Morning Read: Year-round schooling growing in popularity

Popularity grows anew for year-round schooling When Stiles Simmons, the superintendent of a two-school district outside Lansing, Mich., looked at the data, he realized summer break was hurting his mostly-low-income students. Education Week


Teacher training extends to gender sensitivity Along with the heavy load of training tied to the new Common Core content standards, a growing number of teachers are also being asked to take professional development intended to improve gender identity awareness and inclusiveness. S&I Cabinet Report


Calif. schools have dogs in unlikely proposition fights When it comes to the Nov. 4 statewide General Election, most of the K-12 education community’s attention has been on Proposition 2, but schools also stand to be impacted by two other ballot measures. S&I Cabinet Report


Norward Roussell, who led schools in Selma in turbulent time, dies at 80 Norward Roussell, who in 1987 arrived in Selma, Ala., as the city’s first black superintendent of schools with aspirations to equalize educational opportunity, died on Monday in Selma. He was 80. New York Times


As Deasy’s fate remains uncertain, other districts continue tech purchases School officials across the U.S. say they have already learned one major lesson from Los Angeles’ botched iPad rollout: Classroom technology is here to stay, but it is important to choose wisely. The Hechinger Report

Morning Read: LAUSD takes on bullying of LGBT athletes

LAUSD ‘blowing the whistle’ on bullying, hazing of LGBT student athletes
Officials announced Tuesday the Los Angeles Unified School District will “blow the whistle” on bullying and hazing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender student athletes. Los Angeles Daily News


A fortune for iPads, but not enough for math books
Commentary: With the conversion to Common Core standards, L.A. Unified purchased new math books for eighth grade, but not for sixth or seventh. The reason was lack of funding. Los Angeles Times


Deasy and keeping students at the center of political battles
Commentary: Los Angeles Unified School District recently announced a 15-point increase in its graduation rate. This is cause for immense celebration as more students are on their pathways out of poverty. The Hechinger Report


There’s no Superman, but Deasy wasn’t afraid to try on the cape
Commentary: John Deasy wasn’t dealt a winning hand. He’s a very smart guy, so I think he knew it from the start, but he wanted to play the game as superintendent of Los Angeles Unified so badly that he picked up the cards anyway. The Hechinger Report


LA school board backs $3.6 million ‘bailout’ of faulty data system
The LA Unified board Tuesday night approved the purchase of 3,340 computers costing $3.6 million for school sites struggling to properly schedule classes, take attendance and track student needs in a new data system. KPCC


L.A. school board OKs plan to resolve Jefferson High problems
The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday approved a $1.1-million plan to provide a longer school day, additional classes and tutoring to Jefferson High students who lost instructional time. Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: District officials seek to calm fears at Jefferson HS

L.A. Unified seeks to reassure Jefferson High parents
Los Angeles school officials tried to reassure concerned parents Monday that they have resolved most scheduling problems at Jefferson High School and also will make up for class time students have lost. Los Angeles Times


Tracking system glitches affected special needs students, report says
Problems with the Los Angeles Unified School District’s new student tracking system led to widespread difficulties in identifying special needs students and placing them in the right programs. Los Angeles Times


Longer school days, new classes at Jefferson High to cost $1 million
Los Angeles Unified proposes to spend $1.1 million to extend the school day by 30 minutes, fund 15 new class sections and increase support personnel at the troubled Jefferson High School. KPCC


Preschool teachers among lowest paid despite degrees
While debate rages on increasing the minimum wage locally and nationally, one unexpected group of workers earning close to the bottom of the scale stands to benefit if the floor is raised: preschool teachers. KPCC


Repeating elementary grades, even kindergarten is harmful
The already muddy research on whether it’s better to hold back struggling students or promote them to the next grade just got muddier. The Hechinger Report

Morning Read: LA Unified’s MiSiS system under scrutiny

LAUSD’s student information system becomes a technological disaster
The Los Angeles Unified School District’s student information system, which has cost more than $130 million, has become a technological disaster. Los Angeles Times


Law helps homeless students graduate
A new law that will take effect in January is aimed at helping homeless students by allowing them to get partial credit for school work they have done. EdSource


Millions pour into state superintendent’s race
Independent groups backing the two candidates for state superintendent of public instruction reloaded their campaigns with millions of dollars in contributions this week, as the race heads toward Nov. 4 with a crescendo of spending. EdSource


Push to limit federal test mandates gains steam
For more than a decade, teachers, administrators, students, and even parents have criticized the No Child Left Behind Act—and, now, the Obama administration’s waivers under that law. Education Week


