Morning Read: Charters, unions dominate LAUSD board elections

In LAUSD board election, it’s charter schools vs. labor unions 
Direct campaign donations from individual contributors make up 18 percent of the money spent in the LAUSD’s District 5 school board race. KPCC


Report: New Teacher Prep Rules ‘Too Stringent’
Proposed federal changes to teacher preparation requirements have generated numerous comments from education leaders and organizations. The Journal


Common Core’s unintended consequence?
More teachers write their own curricula. The Hechinger Report


Why Principals Matter
An eighth-grader was featured on the Humans of New York photo blog where he praised his principal as the most influential person in his life. The Atlantic


Three OC school districts forced to prove that they’re making time for PE
Three Orange County school districts must document that teachers are providing physical education instruction during the school day. Orange County Register

Morning Read: Charter group flexes muscle in LAUSD election

Charter school group is political force in L.A. Unified board election
California Charter Schools Assn. Advocates, a political action committee, has put its muscle into a race it considers crucial. Los Angeles Times


After recession cuts, LAUSD reconnects with community art groups
Los Angeles Unified’s arts education leaders took steps to renew long-dormant community partnerships with arts organizations Wednesday. KPCC


Starting early on college and career
Efforts to prepare students for college and careers are taking hold earlier and earlier, expanding beyond high school. Ed Source


LAUSD reopening libraries after recession closings
More than 200 Los Angeles Unified School District elementary school libraries have reopened in just two months, according to district officials. KPCC


Doubts raised about test for severely disabled
Some of the state’s most severely disabled students begin field testing an alternate academic performance assessment this spring. SI&A Cabinet Report

Morning Read: LAUSD could lose $782 million under federal bill

L.A. schools could lose $782 million under federal bill
Republican-led effort to revise a federal education law could slash $782 million for disadvantaged students in Los Angeles Unified over six years. Los Angeles Times


Jeff Bridges encourages eating breakfast at local schools
Elementary School students in Winnetka got a visit from Academy Award-winner Jeff Bridges. KAB7


High-schoolers’ excitement about voting is uplifting
In a city that hibernates through local elections, Miriam Antonio told me she couldn’t wait to vote next Tuesday. Los Angeles Times


Bid to move L.A. elections faces growing opposition from candidates
The campaign to combine Los Angeles’ elections with state and federal contests has been hailed by backers as a way to lift the city’s dismal turnout. Los Angeles Times


LA Unified’s teachers union faces test of organizing strength
The print shop below UTLA’s headquarters cranked out 7,500 signs for protestors to carry when they descend on downtown Thursday. Los Angeles Daily News


In LA, Missing Kindergarten Is A Big Deal
In Los Angeles, the nation’s second largest school district, kindergarten absence is a big problem. New England Public Radio

Morning Read: In defense of No Child Left Behind testing

Commentary: NCLB and testing help hold schools accountable
Even if the NCLB bathwater needs changing, our kids are not likely to learn more if schools and teachers are not held accountable. Los Angeles Times


New online training aims to ferret out child abuse cases
Public school employees can take their required annual training to spot child abuse or neglect online, Tom Torlakson announced Monday. KPCC


Deasy, iPads key issues in LAUSD school board campaigns
Los Angeles Unified’s troubled iPad project and former superintendent are framing discussions in the March 3 school board primary. Los Angeles Daily News


Schools’ reliance on suspension, expulsion isn’t necessary, report finds
The report also found evidence of huge ‘discipline gaps’ when it comes to suspension rates for minorities and students with disabilities. Christian Science Monitor


Bill would give live-in workers rights to area schools
The law governing school residency would be expanded to include children whose parent resides at least three days a week at their place of employment. SI&A Cabinet Report


More conflict over cutting federal role in education
Congress and the White House on Monday inched toward a confrontation over the federal role in education. New York Times

Morning Read: Task force wants big changes to special ed

Sweeping change set for special education services
A blue ribbon panel shared 44 specific recommendations aimed ultimately at improving academic outcomes for students with disabilities. SI&A Cabinet Report


