Morning Read: School district cafeterias phasing out sporks

The venerable spork’s days are numbered as school cafeterias move on
LA Unified is one of the six major school districts that’s doing away with the flimsy plastic fork-spoon combination after 30 years in school cafeterias.
The Washington Post, by Lyndsey Layton

Commentary: Career, tech education must be integrated with academics
The California superintendent of public instruction gave school districts until Nov. 30 to apply for grants to develop career technical education programs.
EdSource, by Gary Hoachlander and Christopher J. Steinhauser

Sex education lessons ignore gay, lesbian relationships, research says
Researchers said teachers almost always depicted young people as heterosexual – despite claiming their lessons were inclusive of sexual diversities.
Independent, by Richard Garner

School districts can reduce suspensions to increase achievement
California has been at the forefront of a national effort to reduce school suspensions and reform the school discipline process.
San Francisco Chronicle

Cuomo, in shift, is said to back reducing test scores’ role in teacher reviews
Facing a parents’ revolt against testing, New York state is poised to change course and reduce the role of test scores in evaluations.
The New York Times, by Kate Taylor

LA County supervisors ask governor to intercede in Porter Ranch gas leak
The governor is brought in over month-long stench that affects two LAUSD schools and the north San Fernando Valley neighborhood.
Los Angeles Daily News, by Sarah Favot

Morning Read: LAUSD announces new arts education funds

New flow of money for arts education heads to LAUSD schools
The Los Angeles Unified School District announced Monday that schools received more than a million dollars in new funding for arts education from the state.
KPCC, by Priska Neely

There’s more to a ‘growth mindset’ than assuming you have it
Stanford University psychology professor Carol Dweck coined the phrase “growth mindset.” Now she’s worried about its misapplication.
EdSource, by John Fensterwald

Former LAUSD teacher to stand trial for alleged sexual contact with boys
Michelle Yeh could face up to nine years in prison if convicted of four counts of statutory rape, four counts of lewd act on a child and other charges.
Los Angeles Daily News, by Larry Altman

Report: US falls behind other nations in the global knowledge economy
Fewer Americans are going to preschool and college compared to other nations.
Hechinger Report, by Jill Barshay

Goodbye, No Child Left Behind
After a long stalemate, a bipartisan team of congressional negotiators has agreed to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
NPR, by Claudio Sanchez

Combating a new surge of teen overdose and drug abuse
More focus on prevention and early intervention is needed to curb soaring drug-related deaths among teens and young adults, according to a new study.
Cabinet Report, by Alisha Kirby

Morning Read: Racism lawsuit against LAUSD teacher dropped

Suit accusing popular LAUSD teacher of racism dropped
A student had sued her teacher, alleging he made racially charged remarks during a history lesson on civil rights.
City News Service

Commentary: L.A. new front in education war
A big and perhaps decisive charter school battle is brewing in the state’s largest – and in many ways, most troubled – school district, Los Angeles Unified.
Fresno Bee, by Dan Walters

How turning math into a maker workshop can bring calculations to life
By the end of the school year, all of Elizabeth Little’s her math students, not just those needing extra support, were clamoring for more math.
KQED, by Linda Flanagan

Urban charter schools often succeed. Suburban ones often don’t.
Not all charter schools are outstanding: In the suburbs, for example, the evidence is that they do no better than traditional public schools.
New York Times, by Susan Dynarski

The fight over K-12 education appears headed back to the states
Congress is poised to pass a law that would shift power over K-12 public school policy from the federal government back to the states.
Washington Post, by Lyndsey Layton

Massachusetts’s rejection of Common Core test signals shift in U.S.
Across the country, what was once bipartisan consensus around national standards has collapsed into acrimony about the Common Core.
New York Times, by Kate Zernike

Morning Read: Looks like another good year for K-12 funding

Analyst predicts another good year for school funding
The Legislative Analyst’s Office is projecting another healthy year for K-12 schools, with an average increase of about $530 per student in 2016-17.
EdSource, by John Fensterwald

