Morning Read: Bill giving millions for anti-truancy has momentum

$25-50m in anti-truancy funding likely
The legislation sailed through its first hearing Wednesday and now goes to the Appropriations Committee for passage to the Senate floor. SI&A Cabinet Report


Judge to give new sentences in Atlanta cheating trial
Three of the highest-ranking educators convicted in the Atlanta Public Schools test-cheating trial will get new sentences Thursday. Atlanta Journal Constitution


NYC set to begin paying millions for charter-school rent under new law
The city is getting ready to cut its first checks to charter schools that are paying for their own space. Chalkbeat New York


California celebrates School Bus Driver Appreciation Day
The fourth Tuesday of April each year is set aside to recognize school bus drivers. School Transportation News


Shockingly few students are proficient in U.S. history
Students posted relatively low scores on national exams in civics, history and geography in 2014. Huffington Post

Morning Read: Man sentenced for stealing 7,000 books from LAUSD

Man sentenced to prison for theft of thousands of textbooks
Corey Frederick was sentenced to five years and eight months in prison and ordered to repay $793,306 to the Los Angeles Unified School District. Santa Cruz Sentinel


School boards and administrators oppose teacher evaluation bills
A fundamental disagreement over granting teachers the power to negotiate all aspects of evaluations, including whether to use student test scores as a factor, could doom prospects for passage. Ed Source


Charter schools’ latest innovation: Keeping teachers happy
As the charter school movement comes of age, school leaders are realizing that stability and consistency matter. Slate


Delay coming to science frameworks
The recession interrupted California’s prior schedule for systematically updating education standards. SI&A Cabinet Report


Research: Short online interventions can improve student achievement
The researchers found that students’ grade point averages increased after only two 45-minute sessions. The Journal

Morning Read: Texas educator is National Teacher of the Year

Texas English teacher named national teacher of the year
Shanna Peeples works with students facing poverty and traumas related to their immigration to the United States. Huffington Post


Data science class offers L.A. Unified students a new handle on math
Asking questions of data is the aim of a class being offered at 10 Los Angeles Unified School District high schools this year. Los Angeles Times


How L.A. Works: School Lunches
The National School Lunch Act was passed in 1946 after an alarming number of World War II draftees turned up too malnourished to serve. Los Angeles Magazine


LAUSD officials unhappy with teen idol Justin Bieber crashing prom
“His entourage pushed past the school’s security to gain access to the dance floor,” said a spokesman for LA Unified. International Business Times


Leaders for teachers union try to stop LAUSD from laying off educators
The teachers union Monday rallied in support of 609 educators whose jobs would be eliminated. Los Angeles Daily News


Attendance rates set to become federal benchmark
Attendance rates would become one of three measures used by federal officials to gauge school performance in California. SI&A Cabinet Report

Morning Read: What will reaction be if many fail Common Core test?

Poll hints of political train wreck over Common Core
If most parents know little about the Common Core test, how will they react when they learn that a large percentage of kids failed? SI&A Cabinet Report


Federal government urges K-12 schools to comply with Title IX
The guidance comes against a backdrop of national concern about sexual assaults on college campuses. Ed Source


Why one of America’s best schools eased off Advanced Placement courses
The Post list ranks school not based on their test scores but how much their students — particularly average students — are being challenged. Washington Post


Do the arts go hand in hand with Common Core?
An inner-city charter network pushes culture over test prep. Hechinger Report


Labor peace at LAUSD based on hope not sound budgeting
This contract adds $171 million to the $7.27 billion budget opening a $140 million hole that grows to a $419 million chasm in the 2016-2017 fiscal year. Daily Breeze

Morning Read: If not iPads for all, LAUSD looks to what is next

LAUSD developing next steps after iPad-for-every-student troubles
The school district is rethinking the future of the $1.3 billion technology initiative. KPCC


Fight against vaccination bill finds ally in ACLU
An attorney for the ACLU wrote a letter to the bill’s two Democratic authors raising alarms about the bill’s constitutionality. Los Angeles Times


New CPS boss suspends $20.5 million contract that is part of federal probe
Board President David itale said the school system followed specific procedures for reviewing a “sole-source” contract. Chicago Tribune


Only alternative for some students sitting out tests: Do nothing
Richard Hughes, the superintendent of Central Valley School District in upstate New York, is being haunted by two minivans and an S.U.V. New York Times


CA bill would require union buy-in for teacher evaluations
The degree to which student test scores in California could be used to evaluate teachers’ job performance would be decided in union negotiations. Huffington Post


Commentary: A credible threat to California’s transgender bathroom law
What makes the Personal Privacy Protection Act worthy of attention at this early stage is that it is a credible effort from a determined organization. Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: Many CA parents in the dark on Common Core

California parents are ill-informed about school reforms, poll finds
Fifty-five percent of parents surveyed had never heard of the new computer-based tests. Los Angeles Times


