Morning Read: Poll shows Tuck and Torlakson in close race

Tight race for schools chief
A new Field Poll shows a virtual tie between incumbent Tom Torlakson and challenger Marshall Tuck in the race for state superintendent. The Sacramento Bee

Long Beach looking to extend its push for college to preschools
Believing it’s never too early to think about college, Long Beach public officials and educators plan to take their message to the earliest learners — preschoolers. KPCC

CA children falling through the cracks, says study on kids’ well-being
Kids across 58 counties in California are faring poorly overall when it comes to education, health and socio-economic outcomes. KPCC

Database maps college readiness policies
A new report shows how California’s “college readiness” policies stack up against those in other states. Ed Source

N.Y.C. schools to open doors to student cellphones
The country’s largest school district plans to end its ban on student cellphones in schools. Education Week

Morning Read: $25 million to be spent on state superintendent race

Union power on the ballot
The campaign for California superintendent of public instruction is on pace to be the most expensive contest in the state this cycle. Politico

LA Unified turns to teenager to teach social media
San Pedro High School senior Delaney Wells recently taught a technology class on Instagram for a group of Los Angeles Unified staffers. KPCC

LAUSD travel spending suspended after Deasy’s final credit card bill
Los Angeles Unified this week suspended all out-of-town travel and off-campus training as well as the former superintendent’s credit card. Los Angeles Daily News

Many schools lack Internet capacity for tests
California officials have identified many schools that will have difficulty offering online statewide tests scheduled in the spring. EdSource

Bay area students’ shrimp project destroyed in Tuesday’s rocket explosion
The explosion of an unmanned Orbital Sciences rocket is a disappointment to hundreds of school children across the country. CBS San Francisco

Morning Read: New kindergarten cutoff age causes debate

State implements new kindergarten cutoff age
Of the panoply of reforms now being implemented in California schools, the one affecting the state’s youngest students passed almost unnoticed this fall. EdSource

Title IX decision, a reminder on equality in athletics
With an appeals court finding that a California district violated federal discrimination protections, legal experts suggest a review of athletic programs. S&I Cabinet Report

L.A. school officials order review of every senior’s transcript
Los Angeles school district officials have ordered a review of every senior’s transcript. Los Angeles Times

LA Unified acknowledges mistakes in transcripts as deadlines loom
The new $130 million MiSiS student data system is now turning out student transcripts with incorrect information. KPCC

The Secret Lives Of Teachers: Mei-Ling Uliasz
When’s she’s not teaching, Mei-Ling Uliasz turns bottle caps and little tin cars and brass protractors and other found objects into whimsical “upcycled” jewelry. NPR

Morning Read: With Deasy gone, is LAUSD’s iPad program history?

With Deasy out, is LA schools’ iPad program ‘dead’?
With the departure of John Deasy, the future of the Los Angeles School District’s controversial one-to-one technology program hangs in uncertainty. KPCC

LAUSD scrambles to ensure MiSiS doesn’t keep seniors from college
Los Angeles Unified’s staff is in a scramble to make sure a computer system doesn’t stop seniors from going to college. Los Angeles Daily News

L.A. Unified students could take iPads home soon
Los Angeles Unified students could take school-issued iPads home as soon as next month. Los Angeles Times

9 LAUSD schools each get $50,000 for proximity to a huge garbage dump
Nine schools will each receive $50,000 grants under an action approved Friday by the Los Angeles City Council. Los Angeles Daily News

Inglewood schools chief criticized over costs of his security detail
Some are questioning why the cash-strapped Inglewood Unified School District is paying for an armed California Highway Patrol officer. Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: No iPad software with bonds, says Cortines

Bonds should not pay for iPad curriculum, new L.A. Unified head says
Newly installed Supt. Ramon Cortines said he opposes using construction bond money to pay for curriculum on student computers. Los Angeles Times

California moving rapidly toward post-NCLB accountability
In one sentence, the president of the California State School board signaled the end of the old era of assessment and the dawn of another. Education Week

State seeks $140 million federal grant to expand preschool
CA officials are asking for $140 million in federal funds for subsidized preschool slots in communities where parents have a difficult time finding quality childcare. KPCC

