In the News Archive: October 2015


One attack on Prop. 13 thwarted, more planned
Orange County Register | Oct. 21, 2015
Gov. Jerry Brown recently announced that he will not get behind efforts to enact a “split-roll” property tax system to tax business property differently than residential property by reassessing it every year, rather than when there is a change of ownership or significant improvements are made. This is welcome news, but taxpayers must remain vigilant, as others are still promising to move forward with this latest attack on Proposition 13.

‘Friedrichs v. CTA’ – What you need to know about challenge to union dues
EdSource | Oct. 20, 2015
Sometime in early 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Friedrichs v. the California Teachers Association et al., a closely watched California-based lawsuit with major implications for the state’s teachers unions and potentially all public-employee unions. The lawsuit challenges the authority of the CTA and other public-employee unions to collect mandatory fees, a main source of their income and, by extension, their power. Here’s a crash course in the case.

McTeacher's Nights: Teachers unions say no to school fundraisers
NPR | Oct. 15, 2015
Mark Noltner, who lives in suburban Chicago, heard about McTeacher's Nights when he found a flier in his daughter's backpack last year.

Teachers call on McDonald’s to end McTeacher’s Nights
Consumerist | Oct. 14, 2015
McDonald’s has several methods for marketing directly to children and parents, including McTeacher’s Nights, where educators will volunteer to work for the night at a McD’s in exchange for a “percentage of sales from the event” being donated to the school. Today, groups and unions representing some 3 million American teachers are asking McDonald’s to put an end to the program.

Educators to McDonald’s: Stop pushing fast food to kids on McTeacher’s Night
takepart | Oct. 14, 2015
Selling chocolate bars, running laps in jog-athons, peddling magazines—those are just some of the ways students and parents fund-raise for cash-strapped schools. And then there’s McTeacher’s Night, a school fund-raiser that centers on teachers becoming the staff of a local McDonald’s restaurant for a night—and their students being served by them.

Legislation aims to boost school nurses
Davis Enterprise | Oct. 13, 2015
Legislation by state Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, to help schools take a lead role in managing chronic childhood diseases and hire more school nurses, became state law last week as Gov. Jerry Brown gave it his signature.

Governor signs bill to help schools hire more school nurses
The Reporter News | Oct. 12, 2015
Last week Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed into law legislation by Senator Lois Wolk, D-Davis, to help schools take a lead role in managing chronic childhood diseases and hire more school nurses.

Cadillac tax exit strategy in Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Sentinel | Oct. 10, 2015
When Barry Kirschen crunched the numbers, they didn’t look good. He knew the “Cadillac” tax, a 40 percent penalty in the Affordable Care Act scheduled for 2018 and designed to raise $91 billion in eight years to pay for expanded coverage, would affect hundreds of faculty in Santa Cruz City Schools.

Teachers, their unions and California's dilemma
San Diego Union-Tribune | Oct. 10, 2015
What makes a good teacher? That is the focus of today’s InDepth cover story by Roxana Popescu. She interviewed local teachers who have won honors for their remarkable achievements. Mastery of their subjects is the essential building block for their success. But several spoke of the importance of being empathetic and flexible, of making their students feel valued and listened to. Others talked about how crucial it is to find ways to keep material interesting and to make personal connections. Recognizing and nurturing talent was seen as an underappreciated skill. 

Accrediting commission that threatened CCSF now threatened | Oct. 9, 2015
The tables have turned on the accrediting commission that has threatened to shut down City College of San Francisco, and it is now fighting to stay alive.

Report focuses on improving equity for black males
EdSource | Oct. 9, 2015
To help resolve disparities in education and opportunities for black males in the United States, the American Federation of Teachers has developed numerous recommendations aimed at achieving equity.

Accrediting commission that threatened CCSF now threatened
SF Gate | Oct. 8, 2015
The tables have turned on the accrediting commission that has threatened to shut down City College of San Francisco, and it is now fighting to stay alive.

Teachers deserve better treatment, not denigration
Orange County Register | Oct. 7, 2015
A hilarious bit from comedians Key & Peele portrays the duo hosting a fictitious show titled "TeachingCenter," a sendup of ESPN’s "SportsCenter," highlighting the exploits of teachers instead of athletes.

California teachers have been financing evictions
East Bay Express | Oct. 7, 2015
California's pension fund for public school teachers invested hundreds of millions of dollars in a company that has been criticized for foreclosing on property owners and kicking them out of their homes, including dozens in the East Bay, records and interviews show. The company, Caliber Home Loans, is owned by the private equity firm Lone Star Funds and was featured in a New York Times story last week because of its controversial practices.

A U.S. judge blocks the latest attack on teachers' political speech
LA Times | Oct. 1, 2015
The lawsuit known as Bain v. California Federation of Teachers always had a Lewis Carroll flavor. As we reported in May, it was an attack on the collective voice of teachers masquerading as a defense of free speech. A complaint about teachers being excluded from their unions' policy discussions, with two union officials among the plaintiffs. And a purported defense of the rights of students, bankrolled by rich hedge fund managers and the Walton family.

Big win for teachers unions in fed court
MyNewsLA | Oct. 1, 2015
A federal judge in Los Angeles has dismissed a lawsuit that would have hindered the ability of teachers unions to raise money to engage in political activity.

A judge throws out a challenge to how unions spend teachers' money
LA Times | Sept. 30, 2015
A federal judge in Los Angeles has dismissed a lawsuit that, if successful, would have hindered the ability of teachers unions to raise money to engage in political activity.

Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa endorses charter expansion effort
LA Times | Sept. 29, 2015
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has endorsed a controversial effort to more than double the number of the city’s charter schools over the next eight years.


Who might head L.A. Unified, and what are officials looking for in a leader?
LA Times | Oct. 23, 2015
In its search for a new superintendent, the Los Angeles Board of Education is out to find that rare leader who can tame political turmoil, manage a multibillion-dollar organization and somehow drive academic achievement upward.

Friedrichs update
Politico | Oct. 23, 2015
The California Teachers Association has till Nov. 6 to file its brief in Friedrichs v. CTA, which will give the Supreme Court an opportunity to prohibit public employee unions’ collection of “fair share” fees from non-members. Arguments haven’t yet been scheduled.

Federal government backs state’s plan to improve teacher quality
EdSource | Oct. 22, 2015
California officials will work to improve preparation, assessments and support for teachers under a plan approved by the U.S. Department of Education to make sure all students have access to qualified educators.

Meet the teacher lobby behind Hillary Clinton that's not the teachers union
LA Times | Oct. 22, 2015
These two teachers want to influence education policy, and they want Hillary Clinton to hear from more than just unions or reformers.

Report calls for big changes in educating state’s English learners
EdSource | Oct. 22, 2015
Researchers studying a group of California school districts are highly critical of the state’s system for providing services to English language learners in a report released this week.

Report: Sacramento City College warning system caused delay during deadly shooting
Sacramento Bee | Oct. 22, 2015
An independent inquiry released Thursday on the Sacramento City College shooting last month faulted school officials for the delay in sending a mass emergency notification.

Are Corinthian Colleges’ former schools on the mend?
Washington Post | Oct. 21, 2015
It’s been almost a year since student debt collector ECMC Group purchased dozens of campuses from Corinthian Colleges, the bankrupt company that ran Everest, Heald College and WyoTech schools. The new owner had lofty ambitions of turning the for-profit colleges into premier nonprofit schools, so has it?

UC plans to expand enrollment of California undergrads next year
LA Times | Oct. 21, 2015
UC President Janet Napolitano said Wednesday that she is preparing a plan to significantly increase the number of California undergraduates in the 2016-17 school year throughout the university system, including at UCLA and UC Berkeley, where admission is the most difficult.

With traditional unions on the decline, can members-only unions breathe life back into labor?
In These Times | Oct. 21, 2015
On July 10, 2014, when the United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 42 was officially announced, many Americans were introduced for the first time to an old labor practice: members-only unions.

S.F. teachers get help living in city under ambitious plan
SF Gate | Oct. 21, 2015
Mayor Ed Lee and the San Francisco Unified School District announced Wednesday they plan to build a 100-unit housing complex solely for public school teachers and paraprofessionals, and invest up to $44 million over the next five years to help them purchase homes.

Task force: Replace junior college accreditation commission
Capital & Main | Oct. 20, 2015
“It is too far gone, let’s start over again.” That is the growing consensus of opinion after years of rising tensions and escalating concerns about the methods and practices of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). The organization has accredited California’s community colleges for more than 50 years, but now faces losing the authority to put its stamp of approval on the two-year colleges.

Here's one more sign that the for-profit college industry is in trouble
Business Insider | Oct. 20, 2015
The US Department of Education (ED) will place restrictions on federal financial aid at for-profit college chain ITT Educational Services, in just the latest blow to a beleaguered industry.

Poll: Voters increasingly support early education investments
EdSource | Oct. 20, 2015
A national poll found that a majority of bipartisan voters would positively view a presidential candidate who supports improving federally funded early education – a topic that has gained support over the past three years.

State labor panel to file injunction in charter school unionization push
LA Times | Oct. 19, 2015
California's labor oversight board said it intends to file for an injunction to prohibit one of the state's largest charter organizations from interfering with efforts to unionize teachers.

Supreme Court’s new term looks like another bumpy ride
Daily Caller | Oct. 19, 2015
The Supreme Court has begun to hear the first arguments of its new term. With cases ranging from the death penalty to affirmative action and election law, this term will reveal more clearly than ever which justices are committed to the original meaning of the Constitution and their methods for interpreting it.