Negotiators come to agreement on revising No Child Left Behind law
A conference committee of members from the House and the Senate voted, 39 to 1, to approve the agreement on Thursday.
New York Times, by Motoko Rich

How does your state rank for school Internet access? 
A $20 million Zuckerberg gift may help improve it.
Hechinger Report, by Nichole Dobo

Teachers union allies demand Kevin Johnson resign over sex allegations
A Los Angeles-based organization and local activists want Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson to resign in light of resurfaced allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
Sacramento Bee, by Ryan Lillis

State Supreme Court says no — again — to Washington charter schools
The court ruled Sept. 4 that the state’s voter-approved charter school law is unconstitutional
News Tribune, by Debbie Cafazzo and Melissa Santos

Survey: What students and teachers really think about computer science 
Teachers at poor schools are more likely to think that computer science is vital to their students’ futures, but are less likely to think their school boards agree.
Huffington Post, by Rebecca Klein

Morning Read: Alliance parents divided over unionization

A growing split among parents over unionization efforts at Alliance charters 
The fight to unionize the largest provider of charter schools in Los Angeles is beginning to divide parents.
Los Angeles Times, by Joy Resmovits

Prop. 98 guarantee could reach $80B by 2020
The minimum funding guarantee for K-12 schools and community colleges is expected to surge to $77.5 billion by the 2019-20 school year.
Cabinet Report, by Tom Chorneau

About those kids who sued over fake classes
Behind the lawsuit against sham classes in California high schools.
Hechinger Report, by Peg Tyre

Supporters, opponents share opinions on proposed Glendale charter school
A parent-led effort to establish a charter school in Glendale has pitted Glendale Unified educators and parents against those who favor the school.
Los Angeles Times, by Kelly Corrigan

Curriculum materials a sticking point in Common Core implementation
During the five years since California adopted the Common Core State Standards, the search for high-quality textbooks and curriculum materials has been a sticking point.
EdSource, by Louis Freedberg and Theresa Harrington

Money and clout on the line for teachers union in 2016
The California Teachers Association, one of Sacramento’s most powerful interests, is heading into an extraordinary year with decisions on the ballot.
CALmatters, by Lauren Rosenhall

Morning Read: Nonprofit forming to lead LAUSD charter expansion

Nonprofit is formed to advance charter-school plan in Los Angeles area
Backers of a plan to greatly expand successful charters and other high-quality public schools in the LA area have formed a nonprofit organization.
Los Angeles Times, by Howard Blume

Low-income students ask educators to believe they can succeed
A statewide coalition of students from low-income families are posting statements on Twitter and Facebook that are both poignant and backed by research.
EdSource, by By Jane Meredith Adams

How L.A.’s teachers are talking about Paris
students throughout Southern California came to school Monday morning with a few questions about the Paris attacks.
Los Angeles Times, by Sonali Kohli

Mark Zuckerberg on philanthropy: Move slowly and build things
“I’d say that we’re trying to help people” rather than disrupt philanthropy, Zuckerberg said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press.
Associated Press, by Brandon Bailey

Calls mount to remove metal detectors from NYC schools
A student has not been shot in a New York City school in 13 years, a heartening statistic in an era of commonplace school massacres.
Associated Press, by Jonathan Lemire

United Way looks at real cost of family life in 2015
Families with young children are particularly hard hit, with 58 percent earning less than what the study figures it costs.
Modesto Bee, by Nan Austin

Morning Read: Brown asked to ‘reaffirm the vision’ of LCFF

Brown urged to ‘reaffirm the vision’ of funding law
A team of researchers found that, two years into the state’s new school financing law, “nagging concerns” are tempering enthusiasm.
EdSource, by John Fensterwald

Clinton says ‘no evidence’ that teachers can be judged by student test scores
Clinton said she is opposed to using student test scores as a way to judge a teacher’s performance, dismissing policies promoted by the Obama administration.
Washington Post, by Lyndsey Layton

AFT President Randi Weingarten, defends Hillary Clinton on charter schools
The union, which has been critical of charter schools, is supporting Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy.
New York Times, by By Maggie Haberman

