Tuesday, March 31, 2015



from LA Times reporter Howard Blume, starting at 5:05 PM - 31 Mar 2015

Howard Blume @howardblume ·  15m 15 minutes ago

L.A. Unified has just filed its application for an extended reprieve from No Child Left behind. If successful,.

Howard Blume @howardblume ·  15m 15 minutes ago

..the district will retain control over $57 million a year in federal anti-poverty funds. If not, these funds must be set aside for...

Howard Blume @howardblume ·  14m 14 minutes ago

...private tutoring services & transportation from so-called "failing schools" to higher-rated campuses. The problem is...

Howard Blume @howardblume ·  13m 13 minutes ago

The problem is that L.A Unified could not, apparently, get the teachers union to agree to a 3-tiered performance evaluation.

Howard Blume @howardblume ·  12m 12 minutes ago

United Teachers L.A. has instead wanted to keep a 2-tier rating system: "meets standard performance” or “below standard performance.”

Howard Blume @howardblume ·  10m 10 minutes ago

L.A. Unified says without the 3 tier system, fed rules say that control of funds will be lost, costing jobs & services to students.

Howard Blume @howardblume ·  10m 10 minutes ago

Today's deadline is for filing with feds. It's not clear that funds would be lost right away if no agreement with union is reached.

Howard Blume @howardblume ·  6m 6 minutes ago

At any rate, it is clear that L.A. Unified & teachers union were not able to reach an agreement today over teacher evaluations.

Howard Blume @howardblume ·  7m 7 minutes ago

Regarding 3-tier teacher eval: "LAUSD understands that this is a requirement of the CORE Waiver and will continue to work with UTLA...

Howard Blume @howardblume ·  7m 7 minutes ago

"...through the mediation and bargaining processes to include at least three levels of performance in the teacher evaluation system."

Howard Blume @howardblume ·  8m 8 minutes ago

A key line from waiver extension request, which also includes districts in Fresno, Long Beach, Oakland, San Francisco and Santa Ana...

Howard Blume @howardblume ·  3m 3 minutes ago

Statement from teachers union: “UTLA is in continuing negotiations with the District and we see the CORE Waiver..."

Howard Blume @howardblume ·  3m 3 minutes ago

"...as one of many issues to be addressed in bargaining.”

Connecting some widely separated dots: VALUE-ADDED TEACHER GUILTY OF MURDER

connected+compiled by smf for 4LAKidsNews

2cents_small_thumb[2][1] 31 March 2015  ::  Allow me, if you will, to explore some territory sometimes not explored, with bits of it sure to upset everyone. On occasion one must pick up the rocks and inspect the creepy-crawlies lurking below.

If you remember the opening credits of Twin Peaks, this is like that.

If you will, hearken back to the Autumn of 2010 – with Dr. Deasy – transitioning into the superintendent’s job - campaigning tooth+claw for Value Added Assessment of Teachers based on test scores – and UTLA’s resistance thereto – fought at the Board of Ed and up in Sacramento and in the courts – but mostly contested in the pages and airwaves of The Media.

At the time these pages called the effort “Value Addled Assessment,” thinking ourself quite clever.

The LA Times ran an end-around, got all the teachers’ test scores through a Freedom of Information Act  Request  and commissioned its own study, cloaked it in some questionable scholarship – which it released with great fanfare and self promotion. This undoubtedly temporarily  increased The Times declining readership by more than the number of UTLA members who cancelled their subscriptions.  The Times was in bankruptcy at the Time, some would say this proved a new level of moral bankruptcy.

In essence The Times outed Good Teachers and Bad Teachers in a Database of Shame.

Even Dr D distanced himself from the Times action – reminiscent of Henry II’s shock when his unfortunate question “Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?” led to the murder+sainthood of  his BBF Thomas à Becket back in 1170 and spawned a cottage industry of Becket chroniclers from Chaucer to Edward Anhalt.

Up to now our tale has been quite jolly+amusing …but one teacher, 39 year old   Rigoberto Ruelas Jr., took his bad teacher review in The Times quite seriously and committed suicide – driving up to the Angeles Crest and jumping from a bridge. A very difficult thing to explain to his fifth-grade students at Miramonte Elementary School.

There was soul searching and finger-pointing and recriminations – [“Suicide Raises Questions About LA Times Teacher Rankings” (AP)  http://huff.to/1OW51mP] and Dr. D was never able to get his Value Added /Growth Over Time Assessments ….though not for lack of trying.

Why bring this up now you ask?

Because we owe it Rigoberto Ruelas.

Because today is the deadline for the application to renew the CORE California Waiver to NCLB …which hinges on Value Added Teacher Assessments.

And because there has been another development.   …or maybe not.

Maybe it’s a stretch to connect the murder of his wife and the trial and conviction this week of third grade teacher Michael Kane to his LA Times Teacher ratings. After all he was rated More Effective than Average  (in Math)  and Most Effective (in English)

Maybe Kane wasn’t empowered to murder Michelle Ann Kane  partly because of his excellent ratings.

Maybe Rigoberto Ruellas was just having a bad day back in 201o.

I’m offended.  I hope I haven’t offended you too much.

Going all Zen: Consider the metaphor of the stone tossed into the pond and the resultant ripples.



4LAKids normally doesn’t cover stories of LAUSD employees who misbehave outside of work where it doesn’t impact the workplace. Being an LAUSD employee doesn’t make you a bad person; employing a bad person doesn’t make us a bad district. The District has 50,000+ workers. Some will murder their spouse. Some will fix multimillion dollar contracts for multinational corporations. Some will cross the street even though the sign says “Don’t Walk”. Human nature meets the law of averages.

LA Unified teacher convicted of stabbing his wife to death

Los Angeles Times-March 30, 2015

Michael Kane, who was a teacher at L.A. Unified's Nestle Avenue Charter Elementary School in Tarzana, fled the scene. He was arrested in ...

LAUSD teacher guilty of wife's stabbing death in West Hills
LA Daily News-Mar 30, 2015

Teacher Convicted of Stabbing Estranged Wife to Death in West Hills
KTLA-March 30, 2015

Los Angeles teacher convicted of stabbing wife to death
San Jose Mercury News-March 31, 2015

Former LAUSD Teacher Found Guilty Of Murdering Estranged Wife
CBS Local-March 30, 2015


L.A. Times | Los Angeles Teacher Ratings | http://lat.ms/1Dnw07D

See 2009 rating

Michael R. Kane

A 3rd grade teacher at Bassett Street Elementary in 2010

These graphs show a teacher's "value-added" rating based on his or her students' progress on the California Standards Tests in math and English. The Times’ analysis used all valid student scores available for this teacher from the 2003-04 through 2009-10 academic years. The value-added scores reflect a teacher's effectiveness at raising standardized test scores and, as such, capture only one aspect of a teacher's work.


See how this teacher would change under different statistical models »

About this rating

The red lines show The Times’ value-added estimates for this teacher. Kane falls within the “more effective than average” category of district teachers in math and within the “most effective” category in English. These ratings were calculated based on test scores from 64 students.

Because this is a statistical measure, each score has a degree of uncertainty. The shading represents the range of values within which Kane’s actual effectiveness score is most likely to fall. The score is most likely to be in the center of the shaded area, near the red line, and less likely in the lightly shaded area. Teachers with ratings based on a small number of student test scores will a have wider shaded range.

The beige area shows how the district's 11,500 elementary school teachers are distributed across the categories.

Kane's LAUSD teaching history

Years used for value-added rating. See FAQ for details.

The Times gave LAUSD elementary school teachers rated in this database the opportunity to preview their value-added evaluations and publicly respond. Some issues raised by teachers may be addressed in the FAQ. Teachers who have not commented may do so by contacting The Times.

Source: The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Unified School District, Richard Buddin
Credits: Jason Felch, Stephanie Ferrell, Megan Garvey, Thomas Suh Lauder, David Lauter, Julie Marquis, Anthony Pesce, Sandra Poindexter, Ken Schwencke, Beth Shuster, Jason Song, Doug Smith

Los Angeles Teacher Ratings, the Los Angeles Times' database of value-added scores for Los Angeles Unified elementary schools and teachers.


UPDATE 30 March 2015: Kane has been on unpaid leave with the school district since June 2013, district spokesman Thomas Waldman said. District officials are "swiftly reviewing the case" and Kane's formal dismissal is expected to be taken up at the school board's next meeting in April.


Mendez Reading Club turns these high schoolers into page yearners


by Steve Lopez | LA Times | http://t.co/fxIxTtNqXV



Author Luis Rodriguez
Author Luis Rodriguez, second from right, signs a copy of one of his books for a member of the Mendez High School Reading Club at Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

31 March 2015  ::  They meet on Mondays at lunch.

They remove their earbuds, hide their smartphones and communicate without the aid of electronic devices.

They are the coolest kids at Mendez High School in Boyle Heights.

They are the Reading Club.

"This is truly the biggest club on campus," said English teacher Rebecca Carriaga, who formed the group last year with librarian Kim Leng. The two of them have often dipped into their own pockets to feed the book-reading fever of students, and the club is now 20-strong and growing.

Why am I telling you this? Because this is book bonanza time in Los Angeles.

