June14

“Liberty without Learning is always in peril and Learning
without Liberty is always in vain.”

    John F. Kennedy

   The man who came up with the idea for Gov. Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), Michael Kirst, looks back at how the idea was developed and what lies ahead as the legislature prepares to pass it.  EdSource has the profile:  http://www.edsource.org/today/2013/michael-kirst-father-of-new-school-funding-formula-looks-back-and-at-the-work-ahead/33408#.UbleOPmG12u  An editorial in Wednesday’s L.A. Times agrees with the compromises regarding Brown’s funding proposals and believes it might end up being his greatest “legacy” as governor:  http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-school-funding-california-budget-20130612,0,5838178.story   The state legislature is scheduled to vote on the LCFF today (SB 91).  When that is accomplished, Gov. Brown will certainly sign the bill and it will become law.  Who gets to work out the details of how it is implemented and who is responsible for monitoring it on an on-going basis?  That falls to the State Board of Education.  This story from EdSource discusses how all of this will play out over the next several years:  http://www.edsource.org/today/2013/state-board-handed-job-of-defining-rules-of-new-funding-system/33603#.UbtMYPb5nye   The Friday UCLA IDEA “Themes in the News” revisits the LCFF describing the compromise reached on Tuesday as “momentous” and the whole concept “a dramatic change in educational funding in California.”  This item offers  a quick primer on how the new funding will work and offers some challenges that lie ahead:  http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=40770a674de4ce8427a9a621b&id=ea2ff27a9a&e=f7d7cb8d5d
   Valerie Strauss looks at a new report that finds that a number of states’ math graduation requirements DO NOT align with the Common Core State Standards.  You’ll have to read her blog to find out how California fared:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/06/12/study-math-requirements-not-aligned-with-common-core-in-many-states/
   State education officials are going to tackle the problem of student absenteeism head-on.  Dept. of Education leaders convened a group of experts across many state agencies to define exactly what the problem is and develop some strategies to deal with it.  This story from EdSource details what they’ve been working on:  http://www.edsource.org/today/2013/state-agencies-aim-to-collaborate-to-fight-chronic-absenteeism/32861#.UboQzvb5nyd
   The LAUSD school board will be picking a new president on July 2 as Monica Garcia steps down after serving in the position for 6 years.  Dr. Richard Vladovic is considered the best bet for the job according to this piece from the L.A. SCHOOL REPORT:  http://laschoolreport.com/vladovic-the-frontrunner-for-board-president/
   The U.S. Senate Education Committee passed the Democratic version of the renewal bill for NCLB.  EDUCATION WEEK discusses what’s contained in the legislation:   http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2013/06/senate_committee_passes_democr.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CampaignK-12+(Education+Week+Blog%3A+Politics+K-12)  This piece contains a link to an excellent chart comparing the competing bills that aim to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  You can also access it here:  http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2013/06/nclb_bills_a_side-by-side_comp.html
   The Fordham Institute recently rated the new national Next General Science Standards (NGSS) quite a bit lower than the current curriculum already in place in California.  This item includes links to a one-page state-by-state “report card,” the full Fordham report (67 pages) and to the current California science standards:  http://www.siacabinetreport.com/articles/viewarticle.aspx?article=3851
   A story posted on the L.A. Times website yesterday evening (but not appearing in the paper today) comments on LAUSD Supt. Deasy approving of two outside reports from the group Educators4Excellence (heavily funded by the Gates and Walton foundations) regarding the recruiting and retention of high quality teachers.  Newest member of the board, Monica Ratliff, also liked what they contained:  http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-deasy-ratliff-applaud-report-20130613,0,7964369.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lanowblog+%28L.A.+Now%29  You can read the first full report (36 pages) titled “Building for the Future:  Attracting and Retaining Great Teachers in Hard-to-Staff Schools” here:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/147628923/Building-for-the-Future-Attracting-and-Retaining-Great-Teachers-in-Hard-to-Staff-Schools  The second full report (30 pages) titled “STEP: Supporting Teachers as Empowered Professionals” is here:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/147633890/STEP-Supporting-Teachers-as-Empowered-Professionals
   Valerie Strauss looks at “How Test Scores Can Be Deceiving” by focusing on a report that reviews 20 years of an education reform law in Massachusetts:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/06/13/how-test-scores-can-be-deceiving/
   And finally, Diane Ravitch continues her strong misgivings regarding the “parent trigger” law by reprinting, on her blog today, the resolution offered to the LAUSD board by member Steve Zimmer to make petition campaigns more transparent and open to discussion prior to schools be taken over or turned into charters:  http://dianeravitch.net/2013/06/14/steve-zimmer-proposes-safety-lock-for-parent-trigger/  A short time later she added this posting from “an educator in L.A.” who explained why this change is necessary:  http://dianeravitch.net/2013/06/14/the-unfairness-of-the-parent-trigger/
Dave Alpert (’71) Chief Commissar
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