Critics say EPA played dual role in recycled tire controversy
The EPA has terminated its longtime campaign to promote the use of recycled tires on artificial turf fields and playgrounds. San Francisco Chronicle


Expelled in preschool
Preschoolers are expelled at three times the rate of their older peers. The Hechinger Report


More students snub standardized exams
The backlash is kicking into high gear this spring as millions of students start taking new, more rigorous exams aligned with Common Core standards. Huffington Post


Infants to return to SaMo High School daycare after measles scare
More than a dozen infants exposed to a baby with measles at a Santa Monica day care center will be allowed to return to the facility Monday. CBS Los Angeles


Miramonte teacher resigns in advance of hearing over job
A teacher who became a figure in the Miramonte Elementary child abuse case resigned Friday from the Los Angeles Unified School District. Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: Deasy a frequent topic in school board races

L.A. Unified candidates use Deasy as a platform springboard
Former Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy isn’t on the March ballot for the Board of Education, but he might as well be. Los Angeles Times


iPad controversy looms large in LAUSD District 3 board race
As the city’s March 3 primary election draws near, Los Angeles Unified school board candidates are blasting incumbents for the controversial iPad program. KPCC


One-parent students leave school earlier
One of the most alarming social trends in the past 40 years is the increasing educational disadvantage of children raised in low-income families. Education Next


California task force urges reform of special education funding
Federal and state funding rates for special education would be equalized across California if draft recommendations from a task force are implemented. Ed Source


Tab soars to connect rural schools to the Net
A plan to spend up to $2 million per student to connect a tiny rural school to the Internet and drew an incredulous review Wednesday. SI&A Cabinet Report


Anaheim board rejects petition to turn Palm Lane into a charter
An Anaheim school board rejected a parent petition to take over a low-scoring campus and turn it into a charter school – the first such effort in Orange County. Orange County Register

Morning Read: LAUSD lawyers argue to keep testing evaluation

‘Constitutional crisis’ declared as LAUSD lawyers defend teacher evaluation
LAUSD lawyers argued this week that a “constitutional crisis” should allow them to keep a controversial new teacher evaluation system. Los Angeles Daily News


Miramonte students seeking more from LAUSD in compensation
A lawyer representing 58 students who settled a lawsuit related to the Miramonte sex abuse scandal two years ago says his clients are owed more money. KPCC


Mother of boy bullied by students sues L.A. school district
A lawsuit filed Wednesday against Los Angeles Unified alleges the school district failed to protect a boy from being bullied. City News Service


Student fatally struck by LADWP vehicle in Granada Hills
A 17-year-old boy who was riding his bicycle with his friends was fatally struck by a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power vehicle. ABC7


Report calls for districts to create specific goals for foster youth
LA Unified was the only district that provided the data and only for suspensions. Ed Source


Head Start programs in California rebound as funding increases
There is more money, and enrollment in programs, particularly for children from birth to age 3 who are in Early Head Start, is rebounding across the state. Ed Source

Morning Read: LAUSD reports increase in measles vaccinations

L.A. Unified tracks measles shots, reports higher vaccination levels
LAUSD officials have launched an effort to increase and document the percentage of young children who’ve been vaccinated against measles. Los Angeles Times


Commentary: Test scoring of schools being dismantled
California’s education establishment is dismantling or softening state and federal testing-based “accountability” systems. Los Angeles Daily News


Sun Valley teacher suspended for inappropriate Facebook posts
A Sun Valley teacher claims someone created a fake Facebook account and posted inappropriate messages using his name. ABC7


Expulsions and suspensions decline as schools shift strategies
School suspensions and expulsions are falling at dramatic rates in California. Ed Source


Call for single grant support for school facility needs
The LAO recommends that the state should create a grant program that awards funds based on student attendance and district need. SI&A Cabinet Report


Why more black parents are homeschooling their children
The reasons are not typically the same as white parents who homeschool. The Hechinger Report