California vaccine bill approved by committee on second try
Legislation requiring vaccinations for nearly all California schoolchildren revived Wednesday, winning the approval of a Senate committee. Sacramento Bee


LAUSD teachers could collect 14.3 percent of salary in back pay and raises 
The tentative agreement gained the school board’s unanimous support earlier this week and faces final approval May 12. Los Angeles Daily News


Cost-saving options offered for GED exam
California officials announced this month an agreement with CTB/McGraw-Hill to offer the firm’s general education test. SI&A Cabinet Report


More quality time: Schools’ best weapon in the battle against poverty
Expanded time and learning schools are meeting the needs of kids in high poverty schools. The Hechinger Report

Morning Read: California vaccine bill coming to a committee vote

After delay, lawmakers to vote on California vaccine bill
A contentious bill that would require California schoolchildren to be vaccinated faces a critical vote Wednesday. Contra Costa Times


Fight over renewal of Obama’s school lunch rules creates unlikely alliances
The Healthy School Meals Act was seen as a landmark nutritional achievement for the most health-conscious White House in recent memory. Los Angeles Times


Duncan: Chicago Public School students deserve stability
Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a former Chicago Public Schools CEO, called it “sad” that CPS now has its fifth chief executive since 2010. Chicago Sun Times


7 middle school students splashed by diesel fuel from disabled bus
About 40 LAUSD fifth grade students and two teachers were aboard the bus at the time. CBS Los Angeles


A head start implementing the new science standards
The new standards –are a companion to content goals already established under the banner of Common Core. SI&A Cabinet Report


Are the Common Core tests a big success or a resounding failure?
Will the Common Core survive technical issues and the opt out movement? The Hechinger Report

Morning Read: Paper wins Pulitzer for Centinela Valley Unified stories

Daily Breeze wins Pulitzer Prize for Centinela Valley Unified investigation
The Daily Breeze just won a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting for their coverage of the Centinela Valley Unified School District. Daily Breeze


Inconsistent training leaves special education staff struggling
Special education staff operating outside the restrictions of general education. Ed Source


Threats against Cleveland High School lead to arrest of former student
The LAPD arrested a former Cleveland Charter High School student Monday morning on suspicion of making criminal threats. Los Angeles Daily News


Inside the beltway pessimistic about reauthorization
Fifty-two percent of Washington’s education stakeholder community says it won’t happen while President Barack Obama is in office. SI&A Cabinet Report


Teachers’ unions fight standardized testing, and find diverse allies
In Florida, the teachers’ union has lobbied to limit the use of standardized tests. New York Times


Trends from the 2015 America’s most challenging high schools list
The list dramatizes the rise of one of the nation’s most demanding and unusual education organizations, the Arizona-based BASIS Schools Inc. Washington Post

Morning Read: UTLA backs down on demand for new teachers, staff

LAUSD teacher union backs off battle cry, agrees to higher pay raise
UTLA backed away from its demands for additional educators to help students inside crowded classrooms and, instead, collected a higher pay raise. Los Angeles Daily News


Nonprofit hopes $25,000 prize lures L.A. schools’ District 5 voters
A nonprofit voter group says it is going to pay one lucky voter $25,000. Los Angeles Times


Granada Hills Charter High School wins national academic decathlon
Granada Hills Charter High School won the national 2015 Academic Decathlon on Saturday for the fourth time in the last five years. Los Angeles Times


California vaccine legislation spurs legal debate over right to education
Does one student’s right to an education trump another student’s right to stay healthy? San Jose Mercury News


Breakfast in class triggers flap
The number of breakfasts served in the nation’s schools has doubled in the last two decades. Associated Press


Football coach arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting students
Police arresting a 46-year-old volunteer football coach at a Highland Park high school for allegedly sexually assaulting current and former students. KTLA

Morning Read: Granada Hills an Academic Decathlon powerhouse

Granada Hills Academic Decathlon team has championship in its sights
In the last five years, Granada Hills students have won 11 out of a possible 14 city, state and national titles. Los Angeles Times


Senate OKs bill barring sexual consent of minors as defense
It comes after LA Unified Unified successfully argued last year that a 14-year-old girl who had sex with a male teacher shared responsibility. Fresno Bee


Former South Bay schools chief fired after pay scandal sues district
Jose A. Fernandez alleged that the Centinela district had suspended, then fired, him last year without following the proper steps. Los Angeles Times


Advocates press Sacramento on arts funding
Advocates are seeking more money for arts education in public schools, citing a new report that shows impact of arts on the economy. SI&A Cabinet Report


U.S. Investigates Possible Misconduct in Chicago Public Schools
Local news media outlets, citing anonymous sources, reported that the investigation related to a no-bid contract that was awarded. New York Times


