Morning Read: Feds issue guidelines aimed at preventing discrimination against students with ADHD

U.S. issues federal guidelines to prevent discrimination against students with ADHD
The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidelines aimed at preventing schools from discriminating against the growing numbers of students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In a letter to school districts and a “know your rights” document to be posted on its website Tuesday, the department said schools must obey existing civil rights law to identify students with the disorder and provide them with accommodations to help them learn. By Joy Resmovits, Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: California needs more teachers, but also more master teachers

California needs not just more teachers but more master teachers
California is trying to increase both the quantity of teachers and the quality of teaching. However, we should be wary about just expanding the pipeline of teachers. What we also need is a different kind of teacher.  By Derek Mitchell, EdSource

Morning Read: Dispute over developer fees for California schools going to court

Face-off over developer fees for schools heads to court
Litigants fencing over new authority given to school districts to raise developer fees to cover classroom construction costs face an important hearing next week in Sacramento Superior Court. By Tom Chorneau, Cabinet Report

Morning Read: Academics draft letter criticizing federal proposal on determining student achievement

Letter details opposition to federal proposal defining student success on tests

A University of Southern California professor has collected dozens of academicians’ signatures on a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education John King criticizing how the federal government proposes to measure student scores on standardized tests. California’s top state education officials agree with him and may express the same point of view in a letter they’re drafting. By John Fensterwald, EdSource

Morning Read: Survey of 11th graders shows one-third have felt chronically sad

 Kids in crisis: One-third of California 11th-graders surveyed say they are chronically sad

In a potential crisis crossing demographic lines, one-third of California’s 11th-graders and one-quarter of seventh-graders reported feeling chronically sad or hopeless over the past 12 months, a survey showed. The California Healthy Kids Survey also found that about 19 percent of both ninth-graders and 11th-graders seriously considered attempting suicide. By Sharon NoguchiMercury News

Morning Read: High-poverty neighborhoods short on children’s books

Where books are all but nonexistent
Forty-five million. That’s how many words a typical child in a white-collar family will hear before age 4. The number is striking, not because it’s a lot of words for such a small human—the vast majority of a person’s neural connections, after all, are formed by age 3—but because of how it stacks up against a poor kid’s exposure to vocabulary. By the time she’s 4, a child on welfare might only have heard 13 million words. In high-poverty neighborhoods, books—the very things that could supply so many of those 30 million-plus words—are hard to come by. In many poor homes, they’re nonexistent. By Alia Wong, The Atlantic

Morning Read: UTLA, charter school agree on wanting LAUSD to pay retiree benefits for teachers

Charter, union unite on wanting LA Unified to pay retiree benefits for charter teachers
The local teachers union has made rare common cause with a charter school: They are pressing to have the Los Angeles school district — not the charter — pay for costly retiree benefits that are due to teachers who worked at El Camino Real Charter High School. By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: Belmont High students, alone and from Central America, face challenges outside classroom

Nearly 1 in 4 students at this LA high school migrated from Central America — many without their parents

At Belmont High, nearly 1 in 4 of its 1,000 students came from Central America, many as unaccompanied minors. They are part of several waves of more than 100,000 who arrived in the U.S. as children, some seeking refuge from violence. While some crossed the border to reunite with mothers and fathers, others have no family in the U.S. By Cindy Carcamo, Los Angeles Times

 

 

Morning Read: Colors may be new indicator of school performance

‘Get to green’: California wants to grade school performance with colors instead of a single number

For the last 15 years, a number between 200 and 1,000 told parents in California how good their child’s school was. Up next: They might have to decipher performance through a series of colored boxes. The latest proposal, presented Wednesday at a meeting of the State Board of Education in Sacramento, is “the California Model,” a display of 17 colored boxes that summarize how a school is doing in such categories as math or career readiness, both in terms of current status and progress over time. By Joy Resmovits, Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: State moves to make student test scores easier to understand

New resources designed to make Common Core-aligned tests more useful

California is providing a range of new resources to teachers, parents and the public to make Smarter Balanced tests and student scores easier to understand — and more useful in actually guiding instruction. The State Board of Education on Wednesday will discuss new parent and teacher resources that are available to help understand the tests, as well as improvements to the public website, where this year’s scores are expected to be posted by the end of August. By Theresa Harrington, EdSource

