Morning Read: Charter groups investing big money in California legislative races

Charter school groups spending big in California legislative races
Groups that support the expansion of charter schools in California are spending big this year to support the campaigns of sympathetic Democrats vying for open seats in the state Legislature. By Aaron Mendelson, KPCC

Morning Read: Charter battles ongoing across California

California charter schools involved in multiple political battles
A major front in the perpetual war between California’s educational establishment and school reform groups is the role of charter schools, which function outside the traditional structure and are semi-free to experiment with new methods of teaching. A fierce clash in the state’s largest school district, Los Angeles Unified, typifies the highly emotional issue. By Dan Walters, Fresno Bee

Morning Read: A turnaround at Artesia High School

Turning around Artesia, Part 2: This school figured out how to make it ‘cool’ to succeed
Almost 12 years ago, Sergio Garcia became principal of Artesia High School, a school smack in the middle of a neighborhood in Southern California that has seen its share of gang violence. At Garcia’s first meeting with the staff, he asked the teachers what kinds of changes they most wanted him to make. The teachers’ unanimous response was that they wanted him to “stop the ‘tardies.’” By Karin Chenoweth, Education Post

Morning Read: CORE districts shine more light on subgroups

CORE districts turn spotlight on struggling student groups
To shine a brighter light on academic disparities, the six California districts known as the CORE districts have tracked test results for much smaller student subgroups than the state requires, giving a more complete picture of how some groups – African-American children and students with disabilities, in particular – performed. By John Fensterwald, EdSource

Morning Read: LAUSD administrator charged with sexual abuse of student

LAUSD assistant principal arrested on suspicion of sexual misconduct with student
William Webb, a popular assistant principal at the Los Angeles Unified School District’s flagship arts high school, was arrested Tuesday morning on suspicion of sexual misconduct with a student. Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: LAUSD reaches $88-million settlement with teacher sex abuse victims

L.A. school district reaches $88-million settlement in sex misconduct cases 
The Los Angeles school district will pay $88 million to settle sexual abuse cases at two elementary schools where complaints about the teachers’ behavior had surfaced long before their arrest, officials confirmed Monday. The settlement with 30 children and their families, finalized over the weekend, is the second-largest in district history and brings a dark chapter to an apparent close. Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: LAUSD leaders support Obama’s gender neutral bathroom directive

LA school board president: Gender neutral bathrooms for all middle and high schools
LAUSD officials came out in support of the Obama administration’s guidance for protecting transgender students from discrimination. City News Service

Morning Read: Study says a little empathy can keep kids in school

The key to reducing school suspensions? Treat kids with empathy, says study
Researchers from Stanford University found that when teachers are reminded to approach students with an empathic mindset, rates of school suspensions go down. Students who get suspended from school are more likely to later drop out and face jail time. By Rebecca Klein, Huffington Post

Morning Read: Actor Danny Trejo, students express frustration over Sylmar High brawl

Actor Danny Trejo joins students in discussion over 40-student lunchtime brawl at Sylmar High
After a wild brawl involving 40 students at Sylmar High School on Monday, students and actor Danny Trejo met Wednesday night to express their frustration with the school board. “What happened on Monday we would all agree is an unacceptable occurrence,” Superintendent Michelle King said to the crowd of students and parents. By Beverly White, NBC Los Angeles

Morning Read: Water contamination concerns at 5 South LA schools

LADWP crews to test for water contamination in South LA
LA Department of Water and Power crews Wednesday will test for water contamination after murky water was recently discovered at five elementary schools. CBS Los Angeles

Morning Read: UTLA-commissioned report says charters hurt LAUSD budget

Union-commissioned report says charter schools are bleeding money from traditional ones
A teachers union-funded report on charter schools concludes that these largely nonunion campuses are costing LAUSD traditional schools millions of dollars in tax money. It calls for full funding from the federal government for disabled students, more money for charter oversight and higher district fees to charters. “The growth of charters is putting pressure on the district. The district can’t do what it did in the past and come out ahead,” said Eric Hanushek, a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. “They can try to compete for the students or sell off the buildings. But the point is: Charters look attractive to parents, which means that the district is not attractive.” Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: Teachers unions spend millions creating front ‘grassroots’ groups

United front: Teachers unions quietly spend millions on ‘grassroots’ groups
Public documents show teachers unions are spending millions of dollars creating front groups that appear to have wide grassroots support when in fact they are staffed, organized and funded by a single special interest. Tracing how these relationships are funded is not always straightforward. By David Cantor, The 74

Morning Read: Donald Trump says he likes local school boards, but don’t tell that to Los Angeles

Trump tussled with Los Angeles school board over historical hotel
Donald Trump had a bitter public feud with the LAUSD school board over the Ambassador Hotel, where he wanted to build a 125-story office tower. The site of the Robert F. Kennedy assassination in 1968 was preserved and is now the site of six autonomous pilot schools serving more than 3,000 students.
By Andrew Ujifusa, EdWeek

Morning Read: End of an era for New Orleans’ all-charter district?

All eyes on today’s Louisiana vote: A new era for New Orleans’ schools?
Barring a last-minute twist, Louisiana lawmakers Thursday are expected to vote to dissolve a state-controlled school district that for the last 10 years has overseen the nation’s most radical foray into education reform. As for what would come next – a unique hybrid system that relies on both a publicly elected board to handle system functions like enrollment and independent schools whose autonomy is enshrined in state law – and what that means for growing New Orleans’ successful charter sector, educators across the country are now watching closely to see what happens to the grand NOLA experiment. The 74

Morning Read: State leaders debate ‘breakfast-after-the-bell’ plan

‘Breakfast-after-the-bell’ plan set aside for review
A key legislative panel sidelined Tuesday a proposal that would require a large number of school districts to offer some type of “breakfast after the bell” program so the state can help feed scores of students missing their first meal of the day. By Kimberly Beltran, Cabinet Report

Morning Read: U.S. champion Academic Decathlon team from Granada Hills gets hero’s welcome

Bagpipes, pom-poms greet Academic Decathlon champs at Granada Hills Charter High
The national champion Academic Decathlon team got a hero’s welcome Monday at Granada Hills Charter High School. The team returned this weekend — from Alaska — after winning the competition for the fifth time in six years. By Gregory J. Wilcox, Los Angeles Daily News

Morning Read: Granada Hills Charter wins U.S. Academic Decathlon again

Granada Hills Charter High School wins U.S. Academic Decathlon
Granada Hills Charter High School won its fifth U.S. Academic Decathlon national championship on Saturday, defending its prestigious title in Anchorage, Alaska. By Dana Bartholomew, Los Angeles Daily News

Morning Read: LA community advocates push early childhood education to ensure success

Los Angeles service providers push for early childhood education
At a recent symposium, community advocates declared that early childhood education can spell the difference between future failure and success in school and life. They also stressed the importance of parental engagement at home and the community in shaping a child’s future. By Hiyasmin Quijano,

Morning Read: LAUSD school cop charged with attempted sex trafficking of a minor

LAUSD police officer charged with attempted sex trafficking of a child
A Los Angeles Unified School District police officer surrendered to federal agents Wednesday morning after he was accused of attempting to have sex with a minor, officials said. Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: Kids in LA County live in more economically segregated neighborhoods

Kids in LA County grow up more segregated by income
Children in Los Angeles County are growing up in more economically segregated neighborhoods than their parents did, as affluent families move to where the best-performing schools are, according to a new USC study. By Josie Huang, KPCC