Hey, new teacher, don’t quit. It will get better
Research shows that roughly one teacher in 10 will quit by the end of that first year, and the toughest time — for many — is right now.
NPR, by Corey Turner

Report finds school crowding is worse in immigrant communities
New York City recently acknowledged nearly 540,000 students attended schools that were over capacity in the 2014-15 school year.
WNYC, by Beth Fertig

The 3 barriers school districts face in the bandwidth race
A report on the state of bandwidth in U.S. schools shows affordability is still a huge challenge.
Ed Tech Magazine, by D. Frank Smith

Morning Read: No Child Left Behind rewrite picks up steam

New era near for No Child Left Behind
Congress is expected to take up a long overdue rewrite of the federal K-12 law, but passing the revamped version won’t be easy.
US News & World Report, by By Lauren Camera

Laurene Powell Jobs launches college-support program in Watts
Her organization, College Track, announced last week it will support dozens of students attending Jordan High School in Watts.
Los Angeles Times, by Howard Blume

Op-Ed: How to solve the LAUSD puzzle
Education experts, parents, teachers, students and others discuss what the district’s priorities should be.
Los Angeles Times

LA charter debate offers opportunity 
In the highly polarized debate over charter schools, many of the most important and complex issues do not receive the attention they warrant and deserve.
EdSource, by By Pedro Noguera

Teacher walk of fame expanding to Village at Westfield Topanga
Thanks to the Walk of Hearts Foundation, 50 plaques embedded in the sidewalks along Sherman Way between Alabama Avenue and Topanga Canyon Boulevard designate the Walk of Fame for Exceptional Educators.
Los Angeles Daily News, By Greg Wilcox

PTA survey finds parents still in the dark on new testing
A survey of parents reasonably engaged in their children’s schooling found a majority still had little or no understanding of the new assessment system.
Cabinet Report, by by Tom Chorneau

Morning Read: Broad foundation defends charter expansion plan

Charter school expansion could reshape L.A. Unified, officials say
In the first public discussion involving the Broad Foundation’s efforts, Executive Director Gregory McGinity said that charter schools have transformed education.
Los Angeles Times, by Howard Blume

Neighborhood opposes charter school location
A proposed charter school in West Adams is running into a wall of opposition from residents.
Los Angeles Wave, by Debra Varnado

In swan song, Arne Duncan extols school progress under his tenure
“This is not some ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment, not even close,” said Mr. Duncan.
New York Times, by Kate Zernike

Researchers caution against using students’ test scores to evaluate teachers
The American Educational Research Association became the latest organization to caution against using value-added models to evaluate teachers and principals.
Washington Post, by Emma Brown

Given Internet access, can kids really learn anything by themselves?
How a simple experiment in India has turned into a radical idea, whether students should teach themselves by giving them a computer and stepping back.
PBS Newshour, by Paul Solman

Want to make a school better? Get kids to show up
Chronic absence is defined as missing more than 10 percent of the school year. Research shows that such students are way more likely to fall behind.
NPR, by Elissa Nadworny

Morning Read: From Geffen, $100 million for a school at UCLA

A gift to benefit children of UCLA faculty to keep them in place
Geffen described the school in part as a recruiting and retention tool for faculty and scientists who may be worried about LA education system.
Los Angeles Times, by Larry Gordon

Constant lockdowns lead schools to buy portable toilets
Sign of the times: Threats create need to accommodate students stuck for hours.
San Diego Union-Tribune, by Maureen Magee

As LAUSD citations drop, questions about ‘ghost suspensions’ rise
Community organizers question whether the district’s impressive suspension rate tells the whole story about discipline in LAUSD.
Chronicle of Social Change, by Nadra Nittle

How one program is helping English learners starting in preschool
The Sobrato Early Academic Language, or SEAL, program aims to help English learners starting in preschool so they don’t struggle in school later.
EdSource, by Sarah Tully

LCAP moving to electronic format soon
A comprehensive district document, destined to serve as the foundation of California’s new school accountability system, is going higher-tech soon.
Cabinet Report, by Kimberly Beltran

