidenced in the video below.
The Reading Literacy Achievement Gap
I want parents to be aware of Senate Bill 488, which has now required the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) to revise and strengthen teaching standards for licensure for our new teachers that will now incorporate both the science of reading, and the California Dyslexia Guidelines. This new law (which takes effect in 2025) will require that our accredited teacher preparation programs meet higher standards with respect to preparing our teachers in evidenced-based reading instruction, particularly foundational reading skills. The CTC will also be required to certify that existing programs are aligned with the new teaching standards. What this means is that our Teacher Prep Programs will face greater transparency and accountability for covering the science of reading and dyslexia in their coursework. But what about our current teachers who will need to learn for our students these strategies in todays classroom? According to the most recent Nation’s Report Card from 2019, California ranks low in the nation with 67% of fourth grade students not reading at grade level, and these poor reading rates are even more shocking for our students of color where 82% of our Black fourth grade students, and 78% Latinex fourth grade do not read at grade level, respectively. We must begin with our literacy programs for foundational reading improvement now!
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