Preston Smith

Charter, Public Schools Can Coexist

Kids can benefit when traditional public schools and charter schools work together, Board of Education trustee Joseph DiSalvo argues.

Two events I attended this week provide some optimism about traditional public and charter schools’ ability to coexist. Stories of eliminating inequality in public education are playing out in real time all over the valley. We should stand proud of how the region is rising up to form powerful coalitions to lobby elected officials and public leaders.

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How Can Educators Solve the Racial Achievement Gap by 2020?

San Jose Inside columnist Joseph Di Salvo writes that local educators still don’t have the data necessary to do a meaningful analysis of the racial achievement gap in schools. (Photo courtesy of schoolbook.org)

There are several critical “gaps” in the education of our children. One is the gap of how our high school students compare to high school students in cities like Helsinki and Shanghai on PISA (Program for International Student Assessment). Let’s call this gap the “Global Achievement Gap.” It is related to how students perform on comparable international assessments to real world problems in reading, math and science.

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The Leaders, Innovators of Local Education

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak revolutionized the way we look at technology by creating Apple. Now there are several local leaders in education who have paired up to leave a similar mark on their industry.

Much like the early partnership of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, which transformed the manner in which we use technology, three pairs of individuals are at the forefront of improving education for Silicon Valley’s students. These innovators and provocateurs work to challenge the status quo, and their goal is equitable, high quality education opportunities for all children.

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Making Politics Work for Public Education

Studies show that reaching kids at an early age pays big dividends in performance later in school. (Photo by j.sanna, via Flickr)

Someone asked me last week if there are underreported stories about public education in the Bay Area. Absolutely there are. People and ideas are converging in Silicon Valley, and they have the potential to alter the landscape of schools and learning.

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