Mendez High School Reading Club

Author Luis Urrea, right, meets at Mariachi Plaza with members of the Mendez High School Reading Club, who are currently reading Urrea's novel "Into the Beautiful North." (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The annual citywide Big Read was launched last week, with guess-who right in the middle of it. That's right, the Mendez Reading Club marched from school to Mariachi Plaza to meet and hang with Luis Urrea, author of this year's Big Read selection, "Into the Beautiful North." And three weeks from now, these same students will cruise the L.A. Times Festival of Books on the USC campus.

I heard about the reading club from David Kipen, who runs the Libros Schmibros lending library and book store in Boyle Heights, and who started Big Read programs around the country back when he was at the National Endowment for the Arts. Mendez High and other Los Angeles-area schools, along with public libraries, will host group reads and discussions of "Into the Beautiful North" over the next month.

"It's classic L.A.," Kipen said of Urrea's comic and poignant book, which features a young Mexican female character named Nayeli, who happens to be a movie lover.

Nayeli, inspired by "The Magnificent Seven," and fed up with the drug-dealing thugs who sell to American surfers in her little town of Tres Camarones (three shrimps), crosses into the U.S. in search of seven real hombres to replace those who went north for work and never returned.

Before I get to the students' reaction, here's a little background on how the book club came to be:

Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez High School for College and Career Preparation opened five years ago, and English teacher Carriaga said it seemed that some students, many of whom had not been exposed to reading at home, were intimidated by books. So she tried to take the pressure off by assigning books and then, rather than pass out written exams, sit one-on-one with each student to "interview" them about their impressions.

"I'd ask different questions and let them talk, and I found that they were authentically engaged," said Carriaga. "Then I noticed them recommending books to each other."

My mother will ask, 'How was your day, Moanni?' And I'll say, 'Wait. Let me finish this page first. - Moanni Leos

She and her co-conspirator, Leng, knew they had to capitalize on that enthusiasm. So they recruited one or two students, who helped fish for more, occasionally using pizza as a lure. Initially, the club talked about whatever book someone might be reading, but then came "Into the Beautiful North," the first book that all club members are reading and discussing together.

Dana Tsuruta, a junior, said she's enjoying the book so far.

"He puts a little comedy into it and he puts a little bit of Spanish into it, too. I don't know much Spanish, but I'm curious, so I'll look it up or ask someone," said Tsuruta, who speaks some Japanese and Korean.

Club members Raymundo Villarreal, Mayahuel Aguilera and Nayeli Gomez are longtime readers and didn't need any arm-twisting to join. Villarreal said he has a library at home, Gomez thought the reading club would look good on a college application, and Aguilera seemed a little reluctant to talk to me because she was engrossed in — no surprise here — a book.

"I'm on Chapter 7 right now and this book is just hilarious," said freshman Moanni Leos, who loves that the female protagonist is such an agitator, trying to take back Tres Camarones along with her Aunt Irma, who runs for mayor.

Leos said she doesn't go anywhere without a book, and reads on trains, in bed, even while eating.

"My mother will ask, 'How was your day, Moanni?' And I'll say, 'Wait. Let me finish this page first.'"

The newest member of the club, Ana Razo, has an entirely different story. She and her mother, who cleans houses, live in a home without books.

"I used to hate reading," Razo said.

But recently at school, Carriaga assigned the "The Bully," by Paul Langan, and Razo had an awakening.

And then it was "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas," by John Boyne, a heartbreaking tale of two boys on different sides of a prison camp fence during World War II. That one was followed by Sonia Nazario's "Enrique's Journey," the moving tale of a boy's long border-crossing journey in search of his mother.

Mendez High School Reading Club

Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times | David Kipen, co-director of Libros Schmibros, center, chats with Mendez High School librarian Kim Leng, right, and members of the Mendez Reading club at Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights.

"I can't put it down," said Razo, who is reading "Enrique" along with "Into the Beautiful North," and has had a breakthrough not just as a reader, but as a writer too.

"Lately I've written words I never thought I could have written — words that were so hard for me to say, I'd just give up," said Razo. "I was so scared of reading."

I told her that I was the same way at her age, and there were no books in my house, either. So we're both playing a little catch-up, but that just means we get to read more books than everybody else.

Nearly 20 members of the Reading Club hiked east Wednesday afternoon to the heart of Boyle Heights, where the festive music of a mariachi band let you know this was a big deal. Poet Marisela Norte was there, along with Los Angeles poet laureate and novelist Luis Rodriguez, who told the kids that reading and writing saved his life when he was close to throwing it all away.

The students mingled comfortably with Urrea, a decorated writer with a disarming manner, and they laughed at his stories about growing up in Tijuana with slightly off-kilter relatives. There was an aunt who had issues with the church and burned incense all day so God wouldn't give up on her, and a strange uncle who sent him out to steal holy water.

Dana Tsuruta and Candy Perez, from the reading club, were in hysterics as Urrea told his Spanglish-tinged stories. Tsuruta got to laugh twice, because she kept leaning into Perez for translations and then giggled again when she got the whole joke.

Perez, by the way, told me she has read seven books this year, so she might surpass the 45 she read last year.

When the event drew to a close, Kipen announced that members of the reading club could all grab a free book from Libros Schmibros, which is about to celebrate five years of bringing the people of Boyle Heights together. A few of the students waited for autographs as the sun fell out of the sky in a fireball, sending shafts of golden light slicing under the dome in the center of Mariachi Plaza, like something out of a book.

SUPREME COURT RULING SHOWS HAZY HIGH SCHOOL FREEDOM: Court's refusal to consider US flag shirt case shows its ambivalence on student free speech

Editorial By The  LA Times Editorial Board | http://lat.ms/1ywAeSV

U.S. Supreme Court

The  Supreme Court rejects a free-speech appeal from several California high school students who were told they could not wear a shirt emblazoned with an American flag on the Cinco de Mayo holiday. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

31 Maych 2015  ::  Almost half a century ago, in a case involving students who wore black armbands to protest the Vietnam War, the Supreme Court proclaimed that schoolchildren don't “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” This week the court declined to hear a case from California that would have offered an opportunity to reaffirm that principle.

In 2010, some students at Live Oak High School near San Jose wore shirts with the American flag to school on Cinco de Mayo. An assistant principal was told by a student that “there might be problems” as a result. (A year earlier, Mexican American students had reacted with profanity and threats when some white students hung a makeshift American flag and chanted “USA.”)

At the direction of the principal, the students were told to either turn their shirts inside out or take them off. Two students who refused were told to go home.

To a Latino student — particularly an immigrant — an assertive display of the U.S. flag by a classmate on Cinco de Mayo might be offensive. But some students might also have been offended by the anti-war armbands. Both are forms of free speech.

The students who wore the flag shirts sued the Morgan Hill Unified School District, claiming their 1st and 14th Amendment rights had been violated. But the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected their claim, holding that the possibility of an “altercation” justified the decision to order the students to remove or hide their shirts.

The Supreme Court's refusal to consider [this case] is another sign that it's ambivalent about the principle of student free speech it enshrined in 1969 but has whittled away at. - 

Many parents probably would endorse that “better safe than sorry” reasoning. But it's hard to square with the Supreme Court's stirring support for student speech in Tinker vs. Des Moines School District, the 1969 armband decision. As lawyers for the Live Oak students pointed out to the Supreme Court, the officials' actions were a response not to a clear threat of disruption but rather to “unrealized and unarticulated student unrest.” What's more, the officials gave a “heckler's veto” to students who might have been offended by the American flag shirts.

These are serious arguments. The court's refusal to consider them is another sign that it's ambivalent about the principle it enshrined in 1969 but has whittled away at in subsequent rulings. In a concurring opinion in one of those cases, Justice Clarence Thomas complained that “we continue to distance ourselves from Tinker, but we neither overrule it nor offer an explanation of when it operates and when it does not. I am afraid that our jurisprudence now says that students have a right to speak in schools except when they don't.”

Although we believe the court should have taken this case to reaffirm Tinker, we agree with Thomas that school administrators everywhere are entitled to clarity from the court about what the 1st Amendment requires inside the schoolhouse gate.


CITY NEWS SERVICE | http://www.socalnews.com/

30 March 2015  ::  LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A licensed insurance broker-agent is accused of
stealing more than $500,000 from  programs managed by his employer, including
$100,000 from the Los Angeles Unified School District, the California
Department of Insurance reported.

   Arthur Cade, 60, worked for DACM Project Management, also known as Dugan
&Associates, controlling funds for programs the company managed, including
LAUSD's rewards and recognition program, established to influence safe behavior
and management on new construction sites for the LAUSD, the Department of
Insurance said in a statement.

   Cade allegedly stole more than $100,000 from the school district program
and $400,000 from other funds run by DACM, according to insurance officials.
The theft was uncovered after an employee noticed bank transfers to Cade’s
personal account, they said.

   ``No matter what form insurance fraud takes, it harms insurers,
consumers and California's economy," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

``Thanks to the combined efforts of the Department of Insurance and the Los
Angeles County District Attorney's office, we were able to stop the alleged
theft from this program.``

   Cade was arrested last week and released Friday after posting $318,000
bail. He faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted.

“Whoa, big fella…” REINING IN THE SECRETARY OF EDUCATION + smf’s 2¢


from by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce Republicans via Fritzwire

31 March 2015  ::  Separation of powers. States' rights. Local control. These are just a few fundamental principles the Obama administration has ignored when it comes to K-12 education, and it's time for Congress to do something about it.

