Morning Read: More on Grant Money

L.A. Unified and Charter Groups Win Teacher Evaluation Grants
L.A. Unified, California’s largest school system, will receive $16 million, one of the largest grants. But the top prize in dollars, more than $23 million, went to the District of Columbia Public Schools, a system less than one-eighth the size of L.A. Unified. LA Times

What California’s Schools Can Learn From Chicago’s
Officials in California are still peddling the idea that the state’s public-school system — which receives 40 percent of the general-fund budget, by constitutional edict — is struggling because it lacks money. Bloomberg View

LAUSD Officials Cut the Ribbon on the Lucille Roybal-Allard Elementary School
LRA is part of LAUSD’s current $19.5 billion New School Construction and Modernization Program to provide every student with the opportunity to attend a safe and healthy neighborhood school operating on a traditional, two-semester calendar. LAUSD press release

Brice W. Harris to Head State’s Community Colleges
The new chancellor acknowledges the financial stresses facing the 112-campus system but says ‘the best days are ahead of us.’ LA Times

Continue reading

Morning Read: Clashing Views On Evaluation

Rejecting test scores as a core value  Los Angeles Times (Sandy Banks): The Chicago teachers strike reflected the nationwide divide over ‘market reforms,’ shorthand for the accountability metrics that tie teachers’ salaries and jobs to how well their students perform.

Brown signs bill spelling out evaluations (for principals) Ed Source: Without the acrimony and fanfare that doomed a teacher evaluation bill last month, the Legislature with near unanimity passed and Gov. Brown has now signed a milestone principal and teacher evaluation bill.

Analysis: Why a teachers’ strike in Los Angeles is unlikely EdSource Today:  Unlike in Chicago, where the school board is appointed by the mayor, teachers have advocates on the LA school board. In fact, the teachers union helped get them elected in the first place.

Backers say bills signed by Brown will reduce school suspensions LA Times: Advocates aiming to reform school discipline policies hailed the governor for signing four bills they say will help reduce the number of California students suspended each year.

Continue reading

Morning Read: Prop. 30 Prospects

Prop. 30 Maintains Voter Support CTA Blog: The PPIC survey determined that Prop. 30 is supported by 73% of likely Democratic voters and 53% of independents.  More Republicans than Democrats oppose the measure.

Ex-LAUSD teacher gets 25 years for molesting 13 Pacoima students Daily News: Chapel, of Chatsworth, pleaded no contest last month to committing lewd acts against seven girls and six boys. In exchange for a 25-year sentence, prosecutors dropped 15 additional counts that could have sent him to prison for life.

Former Miramonte student allegedly beaten at new school LA Times: A former Miramonte Elementary School student, who is among a group of children suing over alleged teacher sexual misconduct, has transferred from one middle school to another after she was allegedly beaten by other students.

California leads effort to boost English learner success Ed Source: A bill on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk… would create a single definition of long-term English learners and require school districts to keep track of these students and report their numbers every year to the State Department of Education.

Continue reading

Morning Read: Agreement In Principal

L.A. Unified, union OK system of evaluating principals LA Times: Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy announced the one-year agreement with the administrators’ union Tuesday, calling it a “remarkable breakthrough.” The one-year time period will give both sides time to work out details of the system, according to AALA President Judith Perez. Other coverage of the agreement is in The Daily News (LAUSD has tentative deal with administrators on teacher evaluations) and KPCC (LAUSD and administrators’ union reach tentative deal on student test scores in evals).

Charter campuses focus of L.A. school-board protests LA Times: About 400 charter school advocates descended on Los Angeles school district headquarters Tuesday to protest a proposed moratorium on new charters. Later, a smaller but equally passionate contingent of parents and teachers from Berendo Middle School arrived to oppose construction of a building to house a charter school on that campus. See also my story on the board meeting yesterday (Zimmer Postpones His Teacher Evaluation Proposal), as well as a piece in The Atlantic (Chicago Teachers Strike Puts Charter Schools in the Spotlight).

LA mayor backs weighing student performance in evaluating teacher quality CNN: The Los Angeles Unified School District has been reviewing a system of teacher and administrator evaluations that, for the first time, includes student test scores, said spokeswoman Ellen Morgan.

Continue reading

Morning Read: Stronger Teachers Report

State education report calls for sweeping reforms in teacher evaluation Daily News: The California Department of Education on Monday released a comprehensive new report calling for sweeping reforms in the way teachers are recruited, trained, mentored and evaluated.

Far-reaching plan to strengthen teaching in California EdSource: Some of the ideas are bold and will be controversial…Others will sound familiar.

Labor, management collaboration key to teacher reform SI&A Cabinet Report:  Ushering in what is being called a new era of education reform in California, top administrators, teachers, political and labor leaders said Monday they are willing to work together to implement suggestions for bettering the state’s schools.