Seeking raises, CSU faculty expected to authorize strike
SF Gate | Oct. 19, 2015
Faculty at the 23 campuses of the California State University system cast the first ballots Monday in a systemwide strike authorization vote, one of the final steps required before forming class-canceling picket lines.

California’s 2013-14 grad rate increased from year before
EdSource | Oct. 19, 2015
A U.S. Department of Education report shows that California’s high school graduation ranking dropped from 30th in 2012-13 to 33rd in 2013-14, even though its graduation rate increased slightly.

What are charter schools good for?
Education Week | Oct. 19, 2015
I'll stipulate that charters are, or can be, good schools. My question is different: what are charter schools good for? Charter operators like to call their schools "public," but what good are they to the institution of public education?

Study: Supreme Court 'right to work' ruling could drag down pay
Al Jazeera America | Oct. 16, 2015
The nine Supreme Court judges will soon hear arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, and their ruling could transform all of the American public sector into a “right-to-work” zone. The result could be lower wages for public employees around the country, according to the author of a recent study from the pro-union Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

As CCSF board regains voice, 3 actively campaign for 1 seat
San Francisco Chronicle | Oct. 15, 2015
With City College of San Francisco nearly losing its accreditation last year, the Board of Trustees race to be decided in next month’s election is about safeguarding quality at the college attended by nearly 70,000 students last year.

Researchers offer toolkit to implement teacher-controlled video observations
Education World | Oct. 15, 2015
A year-long study from the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) at Harvard University found that giving teachers the option to submit recorded lessons for review resulted in an improved evaluation process as opposed to in-person observation.

Supreme Court preview for local governments
Public CEO | Oct. 15, 2015
The Supreme Court’s last term was big for local governments because the Court decided a number of important cases against them, most notably Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona(2015), holding that strict scrutiny applies to content-based sign ordinances. The October 2015 term is one to watch, and not just because the Court has accepted numerous cases on controversial topics affecting local governments.

California Community Colleges head announces retirement
SF Gate | Oct. 14, 2015
California Community College Chancellor Brice Harris, who leads the nation’s largest school system, with more than 2 million students, said Tuesday that he will step down in April after holding the job for three years.

Smith: California now ‘in the hard work stage’ of making ed reforms work
EdSource | Oct. 14, 2015
The results on the Smarter Balanced assessments, the centerpiece of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP , were released on Sept. 9 and showed the vast achievement gaps that decades of education reforms have failed to close. In a series of interviews, EdSource Executive Director Louis Freedberg interviewed several leading education experts about the continuing gap — and what additional reforms are needed to narrow or close it.

CSU faculty gears up for strike vote at 23 campuses
KQED | Oct. 14, 2015
California State University faculty members are gearing up for a strike vote on Monday. Labor leaders say possible job actions would not happen until early next year.

California State University faculty at CSUDH in Carson protest stalled salary talks
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin | Oct. 14, 2015
Professors, librarians, counselors and other California State University employees are preparing to vote on whether to permit their labor union to call a strike over stalled salary negotiations.

Supreme Court justices at work, bashing unions
The Hill | Oct. 13, 2015
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is pursuing a vendetta against organized labor. As the point man for all things anti-union in the court's jurisprudence, Alito next will target teachers' unions in California. If he can persuade Justice Antonin Scalia to join the cabal along with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas, he can play the constitutional trump card against compulsory union dues in the public sector.

Educators try to come to terms with low math scores on Smarter Balanced tests
EdSource | Oct. 13, 2015
As parents across the state open the envelopes containing their children’s scores on the new Smarter Balanced assessments administered last spring, only a third of them will see that their children met or exceeded the math standard on the new Common Core-aligned tests.

For-profit colleges accused of fraud still receive U.S. funds
New York Times | Oct. 12, 2015
When the Obama administration agreed this summer to erase the federal loan debt of some former students at Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit school that filed for bankruptcy in the face of charges of widespread fraud, education officials promised to “protect students from abusive colleges and safeguard the interests of taxpayers.”

Gov. Brown signs, vetoes key education legislation in days before deadline
EdSource | Oct. 12, 2015
In recent days, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed or vetoed some of the remaining bills the state Legislature approved during the 2015 session, including legislation that suspends the high school exit exam, creates new rules for placing high school students in math classes, and increases support for foster students in California.

California is first in the nation to ban ‘Redskins’ school mascot
EdSource | Oct. 12, 2015
Home to the largest number of American Indians in the country, California is now the first state in the nation to ban the use of “Redskins” as a school team name or mascot.

CCSF’s accreditors pledge to increase transparency
San Francisco Examiner | Oct. 12, 2015
The accrediting commission for City College of San Francisco and 112 other California community colleges has pledged to increase public involvement at its meetings amid recent pressure for the accreditor to be more transparent.

New times demand new ways to support students and schools
EdSource | Oct. 11, 2015
California’s education system is transforming in positive ways. Replacing the high school exit exam with more modern and meaningful measures is a critical part of that work.

Gates doubles down on teacher evaluation systems
Education Dive | Oct. 8, 2015
In a Wednesday keynote at the U.S. Education Forum, Microsoft founder Bill Gates reiterated his support for the use of teacher evaluation systems and new, more rigorous academic standards.

Will the Supreme Court gut unions’ power?
New York Post | Oct. 8, 2015
The National Education Association, the nation’s largest public-employee union, endorsed Hillary Clinton for president on Saturday. That’s on the heels of the endorsement by another giant, the American Federation of Teachers. These are powerful allies, but in the future, they may have a lot less money to spend tilting elections for Dems.

Unions, affirmative action top high-court docket
Orange County Register | Oct. 8, 2015

It seems like just yesterday when the U.S. Supreme Court closed out its session in June with momentous decisions legalizing same-sex marriage in all states and again upholding Obamacare. Now the court is back in session.

Latino education gap is California’s biggest problem: Thomas Elias
LA Daily News | Oct. 8, 2015
List California’s biggest problems and water immediately comes up, followed by public employee pension obligations, voter distrust for government, and childhood poverty, which runs higher here than almost anywhere else.

Eli Broad and the end of public education as we know it
Capital & Main | Oct. 7, 2015
If there were still any doubt about Eli Broad’s desire to gut traditional public education, it has been erased by his much-discussed “Great Public Schools Now” initiative, a draft of which LA Times reporter Howard Blume obtained last month.

Report highlights education inequities in nine California cities
EdSource | Oct. 7, 2015
A new report comparing school systems in 50 cities nationwide – including nine in California – found that inequities persist, but some cities provide better overall opportunities for all students than others.

Thousands of LAUSD teachers' jobs would be at risk with charter expansion plan
LA Times | Oct. 7, 2015
If a proposal for a massive expansion of charter schools in Los Angeles moves forward, the casualties probably would include thousands of teachers who currently work in the city's traditional public schools.

Governor signs bill allowing diplomas for students who failed exit exam
EdSource | Oct. 7, 2015
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that will allow some students who failed the California High School Exit Exam to receive a high school diploma retroactively.

Challenge to 'fair share' union fees unfair and unworkable
Education Week | Oct. 6, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court starts its term today, and in the coming months, it will hear Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which is being viewed as a potentially crippling challenge to teacher unionism.

Vaccination referendum falls far short, says campaign coordinator
EdSource | Oct. 6, 2015
A referendum to repeal the new California school vaccination law does not have enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot, according to a campaign coordinator who described chaotic last-minute mishaps that included sending petitions to Sacramento via Fed-Ex on a Sunday, too late to meet the Monday, Sept. 28 filing deadline.

California set to adopt literacy materials tied to Common Core
Education Week | Oct. 6, 2015
California, the largest common-core-adoption state, is on the verge of adopting new K-8 English/language arts instructional materials for the first time since it put the Common Core State Standards in place—and nearly all the textbooks that were submitted for review are likely to be approved.

Beginning teachers need support – without having to pay for it
EdSource | Oct. 6, 2015
A bill sits on Governor Brown’s desk that not only has the potential to support the development of a world-class teaching force for California’s students, but to right a wrong currently imposed by the state on many new teachers.

Jerry Brown, Arne Duncan had deep, long-standing disagreements
EdSource | Oct. 5, 2015
In 2013, after years of butting heads over policy differences, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan praised Gov. Jerry Brown for showing “real vision, real courage” in leading the passage of a school funding formula that steers substantially more money to English learners and low-income students.

Governor signs bill mandating sex ed in schools across California
SF Gate | Oct. 5, 2015
School districts across California no longer have the option of offering sex education — as of Jan. 1, they must.

Duncan’s done: Obama’s Education Secretary resigning
Daily Caller | Oct. 2, 2015
Arne Duncan, one of President Barack Obama’s longest-serving and most contentious Cabinet members, will be leaving his post in December, the White House announced Friday. In his wake, he leaves an incomplete legacy of aggressive reform pushes that, while not always successful, shaped the education debate and elicited passions on both the left and the right.

What did Arne Duncan do for California schools?
LA Times | Oct. 2, 2015
Arne Duncan, who on Friday announced he will step down as U.S. Secretary of Education in December, had a sometimes stormy relationship with California, despite its status as a stronghold of support for Democrats and the Obama administration.

Judge dismisses lawsuit over use of California teachers' union dues
San Jose Mercury News | Oct. 1, 2015
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit claiming that California's teachers are unfairly penalized or deprived of their free speech rights if they do not support the political activities of their labor unions.