It began in 2009 with a multibillion dollar slush fund known as "Race to the Top." Created in the Democrats' failed stimulus law, the program empowered the secretary of education to hand out federal dollars to cash-strapped states, and later school districts, if and only if they adopted the administration's preferred education policies. This taxpayer funded competition was heavy on requirements, light on transparency, and the left-learning Economic Policy Institute revealed it was based on "bias and chance." Former Texas Governor Rick Perry called Race to the Top "an unacceptable intrusion on states' control over education."

The administration then extended its overreach by concocting a convoluted conditional waiver scheme, which replaces some of No Child Left Behind's (NCLB) more onerous requirements with more mandates from Washington - compounding the confusion and frustration shared by state and local education leaders. As Chairman Kline described, the waivers are "making it difficult for educators to provide a quality education and countless children are paying the price."

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson expressed a similar sentiment, noting, the waivers "further [erode] what local control of our schools remains."

With billions of taxpayer dollars and NCLB waivers in his back pocket, the secretary of education has bypassed the legislative process and forced on states and school districts a backdoor education agenda that includes Common Core, teacher evaluations based on high stakes testing, and school turnaround plans.

Questioning the administration's heavy-handed approach to K-12 education, Torlakson said: “Relief from the failings of federal policy should not be reserved only for those prepared to provide Washington an ever-expanding role in the operation of ... public schools.”

This unprecedented executive overreach has allowed the president and the secretary to dictate education policies historically reserved for states and school districts - stymying innovation, frustrating parents and educators, and undermining an effort in Congress to replace a flawed law with meaningful reforms.

The Student Success Act puts an end to the administration's harmful education power grabs by reining in the secretary of education and restoring state and local control over K-12 schools. The legislation:

  • Prohibits the secretary of education from coercing states into adopting Common Core or other common standards or assessments;
  • Prevents the secretary of education from creating additional burdens on states and school districts, particularly in the areas of standards, assessments, and accountability plans; and
  • Outlines specific procedures the secretary of education must follow when issuing federal regulations and requires greater transparency and accountability over the development of new rules affecting K-12 schools.
As the American Enterprise Institute's Michael McShane and Max Eden wrote, without the Student Success Act,
  • The Obama Department of Education will continue to use No Child Left Behind waivers to dictate education policy to the states. The Common Core will be all but guaranteed indefinitely.
  • Two - or even more - years of the status quo will normalize the Obama administration's behavior, and it's not at all clear that conservatives will get a better chance to set things right.
It's time for Congress to Act.  It's time to replace a flawed law with common sense reforms and to end the administration's ability to unilaterally write education policy. It's time to pass the Student Success Act.
More information on the Student Success Act:


House Committee on Education and the Workforce Republicans



2cents_small_thumb[2][1] When your read some of the  things I post I ask+expect you to consider the source. This comes from House Republicans. Sure, I know abaout the spin+framimigWhy do they seem so right this time?

Monday, March 30, 2015


by e-mail from the office of the superintendent


From: Hill, Matt
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2015 3:59 PM
To: Cortines, Ramon; King, Michelle, Chief Deputy Superintendent
Cc: Copeland, Roniesha; Pappas, Diane; Sabia, Gary; Khazei, Shahryar; Loera, Gerardo; Lucas, Bernadette; Perez, Ruth
Subject: Update on the Department of Education's Recommendations

Hello Mr. Cortines and Ms. King,

Attached is a tracking document that provides updates on the recommendations the Department of Education made during their visit. We have been having bi-weekly calls with the Department of Education and the MiSiS and Instructional Technology Initiative (ITI) teams to update them on our progress and to receive additional feedback and support. The calls have been very helpful and productive.

I want to thank Roniesha Copeland for being the lead on ensuring that we are tracking and monitoring this important work.


Matt Hill

Chief Strategy Officer

Los Angeles Unified School District

LAUSD/USDOE+recommendations+tracking_3-20-15 by smf 4LAKids


by Vanessa Romo, LA School Report | http://bit.ly/1Gao9t7

evaluationMarch 27, 2015 5:02 pm  ::  Despite claims by Superintendent Ramon Cortines that LA Unified could lose $171 million in federal funding without an agreement with the teachers union on a teacher evaluation system, state officials say the money may not be at risk, at all.

For weeks, Cortines has urged UTLA to accept a proposal with a three-level overall teacher evaluation system — one of several conditions of the California Office to Reform Education (CORE) Waiver program, that provides federal funding and allows districts to sidestep No Child Left Behind requirements. A two-level system had been in place through the 2012-2013 school year.

The deadline to submit the new CORE Waiver application is just days a day away, March 31.

But Hilary McLean, communications director for CORE, says the absence of an agreement on a three-tier system is not a deal breaker. Even without an agreement, “we believe that LAUSD will be in a position to submit an application,” she told LA School Report.

“This is also a somewhat iterative process,” McLean added, explaining that even after the district plans are submitted, “CORE is constantly in communication with the Department of Education so even as we meet certain deadlines on the calendar, we continue sharing information for their review purposes.”

The district will submit a proposal regardless of whether it can strike a deal with UTLA. But Cortines said in a statement today, “I think it’s important we do this together…It’s more powerful if we do it together.”

Teacher evaluations have been part of the current contract negotiations between the district and the union, which are now in the hands of a federal mediator who is not scheduled to meet with the sides again until April 6 and April 15.

Cortines addressed the issue in a letter to U.S. Department of Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, earlier this month, writing that the “only obstacle to full compliance…is the long-standing contractual agreement with UTLA that provides only two levels of overall final performance evaluation.”

In 2013, LA Unified imposed a new four-level system, but the union objected, arguing that such a system created a path to establish merit pay to reward the highest performing teachers. The union took the issue to the labor board, and a PERB judge agreed with UTLA that the district acted unlawfully and ordered the two sides to renegotiate the terms.

Despite that order, the sides have never reached agreement.

While LA Unified and five other California schools districts that are seeking the CORE waiver are compiling their own data for a proposal, they are all submitted by CORE as a bundle. The other districts are Fresno, Long Beach, Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Ana, and LA Unified.

The proposals are delivered at the same time, and McLean said the U.S. Department of Education assesses each application individually “so if one is not accepted it does not affect the others.”


2cents_small_thumb[2][1] There are a lot of balls in the air here and a lot o’ confusion and a lot of people interpreting the rules based on what they think the game is.

  • I’m not sure who the LASR is referring to when it cites “state officials”.   The quoted CORE CA spokesperson is not a state  official and CORE is not an entity representing the State of California  – it’s a six district (used to be nine district) consortium of school districts acting on their own in negotiating a NCLB waiver with the US DoE.  That said, I hope Ms. McLean is right!
  • Look here (from 4LAKids last Sept.)  to see what LAUSD and the other 5 CORE CA districts are trying to work around.
  • Drill down here to get a clue as to the sodden sorry history of the CORE CA adventure – and pay particular attention to the quote from real state officials that the State NCLB waiver  had a “jaw dropping cost” to the state! (Plus you can be reminded that it was Tommy Chang, now safely out of Dodge as Superintendent in Boston, who negotiated the CORE Waiver!)
  • (I’m prepared to accept the $171 million is a “jaw dropping cost”!)
  • The whole argument and the  CORE NCLB Waiver is almost certainly moot. No one in Congress likes NCLB much… or the waiver process at all! The debate in Congress  over reauthorizing NCLB/ESEA may rage on for months – and the president may well veto whatever comes out of Congress, should anything do so.  A waiver to a law that is not going to be on the books is worth only the value of the paper it’s printed on.  And the only paper in DC of any value comes out of the Bureau of Engraving …not the Congress!
  • The truth is that Congress controls the purse strings and LAUSD’s $171 million; not the US DoE or the White House or the State DoE or CORE CA or the superintendent and the Board of Ed or the UTLA contract -  no matter what verse of Kumbaya the massed choir sings.  
  • Remember what Governor Brown said about ‘Local Control’ and subsidiarity?  This is the opposite of that – ultimately the US Congress will decide whether LAUSD gets its $171 million.

REFLECTIONS+GRUMBLING ON ®EFORM …from the belly of the beast!

smf 2cents The article from Politico below  quotes Seth Andrew, who is the founder of Democracy Prep charter school network in New York City and elsewhere on the Right Coast. Democracy Prep is self described as : 

 “Democracy Prep Charter School first opened its doors in August 2006. By 2009, DPCS became the highest performing school in Central Harlem and was ranked the number one public middle school in New York City.

“Democracy Prep Public Schools currently operates fourteen high-performing schools in New York, New Jersey, and The District of Columbia serving 4,416 citizen-scholars. The incredible success of the scholars is possible through the tireless and dedicated work of the educators who make up our DREAM Team.

“By proving that students - regardless of what zip code they are born into - can perform at high academic levels, we seek to transform not only the lives of the students at Democracy Prep but also the expectation of what public schools can achieve.”

….and has the usual suspects from Teach for America and Students Now! on their board.


REFLECTIONS ON REFORM: “There is deep and profound hypocrisy in our work….”

from Politico Morning Ed, By Stephanie Simon With help from Caitlin Emma and Allie Grasgreen  | http://politi.co/1NAjvae

30 March 2015  ::  Today, some stinging words from Seth Andrew, the founder of the Democracy Prep charter school network and Democracy Builder advocacy group.

aboutthefounderlargepic_622_241_c1_center_center_0_0_1[1] < Seth Andrew

He says it's not appropriate to call the reform sector a "movement" because it remains such a top-down initiative, led by elites who have little personal experience with failing schools. Andrew complains that reformers have been using the same playbook for two decades: Stage huge rallies, hire pricey lobbyists, bring in big grants from philanthropists. The goals are admirable, he said, but the elites running the show "suck up all the oxygen" and rarely let real families be heard.

