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

Morning Read: Under-vaccinated kids not tracked by LAUSD

Schools don’t track whether under-vaccinated kids get all of their shots
In some L.A. Unified schools, 60, 70, and even 80 percent of incoming kindergartners were enrolled conditionally in the 2013-14 school year. KPCC

Teachers ask high court to hear union dues case
Attorneys for teachers who are challenging the right of the California Teachers Association to force them to pay union dues petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to hear their case this year. Ed Source

2nd teen arrested in stabbing death of 14-year-old at East L.A. middle school
A second teenager has been taken into custody in the fatal stabbing of a 14-year-old boy at a middle school in East Los Angeles, authorities said Wednesday. KTLA

Poll shows residents split on whether to extend tax increases
Californians are evenly divided on whether the state should extend the temporary tax increases approved by voters under Proposition 30. Ed Source

Most major California school districts pledge to reduce suspensions
Among the state’s 50 largest school districts, a study found that 92% had set goals to decrease suspensions. Los Angeles Times

Survey shows Title IX compliance still needs work
Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex in educational agencies that receive federal funding. SI&A Cabinet Report

Morning Read: Why did Kayser cancel 2 candidate debates?


Why did LAUSD board member Bennett Kayser pull out of two debates?
The affable, soft-spoken Kayser is the number one ally of the teacher’s union, UTLA, and was the number one critic of Superintendent Deasy. LA Weekly

Rural communities struggle to provide after-school programs
School officials in rural districts say there is a shortage of programs in their communities. Ed Source

Sis boom ‘rah': Law would label cheering as school sport
State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez thinks it’s time cheerleaders get the same respect and support as other high school athletes. SI&A Cabinet Report

Study finds pro-charter school arguments are more convincing
Groups against the expansion of charter schools may need to find new talking points. Huffington Post

Harvard buys up water rights in drought-hit CA wine country
Harvard University has quietly become one of the biggest grape growers in California’s drought-stricken Paso Robles wine region. Reuters

Morning Read: State prepares for rise in new teacher jobs

California officials preparing for rise in new teacher jobs
With the economy now improving, school districts have ramped up hiring and California is poised for a turnabout in teacher credentialing. KPCC

Schools encouraging parents to immunize students
The largest outbreak of measles in California in years is prompting school officials to redouble their efforts to convince parents to vaccinate their children. Ed Source

Bill would return induction costs to districts
School districts would be required to cover the costs of a key training program for new teachers under legislation expected to be considered this month. SI&A Cabinet Report

Classical schools put Plato over iPad
The institutions are designed to reflect the scholarship from the past three millennia of Western civilization, rather than the latest classroom trends. CNN

An international look at the single-parent family
Recent studies have documented a sizable achievement gap between children who live with a single parent and their peers growing up with two parents. Education Next

Morning Read: LAUSD could lose $100 million due to attendance

LAUSD attendance drop could mean loss of $100 million
For every 3 percent drop in average daily attendance, the district can expect to lose roughly $100 million in state funding. Los Angeles Daily News

Soaring tax collections could trigger budget caps in 2015-16
Higher-than-expected state revenues could in 2015-16 trigger a series of new legal benchmarks that would restrict the size of budget reserves districts could maintain. SI&A Cabinet Report

Measles outbreak: Santa Monica High coach diagnosed with disease
Santa Monica High School students and parents were alerted Friday night that a freshman baseball coach had been diagnosed with measles. Los Angeles Times

Parents try their hand at Common Core math
Common Core supporters say that getting buy-in from parents is essential if the standards are going to have the impact they were intended to have. Ed Source

Debunking one myth about U.S. teachers
It has long been known that the academic abilities of new teachers declined from the 1960s through the 1990s. The Hechinger Report

Vigil honors 14-year-old killed outside middle school
Mourners held a somber vigil for a 14-year-old boy a day after he was killed outside an East Los Angeles middle school Friday. NBC Los Angeles

Morning Read: Vaccination rates for kindergartners rises

Fewer California parents refuse to vaccinate children
The number of California parents who refuse to vaccinate their kindergartners dropped in 2014 for the first time in a dozen years. Los Angeles Times

Legislative leaders want to debate school bond
Gov. Jerry Brown has made it clear he doesn’t like the idea of issuing another statewide facilities bond anytime soon. SI&A Cabinet Report

