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Morning Read: LAUSD approves plan to reveal more information about schools – and 7 more must-reads

LA School Report | January 8, 2018



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

L.A. Unified approves a plan to reveal more information about its schools

If you are a parent considering one of two special academic programs at Hamilton High School in Palms, you face something of a challenge: The Los Angeles school district provides no data to the public that allows for a direct comparison — even though it has this data. On Tuesday, the Board of Education took a step toward making available its data, preferably in a form that the public can make sense of. The goal is to start with a single webpage that would lead to information that could be downloaded, sorted and searched.

The initial expense is estimated at $1.255 million, but whether the effort will cost much more or actually save money in the long run remains uncertain. Limited access to L.A. Unified information has been an ongoing problem, even though district officials are getting better at sharing. Much data remain inaccessible or indecipherable. The district also has a history of choosing to showcase data that emphasizes its accomplishments. By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times

For Perris couple arrested after kids found chained, home-schooling kept spotlight awayLos Angeles Times

California to explain but not change school improvement plan federal officials criticizedEdSource

California Gov. Brown Proposes $4 Billion Boost for Schools and More Local ControlEducation Week

An Unusually Pointed DeVos Pans Past Federal School Reform Efforts in Broad Call for ‘Educational Freedom’The 74

How civics teachers can talk to students about Trump’s racist commentsThe Washington Post

Betsy DeVos Approves 11 ESSA Plans, Including New York’sPolitics K-12

Disputes Threaten ‘Dreamer’ Deal and a Government ShutdownTopsheet.com

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See previous morning roundups below.


TUESDAY, JAN. 16: Could tax reform spur California to embrace school choice?

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

Will Tax Reform Spur States to Embrace School Choice?

One of the unforeseen consequences of the Republican tax reform bill will be to increase pressure on state and local unions to soften their half-century opposition to school choice. To be sure, this would be a remarkable reversal for public labor. But the emerging incentive is a powerful one: The modest subsidy of public school alternatives is now the only way to both rescue government public pension plans — the cumulative underfunding of which has been estimated as high as $6 trillion — and thus keep promised benefits reasonably intact.

…Even before the tax overhaul was passed, state and local resistance to bailing out government pensions was already surfacing. For instance, last February Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy proposed to charge the state’s 169 towns an extra $400 million annually to bail out the teachers’ pension plan — one of America’s worst funded, according to the National Council on Teacher Quality. His own Democratic-controlled legislature refused to go along. If taxpayers are averse to saving government pensions with higher levies, they are no more likely sacrifice essential services to pay them. According to a report by PublicCEO, California voters recently defeated a proposed one-fourth-cent sales tax increase — purportedly for road repair and other transit improvements — thanks to a widespread suspicion that the measure was really a “bait-and-switch” tactic to fund pensions. By Lewis M. Andrews, Real Clear Policy

Improving outcomes by democratizing education dataLos Angeles Daily News

Middle schoolers compete to create ‘future cities’ for older generationsThe Mercury News

California needs to ensure that money aimed at low-income students actually gets to themLos Angeles Times

Launch of California School Dashboard shows school and district performanceVC Star

Some practical — if uncomfortable — solutions to stubborn school segregationThe 74

U.S. resumes accepting DACA renewalsWall Street Journal via TopSheet.com


FRIDAY, JAN. 12: Schools become ‘safe haven’ for Salvadoran students

Schools become a ‘safe haven’ for Salvadoran students in wake of crackdown

California schools are bracing for the impact of the Trump administration’s decision to oust thousands of Salvadoran immigrants, many of whom have been in the U.S. since the early 2000s and whose children are U.S. citizens. “It’s a calamity for families who’ve built their lives here, own homes, own their own businesses, pay taxes, are part of the community,” said Juan Rivera of Carecen SF, a nonprofit that assists Central American immigrants in the San Francisco Bay Area. “Sending these families back to a situation of extreme violence and poverty — it’s horrible to put children in that position. While this moves forward, schools can provide a safe haven.” By Carolyn Jones, EdSource

San Jose: Police, schools declare officers are not campus disciplinariansMercury News

Milpitas school district mulls ways to house its educatorsMercury News

Funding, teacher training top educators’ wish lists for science education in 2018EdSource

Louisiana Teacher Deyshia Hargrave Speaks Out for the First Time Since Being Handcuffed Monday; School Chief Takes Part of the BlameThe 74

Senate Democrats Force Vote in Bid to Restore Net NeutralityPolitics K-12

Training Young People for Middle-Skill Jobs: New Guidelines ProposedEducation Week

DeVos: Texas Violated Rights of Tens of Thousands of Students With DisabilitiesThe 74


THURSDAY, JAN. 11: Gov. Brown reveals budget proposal, predicts $6 billion surplus

