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

Morning Read: CA English learners trial commences today

California in lawsuit alleging neglect of English learners
A lawsuit alleging that California public education officials have failed to provide language instruction to tens of thousands of English-language learners across the state goes to trial today (July 31) in Los Angeles Superior Court. EdWeek


LAUSD’s portable pools make the rounds for water safety
The mobile pool is set up on the playground, part of Los Angeles Unified School District’s Beyond the Bell swim program. Up to a dozen portable pools have traveled from one campus to another every summer since 1963. LA Times


Program helps students chart their future
Rome was one of about 240 students from San Francisco Unified School District high schools who participated in the summer program, a partnership between the district and two community nonprofits – Young Community Developers and 100% College Prep Institute. EdSource


Local business, education, nonprofit leaders gather to talk poverty
On Wednesday, local business, education and nonprofit leaders gathered at the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership’s offices in Irwindale to discuss the economic challenges many Southland residents face. LA Daily News


Youth suicide stats prompt call for awareness training
There are over 11,000 suicide attempts by youth in California each year – nearly 30 every day – and about 172 of those results in death. Experts believe these statistics could be lower if school staff were properly trained on how to recognize and deal with suicidal youth. S&I Cabinet Report

Morning Read: LCAP reporting mandate reignites dispute

New dispute opens over LCAP reporting mandate
A festering dispute over how much freedom local officials should have over education spending has reignited, pitting school managers against advocates for low-income families and some key members of the Legislature. S&I Cabinet Report


Bilingual education could make a comeback
After nearly two decades, bilingual education in California could stage a resurgence if the state Senate approves a bill in August that would put the issue on the ballot in November 2016. Edsource


California Attorney General Kamala Harris champions school truancy bills
California’s top law enforcement official, Attorney General Kamala Harris, explained her plans to curb crime by clamping down on school truancy Tuesday in an interview with the editorial board of the Los Angeles News Group, which includes the Daily News. LA Daily News


Lawsuit sets off healthy questions about California kids’ phys ed
Editorial: It may take the courts to decide the merits of a lawsuit claiming that three dozen California school districts have scrimped on physical education. But this much is certain already: The suit is inspiring needed examination of schools’ approaches to this vital part of the curriculum. LA Daily News

Morning Read: LAUSD, teachers at odds over contract talks

Teachers union, LAUSD at odds over bargaining tactics
With just two weeks before school starts, union leaders representing 35,000 teachers have declined Los Angeles Unified’s offer to conduct contract talks on a daily basis. The two sides are divided by about $280 million per year in pay increases and other issues. LA Daily News


Report says new teachers face ‘bumpy path’
A new report concludes that California’s mentoring program for novice teachers, once a national model, has deteriorated due to lack of funding and district commitment, and provides little help for the many new teachers who enter the profession as permanent substitutes or temporary hires. EdSource


California joins states urging student-led voter drives
Seventeen-year-old Jonah Pelter says registering to vote is not something he thinks about a lot, and he’s never been exposed to any kind of on-campus voter registration event in his three years of high school. S&I Cabinet Report


Summer camp disparities widen achievement gap
The stark contrast between the summer activities of the Bay Area’s have and have-not children not only highlights ethnic and class differences but also distinguishes who is likely to succeed — and who may struggle in school and later in life. San Jose Mercury News


Teaching Teaching
Commentary: I’m starting to wonder if we’ve entered some kind of golden age of books about education. First came Paul Tough’s book, “How Children Succeed,” about the importance of developing noncognitive skills in students. It was published in September 2012. NY Times

Morning Read: Lawsuit looms over California PE classes

California schools face lawsuit over physical education classes
Thousands of elementary school teachers have been asked this summer to hold on to their lesson plans as 37 school districts throughout the state seek to show that they are providing students with required exercise. LA Times


The LAUSD board election matters; voters should turn out
Commentary: The bottom line? The next board member for the district will represent roughly 1 million people on questions essential to the future of this region, and yet probably will have garnered the support of only about 20,000 people. LA Times


America’s Classist Education System
Commentary: America’s education system is unequal and unfair. Students who live in wealthy communities have huge advantages that rig the system in their favor. They have more experienced teachers and a much lower student-teacher ratio. Huffington Post


Why Do Americans Stink at Math?

