ABOUT THE COMMITTEE
The Education Committee follows education and library issues and may take action based on national, state, and local LWV positions. We monitor the meetings of the College of Marin Board of Trustees. A current focus has been on underserved youth in Marin at preschool through college level. The committee generally meets the 3rd Thursdays at 9:30.
Nancy van Ravensway was a longtime League board member and chair of the League’s Education Committee. Her death in the Fall of 2012 left us missing an inspirational leader. The Marin County Office of Education (MCOE) honored her at a lecture attended by educators, League members and the community. Nancy consulted on the lecture series focusing on the future. This PDF of photos, provided by her daughter Carolyn, show Nancy throughout the years of her long career in education.
July 2012 - June 2013 Summary of Work
We lost our leader this last October, Nancy van Raavensway led this committee for many years. We miss her and are trying to fill her shoes.
Study on Child Care and Early Childhood Education
The Education Committee continues its research into Early Childhood Education in Marin, in California and the nation.
Nearly one out of four children in our state and nation live in poverty. Though Marin is one of the wealthiest counties in the nation, we have at least 1,000 children without daycare or preschool because the space available is not affordable.
The Board of Supervisors has made this issue one of their priorities this year. Judy Arnold, President, asked our League to join in the effort to make pre-school universal in Marin. Both daycare and preschool are needed for all children but especially for the disadvantaged. Amy Reisch, speaker.
Marin Community Foundation Initiative Promoting Early Success
Marin County Office of Education
College of Marin
Buck Institute for Education.
The League of Women Voters of Marin County commends the Board of Supervisors for their Resolution Recognizing the Importance of Education.
The Education Committee of the League completed a study three years ago on how the experiences of the first five years of a child’s life affect the achievement of the child throughout the school years and beyond.
On April 11, 2010, we published in the Marin Voice (Marin IJ) an advocacy piece titled Closing the Achievement Gap. Just a few sentences from that:
- Education is on the front pages, receiving local, state and federal attention at the moment.
- Early childhood experiences in good quality childcare and preschool are essential to closing the achievement gap.
- In Marin, we have to come together to find local solutions because we know that money invested early in a child’s life will be saved later in educational remediation and/or the juvenile justice system.
- And finally, a public commitment is needed to continue and to increase the funding that supports the intellectual and social development of children before age five.
Education Reform was Major Focus in 2012
Education reform was the focus of many of the committee’s activities, in addition to continued attention to the Marin Community College and the status of early childhood ser- vices and preschool in Marin.
Early in the year, the committee organized participation by the LWVMC in the national League’s study of the federal government’s role in education. Chaired by Marcia Hagen, the study included sections on the recently developed Common Core Standards and funding of early childhood education. Results, in the form of a national consensus position, will be considered for ratification at the national convention in June.
The LWVMC fall kickoff program was devoted to education, with speaker Dr. Michael Kirst, emeritus professor at Stanford and now chair of the CA State Board of Education. It was held at Dominican University and co-sponsored by the Educational Psychology Department and the Marin AAUW.
The College of Marin has reached concluding stages in implementing the Measure C bond funds. The New Academic Center and the Child Study Center are in beginning stages of construction, and the Science Center is well along. At a pivotal meeting of the College Board, the League spoke in support of the Child Study Center.
In February, the LWVMC co-sponsored with the Marin County Office of Education a program at which Dr. Pasi Sahlberg, Finnish educator and author, spoke about the successful reform of the Finnish educational system that has won high praise for valuing and supporting teachers. Finnish students score highest on international tests.
Dr. Mark Phillips, Professor of Education at San Francisco State University and frequent contributor to the Independ- ent Journal’s Marin Voice column, met with the committee to discuss shared interests in education reform.
At the April meeting, the committee met with Superintendent Mary Jane Burke to learn about the County’s Efficiency and Effectiveness Task Force. Its purpose is to work with school districts in Marin to study, analyze and promote best practices related to shared services to achieve econo- mies of scale while ensuring the benefits of local control.
In May, again with League co-sponsorship with the MCOE, Dr. Tony Wagner, researcher and educator at Harvard spoke to over 150 educators and others about the im- portance of teaching thinking skills, problem-solving and especially innovation in contrast to the current focus on reading and mathematics. Students learning in groups and developing communication skills were emphasized.
Our committee contributed to the national League’s study on privatization on the specific topic of education. Results of this study will be determined at the national convention.
In May, the Marin Community College Board of Trustees honored Elizabeth Moody for her many years of serving as a League observer at board meetings.
JOIN US: If you are interested in educational issues, our Education committee is a place where you can help make a difference. Please join us. Follow the join us link for details.