July 24

A previous edition of the “Ed News” featured the popular online video teaching lessons of the Khan Academy.  Valerie Strauss reprints a blog that takes a critical look at them and questions how effective they truly are: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/khan-academy-the-hype-and-the-reality/2012/07/23/gJQAuw4J3W_blog.html?wprss=rss_education
   Aspire Public Schools, California’s largest charter organization, is expanding its Teacher Residency program for training new educators in the state and nationwide according to this item from EdSource: http://www.edsource.org/today/2012/aspire-to-expand-residency-program-for-teachers-in-training/18172
   The head of the LAUSD police force is taking a careful look at the department’s discipline policy with the goal of revising the ticketing procedures now in place based on this blog from the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-center-for-public-integrity/los-angeles-school-police_b_1689377.html
   Yesterday’s L.A. Times featured an article about a newly created off-shoot of the 20-year old teen court in Los Angeles that now deals with bullying, bias and hate crimes: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teencourt-20120723,0,1070338.story
   Can a real life “horse whisperer” use the lessons he’s learned working with animals to improve teaching techniques and raise student test scores?  If you are skeptical about this, an article in the same paper may make you a believer: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-parker-20120722,0,7091664,full.story
   The “Ed News” reported several times in previous editions about an attempt by parents to invoke the “parent trigger” law to convert their public elementary school in Adelanto, out in the Mojave Desert, into a charter.  Matters got sticky when some of the signers of the petitions attempted to revoke their signatures and the case ended up before the San Bernadino Superior Court.  The judge ruled, in a decision made public yesterday and reported in today’s L.A. Times, that the district violated the law when it allowed some parents to remove their names from the petitions:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-parent-trigger-20120724,0,4848549.story  Valerie Strauss, writing on her blog for The Washington Post, was quick to respond to the judge’s opinion finding it “strange” and illogical.  Her article includes a short trailer (2:31 minutes) about a soon to be released (opening Sept. 28) film titled “Won’t Back Down” that’s strongly supports the “parent trigger” law: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/a-strange-parent-trigger-court-ruling/2012/07/24/gJQAJ3c46W_blog.html?wprss=rss_education  neatoday has an early preview of the film: http://neatoday.org/2012/05/02/wont-back-down-parent-trigger-gets-the-hollywood-treatment/  Despite the negative topic this film might make an interesting “fieldtrip” for ALOED.
   The Sacramento Bee today comments on Prop. 32 facing California voters in November. It’s a third attempt to restrict unions from collecting political funds via payroll deductions:  http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/24/4653536/dan-walters-prop-32-will-be-a.html#mi_rss=Dan%20Walters#storylink=cpy
   Student enrollment has steadily declined in nearly half of the largest urban school districts over the last 5 years according to an analysis of data from the U.S. Dept. of Education by The New York Times.  This has led to lay-offs of teachers and staff and the closing of schools: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/24/education/largest-school-districts-see-steady-drop-in-enrollment.html?_r=2&partner=rss&emc=rss
   And finally, low- and middle-income students in Indiana who used vouchers to attend private schools saw their passing rates on math and English standardized tests dip slightly while public school students’ scores rose a bit according to an item in Education Week: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/07/23/538581inschoolvouchersistep_ap.html?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mrss
The opening ceremonies of the London Olympics are this Friday.

  Dave Alpert (’71) Chief Commissar   

 

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