Morning Read: LAUSD audit finds computers missing in action

LA schools’ audit finds computers stolen, missing, unaccounted for
An audit of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s computer inventory reveals 230 devices worth nearly $200,000 have been stolen or are missing – and school officials can’t account for another 3,105 laptops, desktops and iPads. KPCC

Emails prompt LA schools’ inspector general to reopen iPad probe
The inspector general of the Los Angeles Unified School District is reopening an investigation into the purchase of iPads and Pearson software based on findings in a KPCC investigation into communication between district officials and those companies nearly a year ahead of a public bid. KPCC

Before the MiSiS in Los Angeles Unified, there was ISIS — and a lawsuit
Before this month’s disastrous roll-out of student-tracking software MiSiS, the Los Angeles Unified School District was so dissatisfied with the predecessor program that it sued, saying it had paid the company $12 million “by mistake.” LA Daily News

Truancy package, apprenticeship, epinephrine bills OK’d
In the fast and furious final days of the Legislative session, a package of bills is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk this week that, if signed as expected, will initiate a systemic effort to increase student attendance by reducing chronic absences. S&I Cabinet Report

Morning Read: Calls grow to investigate LAUSD iPad project

Calls grow for wider inquiry into L.A. Unified iPad project
A day after Los Angeles Unified abruptly suspended the contract for its controversial iPad project, there were growing calls for a more thorough investigation into whether the bidding process for the $1-billion program was improperly handled. LA Times

Can Supt. Deasy survive LAUSD’s iPad fiasco?
Commentary: So, remember that $1-billion plan to get iPads for each and every Los Angeles Unified student the district has been working on and steadfastly defending for a couple of years now? LA Times

LAUSD’S John Deasy shoots his iPad out
Commentary: LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy has his own obsession: a billion dollar dream to put a brand-new iPad in the hands of every public school student in Los Angeles. LA Daily News

Counties approve high number of LCAPs
An EdSource survey of a sampling of county offices of education found that they approved nearly all school districts’ inaugural Local Control and Accountability Plans, laying out spending and academic priorities under the state’s new funding formula, by the Aug. 15 initial deadline for the review. EdSource

Mexico’s president thanks California leaders for welcoming immigrants
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto thanked California’s leaders Tuesday for welcoming immigrants from his country — even those who came illegally — as he capped his first official trip to the United States. LA Times

Morning Read: iPads coverage here, there, everywhere

L.A. Unified halts contract for iPads
L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy suspended future use of a contract with Apple on Monday that was to provide iPads to all students in the nation’s second-largest school system amid mounting scrutiny of the $1-billion-plus effort. LA Times

Deasy abruptly cancels controversial iPad contract
Faced with mounting questions about the propriety of the district’s handling of an effort to provide iPads to all of its students, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy abruptly canceled the $1 billion program Monday. San Fernando Valley News

LAUSD Superintendent Deasy cancels $1 billion iPad program
Faced with mounting questions about the propriety of the district’s handling of an effort to provide iPads to all of its students, Los Angeles Unified School District John Deasy on Monday abruptly canceled the $1 billion program. LA Daily News

LA schools cancel iPad contracts after KPCC publishes internal emails
The school district announced Monday it will cancel the contract with Apple and Pearson and open its one-to-one technology project to new bids. KPCC

L.A. schools chief halts massive iPad contract amid questions
John Deasy, the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified school system, abruptly suspended the district’s contract to provide iPads to students, amid questions about the fairness of the process through which the massive project was awarded to Apple. EdWeek

Morning Read: Mistakes were made in LAUSD iPad plan

‘There were mistakes’ in $1 billion iPad plan, says school board member
Los Angeles Unified’s aborted plans to buy iPads and educational software from one of the nation’s leading textbook suppliers were the focus of a draft report created by a school board committee, according to news wire reports. LA Daily News

