Morning Read: Deasy faces board review as controversies abound

Amid controversies, school board to weigh superintendent’s performance
After weathering a solid year of criticism for his controversial iPad program, taking a high-profile position in a case against teacher tenure and now dealing with the fallout of an irksome new attendance system, LAUSD superintendent John Deasy is about face the school board for his an annual review. KPCC

Report focuses attention on English learners
As accountability for student progress in California becomes more local, a new report focuses on how school districts can better educate their English learners. Edsource

Charter school movement must focus on excellence
Opinion: When the California Charter Schools Association released our first “Portrait of the Movement” report in 2011, it revealed a stark picture of uneven performance among the state’s charter schools. Edsource

Financing a hurdle in charters’ hunt for space, says report
Federal, state, and private financing for charter school facilities is not keeping up with demand for the publicly funded but largely independent schools. Edweek

Getting beyond one ‘right way’ of K-12 reform
Opinion: Why don’t we get education changing the way successful systems change? This means that we keep working to improve the schools we have, but don’t bet all our chips there. Edweek

Morning Read: Teacher dismissal bill may further muddy process

Teacher dismissal bill may add complexity not simplify
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in late June with the goal of expediting the process of dismissing teachers for egregious misconduct, but some experts say AB 215 will only further muddy up an already difficult and costly process. S&I Cabinet Report

Officials optimistic about spring assessments
Last spring more than 3 million students in California, the largest number ever to take an online test in the state, took field tests of new assessments aligned to the Common Core state standards without major technical breakdowns or system crashes. Edsource

Child-Care, research bills make Congressional short list
As the curtain begins to close on the 113th Congress, lawmakers showcased a brief burst of bipartisanship to push forward on two education measures that had been languishing in the legislative pipeline. Edweek

San Diego school district will get rid of armored vehicle
Yielding to residents’ concerns, the San Diego Unified School District says it’s returning the 18-ton MRAP, or mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle, that its police department recently acquired from the Department of Defense’s surplus equipment program. NPR

Morning Read: LAUSD pays out to settle software vendor lawsuit

L.A. Unified settles suit with student data software vendor
The Los Angeles Unified School District paid $3.75 million Thursday to settle a lawsuit with the vendor of a software system designed to track attendance, grades, schedules and other student data, officials said. LA Times

L.A. school district will double staff helping with iPad rollout
In response to problems with providing iPads to all students, teachers and campus administrators, the Los Angeles school system will double the number of people who will help with technical and instructional issues. LA Times

Report critical of charter school oversight
A lack of oversight of the nation’s charter schools has led to too many cases of fraud and abuse and too little attention to equity, according to a new report that offers recommendations to remedy the situation. EdSource

Brown shoots down history curriculum update
Gov. Jerry Brown rejected legislation Thursday that would have required the state to complete a full revision of its history and social studies curriculum standards by July, 2018. S&I Cabinet Report

A simple fix for L.A.’s voter turnout problem
Editorial: When fewer than 1 in 4 registered Los Angeles voters bothered to cast a ballot for a new mayor last year, it set off a round of soul-searching among city officials and political experts. LA TImes

Morning Read: New report says iPad curriculum rarely used

New report on L.A. Unified’s iPads reflects problems with curriculum
An evaluation of the iPads-for-all project in Los Angeles schools found that only 1 of 245 classrooms surveyed even used the costly curriculum. LA Times

More than 100,000 LA school repairs backlogged
Los Angeles Unified schools are waiting on 116,000 maintenance and safety problems reported since January, records show, and officials said they don’t have the staff or money to fix them all. KPCC

CTA backs Torlakson with big contribution as race tightens
Flush with $150,000 in new support from teacher organizations, state schools chief Tom Torlakson was still forced on the defensive by challenger Marshall Tuck at a candidate forum Wednesday night. S&I Cabinet Report

Fate of high school exit exam undecided
While the state’s standardized testing program is being revamped during the transition to the new Common Core State Standards, the fate of the high school exit exam – the one test students must pass – remains murky. Edsource

