A half a cup of a fruit or vegetable is required in every school lunch served in America, under federal regulations now up for review in Congress, and as far as the California School Nutrition Association is concerned, that requirement needs to go.
In a turn of events that belies California’s position as a national leader in mandating healthier school lunches – as well as the state’s role in growing nearly half of the nation’s fruits and vegetables – the California School Nutrition Association is pressing Congress to weaken the requirement that school lunches include fruits and vegetables, reduced amounts of sodium and more whole grains.
The association is lobbying to make a half cup serving of a fruit or vegetable optional, rather than required. It is also lobbying to stop any further reduction in sodium levels and to halt the increase in “whole grain rich” products, which would require that all breads, tortillas and rice be made with 50 percent whole grain. “We’re looking for flexibility,” said Dena England, president of the California School Nutrition Association, a nonprofit association of 2,000 members from school food service departments and additional food industry members.
LA Unified unveiled an online survey this week, asking the public to weigh in on the qualities they would like to see in the next superintendent.
Some of the questions are little obvious and may not yield any enlightening information, as George McKennapointed out at a recent board meeting. Do you want a superintendent who will “establish a culture of high expectations for all students and personnel”? Who doesn’t?
So here’s our latest poll with options that are a little more blunt and to the point. Over the last few decades the district has had superintendents with all kinds of backgrounds and ideologies that led to varying degrees of success (depending on whom you ask).
What kind of superintendent do you want? Take our poll below and let your voice be heard.
If a proposal for a massive expansion of charter schools in Los Angeles moves forward, the casualties probably would include thousands of teachers who currently work in the city’s traditional public schools.
As new charters open, regular schools would face declining enrollment — and would need fewer teachers.
Under the $490-million plan being spearheaded by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, 260 new charters would be opened in the city in eight years. The goal is to more than double the number of students attending these schools, which are independently run and mostly nonunion.
The plan talks about hiring from an expanded Teach For America and other groups that work with young, inexperienced instructors.
In exit exam limbo: Telesis Radford
If Telesis Radford scored two points higher on the math portion of the California High School Exit Exam, the last nine years of her life may have turned out very differently. EdSource, by Matt Levin and Tiffany Lew
California kids will get one of the most rounded educations on sex and sexuality in the country under new legislation that advocates called a victory in providing information that could prevent disease and teen pregnancy as well as sex-based violence and prejudice.
The new mandate ensures that public school students get a comprehensive sex education, offered at least once in middle school and once again in high school. That means teaching about condoms and emergency contraception, abstinence and abortion, sexual consent, gender identity and sexual orientation.
Under the measure signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last week, individual parents can opt out, but schools cannot.
Millions of people around the globe saw the viral sensation of little Andrew Macias, a pre-K student at City Terrace Elementary School, who broke down and cried on live television when asked by a KTLA reporter if he was going to miss his mom on his first day of school.
But have no fear, this tale has a happy ending. Or, at least one that will make you smile.
A group of French eighth-grade students who are learning English saw the video and created their own video to cheer Andrew up, LAUSD Daily reported.
“Don’t cry. School is not horrible,” one of the students says.
As gun-control issues once again grip the nation in the wake of the Oregon community college shooting, California may be poised to ban most concealed weapons on K-12 and college campuses.
State legislators recently passed a bill that would prohibit most people who have a permit for a concealed weapon from bringing that firearm to a school.
“This is our No. 1 top priority bill in California for our 26 chapters,” said Charles Blek, president of the Orange County Brady Campaign Chapter to Prevent Gun Violence.
The bill by Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, has been a year in the making. It arrives on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk for consideration as the nation mourns nine victims killed while in their writing class in a Roseburg, Ore., community college last week.
California law prohibits possession of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school or on a college campus without permission from administrators. There are some exceptions, including one for those who have permits for concealed firearms.
Would any college reject President Obama’s daughter?
Admission decisions rest largely on grades, test scores, extra-curricular activities and “the hook.” What’s the hook? Something that distinguishes you from everybody else. Washington Post, by Valerie Strauss
The National Education Association, the nation’s largest labor union, endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.
“We recommended Hillary Clinton on the incredible and lengthy track record she has, that is just wrapped around children, working families and education, from preschool to graduate school,” NEA president Lily Eskelsen García said.
Seventy-five percent of the union’s 170-member board backed Clinton.
The nod from the NEA gives Clinton a much-needed boost, after the International Association of Firefighters earlier this week backed away from plans to endorse her.
LA Unified is gathering public input on six different academic calendars it is considering for the years ahead. However, there have been technical glitches with its phone survey, and it isn’t clear when or if it will be completed.