No easy answers on “career readiness”
The “career” piece of “college and career readiness” continues to challenge the state advisory committee that is charged with reworking the primary measure of school effectiveness in California. Edsource

Feds expand student meal program
There’s no such thing as a free lunch, or so the saying goes, but don’t try telling that to the tens of thousands of students across the state and nation who can now eat both breakfast and the midday meal for free – regardless of income. S&I Cabinet Report

Southern California’s team approach to preventing school killing sprees
More than a decade of preparation and planning to prevent killing sprees in U.S. schools appears to have paid off again, this time in South Pasadena where police arrested two teenagers last week. LA Daily News

Burned out teachers, too, deserve day in court
Opinion: My friend is being fired from her teaching job. As sad and sympathetic as I am for my friend, I can’t say that I am surprised. I’ve known this teacher for several years, and I’ve seen the burnout coming for the entire time of our friendship. Edsource

Morning Read: New report targets LAUSD’s iPad problems

LAUSD’s $1-billion iPad effort beset by problems, report finds
The groundbreaking effort to provide an iPad to every Los Angeles student, teacher and school administrator was beset by inadequate planning, a lack of transparency and a flawed bidding process. LA Times

Democrats reject GOP attempts to lift school reserves cap
Democrats in the California Senate on Thursday rejected a Republican effort to overturn a state budget provision that caps the amount of money school districts can hold in reserve. OC Register

State seeks schools lacking Internet capacity
State officials are looking to county offices of education to help them identify schools still in need of enough Internet capacity to be able to administer standardized, online testing next spring. S&I Cabinet Report

‘Straight outta Compton’ and into Princeton’
Op-Ed: Did you hear about the Compton student who graduated from high school at the top of his class last May and starts school this fall at Princeton with a full scholarship? LA Times

The voter turnout conundrum in L.A.
Editorial: Last week, turnout was an abysmal 9.5% for a Los Angeles Unified School Board special election. But dangling a cash prize over the polls is a cynical and superficial pseudo-solution that fails to address the deeper reasons why people don’t vote. LA Times

Morning Read: LAUSD teachers censure student tracking program

L.A. Unified teachers decry new student tracking system
Los Angeles Unified spent about $112 million on an online student tracking program a decade ago but dumped it two years ago in favor of another one that promised a streamlined way to manage enrollment, attendance and grades for the nation’s second-largest school district. LA Times

Moving past zero tolerance in L.A. schools
Editorial: The Los Angeles Unified School District this week took a welcome step away from a longstanding disciplinary system in which police issued citations to students ages 13 to 17 who committed minor offenses, a system that effectively criminalizes what is often merely coming-of-age behavior while emphasizing punishment over education. LA Times

Gov. Jerry Brown should spell out how he’d fund school construction
Commentary: California governors have enormous power to shove around legislatures. And Gov. Jerry Brown has learned how to use it without working up a sweat. LA Times

L.A. County questions LAUSD spending on poor children
Los Angeles Unified officials will have to explain how they spent $700 million to help needy children last year, before county education officials approve a proposed three-year plan for additional state revenue. LA Daily News

Summer ends before Labor Day for many kids
Historically, Labor Day has had a bittersweet quality – marking the end of a months-long summer break for students, and relief for parents who are able to finally send their children back to school and return to their regular routines. But that historical pattern no longer exists in California. EdSource

Morning Read: Deasy urges respect for 1st Amendment

L.A. Unified principals given guidance on student free speech rights
As unrest continues in Ferguson, Mo. and, to a degree in Los Angeles, after the fatal police shootings of unarmed black men in those cities, Los Angeles schools chief John Deasy asked principals Tuesday to be vigilant in their efforts to provide an environment for students to exercise their 1st Amendment rights. LA Times

County yet to approve LA Unified’s LCAP
The Los Angeles County Office of Education is withholding approval of the Local Control and Accountability Plan drawn up by the Los Angeles Unified School District pending clarification of the $700 million the school district says it spent last year on low-income students, English learners and foster children. EdSource