Judge rejects suit to let teachers' union members avoid political spending
Education Week | Oct. 1, 2015
A federal district judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to allow teachers to join unions, but opt out of paying the portion of dues that go for political expenses.

Some teachers resisting union endorsement of Hillary Rodham Clinton for president
LA Times | Oct. 1, 2015
Hillary Rodham Clinton is a dear friend of a fiery teachers union leader, she speaks out against the bombardment of standardized testing that dismays educators, and she never misses a chance to say how enamored she is with those who teach. 

The Supreme Court’s most important cases of the new term
Slate | Oct. 1, 2015
The 2015 term is poised to begin, and the Supreme Court has already agreed to hear 34 of the 70 some cases it will decide this year. The court broke left on some big cases last term, but the theme of this upcoming year at the court may well be: Is the court moving right, or far right, or really, really far right? 

The achievement gap grew starkly under California's new Common Core tests. See it in your community.
Sacramento Bee | Oct. 1, 2015
More than just the income disparity between the poor and the wealthy has grown in California; lately, the test score gap between the haves and have-nots has gotten wider, too. 

Will the Supreme Court decide that Democrats have too much power?
The Atlantic | Oct. 1, 2015
Most appellate lawyers would advise against filing a Supreme Court brief beginning, “QUESTION PRESENTED: Does a key constituency of the Democratic Party have too much power?” That, however, is a key unstated question in at least three cases on the docket for the term that opens Monday. 

Political Notebook: SF college board candidates pledge long-term commitment to serve
Bay Area Reporter | Oct. 1, 2015
Running to retain the seat he was appointed to in April, City College of San Francisco Trustee Alex Randolph is facing questions on how long he plans to serve on the oversight body for the troubled community college district. 

Minimum wage at UC campuses bumped up to $13 an hour, but UC Irvine already there
Orange County Register | Oct. 1, 2015
A minimum wage hike went into effect Thursday at University of California campuses for staff and contract employees who work more than 20 hours a week – but not at UC Irvine.

Sex ed to become mandatory in grades 7-12 in California
Edsource | Oct. 1, 2015
Sexual health education will become mandatory on Jan. 1, 2016 for California public school students in grades 7 through 12 under a bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday.

Governor approves 'yes means yes' sexual consent education for California high schools
Orange County Register | Oct. 1, 2015
Gov. Jerry Brown has approved legislation aimed at making California the first state in the nation to bring lessons about sexual consent required at many colleges into high schools, his office announced Thursday. 

Democrats urge government to refund billions in student loans
Bloomberg | Sept. 30, 2015
The government’s new program for canceling student debt, launched in June, looked like a historic win for debtors. A year after troubled for-profit education company Corinthian Colleges collapsed, the Department of Education opened the first formal pathway for students of its colleges to ask for loan forgiveness. Now a group of Democrats in Congress is charging that the Department of Education has taken too long to refund the debt and has made it unlikely that most students will get relief. 

Report: California must do more to prepare early educators
EdSource | Sept. 29, 2015
California is doing too little to prepare workers for early education jobs and not paying them enough at a time when more children are heading to pre-kindergarten programs, a new report says.

House Democrat group asks administration to forgive debt of all Corinthian students
Huffington Post | Sept. 29, 2015
A group of Democratic members of the House of Representatives are sending a letter this morning calling on the Department of Education to "automatically discharge the debt" of all students who attended campuses run by now-bankrupt Corinthian Colleges, one of the worst actors in the scandalized for-profit college sector.

California denied renewal of federal funding for charter schools
EdSource | Sept. 29, 2015
California, which received $250 million in federal money over the last five years to foster the growth of charter schools, will get none of the $125 million that will be allocated in the next round of funding, the U.S. Department of Education announced Monday.

UTLA says it’s facing ‘unprecedented web of attacks’ on all sides
LA School Report | Sept. 28, 2015
Just months having securing a new three-year contract that included a hefty raise for its members, all is not well at the the Los Angeles teachers union, UTLA.

ACCJC Update
The Guardsman | Sept. 28, 2015
The California Community Colleges Board of Governors will call on the ears of federal education officials to request a new accreditor to oversee the 113 California community colleges, including City College.

Reclaiming the master plan for higher education in California
Huffington Post | Sept. 26, 2015
In equal importance to the text of the California Master Plan for Higher Education of 1960 are the idealistic assumptions its architects held that didn't need to be written down.


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In the News Archive: September 2015


Lawsuit: Union mistreated one of its own workers

Orange County Register | Sept. 22, 2015
The California Federation of Teachers is one of the most powerful education interests in Sacramento. CFT is the American Federation of Teachers’ California affiliate, composed of 135 local unions representing more than 120,000 employees at every level of the state’s education system.

Burbank Airport Center sells for nearly $20 million
Los Angeles Business Journal | Sept. 21, 2015
The Burbank Airport Center has changed hands for $19.8 million, or about $220 a square foot. The 90,000-square-foot office building at 2550 Hollywood Way was purchased by Atlantic Pearl Investments Inc. of West Hollywood from a group of Los Angeles investors who acquired the building in 2007, at the peak of the real estate market, and took a loss on its sale.

New community college accreditor needed now
Sacramento Bee | Sept. 20, 2015
State Community College Chancellor Brice Harris has released his long-awaited Accreditation Task Force report, and the news is not good for the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

Nation’s 2nd largest teachers union unanimously passes Armenian genocide resolution
Asbarez | Sept. 18, 2015
On Wednesday, September 16, the United Teachers of Los Angeles House of Representatives (UTLA), the policy making body for the nation’s second largest teacher union local adopted a resolution recognizing 2015, as the “Year of Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and the month of April of every year thereafter as the month of Commemoration of the Anniversary Genocide”, reported the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR).

Union supporters weigh in with briefs in Vergara appeal
LA School Report | Sept. 17, 2015
A group of education experts and organizations supporting the state’s two largest teacher unions’ appeal of the Vergara lawsuit have filed amici curiae, or “friend of the court” briefs with the California Court of Appeals while former California Governors Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger weighed in with their own briefs opposing the unions.

Supporters of Vergara lawsuit file ‘friend of the court’ briefs
LA School Report | Sept. 15, 2015
A group of education chiefs from around the nation, as well as some teachers, parents, student groups and business organizations, lended their official support to the Vergara lawsuit today by filing several amicus curiae or “friend of the court” briefs.

Today on the bus tour
Politico | Sept. 15, 2015
Two friend of the court briefs have been filed in support of plaintiffs in the Vergara case that led to a judge’s ruling striking down job protections for teachers in California. 

The lies about influence Randi tells
Dropout Nation | Sept. 18, 2015
During its 2013-2014 fiscal year, the American Federation of Teachers pent $29.1 million on on political lobbying activities and contributions to what should be like-minded groups. This included $450,000 in donations to the philanthropies controlled by former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, the likely Democratic presidential nominee.

City College vindicated by state
The Guardsman | Sept. 10, 2015
The future of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges remains uncertain after a state task force deemed the commission unfit to oversee California community colleges, reinforcing criticism surrounding the sanctions it has imposed on the majority of these schools. 

California Assembly passes vaccine mandate bill
Siskiyou Daily News | Sept. 10, 2015
The California Assembly passed a bill this week that would require adults who work or volunteer at day care centers to receive vaccines before being allowed to work.  

SF City College prepares for strike following class reductions
KRON | Sept. 9, 2015
San Francisco City College faculty members voted overwhelmingly last week to raise their union dues to create a strike fund for colleagues who would suffer in the event of a strike.

Is there a 'Blue State' frontier for teachers' unions?
Education Week | Sept. 7, 2015
We know where the frontiers of labor relations are in Red States. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who bows only to Donald Trump in the bombast department, wants to punch teacher unions in the face. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's campaign message is that he beat teacher unions in his state, and that qualifies him to be the leader of the free world. Defeating unionized public employees is a centerpiece of Republican strategy.

Op-Ed: Vigilance is needed to sustain labor’s gains
San Francisco Chronicle | Sept. 5, 2015
On Labor Day, we do well to remember the historic gains fought for, sometimes at great sacrifice, by union activists. We also should remember that labor’s efforts on behalf of the common good continue today. Perhaps you’ve noticed California public schools have been faring better. No longer are you reading headlines about thousands of teachers receiving pink slips because of lack of funding. 

President Pechthalt Talks Teacher Shortage on KNX 1070
Sept. 15, 2015
Audio clip 1 or clip 2 of President Joshua Pechthalt’s interview with Pete Demetriou on KNX 1070 News Radio in Los Angeles. “We’ve really robbed our schools of much of the creativity and excitement that used to be part of public education,” President Pechthalt said. 

Why data matters: California edition
Dropout Nation | Sept. 1, 2015
Two things can be said about California’s state government when it comes to its efforts on school data. The first? That the Golden State has always blundered when it comes to developing robust comprehensive data systems that can be easily used by families, school leaders, researchers, and policymakers.  

Report urges new accreditor for California’s community colleges
Chronicle of Higher Education | Aug. 31, 2015
Many lawmakers and others are calling for accreditors to get tougher with higher education and not let poor-performing colleges off the hook.

Trouble for an accreditor
Inside Higher Ed | Aug. 31, 2015
The future looks murky for the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

College accreditation group should be replaced, task force says
SF Gate | Aug. 31, 2015
The only group authorized to accredit California’s 113 community colleges is far too punitive and should be replaced, a task force convened by the state’s Community College Chancellor’s Office concluded Friday.

