April 12

“When I am king they shall not have bread and shelter only, but also teachings out of books, for a full belly is little worth where the mind is starved.” ― Mark Twain, The Prince and the Pauper
   EdSource provides some comparisons of how districts will fare monetarily under Gov. Brown’s proposed funding formula:  http://www.edsource.org/today/2013/apples-to-apples-comparison-of-browns-funding-formula/30110#.UWWpBqv5nye  The governor’s plan has been getting a rocky reception from education leaders in the State Assembly this week.  This story in the SI&A CABINET REPORT detail some of the criticisms of the controversial proposal:  http://www.siacabinetreport.com/articles/viewarticle.aspx?article=2762
   High school graduation rates in California inched up again in 2012 according to this article in the San Francisco Chronicle.  African-American and Hispanic students posted the largest gains based on an analysis of the latest date from the State Dept. of Education:  http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/State-graduation-rates-inch-higher-4421580.php#ixzz2Q5LH9SK8
   The teaching of climate change will be included in the new national science standards released Tuesday.  They address the first change in 15 years to the way science is taught in classrooms throughout the U.S.  California will review the new standards and vote on whether to accept them in November.  Wednesday’s L.A. Times provides the details:  http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-science-20130409,0,1524486.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lanowblog+(L.A.+Now)
   Fewer California community college students are finishing two-year degrees and transferring to a 4-year college or university based on data released by the system’s chancellor’s office.  The Times again has this story:  http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-college-scorecard-20130409,0,554227.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lanowblog+(L.A.+Now)
   In the on-going saga of the “parent-trigger” takeover of 24th St. Elementary (LAUSD), yesterday’s Times reports that the parents have agreed on a charter to take over the grade 5-8 portion of the school:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0411-parent-vote-20130411,0,6821401.story
   Valerie Strauss (you know her) reprints a blog from Linda Darling-Hammond (you know her, too) about the need for teachers to have time to collaborate particularly with the arrival of the Common Core State Standards:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/04/11/what-teachers-need-and-reformers-ignore-time-to-collaborate/
   Pres. Obama unveiled his fiscal year 2014 budget on Wednesday and it included some substantial increases for education.  Check out what programs were winners in this story from EDUCATION WEEK.  Keep in mind these are only proposals.  They must be passed by both the Senate and House before they become lawhttp://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2013/04/obama_budget_would_invest_in_p.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CampaignK-12+%28Education+Week+Blog%3A+Politics+K-12%29&utm_content=Google+Reader
   This item from the SI&A CABINET REPORT describes several bills making their way through the California Legislature that deal with education technology, the Common Core State Standards and the new science curriculum:  http://www.siacabinetreport.com/articles/viewarticle.aspx?article=2764
   Another California school district, Fresno Unified, is adopting the alternative approach to student behavior known as “Restorative Justice.”  The “Ed News” has highlighted this system in the past.  For a review of how it works check out this article in The Fresno Bee:  http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/04/10/3252573/fresno-unified-leaders-embrace.html
   UTLA recently held a week-long “no-confidence” vote on the job of Supt. John Deasy.  Today’s L.A. Times published the results.  Not surprisingly, 91% of the votes cast disapproved of his performance.  A second measure, critical of the union’s leadership also passed with 77% in favor.  Read about both here:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0412-teachers-deasy-20130412,0,7411286.story  Somebody seems to like the job Supt. Deasy is doing.  This week’s edition of the LA WEEKLY has a laudatory article about his role in firing “lemon teachers” with nary a word that some of them were fired or forced to resign with little or no due process:  http://www.laweekly.com/2013-04-11/news/dance-of-lemons-lausd-firing-jumps/?ref=trending
   An editorial in yesterday’s Times reacted to a Bill Gates op-ed in The Washington Post regarding the overuse of standardized test scores in teacher evaluations that a previous “Ed News” featured.  The piece was critical of Gates’ apparent change of direction since his foundation had been at the forefront of pushing districts to adopt test scores in their evaluations of educators:  http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-gates-testing-teacher-evaluations-20130411,0,7561671.story  The Friday UCLA IDEA “Themes in the News” echoed the Times editorial about Bill Gates’ change of heart but was critical of the paper for being one of the first to publish individual teacher test scores:  http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=40770a674de4ce8427a9a621b&id=9d0bbc23ce&e=f7d7cb8d5d
   Thanks to Nancy Kuechle for sending along this article from EDUCATION WEEK.   Even though it was published in Aug., 2011, it has a number of handy tips for using technology in the classroom.  http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2011/08/10/barnett_hightechteaching.html?tkn=WMZF3yV56Iw0seCA2qBYyku1JmjJUSRrlTxQ&cmp=ENL-TU-NEWS1
   The SI&A CABINET REPORT highlights a report to the state legislature from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) that points out a steep decline in the number of teachers earning credentials.  Last year’s figure was under 16,500–a 10-year low!
The number of candidates entering teacher training programs has also been steadily declining.  Here are the details:  http://www.siacabinetreport.com/articles/viewarticle.aspx?article=2766
   L.A. mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel stated in a speech yesterday that she wants to be the city’s “education reform mayor.”   She outlined some of her other education policies in her talk at Granada Hills Charter High School according to this story in the L.A. Daily News:  http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_23008194/wendy-greuel-pledges-be-l-s-education-reform?source=rss
   And finally, the State of Texas, where test-based accountability got its start, is seriously considering back-tracking on the number of tests administered in its schools.  The state legislature is working on a couple of bills that would reduce the number of exams that must be passed to earn a diploma from 15 to 5 among other curriculum issues.  The New York Times has the details and the implications for other states:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/11/education/texas-considers-reversing-tough-testing-and-graduation-requirements.html?src=recg&_r=0
Today is Friday which means HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

Dave Alpert (’71) Chief Commissar
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