Demise of the school bond means big spike in housing fees
Fallout from the Brown administration’s decision this month to ice the statewide school bond this November will almost certainly spike developer fees on new housing, by as much as $30,000 per unit in some places. S&I Cabinet Report

Gallup finds opposition to Common Core
Americans are hearing more about the Common Core State Standards and most of them don’t like what they’re hearing, according to a national opinion poll released Wednesday. Edsource

Bill would block expulsion for ‘willful defiance’
The state Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would prevent California schools from expelling students for willfully defying school authorities, a punishment that activists say is unevenly applied and disproportionately affects minority students. Sacramento Bee

Morning Read: LAUSD’s computer system problems persist

Los Angeles Unified works to fix new computer system
Although Los Angeles Unified teachers were told Monday they could use a scaled-back version, the district’s new computer system continues to be plagued by problems. LA Daily News

LAUSD policy restricts use of citations, arrests
Students involved in relatively minor offenses on school campuses will no longer be cited or arrested under Los Angeles Unified’s new policy, which takes effect this school year and spells out alternatives district police officers must follow. EdSource

California Republicans want to reverse limits on school reserves
California Republican lawmakers want to revisit one of the most controversial parts of this year’s budget debate, proposing legislation on Monday to remove new limits on how much money school districts can keep in their reserve accounts. LA Times

S.F. teachers vote to strike, but not just yet
San Francisco teachers overwhelmingly supported a preliminary strike vote, with 2,238 checking the yes box on the ballot and 16 voting no. SF Gate

Higher ed is embracing goals of Common Core
Opinion: Most attention to the Common Core State Standards has focused on the continued political backlash against the standards and the status of implementation in schools. EdSource

Morning Read: CA Schools depart from memorization in science

Common Core: CA schools shift science teaching away from memorization
California is at a critical stage in carrying out a wholesale change of how it teaches science and other core topics. It’s a process that takes time when you’re working with nearly six million students. KPCC

Of aching backs and digital textbooks
It won’t be long before hardback textbooks – some weighing as much as five pounds – will become relics of the past, replaced by digital versions. S&I Cabinet Report

Classrooms key battlefields in War on Poverty
Editorial: Of the many battlefields where the half-century-old War on Poverty has been fought, there may be none so important — or difficult to conquer — as our public classrooms. LA Daily News

S.F. teachers miss more school than students on average
While absenteeism is usually considered a student matter, in San Francisco – and many other districts – the average teacher misses more school than the average child. SF Gate

64 San Fernando Valley elementary schools to get new playground toys
A whoop of joy swept through the crowd of students at Kittridge Elementary School Friday as they watched their L.A. Unified School Board representative open a truck filled with hoops, ropes and soccer balls. LA Daily News

Morning Read: LAUSD puts new MiSiS computer system on hold

LAUSD in crisis over its new MiSiS computer system
Los Angeles Unified told teachers to stop using the new district-wide computer system Thursday, after days of dealing with glitches and other problems that have lost records and kept students from starting in the proper classes. Daily News

To quell high school angst, some schools build a bridge for 9th graders
Stealing a page from successful college “bridge” programs to help high school students make the transition, some Southern California high schools are offering similar programs for incoming 9th graders. KPCC

Students on computer science fast track
The accelerated program, run jointly by Hartnell Community College in Salinas and California State University, Monterey Bay, will allow them to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science in just three years. Edsource

School bond moves on to uncertain fate
Even if the full Senate approves the measure next week, there is a good chance that Gov. Jerry Brown will veto it. And, even he were he to sign the bill, it may already be too late to get the proposal on this November’s ballot for voter approval. Edsource

Funding lifeline for trade tech centers
The state’s network of regional occupational centers – which still provide most trade and technical training for the public school system – would be eligible for funding from the $250 million Career Pathway Trust program, under pending legislation. S&I Cabinet Report

