August 28

On the education/environment front the LAUSD banned the use of foam trays at all its schools and now uses compostable paper ones reports the Friday L.A. Times: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-plastic-foam-20120824,0,1467040.story
   From the same paper, the former Canyon High School student who complained about an ethnically insensitive senior activity provides the details of how he brought his concerns to the administration and was told to “get a sense of humor:” http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0824-seniores-senoritas-20120824,0,3156091.story
   The Friday UCLA IDEA “Themes in the News” summarizes several recent studies focusing on “The High Cost of Poverty and Economic Inequality” and how they relate to education and lives in general: http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=40770a674de4ce8427a9a621b&id=52733ce425&e=f7d7cb8d5d
   Valerie Strauss’ blog is aptly titled “Education News You Shouldn’t Miss.”  She covers some interesting topics including the growing Hispanic population in K-12 and post secondary education, performance-based incentive pay for teachers (see next story), a roundtable discussion with Pres. Obama and others.  As she says: “You shouldn’t miss” this: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/education-news-you-shouldnt-miss/2012/08/25/a5c97e20-ee57-11e1-afd8-097e90f99d05_blog.html#pagebreak
   Education Week reports on 3 big cities that are jettisoning teacher incentive grants: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/08/22/01tif_ep.h32.html?tkn=XMOFgA%2BPQ2ijwJgqAJcYrDEhDaLCSGVqZwNi&cmp=clp-edweek
   With children learning how to use computers and mobile devices about the time they learn to walk, many schools and districts are realizing that they need to teach them how to properly access/use the web and social media.  The San Jose Mercury News describes an online curriculum from a San Francisco nonprofit being made available free to teachers that will assist in doing just that: http://www.mercurynews.com/education/ci_21407006/training-tomorrows-netizens
   Why is the reading of literature important and why does it seem to be dying out in our high schools these days?  This weekend op-ed makes a strong case for the classics: http://www.nationofchange.org/high-school-english-real-life-reading-1345907943
   As the California Legislature’s 2012 session winds down Friday a number of education-related bills are being sent to the governor’s desk for action.  Two articles highlight some of the more important legislation.  The first is from the SI&A Cabinet Report: http://siacabinetreport.com/articles/viewarticle.aspx?article=2509  and the second, dealing with school disciplinary issues, comes from Ed Source: http://www.edsource.org/today/2012/bills-influencing-school-disciplinary-policies-head-to-governor/19447
   An intriguing blog on Education Week poses the question “Can Bilingualism Counteract the Effects of Poverty?”
It highlights soon-to-be-published research that answers with a definitive “yes.”  The article contains a link to an unedited manuscript of the full report (26 pages):  http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/learning-the-language/2012/08/can_bilingualism_counteract_ef.html
   Public charter schools are pulling a number of students away from private schools and that is placing an added burden on the finances of public education and threatening the existence of some private institutions.  An article in today’s L.A. Times focuses on a Rand Corp. study that discusses the situation:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-charter-school-study-20120827,0,1946609.story
   And finally, yesterday was the first day of classes for most of California’s community colleges.  The system’s 112 campuses are facing a severe budget crunch.  Students are finding overcrowded courses and fewer class offerings as described by this item from the same paper: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-college-classes-20120828,0,6461667.story

 

 

Dave Alpert (’71) Chief Commissar
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