Monthly Archives: September 2013

September 30th Education News!

Answers to Your Top Six Shutdown Questions

The federal government is less than 12 hours away from a shutdown because Congress has been unable to pass a bill to fund federal programs as the new fiscal year begins. This week’s Capitol Connection cuts through the politics and brinkmanship to outline what a shutdown would mean for the nation’s students, educators, and schools.

1. What’s the bottom line for schools and districts? How would a government shutdown affect daily operations?

Most schools and districts are unlikely to feel immediate effects of a shutdown because the advanced funding nature of federal education spending means that states and districts have already received much of their federal funding for the school year. In addition, the vast majority of school funding (about 90 percent) comes from state and local sources. Moreover, the U.S. Department of Education has awarded dozens of competitive grants in the past several days so that it is not held up by a shutdown.

2. Will any education programs be affected in the short-term?

Head Start (which provides early childhood education to low-income families) and Impact Aid (which helps fund school districts that cannot fully rely on local tax revenue, such as those on military bases or tribal lands) depend heavily on federal dollars that are not necessarily distributed at the beginning of the school year. Thus, these programs could experience more acute and immediate shutdown consequences. This is especially concerning because Head Start and Impact Aid have already deeply felt the effects of sequestration. More than 50,000 children have lost access to Head Start and many Impact Aid districts have been forced to eliminate positions and programming because of sequestration.

3. But I’ve heard about furloughs at the U.S. Department of Education. What effect could those have on local schools and districts?

Ninety percent of the department’s more than 4,000 employees will be furloughed during a government shutdown, leaving just a skeleton crew to address schools’ and districts’ questions and concerns. Grant processing will lapse, and questions will probably go unresolved for the duration of the shutdown. In addition, contract approvals will likely be delayed. See the department’s shutdown plan, which outlines its strategies for minimizing the effect of a shutdown.

4. How will the shutdown affect the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization?

With few congressional staff at work during the shutdown, no progress on ESEA reauthorization will be made. Moreover, all discussions and negotiations among members of Congress will focus on fiscal issues instead of education. Meanwhile, the minimal staff at the Department of Education will delay decisions on pending ESEA waivers.

5. How will the shutdown end?

The shutdown will end once Congress passes a bill funding the government and the president signs it. The bill could extend funding for as long as a year or it could provide funding for a much shorter amount of time. If Congress passes a short-term solution, it will create a similar situation to the one we are currently in and will require passage of additional deadline-driven solutions to keep the government running.

6. What does it mean for schools when the government reopens?

Department of Education staff will face a backlog of work once the shutdown ends, so schools should expect delays in responses to their questions or requests for information. Any short-term spending bill approved by Congress is likely to fund education programs at current FY13 levels, which already reflect a 5 percent cut because of sequestration. Schools and districts should prepare for another round of across-the-board sequestration cuts, which are slated to take effect in January if Congress doesn’t intervene. A mid-October congressional showdown over the federal debt ceiling only adds to the uncertainty.

Capitol Connection will continue to follow all the action and provide you with the most relevant information.

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Common Core Institutes throughout the US!

Common Core Institutes
How to Implement Common Core
State Standards in Your School
ASCD, the leader in Common Core State Standards implementation, presents over 20 one-day and two-day institutes to help you align learning, teaching, and leading to the new standards.Two-Day Common Core Institutes

Common Core and the Understanding by Design®Framework: Planning Units with the End in Mind

  • Little Rock, Ark., November 18–19, 2013
  • Atlanta, Ga., December 9–10, 2013
  • New Orleans, La., January 14–15, 2014
  • Honolulu, Hawaii, February 3–4, 2014

Lead the Change to Common Core State Standards: Get Essential Tools for School and District Leaders

  • Little Rock, Ark., November 20–21, 2013
  • Denver, Colo., December 2–3, 2013
  • Long Beach, Calif., December 2–3, 2013
  • Los Angeles, Calif., December 4–5, 2013
  • Atlanta, Ga., December 11–12, 2013
  • New Orleans, La., January 16–17, 2014
  • Nashville, Tenn., January 27–28, 2014
  • Las Vegas, Nev., February 3–4, 2014
  • Honolulu, Hawaii, February 5–6, 2014

One-Day Common Core Institutes

Using Formative Assessment to Meet the Demands of the Common Core

  • Denver, Colo., December 4, 2013
  • Nashville, Tenn., January 28, 2014

Implementing the Common Core State Standards: English Language Arts and Literacy Focus

  • Los Angeles, Calif., December 5, 2013
  • Atlanta, Ga., December 9, 2013
  • Honolulu, Hawaii, February 3, 2014
  • Las Vegas, Nev., February 5, 2014

Implementing the Common Core State Standards: Mathematics Focus

  • Los Angeles, Calif., December 6, 2013
  • Atlanta, Ga., December 11, 2013
  • Honolulu, Hawaii, February 5, 2014
  • Las Vegas, Nev., February 6, 2014

REGISTER for an ASCD Common Core Institute in a city near you, and explore what matters to you most!

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YEA! Young Entrepreneurs Academy via Visalia Chamber of Commerce

  YEA Header
We have just finalized our student roster for the 2013-2014 YEA! class.  Beginning September 17th local high school students will begin their journey to start and run their own REAL business.
Throughout this program students will brainstorm, create a business plan, pitch their ideas to an Investor Panel (think shark tank), participate in a trade show, listen to guest speakers, go on field trips to local businesses, register their company with the County Clerk, and work closely with mentors to make their dream a reality.
*  Graphic Designers
*  Web Developers
*  Business Plan Reviewers
* Mentors
* Individuals Willing to Listen to Elevator Pitches 
If you are intersted in volunteering to help the YEA! class please contact
 Nicola Wissler, YEA! Program Manager:
559-734-5876 or
We want to thank the businesses and individuals who have already stepped up and volunteered to participate in the YEA! program this year. Your support is greatly appreciated!
Lastly we would like to thank the local Chamber Members who are helping to sponsor the YEA! program. If you would like become a sponsor please call
the Chamber 559-734-5876
Become a sponsor CLICK HERE

What is the Relationship Between ADHD and Executive Function?