Talks cool between Los Angeles Unified, teachers union
In a sign contentious talks have cooled, the teachers union and Los Angeles Unified on Wednesday agreed to meet again this week. LA Daily News

Morning Read: Common Core math creating ‘freakout moments’

Southland parents still scratching their heads on Common Core math
California’s new Common Core learning standards have some public school parents pulling out their hair. KPCC


Wrestling coach accused of molesting 25 students on team
A high school wrestling coach in Southern California has been arrested on suspicion of molesting 25 students on his team. San Jose Mercury News


Discontent continues to roil Port of Los Angeles High in San Pedro
Tension at San Pedro’s Port of Los Angeles High School continued to mount Wednesday night. Daily Breeze


SD Unified criticizes standardized testing
San Diego schools chief Cindy Marten reluctantly kicked off testing season this week with a letter to parents that downplays its significance. U-T San Diego


Teachers’ union cries foul on superintendent selection
The Burbank Teachers Assn. asked the LAs District Attorney’s office to look into possible violations of the Brown Act regarding the potential hiring of Matt Hill. Burbank Leader

Morning Read: On a bus tour, UTLA calls for class size reduction

UTLA conducts bus tour to rally for better education
UTLA conducted a bus tour of Los Angeles Unified School District schools Tuesday where they say there are unacceptable learning and teaching conditions. ABC7


Home bound students use robot to virtually participate in LAUSD classes
Students with special needs Tuesday demonstrated how new technology allows for virtual participation within classroom and social settings. CBS Los Angeles


‘We were all anticipating the challenges’ of Common Core
EdSource is conducting a series of interviews featuring educators’ experiences with the Common Core State Standards. Ed Source


The odd thing Arne Duncan told Congress
The discussion was about VAM, the value-added method of evaluation in which student standardized test scores are used to evaluate teachers Washington Post


Arts educators seek helping hand, straight from your tax form
For the second year in a row, Californians have a chance to support arts education funding while filing their taxes. KPCC


3 reasons Chromebooks are shining in education
For districts looking to get the most bang for their ed tech buck, devices that fall somewhere between tablets and traditional laptops can be the right fit. The Journal

Morning Read: Teacher unions dismiss USC poll results

Unions critical of poll on teachers tenure and seniority-based layoffs
Teachers unions expressed concern Monday over the results of a poll indicating that California voters are critical of current teacher job protections. Los Angeles Times


Atlanta judge urges talks on sentences in school cheating case
Ten educators were convicted on April 1 for their roles in one of the nation’s largest school cheating scandals. New York Times


SFUSD administrator named superintendent of Albuquerque public schools
Luis Valentino previously worked in various roles for the Los Angeles Unified School District for more than two decades. San Francisco Examiner


A political novice who scored big upset finds herself on the defensive
Patty Lopez had no elective experience; much of her work as an education advocate was as a volunteer. Los Angeles Times


Doing away with the high school exit exam
California is set to join a handful of states that have decided the high school exit exam isn’t useful. SI&A Cabinet Report

Morning Read: ‘Teacher bashing’ part of teacher shortage in CA

‘Teacher bashing’ may be turning new recruits away
The precipitous decline in young people entering the teaching profession in California is now a 10-year trend. SI&A Cabinet Report


Vaccine fears haunt L.A.’s west side
The issue has dominated lives and reconfigured the behavior of parents in the affluent environs of west Los Angeles. Sacramento Bee


Nevada transgender bill passes committee
LAUSD has not received one report of a student pretending to be transgender to spy on students. Reno Gazette-Journal


Kindergartners who share iPads perform better in school, study suggests
A recent study suggests that sharing of iPads among kindergarteners provides more satisfactory school performance. International Business Times


One year later: Deadly California bus crash
It has been a year since 10 people lost their lives during a fiery collision involving a FedEx truck and a bus carrying students to Northern California. NBC Los Angeles

Morning Read: State aid improves finances for school districts

More state aid stabilizes school district finances
Recent infusions of state aid, and the prospect of more to come, have improved the financial stability of California’s school districts. Sacramento Bee


Santa Ana Unified set to offer ethnic studies classes
In December, the LA Unified School District’s board voted to make ethnic studies courses a high school graduation requirement. Voice of the OC


NV bill to be heard on segregating transgender students
The Los Angeles Unified School District has overseen the integration of transgender students into the bathroom of their choosing for a decade. Reno-Gazette Journal


Elementary jump start program on chopping block
It was started in the 70s as a way to even the playing field for low income and English language learners. NBC Los Angeles


Art appreciation helps young children learn to think and express ideas
Art lessons for pre-kindergarten students are moving beyond finger paints and into the worlds of van Gogh, da Vinci and Rivera. Ed Source

Morning Read: $1 billion more for Common Core moves forward

Panel approves $1b allocation for Common Core
A proposal adding $1 billion for state schools transitioning to Common Core won easy passage Wednesday from a key legislative committee. SI&A Cabinet Report


