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Education must-reads: From Oakland moving closer to state takeover to LAUSD’s new offer to its teachers union, 10 new things to know about California’s schools (and beyond)

LA School Report | October 23, 2018



10 must-reads on the education beat today:

Oakland risks state takeover if it fails to make budget cuts, state and county officials warn

If Oakland Unified doesn’t make millions of dollars in budget cuts over the next four years, it could risk another state takeover, state and county officials said. A bailout approved by the state Legislature in the AB1840 education finance bill could relax the timeline for those cuts, but also requires the school district board to follow through on its plans to close schools and eliminate staff positions. The state funding is expected to help the district close its budget deficit over the next four years, with the first allocation coming in 2019-20 if the district meets certain “benchmarks.” By Theresa Harrington, EdSource

LAUSD Makes New Offer To Teachers Union. Union Leaders Call It A ‘Trojan Horse’, LAist

New California leadership must take up educational justiceEdSource

Seven Questions About All Those ‘Educators Running for Office’ StoriesThe 74

Youth will determine the outcome of the 2018 midtermsHechinger Report

A rare look inside classrooms finds some poorly trained teachers wasting timeWashington Post

Burbank Unified announces improved graduation rate, Los Angeles Times

Students celebrated Mexican heritage at a La Quinta library. They were told to next time sing ‘Yankee DoodleThDesert Sun

Here’s what happened after California got rid of personal belief exemptions for childhood vaccinesLos Angeles Times

Juul Offered To Pay Schools As Much As $20,000 To Blame Vaping On Peer PressureBuzzfeed News

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See previous morning roundups below:


WEDNESDAY, OCT. 31: LAUSD to pay $5 million after girl was sexually abused in middle school

LAUSD to pay $5 million after girl was sexually abused in middle school

On the eve of a civil court trial, the Los Angeles Unified School District has agreed to pay $5 million to a young woman who was sexually abused as a teen by a middle school teacher. Attorneys for the woman, who is now 20, say the payout is the largest single-victim settlement by the country’s second-largest school district. The girl was 13 when Elkis Hermida, a math teacher at Thomas Edison Middle School, began grooming her, according to a civil suit filed in 2012 by the student. Hermida went on to molest the girl for seven months in his classroom and near the campus, incidents for which the educator pleaded no contest and was sentenced to prison for three years. The landmark case led California lawmakers in 2015 to abolish the so-called minor’s “consent” as a defense in abuse cases and set the standards for what is acceptable evidence and argument in childhood sexual abuse cases. By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times

California school districts make new investments in teacher evaluationEdSource

Can This Academy Requiring Arts Classes Get More Struggling LAUSD Students To Graduation?LAist

Anti-Semitism is on the rise in schools. After Pittsburgh, teachers grapple with a responseChalkbeat

Millennials Support Teachers’ Unions. Politicians Should Take Heed, Education Week

Offline and Underserved: New Study Shows ‘Homework Gap’ Most Affects Students Already Likely to Fall Behind, The 74

Private groups have long tried to help turnaround struggling schools. But it’s not clear if they’re doing any good, Chalkbeat

Proposition 13: Public Schools, Public Trust, KPBS

Few preschool apps are developmentally appropriate, report findsHechinger Report


TUESDAY, OCT. 30: Donations reach $50 million in race for California state superintendent of schools

Donations reach $50 million in race for California state superintendent of schools,

Heading down the stretch in a record $50 million campaign for state superintendent of public instruction, Marshall Tuck has a more than 2-to-1 money advantage over his opponent, Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, in combined direct contributions and funding by independent groups supporting the candidates. Tuck raised $917,000 in direct contributions between Sept. 22 and the latest closing deadline on Oct. 20 for the candidates, bringing his total campaign contributions to $5.2 million. The $338,000 Thurmond brought in raised his total to $3.2 million. The latest report to the California secretary of state is the final one candidates will file until after the Nov. 6 election. By John Fensterwald and Daniel J. Willis, EdSource

Granada Hills Charter High School is already one of the largest. It’s getting larger, Los Angeles Daily News

Is America’s Next Generation of Voters Ready for the Job?, Education Week

Asking candidates the right questions about public education, EdSource

How Are States Tracking College-and-Career Readiness Under ESSA?Politics K-12

Research evidence on bullying prevention at odds with what schools are doingHechinger Report

For 36 Million Workers, a College Degree Was the Path to a Good Job. But That’s Not the Only Way to Get One, The 74

TEACHER VOICE: We need phonics, along with other supports, for readingHechinger Report


MONDAY, OCT. 29: Is the real problem the test, not California students?