Morning Read: Public desires a superhero superintendent

Next L.A. schools chief: A politically savvy educator who’s a superhero?
A look at the details of the superintendent search survey suggests that even Kryptonite could not stop the particular paragon being sought.
Los Angeles Times, by Howard Blume

Schools fire back against physical education instruction lawsuit
Forty-two school districts are asking a court to throw out a lawsuit alleging that students do not receive the minimum amount of physical education instruction.
EdSource, by Jane Meredith Adams 

State board, advocacy groups spar over rubrics development
The new measuring tools being created by California officials are being closely watched – both by advocacy groups here and nationally.
Cabinet Report, by Tom Chorneau

S.F. parents urge programs for gifted, high-achieving students
The outcry revolved around changes made last year in math instruction, which included pushing the Algebra I course out of middle school and into freshmen year.
San Francisco Chronicle, by Jill Tucker

Chicago Teachers Union touts result of ‘practice’ strike vote
The union’s contract expired this summer, and the two sides weeks ago enlisted the help of a mediato, one step in a long process required before a strike.
Chicago Tribune, by Juan Perez Jr.

Remembering Sgt. York, a war hero who built a school
Here in Pall Mall, Tenn., you can walk up on the front porch of the Forbus General Store, est. 1892, and still hear Alvin C. York’s rich Tennessee accent.
NPR, by Noah Adams

Morning Read: LAUSD won’t rehire lawyer in sex abuse case

LAUSD will not rehire lawyer who said teen shared blame for sex abuse
W. Keith Wyatt was removed from district work after saying that it was more dangerous for a teen to cross a street in traffic than to have sex with her teacher.
Los Angeles Times, by Teresa Watanabe

Editorial: It’s time to stop the whining about charter schools
Whining about charter schools won’t make them go away. Yet LAUSD board member Scott Schmerelson is proposing the equivalent of that with a resolution.
Los Angeles Times Editorial Board

The nation’s high school dropout rate has fallen, study says
The number of dropouts declined from 1 million in 2008 to about 750,000 in 2012, according to a new study to be released Tuesday.
Washington Post, by Emma Brown

Commentary: Settlement hopes to fix troubled schools
Here’s the real problem: If these kids live in the district, they are stuck going to these schools.
San Diego Union-Tribune, by Steven Greenhut

Zuckerberg highlights what he learned after $100 million gift to Newark
Zuckerberg noted the “challenges, mistakes and honest differences among people with good intentions.”
Associated Press

Hillary Clinton rebukes charter schools
The decades-long proponent of charters criticizes the schools for cherry-picking kids.
Politico, by Kimberly Hefling

Morning Read: LAUSD board to weigh Broad charter-expansion plan

LA Board of Education will weigh Broad charter-expansion plan
A measure sponsored by board member Scott Schmerelson calls for the district to go on record against the massive charter expansion plan.
Los Angeles Times, by Howard Blume

California legislative committee probes shortcomings in arts education
California’s education code mandates art instruction for first through 12th-graders. Few schools live up to these requirements and many are not aware that they exist.
KPCC, by Priska Neely

Walton foundation gives $50 million to Teach For America 
Nationwide, the Walton grant will support 4,000 TFA instructors over the next three years.
Los Angeles Times, by Howard Blume

State board encourages creativity in summarizing accountability plans
Members of the State Board of Education are encouraging school districts to make burgeoning Local Control and Accountability Plans more reader-friendly.
EdSource, by John Fensterwald and Michael Collier

What’s next for Michelle Rhee, once the national face of education activism?
The combative former D.C. public schools chancellor who founded the national advocacy group StudentsFirst has retreated recently from public view.
Sacramento Bee, by Christopher Cadelago

Police in schools: Keeping kids safe, or arresting them for no good reason?
The violent arrest of a South Carolina high school student in class last month has triggered new scrutiny of the nation’s school resource officers.
Washington Post, by Emma Brown


Morning Read: Teachers share concerns, ideas about texting in class

Teachers sound off on dealing with texting in class
Following the video that went viral and sparked outrage, teachers offer their best practices.
Education World, by Nicole Gorman

