Ed News- June 1, 2012

And now to the news.  Last week the “Ed News” highlighted an article about a settlement involving the LAUSD board and sexual harassment charges between an employee and former superintendent Ramon Cortines.  The L.A. Times is reporting that the agreement is in jeopardy due to early disclosure and the premature identification of the victim: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-lausd-cortines-20120530,0,5442971.story

   TOP-Ed reports on the passage by the California Senate of a bill that would make it simpler and faster to fire teachers.  The bill now goes to the State Assembly for hearings, debate and a vote: http://toped.svefoundation.org/2012/05/30/teacher-dismissal-bill-moves-on/
   Gov Brown’s proposed initiative for the November ballot to raise taxes to help fund education has the support of 59% of registered voters according to the latest USC Dornsife/L.A. Times poll.  36% were opposed according to this front-page story in Wednesday’s Times.  This article includes a short video (3:18 minutes) highlighting some of the key numbers in the poll: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-poll-taxes-20120530,0,5922290.story
   Diane Ravitch tackles the slippery question: “Are Charter Schools Public Schools?”  Her blog provides a good history of charters and what they were originally intended to do: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/2012/05/are_charter_schools_public_sch.html
   Valerie Strauss comments on the growing protests around the country against high-stakes standardized testing: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/high-stakes-testing-protests-spreading/2012/05/30/gJQA6OQX0U_blog.html?wprss=rss_education
   The Common Core State Standards are coming to California and many other states.  Education Week looks at a Thomas B. Fordham Institute study that tries to estimate the cost of implementing this extensive new Math and English/Language Arts curriculum: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/05/30/33cost.h31.html?tkn=UYOFpK5sDzPZzY1BXtNZlXTP8Jcq5jI7RKVp&cmp=clp-edweek
   A lawsuit has been filed by the ACLU of Southern California and other parties claiming that the state neglects the education of English learners according to this story in yesterday’s L.A. Times: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-schools-lawsuit-20120531,0,6752589.story
   Valerie Strauss describes how Louisiana has recently passed the largest voucher program of any state in the nation.  Under the plan even religious schools will soon be receiving large amounts of taxpayers’ money: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/a-scary-and-telling-school-voucher-story/2012/05/31/gJQAxRgE4U_blog.html?wprss=rss_answer-sheet
   Charter school management companies are making a major effort to privatize public schools.  This tale from a parent in Marin County explains how they’ve taken aim on the local, highly successful, elementary school: http://www.californiaprogressreport.com/site/no-charter-school-yes-public-waldorf-school
   Two different education groups, both with teacher members, backed a proposal to include student test scores as part of a new LAUSD teacher evaluation.  They hope their ideas will help break an impasse between the district and its teachers’ union.   Both UTLA and CTA have opposed using the controversial test results as part of teacher reviews.  Today’s L.A. Times reports on this important development: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0601-teachers-evals-20120601,0,5899361.story   John Festerwald on his “Educated Guess” blog for Education Week comments on the same story: http://toped.svefoundation.org/2012/06/01/la-groups-want-test-scores-part-of-evaluations/   On yesterday’s “AirTalk” show on radio station KPCC, Larry Mantle had a timely segment (22:05 minutes) in which 3 guests discussed this latest development in the teacher evaluation story: http://www.scpr.org/programs/airtalk/2012/05/31/26734/can-new-teacher-evaluation-proposal-bring-lausd-an/
   A short blog on Education Week highlights a newly released study that looks at 10 different teacher evaluation systems around the country in great detail:  http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/teacherbeat/2012/05/detailed_review_of_10_teacher-.html  You can access the full report, titled “Measuring Teacher Effectiveness: A Look ‘Under the Hood’ of Teacher Evaluation” (121 pages) here: http://conncan.org/sites/conncan.org/files/research/measuring_teacher_effectiveness.pdf
   Hector Tobar’s column in today’s L.A. Times takes a heartrending look at the possibility that LAUSD’s adult education programs may be eliminated.  He returns to Hollywood High where, almost 50 years ago, his then 21-year-old Guatemalan father took English classes so he could eventually become a U.S. citizen and ultimately earn a college degree: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0601-tobar-20120601,0,1233407.column
   The Bakersfield Californian is projecting what might happen to the state’s public schools if Gov. Brown’s proposed November revenue enhancement initiative fails to gain passage by voters: http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/politics/local/x84914181/Tax-initiative-to-have-profound-effect-on-schools
   And finally, the UCLA IDEA Friday “Themes in the News” takes a look at how summer programs impact student learning and the achievement gap between middle-class students and the poor: http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=40770a674de4ce8427a9a621b&id=978ff23779&e=f7d7cb8d5d
Dave Alpert (’71)
Chief Commissar
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