Is the real problem the test, not California students?

Several years into the Common Core curriculum standards, and four years into the tests on those standards, California students are not doing well. Not even half passed the English test, and the picture was significantly worse on the math test. The numbers haven’t improved appreciably over the past couple of years, and the achievement gap for lower-scoring black and Latino students, compared with white and Asian students, yawns about as wide as ever. Eleventh graders – the only students tested in high school – actually did worse than before. Questions about what’s causing these disappointing results are many, and the answers are, well, pretty much nonexistent. By Karin Klein, Sacramento Bee

Non-citizen parents hesitant to register for San Francisco’s school board electionsEdSource

San Francisco will allow noncitizens to vote in a local election, creating a new immigration flashpoint, Los Angeles Times

Debate over outsourcing, equity as UC workers strike, CALmatters

WISH Pushes Admissions Preference For Kids With Special Needs, As LAUSD Parents Decry Failed Inclusion Attempts, SpeakUP

California’s SAT scores rise, beat national averages, EdSource

Fate of Nevada’s Landmark Ed Reforms Could Hinge on Outcome of Four State Senate RacesThe 74

California colleges get funding to expand services to undocumented college studentsEdSource 

More work, worse relationships, and better feedback: How teacher evaluation has changed the job of the principal, Chalkbeat

The Future of College Entrance Exams, U.S. News & World Report


THURSDAY OCT.25: Struggle for the Future: Schools Lag in Preparing Students for the Age of Automation

Struggle for the Future: Schools Lag in Preparing Students for the Age of Automation

For the first time in history, American schools are being asked to prepare a majority of students for college and higher-skill jobs. It hasn’t been easy. As technological advances enable machines to substitute for human labor, a college education is more valuable than ever, but only one in three students earns a bachelor’s degreeIn response, officials have introduced a raft of initiatives, including a far-ranging focus on soft skills (like teamwork and problem-solving) through higher standards, deeper learning and better tests, as well as expanded offerings in STEM, information technology, and career and technical education that ready students for college work. But the work has been unsystematic, plagued by racial and gender inequalities, and hampered by disputes about the purpose of education. The only thing that seems certain: Traditional models can no longer do the job. By David Cantor, The 74

Report finds gaps remain in access to child care, preschool attendance, KPCC

New research shows just how much losing a teacher midyear hurts studentsChalkbeat

Central Valley Youth advocates clash with school administrators over voter education effortsEdSource

Summit Is Spinning Off Its Popular Personalized Learning Platform, Creating New Nonprofit to Take the HelmThe 74

Push for young minority voters reaches into high schoolLos Angeles Times

California schools race sets record for most expensiveEducation Week

Google Is Teaching Children How to Act Online. Is It the Best Role Model?New York Times


TUESDAY OCT. 23: Police At LA Schools Are Arresting And Citing Black Students At A Disproportionate Rate

Police At LA Schools Are Arresting And Citing Black Students At A Disproportionate Rate

The L.A. School Police Department — which patrols LAUSD campuses and parts of the surrounding areas — is the largest force of its kind in the country. And it’s taking enforcement actions against black students disproportionately, according to a new report from the Ralphe J. Bunche Center for African American Studies’ Million Hoods Project. From 2014 to 2017, 25 percent of the force’s citations, arrests and diversions (for “minor” legal violations on school grounds) involved black students, according to UCLA researchers. That’s despite the fact that LAUSD’s student body is less than 10 percent black. The racial disproportionality “disrupts opportunities to learn for black students,” one of the researchers, Terry Allen, said in an email. By Carla Javier, LAist

Los Angeles Teachers Prepare to StrikeThe New York Times

Candidates for California state superintendent of schools clash over attack ads, EdSource