Math placement tests deserve more scrutiny
The right courses in high school doesn’t guarantee access to college-level math courses at the state’s colleges and universities.
EdSource, by Pamela Burdman

Charter school to court Simi Unified
Students would be grouped by skill level, not age.
Simi Valley Acorn, by Hector Gonzalez

LAUSD and the search for a new superintendent
Steve Zimmer and Caprice Young are interviewed about search process.
KCRW, by Warren Olney

Editorial: Accommodation for “all our students” should include transgenders
The issue of gender-neutral bathrooms is one of great importance in schools today.
The Daily Free Press

Morning Read: State board issues $3.1 million fine for late test scores

State Board penalizes ETS $3.1 million for late test scores
The State Board of Education voted to penalize the Educational Testing Service $3.1 million for delivering the scores and reports on the new Smarter Balanced tests late.
EdSource, by John Fensterwald

Study: Most states link student learning to teacher reviews
In many states, those performance reviews could lead to a pink slip.
Associated Press, by Jennifer C. Kerr

Parents, School Officials Battle Over Contamination at Malibu Schools
Parents had become alarmed when three teachers reported getting thyroid cancer, and blamed “sick building syndrome” at the aging schools near Zuma Beach.
NBC Los Angeles and City News Service

Compton Teachers Hold ‘Sick-Out’ Over Ballot Measure
More than 40 teachers called in sick the day after voters approved school bond measure.
NBC Los Angeles, By Kathy Vara

Preschools play key role in preparing English learners for kindergarten
Preschools have such an important role to play in getting children prepared for kindergarten because about half of the children in the state’s largest publicly funded preschool programs come from homes where a language other than English is spoken.
EdSource, by Sarah Tully

New questions over proficiency and the Common Core testing
The question of where to draw the line for proficiency on new tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards has crept back into the conversation.
Cabinet Report, by Tom Chorneau

Morning Read: LAUSD creates filming content guidelines

LAUSD to ask film crews about nudity, drug use, weapons
Film crews requesting permits to film at schools will be required to complete a checklist detailing 13 different types of content.
NBC, by Jenna Susko

California’s attorney general investigates the online charter school industry
Students at virtual charter schools lag significantly behind their peers in brick-and-mortar classrooms, sparking big worries among education advocates.
Buzzfeed, by Molly Hensley-Clancy

As transgender students make gains, schools hesitate at bathrooms
Many schools have developed policies that require transgender students to use private changing and showering facilities, drawing opposition.
New York Times, by Julie Bosman and Motoko Rich

What to do about texting in class, according to 11 teachers
Each teacher seems to have his or her own method for handling phones.
Los Angeles Times, by Daniela Gerson

State’s most remote schools getting online, finally
The kids in Inyo County’s Death Valley School District – all 40 of them – can look forward to finally having Internet access.
Cabinet Report, by Kimberly Beltran

Morning Read: Arts programs struggling to blossom at LAUSD

Deterioration of arts programs has been particularly jarring in LAUSD
Budget cuts and a narrow focus on subjects that are measured on standardized tests have contributed to a vast reduction of public school arts programs across the U.S.
Los Angeles Times, by Zahira Torres and Ryan Menezes

Comprehensive Common Core survey sent to teachers, principals
The nonprofit research agency WestEd is conducting the survey with the blessing of the State Board of Education and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
EdSource, by John Fensterwald

Hailed as a ‘bold vision,’ an innovative school plan hits roadblocks
Controversy over a California community center that would unite a school district and a city shows how popular ideas can lose favor once they are executed.
Hechinger Report, by Kyle Spencer

Many children under 5 are left to their mobile devices, survey finds
A lack of parental supervision is more worrisome than the use of mobile devices by the very young, experts said.
New York Times, by Catherine Saint Louis

Morgan Hill: Trustee resigns, wins protective order
The board has been split over charter schools, education of Latino students, the placement of sixth-graders and the leadership of Superintendent Steve Betando.
San Jose Mercury-News, by Sharon Noguchi

Column: A high school senior fights for her dreams
Miriam Antonio is a senior at Fairfax High School. She has a dream that seems tantalizingly within reach — but she has to stay focused amid the distractions.
Los Angeles Times, by Steve Lopez

Morning Read: LAUSD ordered to pay $6M to 2 molested boys

LAUSD ordered to pay $6M to 2 boys molested by Telfair teacher
Two teenage boys were each awarded more than $3 million Thursday from Los Angeles Unified as compensation for being sexually abused in a Pacoima elementary school.