As apprentices in classroom, teachers learn what works
The idea is that teachers, like doctors in medical residencies, need to practice repeatedly with experienced supervisors before they can be responsible for classes on their own. New York Times


LEAs move ahead on restorative practices

Although a newly adopted law significantly narrows the list of reasons students can be suspended or expelled from school, many California schools had already done away with the catch-all category known as willful defiance. S&I Cabinet Report


Proposed fixes for Jefferson High include more classes, longer days
Students at Jefferson High are likely to have expanded course offerings and longer school days to address massive scheduling problems that resulted in lost instruction time this fall, officials have confirmed. Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: Bullied student can seek attorneys’ fees

Student who says he was bullied can seek attorney’s fees from LAUSD
A judge ruled that a former student who alleges Los Angeles Unified administrators failed to intervene when he was bullied about his sexuality and forced to deal with panic attacks can seek attorneys’ fees if he wins his case. Los Angeles Daily News


Researchers and schools diverge in definitions of bullying
One of the biggest challenges for those who seek to end bullying among students has been defining exactly what “bullying” is. Education Week


Educating kids isn’t rocket science. It’s harder.
Commentary: For the past two decades, self-styled education reformers—the newest of whom is journalist Campbell Brown, whose Partnership for Educational Justice seeks to “reform” teacher tenure—have been inundating the public schools with ineffective programs and imprudent policies. Washington Post


Little Free Library unveiled in honor of fallen Valley officer
The Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Traffic Division is now home to a Little Free Library, becoming the first traffic division in the city to host one. Los Angeles Daily News


Attendance sinks as San Ysidro teachers strike
The first day of the teachers strike will cost the San Ysidro School District about $96,000 in state funding tied to attendance. U-T San Diego

Morning Read: Feds deliver $36 million to LAUSD Promise Zone

Federal grants to create ‘cradle to career’ services in LAUSD zones
Local officials on Wednesday announced a milestone — $36 million in federal grants — for an ambitious program to provide a full range of social and education services to students and their families in several neighborhoods. Los Angeles Times


Why are police using military-grade weapons in high schools?
This year, LAUSD initiated reforms to school discipline policies to limit the role of school police and emphasize school and community-based supports. Rolling Stone


New research supports blended approach to computer learning
Nearly from the first time a teacher took chalk to a blackboard, educators have sought out advanced technology in hopes of finding a better method for delivering curriculum. In recent years the focus has been on computers that teach, which the authors of a new study say has produced only mixed results. S&I Cabinet Report


Why gifted education doesn’t make sense

Commentary: A new book out by nationally known gifted-education expert James R. Delisle, a former fifth grade special education teacher and Kent State University professor, says our schools are making war on our nation’s finest young minds by failing to fund enough programs for the gifted. Washington Post


Judge orders state to fix Jefferson High scheduling issues
On Wednesday, a Superior Court judge ordered state education officials to fix the problem at Jefferson High immediately, ruling that students were being deprived of their right to an education. Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: California has most homeless students in U.S.

California leads the nation in homeless school children
One out of every five K-12 students nationally who experienced homelessness in the 2012-2013 school year lived in California, according to a study by the California Homeless Youth Project. AllGov


Education groups won’t back rainy day fund
Gov. Jerry Brown won’t have key education groups helping him make the case to voters for a bigger and more restrictive state rainy day fund. The most he can count on is that they won’t actively campaign against it. EdSource


Many districts lagging on implementing Common Core, survey finds
With springtime testing for the common core only months away, nearly a third of district superintendents are still scrambling to put in place the curriculum and professional development necessary to teach the standards, according to survey results released Wednesday. Education Week


Parents, students focus on classrooms in judging LA school superintendent
When several parents and students were asked about Deasy, they told KPCC that what matters to them is what is happening in the schools. KPCC


California school voucher backer to head U.S. education reform group
The education reform group Students First has named as its president a longtime supporter of school vouchers and loosening tenure protections for public school teachers, the group said on Tuesday. Reuters

 

Morning Read: Vergara ruling ‘reinforces a completely false narrative’

What’s wrong with the Vergara ruling
Commentary: What’s wrong with the ruling is that it reinforces a completely false narrative in which incompetent teachers are portrayed as the central problem facing urban schools.EdSource


Online resource offers help with discipline
Educators who want to implement more positive disciplinary practices can now access an online national repository of research-based alternatives to suspension and expulsion. EdSource