Chicago is waiting to see if runoff battle has humbled Rahm Emanuel
Public school teachers, who were leading the charge against Emanuel and who went on strike, are already in negotiations for a new contract. New York Times


Lawsuit details new misconduct allegations against Marlborough teacher
A lawsuit filed in LA County Superior Court on Wednesday detailed new allegations of sexual misconduct by a former Marlborough School teacher. Los Angeles Times


Students struggle to get past instructions on practice tests
Educators worry that overly complicated instructions could interfere with students’ ability to get through the full battery of tests. Ed Source


Guiding principles for a more enlightened U.S. education policy
Congress and the White House are doing the porcupine dance as they try to reauthorize the education law called No Child Left Behind. Washington Post

Morning Read: Senators announce agreement on NCLB rewrite

Senators announce agreement to update education law
Two key senators have announced a bipartisan agreement on rewriting the No Child Left Behind education law. The Huffington Post


Kindergarteners’ parents scramble for spots in annual rite of spring
The line started forming at Mar Vista during the holiday weekend with parents camping out like Best Buy on Black Friday. KPCC


California high schools violating graduation cap and gown fee law
The practice violates the free public schools guarantee in the state constitution. KPCC


Teachers ‘need time with peers to dig deep’ into Common Core standards
A Bay Area native, Vincent Matthews has been superintendent of the San Jose Unified School District since 2010. Ed Source


50 great apps for teachers
For a change of pace, here’s a list of “awesome” apps for teachers from Scholastic Instructor magazine offering activities for a wide range of subjects. Washington Post


Ed tech must do more to ‘advance equity,’ U.S. Secretary of Education says
The U.S. Department of Education unveiled a new education technology developer’s guide Tuesday during the annual ASU+GSV Summit conference here. The Hechinger Report

Morning Read: LAUSD, teachers stepping up mediation sessions

LAUSD’s union negotiations, budget woes continue this week
The district and UTLA emerged from their second state-mediated gathering Monday with an agreement to meet two more times this week. Los Angeles Daily News


Chicago mayoral runoff heads into the last lap
Challenger Jesús “Chuy” Garcia, who is backed by the Chicago Teachers Union, says Rahm Emanuel has run roughshod over the city’s teachers and parents. USA Today


At Success Academy Charter Schools, high scores and polarizing tactics
In its devotion to accountability, Success Academy, New York City’s polarizing charter school network, may have no peer. New York Times


Another lawsuit challenges teachers unions’ dues
A second group of California teachers has filed a lawsuit which is challenging the right of public employees’ unions to collect mandatory dues. Ed Source


LEAs have hardware but not network speed
More than 40 percent of California’s districts are connected at speeds less than that recommended for proper digital learning, according to a survey. SI&A Cabinet Report

 

Morning Read: LA Unified’s aging teacher workforce is expensive

Los Angeles Unified’s teachers are old and costly
For every teacher under the age of 25, there are more than 19 older than 56, according to district data. Los Angeles Daily News


Many LAUSD elementary schools in South LA still don’t have library staff
Since January, the Los Angeles Unified School district has reopened more than 200 elementary school libraries. KPCC


In a NY county, teaching artists aid students in Common Core push
A class takes a step forward toward meeting the English Language Arts requirements under the set of academic standards known as the Common Core. New York Times


School parents take cooperative approach to reform
Lexington Elementary School exhibited many of the classic characteristics of schools that wage parent-trigger campaigns in California. Ed Source


Leaf blower as metaphor, a conversation with Green Dot founder
California recently hung out with education rabble-rouser Steve Barr. Los Angeles Times


Researcher’s webinar challenges attendance myths
A growing body of research that shows the best way to improve student outcomes is by ensuring class attendance – every single day. SI&A Cabinet Report

Morning Read: Supporters fight for LAUSD’s preschool program

Los Angeles Unified considers killing preschool program
A proposal to eliminate a popular LA Unified preschool program for low-income families drew the ire of more than 100 people Thursday. KPCC


The Snap2School application rewards students who get to class on time

Snap2School works by rewarding attendance with prizes such as tickets to amusement parks, free clothes and other prizes. LA Sentinel


The lost children of Katrina

A decade after the hurricane, New Orleans grapples with the effects of missed schooling, mass displacement. The Hechinger Report


Commentary: What the ‘thoughtless’ N.Y. government just did to teachers
The New York State legislature celebrated the Eve of April Fools by making a bad teacher evaluation system even worse. Washington Post


How schools can lower suspension rates and raise graduation rates
Why aren’t traditional school discipline policies working? The Hechinger Report


District pulls Vietnamese textbook amid criticism that it’s pro-Communist
The book and textbook were being used in a nine-week pilot program. Orange County Register