Morning Read: McKenna’s friends beat Johnson’s money

Outspent by rival, McKenna drew on connections in school board victory
In this week’s election for a seat on the Los Angeles Board of Education, one side had deep pockets and extensive political connections; the other side had people such as Orley Frost Jr. LA Times

Judge: State must help all English learners
A judge has ruled that the state is ultimately responsible for seeing that school districts provide services to all English language learners not receiving the help they need to become proficient in English. Edsource

With Tueday’s school board loss, charter advocates recalculate
After Tuesday’s defeat of another of their candidates to the Los Angeles school board, charter school advocates are rethinking how to support local candidates. KPCC

Federal education officials to fund preschool expansion
While it is significantly less than the $75 billion the White House wanted, the Department of Education Wednesday announced $250 million in preschool expansion grants for states. KPCC

Morning Read: Coalition opposes Brown’s rainy day measure

School leaders oppose Brown’s rainy day measure
A coalition of some of the state’s most influential education groups is rallying opposition to a Constitutional amendment placed on the November ballot by the Legislature that would require the state to reconstruct a rainy day fund for use in lean budget years. S&I Cabinet Report

California awarded $10.7 million to pay for advanced course tests
California has received $10.7 million from the U.S. Department of Education to prepare low-income and underserved high school students for colleges and careers by partially covering the costs of advanced course tests. LA Times

Bills seek to curb chronic absenteeism
A lot of kids miss a day of school here and there. But some are chronically absent or late. Now some California lawmakers want to crack down on the problem. Capital Public Radio

Teachers poised to strike in San Ysidro
Teachers in the small, cash-strapped San Ysidro School District are poised to walk off the job after months of bitter negotiations over a proposed 8 percent pay cut and failed state mediation. UT San Diego

Morning Read: Governor opposing $9 billion school bond

Brown administration opposes $9-billion schools bond
Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration came out Monday against a $9-billion school-facilities bond proposed by California lawmakers for the November statewide ballot. LA Times

Friday deadline for California school district spending plans
As part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s new school funding scheme, districts will get at least a 7 percent increase – but they had to submit a plan to county education officials on how they’ll spend it to help disadvantaged kids. KPCC

LAUSD kids head back to school
Aided by a funding boost and faced with new academic standards, Los Angeles Unified educators and students are embarked on a new school year today. LA Daily News

Twin Rivers applies LCFF mandate to engage community
Building on a year of positive change, Twin Rivers Superintendent Steve Martinez has set the bar higher for 2014-15 with a new program aimed at promoting student success though engagement. S&I Cabinet Report

Track truancy, but monitor outcomes as well
Editorial: School truancy rates likely are not atop the list of public scourges that most Californians expect their state’s top prosecutor to battle. Yet it’s exactly the kind of fight Attorney General Kamala D. Harris says is needed to make California a safer and more prosperous state. LA Daily News

Morning Read: 5 ways McKenna and Johnson stand apart

5 differences between Alex Johnson and George McKenna
Little known fact: there’s an election tomorrow! A very special election! A special election, that is, for the District 1 L.A. Unified Board of Education seat, which pits political aide Alex Johnson against longtime administrator George McKenna. LA Weekly

L.A. literacy program unites families, boosts kids’ reading skills
It’s bath, book and bed for 5-year-old Nathan Flores. No TV. His parents learned the importance of routine and reading when they began taking him to a local family literacy program two years ago. LA Times

LEAs not waiting for statewide bond measure
While legislative leaders and Gov. Jerry Brown continue to debate placing a statewide school bond before voters in the fall, dozens of districts have set in motion work on their own local bond initiatives to help meet their facility needs. S&i Cabinet Report

Top LA arts high school to get new principal
The Los Angeles County High School for the Arts will start the school year with an interim principal, following the July 1 resignation of George Simpson, who had led the school since 2008. KPCC