New CA community college accreditor needed ... NOW!
Palo Alto Patch | Aug. 29, 2015
A task force comprised of education experts released a report Friday concluding that the accreditor tasked with overseeing California’s 113 community colleges has lost the confidence of its member institutions and should be replaced.

Task force report urges new California community college accreditor
KRON | Aug. 28, 2015
A task force comprised of education experts released a report today concluding that the accreditor tasked with overseeing California’s 113 community colleges has lost the confidence of its member institutions and should be replaced.

UPDATE: Report urges new accreditor for California community colleges
San Francisco Examiner | Aug. 28, 2015
City College of San Francisco supporters are calling for a new accreditor as recommended in a report released Friday, but to the chagrin of some, that process could take up to a decade. 

Making LA: Education
KCRW | Aug. 27, 2015
It’s no secret that Los Angeles has a massive school system. There are more than 900 schools in the L.A. Unified School District, with more than 600,000 students. Los Angeles also has more charter schools than any district in the country. Some say that’s a threat to the public school system, while others argue that charters offer a crucial alternative.

“Golden State Standards” bill advances in legislature; Senator Anderson speaks out to oppose measure
East County Magazine | Aug. 27, 2015
Senate Bill 350 aspires to set new standards for renewable energy in California that the authors day will grow the state’s economy and improve public health by cutting petroleum use, increasing energy efficiency in existing buildings. But opponents contend that raising taxes on gas and vehicle users’ fees would create economic hardship for some Californians.



Editorial: Give public employees a fair deal on fees
Bend Bulletin | Sept. 25, 2015
Jill Gibson, the Portland lawyer whose right-to-work ballot title was butchered by the Secretary of State’s Office, has decided not to give up. Instead, she will rewrite her measure that would make public employee union dues voluntary in this state.

California State University faculty union calls strike vote
Sacramento Bee | Sept. 24, 2015
Dissatisfied with a proposed 2 percent raise, the California State University faculty union has scheduled a vote next month to authorize a strike across the 23-campus system.

So, are those federal performance-pay grants having an effect?
Education Week | Sept. 24, 2015
That's the big question taken up in a recently released report on the Teacher Incentive Fund grants. TIF is a federal initiative that couples performance pay for teachers and principals with other reforms in low-income schools.

L.A. Unified highlights magnet school performance compared with charters
LA Times | Sept. 24, 2015
The Los Angeles Unified School District this week released an analysis of test scores showing that its magnet schools are outperforming charter schools. This comes as private foundations are proposing a huge expansion of charters in the city.

Fullan: Achievement gap an ‘indicator that right strategies are not being used’
EdSource | Sept. 24, 2015
The results of the Smarter Balanced assessments, the centerpiece of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP, were released Sept. 9 and showed the vast achievement gaps that decades of education reforms have failed to close. In a series of interviews, EdSource executive director Louis Freedberg interviewed several leading experts about the continuing gap – and what additional reforms are needed to narrow or close it.

New California lawsuit alleges state has manipulated education funding
Education Week | Sept. 24, 2015
A new lawsuit filed by the California School Boards Association alleges that the state government has improperly kept some early child-care funding out of calculations for the state's minimum education budget.

Friends, foes of Vergara ruling file briefs to appeals court
EdSource | Sept. 23, 2015
Two former Republican governors joined an impressive array of law professors, education scholars, teachers of the year, civil rights advocates and state and civic leaders submitting briefs on both sides of the appeal of the Vergara lawsuit.

Gov. Brown must decide fate of exit exam, other key ed bills
EdSource | Sept. 23, 2015
Gov. Jerry Brown has until Oct. 11 to sign or veto legislation that the Legislature passed before heading home last month. Bills to retroactively award high school diplomas to students who failed the high school exit exam and to ban for-profit charter schools are among those awaiting action.

Orange County says special ed students must comply with vaccination law
EdSource | Sept. 23, 2015
In Orange County, home to the Disneyland measles outbreak that spread to seven other states and fueled a strict California vaccination law this year, attorneys for the Orange County Department of Education have stated that the new vaccination requirements apply equally to special education students, a group that some thought would be exempt because of their federally protected right to educational services.

Poor students lose ground with Common Core testing
Sacramento Bee | Sept. 22, 2015
Howe Avenue Elementary School, the largest elementary school in the San Juan Unified School District, is in a threadbare neighborhood of strip malls, faded homes and aging apartments.

Common core: Father’s check goes viral. Why do so many parents relate?
Christian Science Monitor | Sept. 22, 2015
Angry over the complicated instructions of Common Core math, an Ohio dad crafted a message to his child’s elementary school in the form of a prank check.

Call for new accreditor for CCSF will be sent to feds
San Francisco Examiner | Sept. 21, 2015
The California Community Colleges Board of Governors wants federal education officials to know that a recent state chancellor’s office task force report recommended replacing the accreditor for 113 community colleges in California, including City College of San Francisco.

As test results trickle in, states still ditching Common Core
U.S. News & World Report | Sept. 21, 2015
After spending millions of dollars adopting and implementing the Common Core State Standards and aligned assessments, states are finally beginning to release preliminary results from the first round of tests administered to students last spring.

Student college debt growing U.S. problem
Sharon Herald | Sept. 21, 2015
With the presidential candidates beginning to weigh in on the high price of a college education, maybe families will finally get some relief from the crushing debt resulting from seemingly endless tuition hikes.

Are student debt forgiveness scams the next mortgage meltdown?
ThinkProgress | Sept. 21, 2015
With student loan defaults on the rise, regulatory agencies are increasingly concerned about borrowers being preyed upon by student debt relief scammers. These scammers, which promise students they can cut their student loan payments by 50 percent or more, take advantage of students’ lack of knowledge about repayment options and a lack of intervention by student loan servicers that are paid by the federal government.

Charter school test scores take dive in California
Education Week | Sept. 21, 2015
State test scores of many once high-flying charter schools in California have plummeted—even more so than those of their regular public school counterparts.

Vergara appeal brings out a who's who in ed. policy
Education Week | Sept. 18, 2015
Is there anyone out there who hasn't weighed in, at this point, on the Vergara v. California appeal?

Obama admin lightens teacher evaluation requirements
Education Dive | Sept. 18, 2015
Over the last year and a half, the Obama administration has allowed states more latitude in how they implement teacher evaluation systems, as part of the No Child Left Behind waiver system, Education Week reports.

UTLA plans protest against Broad at his new downtown museum
LA School Report | Sept. 18, 2015
A few days after the posh parties with the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Orlando Bloom, Ed Ruscha and Frank Gehry to celebrate the opening of the new Broad Museum, the LA Unified teachers union, UTLA, is planning a protest at the museum on Sunday, aimed at its namesake: Eli Broad, one of LA’s leading philanthropists.

Coalition fighting cap on budget reserves stumbles
EdSource | Sept. 17, 2015
A push in the Legislature to reduce the restrictions on school districts’ budget reserves faltered last week after a coalition of school organizations fractured over proposed compromises.

Lawsuit: Schools failed to inform parents of right to opt out of tests
EdSource | Sept. 17, 2015
A parents group claims a Los Angeles County school district failed to notify parents of their right to opt their children out of Common Core-aligned tests in a lawsuit filed this week.

CCSF trustees far from incompetent
San Francisco Examiner | Sept. 17, 2015
I have to think that the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges loved Joel Engardio’s most recent column. Even though he modestly criticized the ACCJC, he provides much of the agency’s narrative concerning CCSF.

The other big debate: What is the Common Core, anyway?
LA Times | Sept. 16, 2015
If education comes up at all during Wednesday night's GOP debate, we're likely to hear about the Common Core State Standards. It's a favorite education topic among GOP contenders. Some of them tend to refer to the learning standards as a federal takeover of locally-run public schools.

California’s upward-mobility machine
New York Times | Sept. 16, 2015
The University of California is struggling with budget woes that have deeply affected campus life. Yet the system’s nine colleges still lead the nation in providing top-flight college education to the masses.

Striking Seattle teachers poised to return to classroom
New York Times | Sept. 15, 2015
Teachers in Seattle public schools suspended a nearly weeklong strike on Tuesday, announcing that they had agreed on a new contract with the city’s school board. Classes are to resume on Thursday.

How do we raise the quality of teachers?
Wall Street Journal | Sept. 15, 2015
While many influences contribute to a student’s academic achievement— drive, family background—research suggests that the single most important factor inside the school itself for K-12 students is the quality of the teacher.

The number of black teachers has dropped in nine U.S. cities
Washington Post | Sept. 15, 2015
The number of black public school teachers in nine cities — including the country’s three largest school districts — dropped between 2002 and 2012, raising questions about whether those school systems are doing enough to maintain a diverse teaching corps, according to a new report to be released Wednesday.

Test scores to be only one factor in measuring school progress
EdSource | Sept. 15, 2015
For months, California education officials have emphasized one message regarding the role that standardized tests will play in the future: Results from the Smarter Balanced tests, which were released last week, should be viewed as but one star, though a bright one, in a universe of metrics measuring student and school progress.

The empty promises of for-profit colleges
The Atlantic | Sept. 15, 2015
In February, Patricia Ann Bowers told ThinkProgress that she owed about $57,000 in student-loan debt. The now-54-year-old mother was a student at Everest College—one of several institutions owned by the for-profit operation, Corinthian College. During her time there, Bowers’s son committed suicide. When she asked about taking time off, she was strongly discouraged and was assured that if she failed her current classes, she could retake them for free. But that wasn’t true, and after Bowers paid to repeat coursework, the school shut down leaving her with a mountain of debt, no degree, and near her federal borrowing limit.