Those parents and students who do get a voice are often those who've already landed seats in charter schools, not those who feel trapped and oppressed by the current system.

"We are making a strategic and historic mistake," Andrew said. "There is deep and profound hypocrisy in our work, and until we call it out from within, and fix it, we won't ever be able to truly transform systems."

California State University’s Early Assessment Program: NEW TESTS TO SHOW SCHOOL JUNIORS IF THEY’RE COLLEGE-READY

Predictions of lower college readiness scores on the Smarter Balanced tests are why CSU officials are asking high schools to be prepared to accommodate more students requesting extra help next year.

  By John Fensterwald | EdSource Today | http://bit.ly/1Cq0kLp

Credit: Alison Yin for EdSource Today

Mar 29, 2015  ::  This is a transition year for the California State University’s Early Assessment Program, a decade-old early warning system that tells 11th-graders whether they are prepared for college-level work – and steps they should take if they’re not. Caught in the switch to a new test and new academic standards, more juniors may be told that they’re not yet ready.

Until this year, the Early Assessment Program’s test consisted of a combination of questions on the old 11th-grade California Standards Tests, plus a writing sample and 30 additional math and English language arts problems that CSU developed.

With the transition to the Common Core, California education officials pushed to replace the EAP test with the new Smarter Balanced tests to provide a common set of college readiness measurements that all member states of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium could use. The other states agreed with this approach.

“EAP is now the model for the rest of the country,” said Beverly Young, CSU’s assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs. “The form of the assessment is changing, but the structure of the program is the same.”

The green bands of the chart show the percentages of high school juniors two years ago who tested ready or conditionally ready for college courses on the Early Assessment Program tests in English and math. The purple and blue bands show students nationwide who took the practice or field test last year on the Smarter Balanced tests who also would have been ready or college ready. Based on the results, CSU expects more students will need extra work in writing and expository reading as seniors to avoid remedial classes in their freshman year of college. Since only advanced math students took the EAP test, while all juniors will take the Smarter Balanced math test, CSU cautions against comparing the EAP and Smarter Balanced math results.

Credit: John Osborn / EdSource | The green bands show the percentages of high school juniors designated  ready or conditionally ready for college courses two years ago on the EAP tests in English and math. The purple and blue bands show students nationwide who took the practice or field test last year on the Smarter Balanced tests who also would have been conditionally ready or college-ready. Based on the results, CSU expects more students will need extra work in writing and expository reading as seniors to avoid remedial classes in their freshman year of college. Since only advanced math students took the EAP test, while all juniors will take the Smarter Balanced math test, CSU cautions against comparing the EAP and Smarter Balanced math results.

However, CSU is anticipating that many high school juniors planning to attend one of its campuses won’t score as high this year on the new Smarter Balanced tests in English language arts and math as students did on the former Early Assessment Program test. As a result, CSU will be strongly encouraging more of them to spend their senior year taking a special writing class or other challenging English and math courses in order to avoid spending hundreds of dollars on remedial courses as college freshmen.

“There will be a period of transition from the old EAP to the alignment with Smarter Balanced,” said Ed Sullivan, the assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs for the CSU System. “There may be an uptick” of those students who’ll be asked to improve academic skills as seniors, he said, so that they’re in a better position to succeed in college.

More than 70 of the state’s community colleges have also fully or partially adopted the Early Assessment Program test as a basis for determining readiness for college work. The University of California, with different admissions criteria and fewer students taking remedial courses, hasn’t adopted the EAP.

All of the heads of California’s higher education system, including CSU Chancellor Timothy White, strongly endorsed the Common Core State Standards and expressed confidence that the new standards will better prepare students for college, reducing the need for catch-up courses.

“We believe California’s implementation of the Common Core standards and aligned assessments has the potential to dramatically improve college readiness and help close the preparation gap that exists for California students,” they wrote in a letter last year.

Educators also recognize that it will take time to make that difference.

With the Common Core’s emphasis on mastery of complex non-fiction texts, the ability to explain solutions to math problems and a focus on writing, the new Smarter Balanced online tests are significantly different from California’s former pencil-and-paper tests. They also probably will be tougher – at least initially, until students have been taught extensively in the new standards. Many high school juniors have had little exposure to the Common Core standards – a year or two at most through their courses.

Predictions of lower college readiness scores on the Smarter Balanced tests are why CSU officials are asking high schools to be prepared to accommodate more students requesting extra help next year.

While all 11th-graders will be required take the Smarter Balanced tests, the Early Assessment Program was voluntary under the old state standards. In 2013, nearly 90 percent of students who took the 11th-grade English language arts test also took the additional EAP questions. Of those, 23 percent did well enough on the English language arts portion to be deemed college-ready (see chart); they were exempt from having to take a diagnostic readiness exam for placement in college credit courses as freshmen.

An additional 15 percent were “conditionally ready.” They too would not have to take the placement exam if, as seniors, they got a C or better on a CSU-designed class called the Expository Reading and Writing Course, which is offered by about 400 high schools. If they passed an honors or Advanced Placement course in English or scored high enough on the SAT or ACT exams, they also could be deemed college-ready by the time they graduated.

The remaining 63 percent of students were classified as not on track for college credit courses in CSU and those community colleges that use the EAP. If they planned to attend or transfer to a CSU campus, they too were encouraged to take the CSU writing course, although they would still have to take a diagnostic test as freshmen to see if they needed a remedial course.

The Smarter Balanced 11th-grade tests, which California and 12 other states will give, have been designed with college readiness in mind. Students’ scores will fall into one of four performance levels. Level 4 will be the equivalent of college-ready and Level 3 will be equal to, by CSU’s definition, conditionally ready. The performance level “cut scores” were set last fall by panels of educators based on their judgment of the knowledge students should show to qualify for partial or full college readiness. Using sample results of the Smarter Balanced practice test that students took a year ago, state officials in the consortium modified the panels’ recommendations.

Smarter Balanced officials used the practice or “field test” results to project that only 11 percent of students would score at Level 4 on the 11th-grade English language arts test. That would be less than half of the students who qualified in 2013 under the Early Assessment Program. An additional 30 percent were projected to be conditionally ready, twice the number classified in 2013 under the old Early Assessment Program.

Anticipating there will be more conditionally ready students than in the past, CSU is asking school districts to add extra sessions of the expository writing course next year, Young said.

The remaining 61 percent of students were projected to fall in the bottom two levels on the English language arts test, classified as not on track for college work. If they plan to apply to or transfer to a CSU campus, they too will be encouraged to take the writing course, though they would still have to take a CSU or community college placement test as freshmen.

A different case with math

CSU cautions against reading too much into Smarter Balanced’s nationwide projections on the 11th-grade test in math. Many of those taking the new test in California and elsewhere will be taking Algebra I or Geometry at the time. Under the old Early Assessment Program, only more advanced math students – juniors taking at least Algebra II or higher – were eligible to take the EAP, since Algebra II is a requirement for admission and transfer to CSU.

In 2013, 14 percent of juniors who took the Early Assessment Program math test were designated ready for college-level math courses, while 46 percent were conditionally ready. If the conditionally ready students passed a special CSU-designed online math course or a higher-level high school math course as seniors, they too would be designated as college ready. The remaining 40 percent of students scored not ready for college-level math.

By comparison, the assessment consortium predicted that only a third would score at Levels 3 or 4, which CSU defines as ready and conditionally ready. Two-thirds were expected to be in the bottom two levels and classified as not on track.

Both Young and Debra Sigman, the former deputy state superintendent of public instruction who serves with Young on Smarter Balanced’s executive committee, expressed confidence that more California students than the national average, especially those planning to attend CSU, will reach Level 3. Because of the EAP and the Algebra II math requirement for admission to CSU, California students are used to taking standardized tests that indicated college readiness, and more enroll in higher-level math courses, they said.

Sullivan said that building college readiness signals into the Smarter Balanced tests has an extra advantage: opening horizons for students. Under the voluntary EAP, some students who didn’t consider themselves capable of attending a four-year university didn’t take the test. Now, Sullivan said, they may discover that, with some additional courses in their senior year, they could qualify.

Adjustments possible

Critics have questioned the methodology in which Smarter Balanced set the four levels of achievement on the math and English tests. Officials relied in part on the results of a practice, or field, test that students took a year ago. This was a tryout exercise that didn’t match real test conditions and therefore produced unreliable results, Doug McRae, a retired test specialist, argued in an EdSource column. McRae called it irresponsible for the consortium to release student test scores before achievement levels have been validated.

Sigman acknowledged that it is possible that the achievement levels may have to be adjusted this summer, based on this spring’s Smarter Balanced test results. Any changes could affect whether some students are classified as ready or conditionally ready for college credit courses. But she predicted that the impact would be minor, and noted that students will have other options – including high SAT and ACT scores and completion of high-level courses – to obtain a waiver from remedial courses. They can also be exempted by doing well on the math and English CSU diagnostic tests that they would take before starting their freshman year.

