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Lesson 1.0

Education is…:
Overview of Chapter 1

Welcome to Ed100!

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Every California Child Deserves a Great Education.

You can be part of the solution.

California's education system is big and complex. Ed100 explains how it works so you can make a difference. This course consists of lessons organized into ten chapters. Each short lesson takes about five minutes to read. Start at the beginning to read it like a book or jump to topics that particularly interest you.

Chapter 1 - Education Is... Chapter 1
Education Is...
Chapter 2 - Students Chapter 2
... Students
Chapter 3 - and Teachers Chapter 3
... and Teachers
Chapter 4 - spending Time Chapter 4
... spending Time
Chapter 5 - in Places for learning Chapter 5
... in Places for learning
Chapter 6 - with the Right Stuff Chapter 6
... with the Right Stuff
Chapter 7 - in a System Chapter 7
... in a System
Chapter 8 - with Resources Chapter 8
... with Resources
Chapter 9 - for Success. Chapter 9
... for Success.
Chapter 10 - So now what? Chapter 10
So now what?

Signing In

You can read Ed100 without signing up. But signing up is free -- and when you sign in, a few great things happen:

  • Ed100 connects you with others. The discussion section at the bottom of each lesson lets you share resources and points of view. If you have a question, this is the place to post it (and answer a question from another reader.)
  • Ed100 helps create education leaders at your school. Using the leaderboard, you can find Ed100 participants at your own school. Then you can share ideas on what lessons are important to your parents and your school community.
  • Ed100 provides evidence of meaningful parent engagement at your school. This can be used directly in your district’s Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).
  • Ed100 helps you stay with it. Using the Leaderboard, you can see the progress you are making toward your Ed100 graduate certificate. You can view the progress that others from your school are making, too.
  • Ed100 helps you create urgency. Periodically, thanks to support from contributors like the California State PTA, Ed100 holds drawings to help keep the heat on and make it fun. You earn tickets in the drawing by completing lessons. You could win up to $1,000 for the benefit of your school’s PTA

This one-minute video summarizes how it works.

Additional Uses for Ed100

  • Talk about it. The impact of Ed100 is greatest when used as a kind of "book club." You can add to the Ed100 community by using the comment features to bring your discussion online.
  • Use the LCAP Parent Checklist template. This template will help you determine “next steps” to make your schools better. Your PTA and school community can work on it together to provide input on your Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). The template includes handy links to Ed100 lessons and other resources.
  • Get regular updates. We are constantly making changes to keep Ed100 up to date. Sign up for the Ed100 newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to be in the know.

What's in this Chapter?

We convinced Jeff to narrate a short video preview of each lesson. We hope you get a kick out of the awkward expressions we captured him in...