Rialto Unified hires law firm, vows to release Holocaust documents
After repeated criticisms over the failure to release documents explaining the genesis of an assignment that asked the school district’s eighth-graders to argue whether or not the Holocaust occurred, the school board replaced its legal team on Saturday night and pledged to release documents “as soon as possible.” San Bernardino Sun

Morning Read: Beverly Hills teachers to be highest paid in LA

Beverly Hills teachers poised to be highest paid in L.A. county
Beverly Hills teachers are on track to become the highest paid in L.A. County as a result of an innovative bargaining agreement that ties raises to property tax increases. BH Courier

Why LAUSD’s district 1 race matters
What if they held an election and no voters came? That’s the very real scenario facing South Los Angeles next week, when voters decide who should replace the late Marguerite LaMotte on the Los Angeles Unified School District board. LA Weekly

Task force urges remake of civics education
A state task force is calling for a revival in civics education, transforming it from “an afterthought” – an undervalued social studies class – to a core element of study and community engagement. Edsource

TB testing for all school employees not needed
Legislation almost certain to move to the governor in the coming weeks would scale back the state’s tuberculosis testing requirement for school employees and volunteers. S&I Cabinet Report

Palos Verdes schools hire new superintendent, keep old one on staff
The Palos Verdes Peninsula Board of Education appointed a new superintendent this week but will keep the current one on staff — at full pay. LA Times

Morning Read: LAUSD pushes ahead with glitchy records system

LAUSD to launch new records system despite glitches, lack of training
Los Angeles Unified will push ahead with plans to launch a new computer system when classes start Tuesday, despite educators’ concerns that glitches and a lack of training will leave some students without class schedules and cause other problems that could plague the school year. LA Daily News

L.A. teachers union says district wants it to pick pay or class size
Concluding a second round of contract talks Wednesday, teachers union leaders released a statement claiming Los Angeles Unified administrators were attempting to pit the community and parents against educators. LA Daily News

After school arts tries to fill a void, but is it enough?
Despite a requirement in the state’s education code which requires that students have school day access to four different art forms (dance, visual arts, music and theater) each year from 1st through twelfth grade, L.A. Unified doesn’t make the grade. KPCC

Report urges schools to lead civics comeback
A new report designed to restore civics curriculum in all K-12 classrooms aligns research-based outcomes from the study of responsible citizenship with eight state education priorities, and urges school leaders to pilot the subject’s return now rather than wait for the bureaucratic process of a standards update. S&I Cabinet Report

LAO review reveals more good budget news
With the dust settling on this summer’s budget agreement and work complete on related trailer bills, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst issued this week its most thorough review to date on exactly what was done. S&I Cabinet Report

Morning Read: Supporters want school bond back on ballot

Backers push to put school bond on ballot
Despite widespread bipartisan support from state legislators and school districts, Gov. Jerry Brown is remaining mum on whether he supports putting a multi-billion-dollar school construction bond on the ballot in November. The governor had no comment, his press office said in an email. EdSource

New report argues inequality is causing slower growth
Is income inequality holding back the United States economy? A new report argues that it is, that an unequal distribution in incomes is making it harder for the nation to recover from the recession and achieve the kind of growth that was commonplace in decades past. NY Times

Program closes gaps in university eligibility
Surprised by data showing that thousands of high school students are just one or two courses shy of meeting state university admissions requirements, the University of California has launched a summer program to help students make up the courses they’re missing and put them on a solid footing for college. EdSource

Scientists say child’s play helps build a better brain
When it comes to brain development, time in the classroom may be less important than time on the playground.”The experience of play changes the connections of the neurons at the front end of your brain,” says Sergio Pellis, a researcher at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. NPR

Deasy challenges administrators to prevent dropouts
Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy opened the new school year Tuesday with a speech to administrators in which he urged them to eliminate the dropout rate, and then assigned each one a troubled student to look after. LA Times