Most students will benefit from taking higher-level work as seniors, and the reconstituted EAP continues to serve that purpose, Young said. “We need to find the sweet spot; we don’t want to set the level too high or too low for remediation.”

When CSU introduced the EAP in 2004, two-thirds of freshmen in the 23-campus system needed a non-credit remedial course in English, math or both. These are students who had passed the 15 year-long courses, called A to G, required for admittance to CSU and UC and had a B average in high school.

The EAP, which encouraged students to make better use of their senior year, and Early Start, a more recent initiative that requires students to start remedial courses at a CSU campus the summer before they enter college, is paying off, Chancellor White told CSU trustees last week. Fifty-nine percent of the entering class in 2014 were college-ready in math and English ­– making them CSU’s best prepared class since the system began testing incoming students, he said.


Going Deeper

Saturday, March 28, 2015


By Jane Wakefield, Technology reporter, BBC News (UK) | http://bbc.in/1BFTj6r


Children are spending far more time watching a screen, even though traditional TV viewing has dropped

_______1569760_orig[1] 27 March 2015  ::  The amount of time children spend glued to a screen has risen dramatically in the last 20 years, a new report suggests.

Children aged five to 16 spend an average of six and a half hours a day in front of a screen compared with around three hours in 1995, according to market research firm Childwise.

Teenaged boys spend the longest, with an average of eight hours.

Eight-year-old girls spend the least - three-and-a-half hours, according to the study.

Screen time is made up of time spent watching TV, playing games consoles, using a mobile, computer or tablet.

Changing times

The Connected Kids report, compiled by market researcher Childwise, has collated data from 1995 to the present day to create a comprehensive picture of children's media habits.

Each year, its report, which is not available online, surveys around 2,000 children, aged five to 16.

It finds that teenaged girls now spend an average of seven-and-a-half- hours watching screens, compared with 3.5 hours of TV viewing in 1995.

Younger children fare slightly better - in 1995, five to 10-year-olds averaged around two-and-a-half-hours of TV.

Fast-forward to 2014 and screen time has risen to four-and-a-half hours.

Children are also now multi-screening - using more than one device at the same time, for example, watching TV while surfing the internet on a tablet or mobile so some of the screen time will be concurrent.

"The main difference from the 1990s is that then TV and magazines were the main ways for connecting kids to the media and now they have different devices from tablets, mobiles, games consoles and they have a much higher screen time," said research executive Matthew Nevard.


Back in 1995 children's main interaction with the media was via TV or comics like The Beano

Children's TV viewing habits have changed dramatically, with the majority now watching television via catch-up services and YouTube rather than the traditional TV set, according to the report.

YouTube is the most popular on-demand service with more than half of respondents accessing TV and video via the site since 2013.

Paid-for on-demand services, such as Netflix, have also risen rapidly in recent years and are expected to continue to grow in popularity.

It is not great news for the terrestrial channels - BBC One has seen its audience of seven to 16-year-olds drop from over 80% in 1995 to just over 40% in 2014. ITV's audience follows a similar trajectory.

The transition to digital, coupled with dedicated children's channels, is another reason for the the drop in children's viewing of the main channels with children now watching more content on dedicated channels such as CBBC, CITV, Nickelodeon and Disney.

Demanding connectivity


Children growing up now have never known a time without the internet

The study also looks at how the internet has changed the way children engage with information.

"The internet is pivotal to their lives and they are now able to access a wealth of content," said Mr Nevard.

The internet has given children more freedom to explore their own interests rather than being tied into the content offered to them from the TV schedules or magazines.

"They can find the content that they want," he said.

The study describes connectivity as "a fundamental need for young people now".

"Children now don't remember a time before the internet," said Mr Nevard.

Ubiquitous online access is also likely to influence the way children interact with their families and "their willingness to participate in family holidays and trips out", the report finds.

Image culture


Will all children own a virtual reality headset?

For the last 10 years, Childwise has charted the most popular websites for young people.

YouTube has remained in the top three since 2007 while Facebook has seen its appeal dip in recent years, as children turn to newer services such as Snapchat.

Children enjoy the privacy of WhatsApp and Snapchat, according to the survey, and the use of such services is also changing how they communicate.

"It reflects the image culture which has emerged, where pictures are utilised to give a better representation of current moods and or activities," the survey said.

Google is one of the few sites to remain popular across 10 years of data with sites.

Wearable tech

The report also attempts a bit of future-gazing and predicts that in the next 10 years, children growing up will have little understanding of a world without the internet.

The internet of things - where household objects communicate and share data - will be regarded as normal, it suggests.

"Having appliances which cannot be controlled using a smartphone or some kind of online dashboard may be seen as outdated, or at least increasingly rare," the report concludes.

It also thinks that most children will have some form of wearable technology, be it a smart watch, smart glasses or a virtual reality headset.



FROM CHILDWISE | http://www.childwise.co.uk/

Our latest Special Report - Connected Kids, highlights the progressions of the last 20 years, using past data to make predictions of how children will interact with technology in the future.
A trends analysis shows the adoption and usage of technology and the internet, projected to predict how ownership and usage will change over the next few years.
The report profiles the main technologies of the period, beginning with the dominance of television in the 1990s, through to the growth of the internet, widespread adoption of mobile phones, development of tablets and potential future technologies which are likely to enter the market in the next few years.

Don’t get excited, the report is  £595.

2 stories: DESPITE STATE MEDIATOR, LAUSD AND UTLA STILL $774 MILLION (…and an evaluation system) APART +smf’s 2¢

By Thomas Himes, Los Angeles Daily News | http://bit.ly/1GAkEfT

3/26/15, 8:59 PM PDT  ::  A referee from California’s top labor authority proved little help Thursday in the fray between Los Angeles’ school district and teachers union.

The two sides remain divided by more than $774 million per year and at odds over teacher evaluations, Los Angeles Unified School District Chief Labor Negotiator Vivian Ekchian said in a written statement.

A key issue for district officials is $171 million in federal dollars that could be lost if teachers don’t agree to an evaluation system that groups them into one of three categories based, in part, on student performance.

“The union has not yet agreed to this proposal, leaving at risk these vital school-site services to students,” Ekchian said.

Thursday’s meeting in front of a mediator appointed by California’s Public Employment Relations Board was the first of three legally mandated gatherings, with additional dates set for April 6 and 15. Should mediation fail, a fact-finding panel will be formed, before United Teachers Los Angeles can strike.

The teachers union is demanding an 8.5 percent pay raise after more than seven years without an across-the-board increase. UTLA also wants LAUSD to hire an estimated 5,081 additional counselors, nurses and librarians, according to LAUSD’s estimates.

District officials have countered with a 5 percent bump and offered to spend $26 million on hiring new teachers – enough for just 277 of the 5,081 educators being sought by union leaders.

LAUSD also wants the teachers union to accept a new evaluation system that has been rejected by the union, which won a legal battle to repeal.

District administrators say $171 million will be lost over the next three years if UTLA fails to accept a performance rating that distinguishes the best and worst teachers under the federal program that aims to improve schools.

While the state of California declined to accept those federal demands for an evaluation system — causing its application to be rejected — Los Angeles Unified is one of nine districts that went directly to the U.S. Department of Education two years ago.

In September, all seven of the remaining school districts were placed in a “high-risk” category and informed they might not receive another year, according to a Sept. 12, 2014, letter from U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary Deborah Delisle.

Among the key issues were failures to create a new system for rating schools along with an evaluation system to “meaningfully differentiate performance using at least three performance levels,” Delisle wrote. The school district has until June 1 to submit its final guidelines for evaluating teachers.

But even the evaluation system LAUSD is trying to save through a legal appeal only has two levels of ratings, “meets” or “below” standards. Teachers worry a third level will lead to performance-based pay, as determined by the whims of administrators or test scores of their students.



Divisions remain after UTLA, LAUSD meeting with state mediator

by Craig Clough | LA School Report | http://bit.ly/1Noro0w

(Photo: UTLA Facebook page)

(Photo: UTLA Facebook page)

Posted on March 27, 2015 10:14 am  ::  A mediator from the state’s labor board met for the first time yesterday with negotiators from LA Unified and the teachers union, UTLA, to move contract negotiations forward. But the result was a gulf between the sides that remains wide as ever.

How wide?

“At this time, the union’s economic demands remain $774 million dollars higher than the District’s offer,” LA Unified’s chief negotiator, Vivian Ekchian, said in a statement.

Also at issue is the fate of $171 million in federal revenue from a California Office to Reform Education (CORE) Waiver, which requires that the two sides agree on a teacher evaluation system by March 31 that includes a minimum of three rankings. Without an agreement with UTLA, the district may be disqualified from receiving the money.

“The funds will be used to pay teachers to provide summer school instruction, after-school tutoring programs and other intervention services to students for the next three years. The union has not yet agreed to this proposal, leaving at-risk these vital school-site services to students,” Ekchian said.

ULTA has not yet issued any pubic statement about yesterday’s meeting and did not respond to a request for comment.

Yesterday’s meeting was the first of three legally mandated sessions with the mediator from the Public Employee Relations Board. The next two are scheduled for April 6 and April 15. They could be extended, and only the mediator can determine that the two sides are unable to reach a resolution.

Before an impasse was declared on Feb. 17, negotiations between the district and UTLA dragged on for seven months. While both sides have given ground, they still remain far apart on such key issues as teacher salary and class size.

