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Morning Read: Schools create campaign to tackle Islamophobia—and 6 more headlines

LA School Report | April 25, 2017

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

San Diego school district launches effort against Islamophobia

One of the nation’s largest school districts has launched a campaign against Islamophobia, drawing praise and criticism. The San Diego Unified School District’s multiyear plan includes a letter addressing Islamophobia to staff and parents of its 132,000 students. It’s expected to be drafted and sent before Ramadan begins in late May. The district is also reviewing internal staff calendars to make sure Muslim holidays are recognized. By Elliot Spagat, The Associated Press

Here are the Valley high schools that made U.S. News’ top rankings, Los Angeles Daily News

Despite new construction in Pacoima, the question remains: How much will L.A. Unified spend on charter schools?, Los Angeles Times

Trump’s First 100 Days: How Does He Stack Up to Obama, Bush on K-12?, Politics K-12

Why Government Shutdowns Tend to Hurt 4-Year-Old Students Most — and Why This Time Might Be Different, The 74

Do Private Donations Reinforce School Disparities?, Education Week

Nation’s Report Card Finds Mixed Grades For U.S. Students In Visual Arts, Music, NPR Ed

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See previous morning roundups below:


MONDAY, APRIL 24: How ‘schools not prisons’ became rallying cry for prison reform

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

How ‘schools not prisons’ became a favorite rallying cry for criminal justice reformers

A bill winding its way through the Legislature proposes a creative way to fund early childhood education: imposing a tax on companies that do business with California’s prison systems. A tax on the “privilege” of such contracts, as Assemblyman Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) puts it, is an unorthodox policy prescription. But by directly tying the state’s incarceration system to its education programs, Thurmond is treading familiar political territory. The slogans vary: “Books not bars, “schools not prisons,” even “educate not incarcerate.” The messengers range from former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the rapper Jay Z. Increasingly, the rallying cry for prison overhaul is linked to education. “There’s a natural nexus,” Thurmond said. “The fact that we pay so much for prisons — if we had spent just a portion of that on education, we would’ve prevented so many people from being incarcerated.” By Melanie Mason, Los Angeles Times

One-on-one with Arne Duncan: What Betsy DeVos can learn from Obama education program, The 74

Editorial Board: Charter schools meet demand for better education, Orange County Register

1 in 8 children in California schools have an undocumented parent, EdSource

Academic turf wars block access as California faces college gap, Sacramento Bee

An up and down week for L.A. Unified and charter schools, Los Angeles Times

Trump’s First 100 Days: How Does He Stack Up to Obama, Bush on K-12?, Education Week


FRIDAY, APRIL 21: Bill looks to reduce number of college students in remedial classes

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

Panel endorses bill aimed at reducing number of college students in remedial classes

Reformers have scored legislative progress in their efforts to enroll many more California community college students in credit-bearing courses instead of remedial classes, with placements based on high school grades rather than just placement exams.

Critics decry remedial classes as dead ends that often lead to students dropping out. Students too often feel trapped in remedial courses even though they might have done well if they were admitted directly into credit classes that count toward their diplomas, according to researchers.

With about 80 percent of community college students statewide now reportedly being required to take at least one non-credit remedial course in English or math, the proposed legislation could have a big impact in moving hundreds of thousands of students faster to their degrees and reducing dropout rates, supporters say. By Larry Gordon, EdSource

LAUSD vote on anti-charter bills shows need for change on board, Los Angeles Daily News

CA Charter Schools Beating the Odds: Charter Students Learning More than Peers in Traditional Schools, Yahoo News

Do Charter Schools Outperform Traditional Schools in UC Admittance?, School Data Nerd

New Videos, Photos, and Reactions: DeVos and Weingarten Visit Ohio School Together, The 74

What Is ‘Transfer of Learning’ and How Does It Help Students?, Education Week

74 Interview: First Teacher of the Year from a Charter School Talks Social Justice, Trauma, and Accountability, The 74

Trump Picks Ex-HP Executive for Top Management Job at Education DepartmentPolitics K-12


THURSDAY, APRIL 20: LAUSD mom blasts Zimmer for putting politics above student needs

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

LAUSD Mom to Steve Zimmer: Stop Putting Bureaucrats Before Kids

Despite the fact that my son attends a traditional LAUSD neighborhood school in Westchester, I am outraged by LAUSD School Board President Steve Zimmer’s vote Tuesday supporting an extreme state “charter killer” bill that could lead to the closure of every charter school in Los Angeles — harming hundreds of thousands of kids in the process.

The bill, SB 808, would allow LAUSD to close any high-performing charter school without any chance of appeal merely because LAUSD sees the school as competition for state funding allocated to educate our kids. Zimmer’s vote proves that he puts the needs of LAUSD bureaucrats before the needs of kids.

Even more appalling is the fact that LAUSD will be spending money in the middle of a fiscal crisis lobbying for this bill, even though its author tabled the bill after meeting and hearing the pleas of parents who convinced him the bill would harm kids. By Christina Nairn, Speak UP

Poll reveals support in California for tax-funded school vouchersSF Gate

20 LAUSD schools, including three in Valley, recognized with Gold Ribbon awardLos Angeles Daily News

Palo Alto school officials save arts position, nix admin in budget talksThe Mercury News

Inside the Supreme Court: Are Justices Ready to Side With Church in Case About Playground & State Funding?The 74

Where Did All the Black Teachers Go?The New York Times

Four things to know about Van Wert, the tiny Ohio school district where DeVos and Weingarten will form an uneasy duoChalkbeat

Long rated by test scores, schools may soon be judged on student absenteeism tooThe Washington Post



WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19: L.A. parents rip into school board for supporting controversial anti-charter bill

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

Parents rip LAUSD board for support of proposed charter school bills

Charter school parents, students and administrators packed the meeting room at the Los Angeles Unified School District board meeting Tuesday to voice opposition to state legislation they said will hurt charter schools. But despite their large presence, the board narrowly voted later in the day in favor of a resolution to support three bills: Assembly bills 1360 and 1478 and State Senate Bill 808. By Antonie Boessenkool, Los Angeles Daily News

Food fight over LAUSD menus is headed for court: Susan ShelleyLos Angeles Daily News

L.A. school board targets McTeacher’s Nights, but not all fast-food fundraisersLos Angeles Times

Allison Holdorff Polhill Joins Speak UP As Director of Strategic Initiatives and Outreach,  Speak UP

Nevada Bill Seeks Cameras in Special Ed Classrooms, Just as Texas Reworks Its First-in-the-Nation Law, The 74

Randi Weingarten promises to ‘educate’ Betsy DeVos as AFT kicks off campaign against Trump agendaChalkbeat

Disturbing video shows 10-year-old with autism arrested at schoolCBS

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