Support for Prop. 2 inching toward 50 percent
Voter support for Proposition 2, a new version of a state budget rainy day fund, has increased from a month ago. EdSource

Art ed advocates put candidates on the spot
If you want to know where school board candidates stand on arts curriculum, there’s an online tool that can help – sort of. S&I Cabinet Report

Morning Read: Education Secretary meets with Cortines

Education Secretary Duncan talks tech with L.A. Unified’s Cortines
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, in a brief visit to Los Angeles on Tuesday, met with newly installed L.A. Unified Supt. Ramon C. Cortines. Los Angeles Times

Education secretary says time to debate preschool is over
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told a conference of preschool advocates in L.A. Tuesday that the value of early education to young children is undisputed. KPCC

LGBT students face less harassment and fewer assaults in schools
Harassment and physical assault against LGBT students has been trending downward in the last six years, according to a report. Los Angeles Daily News

Officials debate Common Core amid standing-room-only crowd
About 200 people attended a standing-room-only debate in a special meeting by the Orange County Board of Education. Orange County Register

Nation’s wealthy places pour private money into public schools
Private groups are raising an increasing amount of money for public schools in wealthier communities, highlighting concerns about inequality. New York Times

Morning Read: Deasy resignation makes headlines nationwide

Deasy resigns as Los Angeles schools chief after mounting criticism
In a sign of the powerful resistance that big-city school chiefs face in trying to make sweeping changes, John Deasy, LAUSD superintendent, resigned. New York Times

Why did the Los Angeles superintendent resign?
In his efforts to improve his district, John Deasy took risks and made impressive gains. He also made mistakes and earned some enemies along the way. The Atlantic

How the iPad helped bring down the Los Angeles schools chief
John Deasy resigned after a bungled effort to give an Apple tablet to every student in the district. Time

LAUSD Supt. John Deasy’s resignation is no cause for celebration
Commentary: More than anything else, Deasy’s departure is a dispiriting sign of a district that is in grave danger of losing its way. Los Angeles Times

Students at South LA’s Manual Arts High react to Deasy resignation
Students at South L.A.’s Manual Arts High School are hopeful that a future superintendent can be a model leader. Intersections South LA

Morning Read: Year-round schooling growing in popularity

Popularity grows anew for year-round schooling When Stiles Simmons, the superintendent of a two-school district outside Lansing, Mich., looked at the data, he realized summer break was hurting his mostly-low-income students. Education Week

Teacher training extends to gender sensitivity Along with the heavy load of training tied to the new Common Core content standards, a growing number of teachers are also being asked to take professional development intended to improve gender identity awareness and inclusiveness. S&I Cabinet Report

Calif. schools have dogs in unlikely proposition fights When it comes to the Nov. 4 statewide General Election, most of the K-12 education community’s attention has been on Proposition 2, but schools also stand to be impacted by two other ballot measures. S&I Cabinet Report

Norward Roussell, who led schools in Selma in turbulent time, dies at 80 Norward Roussell, who in 1987 arrived in Selma, Ala., as the city’s first black superintendent of schools with aspirations to equalize educational opportunity, died on Monday in Selma. He was 80. New York Times

As Deasy’s fate remains uncertain, other districts continue tech purchases School officials across the U.S. say they have already learned one major lesson from Los Angeles’ botched iPad rollout: Classroom technology is here to stay, but it is important to choose wisely. The Hechinger Report

Morning Read: LAUSD takes on bullying of LGBT athletes

LAUSD ‘blowing the whistle’ on bullying, hazing of LGBT student athletes
Officials announced Tuesday the Los Angeles Unified School District will “blow the whistle” on bullying and hazing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender student athletes. Los Angeles Daily News

A fortune for iPads, but not enough for math books
Commentary: With the conversion to Common Core standards, L.A. Unified purchased new math books for eighth grade, but not for sixth or seventh. The reason was lack of funding. Los Angeles Times

Deasy and keeping students at the center of political battles
Commentary: Los Angeles Unified School District recently announced a 15-point increase in its graduation rate. This is cause for immense celebration as more students are on their pathways out of poverty. The Hechinger Report