Preparing Your Child for Common Core Tests
Coming soon to classrooms across the nation: standardized tests to measure students’ mastery of the Common Core, the new academic standards that have been adopted by most states. New York Times


Student Performance Stalls on SAT, Improves on AP Tests
For the first time, the College Board has combined its release of Advanced Placement, SAT, and Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test scores in a report that generally reflects expanded participation but stagnant performance. Education Week


Los Angeles Unified’s MiSiS crisis in court, district denies problems
A court order today could end problems caused by MiSiS – Los Angeles Unified’s prematurely launched computer software – at one district school plagued by the buggy software and poor management, according to court documents. Los Angeles Daily News

Morning Read: California planning to set test cutoff scores

California, other states to set test cutoff scores
During the next few weeks California educators will play a pivotal role in a crucial phase of work for the new Smarter Balanced assessments that millions of California students will take this spring for the first time. EdSource


Why can’t the grown-ups get it right on education?
Commentary: If Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy is still on the job as you read this, the question is for how long. Los Angeles Times


New laws aside, big hurdles remain for computer science
Although legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last week takes big steps toward integrating computer science studies into mainstream public school curriculum, advocates say California’s education system still badly lags. S&I Cabinet Report


In Washington state, political stand puts schools in a bind
The schools in Washington are caught in the political crossfire of a battle over education policy. New York Times


Challenger Marshall Tuck wants to change Sacramento, if he can get there
Marshall Tuck is an optimist. He must be to talk so confidently about when – not if – he becomes California’s next superintendent of public instruction. Sacramento Bee

Morning Read: State rolls out resource center for LCAP

State introduces tools for school change
With districts working this fall to put into action their first locally created school accountability plans, the California Department of Education rolled out a new online resource center on Thursday designed to help schools change. EdSource


Steps Weighed on Method for Flagging Bias in Spec. Ed.
Federal officials face sharply polarized opinions among advocates and educators as they consider creating a bright line for states to use in deciding whether minorities are being overidentified for special education services. Edweek


Racial gap in education puts drag on economy
Hiding in the shadows of Silicon Valley’s successful startups lies a paradox. Major tech companies need skilled workers that they can’t find in California and outsource talent from overseas for highly paid workers. California Economic Summit


Child care costs eating close to 40 percent of single-income family budget
For many single parents, this comes as no surprise: rising costs and stagnating incomes have made child care the biggest expense for a family of three. KPCC


State may be forced to intervene in Jefferson High scheduling issues
Civil rights organizations asked a judge Thursday to order the state Education Department to remedy problems at Jefferson High School in South Los Angeles. LA TImes

Morning Read: Contract talks still divide teachers union and LAUSD

LAUSD and teachers union divided as talks continue
United Teachers Los Angeles leaders and representatives of Los Angeles Unified will head back into contract talks today divided by 11 percentage points in pay and other matters concerning workload and classroom conditions. LA Daily News


Age and gender factor into bullying more than language
California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in August assuring that victims and witnesses of bullying will receive the same counseling services as the bullies themselves. S&I Cabinet Report


Common Core testing contracts favor big vendors
Most of the biggest contracts being awarded by the two main consortia creating online common-core assessments—perhaps the most ambitious and complex testing projects in U.S. history—are flowing to some of the education industry’s most familiar and entrenched players. Edweek


Benefits of ‘Deeper Learning’ schools highlighted in studies
Three sweeping reports have taken the temperature of the so-called “deeper learning” movement and given the approach a fairly clean bill of health in a set of American high schools. Edweek

Morning Read: Brown vetoes two out of four truancy bills

Brown splits package of bills aimed at reducing truancy
Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday vetoed two bills aimed at curbing truancy and absenteeism among California students. LA Times


Tuck, Torlakson debate union power, lawsuit
The two candidates for state superintendent of public instruction disagreed on the condition of K-12 education in California, the influence of teachers unions and which of them is best qualified for the job at a forum Saturday in Burlingame. EdSource


School board starts weighing Supt. Deasy’s evaluation
The Board of Education began deliberations Tuesday on the evaluation of Supt. John Deasy, who has come under fire for his handling of a $1.3-billion effort to provide iPads to all students and for what critics call an autocratic, ineffective leadership style. LA TImes


$335,000 to cover security for Inglewood Unified’s trustee raises questions
The state-appointed trustee running the Inglewood Unified School District approved $135,000 in additional school district funds Tuesday to pay an armed California Highway Patrol officer who works as his driver and security guard. KPCC