Morning Read: Education bills pile up for returning CA lawmakers

Lawmakers face long list of education bills
Standardized testing inaccuracies, funding for new adult education programs and new Common Core assessments for students with disabilities are among the education proposals left to be decided upon by legislators returning from summer recess Monday. S&I Cabinet Report

Number of AP tests hits all-time high in L.A. Unified
The number of Advanced Placement exams taken in the Los Angeles Unified School District hit an all-time high during the 2013-14 school year. Students took 48,000 AP tests across the district, up 62% from seven years ago, L.A. Unified announced. LA Times

Supporters make case for California school bond
Legislative supporters of putting a multibillion-dollar school construction bond on the fall ballot kicked off efforts Monday to pass the measure by the end of next week, with California’s largest homebuilding group warning that the state otherwise faces a “nuclear option” of more expensive homes. Sac Bee

L.A. school board race turns nasty for no good reason
Editorial: Negative campaigning is a legitimate if overused tactic. If a candidate for elected office has flaws, his opponent has every right to say so. But in the current runoff race for the Los Angeles Unified school board, the attacks on veteran educator George McKenna by his opponent Alex Johnson and some of his backers haven’t simply been negative — they have crossed the line into the misleading if not downright inaccurate. LA Times

Where the wild things play: Does ‘dangerous play’ help kids learn?
Braden Swenson wanders into a semi-rickety wooden shed on his search for gold, treasure and riches. “Is there any tweasure in here?” he asks in the endearing dialect of a 4-year-old. “I’ve been looking everywhere for them. NPR Ed

Morning Read: Renowned trial lawyer takes on teacher tenure

Celebrated trial lawyer to head group challenging teacher tenure
David Boies, the star trial lawyer who helped lead the legal charge that overturned California’s same-sex marriage ban, is becoming chairman of the Partnership for Educational Justice, a group that former CNN anchor Campbell Brown founded in part to pursue lawsuits challenging teacher tenure. NY Times

Freedom Schools build readers and leaders
More than 100 African-American and Latino students mill around a South Los Angeles high school gymnasium, talking and greeting each other on a summer morning. But at 8:30 a.m., they begin clapping and chanting, coalescing into a pulsating, high-energy force. EdSource

Nonprofit group’s class teaches youths basic skills for college
After leaving his third high school without a diploma, Davis decided he wanted a higher degree and signed up for a course that would help him adjust to college life and give him two credits. LA Times

L.A. Unified school board race turns negative, focuses on reputation
orge McKenna has the sort of resume that would appear to make him a natural frontrunner in an important contest this month for the Los Angeles Board of Education.  LA Times

St. Hope taps Michelle Rhee as board chair, removes superintendent
St. Hope Public Schools has named Michelle Rhee, the controversial former Washington, D.C., schools chief and charter schools advocate, as its new board chairwoman and removed Jim Scheible as its superintendent. Sac Bee

Morning Read: Brown administration seeks to dethrone API

Brown administration looks to diminish influence of API
Move over API. You’re not the top dog for determining school success anymore, the president of the state’s Board of Education said this week. S&I Cabinet Report

Half of the nation’s children have suffered trauma, report says
A report out this week finds that just under half of the nation’s children have lived through at least one traumatic experience – most commonly, financial hardships. It’s part of a national look at early chronic stress in children’s lives compiled by the research institute Child Trends. KPCC

Schools set to adjust to revamped E-rate policies
The Federal Communications Commission’s recent makeover of the E-rate program is billed as a step toward transforming the fund from one focused on supporting 1990s-era telecommunication tools to one that accommodates 21st-century technologies. Edweek

Importance of talking to infants now on TV
This new spotlight on early childhood development in pop culture is no accident. Writers from both shows were approached by and worked with staff from the Too Small to Fail initiative, which is focused on spreading the message that talking to children in the early years is a key to future school success. EdSource