Morning Read: South LA ‘Promise Zone’ application submitted

Coalition submits application for South L.A ‘Promise Zone’ designation
A coalition led by Los Angeles Trade-Technical College finalized an application Thursday seeking to make South Los Angeles a “Promise Zone.” City News Service


Chino Valley Unified target of suit over prayer at board meetings
A local school district is the target of a lawsuit that claims prayer during board meetings violates the First Amendment. CBS Los Angeles


How many K-12 students are illegal immigrants?
How many illegal immigrants are attending K-12 schools in the United States? Washington Post


Federal funds reauthorized to provide child care for low-income families
More federal funds are in the pipeline to help low-income families following President Obama’s signing of the Child Care Development Block Grant reauthorization. KPCC


Is school reform progressive?
At its core, to be “progressive” is to fight for the little guy against powerful forces of self-interest. The Hechinger Report

Morning Read: LAUSD spending $22 million for more iPads

iPad contract resurrected: LAUSD to spend $22 million on tech
LA Unified Superintendent Ramon Cortines is planning to spend $22 million in bond money to buy more than 20,000 iPads for standardized tests in the spring. KPCC


Obama’s immigration plan will affect students of undocumented parents
President Barack Obama will announce on Thursday night his plan for executive action on immigration. The Huffington Post


Stock market surge gives big boost to school revenues
The state’s minimum funding guarantee to schools would grow from $63.2 billion in 2014-15 to $74.5 billion by 2019-20 under a revenue forecast. S&I Cabinet Report


Inglewood teachers lash out at schools chief for insensitive remarks
Inglewood Unified School District teachers, staff, and parents blasted schools trustee Don Brann Wednesday night following his remarks that he felt unsafe in the city. KPCC


Obama: U.S. needs to bring schools into 21st century
President Obama called on local school officials Wednesday to help meet his goal of bringing high-speed Internet to virtually every American student. The Huffington Post

Morning Read: Study shows high-poverty schools lose learning time

California students in high-poverty schools lose learning time, study says
California high schools with high-poverty students lose nearly two weeks of learning time, according to a new UCLA study. Los Angeles Times


How strict is too strict?
Hundreds of schools have embraced an uncompromisingly stern approach to educating low-income students of color. The Atlantic


Plaintiff attorney in Vergara in Twin Cities to talk about teacher tenure
Could Minnesota – a state lawmakers routinely skirmish over the issue of teacher tenure – be a state to see a case similar to Vergara? Star Tribune


Number of homeless children increases in Southern California
The number of homeless children across the Golden State rose last year according to results of a national report released Monday. Los Angeles Daily News


Work starts on school performance measures
Work has begun in earnest on a new system for measuring school performance. S&I Cabinet Report

Morning Read: LAUSD board to consider $22.4 million repair bill

LAUSD eyeing more bonds as funds for school repairs dwindle
The school board is scheduled to consider a $22.4 million request to address repairs needed at seven schools. KPCC


Residents Wary of Plans to Convert Old Elementary Schools
Plans to redevelop four Valley elementary school campuses and reopen them as charter schools have received mixed reactions. Post Periodical


Parents lie on school survey to identify as English speakers
California education officials say it’s tough to know how many parents lie on the home language survey. Fox News Latino


New LAUSD chief Ramon Cortines prioritizes school maintenance
LA Unified faces a half-a-billion-dollar price tag for critical maintenance and a backlog of 48,000 requests for repairs. Los Angeles Daily News


Educator says he was left in ‘teacher jail’
Steven J. Lang sued LA Unified this week, seeking punitive damages and costs for civil rights violations. Courthouse News Service


LA groups model of community engagement
Under the Local Control Funding Formula, districts and schools are expected to involve local communities in determining how to spend their funds. Ed Source

Morning Read: State school groups want to postpone API scores

School groups ask to delay API scores
Organizations representing school administrators and school boards say that many districts aren’t ready to appraise schools’ performance with API scores. Ed Source