If L.A. Unified truly wants to put students first, it should reduce classroom sizes nowLos Angeles Times

Oakland Unified proposes to cut central office jobs to help balance next year’s budget, EdSource

When Families and Schools Work Together, Students Do Better. New Report Has 5 Ways of Engaging Parents in Their Kids’ EducationThe 74

Far from Dixie Land, Marin County residents take stand over school district nameSan Francisco Chronicle

How High Schools Shaped American CitiesThe Atlantic

New data show some colleges are definitively unaffordable for many, Hechinger Report


TUESDAY OCT. 23: The $40-million race for California schools chief is a proxy fight in a long-running war over education

The $40-million race for California schools chief is a proxy fight in a long-running war over education

History has found few statewide races more sleepy than the campaigns for superintendent of public instruction, perhaps because the job is thin on duties that aren’t tangled in the web of control over K-12 schools. And yet, this year’s race is a $40-million blockbuster that is more costly than for any California office aside from governor. By John Myers, Los Angeles Times

Students wage an all-out effort to get their classmates to vote, UC Newsroom

From ESA Expansion to School Safety Bonds: The 13 Education Ballot Questions Voters Will Consider on Nov. 6The 74

TEACHER VOICE: When the nation closes its doors to refugees, schools can open them, Hechinger Report

Stanford-coordinated study finds persistent inequities in California public schoolsThe Stanford Daily

How Does School Climate Figure Into State ESSA Plans?Education Week’s Politics K-12

Rethinking Parent Workshops with Experiential Learning, La Comadre


MONDAY OCT. 22: Four communities in California turn to voters to help fund children’s programs 

Four communities in California turn to voters to help fund children’s programs 

In the face of compelling research showing the importance of providing services for children before they reach kindergarten, four communities in California are going to voters to ask them for special funding to underwrite a range of early education programs. The measures that seek new funding streams for early childhood are in Oakland, nearby Richmond, tiny Capitola, on the Santa Cruz coast, and San Joaquin County in California’s Central Valley. Some of the funds from the measures would also be used for programs serving older children. By Zaidee Stavely, EdSource

Putting Kids First By Serving The Whole Child…Every ChildSpeak UP

Teacher who revealed details about Trump aide’s childhood returns to classroom, Los Angeles Times

Poverty is rampant among LAUSD students, so why blame teachers for low test scores?Los Angeles Times

My turn: Why CA needs charter schools and how to improve themCALmatters

We followed 15 of America’s teachers on a single day. This is what we learnedUSA Today

EduClips: School News You Missed This Week From America’s 15 Biggest Districts, Including Teacher Pay, Testing & an Unexpected ApologyThe 74

Bilingual education prepares children for a multicultural world, Education Dive


THURSDAY, OCT. 18: Austin Beutner and Alex Caputo-Pearl: Two leaders on a collision course toward a teachers strike

Austin Beutner and Alex Caputo-Pearl: Two leaders on a collision course toward a teachers strike

The two men who could determine whether Los Angeles teachers go on strike sound almost as if they inhabit different worlds. They don’t even agree on a set of basic facts, which makes negotiation difficult. L.A. schools Supt. Austin Beutner speaks of a school system teetering on insolvency and failing so many students that aggressive changes are needed, including new ways to assess teachers and quickly push out ineffective ones. Alex Caputo-Pearl, who leads the teachers union, says teachers at traditional public schools try valiantly but are besieged — even sabotaged — by outsiders who want to dismantle the district and by officials like Beutner who would rather stockpile money than use it to help teachers and make schools successful. 

In the gulf between these competing realities, a teachers strike seems increasingly likely. By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times

How are America’s public schools really doing?Washington Post

When It Comes to School Absences, ‘Keep It Under Seven,’ LAUSD SaysSpeak UP

The History of the Future of High School, VICE

When Students Track Their Own Data, They Take Ownership of Their Learning and ProgressLa Comadre

Foreign teachers pay dearly to fill jobs in New MexicoSearchlight New Mexico

Williams: I Lived — and Transcended — the Opportunity Myth. But for Students in National Study, It’s Much HarderThe 74

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