October 19

Still confused about Propositions 30 and 38 on the November ballot?  Have family members or friends who need convincing?  Just want some good information (and not from those worthless ads)?  EdSource has put together a detailed infographic comparing the two measures.  This brief article explaining the graphic includes a link to it:  http://www.edsource.org/today/2012/edsource-offers-infographic-to-clarify-props-3038-confusion/21512#.UH8MVGnuUl9  With the November general election just 18 days away the UCLA IDEA Friday “Themes in the News” takes a look at how dire things have become in education in California and exactly what’s at stake just two-and-a-half weeks away:  http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=40770a674de4ce8427a9a621b&id=fd90e96951&e=f7d7cb8d5d
   The Hechinger Report updates the continuing saga of the attempted parent take-over of their under performing school in Adelanto.  Using the “parent-trigger” law the battle began back in January and this story reviews what’s happened so far and what’s next:  http://hechingerreport.org/content/parent-trigger-moves-to-a-crucial-vote-after-court-ruling_9939/  [Ed. note: In a sidebar to this article The Hechinger Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel partnered to produce an 8-part series (plus a bonus article) between Nov., 2010, and March, 2012, titled “Building a Better Teacher” describing the teaching profession from training, to evaluation, to accountability, to the role of teachers’ unions and merit pay.  This piece describes each segment of the report and includes links to each individual story:  http://hechingerreport.org/category/special_reports/building_a_better_teacher/    A low number of parents at the Desert Trails Elementary School in Adelanto voted yesterday to select one of two competing charter operators to take over their school as the next step in using the California “parent-trigger” law.  EdSource has the details:  http://www.edsource.org/today/2012/desert-trails-parents-choose-charter-operator-next-step-in-parent-trigger/21669#.UIGpK2nuUl
   Tuesday’s second presidential debate touched on the issue of education several times during the course of the 90-minute town hall session.  Education Week reviews what Pres. Obama and Gov. Romney had to say on the topic:  http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2012/10/post_4.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CampaignK-12+(Education+Week+Blog%3A+Politics+K-12)
   The LAUSD launched a new program Wednesday that partners with the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center to try to end bullying  of LGBT students.  A story in yesterday’s L.A. Times describes what they hope to accomplish:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-1018-lausd-gay-20121018,0,7109911.story
   Student loan debt has become a major issue as the total has now exceeded $1 trillion and surpassed credit card debt.  This piece in the same paper indicates that California is one of the lowest states for accruing debt.  Note the mention of Occidental College in the second-to-last paragraph:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-1018-student-debt-20121018,0,2115478.story
   Wednesday the LAUSD declared an impasse in its talks with UTLA over the design of a new teacher evaluation system.  The district is seeking to involve the state in mediation according to this article in the L.A. Daily News:  http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_21796351/lausd-says-talks-utla-teacher-evaluations-are-at?source=rss
   The L.A. Times was the first newspaper to publish individual teachers’ names and their value added scores for the LAUSD several years ago.  Now the paper wants access to the district’s “Academic Growth over Time” (AGT) ratings.  The district refused to turn them over so the Times sued.  You can read all about it in this brief item from today’s paper:  http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/10/times-sues-la-unified-for-teacher-ratings.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lanowblog+%28L.A.+Now%29
     Most students in California are in favor of the more healthy meals they’ve been getting for the past couple of years based on this article in today’s L.A. Times:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-1019-school-meals-20121019,0,4423031.story
   And finally, Deborah Meier, in her blog for Education Week, wants to know (as many people do) why public school teachers and public schools gets blamed for all the ills facing this country:  http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/2012/10/dear_pedro_and_friends_its.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BridgingDifferences+%28Education+Week+Blog%3A+Bridging+Differences%29
Have a GREAT weekend!

Dave Alpert (’71) Chief Commissar
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