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Morning Read: Counselor for homeless students now homeless after wildfires — and 6 more must-reads

LA School Report | October 20, 2017

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

In aftermath of fires, schools brace for newly homeless students

Debra Sanders has spent the past five years providing guidance and comfort to Sonoma County’s homeless students, helping them navigate the school system and claim their rights to an education. Then, last week, she became homeless herself.

Sanders, her husband and 11-year-old son lost their home in the fires that roared through the Wine Country. Like many of the students she serves, she and her family are now living “doubled up” with another family because they lack a home of their own.

“Sometimes we can only relate to what we’ve experienced ourselves,” she said. “But for us, this is all temporary. It will resolve. For so many families who were renters or already living on the margins, it’s not going to resolve. At least not any time soon.”

Sanders returned to work Monday at the Sonoma County Office of Education, where she is the coordinator for homeless education and foster youth, and is now busy helping the thousands of Sonoma County families suddenly left homeless by the fires — all while trying to secure housing for her own family. By Carolyn Jones, EdSource

The murky part of charter school law in the Ref Rodriguez story, KPCC

Amazon’s headquarters hunt a wake-up call on US education, The Hill

Florida Releases New Numbers Showing 58,000 Puerto Ricans Have Already Arrived Since Hurricane Maria, 2,000 of Them Students, The 74

Long school break is no vacation for Puerto Rico’s kids, Washington Post

Switching To Middle School Can Be Hard On Kids, But There Are Ways To Make It Better, NPR

Do Modern Educators Have A Front Row Seat To American Decline? Huffington Post

Get the morning must-reads, as well as new education news and analysis from across Los Angeles, straight to your inbox. Sign up for the LA School Report newsletter.

See previous morning roundups below.

THURSDAY, OCT. 19: Pre-K students who need dual language the most are least likely to be enrolled

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

Children whose parents speak a language other than English less likely to enroll in preschool 

Young children with at least one parent who speaks a language other than English at home are less likely to be enrolled in quality early childhood programs, although it is most critical for those students, according to a national report that includes a 30-state analysis on how different policies affect dual language learners.

“Dual language learners especially stand to benefit from participation in high-quality pre-K. However, dual language learners in California are enrolling in pre-K programs at lower rates than their non-dual language learner peers, which may contribute to lags in kindergarten readiness for this population,” according to the California section of the report released Thursday by the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research and policy organization in Washington D.C. By Ashley Hopkinson, EdSource

Editorial: Ref Rodriguez needs to explain himself — or get off the board, Los Angeles Times

Poll: Public schools must do more to prepare non-college going students for the workforce, EdSource

Dual Language Programs Help English Language Learners, Speak Up

New Research: Driving Students to Better Schools Biggest Gain From $100M Newark School Reform, The 74

Schools Mount Fight Against Chronic Absenteeism, Education Week

Why Parents Make Flawed Choices About Their Kids’ Schooling, The Atlantic

Get the morning must-reads, as well as new education news and analysis from across Los Angeles, straight to your inbox. Sign up for the LA School Report newsletter.

See previous morning roundups below.


EDNESDAY, OCT. 18: What Ref Rodriguez’s legal issues could mean for charter school movement

Good morning! 6 must-reads for you, to start the day:

What do Ref Rodriguez’s latest legal problems mean for the charter school movement?

When prosecutors filed campaign finance charges against L.A. school board member Ref Rodriguez last month, many charter-school supporters rallied to his defense in hopes of saving not just his seat but their pro-charter school agenda. They said that Rodriguez, a political novice, had made mistakes and that the amount of money involved, about $24,000, was too small for so much fuss. But new conflict-of-interest allegations that came to light Monday focus on significantly more money — about $285,000 — and on Rodriguez’s actions as co-founder of a charter school network, his area of expertise. Now the prospects of keeping him on the board, as the linchpin of a narrow 4-3 pro-charter majority, have suddenly become politically perilous. By David Zahniser, Joy Resmovits, and Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times

Netflix CEO donates $75,000 to LAUSD board member Ref Rodriguez’s legal defenseKPCC

Teacher was removed from class for kneeling during national anthem. She returned TuesdaySacBee

Portland Schools End Up in National Spotlight After Suing Parent Activist, Reporter Over Public RecordsThe 74

Here’s How Often Betsy DeVos Has Visited Public Schools as Education Secretary, Politics K-12

Puerto Rico youth stranded with school still out from stormABC

TUESDAY, OCT. 17: $285,000 conflict-of-interest allegations could add to Ref Rodriguez’s legal problems

Good morning! 9 must-reads for you, to start the day:

L.A. school board member Ref Rodriguez faces conflict-of-interest complaint over $285,000 in payments

The charter school network that L.A. school board member Ref Rodriguez co-founded and ran for years has filed a complaint with state regulators alleging that Rodriguez had a conflict of interest when he authorized about $285,000 in payments drawn on its accounts.