Workers, unions and ‘Caritas in Veritate’
Catholic San Francisco | Sept. 14, 2015
What is the responsibility of Catholic school teachers with regard to the spoken and lived representation of Catholic moral values? Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” is a helpful point of departure for some observations about the recent contract negotiations between the San Francisco archdiocese and its unionized Catholic high school teachers.

CCSF faculty union, administrators continue contract negotiations
San Francisco Examiner | Sept. 14, 2015
City College of San Francisco leaders are continuing to negotiate new contracts for faculty members, who earlier this month inched closer to a possible strike than ever before.

Saving City College with competence
San Francisco Examiner | Sept. 13, 2015
I grew up in the General Motors factory town of Saginaw, Mich., raised by a single mom. She cleaned people’s houses by day and started taking night courses at the local community college to get a better job when I was 9.

Brown to consider axing for-profit charter schools
Sacramento Business Journal | Sept. 11, 2015
California would abolish all for-profit charter schools under legislation now pending before the governor.

Opening salvos in the teacher union dues case
Pacific Legal Foundation | Sept. 11, 2015
The briefing in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association is underway. You’ll recall that this Supreme Court case presents the issue of whether public employee unions can garnish the wages of non-union members to support the unions’ collective bargaining and other political activities, without those workers’ consent.

9/11 first responder: Unions work for all of us
The Hill | Sept. 11, 2015
Fourteen years ago, on a clear September morning, the world – and mine - changed forever. On September 11, 2001, as our nation watched in horror as tragedy unfolded, I responded with my brothers and sisters from EMS Station 22, running against the crowds fleeing the horror of Lower Manhattan to do my job as an EMT. That day the brave firefighters, police officers, EMTs and other first responders who answered the call of duty didn’t hesitate to put their lives on the line.

California unions launch pre-emptive strike against possible end to mandatory dues
Reason | Sept. 11, 2015
California's public-employee unions are among the most powerful interest groups in the state Capitol, yet an effort to sneak some language into a bill during the last week of the legislative session shows the degree to which even these lobbies fear a coming rollback in their financial power.

Proceed with caution when comparing California tests scores with other states
EdSource | Sept. 10, 2015
Comparing California scores on tests aligned with the Common Core standards to those in other states isn’t a straightforward process.

Standardized tests don't help us evaluate teachers
LA Times | Sept. 10, 2015
When I was the general counsel of the Los Angeles Unified School District, it was extraordinarily difficult to dismiss underperforming teachers who had tenure. One major problem was that we lacked objective measures of teacher effectiveness. So when the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act brought the nation annual standardized testing for math and reading, I applauded.

Union dues foes may still win, despite three ballot losses
Napa Valley Register | Sept. 10, 2015
The common assumption in California politics is that labor unions will always be a major force because they have been for the last 30-plus years. But change may be coming, even though organized labor since 1996 has beaten back three ballot initiatives aiming to end its influence.

Many California students miss mark in first round of Common Core tests
Sacramento Bee | Sept. 9, 2015
Most California students tested below English and math standards in the state’s first round of Common Core-based tests, including a majority at some Sacramento-area schools that performed well in past years, according to results released Wednesday.

New California tests present sobering picture of student achievement
LA Times | Sept. 9, 2015
Echoing a nationwide downward trend, most California students are falling short of state learning targets and are not on track to succeed in college, according to the results of new, more rigorous standardized tests released Wednesday.

Most California students below standards on Common Core-aligned tests
EdSource | Sept. 9, 2015
First-year scores on the new standardized tests aligned to the Common Core standards showed that 34 percent of California’s students met achievement targets in math, and 44 percent met achievement targets in English language arts.

Poll: California voters still unsure about Common Core
EdSource | Sept. 8, 2015
As the California Department of Education prepares to release the first set of student test scores based on the Common Core State Standards, a new poll shows voters have mixed feelings about the new standards, including many who don’t understand what they are, or how they’re being implemented.

Poll: CA voters confused, easily manipulated over Common Core
LA School Report | Sept. 8, 2015
With tomorrow’s expected release of the California’s Common Core-aligned standardized tests, which 3.2 million students took in the spring, a new poll shows the majority of the state’s voters know little or nothing about the new standards, and their views depend heavily on the way questions are posed.

What staggering loan defaults at for-profit schools say about accreditors
Washington Post | Sept. 8, 2015
Accreditation agencies have been the gatekeepers standing between colleges and millions of dollars in federal financial aid for more than half a century. But that role is in question after the stunning collapse of Corinthian Colleges.

Don't panic, officials say as California braces for lower student test results
LA Times | Sept. 8, 2015
Even before new state test scores are released this week, one thing is already clear: Results will be lower than in years past. Probably much lower.

Small accreditation agency feels heat for Corinthian College collapse
Consumer Affairs | Sept. 8, 2015
For more than two years Corinthian College has been the poster-child for the problems plaguing higher education, particularly among for-profit colleges and universities.

Teachers, too, will learn a lot from new tests
EdSource | Sept. 8, 2015
The initial release of statewide test scores in California this week will reveal how well schools, districts and groups of students did in classes aligned with the Common Core standards. With two-page reports that will be mailed to their homes, parents will find out how well their children did on the new Smarter Balanced tests on the Common Core. And with their own database of information, teachers will learn how effectively they’ve taught them.

Colleges blast accreditation panel
San Diego Union-Tribune | Sept. 6, 2015
A California Community Colleges system task force has issued a highly critical report that could lead to it severing ties with the commission that accredits its schools.

California union fees case spurring late-session talks at Capitol
Sacramento Bee | Sept. 4, 2015
Education unions want Gov. Jerry Brown to embrace a late-session measure they hope would shield them from possibly debilitating financial effects of a pending U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Students speak out on the Common Core
EdSource | Sept. 3, 2015
The success of the Common Core standards depends on how effectively they engage students. Yet the issue of how students are responding to the standards has generally received far less attention – from researchers, policy analysts and the media – than other issues such as teacher preparation, the new Smarter Balanced assessments and the adequacy of curriculum material.

Editorial: Labor Day in the 'on-demand,' everyone-for-himself economy
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Sept. 3, 2015
As Labor Day weekend begins, we have it on no less an authority than Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump that 93 million Americans are out of work.

First ever Smarter Balanced test results expected next week
EdSource | Sept. 3, 2015
With the state’s much-anticipated release of Smarter Balanced test scores tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, EdSource is gearing up to provide comprehensive coverage, along with additional resources to help the public understand what the scores mean.

U.S. has forgiven loans of more than 3,000 ex-Corinthian students
Chronicle of Higher Education | Sept. 3, 2015
More than 3,000 borrowers who attended closed Corinthian campuses have had their student loans forgiven by the U.S. Department of Education to date, at a cost of $40 million to taxpayers, according to a report released on Thursday by Joseph A. Smith, the "special master" overseeing the discharges. Thousands more are in line for debt relief.

It may be a long time before many Corinthian students get debt relief
Washington Post | Sept. 3, 2015
There is no quick relief in sight for thousands of former Corinthian College students seeking loan forgiveness in the wake of the for-profit giant’s collapse.

Former students from Corinthian Colleges could receive state income tax break
OC Register | Sept. 3, 2015
Californians who had their student loans forgiven after the collapse of Corinthian Colleges this year could get a state income tax break.

After Corinthian collapse, students ask feds to drop college debt
SF Gate | Sept. 3, 2015
Almost 12,000 students are asking the federal government to discharge their college loan debt, asserting that their school either closed or lied to them about job prospects, according to government data released Thursday.

New institute in Palo Alto aims to help shape state, national K-12 policy
EdSource | Sept. 2, 2015
A prominent scholar from Stanford University will direct a new education institute in Palo Alto whose mission is to influence K-12 policies in both California and the nation.

How Long Do Waiver States Have to Get Teacher-Evaluation Systems in Place?
Education Week | Sept. 2, 2015
How long do states with No Child Left Behind Act waivers have to get teacher-evaluation systems up and running? Maybe longer than you think.

Schools deal with statewide teacher shortage
KCRA | Sept. 2, 2015
Some California students will start their school year with substitute teachers this year as schools grapple with a statewide teacher shortage which is worse in some areas than others.

Hotel California: teachers union edition
Cato Institute | Sept. 1, 2015
If a teacher opts out of her union, but the union refuses to hear it, did she really opt out? Even where state lawmakers have passed “right-to-work” laws legally enabling teachers to opt out of paying union dues, the practical ability to opt out is far from guaranteed. In Michigan, for example–where dues can cost up to $640 a year–the teachers union surreptitiously created new bureaucratic hoops for teachers attempting to opt out.

New York parents also fighting teacher protections
OC Register | Sept. 1, 2015
Nationally, public support for reforming teacher quality laws – including those dealing with tenure, dismissal statutes and seniority provisions – has risen. Some parents have even gone to court demanding changes.

School groups pursue compromise on budget reserves
EdSource | Sept. 1, 2015
A year-long battle between a coalition of school organizations and the California Teachers Association over district reserves has taken a new turn.

Initial Common Core goals unfulfilled as state results trickle in
San Jose Mercury News | Aug. 31, 2015
Results for some of the states that participated in Common Core-aligned testing for the first time this spring are out, with overall scores higher than expected, though still below what many parents may be accustomed to seeing.

California sets Sept. 9 for release of Common Core test results
LA School Report | Aug. 28, 2015
The California Department of Education has set Sept. 9 as the probable date for releasing the results of the new statewide Common Core-aligned tests that were administered in the spring.