What’s the Relationship Between ADHD and Executive Function?

By Sheldon H. Horowitz, EdD

ADHD and Executive Function | Link Between Attention and the BrainAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most frequently occurring brain-based disorders. It most often manifests itself in childhood and continues to pose challenges throughout adolescence and into adulthood. Its symptoms most often include difficulty getting and staying focused, modulating attention, controlling impulsivity and self-managing behavior. While these symptoms are directly related to the ways the brain works (think brain cells and neurotransmitters), there are specific sets of mental (thinking) skills that are coordinated with the way the brain works. These are commonly called “executive functions,” and they involve things like organizing and planning, shifting attention, regulating emotions, self-monitoring and holding information in mind for easy recall. Executive functions are essential in virtually every aspect of our lives.

ADHD and Executive Function in ActionThink about people you know who have ADHD. They’re the ones who have trouble listening to or following instructions, who begin tasks and then are easily sidetracked, or who struggle to wait their turn. They sometimes blurt things out when they know better, touch things when asked not to, or don’t delay reacting to something long enough to recall that they’ve been in similar situations before and are about to make a silly statement and embarrass themselves or others. What’s going on inside their brains when these things happen? Answer: a breakdown in executive functioning.

Executive function deficits are not only seen individuals with ADHD. People who have learning disabilities, communication disorders or mental health disorders (such as those characterized by anxiety or depression) are also prone to struggle with executive functioning challenges. This is also the case with people who have sustained brain injuries or have medical conditions (such as epilepsy) that result in compromised brain functioning.

To be sure there’s no confusion about how executive functions work, it’s important to keep in mind that these are skills and behaviors that everyone uses all the time! Let’s consider one component of executive functioning called “working memory.” Consider what happens when you need to hold information in your mind while simultaneously doing something else. If you manage to keep the first piece of information from slipping away, working memory is doing its job. Trying to remember an address while scanning a map, a new person’s name immediately after being told their phone number, the number of calories or amount of fiber in a serving of one type of cereal after reading two or three different boxes—these are everyday examples of how working memory (and therefore, executive functioning) works.

Additional Resources




sheldon-horowitz-headshotDr. Horowitz is the director of LD Resources at the National Center for Learning Disabilities. For more than 40 years, he has been helping children with learning and attention issues and their families in school, hospital and private clinical settings. He’s now a featured expert on the LD.orgwebsite.

California State Adopts Next Generation Science Standard


REL#13-82 CONTACT: Tina Jung
September 4, 2013 EMAIL


State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces State Adopts Next Generation Science Standards


SACRAMENTO—New science standards designed to prepare students to thrive in a changing economy were approved today by the State Board of Education, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced.

“The adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards in California mark a crucial step in making sure our students are prepared to succeed after they leave our classrooms,” Torlakson said. “Scientific information and technology have changed remarkably since the last time California updated its science standards, and how and what we teach have to change with them.”

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) will bring science instruction up to date. NGSS emphasizes a deeper focus on understanding the cross-cutting concepts within and across scientific disciplines. These new standards integrate engineering practices with science practices to help students understand the workings of science and the natural world. They also provide a coherent progression of learning from kindergarten through grade 12, so students learn step by step the knowledge and skills they need for college and careers.

“The Next Generation Science Standards represent a huge leap forward for California’s students and our schools,” said Mike Kirst, president of the State Board of Education. “Scientific innovation remains at the core of the California economy, and schools play a huge role in equipping the workforce of tomorrow.”

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related industries are major components of California’s economy. A 2011 U.S. Department of Commerce study, “STEM: Good Jobs Now and For the Future,” found that over the past 10 years, growth in jobs involving STEM fields was three times greater than that of non-STEM occupations. The report also forecast that STEM jobs are expected to continue to grow at a faster rate than others in the coming decade.

California was among the lead states that developed the standards, in a voluntary process conducted in an open and collaborative way over the last 18 months. California teachers, scientists, college professors, business and industry leaders, and educational experts all took part in an 80-member California NGSS review team that thoroughly examined the standards five times.

Next, a Strategic Leadership Team will be appointed by Torlakson to develop a plan to implement the NGSS. This includes a timeline for implementation, adopting a science framework, developing student assessments, and strategies for school districts. Once the team completes its work, their strategic action plan will be presented to the State Board of Education for approval at a future meeting.

In the meantime, California is preparing to host its first annual STEM Symposium, set for November 18-19, 2013, at the Sacramento Convention Center. This symposium will highlight how quality STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs align with Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards and provide strategies and resources for program implementation.

For more information, visit the California Department of Education’s Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics Web page.

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The California Department of Education (CDE) is a state agency led by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. For more information, please visit or by mobile device at You may also follow Superintendent Torlakson on Twitter at and Facebook at

The State Board of Education is the governing and policy-making body for public K-12 education in California. The President of the Board is Michael W. Kirst and the Executive Director is Susan K. Burr. Board members are appointed for four-year terms by the Governor of California and are confirmed by the State Senate. For more information, please visit

California Department of Education, Communications Division

1430 N Street, Suite 5602, Sacramento, CA 95814

Main: 916-319-0818; Fax: 916-319-0100

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