Lani Guinier: We have a “testocracy” pretending to be a meritocracy
Lani Guinier’s recent book describes the tight linkage between standardized testing and family income. Diane Ravich’s blog

Counselors optimistic about resurgence in schools
Advocates say a shortage of counselors has hampered efforts to serve students. Ed Source

LAO backs repealing cap on districts’ reserves
The California School Boards Association’s campaign to persuade the Legislature to reverse a cap on school district reserves got a boost this week. Ed Source

LAUSD expert: Smart phones belong in schools
Educators can increase their power by maximizing the use of the apps available on their smart phones, according to Warren Dale, technology facilitator for LAUSD. The Journal

Morning Read: LAUSD program brings help to young men of color

‘Village’ program supports at-risk LAUSD students
The novel program brings together volunteers and students of diverse backgrounds into campus “villages” to support an encourage young men. NBC Los Angeles

Officials fight back against anti-immunization parents
Health officials have long been frustrated with the increasing number of parents who decline to have their children vaccinated. Los Angeles Times

Teachers turn to the web for funding help
After dipping into their own pockets to enrich their classes, local teachers are turning to a crowd-funding website for help with classroom materials. La Cañada Valley Sun

Brown, districts at odds over school construction bonds
Gov. Jerry Brown wants the state to cease issuing K-12 school construction bonds. Ed Source

Congressional fight looms on No Child Left Behind
Sen. Lamar Alexander says he wants to work out a bipartisan deal this spring to rewrite the landmark education law No Child Left Behind. Politico

Teacher put on leave after comments on student sex accusations
The art teacher said the students should have kept their “stupid mouths shut” about alleged sex act with two teachers during trips to the beach. NBC Los Angeles

Morning Read: LAUSD debates email retention policy

Controversial iPad emails make LAUSD rethink when to delete
Los Angeles Unified announced Tuesday it will double the amount of time emails are saved to two years – but is it long enough? KPCC

Districts ignore student performance in teacher evaluations, study finds
Major California school districts are failing to comply with a state law. Los Angeles Times

In measles battle, O.C. bars two dozen students lacking proof of shots
Orange County health officials ordered about two dozen high school students without proof of immunization to stay away from campus. Los Angeles Times

Everybody hates Pearson
The venerable publishing company is trying to reinvent itself for the Digital Age. Fortune

Map: Where are L.A.’s crumb rubber fields?
KCET has mapped all the crumb rubber fields at LAUSD schools, as well as parks maintained by the city and county of Los Angeles. KCET

Report says LCAPs need tighter focus
The Legislative Analyst’s Office called on the Legislature to allow school districts to write more focused annual plans for achievement. Ed Source

Morning Read: State creates early childhood center rating system

California creates system for rating early childhood centers
The system is a result of the only statewide grants California received from President Barack Obama’s signature $4.3 billion Race to the Top program. Ed Source

Number of public school students in poverty passes 50%
A new report from the Southern Education Foundation found that over half of U.S. public school students are eligible for free-and-reduced lunch. Education Dive

Some of the youngest learners need mental health treatment
According to a report, 13 percent of infants a year-old and younger and 44 percent of all 2- to 5-year-olds were assault victims in the prior year. The Hechinger Report

“Schools in Context”: A major study comparing the U.S. to 8 other nations
The report tells a different story about international comparisons by looking at a broad range of indicators, not just test scores. Diane Ravich’s blog

Teen sues Culver City district over alleged sexual assault
The school failed to monitor its grounds during the attack, the plaintiffs argue. NBC Los Angeles

Morning Read: Arizona civics group eyes California

Arizona group targets CA for graduation civics test
Civics education advocates are looking to push through a requirement in California that public school students pass an exam based on one given for U.S. citizenship. KPCC

Plenty of credits, no diploma
The American School Counselor Association recommends a student-to-counselor ratio of 250 to 1. In California, the ratio was 1,016 to 1 for the 2010-2011 school year. The Hechinger Report

Helping the Poor in Education: The power of a simple nudge
Researchers have been quietly finding small, effective ways to improve education. New York Times

3D printers changing the way some Pasadena students learn
A $100,000 donation from a retired businessman has turned some lucky Pasadena students into technicians, collaborators and possibly future entrepreneurs. KPCC

Three lessons on the best ways to give feedback to students
Proponents of computerized instruction often point out that software can give instant feedback to students. The Hechinger Report