8,000 LAUSD students who failed exit exam eligible for diploma
The students are those who failed the exam but met every other graduation requirement. The district will soon begin notifying eligible students through the mail.
EdSource, By Fermin Leal

What gets students motivated to work harder? Not money
Giving kids cash for grades and scores hasn’t proved straightforward either. So maybe the answer isn’t monetary.
The Conversation

Op-Ed: Educators, not cops, should handle discipline in class
If we keep outsourcing disciplinary problems to cops, we’re as culpable as they are for their excesses.
Los Angeles Times, by Conor Friedersdor

First all-girl public school to open on LA High campus
The Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA) is now accepting applications for incoming sixth and ninth grade students for its inaugural 2016-2017 school-year.
Larchmont Ledger, by Sheila Lane

Study shows that going green can make a real difference for companies
A technical report from the Los Angeles Unified School District showed that a 1% reduction in energy costs would allow them to hire up to 25 new teachers.
Consumer Affairs, by Christopher Maynard


Morning Read: LCAPs becoming complex bureaucratic exercise

District accountability plans mushroom in size and complexity
The burgeoning size of the LCAPs is raising questions about whether after just two years in existence they are turning into a daunting bureaucratic exercise.
EdSource, By Michael Collier and Louis Freedberg

L.A. teachers weigh in on discipline in reaction to South Carolina case
The South Carolina episode has teachers in Los Angeles reflecting on their own classroom discipline encounters.
Los Angeles Times, by Jason Song and Howard Blume

Pasadena Unified at impasse with union over teacher’s salaries
Disagreements over salary increases have deadlocked negotiations between the Pasadena Unified School District and its teachers union.
Pasadena Star-News, by Jason Henry

Compton school board president says schools made major turnaround
Micah Ali, current school board president, said Compton schools are a great American success story.
NBC Los Angeles, by Ted Chen and Heather Navarro

LAUSD should pay $5 million each to abused boys, attorneys argue
LAUSD should pay two boys sexually abused by their elementary school teacher more than $5 million each, their attorneys told jurors Wednesday.
Los Angeles Times, by Teresa Watanabe

7 percent of U.S. kids have had a parent in jail
Findings from Child Trends — a nonprofit based in Maryland — explores “the prevalence of parental incarceration and child outcomes associated with it.”
PBS, by Colleen Shalby

Morning Read: LAUSD re-fires lawyer who argued in sex abuse case

LAUSD fires lawyer (again) who blamed student for sex with teacher
Veteran attorney W. Keith Wyatt will no longer handle cases for the nation’s second-largest school system, the district confirmed Tuesday.
Los Angeles Times, by Howard Blume

A backgrounder on the Alliance — UTLA dispute
The PERB sued Alliance College-Ready Public Charter Schools and its 27 Los Angeles area campuses in Superior Court on Friday.
Courthouse News, by Rebekah Kearn

Fresno Unified’s Hanson second-highest paid K-12 educator in CA last year
John Deasy, the former superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District, topped the list, earning $442,801 last year.
Fresno Bee, by Bonhia Lee

California districts moving to new ‘integrated’ high school math pathway
Every district has had to decide whether to stick with a “traditional” sequence of courses in grades 9-11 or adopt a new “integrated pathway.”
EdSource, by Jay Harlow

Report calls for more support for black students in California
A new report released by the student advocacy group Education Trust­-West calls for an increased focus on helping black students thrive in California schools.
EdSource, by Theresa Harrington

Dental ‘self-referral’ ban creates barrier to care
San Francisco Unified is seeking an exemption from state prohibitions on dentists “self-referring” in an effort to expand student access.
Cabinet Report, by Kimberly Beltran