1.1 California Context: Are California’s Schools Really Behind?
The Ed100 course begins with some California context. Are California's schools really behind?
1.2 International Context: Are U.S. Schools Behind the World?
How do America's schools compare with schools in the rest of the world? And how do we know, anyway?
1.3 Economic Context: Schools for Knowledge Work
What's the most valuable resource in the American economy? The answer surprises a lot of people.
1.4 Bad Apples: The High Social Costs of Educational Failure
Educational failure costs everyone. Preventing failure can be a great investment. Students that “drop out” are not random.
1.5 Wishful thinking: Grade inflation and cognitive biases
Public confidence in schools has never been lower. But in surveys most people give their own schools a passing grade. What's going on? | Facts are cold / and stink and rot / so we find warmth / in wishful thought
1.6 Progress: Are Schools Improving?
Are schools getting better? The answer may surprise you. | Golden state scores / behind the best / but climbing upward / nonetheless
1.7 History of Education: How have Schools Changed Over Time?
Change in schools seems slow, until you look at a little history. Over time, public education has become much closer to universal. There's still quite a way to go. Do you know the major milestones?
1.8 Purpose: What is Education For, Really?
“What is school / really for / and should it really / be for more?” | Kids go to school. It's what they do, right? But what's the deeper purpose?
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Ken R April 2, 2018 at 11:11 am
ED100 lessons are soooo informative. They should be a must read for all parents, new and old. You will gain a better appreciation for the districts running of the hundreds of schools - cost, staffing, logistics.....Very good source of information.
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pamela_cfo December 5, 2017 at 9:21 pm
Teachers are a asset to our schools and it is unfair how under paid they are. When we speak about education it is also unfair that their are to many children assigned to one teacher per class when their are a percentage of students who require more one on one attention then others.
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PHYLLIS May 5, 2017 at 10:27 am
School start times should not be changed, maybe extended day
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art4humanity May 25, 2015 at 6:46 am
Today, my queries led me to this site for a posting. I awoke again with the idea of a fair compensation for teachers in California. I started with the basics how much does it cost to incarcerate a person in California. $47,000. annually. What is the value structure in that? Then, I continued my thinking, what does it cost to educate a child per year in California? Currently, it is one forth of the above cost. How can the policy makers be so far off with the equities of justice for our children not to prepare them well; to continue to allow California to remain the lowest in our Great Nation both with student performance and teacher pay? When will they see the correlations provide teachers a top salary and benefits?Business educate, train and guide and now understand that holistic approaches assist their businesses to thrive. Then why must hundreds upon thousands take to the streets to shout the message to officials who we know are intellectual? So, our empowerment lies in billions, I should say to education. That in itself, to teach/train/prepare for a "new" workforce and not to incarcerate. To prepare one for value and purpose that is what is needed.
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arienneadamcikova April 20, 2015 at 9:46 pm
I have a Masters Degree in Education and 12 years teaching experience. I am skeptical of a site that proclaims that California's schools remain the "weakest in the nation." I'm curious to find out what types of measures you are using. Perhaps, we are weak in school school funding because our poorest children get fewer dollars spent on their schools and teachers that children in our wealthiest districts.
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Jeff Camp - Founder April 21, 2015 at 12:20 am
Welcome to Ed100, Arienne. I appreciate your spirit of curiosity. The systemic weakness of California's schools isn't a blame thing, it's systemic, and starts with getting what we pay for. California's funding for public education is skimpy (discussed in Lesson 8.1 and 8.2), and has been for decades. The challenges of educating a diverse student body are more acute (and costly to address) here than elsewhere, and, as you point out, the system has long tilted funding away from students with the greatest needs (though it's important to acknowledge the importance of LCFF -- Lesson 8.5 -- in addressing this injustice). California's student-teacher ratios, which are a direct function of funding, are very different from other states, and pose a huge challenge. Proportionally, California schools make do with substantially fewer people in school leadership positions than other states do. The state lags in providing students with access to physical activity, and to creative expression through the arts. As teacher pay has fallen relative to other professions, fewer candidates have stepped forward to join teacher prep programs. These deficits add up. It is important to take seriously the systemic weaknesses of California's schools and to face them. They have with real consequences.
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tonyammarquez April 8, 2015 at 2:19 pm
Our School is located at Idyllwild, Ca. I'm a mother of six children and I'm very excited to
get started on ED100 concerning our schools.
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organodeflaco April 20, 2015 at 4:55 pm
Great beginning!!! We must form and guide our children into the future!! Their decisions will determine how well the past has educated them... Where was this 20 some years ago...
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Jennifer Ragudo March 25, 2015 at 12:05 am
I can't wait to go more into these lessons, but first sleep! I need a team in SCUSD to book club this baby.
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Emily RossBrown February 25, 2015 at 9:45 am
I wish this had been available when my now going into high school child was in 1st grade!
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cynthia.strasmann January 18, 2015 at 12:44 pm
What a fantastic tool for all to become better informed and thus more involved in our child's educational journey!
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phrani D August 11, 2014 at 4:31 pm
I'm wondering if this site is in Spanish as well - it could be very helpful, if it is, I wasn't successful in knowing how to access it.
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Mary Perry August 12, 2014 at 2:24 pm
The site is actually in Spanish. If you look in the upper right, above the Search box, you'll see a link to Espanol.
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hoffmanclan November 20, 2014 at 9:36 pm
Our school population is majority Chinese, Mandarin-speaking. It would be great if Ed100 were available in Chinese as well.
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Jeff Camp - Founder November 20, 2014 at 10:16 pm
I agree! It's a money thing, of course. As of 2014, the main pages of Ed100 are available in English and Spanish. If someone wants to fund professional translation of the lessons into Chinese (or another language), we would be happy to get it done. Meanwhile, robot translation is never as good as professional translation... but it's better than nothing. Visit, paste in the web address of any Ed100 lesson, and select the language you wish to read in. For example, here's lesson 8.3 (on LCFF), translated into Traditional Chinese:
user avatar
hetds June 13, 2015 at 2:21 pm
Yes, como no.

Just click on Spanish. Some graphs are missing, but 99
Per Cent of the English appears in Spanish.

Well translated, too.

Profa. Esthela Torres de Siegrist, MA/ABD
user avatar
Jeff Camp - Founder June 21, 2015 at 12:40 am
©2003-2024 Jeff Camp
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