2 teachers accused of having sex with students at beach
Two high school teachers with the Covina-Valley Unified School District have been arrested on suspicion of having sexual relations with students at the beach. Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: LAUSD board backs request to delay test scores

LAUSD asks to postpone student test scores, so what’s next?
A decision on LAUSD’ s request that the state postpone use of test scores from this spring’s planned standardized exams may not come until March. KPCC

Los Angeles child protection team gears up for new year
The transition team appointed to initiate sweeping child protection reform in Los Angeles met for the first time in 2015 this week. The Chronicle of Social Change

3 reasons Democrats shouldn’t support rolling back NCLB testing
Some Democrats may be tempted to line up against testing out of frustration with problems around NCLB. Third Way

How to report test scores to parents debated
The new Smarter Balanced tests are schedule for this spring, and state education officials are worried about how parents will view the results. Ed Source

Sticking points complicate new accountability plans
The state board of education still faces the complex task of stitching together a cohesive testing policy. SI&A Cabinet Report

Local education politics has a watchdog in LA School Report
Although often described as a philanthropist, Jamie Alter-Lynton is a journalist and self-proclaimed citizen-activist. Jewish Journal

Morning Read: Billions more for schools may be coming

Billions more for schools could come in spring
Already rejoicing over the governor’s plan to increase K-14 school spending next year, educators may look up in May to see that number has grown. SI&A Cabinet Report

OC school grapples with overcrowding
Parents say overcrowding at a Rancho Santa Margarita elementary school has forced their children to unfairly be shifted into new classrooms. NBC Los Angeles

The nuts and bolts of Obama’s community college plan
It’s unclear if a Republican-controlled Congress will go along with Obama’s plan. Los Angeles Times

Student-owned devices fill schools’ tech gap
It’s not just textbooks and three-ring binders taking up space in students’ backpacks these days. SI&A Cabinet Report

Democrats and Republicans agree: It’s time to rewrite No Child Left Behind
Some Republicans have floated the idea of doing away with standardized testing entirely. Huffington Post

AFT’s Weingarten on Reauthorization of NCLB
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, takes issue with Secretary Duncan in reauthorization of NCLB. Diane Ravich’s blog

Morning Read: Budget boosts teacher preparation oversight

Budget lifts teacher preparation oversight
The state’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing would receive a fiscal boost from the general fund as part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal. SI&A Cabinet Report

Preschool advocates seek more funding
Advocates for expanding preschool to low-income 4-year-olds were disappointed with the 4,000 additional enrollment slots proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown in his budget. Ed Source

Low-level classroom noise distracts, experts say
Emerging research suggests that quiet noises can have varied effects on student learning and memory. Education Week

Duncan lays out priorities for education law: Testing, preschool funding, teacher evals
Education Secretary Arne Duncan spelled out his priorities for a new federal education law Monday. Washington Post

Louisiana’s Common Core debacle
Across the country, the Common Core standards have become increasingly divisive. The Hechinger Report

Experts: Eliminate CC kindergarten standards
Experts in early childhood education are calling for the abandonment of Common Core standards in kindergarten. Diane Ravich’s blog

Morning Read: Duncan says feds committed to testing

Education secretary says administration is committed to testing
The secretary of education, Arne Duncan, insisted on Monday that the administration would not back away from annual testing for students. New York Times

President Obama to seek limits on student data mining
President Barack Obama on Monday is expected to call for tough legislation to protect student privacy. Politico

In LA, policy shift yields decline in school suspensions
In Los Angeles, the school board mandated that by 2020 every school use restorative justice. Associated Press

Budget leaves facilities crisis for another day
Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday unveiled a far less substantial facilities program than expected. SI&A Cabinet Report

The push for standards is seeping into arts education
Advocates for arts education are in the midst of a counter offensive. Education by the Numbers

Morning Read: Duncan to call for repealing No Child Left Behind

Arne Duncan to call for No Child Left Behind revamp
Education Secretary Arne Duncan will call for repealing and replacing the nation’s landmark federal education law, No Child Left Behind. Politico

Obama plan would help many go to community college free
President Obama said Thursday that he would propose a government program to make community college tuition-free for millions of students. New York Times

Digital Library’s use, usefulness questioned
About half the state’s teachers have access to a new “Digital Library” to help them teach Common Core, but it’s unclear how many are actually using it. Ed Source

Study: Suspensions harm ‘well-behaved’ kids
The study is believed to be the first to look closely at the academic performance of individual students who have never been suspended. Ed Source