Morning Read: State tests may start without proficiency measure

Statewide testing begins without proficiency mark
For the second year in a row, the API will almost certainly be inactivated. SI&A Cabinet Report


Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses and more unite for arts education
Music class is now at Westminster Elementary in Venice thanks to Adopt the Arts and The Carter Lay Charitable Fund. RYOT News


N. Hollywood High teams competing for cyber security title
Defense will be the game next month when two teams from North Hollywood High School travel to Washington, D.C. Los Angeles Daily News


California could lose millions in funding, report states
The White House released a report that shows that school districts with large numbers of low-income students stand to lose millions of dollars in federal funding. Ed Source


Granada Hills Charter wins L.A. Unified’s Academic Decathlon
Granada Hills Charter High School won Los Angeles Unified’s annual Academic Decathlon. Los Angeles Times


Political unknown Patty Lopez confounds California Capitol
The 39th District’s new Assembly member achieved the greatest California campaign upset of 2014. Sacramento Bee

Morning Read: Daily News endorses 2 incumbents, Rodriguez

LADN: Galatzan, Rodriguez, Vladovic for L.A. school board
LAUSD’s leadership is having a rough decade. So it’s no surprise that all of the school board’s veteran members up for re-election on March 3 face multiple challengers. Los Angeles Daily News


Compton principal on leave; students allege ‘uncomfortable’ searches
A Compton principal has been placed on leave after allegations that he searched students in an inappropriate way. Los Angeles Times


Policy kicking out students with low grades comes under scrutiny
Students had to submit satisfactory scores from California standardized English and math tests and, to stay in, maintain a 2.0 grade point average. KPCC


Avoiding the ‘recipe for disaster’ in ed tech plans
Every school in the Miami-Dade County Public School system – nearly 400 buildings – is wired with Wi-Fi. The Hechinger Report


U.S. high school graduation rate reaches high of 81 percent
The U.S. high school graduation rate reached a new high of 81 percent for the 2012–2013 school year. The Huffington Post


Commentary: Troubled school districts need more than prizes
My association with the Broad Prize comes from working as the “project journalist” for the 2009 prize. Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: How do LAUSD board candidates view arts ed?

LAUSD school board candidates weigh in on arts education
The nonprofit advocacy group Arts for LA has published survey responses from Los Angeles Unified school board candidates. KPCC


Jefferson High academic fixes taking hold after court intervention
Four months and more than $1 million later, many of Jefferson’s scheduling problems have been addressed. KPCC


California continues to lead nation in charter school expansion and enrollment
California continues to far outpace the rest of the nation in charter school enrollment and growth, a study released Wednesday shows. Daily Reporter


Lawmakers skeptical of Brown’s facility funding plan
Lawmakers on Wednesday expressed skepticism of Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to reduce the state’s role in building and maintaining schools. SI&A Cabinet Report


Black girls face extreme inequality at school, but little response
Black girls around the country were suspended from school six times more often than their white counterparts during the 2011-2012 school year. Huffington Post


$1 billion federal ‘Enhancing Education Through Tech’ bill introduced
The United States Senate will once again be forced to consider explicit funding of education technology. The Journal

Morning Read: LAUSD’s music repair shop still backlogged

Old, broken LAUSD musical instruments holding back some students
The number of broken instruments at LAUSD’s music repair shop is up 24 percent, according to district numbers. KPCC


Canoga Park High School takes another step toward becoming a charter
The school took another step toward ending its 100-year-old relationship with Los Angeles Unified on Tuesday. Los Angeles Daily News


Autism advocacy group states vaccination link unfounded
The nation’s leading autism advocacy group has changed its position and now clearly states there is no link between vaccinations and autism. Ed Source


How many kindergarteners opted out of vaccines at your school?
Use this database below to see the vaccination rates at your child’s school. Ed Source


States weigh turning education funds over to parents
A radical new idea is catching fire across the country. Politico


Deadline to register to vote in L.A.’s election coming up
There is only one more week to register for the March 3 Los Angeles municipal election — the deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 17. KCET

Morning Read: District 5 candidates on ‘Which Way, L.A.?’

