Saturday, March 08, 2008

The News that Doesn't fit for March 9th


from Just Schools California - education news coverage of statewide interest compiled by UCLA/IDEA • Institute for Democracy, Education and Access.


Educators coalition formed to fight proposed budget cuts

Adolfo Guzman Lopez/KPCC

Schools administrators, labor unions and parent groups from the Southland announced Tuesday they've banded together to fight Governor Schwarzenegger's nearly $5 billion proposed cut to California's education budget.

State sanctions on bad schools won't do enough

Editorial/San Jose Mercury News

California became the first state last week to invoke sanctions against 97 school districts that have failed to show progress under the federal "No Child Left Behind" law. But for all the hoopla over "severe" and "moderate" sanctions, the state's actions won't cause much to change. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell ducked a chance to knock heads in a handful of chronically mismanaged district offices. The State Board of Education, which must approve their weak plan, should consider stronger measures.The much-maligned "No Child Left Behind" law measures student improvement districtwide as well as in individual schools.

States eye looser rein on districts

More operating leeway seen as spurring local improvement.
By Linda Jacobson/Ed Week

The push to give school districts greater operating flexibility—a grassroots rallying cry eclipsed in recent years by the charter school movement—is seeing a resurgence, as states seek to spur innovation that will help raise student achievement. In Georgia, Gov. Sonny Perdue is proposing “performance contracts” that would free administrators in 15 districts from some regulatory strictures as early as next fall, if they agreed to meet achievement targets in the next three years. California is granting significant operating leeway to two large districts, Fresno Unified and Long Beach Unified, in exchange for their agreeing to work toward student-achievement goals in three areas. And Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons envisions “empowerment schools” statewide—if the state can find the money.

View of a glass half-full

Blog by John Fensterwald/San Jose Mercury News

It’s a wonder that California students have done as well has they have, all things considered. That’s the conclusion of “Meeting the Challenge: Performance Trends in California Schools,” the lastest brief from PACE, the Policy Analysis for California Education, a joint project run out of U.C.-Berkeley and Stanford. The paper cited slow, steady academic progress by a number of measures over the past decade at a time that the proportions of poor, minority, English-learning students have grown in the state.

A key Republican sees odds dipping for NCLB renewal

House members aren’t making progress on their pledge to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act this year, according to a leading Republican lawmaker. “We’re in a climate where it doesn’t look very favorable to get the reauthorization done,” Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., told a meeting of the Education Industry Association last week. Rep. McKeon, who is the senior Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee, said he hasn’t met with Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the committee’s chairman, to discuss the NCLB law since October.

The debate on education

By Jeffrey R. Henig/Boston Globe

IN THIS presidential primary season, the issue of education has been like Sherlock Holmes's dog that didn't bark. Education is so far off the radar screen that, in an Associated Press-Yahoo poll, it didn't even make the 18-item list when voters were asked, "How important is each of the following issues to you personally?" The real reason education has been ignored is that other issues have taken precedence. I blame the American media and public for their short attention span and for their inability to focus on more than a few issues at a time. The headlines are focused on Iraq, terrorism, the economy, and healthcare.

Defienden fondos para educación

Education funds are defended
El LAUSD perdería casi mil dólares por cada estudiante
LAUSD would lose almost $1000 dollars per student
By Iván Mejía/La Opinión

De aprobarse los recortes propuestos por el goberndor Arnold Schwarzenegger para balancear el presupesto fiscal del estado, cada uno de los estudiantes del Distrito Escolar Unificado de Los Ángeles recibirá cerca de mil dólares menos por año para su educación. Schwarzenegger presentó una propuesta de recortes para balancear el déficit presupuestario estatal de 16,000 millones de dólares para el año fiscal 2008-2009, reduciendo 4,800 millones de dólares al presupuesto para educación.
If the cuts proposed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to balance the state's budget are approved, each student in LAUSD will receive approximately $1,000 less each year for their education. Schwarzenegger presented a budget cut proposal for fiscal year 2008-09 of $16,000 million dollars, reducing the education budget by $4,800 million.

Urging a public school exodus

Column by Cal Thomas/Sacramento Bee

As one group attempts to use California public schools as laboratories to assist children in "coming out" with their nontraditional sexual orientation, another is urging parents to come out from these schools and educate their children with their values at home or in private schools. Last Sunday, a group called "Exodus Mandate" ( began placing literature in scores of Southern California church lobbies, urging parents to take charge of their children's education and oppose attempts by activists and politicians to shape the worldview of young people, a worldview that runs counter to what many taxpaying parents believe and teach in their homes and places of worship.

Riverside Unified won't slash 154 jobs after all

By Imran Vittachin/Riverside Press-Enterprise

As many as 154 kindergarten, first- and second-grade full-time equivalent teaching positions across Riverside Unified School District won't be eliminated after all. To cheers inside a jam-packed board room, the school board voted Monday to restore the positions. The board reversed its Feb. 22 decision to cut them by eliminating the district's kindergarten through second-grade class-size reduction program for 2008-09, which would have saved Riverside Unified about $9.6 million. The reversal came after Deputy Superintendent Mike Fine said he discovered an error in his calculations and recommended the trustees vote to restore the class-size program.

Schools seek better notification on meat recalls

By Lesley Clark/Sacramento Bee

Local school districts got incomplete – and at times tardy – information about last month's massive recall of suspect beef, several school administrators told Congress on Tuesday. Testifying before a House of Representatives committee that's looking at ways to improve the safety and nutrition of school meals, Doris Rivas, the director of nutrition for the Dallas schools, said she first was under the impression that the district "did not have any of the product in question," only to learn weeks later that it did.

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