The district’s last offer before the impasse was for a 5 percent raise. UTLA, which hasn’t received a raise for its teachers in over seven years, is asking for 8.5 percent, along with an agreement that the district will make major reductions in class size and hire thousands more school counselors, nurses and librarians.

At stake is nothing less than a full strike of UTLA’s 35,000 educators, which the union has been threatening to do as it has carried out a series of “escalating actions” over the last six months. Those efforts included a rally at Grand Park that was attended by thousands, and the recent boycott of faculty meetings.


smf 2cents O.K., I wasn’t there – and if I had been I would be expected to keep my mouth shut – and not put in my 2¢ worth.

Mediation is a process where the parties talk – and not necessarily (and usually not initially)  with each other – and the mediator attempts to …uh …ya know: mediate?

I have it on good information that Vivian Ekchian’s statement – quoted from in both stories above – was in reference to previous negotiations – not the mediation.

Mediation is a drawn out boring process. There was very little chance that accord was going to be found in the first session. About as much chance as the mediator opening up the the drawer in some forgotten conference room desk and exclaiming: “Oh look, $774 million – just what we were looking for!”

All I am saying is give peace a chance.

Friday, March 27, 2015


from the  Brustein & Manasevit - Federal Update | by email

Friday, March 27, 2015 1:15 PM  ::  In speeches to Council of Chief State School Officers conference attendees Tuesday, members of Congress insisted that the drive to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was still alive and that leadership in both the House and Senate is actively working on passing a bill.

Representative John Kline (R-MN), Chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, said that the House only needs a “handful” more votes before it can pass legislation that would reauthorize the law.  The House bill, H.R. 5, was originally scheduled for a vote at the end of February but pulled from consideration at the last minute when several conservative advocacy organizations and lawmakers announced their intent to oppose it.  Kline claimed that part of the opposition was based on confusion, and that he had to “educate” several lawmakers who did not realize that No Child Left Behind – and the current ESEA waivers – would remain in effect if they did not affirmatively act to change the law.  Still, Kline admitted, he was surprised by the opposition to the legislation when a nearly identical bill had passed easily in the last Congress.  “I thought it would sail through,” he said.  “It didn't.”

Democrats were also less than enthusiastic about the legislation.  Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) said he would continue to oppose the legislation, regardless of whether that meant sticking with current law.  “No bill is better than a bad bill,” he told the chiefs.  But Kline said that he doesn’t think the House bill is the last word on the subject.  “I know absolutely that the Student Success Act is not the legislation that will go to the president’s desk,” he said. “It’s going to take compromise.  That’s a pejorative word around here, but that’s what you have to do.”  Kline said he hoped to bring the bill to a final vote after Congress’ two-week Easter recess.

Meanwhile, Senate committee leaders said they would continue working on a compromise bill, which they expect to discuss in committee the week of April 13th.  Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, also said the final bill will represent a compromise.  “Hopefully, the House will pass its version and we’ll go to conference, and the President and [Secretary of Education] Arne Duncan will have their say, and we’ll get a bill that can be signed in a bipartisan process through and through,” he said.

While Alexander said that issues like testing frequency had yet to be resolved in the Senate discussions, both he and Kline insisted that early education would not be part of a comprehensive ESEA re-write.  Though Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the Committee’s top-ranking Democrat, and Secretary Duncan have said they want to include early childhood education in the bill, Alexander expressed some concerns.  First, he said, he thought Congress should examine the success of existing early education programs like Head Start and the Child Care and Development Block Grant before creating new programs.  Second, he said that fixing the current law was “hard enough” without adding another element to the process.  Kline echoed Alexander’s comments, saying that while there is “strong evidence” surrounding the importance of early education, ESEA reauthorization is not the right vehicle for expanding it.

ADDITIONALY:  re: HR 2: the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015  provides the Doctor Fix to Medicare and an extension of the Children Health Insurance Program (CHIPS).  The bill was voted off the House floor last night and the Senate will take up when they return from spring recess in 2 weeks.  The President has said he will sign the bill.

Lyndsey Layton, “GOP Lawmaker: I’m Short Votes for No Child Left Behind Rewrite,” The Washington Post, March 24, 2015.
Lauren Camera, “Slim Changes for Early Ed. in NCLB Rewrite, Says Sen. Lamar Alexander,” Education Week: Politics K-12, March 24, 2015.
Lauren Camera, “Rep. John Kline Hopeful for Vote on NCLB Rewrite After Easter Recess,” Education Week: Politics K-12, March 24, 2015.
Author: JCM

Thursday, March 26, 2015



by Pia Escudero, Director, LAUSD School Mental Health, from the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles Weekly Update | week of April 30 | http://bit.ly/1HQtWTj

26 April 2015  ::   Administrators are responsible for a multitude of complex and interrelated systems including those that address barriers to learning. One barrier that significantly impacts a student’s ability to learn and a teacher’s capacity to provide quality instruction is trauma. The impact of these exceptionally distressing experiences can cause severe emotional shock that affects students differently and manifests itself in a variety of ways such as unwillingness to participate, negative behaviors, substance abuse, withdrawal, depression and anxiety.

During the 2014-15 school year, 800 students from multiple school sites and Wellness Centers were screened. These students (98%) reported experiencing one or more stressful or traumatic life events in the past twelve months. The same data identified at least half of the students with moderate to severe symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This includes symptoms such as feeling future events will not come true (57%), not wanting to do things (57%), feeling irritable/fits of anger (49%), trouble sleeping (49%) and trouble concentrating (45%).

As adults, we rely on years of life experiences to carry-on in the aftermath of a stressful event. Our ability to cope is a learned trait that improves with time. Children, on the other hand, are in the process of developing their ability to cope with life stressors. Students who experience traumatic events often face circumstances which impede their coping skills development and/or contribute to developing unhealthy coping strategies. School administrators, teachers and support staff must understand the complexity of trauma and its effects on learning, as well as, how they can support students during traumatic experiences, help to build resiliency and to learn appropriate coping skills.

By now, you may have supported a student mourning the death of a parent or sibling; or have comforted a classroom of students that witnessed a violent incident in their community; or have visited a student in the hospital due to a life-threatening illness. In these instances, perhaps without you knowing, you likely applied elements of Psychological First Aid (PFA):

  • listen,
  • protect,
  • connect,
  • model
  • and teach.

The PFA model is a tool for all school personnel to use when responding to a student in the aftermath of a stressful incident. The purpose of PFA is to promote long-term resilience and coping skills in children. See below or http://bit.ly/1BsXTUP to access a copy of LAUSD PFA.

Each of us can help when someone is in crisis, simply by our presence. One does not need to be a mental health professional or have specific training; showing empathy, genuine concern and a willingness to listen is enough. It is important to remember to be aware of your thoughts, feelings and reactions. Do not share your personal experiences with students in crisis. Model calm and optimistic behavior.

There is also support available to assist in addressing crisis and issues requiring professional counseling. Under the Division of Student Health and Human Services (SHHS), there are trained professionals such as psychiatric social workers, pupil services and attendance counselors and school nurses, as well as, Healthy Start navigators to help connect administrators with Wellness Centers and Mental Health Clinics. Additionally, schools may have academic counselors and other support services that can be of assistance.

The SHHS’s School Mental Health (SMH) department is a national leader in addressing the mental health needs of students. SMH can provide assistance when needed. ESCs also have mental health consultants who are available to support and train school-site staff. SMH is available to provide universal, targeted and intensive services to students across LAUSD. See Below or http://bit.ly/1EZcb3Z for a thorough description of services.


image image image



from the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles Weekly Update | week of April 30 | http://bit.ly/1HQtWTj

26 April 2015  ::  Researchers at the Public Policy Institute of California have identified a quirk in the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) that may actually deprive the students it is intended to help. The LCFF was structured to provide extra funding to districts with high-need studentslow income, English learners and foster youth. However, a report from Dr. Laura Hill and Iwunze Ugo found that if these same students happened to be in a wealthy district, they were likely to receive less funding than if they were in a poor district.

Districts receive a 20 percent supplement on their funding for each high-need student; but if a district is composed of at least 55 percent of these students, it will receive an additional concentration of funding. As a result, those students who may, by definition, be high-need but attend school in a largely middle class or wealthy district will not get the additional funding. Capistrano Unified in Orange County and Carmel Unified in Northern California are examples. Each district has one or two schools with a large percentage of high-need students, but just 24 and 17 percent in the district overall, respectively. A simple resolution would be to provide funding for the students by school, not district, but that would be cost prohibitive or would have raised the threshold to qualify for extra dollars, according to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office.

The state has added a requirement that the money should be narrowly targeted to meet the needs of the identified students when there are low numbers in the district. Starting this year, these districts must provide research to justify using their supplemental funds for districtwide programs. In addition, the Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAP) are supposed to detail specifically and proportionately how the funds are being used to improve programs and services for high-need students. This study, by the Public Policy Institute, as well as one by Education Trust-West, has found that the first round of LCAPs were lacking in details and concluded, “…the action and budget sections of many plans were only marginally effective at outlining strategies for improving the quality of education.”


Implementing California’s School Funding Formula: Will High-Need Students Benefit?


Laura Hill and Iwunze Ugo,  Public Policy Institute of California | http://bit.ly/19VL8wa

Supported with funding from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund and the Silver Giving Foundation.

