August 10

   The UCLA Center for Civil Rights Remedies analyzed raw data released in March from the U.S. Dept. of Education and found that students with disabilities were suspended at much higher rates than students without.  The highest rates were among African-American students with disabilities according to this article from The New York Times.  It contains a link to the full UCLA report (57 pages): http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/08/education/analysis-examines-disabled-students-suspensions.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&adxnnl=1&ref=education&adxnnlx=1344452823-gWgX5NoAY6NLAY19WZp38A  A story from the L.A. Times focused on figures from California: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/08/state-schools-suspend-students-at-higher-rates-than-average-study-finds.html
   In an on-going story that’s been followed closely by the “Ed News,” the parents from the school in Adelanto that used the “parent-trigger” to gain control of their campus have bids from two different charters to run the school as detailed by EdSource: http://www.edsource.org/today/2012/distinct-choice-for-parent-trigger-families-in-adelanto/18799
   Two members of the California legislature requested a state audit on Wednesday to determine if anti-bullying laws are actually protecting LGBT students reports NPR station KPCC: http://www.scpr.org/blogs/education/2012/08/07/9324/lawmakers-want-learn-if-anti-bullying-laws-actuall/
   Public workers and their unions, including teachers, have been criticized for being overpaid and having overly generous health benefits and pensions.  This op-ed presents 4 facts about the issues that will, hopefully, set people straight: http://www.nationofchange.org/facts-make-it-clear-public-workers-and-unions-are-not-overpaid-1340630671
   An editorial in Wednesday’s L.A. Times is in favor of a recently enacted New Jersey law that makes teacher tenure harder to obtain and simplifies the process for getting rid of poor teachers: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-teacher-firing-new-jersey-20120808,0,6665080.story
   The Aug. 3rd edition of the “Ed News” reported on a Louisiana charter school that was forcing students to take pregnancy tests and banning them from the school if they tested positive or refused the test.  In a letter to the school, the Louisiana Dept. of Education directed the policy to be ended as it raised serious legal questions: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/08/08/661021/louisiana-department-of-education/?mobile=nc
   LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy, who has led the district for a little over a year-and-a-half, addressed administrators in a traditional start-of-the-year speech.  He stressed gains made by students in several areas, in the talk delivered yesterday at Washington Prep High, reports the L.A. Daily Newshttp://www.dailynews.com/education/ci_21278818/lausd-chief-john-deasys-back-school-pep-talk
   One LAUSD teacher took out his anger and frustration over value-added model (VAM) scores and the fact that the Times published them by writing a solo play about his teaching experiences and feelings regarding the ratings.  This story is from the LAUSD’s website.  The play might make an interesting outing for ALOED: http://journal.lausd.net/teacher-turns-disgust-publishing-value-added-ratings-solo-play  This piece was written by the author and explains what the play is about and why he wrote it: http://www.lastagetimes.com/2012/04/a-child-and-a-teacher-left-behind/  Here’s a review of the play from the Culver City News when it premiered in April: http://www.culvercitynews.org/entertainment/frustration-leads-to-hope/  The L.A. Times reviewed the play in July: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-a-child-left-behind-review-20120710,0,2705020.story
   A bill in the California legislature to rework teacher evaluations is coming back to life now that it’s won the support of the CTA explains EdSource: http://www.edsource.org/today/2012/do-or-die-time-for-teacher-evaluation-bill/18913
   Yesterday, a group of about 50 students, teachers and community activists staged a rally outside the downtown headquarters of the LAUSD.  They were protesting the overuse of expensive (up to $250) tickets for student offenses and the fact that students of color received an inordinate number of the citations: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/08/lausd-rally-citations.html
   And finally, Valerie Strauss reprints an article explaining why Alabama chose to go very slowly on allowing charter schools in their state: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/why-alabama-is-going-slow-on-charter-schools/2012/08/09/37378668-e296-11e1-98e7-89d659f9c106_blog.html#pagebreak
Stay COOL and have a good weekend!

  Dave Alpert (’71) Chief Commissar   
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