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Morning Read: Los Angeles’ vote for education reform could impact other school districts — and 6 more must-reads

LA School Report | May 22, 2017

Good morning! 7 must-reads for you, to start the day:

Will a Pro-Charter Victory in Los Angeles Build Momentum in Other Districts?

In a major upset last week, pro-charter school advocates won a majority on the Los Angeles school board—a turf they’ve been seeking to stake out for several years. Los Angeles Unified is the largest district in the country governed by an elected board, and the race for its control and for the commanding influence over its future direction pitted pro-charter forces who want an expansion of that sector against teachers’ unions who don’t.  The election’s price tag—which brought an unprecedented $15 million in independent spending—capture just how high the stakes are in this clash of the titan’s storyline. Will the pro-charter victory now build momentum in other school districts? By Arianna Prothero, Education Week

When $7B in Remediation Falls Short: The Broken Promises Colleges Make to Students Who Need More Help, The 74

South L.A. charter school founder charged with embezzlement, money laundering, Los Angeles Times

Gov. Brown’s proposal delays $1 billion for schools until 2019, EdSource

Buckle up, Sacramento City Unified School District parents: A reformer is about to take over, Sacramento Bee

U.S. Education Secretary to roll out school choice plan in Indy, Fox 59

First person: 2 immigrant school leaders on students living in fear, The 74


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See previous morning roundups below.


FRIDAY, MAY 19: An early test for new LA school board members

Good morning! 8 must-reads for you, to start the day:

An early test for new LA school board members cost-saving ideas: an expiring teachers contract

Here’s one effect of this week’s Los Angeles Unified School Board elections that has little to do with charter schools:

L.A. Unified’s contract with its main teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles, will expire at the end of June. Negotiations on a new contract have already begun. If recent history is any indication, talks could last months — well into newly-elected board members Kelly Gonez and Nick Melvoin’s terms in office.

UTLA endorsed their opponents during the campaign, but will now have to work with Melvoin and Gonez — and contract talks could pose an early challenge in that relationship. (For the record, Superintendent Michelle King’s team negotiates the contract; the L.A. Unified board must approve it.)

Gonez and Melvoin, who ran on promises to shake up the status quo, find themselves at odds with union leaders on one issue the new contract could cover: during the campaign, both argued the district needs to find ways to reduce the cost of its employee pensions and benefits. By Kyle Stokes, KPCC

South LA charter founder charged with embezzlement, money laundering, Los Angeles Times

LA charter school weighs election do-over after questions over fairness raised, Los Angeles Daily News

Transitional kindergarten helps prepare English learners for school, study finds, EdSource

Bradford — The Politics & Partisanship of America’s Education Reform Debate: A Growing Blue-Red Divide, The 74

DeVos expected to unveil school choice plans Monday, Politico

A History of School Lunch in America in Pictures, Bright

Dad Raises Thousands To Cover Student Lunch Debt In Washington State, Huffington Post

Five key questions about Trump’s education budget, The Washington Post


THURSDAY, MAY 18: LAUSD gets Hollywood’s hand-me-downs

Good morning! 7 must-reads for you, to start the day:

Hooray for Hollywood’s hand-me-downs: LAUSD taps industry resources

The drama class at James Monroe High School stood in the parking lot anxiously awaiting a special delivery. A big truck backed in, its trailer stacked with television flats – 10-foot tall, wooden set walls from Nickelodeon Studios.

Previously used on the sets of shows on the kids’ network, headquartered about 15 miles from the school, they now have a home in Monroe’s theater department.

“I can use them for years to come for different sets for the plays and musicals,” said Jason Hayes, the theater director at Monroe. The school puts on a lot of productions, but normally students perform without much on the stage.

“We use posters and everything on the stage, but now we have all this, that’s more professional,” said junior Carla Lomeli. She was giddy, snapping photos as her classmates loaded the gear off the truck and wheeled it toward the school. By Priska Neely, KPCC

Charter-backed candidates win L.A. Unified majority, but can they lead from within?Los Angeles Times

Researchers, advocates divided over reclassifying English learnersEdSource

BASIS: Inside the Acclaimed School Network That’s Blended Together the World’s Best Education PracticesThe 74

However Well Black Students Perform, Teachers Still Think They’re Struggling, Huffington Post

Trump’s first full education budget: Deep cuts to public school programs in pursuit of school choiceThe Washington Post

Voucher Proposals Expose Rift in School Choice MovementEducation Week



WEDNESDAY, MAY 18: Charter supporters make history in school board race

Good morning! 8 must-reads for you, to start the day:

Charter backers win their first L.A. school board majority

The Los Angeles Unified School District underwent a dramatic political shift Tuesday night, as the curtain dropped on what has been the most expensive school board election in the nation’s history. The election has been a proxy war between wealthy charter school advocates and public employee unions. Charter supporters appeared to secure their first-ever majority on the seven-member Los Angeles Board of Education, a move that could accelerate the already-rapid expansion of charter schools across the city. By Howard Blume and Anna M. Phillips, Los Angeles Times

Another school rating system, more data on racial, ethnic disparitiesEdSource

Where is LAUSD enrollment shrinking?School Data Nerd

California Can Lead the Country in English Learner EducationOn California

Gov. Brown’s revised budget plan draws mixed response from early education advocatesEdSource

New charter schools debate: Are they widening racial divides in public education?Washington Post

Police Accused Of Handcuffing 7-Year-Old Child With Special NeedsHuffington Post

No Passing: 7 Things You Need to Know About America’s Ailing School Bus SystemThe 74


TUESDAY, MAY 17: School board candidates clarify policy stance in Times Q&A

Good morning! 7 must-reads for you, to start the day:

L.A. school board candidates tackle questions on tenure, charter growth, graduation rates

On Tuesday, voters in two regions of Los Angeles will go to the polls in a pivotal school board election…The campaign spending and messages have been dominated by supporters of charter schools on one side and teachers unions on the other. Because it’s difficult to get past their overblown and false claims, The Times submitted the same questions to each candidate to clarify where they stand on some key issues. By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times

Drive to increase charter enrollments triggers massive spending in LA school board race, EdSource

More at Stake in this Election than Charter vs. TraditionalMedium

State wage increase may cause some after-school programs to close, KPCC

The First 100 Days for the New Education Secretary: How DeVos Stacks Up Against Her Predecessors, The 74

Should Students Get ‘Grades 13 and 14’ Free of Charge?, New York Times

NYC Chancellor, Union Boss Cry Foul Over Immigration Agents Visiting Queens School Seeking 4th-Grader, The 74


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