Education must-reads: From LAUSD’s push to help deprived youth to growing concerns about changes to state’s ethnic studies curriculum, 12 new things to know about California’s schools (and beyond)
LA School Report | August 21, 2019
Education Must-Reads is our daily roundup of the most interesting news articles and analysis surrounding students, schools and California education policy.
Nearly half a million Los Angeles children and teenagers streamed into more than 1,000 public campuses for a new school year Tuesday, many carrying burdens from their outside world: homelessness, malnutrition and difficulties at home that can contribute to chronic absenteeism, discipline problems and low academic achievement.
Yet on this first day of school — as scores of yellow buses took to the streets and students greeted one another with hugs and shrieks of excitement — the outside world also brought in a modicum of help. Although L.A. Unified School District leaders say students need exponentially more assistance to succeed, they are intent on targeting aid to help meet the basic needs of their most deprived youth.
In addition, the district is focused on developing more programs to fill in academic gaps, develop life skills and help parents better navigate an often frustrating school system bureaucracy. By Howard Blume, Sonali Kohli, Nina Agrawal, Los Angeles Times
LAUSD partners with city housing agencies to assist northeast Valley families, Los Angeles Daily News
Vaping Moves from the Bathroom to the Classroom, The Wall Street Journal
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See previous morning roundups below:
TUESDAY, AUGUST 20:
Following a year roiled by a teachers strike and failure of a school funding ballot measure, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner kicked off the 2019-2020 school year Thursday with goals to support campus leadership and build public trust in the nation’s second largest school district.
During his second ‘State of the Schools’ address on Thursday at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Beutner touted increases in graduation rates last year – an “all-time high” for the district at 78.1% – along with continued declines in chronic absences by .5% and record low suspension rates across the district. By Ariella Plachta, Los Angeles Daily News
LAUSD’s Beutner Expects Public Ed Funding to Be on 2020 Ballot, Education Dive
THURSDAY, AUGUST 15:
Los Angeles Unified is considering its first-ever plan to provide a rating scale for public schools and privately run charters, a move aimed at giving parents and educators simple and accessible analysis of campus performance, documents reviewed by The Times show.
If it moves forward, the effort to rate schools on a scale of 1 to 5 would allow for a direct comparison of academic programs in a way that would benefit some schools and present others in an unflattering light. The proposal is already raising red flags among critics who say such simplified ratings would be unfair to some schools. By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
Man, LAUSD settle sexual abuse allegations stemming from Van Nuys school, Los Angeles Daily News
Ethnic studies proposal for high schoolers called leftist, anti-Semitic, Orange County Register
Achievement gap question still unanswered, CALmatters
Editorial: Local Control Funding Formula works only as well as its schools, San Francisco Chronicle
TUESDAY, AUGUST 13:
While California students began taking a new statewide science test this past spring, school districts were still struggling to get teaching materials aligned to the state’s new science standards into classrooms. A new nationwide effort is trying to speed up that process by offering free, open source science materials to teachers and schools. In 2017, philanthropists, state leaders and curriculum writers formed OpenSciEd to get materials to teachers implementing the Next Generation Science Standards, new academic standards that emphasize hands-on projects and integrate several scientific disciplines. By Sydney Johnson, EdSource
When ‘back to school’ means back to mass-shooting fears, The Atlantic