There’s no Superman, but Deasy wasn’t afraid to try on the cape
Commentary: John Deasy wasn’t dealt a winning hand. He’s a very smart guy, so I think he knew it from the start, but he wanted to play the game as superintendent of Los Angeles Unified so badly that he picked up the cards anyway. The Hechinger Report

LA school board backs $3.6 million ‘bailout’ of faulty data system
The LA Unified board Tuesday night approved the purchase of 3,340 computers costing $3.6 million for school sites struggling to properly schedule classes, take attendance and track student needs in a new data system. KPCC

L.A. school board OKs plan to resolve Jefferson High problems
The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday approved a $1.1-million plan to provide a longer school day, additional classes and tutoring to Jefferson High students who lost instructional time. Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: District officials seek to calm fears at Jefferson HS

L.A. Unified seeks to reassure Jefferson High parents
Los Angeles school officials tried to reassure concerned parents Monday that they have resolved most scheduling problems at Jefferson High School and also will make up for class time students have lost. Los Angeles Times

Tracking system glitches affected special needs students, report says
Problems with the Los Angeles Unified School District’s new student tracking system led to widespread difficulties in identifying special needs students and placing them in the right programs. Los Angeles Times

Longer school days, new classes at Jefferson High to cost $1 million
Los Angeles Unified proposes to spend $1.1 million to extend the school day by 30 minutes, fund 15 new class sections and increase support personnel at the troubled Jefferson High School. KPCC

Preschool teachers among lowest paid despite degrees
While debate rages on increasing the minimum wage locally and nationally, one unexpected group of workers earning close to the bottom of the scale stands to benefit if the floor is raised: preschool teachers. KPCC

Repeating elementary grades, even kindergarten is harmful
The already muddy research on whether it’s better to hold back struggling students or promote them to the next grade just got muddier. The Hechinger Report

Morning Read: LA Unified’s MiSiS system under scrutiny

LAUSD’s student information system becomes a technological disaster
The Los Angeles Unified School District’s student information system, which has cost more than $130 million, has become a technological disaster. Los Angeles Times

Law helps homeless students graduate
A new law that will take effect in January is aimed at helping homeless students by allowing them to get partial credit for school work they have done. EdSource

Millions pour into state superintendent’s race
Independent groups backing the two candidates for state superintendent of public instruction reloaded their campaigns with millions of dollars in contributions this week, as the race heads toward Nov. 4 with a crescendo of spending. EdSource

Push to limit federal test mandates gains steam
For more than a decade, teachers, administrators, students, and even parents have criticized the No Child Left Behind Act—and, now, the Obama administration’s waivers under that law. Education Week

As apprentices in classroom, teachers learn what works
The idea is that teachers, like doctors in medical residencies, need to practice repeatedly with experienced supervisors before they can be responsible for classes on their own. New York Times

LEAs move ahead on restorative practices

Although a newly adopted law significantly narrows the list of reasons students can be suspended or expelled from school, many California schools had already done away with the catch-all category known as willful defiance. S&I Cabinet Report

Proposed fixes for Jefferson High include more classes, longer days
Students at Jefferson High are likely to have expanded course offerings and longer school days to address massive scheduling problems that resulted in lost instruction time this fall, officials have confirmed. Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: Bullied student can seek attorneys’ fees

Student who says he was bullied can seek attorney’s fees from LAUSD
A judge ruled that a former student who alleges Los Angeles Unified administrators failed to intervene when he was bullied about his sexuality and forced to deal with panic attacks can seek attorneys’ fees if he wins his case. Los Angeles Daily News

Researchers and schools diverge in definitions of bullying
One of the biggest challenges for those who seek to end bullying among students has been defining exactly what “bullying” is. Education Week

Educating kids isn’t rocket science. It’s harder.
Commentary: For the past two decades, self-styled education reformers—the newest of whom is journalist Campbell Brown, whose Partnership for Educational Justice seeks to “reform” teacher tenure—have been inundating the public schools with ineffective programs and imprudent policies. Washington Post

Little Free Library unveiled in honor of fallen Valley officer
The Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Traffic Division is now home to a Little Free Library, becoming the first traffic division in the city to host one. Los Angeles Daily News

Attendance sinks as San Ysidro teachers strike
The first day of the teachers strike will cost the San Ysidro School District about $96,000 in state funding tied to attendance. U-T San Diego