Continue reading

Morning Read: A Union Breakfast

Teachers union wants a say in L.A. Unified’s classroom breakfast program LA Times: As the district begins expanding the classroom breakfast program to 279 schools this year, United Teachers Los Angeles has asked for the matter to be brought to the bargaining table.

Small central coast district leads the way on teacher evaluation, mentoring SI&A Report: Two major themes of change working through the nation’s education system – teacher evaluations based on test scores and the elevation of master teachers as classroom mentors – failed to advance in California during this summer’s legislative session. But both of these themes are getting a vigorous trial in the small central coast school district of Lucia Mar Unified.

LCUSD, parents lobbied to kill bill La Canada Valley Sun: La Cañada Unified School District board of education members are crediting the community for helping spike a state Assembly proposal that would have eliminated student test results as a measure of teacher performance.

Continue reading

Morning Read: Judgment Day

California test scores: State to release results at 10 a.m. KPCC: The tests in English and math measure whether school districts meet state education standards. Students between the second and 11th grades take the exam.

Steinberg’s school accountability rewrite set for passage SI&A: Legislation approved Thursday would remake the state’s accountability system for public schools by reducing the role of standardized testing and incorporate new college-and career-readiness measurements.

Crisis Counseling, Parent Meeting at School Where Driver Crashed Into Students NBC: 14 people, most of them children, were injured when a 100-year-old backed his Cadillac into a group near the South Los Angeles school. Continue reading

Morning Read: Teacher Evaluation & NCLB

Feds offer new details about NCLB waiver flexibility SI&A Cabinet Report: With the Legislature creeping closer to deciding the fate of AB 5 – which would restructure teacher evaluations in California – there’s new focus on the state also winning a federal waiver from No Child Left Behind mandates.

Hagman Blames Teachers’ Unions for Bill’s Failure Diamond Bar AOL Patch: Assemblyman Curt Hagman, R-Chino Hills, expressed disappointment and blamed unions that amendments to a Senate bill aimed at protecting students from abusive teachers did not pass out of the Assembly Education Committee.

Pension reform: top-paid administrators to take biggest hit Ed Source: The retirement age for new teachers will be pushed back two years; they’ll have to fork over about another 1 percent of their pay into the retirement system. And their bosses – principals and administrators ­– will see a ceiling of $132,120 as the portion of their pay used to calculate retirement pay. Those in the highest-paid jobs, earning $200,000 plus, may see pensions reduced by tens of thousands of dollars.

Morning Read: Romero Vs. Villaraigosa

Gloria Romero to Antonio Villaraigosa: We’re not removing you from Prop 32 ad SFGate: LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was ticked that the pro-Prop 32 folks were using his name and comments “out of context” in an ad. He asked them to remove his name/comments from the ad promoting the measure on the November ballot that would ban unions and corporations from using automatic payroll deductions to fund political campaigns. On Monday, the pro-32 folks responded to his request: Uh, no.

Miramonte lawsuits are on hold, attorneys hope to settle KPCC: Attorney Luis Carrillo is the one who pushed for the stay. He says the temporary delay gives his clients a chance to engage in settlement discussions with the school district. The talks would be facilitated by a mediator and could begin as early as November.

Charters draw students from private schools, study finds LA Times: The study by a Rand Corp. economist found that more than 190,000 students nationwide had left a private school for a charter by the end of the 2008 school year, the most recent year for which data was available.

Continue reading

Morning Read: LAUSD Restructured

LAUSD restructures district offices Daily Breeze: As of this school year LAUSD no longer consists of eight geographical district offices by number, but instead is composed of four “educational service centers” designated by direction — north, south, east and west — and a fifth at-large center that is based not on geography but school type.

Most local school districts ignore state’s anti-gay bullying law Daily News: None of the six Long Beach area school districts has complied with AB 9’s July 1 deadline, and only one, Long Beach Unified School District, has since met the requirements, a Press-Telegram investigation has found.

Why rush this gutted education bill into law? Modesto Bee (opinion):  In Doe v. Deasy, the judge found that the Los Angeles Unified school district had never obeyed the Stull Act in evaluating teachers.

Gloria Romero’s Revenge NBC/Prop Zero (blog): California’s public employee unions have long prided themselves on their toughness. If a Democratic politician stepped out of line, they would move to punish that politician.

Cortines’ accuser details long friendship that went bad LA Observed:  Scot Graham, the LA Unified leasing chief who has sued ex-superintendent Ramon Cortines for sexual harassment and filed $10 million claim with the district, says he first met Cortines in San Francisco’s gay community in the 1980s.

Continue reading