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

Highlights of Gov. Jerry Brown’s 16th and final budget blueprint

California has a projected $6.1 billion budget surplus and $131.7 billion to spend in 2018-19, Gov. Jerry Brown revealed Wednesday. The annual January budget proposal was his 16th since he was first elected governor in 1974. To the relief of fiscal conservatives and the dismay of those hoping to see more spending on child care, public universities and other programs, the governor made dire predictions of the next recession and proposed stockpiling the vast majority of the extra cash — $5.8 billion of it — to make the next downturn less painful. By Bay Area News Group, The Mercury News

Brown’s proposed budget draws praise, disappointment from early education advocatesEdSource

Amid budget cuts, Oakland school board gives itself a raiseSan Francisco Chronicle

Teacher v. Trump: How an Educator’s Lawsuit (Temporarily) Halted the President’s DACA RepealThe 74

Trump Education Dept. Advises States on Leftover School Turnaround MoneyPolitics K-12

2018: The Year the Every Student Succeeds Act Shifts From Planning to Practice and States Face Their First Test on AccountabilityThe 74


WEDNESDAY, JAN. 10: Ekchian to remain interim superintendent as LAUSD searches for new leader

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

L.A. school board keeps interim leader, prepares for superintendent search

Meeting for the first time since Supt. Michelle King announced her retirement, the Los Angeles Board of Education voted Tuesday to name Vivian Ekchian — who has been filling in for King since October — as interim superintendent.

Board members announced the decision after a 2 ½-hour closed session.

“The board had a very thoughtful and rich conversation about the work of the superintendent and the selection process ahead,” board President Monica Garcia said after the meeting.

The board now will begin work on selecting the district’s sixth leader in the last decade. At a minimum, Garcia said, members will spend time hashing out the selection process each Tuesday when they meet. By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times

‘Teachers have better work stories’ says an ad campaign to stem California’s teacher shortageEdSource

With Oracle’s help, D.Tech High opens its permanent homeThe Mercury News

New Sens. Doug Jones and Tina Smith Join Senate Education CommitteePolitics K-12

Analysis: Is Scapegoating Charter Schools on Segregation Actually a Stealth Attack on Educational Excellence for African-American Students? The 74

After Loss of ‘Net Neutrality,’ Districts Weigh How to Protect ThemselvesEducation Week

Why Are Our Most Important Teachers Paid the Least? TopSheet.com


TUESDAY, JAN. 9: LA’s choice, will an insider or outsider lead the district

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

LA’s choice: selecting an insider or outsider for next school superintendent,

After Los Angeles Unified superintendent Michelle King announced last week that she would not be returning to her post for health reasons, one of the big questions facing the elected school board is whether it will turn to another insider to lead the district, or whether it will look beyond its borders for someone to replace her.

If the board were to stick to the insider strategy, it would be following the playbook of the majority of California’s 30 largest districts that in recent years have hired someone as a superintendent who was intimately familiar with the district, either because they were a current administrator, had previously worked in the district, or grew up in the area and went to school there. By Louis Freedberg, EdSource

Without Michelle King, LAUSD needs a superintendent willing to hold feet to the fireLos Angeles Times

How to hire a teacher: Report offers California schools adviceThe Mercury News

#MeTooK12: One Daughter’s Trauma, and a Family’s Quest to Prevent School-Related Sexual ViolenceThe 74

Trump’s Latest Immigration Move Could Affect Thousands of Salvadoran StudentsEducation Week

What Congress Hasn’t Finished or Started: Data Privacy, Career-Tech, and Special Ed. LawPolitics K-12

Possible Picks to Replace Al Franken on the Senate Ed. CommitteeTopsheet.com

Expansion of AP computer science courses draws more girls and minoritiesThe Washington Post


MONDAY, JAN. 8: After King, questions about the future of LAUSD

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

Michelle King era closes with questions about the future of the Los Angeles Unified School District

Board of Education members face difficult decisions this week after the sudden retirement of L.A. schools Supt. Michelle King. The school board will meet Tuesday in closed session, its first gathering since King announced Friday that she has cancer and that she will not return to work following a four-month medical leave. King’s departure and what comes next has raised questions about her legacy, the state of the school district and the path forward. People also are concerned about King, who is making a stunning, saddening exit from the scene after a term in office that began in January 2016 with widespread hope and good feelings. By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times

Oral History: Today’s the anniversary of No Child Left Behind being signed into lawThe 74

Ballooning pension costs affecting recent education financial gainsMonterey Herald

As CHIP funding nears expiration, study warns that half of all kids under 4 depend on publicly provided health care, TopSheet.com

Bay Area schools vie for teachers amid statewide shortageSanta Cruz Sentinel

Keep guidelines in place that work to ensure fair discipline for black, brown studentsUSA Today

Teacher of the Year: Meet the FinalistsThe 74

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