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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

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Education Must-Reads is our daily roundup of the most interesting news articles and analysis surrounding students, schools and California education policy.

Experienced teachers key in California districts that ‘beat the odds’

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.

He couldn’t speak as a child. Now this autistic student is giving a commencement address, Los Angeles Times

UC regents approve tuition hike for non-Californians – but with aid available, EdSource

Teachers union delays strike at Sacramento City Unified, The Sacramento Bee

Teachers strike imminent in Union City after contract talks break down, Mercury News

Superintendent, union leader team up to attract families to California district, Education Dive

The Untold Stories of Brown v. Board at 65: Five Lawsuits Merged Together to Make Supreme Court History — Meet the Unsung Heroes Who Risked Everything for Their Kids, The 74

Do Democrats’ School Diversity and Integration Ideas Match What Advocates Want?, Politics K-12

Bill de Blasio, Who’s Expanded Pre-K, Sparred on Education, Seeks Presidency, Politics K-12

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:


She’s Back: Jackie Goldberg Reclaims Seat On LAUSD Board

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

Analysis: California charters affect spending at district schools — but not by much, Education Dive

‘Inconvenient truths’ missing from Oakland report on charter schools, EdSource

In takeover, Oakland schools suffered cuts, closures and chaos. Is that Sacramento’s future?, The Sacramento Bee

Teens involved in racist ‘promposal’ can expect ‘severe consequences,’ Palos Verdes principal says, Los Angeles Times

Brown v. Board at 65: Will Schools Ever Be Integrated?, The 74

Sending your boy to preschool is great for your grandson, new research shows, Hechinger Report

New Democratic divide on charter schools emerges, as support plummets among white Democrats, Chalkbeat

What Do Teachers Really Want From Professional Development? Respect, Education Week


California’s education funding is at a record high. So why are schools short on cash?

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

Goldberg Victory Means New Majority-White Board Remains Without Any Parents of Kids in L.A. Schools, Speak Up

West Valley neighbors urge LAUSD not to turn its sites into housing for homeless students, Los Angeles Daily News

California Community College faculty group votes no confidence in chancellor, EdSource

California schools haven’t fully embraced laws protecting LGBTQ kids, study shows, CALmatters

Putting a focus on Bay Area district: superintendent and union president team up, EdSource

After parents protest, Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter reach another short-term deal, Mercury News

New Study Highlights How Divisive Political Rhetoric Can Seep Into America’s Schools, Prompting Heightened Bullying, The 74

Third consecutive year in school spending increases marked a “full recovery” from the recession, Hechinger Report

At ed reform conference, charter leaders feel the political heat — and strategize about how to fend off unions, Chalkbeat

Raise Teacher Pay, Fight Segregation, Rebuild Schools: One 2020 Candidate’s Big Education Plan, Politics K-12

Warren Pledges to Tap Public School Teacher as Education Secretary, U.S. News and World Report

Presidential hopeful Julián Castro unveils sweeping education plan, NBC News


Runoff election for Los Angeles school board has long-term implications for future of California’s largest district

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

Saving Stege: What will it take to redesign this struggling California school?, EdSource

Kamala Harris’s Long-Shot Bid to Fix School Funding, The Atlantic

As It Closes In on 20 Years, IDEA Public Schools, Texas’s Homegrown Charter Network, Is Big, Bold and Sticking to the Basics, The 74

1A Across America: The Growing Trend Of The Four-Day School Week, 1A

The Battle Over Who Gets Into Elite Public High Schools, Education Week

Can a State Just Refuse to Follow the Every Student Succeeds Act?, Politics K-12


School-based legal clinic addresses needs of Los Angeles immigrant families

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

Editorial Board: Vote yes on Measure EE, the parcel tax to increase L.A. schools funding, Los Angeles Times

District 5 Special Election Tuesday Could Shift Direction Of LAUSD Board, Speak Up

4 smiling teachers posed with a noose. Now they’re on leave, along with the principal, Los Angeles Times

San Fernando Valley teacher convicted of molesting 18 underage students, Los Angeles Daily News

Porn or vital life lessons? California approves controversial new sex education approach, Sacramento Bee

Opinion: Charter school attacks lay bare institutional racismMercury News

Parents Select Schools Based on Way More Than Test Scores, Study Finds, The 74

Gaming as a Tool for Narrative Writing, Edutopia


Santa Ana Unified district tells charter schools they owe $40 million for special education services

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

Gov. Newsom proposes $90 million in scholarships for new teachers in revised budget, EdSource

Editorial Board: Important debate on charter schools among California NAACP chapters, Press-Enterprise

Anti-tax group’s case against LAUSD parcel tax will be heard 2 days after June 4 election, Los Angeles Daily News

California teachers must pay for cost of their substitute if sick leave runs out, Los Angeles Times

These San Fernando Valley students just won $2,500 toward their college education for being totally stellar, Los Angeles Daily News

As Free College Tuition Becomes a Popular Rallying Cry, ‘Tennessee Promise’ Hailed as Game Changer — but Equity Concerns Remain, The 74

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