Education must-reads: From a study showing experienced teachers are key in California districts with higher results to a UC tuition hike for non-Californians, 11 new things to know about California’s schools (and beyond)
Esmeralda Fabián Romero | April 4, 2019
Education Must-Reads is our daily roundup of the most interesting news articles and analysis surrounding students, schools and California education policy.
Research released this week identified 156 California school districts with higher test scores in math and English language arts than expected for African-American and Hispanic students, and found that teacher experience was the common factor that contributed to the higher results.
“The research finds that providing students with qualified, fully prepared teachers is a critical component for raising student achievement,” said Anne Podolsky, lead author on the report, “California’s Positive Outliers: Districts Beating the Odds,” by the Palo-Alto based Learning Policy Institute. Other co-authors included Sean Reardon, professor at the Stanford University School of Education, and the institute’s CEO and president, Linda Darling-Hammond. Hammond is also the newly appointed president of the State Board of Education and an adviser to Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The study looked at 435 districts with at least 200 African-American or Hispanic students and 200 white students and compared the actual scores of the student groups with their predicted scores, based on a formula that includes districts’ median family income, poverty rate and parents’ education levels. By John Fensetrwald, EdSource.
Teachers union delays strike at Sacramento City Unified, The Sacramento Bee
SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’ to Capture Social and Economic Background, Wall Street Journal
Schools turn to apps, other tech to guard against shootings, Washington Post
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See previous morning roundups below:
THURSDAY, MAY 17:
It appears Jackie Goldberg is no longer retired.
The 74-year-old veteran of Los Angeles politics, whose campaign for an open L.A. Unified School Board seat became a rallying point for the district’s energized teachers union, took a commanding lead in Tuesday’s special election for the open Board District 5 seat.
Goldberg held a 72% to 28% lead over opponent Heather Repenning after the election-night count wrapped just before 11 p.m.
Goldberg now appears poised to reclaim the same LAUSD board seat she held from 1983 to 1991, a two-term stint that helped launch her political career. Goldberg, a former high school teacher, later served on the L.A. City Council, but hasn’t held public office since terming out of her California Assembly seat in 2006.
Preliminary numbers results showed stunningly low turnout in the special election. L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan announced that the initial count included ballots from 7.69% of the district’s registered voters. By Kyle Stokes, LAist
WEDNESDAY, MAY 15:
There may be no greater paradox in California government these days than the fiscal health of the state’s public schools. Education funding is almost certain to hit a record high when a new state budget is enacted next month, and yet local school districts are hitting the panic button when it comes to their finances.
That both things are true is a function of the complicated way the state funds education and the cost pressures that appear to be the new normal — especially worrisome because there’s compelling evidence that the status quo is unsustainable.
“There’s not a district in the state that’s not experiencing this,” said Kevin Gordon, a longtime education lobbyist. “It’s just so counterintuitive in a growing economy.”
It’s important to first understand how schools are funded. Most districts receive a combination of local, state and federal dollars. California, more than other states, relies on statewide tax revenues to pay for education — a framework cemented in 1978 when Proposition 13 capped local property taxes and schools turned to an ever-growing subsidy from Sacramento. By John Myers, Los Angeles Times
Jackie Goldberg returns to L.A. school board with resounding election win, Los Angeles Times
West Valley neighbors urge LAUSD not to turn its sites into housing for homeless students, Los Angeles Daily News
Warren Pledges to Tap Public School Teacher as Education Secretary, U.S. News and World Report
TUESDAY, MAY 14:
The outcome of Tuesday’s special election runoff between Jackie Goldberg and Heather Repenning for a seat on the Los Angeles Unified school board has long term implications for how California’s largest school district will deal with a range of major challenges, such as how to balance a multi-billion dollar budget, how to regulate hundreds of charter schools, and whether to look for a new superintendent.
They are running to fill a vacant seat in District 5 left by the resignation of former board president Ref Rodriguez, a former charter school founder who was convicted of campaign money laundering when he first ran for the board.
Because Los Angeles Unified is by far California’s largest district — with five times more students than San Diego, the next biggest district — the success of its students has lasting effects not only on the entire region, but arguably on the state as a whole. By Michael Burke, EdSource
Two elections affecting L.A. schools make for strange bedfellows, Los Angeles Times
LA Unified: A gang that can’t shoot straight, CALmatters
In majority-Latino LAUSD, this election will tip the board mostly white, Los Angeles Times
Kamala Harris’s Long-Shot Bid to Fix School Funding, The Atlantic
The Battle Over Who Gets Into Elite Public High Schools, Education Week
MONDAY, MAY 13:
Almost 51 years ago, the son of an immigrant family shot and killed Senator Robert F. Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel, west of downtown Los Angeles.
Today the complex of six community schools named for Kennedy — and occupying the same piece of land as the site of the assassination — houses a new legal clinic designed to assist families in the immigrant-dense communities of Koreatown and Pico-Union.
The Immigrant Family Legal Clinic at RFK Community Schools is a partnership between the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
“This effort is about transforming Los Angeles,” LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia said Thursday at a ceremony celebrating the opening of the clinic. “It is about the pursuit of justice.” By Linda Jacobson, Education Dive
San Fernando Valley teacher convicted of molesting 18 underage students, Los Angeles Daily News
Gaming as a Tool for Narrative Writing, Edutopia
FRIDAY, MAY 10:
Santa Ana Unified School District has sent invoices totaling $40 million to five Santa Ana-based charter schools.
Charter school officials said they only first heard they might owe the district for special education costs when they received the invoices in March. Until now they’d worked well together, officials said.
The schools – whose charters are authorized by Santa Ana Unified – are questioning the district’s demand for “fair share” payments retroactive to the early 2000s. One, the 2,200-student Orange County School of the Arts, got a restraining order on Thursday, May 9, that blocks the district from withholding state funding for school operations to cover the purported debt.
The other four schools – NOVA Academy Early College High School, El Sol Science and Arts Academy of Santa Ana, Orange County Educational Arts Academy and Edward B. Cole Sr. Academy – said in a joint written statement they also plan to file a similar legal challenge.
“The loss of funds of this magnitude would be an enormous challenge for the charter schools moving forward,” the statement said. By ALICIA ROBINSON, Orange County Register
Anti-tax group’s case against LAUSD parcel tax will be heard 2 days after June 4 election, Los Angeles Daily News