August 14

Thanks to Alex Reisbord for sending this article from The New York Times.  Former CNN anchor Campbell Brown has weighed in on the debate about the power of teachers’ unions.  She thinks they have too much power,are impeding educational reform and protect teachers who should be dismissed:
   EdSource reports on a 2-1 decision, Friday, by the California 2nd District Court of Appeal vacating the settlement that allowed the LAUSD to set aside seniority rules to protect teachers at 45 underperforming schools:  The ruling is a victory for UTLA and they quickly had a statement on their website reacting to the finding:  Saturday’s L.A. Times covered this important story this way:,0,5163545.story
   In the same paper, a charter school founder who was dismissed by the school’s board for directing his teachers to cheat on standardized tests  received a $245,000 settlement after he sued the board for being incorrectly dismissed from his position:,0,4197783.story
   Sunday’s Times had a story about a high school in South Gate (LAUSD) that will finally open today after a 25-year battle that included cleaning up  major toxic problems at the site:,0,535850.story
   A commentary for EdSource takes a very thoughful look at the whole issue of creating new teacher evaluations.  It’s titled “Surefire Way to Know if a Teacher Evaluation System will Succeed or Fail” and it raises some excellent points:
   Valerie Strauss, as she always does, reprints an engaging blog from Marion Brady who identifies “8 Problems With the Common Core Standards.”  The standards are rapidly on the way so his points, whether you agree with him or not, are quite timely:
   Another article from EdSource highlights 3 summer programs in California aimed at getting low-income students to enjoy reading and become life-long bibliophiles:
   Diane Ravitch helps trace where much of the funding is coming from for the “Teachers Rock” concerts  and the parent-trigger film “Won’t Back Down” in this entry on her personal blog:
   A study released Monday has found that LAUSD elementary pupils who moved into new facilities made significant gains on standardized test scores.  High school students who also moved into new campuses made only slight improvements or none at all according to this item from the L.A. Daily News:
   Remember the teachers and staff from Miramonte Elementary who were summarily removed from the campus when two of their colleagues were arrested for lewd conduct in Feb., 2012?  They were all exiled to a vacant nearby campus while investigations at the school continued.  When the LAUSD opened the 2012-13 school year today most of the people who were removed were finally allowed to return reports NPR station KPCC:  The L.A. Times also has an article about this  story:
   And finally, Team USA just left the London2012 Olympics with more medals than any other country in the world.  This segment from the PBS’ “News Hour” program discusses why we lag behind a number of developed nations on high school graduation rates (we came in 7th).  It includes a link to the full audio (6:49 minutes) of the program from station WAMU and a complete transcript:
Today, most schools in the LAUSD opened for the new school year.



Dave Alpert (’71) Chief Commissar  

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