COMMON CORE: Schools help assess state test results
Press Enterprise | Aug. 28, 2015
It’s a brand new ballgame for Inland schools. Gone is the era of paper and pencil tests. Computer-based exams have also ushered in a new way of evaluating kids’ knowledge of English and math.


Media articles are ARCHIVED monthly. For assistance, Fred Glass at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the News Archive: July 2015


Lawsuit targets Saddleback Valley Unified, 12 others in state
OC Register | July 22, 2015
Saddleback Valley Unified is among 13 California school districts named in a recent lawsuit that claims they are violating the law by not using standardized testing results as part of teacher evaluations.

Students Matter backs teacher eval suit against 13 California districts
Education Dive | July 21, 2015
Last Thursday, four parents and two teachers filed suit against 13 California school districts, alleging that they have signed collective bargaining agreements that block them from using student performance data in evaluating teachers.

Board extends CCSF special trustee
SFBay | July 21, 2015
The California Community Colleges Board of Governors voted Monday to extend the appointment of a special trustee to oversee the City College of San Francisco, inciting resistance from the California Federation of Teachers.

Judge Chalfant has made his decision; now let him enforce it
San Diego Union-Tribune | July 20, 2015
Whether President Andrew Jackson actually said Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall “has made his decision; now let him enforce it” after an 1832 ruling is a matter of dispute among historians, but Jackson’s anger over the high court’s assertion of its authority is well-documented.

NCLB debate puts opt-out in the 2016 spotlight — Vergara 2.0: The teacher evaluation edition — Scrutinizing overregulation claims
Politico | July 17, 2015
The 2016 GOP contenders who took part in the No Child Left Behind rewrite debate in the Senate took a cue from parents, adopting the testing opt-out mantra in their push for changes to the No Child Left Behind overhaul bill. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) rejected the standardized tests mandated by the law. “At the end of the day, this bill still mandates testing requirements,” Cruz said Thursday on the Senate floor, who added that his amendment would place “power over choices in education in the hands of teachers, in the hands of school boards, in the hands of states.”

Lawsuit says schools are breaking law in teacher evaluations
San Jose Mercury News | July 16, 2015
The same organization that backed a landmark case on California's teacher tenure laws is funding a lawsuit filed Thursday that takes aim at districts not enforcing an act that requires student achievement data to be used on teacher evaluations.

Group sues 13 school districts for not using test scores in teacher evaluations
LA Times | July 16, 2015
An education advocacy group sued 13 California school districts Thursday, claiming that they have ignored a state law requiring teachers’ performance evaluations to include student standardized test scores.

College accrediting group gets more public oversight under bill
SF Gate | July 15, 2015
Expressing frustration with the private process for accrediting California’s community colleges — an obscure system that nearly led to the closure of City College of San Francisco last year — the state Senate’s Education Committee approved a bill Wednesday to increase public oversight of the group.

NEA opposes California's Phillips 66 oil-train project over risks to students
Bay Area Indymedia | July 15, 2015
Out of concern for the safety and wellbeing of students and teachers, the National Education Association today opposed the proposed Phillips 66 oil-train offloading facility in San Luis Obispo County. If approved the project would bring millions of gallons of hazardous crude oil nearly every day through highly populated areas near hundreds of schools.

Community college accreditation commission needs more accountability: Guest commentary
LA Daily News | July 8, 2015
The nine colleges comprising the Los Angeles Community College District are currently gearing up for their accreditation review. Accredited status allows students to receive credit and take out federal loans to attend and assures educational quality and accountability to the public

Teaching moment: Will Sacramento school college accreditors?
Capital & Main | July 7, 2015
If it becomes law, a reform bill now in the state legislature will mark a milestone in the two-year effort to rein in the secretive but powerful private organization responsible for accrediting California’s 112 public community colleges. The target of Assembly Bill 1397 is the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), which was recently thwarted from terminating the accreditation of the City College of San Francisco (CCSF), mostly for issues stemming from the academically high-rated school’s Great Recession-battered finances.

Mayors hear biased view of California court decision vs. teacher tenure
People’s World | July 7, 2015
In the landmark case of Vergara v. California, state Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu ruled last year that tenure and seniority laws in public education had robbed California students of their constitutional right to a high quality public education. 

Report from charter group suggests English learners do better at charters
LA School Report | July 7, 2015
English learner students are performing better in charter schools than in traditional schools, according to a new report released by the California Charter Schools Association. 

Court may put school status quo under siege
San Diego Union-Tribune | July 2, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court’s announcement this week that it would hear the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case this fall offers tremendous hope for better public schools and a healthier state political climate. Rebecca Friedrichs, an elementary schoolteacher for 27 years in Anaheim, nine other state teachers and the Christian Educators Association International are challenging the state law requiring them to pay dues to the CTA that the union uses to fight for many causes that Friedrichs opposes – starting with extreme job protections and efforts to control local school boards by electing union allies. 



Organizing is the key to surviving Friedrichs
Labor Notes | July 30, 2015
When news broke that the Supreme Court would hear Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, headlines instantly projected the worst, calling it “The Supreme Court Case That Could Decimate American Public Sector Unionism,” “An Existential Threat,” and even “The End of Public-Employee Unions?”

Districts urged to step up for next generation of teachers
EdSource | July 30, 2015
A report out this week urges California school districts to take a more assertive role in producing new teachers. A new half-billion-dollar appropriation to districts to improve teacher effectiveness presents the opening to do this, although more state encouragement and incentives would help, the study said.

California Community College chancellor says access and success are priorities
San Bernardino Sun | July 30, 2015
As the state’s community colleges make their way out of the economic downturn and find themselves with a fuller budget this year, Brice Harris, chancellor of California Community Colleges, on Thursday asked administrators to keep two priorities in mind: increasing access and helping more students succeed.

California's school system ranked 9th worst in the nation
SF Gate | July 30, 2015
Summer break is in full swing, but with August days away, the start of the school year is fast approaching. As kids beg for new backpacks and parents mentally prepare for another schedule shift, personal finance website WalletHub is taking a look at the country’s statewide school systems. And for California, the results are grim.

Building teacher communities with summits
San Diego Union-Tribune | July 30, 2015
California State University San Marcos is one of more than 30 sites across the state co-hosting innovative educator summits designed to help teachers share strategies and build teacher communities.

Public school teacher Rebecca Friedrichs: "I never asked the union to represent me." | July 30, 2015
"We're asking that teachers be able to decide for ourselves, without fear or coerscion, whether or not to join or fund a union," says Rebecca Friedrichs, a veteran public school teacher in Buena Park, Califorina. "It's that simple."

Statewide teacher summit to focus on Common Core
Fresno Bee | July 29, 2015
Thousands of teachers across the state will meet at different locations on Friday to discuss Common Core standards and share teaching strategies and resources.

The fight to save City College: Push back against push-out
San Francisco Bay View | July 28, 2015
The fight to save City College is taking place on two levels. We’re winning one but losing the other.

Why Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog is wrong about teacher evaluation
Washington Post | July 28, 2015
FiveThirtyEight is a blog created by Nate Silver, a famous statistician who developed a system for forecasting player performance in Major League Baseball and accurately predicted the winner of 49 out of 50 states in the 2008 presidential election. A few years ago, he was asked during an online Q & A session at Reddit whether he believes student standardized test scores should be used to evaluate teachers.

‘Parent trigger’ campaigns can continue despite lack of new test scores
EdSource | July 27, 2015
While California’s testing and accountability system is in flux, parents are allowed to attempt to force major changes at schools considered failing based on tests that are at least two years old and that measure material that’s no longer being taught.

SJ teachers to join statewide Common Core summit
Stockton Record | July 27, 2015
Thousands of teachers across California will come together virtually this week to learn strategies to teach what is known as Common Core.

Pacific helps host summit on teaching Common Core
Manteca Bulletin | July 26, 2015
University of the Pacific on July 31 will join more than 30 other colleges and universities throughout California as hosts of a statewide summit for teachers on the Common Core.

States in Motion: Visualizing how education funding has changed over time
EdSource | July 26, 2015
After a complete redesign and the addition of new data, we’re excited to relaunch “States in Motion.”

Suit seeks to change teacher evaluation criteria
Champion Newspapers | July 25, 2015
Chino Valley school district, school board members and superintendent Wayne Joseph are named as defendants in a lawsuit that seeks to compel compliance with the 1971 Stull Act, which requires student performance on standardized tests to be taken into account when teachers are evaluated.

Schools chief presents blueprint for California education
Santa Cruz Sentinel | July 24, 2015
California should provide a cradle-to-career education system in which children are provided learning opportunities from a young age and given support and services inside and outside the classroom, the state's schools chief recommended Friday.

Early education gets noticed in proposed revise of No Child Left Behind
EdSource | July 24, 2015
The latest version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA, that’s before Congress more formally addresses early education and adds a competitive grant program to help states align their early education system with K-12 schools.

Senate education bill could return control to states
Desert Sun | July 16, 2015
The past few years, California has been reconstructing its entire K-12 educational system. Almost everything — from the way schools are funded to curriculum standards and from standardized tests to a new accountability system — has changed or is in the process of changing.

Students Matter sues districts over teacher evaluations
EdSource | July 16, 2015
Students Matter, which is challenging tenure and other teacher protection laws in Vergara v. California, filed a second school lawsuit Thursday. It is suing 13 school districts that it claims are violating the state law requiring student scores on state standardized tests be a component of a teacher’s evaluation.