People want better sex education than what many states require
A majority of U.S. states don’t mandate sex education, even though two-thirds of Americans think students should get it. Huffington Post

Wellness survey proves a good resource for LCAP needs
The healthy student survey is making a comeback. SI&A Cabinet Report

Morning Read: Feds warn schools about teaching English learners

Feds issue warning to school districts to educate English learners
Federal justice and education officials sent school agencies across the nation a stern message on Wednesday. KPCC

New report details cumbersome procurement practices in big-city districts
District officials from big-city school systems offered blunt criticisms of a slow, cumbersome, and often anxiety-choked procurement process. Education Week

New laws to improve student health supports
A slew of new laws affecting students’ physical, emotional and behavioral well-being will change how schools operate this year, in ways large and small. Ed Source

Study finds reading to children of all ages spurs more reading
Fewer children are reading books frequently for fun, according to a new report released Thursday by Scholastic, the children’s book publisher. New York Times

WME talent agents go from A-list to ABCs in Compton mentors program
For the past four years, a few dozen agents from William Morris Endeavor have been mentoring students from two Compton schools. Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: State to support cost of Common Core tests

School testing gets a bit of state support
It may not be much, but school districts will be reimbursed some $12.3 million to help offset costs associated with administering the state’s new Common Core tests. SI&A Cabinet Report

New York’s school schedule wastes billions of dollars: Report
School schedules contribute to an achievement gap between low-income and wealthier students and waste billions, according to a report from ReadyNation. Huffington Post

Ban on cellphones in New York City schools to be lifted
New York City’s Department of Education plans to announce that it will lift the ban on cellphones in schools, a person familiar with the decision said Tuesday. New York Times

A dozen questions — and a dozen answers — about school reform
Here is a letter that NYS Allies for Public Education just sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo about his education policies. Washington Post

Lessons on small particles yield big gains, say proponents
As schools look for ways to implement the Next Generation Science Standards, some scientists and educators argue that schools should start small—really, really small. Education Week

Morning Read: Brown to add billions in education spending

Brown’s budget would add billions to K-12 funding
Gov. Jerry Brown, in his inaugural speech, announced public schools will receive $65.7 billion next year. SI&A Cabinet Report

Inglewood High School vandalized with swastikas over holiday break
Students returned Monday to an Inglewood high school to find graffiti on campus and classrooms vandalized. CBS Los Angeles

Charter school supports grads through college
For the past few years, KIPP has expanded its K-12 program to include supporting “KIPPsters” through their college years. Ed Source

E-Rate undergoing major policy, budget upgrades
Federal officials have dramatically overhauled the E-rate program to prioritize expanded support for broadband and wireless connectivity. Education Week

Arne Duncan’s ‘what if’ attracts a flood of responses
A post about Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s “what if” tweet attracted a lot of responses. Washington Post

Morning Read: Top education issues for 2015

EdWatch 2015: 10 issues to watch
2015 promises to be a pivotal year for several major reforms in public education. Ed Source

Wi-Fi-enabled bus connects students in poor Calif. community
The school bus Wi-Fi program started this fall is one example of how a poor and underserved community is trying to help students get better connected. Ed Week

Law allows opt out of low-performing OC schools; why don’t more parents use it?
Few parents have taken advantage of a little-known law that allows students to transfer out of poor-performing schools. Orange County Register

New school performance model takes shape
The question of when schools can expect to be held answerable to the new performance measures could be delayed until the 2015-16 school year. SI&A Cabinet Report

Torlakson has key vacancies to fill
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will be filling some key staff positions when he begins his second term on Monday. Ed Source

Morning Read: Cost of LAUSD special ed services on the rise

Costs for LAUSD special ed services climb as parents feel the pinch
Changing demographics, advances in care and stronger advocacy by families are all combining to drive up the expense of special ed. KPCC

Inglewood Unified: Filth, exposed wires, roaches still at some schools
An LA County inspector found 23 “extreme deficiencies” at Inglewood High School. KPCC

California schools step up help for ‘long-term’ English learners
A new law requires the state to define and identify a “long-term English learner,” the first effort in the nation to do so. SFGate

Teaching English learners language of math
The issue of making sure English learners benefit from the Common Core has been the subject of considerable research and discussion. Ed Source

The “How Does a Principal Work?” Edition
Slate’s podcast about work explores how a principal deals with angry parents, standardized tests, and low-income middle school students. Slate