Morning Read: Feds deliver $36 million to LAUSD Promise Zone

Federal grants to create ‘cradle to career’ services in LAUSD zones
Local officials on Wednesday announced a milestone — $36 million in federal grants — for an ambitious program to provide a full range of social and education services to students and their families in several neighborhoods. Los Angeles Times

Why are police using military-grade weapons in high schools?
This year, LAUSD initiated reforms to school discipline policies to limit the role of school police and emphasize school and community-based supports. Rolling Stone

New research supports blended approach to computer learning
Nearly from the first time a teacher took chalk to a blackboard, educators have sought out advanced technology in hopes of finding a better method for delivering curriculum. In recent years the focus has been on computers that teach, which the authors of a new study say has produced only mixed results. S&I Cabinet Report

Why gifted education doesn’t make sense

Commentary: A new book out by nationally known gifted-education expert James R. Delisle, a former fifth grade special education teacher and Kent State University professor, says our schools are making war on our nation’s finest young minds by failing to fund enough programs for the gifted. Washington Post

Judge orders state to fix Jefferson High scheduling issues
On Wednesday, a Superior Court judge ordered state education officials to fix the problem at Jefferson High immediately, ruling that students were being deprived of their right to an education. Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: California has most homeless students in U.S.

California leads the nation in homeless school children
One out of every five K-12 students nationally who experienced homelessness in the 2012-2013 school year lived in California, according to a study by the California Homeless Youth Project. AllGov

Education groups won’t back rainy day fund
Gov. Jerry Brown won’t have key education groups helping him make the case to voters for a bigger and more restrictive state rainy day fund. The most he can count on is that they won’t actively campaign against it. EdSource

Many districts lagging on implementing Common Core, survey finds
With springtime testing for the common core only months away, nearly a third of district superintendents are still scrambling to put in place the curriculum and professional development necessary to teach the standards, according to survey results released Wednesday. Education Week

Parents, students focus on classrooms in judging LA school superintendent
When several parents and students were asked about Deasy, they told KPCC that what matters to them is what is happening in the schools. KPCC

California school voucher backer to head U.S. education reform group
The education reform group Students First has named as its president a longtime supporter of school vouchers and loosening tenure protections for public school teachers, the group said on Tuesday. Reuters


Morning Read: Vergara ruling ‘reinforces a completely false narrative’

What’s wrong with the Vergara ruling
Commentary: What’s wrong with the ruling is that it reinforces a completely false narrative in which incompetent teachers are portrayed as the central problem facing urban schools.EdSource

Online resource offers help with discipline
Educators who want to implement more positive disciplinary practices can now access an online national repository of research-based alternatives to suspension and expulsion. EdSource

Preparing Your Child for Common Core Tests
Coming soon to classrooms across the nation: standardized tests to measure students’ mastery of the Common Core, the new academic standards that have been adopted by most states. New York Times

Student Performance Stalls on SAT, Improves on AP Tests
For the first time, the College Board has combined its release of Advanced Placement, SAT, and Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test scores in a report that generally reflects expanded participation but stagnant performance. Education Week

Los Angeles Unified’s MiSiS crisis in court, district denies problems
A court order today could end problems caused by MiSiS – Los Angeles Unified’s prematurely launched computer software – at one district school plagued by the buggy software and poor management, according to court documents. Los Angeles Daily News

Morning Read: California planning to set test cutoff scores

California, other states to set test cutoff scores
During the next few weeks California educators will play a pivotal role in a crucial phase of work for the new Smarter Balanced assessments that millions of California students will take this spring for the first time. EdSource

Why can’t the grown-ups get it right on education?
Commentary: If Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy is still on the job as you read this, the question is for how long. Los Angeles Times

New laws aside, big hurdles remain for computer science
Although legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last week takes big steps toward integrating computer science studies into mainstream public school curriculum, advocates say California’s education system still badly lags. S&I Cabinet Report

In Washington state, political stand puts schools in a bind
The schools in Washington are caught in the political crossfire of a battle over education policy. New York Times

Challenger Marshall Tuck wants to change Sacramento, if he can get there
Marshall Tuck is an optimist. He must be to talk so confidently about when – not if – he becomes California’s next superintendent of public instruction. Sacramento Bee