Deasy, LAUSD board must decide if they can work together
Editorial: A year after John Deasy threatened to resign, the Los Angeles Unified School District’s superintendent and its board are back at a dangerous crossroads. LA Daily News

Morning Read: LAUSD wins waiver extension from federal gov

NCLB waiver extended for seven districts
Seven California school districts, including LA Unified, have received a one-year extension of the waivers from the federal government exempting them from key provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act in return for meeting a slew of new requirements mandated by the Obama administration. Edsource

Some LA Unified students wilting in heat waiting for air-conditioning repairs
L.A. Unified says it has air conditioning in all 32,000 school district classrooms, but 2,000 pending service calls have turned the current heat wave into a repair crisis. KPCC

State, districts struggle to support foster youth
California’s bold initiative to provide extra support for foster youth in school is proving difficult for most districts to implement, advocates say. Edsource

Recovery for autism service costs pending
Despite an announcement from federal officials in July that comprehensive autism services for children are covered under Medicaid, special education administrators and school business officers shouldn’t expect to be reimbursed for providing those services just yet. S&I Cabinet Report

David Boies, eyeing education through a civil rights lens
David Boies, the superlawyer who chairs a group that is trying to overturn teacher tenure laws in New York and elsewhere, said Monday that his organization is not looking to take the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court — at least not in the short run. Washington Post

Morning Read: LAUSD owns grenade launchers and M16 rifles

What LAUSD is doing with its military-surplus grenade launchers and assault rifles
Opinion: So how about the curious finding that the Los Angeles Unified School District has taken possession of Pentagon military surplus that included 61 M16 assault rifles, three grenade launchers and a mine-resistant protective vehicle? LA Times

Strained ties cloud future of Deasy, LAUSD
The controversy engulfing Los Angeles Unified’s $1.3-billion technology project has inflamed long-held tensions between the Board of Education and Supt. John Deasy, who is questioning whether he should step down. LA Times

LAUSD’s students need better libraries, not iPads
Op-Ed: While the iPad-for-every-student controversy has gotten much media coverage lately, a long-term problem has gotten very little attention: the lack of equal access to a quality school library. LA Times

Frank Gehry designing new social service campus in Watts
It’s a small coup for the institute, which began working in Watts in 2007 and is best known for the 10 preschool sites it runs in the community. Yet it offers more than just free preschool. KPCC

With Tech Taking Over in Schools, Worries Rise
California is poised to become the first state to comprehensively restrict how such information is exploited by the growing education technology industry. New York Times

Morning Read: Deasy’s attorney asks for LA school board emails

Attorney for Supt. Deasy asks for L.A. school board emails
An attorney representing Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy is seeking records that would explore possible links between school board members and technology vendors. LA Times

L.A. Unified should rescind plan to delete year-old emails
Editorial: The requirement that most emails at the Los Angeles Unified School District be destroyed after one year may not be legal under California public records law. LA Times

Keeping parents involved in shared decision making
Commentary: As school staff and families head back to school this fall, districts and communities are ramping up for the second year of the Local Control Funding Formula. Edsource

New schools chief: Oakland “full of opportunity”
The Oakland Unified School District has begun the school year with a new superintendent, Antwan Wilson, at the helm. The 46,000-student district is the 14th-largest in the state. Edsource

Vaccine opt-out rate doubled in 7 years
California law requires that children entering kindergarten be fully vaccinated against a range of diseases. However, the rate of parents opting out of vaccines for their children has doubled since 2007. KQED

Morning Read: LA Unified board enforces email deletion rule

L.A. school board approves contract to destroy emails after a year
The Los Angeles Unified School District took steps this week to enforce rules under which emails are deleted after one year, raising concerns about whether important public records would be destroyed in the process. LA Times

Hearing opens on Crenshaw teachers’ claims of anti-union bias
Twelve former Crenshaw High teachers alleged during opening arguments in a labor hearing Wednesday that the Los Angeles Unified School District targeted and removed them from the campus in retaliation for their union activism. LA Times