When Akihiko Takahashi was a junior in college in 1978, he was like most of the other students at his university in suburban Tokyo. He had a vague sense of wanting to accomplish something but no clue what that something should be. NY Times

Morning Read: English learner lawsuit gains support from Feds

Feds back English learner lawsuit against state
The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California has found an ally in the U.S. Department of Justice for its lawsuit charging that the state abdicated its obligation to ensure all students classified as English learners get extra instructional services to become fluent in English. EdSource


New tool for navigating federal privacy laws
Hoping to help districts prevent such alarming developments and apply best practices in educational technology, the Washington, D.C. based Consortium for School Networking has released two new resources to help school systems avoid violations of student privacy and vulnerabilities to their data systems. S&I Cabinet Report


Can a 4-year-old learn from online preschool?
Two new companies for online preschool are ABC Mouse and CHALK preschool online. Neither company was willing to share exact metrics on home-use of its online products, but both said their numbers are in the tens of thousands – and growing daily. KPCC


Judge tentatively allows 2 charter schools to keep operating
Two charter schools ordered shut down by L.A. Unified amid questions over their financial management will be allowed to continue operating for now, according to a tentative ruling made public Thursday. LA Times

Morning Read: Judges rule against LAT on teacher IDs

Judges rule against letting public see LAUSD teachers’ performance
The public has no right to know the names of Los Angeles Unified School District teachers in connection with their job performance ratings, according to a court ruling issued Wednesday. LA Times


Gov. Jerry Brown resists unzipping school construction wallet
Commentary: There’s a school construction bond bill that has sailed through the Assembly and five committees with 122 “yes” votes — Democrat and Republican — and not a single “no.” But its chances of passing the Senate and making it to the November state ballot seem slim. LA Times


LAUSD, teachers’ union divided by pay raises, class sizes
Los Angeles Unified administrators and teacher union leaders will enter their first round of contract negotiations this afternoon divided by roughly $280 million per year for pay raises and even further apart on matters that directly affect classrooms. LA Daily News


Unions put teachers on streets — for votes
Teachers unions are struggling to protect their political clout, but as the midterm elections approach, they’re fighting back with their most popular asset: the teachers themselves. Politico


LA schools cutting budget for mental health for special ed students
Next school year, the Los Angeles Unified School District is cutting the budget for psychiatric social workers for special education students by 15 percent, raising fears among the special ed social workers that their numbers will be reduced. KPCC

Morning Read: Charter school in south LA damaged by fire

L.A. charter school gutted by fast-moving blaze
A charter school organization is scrambling to find an alternative location after a fire swept through the campus Tuesday. Animo South Los Angeles Charter High School served 600 students, but school was not in session and officials believe the structure was empty. LA Times


Gloria Romero: Too pretty for education policy?
Opinion: Before you read any further, glance in a mirror. Do you think you’re pretty? If you are female and answer yes, you might not be smart enough to understand education policy, so just stop reading. Sounds incredulous, right? Sounds downright sexist? Absolutely. LA Register


Child immigrants unlikely to flood any one school district
Despite growing concerns that the influx of unaccompanied child immigrants into the U.S. will overwhelm local government services in some communities, social advocates say public schools are not likely to be part of that turmoil. S&I Cabinet Report


Agreement reached on ‘willful defiance’ bill
After several months of negotiations, Gov. Jerry Brown and advocates for less punitive disciplinary policies have compromised on a bill that would limit schools’ ability to suspend or expel students for “willful defiance,” according to Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, who is sponsoring the bill. EdSource


Speech therapy rebooted by use of online resource
Online speech therapy, once less favored than in-person treatment, is becoming a more commonly used resource as districts struggle to find and afford speech-language therapists. PresenceLearning, based out of San Francisco, works with schools across the country providing online speech as well as occupational therapy services for K-12 students. S&I Cabinet Report