Morning Read: Get to know the new LA Unified student board member

Meet the new LA Unified student board member
The newest Los Angeles Unified School District student board member — elected by other high school student leaders in the district — will have a voice at school board meetings. At 16, she will be able to put items on the agenda up for discussion at meetings, comment and vote. But her vote is just advisory, so it doesn’t factor into decision-making. By Sonali Kohli, Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: Inside the education reform movement in Los Angeles

Los Angeles conflict escalates as charter schools thrive
Throughout the 1990s and well into the new millennium, the massive Los Angeles Unified School District barely noticed the many charter schools that were springing up around the metropolis. But Los Angeles parents certainly took notice and started enrolling their children. In 2008, five charter-management organizations announced their plans to dramatically expand their school portfolios, and now more than 100,000 L.A. students attend independent charters. By Richard Whitmire, Education Next

Morning Read: How PUC Schools uses exit interviews to change teaching methods

Like Yelp for school: How a charter network uses student reviews to change how they teach
A focus group-style exit interview has become part of the year-end ritual at PUC Schools. Over five weeks this year, co-founder Jacqueline Elliott spoke with all of the roughly 260 seniors graduating from the charter network’s high schools in the San Fernando Valley. The network’s other co-founder, Ref Rodriguez, interviews the seniors at PUC’s high schools in East Los Angeles. By Kyle Stokes, KPCC

Morning Read: LA Unified would gain the most of any district from tax ballot measure

Los Angeles Unified has most to gain from upcoming income tax initiative
Already facing an uncertain budget future, Los Angeles Unified has the most to gain of any district in the state from passage of a ballot measure in November that would extend income taxes on the state’s highest earners. By Michael Janofsky, EdSource

Morning Read: Some school districts track school climate along with test scores

Urban schools test for grit, but will it improve test scores?

Something new is happening at a batch of California urban schools. Students are being asked if they are happy at school. The recent focus on the social and emotional well-being of students as a way to improve test scores is gaining statewide traction. Civil rights advocates are joining parent and student groups in pushing the State Board of Education to consider school climate surveys in a new accountability system California is scheduled to adopt this fall. An analysis of the CORE school reports suggests how well a school’s students perform on standardized tests correlates highly with school climate. By Judy Lin, CALmatters

Morning Read: California could be at odds with federal regulations on school ratings

Education secretary takes heat for pushing single rating of schools

California is moving toward establishing a new accountability system made up of multiple measures, in place of the state’s previous Academic Performance Index, which assigned schools a single “summative” number based on test scores. This new approach has been championed by Gov. Jerry Brown and is currently being implemented by the California Department of Education and State Board of Education. But under the draft regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Education to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act approved by Congress last December, states would be required to come up with a single rating for their schools. That would appear to put California on a collision course with the federal government, at least on this issue. By Louis Freedberg, EdSource

Morning Read: LA Unified wants trial in drowning case moved out of LA County

Lawyer: LAUSD playing ‘dirty’ in drowning lawsuit

The family of a Los Angeles Unified School District special needs student who drowned while on a school field trip said the district is playing dirty and trying to move the upcoming trial out of LA County. If the judge decides to allow the case to be heard somewhere other than LA, they worry they could lose witnesses to the miles. By John Cadiz Klemack, NBC4

Morning Read: Dark-money donors against Prop. 30 revealed

Activists reveal more dark-money donors to campaigns against unions and schools-funding tax

The campaign for extending a schools tax on high-income Californians kicked off this week with the release of undisclosed donors involved in fighting against the levy when it last appeared on the ballot. The new group, California Hedge Clippers, released the names Tuesday as part of a broader campaign to extend Proposition 30 in the November election. The temporary schools-funding tax passed in 2012 and is set to expire at the end of 2018. By Howard Blume, Maloy Moore and Doug Smith, Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: Wealthier students use summer school to get ahead

Leg up or catch up? Wealthier students use summer school to get a step ahead

Summer school is no longer only for students who want to erase an “F” grade. It’s increasingly becoming, for those who can afford it, the time when high school students stack their transcripts with classes for college admission. By Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, KPCC

Morning Read: New state agency will help fix lowest-performing schools

New state agency gets infusion of money to promote school success
The new agency charged with helping to implement and enforce the state’s school accountability and improvement system has a fresh source of money and a plan to spend it, starting this fall. The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence, overseen by Carl Cohn, a former State Board of Education member and retired superintendent of Long Beach Unified, has been allocated $24 million in the state budget awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature. By John Fensterwald, EdSource