The stories here at LA School Report about the calendar options have attracted a high level of interest from readers, perhaps because one option is somewhat radical and would limit summer break to four weeks and increase winter break to seven weeks.
With it being such a hot topic, we thought we would ask our readers directly: What months do you think kids should be in school? Take our poll and tell us.
Below are the options being considered. Each includes a one-week Thanksgiving break and a one-week spring break in April. Check back with us next week and we will announce the results.
UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl released a 12-minute video on YouTube today in which he asks members to vote for a dues increase.
According to Caputo-Pearl, the union has not updated its dues structure since its inception 45 years ago, which now “literally threatens the future of UTLA.”
In the video, Caputo-Pearl points out that UTLA’s monthly fees are lower than other large teacher unions in the country and lower than most other teacher unions in the state.
The video also includes a humorous reference to former LA Unified Superintendent John Deasy, who resigned a year ago. Deasy and Caputo-Pearl locked horns frequently, but now Deasy is working at the Broad Center, and its affiliated Broad Foundation is currently developing a plan to expand charter schools in the district to include half of all students.
Caputo-Pearl claims in the video that UTLA has confirmed that Deasy is, in fact, the architect of the plan, which was outlined in a 48-page draft report. Caputo-Pearl calls this the “reanimation” of Deasy. Reanimation? Is that a reference to the 80s cult classic film, “Re-Animator“?
The film is about a doctor who discovers how to bring corpses back from the dead. Using the film as a metaphor, it certainly shows the ironic position Caputo-Pearl finds himself in. He helped chase Deasy out of the district, which he hailed as a “victory” for UTLA. But now Deasy is arguably in a much more powerful position as he allegedly orchestrates a plan that would wipe out half of the jobs of UTLA members.
WASHINGTON — Arne Duncan, the secretary of education and a member of President Obama’s original cabinet, will step down in December after a long tenure in which he repeatedly challenged the nation’s schools to break out of their hidebound ways.
A White House official confirmed Mr. Duncan’s decision to step down and said the president has decided to name John B. King Jr., the deputy secretary of education, to replace Mr. Duncan to lead the Department of Education.
Mr. Obama is expected to formally announce the personnel changes and take questions from reporters Friday afternoon.
By Michael Fitzgerald
What the new Boston superintendent has to say about testing, charter schools, and innovation.
Globe Magazine: You’ve been handing out Atul Gawande’s “Cowboys and Pit Crews” [a 2011 commencement address on why the medical profession needs to be more collaborative]. How is it being received?
Tommy Chang: When I walk schools, I have heard people use the words “we’re going to act more as pit crews,” so it has been generally very positive. And I know there have been faculty meetings where that article has been used — this notion that nobody is an expert on everything, including doctors, and doctors have to work better as teams.
Have you seen any specific new ideas that have emerged out of this?
We did a Shark Tank-type of approach where different teams of central office folks shared their prototypes of how to support schools differently and got feedback from parents, administrators, and teachers. Every prototype was criticized, and it was completely disheartening for these senior administrators. But they took all that feedback and they re-prototyped, and that’s how we came up with the “We Room,” a room where we had different divisions that came together to solve problems. Principals in the morning would come and say, “I have an issue with A; I don’t know how to solve it yet.” A team of people solved the problem and reported back. Over the course of two days, we had 170 different dilemmas that were ultimately solved.
Students who have experienced trauma could be eligible for some of the same protections as students with disabilities based on the effects of that trauma, according to a ruling by a federal judge Tuesday.
But the degrees, types and effects of trauma that would trigger such protections have yet to be determined.
The procedural rulings from Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald came in response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of five students and three teachers in the Compton Unified School District that aimed to establish “complex trauma” as a type of disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Wednesday plans to appeal to the nation’s states and cities to dramatically reduce incarceration for nonviolent crimes, and he is proposing to use the estimated $15 billion in savings to substantially raise teacher pay in high-poverty schools.
Duncan argues that such a move would help persuade strong teachers to work with the students who most need them and would signal that the country cares about educating disadvantaged children.
“I’ve long said great teachers deserve to be paid far more. With a move like this, we’d not just make a bet on education over incarceration, we’d signal the beginning of a long-range effort to pay our nation’s teachers what they are worth,” Duncan plans to say Wednesday afternoon at the National Press Club in Washington, according to a copy of his prepared remarks. “That sort of investment wouldn’t just make teachers and struggling communities feel more valued. It would have ripple effects on our economy and our civic life.”