Morning Read: City sets timeline for election to fill L.A. school board seat — and 6 more must-reads
LA School Report | September 24, 2018
Good morning! 7 must-reads on the education beat this morning:
The Los Angeles City Council has formally approved a March 5 special election to fill a vacancy on the Board of Education. If no candidate wins a majority, a runoff would be held between the top two finishers on May 14. The action taken Friday was largely a formality because the school board had requested this timetable. The seat opened up when Ref Rodriguez resigned in July, after pleading guilty to political money-laundering charges.
The first date for potential candidates to pay attention to is Oct. 6. That’s the last day aspiring board members have to begin living within the boundaries of District 5, which includes neighborhoods north of downtown and reaches into the cities of southeast L.A. County. The Los Angeles Unified School District includes areas outside of the city of Los Angeles and much of this territory is part of District 5. The next dates of note are Nov. 5 to 13, when candidates must file to run. Then, they must gather signatures for petitions in support of their bid for office. These petitions must be filed by Dec. 5. By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
San Francisco schools giving teachers raises without revenue to pay for them, San Francisco Chronicle
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See previous morning roundups below:
THURSDAY, SEPT. 20: LAUSD leader wants to ‘manage out’ bad teachers
Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner said last week that it’s time to find a way to “manage ineffective teachers out” of the district’s classrooms. Figuring out how to remove those teachers will be difficult enough for district administrators already engaged in high-stakes contract negotiations with the teachers union. But Beutner’s team may need to tackle a different challenge first: identifying precisely which teachers are “ineffective.” In taking on that task, the superintendent could reignite a years-long fight over how teachers are evaluated and how those evaluations are used. By Kyle Stokes, LAist
California has under-funded schools by $22 billion, report says, San Diego Union-Tribune
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 19: California still suspending black and Native American students way more than whites
California has made strides to reduce student suspensions for minor classroom disruptions, but a new study concludes the state still has not gone far enough — and in some districts, pernicious disparities remain. Statewide, school districts in 2017 issued some 381,845 suspensions that resulted in an estimated 763,690 missed days of instruction, according to the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at UCLA. The number of days lost for minor infractions categorized as “defiance and disruption” has fallen since 2011, but reform advocates say the decline has begun to taper off. The report comes as Gov. Jerry Brown considers whether to sign a bill that would ban suspensions for so-called “willful defiance” in all grades. By Michael Finch II, Sacramento Bee
The Power of the Supreme Court Inside America’s Schools, The New York Times
TUESDAY, SEPT. 18: California students enter school far behind national peers and never recover
When students enter school in California, they learn at a pace on par with — if not better than — those in other states. The problem is that they arrive far behind their national peers, and they never catch up. This conclusion, from a sweeping research project aimed at charting future education policy, focuses new attention on what is often overlooked: infant and toddler care, parenting skills, preschool and early childhood education. The researchers argue that if California wants to improve student achievement in schools, it has to start much earlier so that children are prepared when they show up for kindergarten. By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
Editorial | Study shows education establishment doesn’t want to know what works, San Diego Union Tribune
Opioid Epidemic Raising Special Education Concerns, Education Week
MONDAY, SEPT 17: Project finds numerous reforms needed to reach California’s education goals
Researchers on Monday released a massive collection of education studies timed to inform the next California governor’s and Legislature’s preK-12 agenda. Among the findings of Getting Down to Facts II:
—The big achievement gap for California’s low- and middle-income children relative to their peers in other states starts in kindergarten, indicating a need to significantly expand preschool and quality child care.
—California would have to increase K-12 funding by 32 percent — $22 billion — to prepare all children adequately in the state’s academic standards, according to experienced educators and analysts who did the math.
—California has fewer adults in schools, with higher ratios of students to teachers, administrators and counselors than in most states.
—Principals with the least experience are assigned disproportionately to the lowest-achieving schools. Nearly three-quarters of school districts report teacher openings they can’t fill, with the most severe shortages in special education, math, and science. Read More: John Fensterwald, EdSource
Tony Thurmond, California schools chief candidate, has poor record as trustee, San Francisco Chronicle
Early evidence of a ‘Trump effect’ on bullying in schools, Hechinger Report
Winners and losers from Capitol Hill’s school spending agreement, Education Week