Universal Studios Hollywood holds 10th annual ‘Day Of Giving’ event
Universal Studios played host to 250 young homeless students who were bused in from over 30 LAUSD elementary and middle schools. CBS Los Angeles


Education secretary checks in on Common Core
Education Secretary Arne Duncan toured a school in San Diego on Thursday to get a firsthand look at the new Common Core academic standards. U-T San Diego


District LCAPs must include student input
Districts must seek student input in developing their Local Control and Accountability Plans under regulations being considered by the State Board of Education. Ed Source


How an El Sereno charter won the right to teach in an indigenous language
Anahuacalmecac International Preparatory High School has been teaching teenagers about their indigenous roots and culture for five years. KPCC

Morning Read: LAUSD says girl consented to sex with teacher

LAUSD argued middle schooler can consent to sex with teacher
LAUSD lawyers fighting a civil lawsuit argued in court that a 14-year-old student was mature enough to consent to having sex with her 28-year-old teacher. KPCC


The most common gripes about Teach for America by ranking
The names and players change, but many of the same education themes we’re debating today are reruns. Voice of San Diego


Playing high-action video games may speed up learning, studies say
New evidence suggests playing high-action video games may help students learn and react faster—but not more impulsively. Education Week


LA Unified’s unpaid retail jobs for high school credits draw criticism
A training program that allows Los Angeles high school students to work without pay for class credit at large commercial chains is coming under some scrutiny. KPCC


Opinion: The public-school calendar that stole Christmas
A school board voted this week to eliminate references to religious holidays from its published calendar. Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: LAUSD magnet applications a frustrating process

Parents find LA schools magnet program application process daunting
Some families find the process time for applying to LA Unified magnet schools time-consuming and frustrating. KPCC


Weary march into Corrective Action continues in CA
The confused and complex landscape surrounding school accountability in California is set to take one more step deeper into the abyss. S&I Cabinet Report


Charter schools now try to keep teachers with mom-friendly policies
With teacher turnover rate at 36%, charters try a bold new strategy: childcare. The Hechinger Report


Orange Unified School District explores options after bond failure
The Orange Unified School District is exploring options for fixing up its aging schools after the seeming defeat of its $296 million bond measure. Orange County Register


Charter school authorizers grapple with closures
The city of Indianapolis is among several charter authorizers that have been pioneering new best practices in school closure. Education Week

Morning Read: Feds take on equity in assigning teachers

U.S. to focus on equity in assigning of teachers
The Obama administration is directing states to show how they will ensure that all students have equal access to high-quality teachers. New York Times


CSUN gets $797,000 to help science, math students become teachers
CSUN received a $797,000 grant intended to encourage students to become science and math teachers. Los Angeles Daily News


Inglewood High School cleanup follows KPCC report
In the wake of KPCC’s report documenting dilapidated facilities, the Inglewood Unified School District announced several steps to improve conditions. KPCC


New health mandates pose problems in the field
As school officials work to comply with new education laws, two health-related mandates are causing concerns. The Hechinger Report


A race to close the achievement gap without burning through teachers
How much time in charter schools is too much? The Hechinger Report

Morning Read: Many CA school buses lack safety belts despite law

Many school buses still don’t have seat belts
California is one of six states to require buses to have passenger belts, and the only one that requires shoulder-to-lap belts. Orange County Register


North Valley Military Institute readies kids for college with discipline
NVMI, a charter school and the only campus of its kind in the Los Angeles Unified School District, bills itself as a college prep school. Los Angeles Daily News


SoCal after-school programs to receive White House honors
Two Southern California after-school arts programs will be honored Monday at the White House. KPCC


Honduran youth finds welcome at Oakland school for immigrants
There are nearly 100 students at Oakland International High School who traveled across Central America on their own in recent years. New York Times


Common Core redoes the math
New standards bring hard questions and daunting instructional adjustments. Education Week