Morning Read: State rolls out resource center for LCAP

State introduces tools for school change
With districts working this fall to put into action their first locally created school accountability plans, the California Department of Education rolled out a new online resource center on Thursday designed to help schools change. EdSource

Steps Weighed on Method for Flagging Bias in Spec. Ed.
Federal officials face sharply polarized opinions among advocates and educators as they consider creating a bright line for states to use in deciding whether minorities are being overidentified for special education services. Edweek

Racial gap in education puts drag on economy
Hiding in the shadows of Silicon Valley’s successful startups lies a paradox. Major tech companies need skilled workers that they can’t find in California and outsource talent from overseas for highly paid workers. California Economic Summit

Child care costs eating close to 40 percent of single-income family budget
For many single parents, this comes as no surprise: rising costs and stagnating incomes have made child care the biggest expense for a family of three. KPCC

State may be forced to intervene in Jefferson High scheduling issues
Civil rights organizations asked a judge Thursday to order the state Education Department to remedy problems at Jefferson High School in South Los Angeles. LA TImes

Morning Read: Contract talks still divide teachers union and LAUSD

LAUSD and teachers union divided as talks continue
United Teachers Los Angeles leaders and representatives of Los Angeles Unified will head back into contract talks today divided by 11 percentage points in pay and other matters concerning workload and classroom conditions. LA Daily News

Age and gender factor into bullying more than language
California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in August assuring that victims and witnesses of bullying will receive the same counseling services as the bullies themselves. S&I Cabinet Report

Common Core testing contracts favor big vendors
Most of the biggest contracts being awarded by the two main consortia creating online common-core assessments—perhaps the most ambitious and complex testing projects in U.S. history—are flowing to some of the education industry’s most familiar and entrenched players. Edweek

Benefits of ‘Deeper Learning’ schools highlighted in studies
Three sweeping reports have taken the temperature of the so-called “deeper learning” movement and given the approach a fairly clean bill of health in a set of American high schools. Edweek

Morning Read: Brown vetoes two out of four truancy bills

Brown splits package of bills aimed at reducing truancy
Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday vetoed two bills aimed at curbing truancy and absenteeism among California students. LA Times

Tuck, Torlakson debate union power, lawsuit
The two candidates for state superintendent of public instruction disagreed on the condition of K-12 education in California, the influence of teachers unions and which of them is best qualified for the job at a forum Saturday in Burlingame. EdSource

School board starts weighing Supt. Deasy’s evaluation
The Board of Education began deliberations Tuesday on the evaluation of Supt. John Deasy, who has come under fire for his handling of a $1.3-billion effort to provide iPads to all students and for what critics call an autocratic, ineffective leadership style. LA TImes

$335,000 to cover security for Inglewood Unified’s trustee raises questions
The state-appointed trustee running the Inglewood Unified School District approved $135,000 in additional school district funds Tuesday to pay an armed California Highway Patrol officer who works as his driver and security guard. KPCC

2 Compton schools named National Blue Ribbon award winners
Two Compton elementary schools were named Tuesday as winners of National Blue Ribbon Schools awards by Education Secretary Arne Duncan. KPCC

Morning Read: Gov Brown vetoes mandatory kindergarten

Brown wraps up ed bills, leaves some heads shaking
Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have made kindergarten mandatory while at the same time signing one intended to show the overwhelming boost that optional year gives kids headed to first grade. S&I Cabinet Report

Bond committee demonstrates how to ask questions about iPads
Opinion: It’s no surprise that the annual standardized tests for students have had some troubling effects on schools as well as positive ones. LA Times

A success story for student and L.A. Unified
Column: The Los Angeles Unified School District typically makes headlines for its screw-ups: child abuse scandals, feuding leaders and technology blunders. LA Times

Business, civic leaders call on L.A. school board to retain John Deasy
Local business and civic leaders are calling on the Los Angeles Board of Education to retain Supt. John Deasy, hoping to head off potential action by a board majority that is unhappy with him. LA Times

Community colleges can offer bachelor’s
More than a dozen community colleges will be able to offer bachelor’s degrees in the next few years under newly signed legislation that opens the door to a shift in the state’s higher education landscape. Edsource