The authors: staffphoto-hill.jpg
Laura Hill
Senior Fellow


Iwunze Ugo
Research Associate


March 2015  ::  The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) reformed California’s K–12 school finance system. It replaced a patchwork of formulas and specific (or "categorical”) programs with a focus on local control, funding equity, and additional support for the large share of students (63%) who are "high needs"—that is, low-income, English Learner, and/or foster care youth. However, there are still concerns about whether the new funding will reach high-need students. Because districts have spending flexibility, and because some of the extra funding for high-need students is based on their districtwide enrollment levels, it is possible that high-need schools in districts with relatively low overall shares of high-need students will not get the funding they need. Our research indicates that county offices of education—which are charged with assisting districts in developing and achieving accountability plans—may have extra work to do in parts of Southern California, the Bay Area, and Sacramento to ensure that extra state funding improves outcomes of high-need students who are not evenly distributed across district schools.


By increasing funding transparency and equity, the Local Control Funding Formula makes it easier to understand the goals of the state’s public education system. LCFF gives districts control over how to spend state funding while requiring them to "increase or improve services" for high-need students in proportion tothe increased funding these students generate.

However, LCFF has not eliminated all concerns about funding adequacy and about how districts with unevenly distributed high-need students will allocate funds to students. Districts in which high-need students are concentrated in only a few schools may need to develop spending plans that explicitly dedicate funding to schools that are educating large shares of high-need students.

In this report, we investigate the potential for mismatches between spending and need by identifying districts in which high-need students are concentrated in just a few schools. We start with an overview of LCFF. We then examine the distribution of high-need students across the state, across schools, within school districts, and the special case of concentration grant funding to districts where more than 55 percent of students are high need.


The LCFF distributes funding from the state to districts primarily through three grants: the base grant, the supplemental grant, and the concentration grant.1Defining High-Need Students, Districts, and SchoolsThe base grant varies by grade level and is keyed to the average daily attendance (ADA) of students in four grade spans: K–3, 4–6, 7–8, and 9–12. K–3 and 9–12 receive additional funding to support smaller class sizes and career technical education (CTE).2

The other two grants are focused on districts with high-need students; these districts tend to have lower Academic Performance Indexes.3 LCFF addresses that inequity with extra funding for English Learner (EL), low-income, or foster care students. District policies for identifying English Learners and enrolling students in free or reduced-price lunch can vary. (A related PPIC report examines enrollment in free or reduced-price meal programs across California.)4 Funding is determined by unduplicated counts—to avoid "double counting” a single student who is both an EL and in foster care, for example. School districts and charters receive supplemental funding equal to 20 percent of the base grant for each high-need student.

Concentration grants go to districts in which more than 55 percent of students are high need.5 For each student above the 55 percent threshold, districts receive funding equal to 50 percent of the base grant. This three-grant system can create large differences in per pupil funding. For example, Fremont and Stockton Unified School Districts are similar in size, but Stockton has a much larger share of high-need students. As a result, Stockton receives nearly $70 million more in funding (Table 1).

Table 1. LCFF Grants Can Vary Greatly Among Districts of Similar Size
Table 1. LCFF Grants Can Vary Greatly Among Districts of Similar Size
SOURCE: Authors' tabulations, CDE Local Control Funding Formula—Funding Snapshot.

LCFF allows funds to be spent for any educational purpose but requires districts to develop Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) that detail district goals and document how districts plan to measure their progress toward those goals. School districts must improve or increase services for high-need students in proportion to the increased funding they receive,6 but they may spend supplemental and concentration grants on district- and school-wide programs.7 This is the first year of LCAP development, and it is not yet clear if district plans are sufficient to improve outcomes for students—for high-need students in particular. A related PPIC report assesses LCAPs from a diverse set of districts and finds that their effectiveness varies.8

County offices of education are responsible for reviewing and approving district LCAPs. Part of the review process involves evaluating whether supplemental and concentration funding is "principally directed towards, and are effective in, meeting the district’s goals for its unduplicated pupils.”9 Early research suggests that many county offices are overwhelmed by these new responsibilities.10


The majority of the state’s K–12 students are considered high need (63%). More than half are low income (eligible for free or reduced-price meals), nearly a quarter (24%) are English Learners, and 0.5 percent are foster youth. For the purposes of calculating the LCFF grant, students who are in more than one of these categories only generate supplemental funding once for their district.11 All foster youth are eligible for free and reduced-price meals, as are approximately 75 percent of EL students.12 Thus, the unduplicated high-need counts are considerably lower than the sum of EL, low-income, and foster care students.

Not surprisingly, the concentration of high-need students across the state is not uniform (Figure 1). Seven of California's 58 counties have K–12 student populations that are more than 73 percent high need—including many counties in the Central Valley (Merced, Madera, Fresno, and Tulare) and Imperial, Monterey, and Colusa Counties. In these counties, 129 of the 156 school districts have shares of high-need students above 55 percent. Altogether, there are 549 school districts in the state with student populations that are more than 55 percent high need. These districts receive both supplemental and concentration grants.

Figure 1. The Concentration of High-Need Students Varies Across Counties
Figure 1. The Concentration of High-Need Students Varies Across Counties
SOURCE: Authors' tabulations, CALPADS Unduplicated Pupil Count Source File.


To the extent that the share of high-need students in individual schools matches the share in the district overall, the LCFF should be effective in distributing funding to needy students. But districts in which only a few schools have large shares of needy students might need to direct supplemental and concentration funding to those schools in order for the new LCFF funding to improve outcomes for high-need students. LCAPs require districts that use supplemental and concentration funding for district- and school-wide expenses to justify doing so.

We find that, on average, as the district share of high-need students increases, so too does the share of high-need students at district schools. However, if we examine districts in which 63 to 70 percent of students are high need (just above the state average), we see that there are many schools with much larger and smaller shares of high-need students. In districts with shares of high-need students that are somewhat larger than the state average, some schools have no high-need students and other schools have student bodies that are nearly 100 percent high need.13

Of the 10 schools that have the largest difference between the share of high-need students at the school and at their district, most are in Southern California (Table 2). Most of these schools have high-need-student rates of above 90 percent, at least 57 percentage points higher than their district rates. Two elementary schools in Capistrano Unified are first and second, but Capistrano is not the only district represented more than once: Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified, also in Orange County, has three schools in the top ten.

These districts may well have robust and effective spending and programmatic plans for reaching their high-need students. A cursory review of their first LCAPs suggests that most districts shown in Table 2 do mention high-need students, and some even mention specific schools. However, most district plans for spending and curriculum do not contain enough detailed budgeting information to indicate whether districts are adding services or spending "proportionately” on high-need students.14 It will be years before we can assess the effectiveness of district spending by examining student outcomes.

Table 2. Several Schools in Orange County Have Dramatically Larger Shares of High-Need Students than Their Districts
Table 2. Several Schools in Orange County Have Dramatically Larger Shares of High-Need Students than Their Districts
SOURCE: Authors’ calculations from CALPADS Unduplicated Pupil Count Source File
NOTE: Excludes county offices of education schools, non-school locations, State Board of Education, and Statewide Benefit Charters, as well as nonpublic/nonsectarian schools, juvenile court schools, youth authority facilities, and schools with fewer than 50 students. Most schools in this list are elementary schools. Overall, we find that elementary schools are only somewhat more likely differ from their districts in terms of share of high-need students than middle and high schools. This slight overrepresentation is probably attributable to the fact that elementary schools are more likely to draw from one neighborhood than schools serving older children, and many neighborhoods throughout the state remain segregated.
How Much Does High-Need Student Enrollment Vary within Districts?

We created a measure of the difference in the concentration of high-need students across the schools within each district.15 A district in which every school has the same share of high-need students would have a value of zero. Statewide, we find that the school-to-district average concentration difference is 12 percentage points and ranges from 0 to 30 percentage points.

The six schools in Folsom Cordova Unified are about 30 percentage points different from the district average, suggesting that some are well above and some well below the district’s average share of high-need students (39%). Districts with large school-to-district average difference will need to direct funding to programs that reach those students, and may find district-wide use of concentration and supplemental funds less effective for improving outcomes for high-need students. Unlike the differences across schools, which are concentrated in Southern California, the districts with larger average school-to-district differences are slightly more geographically diverse (Table 3).

Table 3. The Largest School-To-District Differences in the Share of High-Need Students are in the Bay Area, Sacramento, and Southern California
Table 3. The Largest School-To-District Differences in the Share of High-Need Students are in the Bay Area, Sacramento, and Southern California

SOURCE: Authors’ calculations from CALPADS Unduplicated Pupil Count Source File.
NOTES: Excludes county office of education schools, non-school locations, State Board of Education, and Statewide Benefit charters, as well as nonpublic/nonsectarian schools, juvenile court schools, youth authority facilities, and districts with fewer than 10 schools. Monterey County’s Big Sur Unified has the highest average absolute difference measure (56%) but it only has two schools and 73 students, so we do not list it here.

Among the 10 most populous districts, San Diego Unified has the highest school-to-district average difference in concentrations of high-need students (22 percentage points, 34th statewide). Los Angeles Unified serves more than 600,000 students in more than 900 schools, has an average school-to-district variation of 14 percentage points, which places it 140th statewide.16

Which Counties Need to Monitor Unevenly Distributed High-Need Students?