David Welch group again sues over Calif. teacher tenure
Washington Times | July 16, 2015
The same organization that backed a landmark case on California’s teacher tenure laws is funding a lawsuit filed Thursday that takes aim at districts not enforcing an act that requires student achievement data to be used on teacher evaluations.

Lawsuit says SoCal schools among those breaking law in teacher evaluations
KPCC | July 16, 2015
A group that got a judge to overturn California's laws on teacher tenure and layoffs is now going after teacher evaluations.

Half of new teachers quit profession in 5 years? Not true, new study says
EdSource | July 16, 2015
A recent federal study found that a much smaller percentage of beginning teachers leave the field in their first five years on the job than the widely quoted figure of 50 percent. It’s 17 percent, according to the new research.

Teachers back in school to master Common Core standards
EdSource | July 15, 2015
School’s out for summer – although maybe not, if your job is to teach the Common Core State Standards.

Teachers Summit aims to address Common Core
Victorville Daily Press | July 15, 2015
An estimated 20,000 teachers from across the state will meet at 33 locations on July 31 for a free event designed for teachers to share ideas and practices addressing Common Core.

California’s dwindling teacher supply rattling districts’ nerves
EdSource | July 14, 2015
Just as California school districts are facing new pressures to implement the Common Core State Standards and other key educational reforms, many of them are struggling with what some officials are calling the early impacts of a long-feared teacher shortage.

As many as 40,000 Corinthian students could get temporary relief from their loans
Market Watch | July 14, 2015
Tens of thousands of former students of the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges will get some temporary relief from fretting over their student loans.

Death, taxes, and union dues: We all have to pay our due
Education Week | July 14, 2015
I have been putting off writing this week. I didn't want to bore you by talking about something that's already been given a lot of press. I tried to think of other things to write about but I keep coming back to the same topic, the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) agreeing to hear the case of Friedrichs v. CTA.

Public union dues comes under Supreme Court scrutiny
National Law Review | July 14, 2015
The constitutionality of “fair share” provisions, requiring non-members covered by public-sector collective bargaining agreements to pay union fees, will be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, No. 14-915.

Will the Vergara ruling backfire?
Education Week | July 13, 2015
When a Superior Court judge ruled in Vergara v. California that the state's teacher tenure laws were unconstitutional because they disproportionately deprive poor and minority students of a decent education by leaving ineffective teachers in place, the verdict was hailed as a victory for the plaintiffs. But if the ruling stands, it has the potential to invite litigation with entirely different goals ("Silver Linings Casebook: How Vergara's Backers May Lose by Winning," University of Maryland Law Journal, Volume 15/Issue1).

Friedrichs v CA and CTA
Townhall | July 13, 2015
Like many first-year teachers, I enjoyed no protections despite forced union representation (and paying union dues) since a teacher’s contract strictly declared that non-tenured faculty could be removed for any reason. “For the cut of your hair” is the common refrain to describe the arbitrary, unjust power of administrators and school boards.

Why are some teachers being evaluated using the test scores of kids they didn’t teach?
Slate | July 13, 2015
By almost all accounts, Albuquerque, New Mexico, music instructor Nick Prior is an all-star teacher. He runs six choirs, which serve nearly 200 students at the city’s Eisenhower Middle School. His choirs have won state competitions three times, and in multiple categories. Last year, his students swept a national choir competition, earning first place in showmanship and musicianship. He won a statewide award for teaching from the New Mexico Music Educators Association in 2014.

Corinthian College students reach agreement with Education Dept.
The Hill | July 13, 2015
The Department of Education has agreed to suspend all judicial actions to collect on student loan debt from former Corinthian College students for 120 days, the student committee announced Monday.

Teachers' union girds for Supreme Court setback, pledges to grow membership
Huffington Post | July 13, 2015
Faced with its gravest threat in years from the Supreme Court, one of the country's largest labor unions is preparing for a ruling that could make it much more difficult to collect fees from the workers it represents.

Pasadena City College’s accreditation placed on probation
Pasadena Star-News | July 9, 2015
A regional accrediting commission has placed Pasadena City College on probation after reviewing the way the school is run. 

Bay Area school trustees urge Legislature: Repeal cap on reserves
Contra Costa Times | July 9, 2015
Several Bay Area school board members on Thursday urged state legislators to repeal a cap on school district reserve funds that could be triggered whenever the state puts money into its own rainy day fund for schools. 

Accrediting commission sanctions 4 East Bay community colleges
SF Gate | July 8, 2015
Four community colleges in Alameda County have been placed on a watch list for accreditation problems by the same agency that threatened to revoke accreditation from City College of San Francisco.

Common Core test results due next month: ‘It’s not going to be pretty’
Modesto Bee | July 7, 2015
After a year with no results to, in essence, test the test, this summer there will be numbers and ratings winging their way to parents’ mailboxes.

Who's funding Campbell Brown's education news site?
Inside Philanthrophy | July 6, 2015
Former news anchor and current education reform advocate Campbell Brown has found a way to combine her interests in journalism and education reform with her new venture, a nonprofit news site focused on K-12 education.

Are test scores proving fears about Common-Core high school math correct?
Education Week | July 6, 2015
As I wrote last week, Smarter Balanced test scores released by Idaho, Oregon, and Washington state show that students are largely beating states' projections for student performance—except for on the high school math tests, where students in all three states fell short of their predicted performance.


CCSF to meet with accrediting commission over possible reversal of 2013 decision
San Francisco Examiner | July 6, 2015
Leaders with City College of San Francisco on Wednesday will ask the school’s accrediting commission to reverse its 2013 decision to revoke the school’s accreditation, though it’s unknown what impact that move would have.

Legislators take aim at Proposition 13 loophole
SF Gate | July 6, 2015
San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting calls it one of the most vexing issues in the state Capitol, a loophole in California’s Proposition 13 that allows commercial property buyers to wiggle out of paying higher taxes.

Marriage ruling may boost school climate for LGBT families and students
EdSource | July 6, 2015
When the U.S. Supreme Court issued a major civil rights decision on marriage in Loving v. Virginia in 1967, striking down a state law banning interracial marriage, Alameda Unified teacher Gene Kahane was a 3rd-grader in Richmond, California, and didn’t hear about it. News of social change travels faster and farther now – and almost immediately into the classroom.

California advocates still pushing to unionize child care providers
Sacramento Bee | July 5, 2015
Pamela Sharp’s day starts at 5:30 a.m., when she gets up to make breakfast for the children she watches all day in her home. She’s open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., five days a week.

‘Project-based learning and Common Core are a natural fit’
EdSource | July 5, 2015
Tyler Graff is the incoming principal at the Claire Lilienthal alternative school in San Francisco Unified. Previously, he was principal of Stevenson Elementary, a public school in Mountain View, where he kicked off a project-based learning initiative in 2012.

Debt forgiveness and liquidation
Inside Higher Ed | July 2, 2015
The messy dismantling of Corinthian Colleges is moving through a federal bankruptcy court, as a judge mulls whether to halt loan repayments for up to 350,000 former students and the defunct for-profit chain seeks the court’s approval for the fire sale of its remaining assets – including trademarks, furniture and even old diplomas and typewriters.

Arne Duncan 'thrilled' to close Corinthian Colleges, not so ready to help its former students
Huffington Post | July 2, 2015
The Department of Education was “thrilled” to shut down the for-profit chain Corinthian Colleges Inc., Education Secretary Arne Duncan declared Wednesday -- a claim that stands in sharp contrast with his department's frantic efforts last year to save the company. 

State budget offers ‘epic opportunity’ for California community colleges
EdSource | July 2, 2015
The budget deal agreed to by Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature last month has record increases for education, particularly community colleges. Some call it a windfall. Others call it catch up from deep budget slashing during the recession.


Media articles are ARCHIVED monthly. For assistance, Fred Glass at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the News Archive: August 2015


Teachers’ contract underscores high schools’ ‘paramount’ Catholic purpose
Catholic San Francisco | Aug. 26, 2015
A new labor agreement between the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the union representing teachers at the four archdiocesan high schools states that Catholic teachings must remain paramount in the classroom and that teachers are accountable for personal conduct that could negatively affect their ability to serve the Catholic mission. 

Why there are high rates of PTSD in this teacher's classroom
Alternet | Aug. 24, 2015
In his 22 years of teaching high school English to East Oakland’s teenagers, Jeff Duncan-Andrade has witnessed kids and their families struggle through all kinds of trauma. He has seen how the constant, unrelenting stress – what researchers are now calling toxic stress – that comes from housing, employment and food insecurity, as well as continued violence in the neighborhood, visits a punishing impact on students and how they learn. 

College accreditation group should be replaced, task force says
SF Gate | Aug. 28, 2015
The only group authorized to accredit California’s 113 community colleges is far too punitive and should be replaced, a task force convened by the state’s Community College Chancellor's Office concluded Friday.

Teachers ratify disputed contract with SF Archdiocese
KRON | Aug. 20, 2015
Members of a Bay Area Catholic schoolteachers’ union ratified a new contract Wednesday with the Archdiocese of San Francisco, church officials said. 

High school exit exam: Legislature fixing glitch
San Jose Mercury News | Aug. 20, 2015
Though state legislators are rushing to fix a glitch that has held up graduation for thousands of students, the future of California's high school exit exam remains a question. 

Assembly bill could overhaul ethnic studies in California
Siskiyou Daily News | Aug. 19, 2015
A recent bill from the California Assembly could usher in a new committee to drive ethnic studies curricula in the state.