Morning Read: Did Tuck have long-term impact? Opinions differ

Opinions differ on impact of Tuck’s campaign
Since Tuck’s failed effort to unseat Torlakson, observers have reached different conclusions about the election’s significance. Ed Source


CSU Dominguez Hills awarded DoE grant for special ed teacher prep
The grant will assist in addressing disparities within the Los Angeles Unified School District. Dateline Dominguez


San Francisco’s universal preschool could prove a model for SoCal cities
When San Francisco voters overwhelmingly reauthorized the city’s universal preschool program on Tuesday, other California cities may well have sat up. KPCC


Average urban superintendent tenure decreases, survey shows
Urban school superintendents often leave the job after a few years—and the average time leaders spent in the post lost some ground this year. Education Week


Parents find Planned Parenthood teaching sex ed at East Bay schools
A coalition of parents in the East Bay said they were shocked to find out Planned Parenthood was teaching sex education classes to their children. CBS San Francisco

Morning Read: Torlakson a win for unions amid national losses

Teachers unions defend their ground by getting Torlakson reelected
Teachers unions defended their ground in California this week by helping to reelect Tom Torlakson. Los Angeles Times


Cortines: LA Unified looking to Torlakson for support
LA Unified Superintendent Ramon Cortines says he is looking forward to support from the newly re-elected state school superintendent, Tom Torlakson. KPCC


iPads are great for porn and video games; not so much for learning
Similar to LA Unified, the Sweetwater Union High School District’s iPad initiative has experienced several rough years. San Diego Reader


What the GOP wave might mean for education issues
The GOP takeover of the Senate could shake up higher education policy, analysts say. Deseret News


Inglewood schools: Rats, damage despite millions in state funds
More than two years after the state took over Inglewood Unified, the district is still struggling with fiscal and management problems. KPCC


Two school bonds trail by narrow margins
Two north Orange County school districts were falling short by hundreds of votes to get millions of dollars to upgrade buildings. Orange County Register

Morning Read: Torlakson defeats Tuck in state superintendent race

Torlakson wins superintendent race
Tom Torlakson has won a second term as state superintendent of public instruction. Ed Source


Voters pass Prop. 2, strengthen rainy day fund
Along with re-electing Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday, voters awarded him one of his campaign priorities: strengthening the state budget’s rainy day fund. Ed Source


Prop. 47 passes, reducing some crime penalties
Any reductions in spending that result from Prop 47 will go to a fund that includes the California Department of Education. Los Angeles Times


Field trip for Daniel Pearl Magnet HS students OK despite LAUSD travel ban
Cortines clarified his ban on staff travel in response to concerns that students would miss their trip Wednesday to the nation’s capital. Los Angeles Daily News


Live election coverage: state education chiefs’ races
The winners will be highlighted and a short analysis will accompany each race. Education Week

Morning Read: Cortines calls for 2-month hiring freeze on staff

LA schools superintendent calls for hiring freeze, citing cash shortage
Los Angeles Unified’s Interim Superintendent Ramon Cortines ordered a temporary hiring freeze on district staff. KPCC


Superintendent race turns on future of reform
Spending in the race for California superintendent of public instruction has by far outstripped all other statewide races. Ed Source


2 firms that won LAUSD’s tech program most active in seeking meetings
Apple and a leading curriculum company repeatedly sought meetings with school board members, emails and records reviewed by The Times show. Los Angeles Times


Should wealthy towns be able to secede from high-poverty districts?
Some are seeking a split between the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified Schools District. The Hechinger Report


California school’s messaging mistake scares parents out of their wits
Parents at Adams Elementary School in Corona got an unexpected automated phone call from the school on Oct. 23 that said their child was not in class. Washington Post


‘Redskin’ hullabaloo won’t change student press limits
A heated dispute between student journalists and their high school administration over use of the word “Redskins” has drawn national headlines. S&I Cabinet Report

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