As we have seen, districts with large differences between individual schools’ and districts’ share of high-need students are not evenly distributed across the state. Which counties have the most districts with unevenly distributed high-need students? Bay Area counties: San Francisco,17 Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz (Figure 2). The highest level of variation within a county ranges from 13 to 18 percentage points; the lowest ranges from 1 to 7 percentage points. Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Orange, and San Diego Counties are the other parts of the state where the concentration of high-need students in individual schools tends to vary from the district average.

Figure 2. Districts with the Most Unevenly Distributed High-Need Students are in Bay Area and Southern California Counties
Figure 2. Districts with the Most Unevenly Distributed High-Need Students are in Bay Area and Southern California Counties

SOURCE: Authors’ calculations from CALPADS Unduplicated Pupil Count Source File.
NOTE: Excludes county offices of education schools, non-school locations, State Board of Education, and Statewide Benefit charters, as well as nonpublic/nonsectarian schools, juvenile court schools, and youth authority facilities.

Recall that there is no overlap between the counties in the top fifth in Figure 2 and the counties with the largest percentage of high-need students overall (as shown in Figure 1). This indicates that counties with high numbers of high-need districts may not have to worry as much about monitoring the distribution of funding to high-need schools.


High-need students generate funding no matter how they are distributed. But because concentration grants are based on district-wide shares of high-need students, individual schools with shares that are above the concentration threshold do not get extra funding unless the district concentration is also above the threshold. Altogether, there are 677 schools in 154 districts above the 55 percent threshold that do not receive concentration funding because their districts are below the threshold. Table 4 contains a "top ten” list of these schools. Each has shares of high-need students well above 55 percent.

Table 4. Most of the High-Need Schools That Do Not Get Concentration Grants are in Southern California
Table 4. Most of the High-Need Schools That Do Not Get Concentration Grants are in Southern California

SOURCE: Author’s calculations from CALPADS Unduplicated Pupil Count Source File.
NOTE: Excludes county office of education schools, non-school locations, State Board of Education, and Statewide Benefit charters, as well as nonpublic/nonsectarian schools, juvenile court schools, and youth authority facilities

Six of the top 10 of these schools are in Orange County, in different school districts. Statewide, there are 54,000 of these students—about 1.4 percent of all high-need students.18

These high-need students are concentrated in a few counties (Figure 3). Orange County enrolls nearly 15,000 of these students (7% of all the county’s high-need students); Santa Clara has nearly 6,000, Sacramento has more than 5,000, and Contra Costa has nearly 4,000.

Figure 3. High-Need Students Who Do Not Generate Concentration Funding Are Clustered in a Few Counties
Figure 3. High-Need Students Who Do Not Generate Concentration Funding Are Clustered in a Few Counties

SOURCE: Authors’ calculations from CALPADS Unduplicated Pupil Count Source File.
NOTE: Excludes county offices of education schools, non-school locations, State Board of Education, and Statewide Benefit charters, as well as nonpublic/nonsectarian schools, juvenile court schools, and youth authority facilities.

In these and other counties with high-need schools in districts that are not high need, county offices of education will need to help districts distribute funding carefully.


The success of the LCFF hinges on whether school districts are able to improve outcomes for students, especially those who are high need. We find that counties and districts with the largest shares of high-need students rarely have schools with larger shares of high-need students than the district as a whole. These districts are not likely to have trouble distributing funding to students who need it. The biggest cause for concern lies with districts that have relatively low overall shares of high-need students that are unevenly distributed across schools. These districts are most likely to be found in Orange and San Diego Counties, as well as in the Bay Area (Sonoma, Napa, San Francisco, Solano, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz Counties) and in Sacramento County. An additional potential problem is that these students are in high-need schools but not in high-need districts, and therefore do not generate concentration funding.

In their LCAPs, districts are required to develop explicit plans for distributing funding to their highest-need students. The LCAPs being implemented this year are the first step toward holding districts—and the county offices that approve district plans—accountable for meeting the objectives of the LCFF. In their first year of planning, many district LCAPs mention the distribution of supplemental and concentration funding but do not provide much detailed information. Some districts go beyond a basic mention—for example, Los Angeles Unified plans to distribute funding according to schools’ duplicated number of high-need students.19

The Local Control Funding Formula gives counties new responsibilities to make sure that districts use supplemental and concentration funds principally for the benefit of high-need students. LCAP evaluation rubrics20 to be adopted by the State Board of Education in 2015 may help districts and county offices assess their success in serving high-need students.

The years ahead will reveal whether the relationship between district LCAPs and district practices is strong enough to improve outcomes for high-need students. This relationship should be closely monitored by county offices of education and the State Board of Education.

Related reports are available on ppic.org: Paul Warren, Implementing Local Accountability in California’s Schools: The First Year of Planning and Caroline Danielson, Low-Income Students and School Meal Programs in California.

A technical appendix to this report is available on ppic.org.


We started this report working with our beloved colleague, Margaret Weston, in June 2014. Before her death in July 2014, Maggie influenced the direction of the report and provided great insights on California education financing. Her contributions are evident throughout this work, and we are grateful to have had her as a colleague and friend. We also thank Jacob Jackson, Carolyn Chiu, Paul Warren, and Bruce Fuller for their thoughtful reviews, and Lynette Ubois, Mary Severance, Jenny Miyasaki, Kate Reber, and Leigh Whittier for editorial support. Any errors are our own.

  1. See Edgar Cabral and Carolyn Chu, An Overview of the Local Control Funding Formula (Legislative Analyst’s Office, December 2013).
  2. LCFF also provides a necessary small schools allowance to the 108 school districts with such schools, and other small grants, but these make up a small share of base grant funding.
  3. Heather Rose and Margaret Weston, California School District Revenue and Student Poverty: Moving toward a Weighted Pupil Funding Formula (PPIC, 2013).
  4. Caroline Danielson, Low-Income Students and School Meal Programs in California (PPIC, 2015).
  5. Charters are subject to different rules with respect to the concentration grant.
  6. Districts calculate this proportionality requirement using the formula in LCFF Emergency Regulations, Title 5 California Code of Regulations (5 CCR) section 15496.
  7. They may also do so if district concentrations are 55 percent or lower or if school concentrations are 40 percent or lower, but must describe how district- or school-wide programs are "principally directed toward and are effective in” meeting goals for high-need students (as of November 2014). Section 3C of the LCAP template stipulates that "when using supplemental and concentration funds in a districtwide or schoolwide manner, the school district must additionally describe how the services provided are the most effective use of funds to meet the district’s goals for unduplicated pupils in the state priority areas.”
  8. See Paul Warren, Implementing Local Accountability in California’s Schools: The First Year of Planning (PPIC, 2015). See also Dan Humphries and Julia E. Koppich, Toward a Grand Vision: Early Implementation of California’s Local Control Funding Formula (SRI International, October 2014); Carrie Hahnel, Building a More Equitable and Participatory School System in California: The Local Control Funding Formula’s First Year (Education Trust–West, December 2014), and Carolyn Chu and Edgar Cabral, Review of School District’s 2014–2015 Local Control and Accountability Plans (Legislative Analyst's Office, January 20, 2015).
  9. Section 15497 of Local Control Funding Formula, adopted by State Board of Education on November 14, 2014.
  10. Warren, Implementing Local Accountability in California’s Schools: The First Year of Planning; Humphries and Koppich, Toward a Grand Vision; and Hahnel, Building a More Equitable and Participatory School System.
  11. Under the old funding regime, students who were both eligible for free and reduced-price meals and ELs were double-counted for Economic Impact Aid.
  12. However, LCAPs must specify goals for their foster youth students separate from low-income and EL students (Cabral and Chu, An Overview of the Local Control Funding Formula).
  13. Technical appendix Figure A1 illustrates this analysis for all the school districts and schools in the state.
  14. Warren, Implementing Local Accountability in California’s Schools: The First Year of Planning; Humphries and Koppich, Toward a Grand Vision; and Hahnel, Building a More Equitable and Participatory School System; and Chu and Cabral, Review of School District’s 2014–2015 Local Control and Accountability Plans (Legislative Analyst's Office, January 20, 2015).
  15. We calculate the average absolute difference by taking the absolute value of the difference between each school and its district, weighting it by number of students (enrollment), and then averaging across all schools in the district. A district in which all schools had the same percentage of high-need students would have an average absolute difference of 0 percent. Absolute average differences above 0 indicate that high-need students are not evenly distributed across schools. One important thing to note is that districts that have very high percentages of high-need students cannot have high average absolute differences—by definition, schools cannot vary much around a high average value of high-need students. For example, if a district’s percentage of high-need students is 90 percent, the largest value our measure of average school-to-district difference can take is 10 percent. Districts where 60 percent of students are high need could have a maximum average absolute difference of 40 percent. Districts with lower shares of high-need students could score higher on our measure of distribution. The question is whether they do score higher.
  16. For the school-to-district average differences values for the 10 largest school districts, see technical appendix Table A1, and for the list of top 100 school districts on our measure of school-to-district variation, see Table A2.
  17. Note that San Francisco County has only one school district: San Francisco Unified.
  18. For a complete list of these schools, see technical appendix Table A3.
  19. Susan Frey, "LAUSD Allots Funds to Schools with the Highest Student Needs,” EdSource, 2014.
  20. "The evaluation rubrics will allow local educational agencies to evaluate their strengths, weaknesses, and areas that require improvement; assist county superintendents of schools to identify needs and focus technical assistance; and assist the Superintendent of Public Instruction to direct interventions when warranted” (California Education Code (EC) Section 52064.5).