Monday, August 11, 2014


from the Politico Morning education report of Aug 11 |

FIRST LOOK: TUCK'S PATH TO VICTORY? His own internal polling shows former charter school executive Marshall Tuck lagging far behind incumbent Tom Torlakson in the race for California state superintendent - yet with huge numbers of voters undecided, Tuck is convinced he can win. His staff outlined the game plan: Play to voters' frustration with the quality of public education; talk up Tuck's success at improving struggling inner-city schools - and tar Torlakson as a puppet of the teachers unions. That last might be tricky, since the campaign's poll of 800 likely voters found strong positive views of the California Teachers Association. Still, in testing potential lines of attack, Tuck's team found voters soured on Torlakson when told the incumbent protected "unions over kids" by refusing to embrace reforms aimed at making it easier to fire abusive teachers. Voters also overwhelmingly back tenure reform - an issue Tuck has been highlighting in his campaign.

The polling also raised red flags for Tuck: His negative ratings soared after voters were told (in a preview of likely attack ads) that his support comes from billionaires out to privatize public education and that teachers at most of his schools voted 'no confidence' in his leadership. But Tuck's team said he could overcome such attacks - as long as wealthy ed reformers are willing to step in and counter the expected flood of union spending on behalf of Torlakson.

COURT TO TAKE UP CHEATING CASE: Jury selection will begin today for about a dozen people indicted in the Atlanta Public Schools test cheating scandal. But absent from the trial will be former district superintendent Beverly Hall. In July, a judge postponed [ ] her appearance in court because she was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer and a psychiatrist deemed her mentally unfit for trial.

But Hall [not a Broad Superintendent Academy grad – but a frequent speaker at their conferences]  who has denied that she knew about the cheating, is still under indictment. More than a year ago, almost three dozen people were indicted in the cheating conspiracy, which stretches back to 2005. Pressure to meet high standards and the desire to earn raises or avoid getting fired allegedly spurred educators to erase and replace incorrect answers on student tests. The charges include racketeering, lying to state investigators and attempting to influence witnesses. Prosecutors have agreed to plea deals with 21 of the defendants and some named in the case could testify against their former colleagues. The entire trial is expected to last four to six months. The Associated Press has more:



— International Baccalaureate graduates are more prepared for college and career and they’re more likely to persist through college, according to the organization:

— GOP and Justice Department duel on legal aid for unaccompanied migrant children. POLITICO:

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