Saturday, September 18, 2010

EDUCATED GUESS: The Week that Was in CA

John Fensterwald - Educated Guess


by John Fensterwald - Educated Guess |


Larry Aceves on teachers, testing & spending: Candidate favors releasing teachers' ratings to parents

September 17, 2010 - Larry Aceves, the dark-horse candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction who won the primary in June, dislikes “merit pay” for individual teachers but believes parents should be entitled to know how effective their child’s teachers are in improving test scores.

Aceves, who will face Assemblyman Tom Torlakson in the Nov. 2 election, made those comments during a video interview with me.

Aceves also criticized teachers’ unions for not working with districts on […]

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Packing in 30 kids in kindergarten: Survey confirms retreat from small classes

September 16, 2010 - Reporter Louis Freedberg of California Watch reports that most large districts in California have abandoned small classes in lower grades and some are now packing 30 in a classroom, putting the final fork in the state’s class-size reduction program.

“In all, nine districts will have 30 or more students in all or some of their K-3 [...]

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Comcast reinstates CTA’s ad: Union distorts position but asks right question

September 16, 2010 - What a difference a few words can make.

Comcast Cable has reinstated the California Teachers Association’s ad attacking Republican gubernatorial candidate  Meg Whitman after the union tweaked the wording.  Her attorneys had threatened to sue stations that ran the ad  the campaign viewed as slanderous.
At issue was CTA’s assertion in the ad that Whitman proposes to [...]

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Bad charters to face revocation: State Board would decide after public hearing

September 15, 2010 -The State Board of Education moved closer Tuesday to adopting regulations giving it authority to put the lowest performing charter schools out of business.

Under the latest (and likely the final) proposal, the Board would consider revoking the charter of a school whose API scores were in the bottom 10 percent of schools statewide two straight [...]

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API, AYP: more conflicting messages: Should the new state target be 875 API?

September 14, 2010 - So many schools are making the goal on the state’s standardized test ranking system that it may be time to raise it, Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said Tuesday.

Showing continued improvement for the eighth straight year, a record 46 percent of schools this year scored at least 800 on the Academic Performance Index, including [...]

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Test changes ‘inflate’ API scores: State failed to adjust for easier test

September 13, 2010 - On annual report card day Tuesday, the State Department of Education announced that schools averaged double-digit increases on the Academic Performance Index, the chief measure of school progress, with highest gains for minority children. While this is very good news, a retired school testing executive from Monterey with an eye for data says “Curb some [...]

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