LAUSD school board, District Five seat up for grabs
Four of seven LAUSD board members are up for election next month. We hear from 5th District incumbent Bennett Kayser and his challengers. KCRW


Military instructors can join PE
State officials announced on Monday adoption of new regulations allowing physical education to be taught by military drill instructors. SI&A Cabinet Report


Endorsement: Yes on measures 1, 2, for better L.A. city elections
If the past is any indication, voter turnout for the LA City Council and school-board primary election on March 3 will be depressingly low. Los Angeles Daily News


Fewer L.A. County children died of abuse in 2014
Far fewer Los Angeles County children died because adults had neglected or abused them in 2014. Los Angeles Times


ASCD calls for 2-year state assessment accountability moratorium
The ASDC has issued a statement calling on policymakers to place a moratorium on using standardized assessments for accountability purposes. The Journal


No profit left behind
In the high-stakes world of American education, Pearson makes money even when its results don’t measure up. Politico

Morning Read: Franklin, Granada Hills win LAUSD’s Super Quiz

Franklin, Granada Hills tie for first in academic Super Quiz
Granada Hills Charter High School and Franklin High tied for first place in the Super Quiz portion of LA Unified’s annual Academic Decathlon. Los Angeles Times


Schools help families enroll in Covered California, Medi-Cal
With huge numbers of California children still uninsured, schools helping families know that affordable health care coverage is available. Ed Source


Broad Foundation suspends $1-million prize for urban school districts
Billionaire Eli Broad has suspended a coveted, $1-million prize to honor the best urban school systems. Los Angeles Times


North Hollywood High students battle cyber security threats
North Hollywood High School students are members of the largest cyber security program in the country. NBC Los Angeles


Bill would suspend high school exit exam
Legislation was introduced late last week to suspend California’s High School Exit Examination and remove it as a condition of graduationr. SI&A Cabinet Report


Uncovering security flaws in digital education products
Tony Porterfield uncovered security weaknesses on educational sites. New York Times

Morning Read: LAUSD food services chief pulled from job

L.A. Unified food guru David Binkle is pulled from job
David Binkle, LAUSD’s 52-year-old food services director has been removed from his position pending an internal district investigation. Los Angeles Times


Bill would cap large payouts to school superintendents
A California lawmaker wants to limit the generous payouts that school districts award school superintendents who leave their jobs. San Francisco Chronicle


Bill would require sexual assault ed in public high schools
Two Democratic senators want to expand public school health education to require high schoolers to learn about sexual assault. The Huffington Post


Commentary: LAUSD’s program to give immigration legal advice is ill-advised
The AYUDA program would pair lawyers in the district’s legal division with students who face deportation hearings. Los Angeles Times


Commentary: How not to fix No Child Left Behind
Expanding opportunity is a core priority for the Obama administration. Ed Source

Morning Read: Brown considers restricting vaccine waivers

California Gov. Jerry Brown appears open to restricting vaccine waivers
Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday appeared open to legislation that would eliminate all but medical waivers. Los Angeles Times


Classroom coaches critical as teachers shift to Common Core
California schools are using instructional coaches as a key tool to help teachers adapt their instruction to implement the Common Core standards. Ed Source


PPIC: Many districts still not equipped for digital learning
Most schools in the state likely have sufficient online capacity to administer this spring’s new, computer-assisted student assessments but more work is needed. SI&A Cabinet Report


California district to save $39 million with solar power
Antioch Unified School District (AUSD) has installed solar power projects at 20 campuses, with a projected savings of $39 million in energy costs over 30 years. The Journal


Ex-Marlborough School teacher arrested on sex charges involving student
A former teacher at Marlborough School in Hancock Park was arrested Wednesday on felony charges of sex crimes involving a former student. Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: UTLA calls in AFT president for backup