Officials at Partnerships to Uplift Communities, or PUC Schools, filed the complaint Friday with the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission.

According to the complaint and documents reviewed by The Times, the vast majority of the money transfers that Rodriguez authorized and PUC has flagged went from school accounts to Partners for Developing Futures, a nonprofit under his control.

An attorney who reviewed the records for the school network said he has found little or no evidence so far of services provided for these payments. By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times

California’s Attempt To Reject Betsy DeVos’s Campus Rape Policies Just FailedBuzzFeed

Gov. Brown’s signed bills include about 100 related to education or children’s issuesEdSource

Some staff used to bring guns to Folsom Cordova schools. That will no longer be the caseThe Sacramento Bee

New Data Show Nearly 700 Students Displaced by Hurricanes Have Enrolled in One Florida School DistrictThe 74

High Schoolers Protest After Teacher Tells Student To Speak ‘American’The Huffington Post

A ‘walking school bus’ keeps kids safe, boosts neighborhoodThe Washington Post

‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Removed From School in MississippiThe New York Times

Who Is Competent to Decide What Offends? The Atlantic

MONDAY, OCTOBER 16: Poll shows California voters want more science and computer education

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

California voters strongly back expanded K-12 science and computer education, poll shows

Californians overwhelmingly support expanding science and computer education starting in elementary school, according to a Berkeley IGS/EdSource poll. The online survey of 1,200 registered voters in California found that 87 percent favored schools putting “greater emphasis on integrating science as part of the entire public school curriculum.” Although by far the majority of respondents said they had never heard of the  Next Generation Science Standards, the new science standards adopted by the state in 2013, 68 percent support the concept once the standards were described to them.  The poll was conducted from late August to early September. By Carolyn Jones, EdSource

Science Is for Boy Scouts; Critical Thinking Is for Girl Scouts. Here’s How They Differ in Their Gendered Messaging to Children, The 74

Sacramento school board authorizes campus closures and removal of pickets if teachers strike, Sacramento Bee

Student-centered learning transformed one school district. Can it work on a larger scale?, KPCC

The Government And 11 States Are Cracking Down On Student Loan Scammers, BuzzFeed via TopSheet

Puerto Rican Students Head To The Mainland For School, NPR

61 Scientists Protest Changes to New Mexico Science Standards on Climate Change, Evolution, The 74

FRIDAY, OCT. 13: California kills high school exit exam 

California joins trend among states to abandon high school exit exam 

This week Gov. Jerry Brown made official what has been state policy for several years: he signed a bill abolishing the California High School Exit Exam. Known by its initials as CAHSEE — and pronounced KAYSEE by educators and students — it had been in place as a graduation requirement for about a decade, until administration of the exam was abruptly suspended as a result of a bureaucratic snafu in the summer of 2015. Soon thereafter, the Legislature abolished the exit exam as a graduation requirement. But it did so for only three years — through the current school year — to give the state time to decide whether to replace it with another test more aligned with California’s current academic standards. By Theresa Harrington and Louis Freedberg, EdSource

Eli Broad, Patron of Los Angeles, to Step Down From His Philanthropy, New York Times

Milpitas to DeVos: Public education is working, Mercury News

Impact of Wine Country fire felt in schools far outside fire zone because of air quality concerns, EdSource

The Monumental Task Of Reopening Puerto Rico’s Schools, NPR

Ohio school warns of talking drone trying to lure kids from playground, USA Today

The Georgetown Scholarship Program: Getting First-Generation Students Acquainted to College Early On, The 74

THURSDAY, OCT. 12: California’s special education in ‘deep trouble’

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

Special education in “deep trouble” and still needs reform, says California ed board president

Special education in California is in “deep trouble,” exacerbated by outmoded concepts and an extreme shortage of fully-prepared teachers, according to Michael Kirst, president of the California State Board of Education. Kirst said that the state’s special education system – which serves students with physical, cognitive and learning disabilities – is based on an antiquated model and that it needs “another look.” By Louis Freedberg and Theresa Harrington, EdSource

Cal State receives federal grant to prepare more Latinos to become teachersEdSource

Schools, libraries close as wildfire smoke spreads across the Bay AreaMercury News

A UC Davis ER doctor searches for patterns to try to stop gun violence before it happensLos Angeles Times

Boy Scouts of America will now allow girls, USA Today

You Are Special! Now Stop Being DifferentNew York Times

One Day at a Time: How a Miami School Psychologist Helped Puerto Rico Educators Prepare for Student TraumaThe 74

DeVos Outlines Vision for ‘American Education’US News



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