2 Compton schools named National Blue Ribbon award winners
Two Compton elementary schools were named Tuesday as winners of National Blue Ribbon Schools awards by Education Secretary Arne Duncan. KPCC

Morning Read: Gov Brown vetoes mandatory kindergarten

Brown wraps up ed bills, leaves some heads shaking
Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have made kindergarten mandatory while at the same time signing one intended to show the overwhelming boost that optional year gives kids headed to first grade. S&I Cabinet Report


Bond committee demonstrates how to ask questions about iPads
Opinion: It’s no surprise that the annual standardized tests for students have had some troubling effects on schools as well as positive ones. LA Times


A success story for student and L.A. Unified
Column: The Los Angeles Unified School District typically makes headlines for its screw-ups: child abuse scandals, feuding leaders and technology blunders. LA Times


Business, civic leaders call on L.A. school board to retain John Deasy
Local business and civic leaders are calling on the Los Angeles Board of Education to retain Supt. John Deasy, hoping to head off potential action by a board majority that is unhappy with him. LA Times


Community colleges can offer bachelor’s
More than a dozen community colleges will be able to offer bachelor’s degrees in the next few years under newly signed legislation that opens the door to a shift in the state’s higher education landscape. Edsource

Morning Read: LA County ed board to revoke group’s charter

L.A. County education officials seek to revoke group’s charter
The Los Angeles County Board of Education has notified a South LA charter school organization that it intends to revoke its charter after a state audit found that administrators funneled millions in state funds to the schools’ founder and former director. LA Times


Schools challenged by mandate to support homeless students
Nearly 300,000 children in California—more than in any other state— are homeless, or live in cars, garages or crammed into single rooms with their entire families. More than half of those children are younger than 10 years old. California Health Report


New law limits student discipline measure
Fewer than 11,000 of California’s 6.2 million students will likely be affected each year by a new law that limits the use of “willful defiance” as a reason to expel or suspend students. EdSource


Adding a civics lesson to Nov. 4 election events
With a general election on the horizon, top voter and education officials are urging public school administrators to use the event as a teachable civics moment for their students. S&I Cabinet Report


Diversity in preschools: Does teacher race or quality matter more?
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Eric Gavica’s roots trace back to Sonora, Mexico, where his grandfather served as “Jefe Pluma Blanca de los Indios Yaquis, an Indian chief.” KPCC

Morning Read: Bond panel gives thumbs down to new computers

L.A. Unified oversight panel rejects $42 million for computers
The Los Angeles school district’s bond oversight panel rejected a move Thursday by officials to spend an additional $42 million on new computers. LA Times


Crenshaw principal says teachers’ dismissals not tied to union activity
The principal of Crenshaw High School testified in a hearing Thursday that 12 former teachers who allege they were targeted and removed because of their union activism were let go from the campus for a variety of other reasons. LA TImes


LAUSD knew of misconduct by Miramonte teacher in 1983, records show
The Los Angeles Unified School District had received complaints of inappropriate behavior by a Miramonte Elementary School teacher nearly three decades before he was arrested. LA Times


Marshall Tuck hedges on Proposition 30 school funding extension
State schools chief challenger Marshall Tuck would be open to extending Proposition 30, the temporary school funding tax hike passed by California voters in 2012, but only if it’s tied to other changes to the state’s public education system. Sac Bee


New tool for evaluating school climate
A biennial state survey of junior high students and teachers can serve as a valid indicator of middle school climate, according to new federal analysis released this week. S&I Cabinet Report

Morning Read: Common Core tests shaped by crowd-sourcing

Volunteers can help frame Common Core tests
Teachers and others from California have until Friday to sign up for a crowd-sourcing exercise that will help determine how questions will be scored on the new Common Core tests students will take next spring. Edsource


L.A. school board to meet Tuesday; likely to discuss Deasy’s future
The Los Angeles Unified School District has tentatively scheduled a special closed-door session for Tuesday, during which the future of Supt. John Deasy is likely to be discussed. LA Times


Kanye West talking to fashion students at LA Trade Technical College
Superstar entertainer Kanye West has been making some unannounced visits to Los Angeles Trade Technical College, where the rapper talked with students as part of his community service sentence. KPCC


San Jose State department abuse of public funds found in state audit
A critical California State University audit has found that the former head of a San Jose State academic department misused campus funds, used an illicit off-campus bank account and engaged in conflicts of interest. San Jose Mercury


San Diego Unified Sees Large Increase In Number Of Homeless Students
About 1,500 children were cared for at St. Vincent de Paul Village last year, and about 40 percent were younger than 5, a spokesman for the charity announced Wednesday. KPBS