L.A. teachers union call in national leader to rally members
United Teachers Los Angeles has called in the president of its national affiliate to help rally members behind contract demands that could lead to the first strike in 25 years. Los Angeles Daily News


State pushing for exemption from NCLB test score requirement
For the second straight year, California will ask the federal government to exempt it from using scores on the new assessments that students will take this spring. Ed Source


LAUSD superintendent calls for check on large classes
LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines sent school administrators new data that show many middle school and high school classes have over 45 students. KPCC


Legislators to propose changes to California’s vaccination requirement
Two state senators are expected to announce legislation Wednesday to change the current immunization requirements in schools. Los Angeles Daily News


Got P.E.? Settlement Says Schools Must Prove They Provide It
A lawsuit will force elementary schools to prove they are providing at least the minimum amount of physical education required by state law. San Francisco Public Press


API should be replaced, state committee recommends
A state advisory committee is recommending moving away from the API. Ed Source

Morning Read: Education leaders gather at Super Bowl Town Hall

Encino’s Super Bowl Town Hall draws education’s movers and shakers
This year’s 18th annual Super Bowl Town Hall, hosted by philanthropist and Fulfillment Fund founder Dr. Gary Gitnick, drew some LAUSD school board members. Los Angeles Daily News


LAUSD seeks $1,761 from activist parent, places lien on home
The Los Angeles Unified School District is seeking $1,761 in legal costs from an immigrant parent, winning a lien on his family’s house when it couldn’t collect. KPCC


Budget outlines new CTE proposal
Legislators will soon take up the issue of how to continue support for education programs that merge academics and real-world job skills for high school students. SI&A Cabinet Report


Along with his name on Beverly Hills campuses, donor buys controversy
At Beverly Hills High School, a gift of $2,500 will get your name on a seat in the theater. For $50,000, the teachers lounge can be named after you. Los Angeles Times


California lottery is no jackpot for Orange County schools
About one dollar. That’s the share per student that Orange County’s public schools will receive from last week’s ticket sales for the current $317 million Powerball jackpot. Orange County Register

Morning Read: Canoga Park High could become a charter school

Canoga Park High could be latest to become a charter school
After more than 100 years with LAUSD, the western San Fernando Valley’s oldest high school could become an independent charter this fall. Los Angeles Daily News


Commentary: Don’t punish other districts for L.A. Unified’s problems
It’s very clear from readers that many don’t equate iPads with infrastructure. Nor laptops with labs. Los Angeles Times


Tech revolutionizes education for deaf preschoolers
Cochlear implants allow language to play key role in education for deaf preschoolers. The Journal


Nonprofit founded by two USC seniors gets $368,000 grant
Recently, the EARS program was approved by LAUSD and received funding from the district to expand its implementation. Daily Trojan


Smarter Balanced “interim assessments” finally released
The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium has finally released the “interim assessments” schools can use to gauge how well their students are doing. Ed Source


Compliance issues spotlight teacher evaluation stalemate
More than five years have passed since President Barack Obama warned lawmakers in California that federal funding was at risk. SI&A Cabinet Report

Morning Read: Districts want state to pay for Common Core tests

Districts seeking reimbursement for Common Core test cost
The state could be liable for as much as $1 billion per year in costs. Ed Source


2 of 3 candidates for L.A. school board seat don’t show up for debate
Absenteeism was a big problem Wednesday night at a forum for Los Angeles Unified school board candidates. Los Angeles Times


Parents grill school administrators over sex scandal in West Covina

A meeting was hosted by school administrators Thursday for parents to address recent allegations against teachers having sex with students. CBS Los Angeles


Here are the states that spend the most on public school students
The National Center for Education Statistics on Thursday released its latest data on how much money states are investing in public school students. Huffington Post


State reiterates schools cannot require parents to volunteer
Last year, the civil rights group Public Advocates investigated the written policies of 555 of the state’s 1,100 charter schools.. KPCC