Natomas Student Achievement Workshop Tomorrow

From Natomas Unified School District board of trustees member Lisa Kaplan:

Tomorrow the NUSD is holding a workshop on student achievement – specifically to discuss our API scores this year and why scores at everyone of our schools except one went down. The workshop is at the district office (1901 Arena Blvd) from 6pm to 8pm.

These types of workshops is where the board gives direction to the district on what we would like to see happen in our schools and where we hear from our principals on how they are going to address the achievement gap and their plan to increase the API scores, among many other things.

Please pass along to those who are or would be interested in having a voice in this process.

We can only make a difference when the school, city and community work together towards the success of our children in school.

To see the agenda, click here http://natomas. csbaagendaonline .net and then click on agenda when the website comes up. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Lisa Kaplan
Trustee, Natomas USD


  1. Interesting to know that API scores went down in an affluent neighborhood.

  2. Thanks for posting this. I for one am very concerned about our scores. I will be at this meeting. I know as a parent in one of our schools that the kids are getting a great education from educators who care. My concern about the score relates to the type of person who would want to move into our great neighborhood. If someone who cares about their child’s education was looking at schools as a factor in their move, they probably would look elsewhere because all they have is the score to rely on. Whereby its the scores that are turning great families away from moving into our neighborhoods. This, in turn, will make it even harder for the schools to achieve any higher a score. (Not impossible, just much harder.)
    Simply put, the scores matter!

  3. I am not sure where “affluent” comes from. Natomas does have some areas where larger homes and wealth exist, but north and south Natomas are largely comprised of a spectrum of low income to middle and upper middle class status. Low income housing is a priority of city hall and that will exclude any mention of affluence. Test scores are usually a direct result of socio-economic conditions, therefore if scores went down in every school but one, I would say affluence is not the right term to tag Natomas with. Sandra makes a great point too, many parents know great teachers are helping our kids succeed, but at the end of the day the API rules, families may bypass Natomas. Davis and Roseville have great test scores, but the cost of living there is high.In sum, the district, parents, and the community need to do a better job of reaching out to kids that may struggle or come from disadvantaged finincial families. Kids have a few short years to learn and excel, seeing lower API scores is tragic and NUSD needs to do better or parents will find other options for educating their children.

  4. “Test scores are usually a direct result of socio-economic conditions”

    This is a common misconception. A recent speech by Jack O’Connell, the state schools superintendent, and seconded by Kevin Johnson, this myth has been disproved with multiple controlled studies. A much more important factor is in fact race. Poor whites and poor Asians do better academically than wealthy African American or Hispanic children. It’s called the the “achievement gap.” While they did not come out and say the “C” word directly, the point was that in Hispanic and African American Cultures, education is not necessarily a priority for those communities.

    Until we as a nation stop trying to be multiculturally sensitive and tackle this problem head on, along with the sub-culture of gangs and violence that comes out of the Hispanic and African American communities, nothing will be solved and “well meaning” white America well continue to harm and hold back students of color.

  5. I agree with that we need to stop being so senstive and avoiding the tough discussions. But I don’t think we will acheive anything by starting to assign blame.

    You started your post be stating studies show that race is a factor in API scores. You further state the Hispanic and African-American families do not value education as the cause for the lower scores. You then end your post by sarcastically blaming a “well meaning” white America for harming and holding back students of color.

    The posting did not lend itself to opening a constructive discussion. It instantly places many members of our community of the defense. And in NUSD, this is especially misdirected. By looking at the school demographics, race is pretty evenly represented.

  6. Theory…well meaning whites hold back African Americans and Hispanics by promoting multicultralism and having different social standards for youth of color than we do for our own white children.

    As a community and as a nation we have grown to accept that being in gangs, violence and low test scores are the norm for these children and youths’. We allow them to “express themselves” by wearing gang attire. We encourage them to speak their own language and to maintain a separate and distinct culture We pimp diversity like we pimp TV commercials and push anti-social rap music.

    I believe in MLK’s dream…all of us are created equally and should have the same opportunities. We should all also be held to the same cultural standards. We are all in this together, We are all Americans. Many in the far left of our country are unfortunately Anti American, all the while pushing a multi cultural agenda. This is why we are divided and polarized as nation.

    I spent many years in the Army…where there is only ONE culture..the Army Culture…let me tell you…everyone regardless of color or culture is held to the same standards…racism is almost unheard of. Well, the Army has it right…If its Divided We Stand, then United We’ll fall.

    I learned all of this in college taking cultural anthropology 101.

  7. Ok, everyone. Let’s hold off on the bad racial and socioeconomic discussions here. I am a teacher myself and I can tell you that API scores have little or nothing to do with the daily functioning of a school, it’s overall climate, level of organization, and faculty morale. The fact of the matter is that the majority of students are not inspired to learn. Sadly, teachers are faced with too much of an uphill battle and lose the inspiration to teach. API scores become meaningless to both students and teachers as the majority of the daily concern revolves around making sure no one rocks the boat. Ask yourself, does my son or daugher have teachers who look inspired to do their job? Is my own child inspired to learn? I’ve taught 11 years and if you can’t answer yes to any of these questions, you will see API scores go down with no one really caring all that much. Ain’t apathy great?

  8. I taught for years..I got out because I was tired of banging my head against the wall over the administration. Good teachers are beaten down quickly in the system. We need school choice, and we need to foster competitiveness amongst schools to attract students. The bad schools will wither away on their own. But the unions will never allow competition. In a country where our mantra is you can be anything you want to be…we don’t allow parents to give their children the best opportunities available in education.

  9. Yeah that’s right…lets not discuss important social issues. Lets ignore they exsist.

  10. I am a teacher too, though not in the NUSD. Why are we so quick to blame the teachers? Lets put a little responsibility on the parents. I have seen many wonderful, caring, INVOLVED parents in this community. But I bet if you talk to the teachers at the different schools, you’ll find there are many students whose parents are not involved. They don’t make it to Back to School Night and they don’t make it to parent conferences. If they don’t care about school and getting an education, why should the child? Making an education a priority starts at home.

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