These 5 Marin Schools Just Got A Great Honor

There are approximately 5,580 elementary schools in California and just 424 were honored.

The following is a news release from Mary Jane Burke, Marin County Superintendent of Schools: 

Mary Jane Burke, Marin County Superintendent of Schools, announced today that confirmation has been received from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson that Dixie Elementary School in the Dixie School District, Bel Aire Elementary and Reed Elementary Schools in the Reed Union School District, Ross Elementary School in the Ross School District, and Wade Thomas Elementary School in the Ross Valley School District have been named 2014 California Distinguished Schools.


There are approximately 5,580 elementary schools in California and just 424 were honored as California Distinguished Schools – five in Marin County.  Schools are determined to be eligible based on their Academic Performance Index (API) and two signature practices – any activities, events, practices or programs believed to have a positive effect on student performance.  Elementary and secondary schools are recognized during alternate years.  The Distinguished Schools Program honors the state’s most exemplary and inspiring public schools that have made progress in narrowing the achievement gap.


Burke said, “Though the schools are from different areas of Marin, they share some important things in common - talented and dedicated students, engaged families, creative and committed teachers, administrators and school staff, and, support from communities that make supporting their schools a top priority.  We are proud of our local distinguished schools and for the inspiration they provide to us to make sure that every child, in every school of our community has the best possible educational opportunities. Our 2014 California Distinguished Schools make us all very proud.”

Suzanne A April 30, 2014 at 08:40 PM
Is there an achievement gap in Lucas Valley, Ross and Tiburon? I was unaware.... "The Distinguished Schools Program honors the state’s most exemplary and inspiring public schools that have made progress in narrowing the achievement gap."
Roger May 01, 2014 at 10:06 AM
Suzanne: I think the gap is the US with other countries, like Finland and Japan. I have been at Ross Common when that school ended for the day, and the students were all white. I think Novato's K through 3rd grade is half Hispanic this year.
Tina McMillan May 01, 2014 at 01:37 PM
None of these schools has a significant population of English Language Learners or Socioeconomically Disadvantaged students. We can see by API statistics that the real struggle in public education is effectively teaching ELL and SED students. If the only schools honored are those with the least diversity then the award is really a pat on the back for doing little with a lot. ============================================http://school-ratings.com/counties/Marin.html This link provides stats for all the schools in Marin so you can compare scores to different groups of learners. ============================================ Dixie: 5% ELL and 5% SED========================== Bel Aire: 2% ELL and 3% SED======================== Reed: 2% ELL and 2% SED========================= Ross: 0% ELL and 0% SED========================= Wade Thomas: 7% ELL and 13% SED================== ============================================Out of the schools listed Wade Thomas is the only one that has any relative population of ELL and SED students. In Novato, by comparison, Hamilton School is 33% ELL and 59% SED and Lynwood is 33% ELL and 65% SED. If you go to each Novato school you can see the significant changes to teaching that must go with a highly diverse group of learners. Until we acknowledge that curriculum reform is essential we won't be able to overcome the challenges our own district faces. ============================================ Awards that measure the success of schools with few to no impacts as a result of diversity and poverty, are simply telling us that education is successful when students come from families where food, housing and language are not an issue. The districts from which these schools receive funding are all basic aid which means their property taxes more than cover the costs of education while in Novato we rely on the state to make up the difference and so receive significantly less per pupil funding. =========================================== How about an award that measures success based on the challenges associated with teaching a diverse array of learners on a shoe string budget.
Hopkin May 01, 2014 at 02:10 PM
No, Tina, they get measures that award more tax dollars!


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