Homeless student population growing and less urban
Affluent Santa Barbara was surpassed only by Trinity as having the highest countywide percentage of public school students identified as homeless sometime during the 2012-13 school year, according to a new survey. S&I Cabinet Report

New funding law could raise cost of textbooks
Thirty pounds of math arrived for 6th grader Bethany Hughes in July, hefty tomes whose delivery from a warehouse in West Sacramento to her home in Westminster represented a victory in a small but heated dispute over the new education funding law. Edsource

Centinela Valley school district begins search for new superintendent
The Centinela Valley school district on Wednesday officially began its national search for a new permanent superintendent to replace Jose Fernandez, who was fired for as-yet-unknown reasons. LA Daily News

Morning Read: LAUSD eyed Pearson software early on

Early technology plans called for training on Pearson software
The Los Angeles Unified School District’s early technology expansion plan called for all teachers to be trained on textbook publisher Pearson’s iPad educational software, according to a document obtained by KPCC. KPCC

MiSiS computer mess could impact college applications
Concerned that high school seniors could miss college application deadlines if the school district’s stumbling computer system isn’t fixed, Los Angeles Unified School board members asked staff Tuesday about backup plans. LA Daily News

County approves LA Unified’s accountability plan
After seeking clarification from the Los Angeles Unified School District about how it calculated the funds it said it was spending on low-income students, English learners and foster children, the Los Angeles County Office of Education has approved the district’s Local Control and Accountability Plan. EdSource

It’s time to do accountability right – and yes, we know how
Opinion: Using standardized tests as the sole measure of educational performance is a bit like using a measuring tape to calculate weight. You’ll get a number, all right, but it will have limited meaning. S&I Cabinet Report

Panorama City school first to clean up neighborhoods around campuses
Walking to class at Vista Middle School in Panorama City, kids cross over the Pacoima wash — a littered and foul-smelling channel that has become the first battlefront in Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer’s plan to create a safer environment for children. LA Daily News

Morning Read: LAUSD’s iPad program still raising questions

Questions persist over troubled iPad deployment in LA schools
With the huge purchase plan suspended, Superintendent John Deasy has alternated between assertions of his acceptance of the slowdown as a chance to regroup and denunciations of others who he said had politicized the process. Government Technology

Universal preschool spending draws wide support in national poll
A new Gallup Poll released Monday shows more than two-thirds of those surveyed favor federal funding of expanded preschool access. KPCC

Schools must report sports equity data
There should be no question about whether girls and boys have equal sports opportunities now that Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill requiring school districts to track and publicize corroborating data. S&I Cabinet Report

Commentary: Don’t blame lawyers for LAUSD’s lawsuit problems
In her opinion piece, “Largest school district, highest litigation costs” Gabriella Holt asserts “frivolous” lawsuits brought against LAUSD by “unscrupulous attorneys” result in money being “diverted from children’s education in the classroom to pay for excessive legal fees.” LA Daily News

Morning Read: LA Unified teachers paid less than state peers

LAUSD teachers are paid less than others in California
Records obtained by the Daily News show that those LA teachers averaged $2,148 — about 3 percent — less in pay than peers at a majority of California schools last year. LA Daily News

Why don’t more men go into teaching?
Analysis: Across the country, teaching is an overwhelmingly female profession, and in fact has become more so over time. More than three-quarters of all teachers in kindergarten through high school are women. NY Times

Parents at Pasadena charter school left scrambling after campus closes
Parents at Celerity Exa Charter in Pasadena were left scrambling to find a new school for their children last week after the campus abruptly shut down. LA Times

Illinois to upgrade history, standards; CA’s still pending
History and social science standards will be updated under a plan announced late last month by State Superintendent Christopher Koch, making Illinois the latest state to use frameworks aligned with the Common Core State Standards. S&I Cabinet Report