Teacher who talked of killer robots resigns, gets $92,000 settlement
A San Diego County teacher resigned after being investigated for talking in class about programming robots to shoot and kill students. LA Daily News

Morning Read: Charter boundary restrictions struck down by Gov

Brown shoots down charter boundary restriction
An attempt by the Legislature to limit a charter school’s ability to locate outside the borders of its authorizing school district has been struck down by Gov. Jerry Brown. S&I Cabinet Report


Newport schools considering ‘snow days’ during heat waves
After an oppressive heat wave left students sweltering in classrooms without air conditioning, a school district in coastal Orange County is considering shortening school days when temperatures climb to intolerable levels. LA TImes


LA schools data system concerns raised after port fire, transcript problems
Citing Tuesday’s evacuation of George De La Torre Jr. Elementary School following the Port of Los Angeles fire, school officials voiced concerns that a glitchy data system may hinder tracking students in an emergency. KPCC


California public pension fund shifts to clean energy
The California State Teachers’ Retirement System is the second-largest public pension fund in the U.S., managing nearly $200 billion.  NPR


In Colorado, a student counterprotest to an anti-protest curriculum
On Tuesday, hundreds of students from high schools across the Jefferson County school district streamed out waving signs and championing the value of learning about the fractious and tumultuous chapters of American history. NY Times

Morning Read: Deasy faces board review as controversies abound

Amid controversies, school board to weigh superintendent’s performance
After weathering a solid year of criticism for his controversial iPad program, taking a high-profile position in a case against teacher tenure and now dealing with the fallout of an irksome new attendance system, LAUSD superintendent John Deasy is about face the school board for his an annual review. KPCC


Report focuses attention on English learners
As accountability for student progress in California becomes more local, a new report focuses on how school districts can better educate their English learners. Edsource


Charter school movement must focus on excellence
Opinion: When the California Charter Schools Association released our first “Portrait of the Movement” report in 2011, it revealed a stark picture of uneven performance among the state’s charter schools. Edsource


Financing a hurdle in charters’ hunt for space, says report
Federal, state, and private financing for charter school facilities is not keeping up with demand for the publicly funded but largely independent schools. Edweek


Getting beyond one ‘right way’ of K-12 reform
Opinion: Why don’t we get education changing the way successful systems change? This means that we keep working to improve the schools we have, but don’t bet all our chips there. Edweek

Morning Read: Teacher dismissal bill may further muddy process

Teacher dismissal bill may add complexity not simplify
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in late June with the goal of expediting the process of dismissing teachers for egregious misconduct, but some experts say AB 215 will only further muddy up an already difficult and costly process. S&I Cabinet Report


Officials optimistic about spring assessments
Last spring more than 3 million students in California, the largest number ever to take an online test in the state, took field tests of new assessments aligned to the Common Core state standards without major technical breakdowns or system crashes. Edsource


Child-Care, research bills make Congressional short list
As the curtain begins to close on the 113th Congress, lawmakers showcased a brief burst of bipartisanship to push forward on two education measures that had been languishing in the legislative pipeline. Edweek


San Diego school district will get rid of armored vehicle
Yielding to residents’ concerns, the San Diego Unified School District says it’s returning the 18-ton MRAP, or mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle, that its police department recently acquired from the Department of Defense’s surplus equipment program. NPR

Morning Read: LAUSD pays out to settle software vendor lawsuit

L.A. Unified settles suit with student data software vendor
The Los Angeles Unified School District paid $3.75 million Thursday to settle a lawsuit with the vendor of a software system designed to track attendance, grades, schedules and other student data, officials said. LA Times


L.A. school district will double staff helping with iPad rollout
In response to problems with providing iPads to all students, teachers and campus administrators, the Los Angeles school system will double the number of people who will help with technical and instructional issues. LA Times


Report critical of charter school oversight
A lack of oversight of the nation’s charter schools has led to too many cases of fraud and abuse and too little attention to equity, according to a new report that offers recommendations to remedy the situation. EdSource


Brown shoots down history curriculum update
Gov. Jerry Brown rejected legislation Thursday that would have required the state to complete a full revision of its history and social studies curriculum standards by July, 2018. S&I Cabinet Report


A simple fix for L.A.’s voter turnout problem
Editorial: When fewer than 1 in 4 registered Los Angeles voters bothered to cast a ballot for a new mayor last year, it set off a round of soul-searching among city officials and political experts. LA TImes