November 30

“The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differ from the dead.” ― Aristotle
   The L.A. Daily News has an expose on the LAUSD practice of placing teachers in “teacher jails” or “rubber rooms” for extended periods after alleged charges of misconduct towards students.  Oxy grad Randy Traweek (’81) is quoted in the article:  http://www.dailynews.com/ci_22078074/lausd-jails-fill-teachers-misconduct-complaints-rise  A state audit, released yesterday, took the LAUSD to task for slow reporting to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) of teachers accused of misconduct with students as described in this featured front-page story from today’s L.A. Times:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-1130-lausd-audit-20121130,0,2905470,full.story  You can read the full audit report (68 pages) here:  http://documents.latimes.com/audit-faults-l-unified-not-reporting-accused-teachers/   (Click on “Text” once you reach the document).  EdSource followed up on the audit report and has a story that says there is no mechanism for tracking “classified” school employees who are removed from their jobs for misconduct towards students:  http://www.edsource.org/today/2012/abuse-records-dont-follow-some-school-workers/23467#.ULkT_dPjnDI
   U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan laid out some of his policy proposals for Pres. Obama’s second term in a speech in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.  Education Week has the brief details.  Be sure to note his comments about teacher education programs:  http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2012/11/_this_marks_the_first.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CampaignK-12+%28Education+Week+Blog%3A+Politics+K-12%29  Valerie Strauss was a little nonplussed that he wouldn’t directly answer some of the questions put to him after his address:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2012/11/28/arne-duncans-second-term/  If you want to read the “rather crude” article in the ONION that she refers to you can find it here:  http://www.theonion.com/articles/secretary-of-education-forced-to-take-up-stripping,30456/  And here’s a link to the Thomas Friedman (author of the next ALOED book club selection) piece in The New York Times recommending (tongue-in-cheek?) that Arne Duncan be nominated for Sec. of State:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/28/opinion/friedman-my-secretary-of-state.html?_r=0  Not to be outdone, Diane Ravitch has a very brief item on her blog about the whole idea of Duncan as Sec. of State.  Be sure to read the comments following her piece:  http://dianeravitch.net/2012/11/28/what-would-happen-if-arne-became-secretary-of-state/
   An editorial in Wednesday’s L.A. Times commented on a Harvard study (mentioned in a previous edition of the “Ed News) that looked at hiring practices over a 6-year period by the LAUSD.  The initial report came to some interesting conclusions regarding teacher seniority, advanced degrees, Teach for America and a number of other topics. You can read the editorial here:  http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-lausd-teacher-study-20121128,0,3778125.story
   Some 200 school districts throughout California have used a controversial type of long-term bond to help weather budget cuts over the past several years reports a featured front-page story in yesterday’s Times.  They require steep repayments over the life of the bonds.  The article includes a “Database” of districts (many of them in L.A. County–but NOT LAUSD) that have invested in the bonds:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-school-bond-20121129,0,4035729,full.story
   Do you think the use of standardized test results is ill-advised for many different things?  Ever wondered how much the tests cost states?  This story from EDUCATION WEEK highlights a report released yesterday and provides some expensive answers:  http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/11/29/13testcosts.h32.html?tkn=VLMFJUQpeyvKkTzwuCHPd%2FuQG%2BPWLRrD1lNp&cmp=clp-edweekv
   U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan sent a letter to state school chiefs reiterating the importance of school graduation rates in accountability measures under NCLB according to this article in EDUCATION WEEK:  http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2012/11/ed_dept_emphasizes_graduation_.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CampaignK-12+%28Education+Week+Blog%3A+Politics+K-12%29
   And finally, the UCLA IDEA Friday “Themes in the News” reviews the recent U.S. Dept. of Ed. report on school graduation rates (covered in the Nov. 27th “Ed News”): http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=40770a674de4ce8427a9a621b&id=5fe71be9a7&e=f7d7cb8d5d
Dave Alpert (’71) Chief Commissar

 

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