Morning Read: Lawmakers tightening accountability of LCFF

Activists win further regulation of LCFF money
School administrators are still balking at attempts by lawmakers and other student advocacy groups to further tighten accountability restrictions under the state’s new school funding system. S&I Cabinet Report

Superintendent Deasy explains Pearson, Apple meeting
More than a week after new questions arose regarding the bidding process for the 1:1 technology program, Los Angeles Unified Superintendent John Deasy sent a six-page memo to the school board Tuesday defending his actions and stating that neither he nor his staff violated any rules. KPCC

California teachers’ union sets sights on charters
The national charter sector remains largely union-free despite the efforts of the country’s two largest teachers’ unions, the NEA and the American Federation of Teachers. EdWeek

Celerity Exa charter gives up charter after being closed by fire marshal
Celerity Exa Charter School surrendered its charter to the Pasadena Unified School District on Thursday and will close its Pasadena campus, officials said. LA Daily News

Morning Read: CA awarded common core test contract

State awards Common Core test contract
With the State Board of Education’s approval, California became the ninth state Wednesday to award a contract to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium for the standardized tests in the Common Core State Standards that students will take next spring. EdSource

Truancy package marks half-step in reforms
It’s September – which state schools chief Tom Torlakson has declared attendance awareness month – but that doesn’t mean Gov. Jerry Brown will celebrate by signing a package of bills aimed at reining in truancy and chronic absenteeism. S&I Cabinet Report

As the third-largest school district in state, Long Beach thinking smaller
As students file in for the first day of school Wednesday in the Long Beach Unified School District, more will find themselves at smaller schools and matched with close-knit learning communities as the district works to reinvent its campuses and curriculum. LA Register

Child care hard to find in parts of Los Angeles
Looking only at infants and toddlers, the area doesn’t even have enough space in licensed childcare centers for 1 percent of the nearly 4,000 children 2 and younger who live here, according to the study. KPCC

Majority of students are minorities, but most teachers are still white

A majority of the public school students heading back to school this September aren’t white. But the teachers leading their classrooms are still overwhelmingly so. Huffington Post

Morning Read: Deasy defends actions with Apple and Pearson

Supt. Deasy defends his dealings with Apple, Pearson
Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy on Tuesday issued his most extensive and passionate defense yet of his actions involving Apple and Pearson, the companies that received the major contract in a $1.3-billion technology program. LA Times

L.A. school board member Ratliff pushes for release of iPad report
Los Angeles school board member Monica Ratliff will seek the release of an internal probe into the decision to provide iPads to every student in the nation’s second-largest school system. LA Times

Magnolia parents stand behind their charter schools, higher test scores
As Los Angeles Unified wages a legal battle to close two Magnolia charter schools over alleged fiscal mismanagement, parents and students are fighting to save the schools and what they say is their superior academic performance. LA Daily News

LA schools’ woes with enrollment system continue
Los Angeles Unified officials vastly underestimated the number of students facing problems from the district’s new digital enrollment system. KPCC

NAEP scores indicate cost of missing school
Students who reported more absences from school had poorer scores on a national test, according to a report released Tuesday. Edsource

Morning Read: CA student attendance above national average

Analysis finds California students attend school more than U.S. peers
California students attend school more consistently than most of their U.S. peers, and such attendance directly relates to better performance on national math and reading tests, a new analysis has found. LA Times

Programs target crucial summer before college
Lilie Hau, 18, of San Francisco, will be the first in her family to go to college this fall. And thanks to an intensive, two-week summer bridge program at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, she feels ready. Edsource

Pushing start button on computer science for K-12 schools
Amid growing demand from students and industry leaders, the event is one of the first statewide initiatives to discuss the future for a formal computer science curriculum for California’s K-12 schools. LA Times

For some immigrant parents, keeping kids home better than preschool
But what to do in a new country when there is no family to help out? It’s a dilemma facing more families nationwide. One quarter of all young children in the U.S. live in a family where at least one parent was born overseas, according to the Migration Policy Institute. KPCC

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