Jerry Brown’s con job on public schools
San Diego Union-Tribune | Aug. 16, 2015
For observers of California’s public schools who look past the normal narratives and distractions, something bordering on despair is in order. 


Report urges new accreditor for California community colleges
San Francisco Examiner | Aug. 28, 2015
California’s community college system should identify a new accrediting agent for the state’s 113 community colleges as soon as possible.

California community colleges may seek new accreditor
Inside Higher Ed | Aug. 28, 2015
A California community college system-convened task force has decided that the state's 113 two-year colleges should seek to be overseen by a new regional accrediting body.

Symposium: Another battle in the war over union fees
SCOTUSblog | Aug. 28, 2015
Across America, an intense debate is taking place over how states should structure their labor relations, and especially the extent to which state and local government employees should have the right to elect unions to represent them in collective bargaining. This debate has taken place against a constitutional backdrop that allows states considerable choice among different labor relations models, ranging from no collective bargaining at all to extensive bargaining over most working conditions.

Do we still need teacher tenure?
OC Register | Aug. 27, 2015
Tenure is a hot-button issue for parents, education advocates and teachers themselves. Under California law, teachers can be granted tenure – essentially permanent employment – after about 18 months on the job. California is one of just five states to grant tenure after two years or less.

Symposium: Correcting the “historical accident” of opt-out requirements
SCOTUSblog | Aug. 27, 2015
Whatever the fate of mandatory “fair share” payments that nonmembers are often required to make to fund public-sector unions’ collective bargaining activities, Friedrichs will likely mark the end of requirements that dissenting workers take action to “opt out” of funding public-sector unions’ political and ideological activities, the subject of the second question that the Court agreed to consider.

State removes 15 years of test results before releasing new scores
EdSource | Aug. 26, 2015
California Department of Education officials have repeatedly cautioned against comparing students’ scores on past state standardized tests with forthcoming results on tests aligned with the Common Core standards. The academic standards have changed and the tests are different, making comparisons inaccurate, they and others have warned.

Corinthian Colleges wins approval for liquidation plan
Wall Street Journal | Aug. 26, 2015
A bankruptcy judge has approved Corinthian Colleges Inc. ’s plan to liquidate its assets, largely concluding the defunct for-profit education company’s chapter 11 bankruptcy case.

Symposium: The Friedrichs petition should be dismissed
SCOTUSblog | Aug. 26, 2015
Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association presents two issues: (1) whether to overrule Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, and hold that the First Amendment prohibits school districts and teachers’ unions from requiring teachers to pay the union their fair share of the cost of union representation services; and (2) whether the First Amendment requires any government employee who wishes to join a union to opt into membership rather than, as the law currently requires, to opt out.

Symposium: Will the Court continue to recognize a distinction between bargaining with government and lobbying the government?
SCOTUSblog | Aug. 25, 2015
The First Amendment generally forbids the government from forcing citizens to support a private organization’s speech and expressive activities. Yet, roughly forty years ago, the Supreme Court held in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education that the government can force public employees to financially support some types of union speech, but not other types. Specifically, Abood held that employees could be forced to subsidize union collective bargaining with the government, but not union political activities intended to influence government policy.

Report: Educators seek more clarity on implementing Common Core
EdSource | Aug. 25, 2015
Most California teachers, policymakers and district leaders believe the Common Core State Standards will help create more college- and career-ready high school graduates, but educators also want more clarity on how to better implement the reform, according to a new report.

‘The teacher shortage’ is no accident—It’s the result of corporate education reform policies
In These Times | Aug. 25, 2015
Like much else in the national education debate, panics about teacher shortages seem to be a perennial event. In a widely discussed article for the New York Times earlier this month, Motoko Rich called attention to sharp drops in enrollment in teacher training programs in California and documented that many districts are relaxing licensure requirements as a result, pushing more and more people into the classroom without full certification or proper training.

Symposium: Public-sector unions, labor relations, and free speech
SCOTUSblog | Aug. 25, 2015
As every first-year law student learns, the First Amendment is not absolute because the government can restrict speech with adequate justification. When the government acts as employer, the burden of justification is reduced because it has a strong interest in controlling the speech of its employees to provide effective service to the citizens.

The real reasons behind the U.S. teacher shortage
Washington Post | Aug. 24, 2015
There’s a teacher shortage across the United States — but that’s not exactly news. The U.S. Department of Education maintains an annual list — state by state — showing the subject areas in which there are too few teachers going back to the 1990-91 school year. What’s new is the size of the shortage and the reasons for it.

San Francisco archdiocese, teachers' union reach accord, preserving insistence on Catholic identity
Catholic Culture | Aug. 24, 2015
The Archdiocese of San Francisco, California, has reached an accord with a union representing Catholic-school teachers—an agreement that became controversial because of a clause stipulating that teachers in parochial schools would be required to respect Church teachings.

Symposium: Overrule Abood to protect individual rights
SCOTUSblog | Aug. 24, 2015
In Davenport v. Washington Education Association, the Supreme Court described laws that empower unions to garnish the wages of non-union members as an “extraordinary state entitlement to acquire and spend other people’s money.” Nonetheless, for nearly forty years, since Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, the Court has allowed that wage garnishment on the theory that without such entitlements, unions’ collective bargaining efforts might be undermined by “free riders.”

Teachers ratify contract underscoring high schools’ Catholic mission
The Pilot | Aug. 24, 2015
A new labor agreement between the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the union representing teachers at the four archdiocesan high schools states that Catholic teachings must remain paramount in the classroom and that teachers are accountable for personal conduct that could negatively affect their ability to serve the Catholic mission.

Archbishop Cordileone thankful for San Francisco teacher contract agreement
Catholic News Agency | Aug. 23, 2015
Efforts to promote Catholic culture in the San Francisco archdiocese’s high schools and to agree on a contract acceptable for the schools’ teachers concluded on Wednesday with a new contract.

National poll shows majority oppose Common Core standards
EdSource | Aug. 23, 2015
A new national poll shows that the majority of respondents oppose teachers using the Common Core State Standards to guide what they teach. That contrasts with the findings of statewide polls that show much stronger support in California for the new standards.

Archdiocese of San Francisco and teachers reach contract agreement
Catholic World Report | Aug. 23, 2015
Efforts to promote Catholic culture in the San Francisco archdiocese’s high schools and to agree on a contract acceptable for the schools’ teachers concluded on Wednesday with a new contract.

Why so many teachers quit, and how to fix that
LA Times | Aug. 23, 2015
Every year, thousands of young and enthusiastic teachers all over the country start their first day of work. Within the following five years, at least 17% of them will leave the profession. Teacher attrition is especially high in poor, urban schools, where on average about a fifth of the entire faculty leaves annually — that's roughly 50% higher than the rate in more affluent schools.

Common Core: the Lego kit of education
Huffington Post | Aug. 21, 2015
I always hated kits.
My Cub Scout career lasted two meetings. The handbook for knot tying was so much less interesting than my own efforts to hang the dog from a low branch, only to have the slipknot slip. I wasn't an animal abuser. He was the only nearby heavy object with a collar. Fortunately, my knot experimentation came to fruition later, when I learned how to suspend a backpack with cheese in it from a tree branch so as to save my dinner from the bears. I invented the clove hitch. (Although modesty requires that I admit that I was probably not the first).

Teachers at Catholic high schools ink contract after close vote
SF Gate | Aug. 20, 2015
Teachers at four Catholic high schools were sharply divided as they approved a contract with San Francisco’s archdiocese.

Common Core yet to emerge as major issue in presidential campaign
EdSource | Aug. 20, 2015
So far, at least, the Common Core has not become a major issue in the early stages of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Catholic teachers narrowly vote to accept union agreement with SF archdiocese
National Catholic Reporter | Aug. 20, 2015
Teachers at four Catholic high schools, under pressure from the San Francisco archbishop to adhere to church teaching in their personal lives, narrowly voted to accept a union agreement with the archdiocese for the next three years.

San Francisco Catholic teachers approve contract, amid ongoing tensions
National Catholic Register | Aug. 20, 2015
After months of tense, high-profile negotiations — centering on resistance to an archdiocesan effort to reinforce Catholic identity — teachers at four Catholic high schools approved the collective-bargaining agreement Church officials negotiated with American Federation of Teachers Local 2240.

Workplace rights are moral and financial imperative
The Hill | Aug. 20, 2015
While millions of Americans are enjoying their summer vacations, one group of workers is stuck at home with the A/C cranked up. Home-care workers, who look after much of the country’s sick, disabled, elderly, and young rarely, if ever, get a vacation. In fact, for those of us looking after family members, our job never ends.

New debt relief rules coming
Inside Higher Ed | Aug. 20, 2015
The Obama administration is planning new regulations that will set clearer standards for discharging the federal student loans of defrauded borrowers and give the U.S. Department of Education new tools to recoup money from colleges where it finds misconduct.

Borrowing for college set to hit 5-year low
Huffington Post | Aug. 20, 2015
College students this past fall likely borrowed the least amount for higher education in five years, federal data show, amid declining overall enrollment and a drop in lending to students at for-profit schools.

Teachers ratify new contract that underscores high schools’ Catholic mission
Catholic San Francisco | Aug. 20, 2015
A new labor agreement between the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the union representing teachers at the four archdiocesan high schools states that Catholic teachings must remain paramount in the classroom and that teachers are accountable for personal conduct that could negatively affect their ability to serve the Catholic mission.

CCSF needs students to keep funding
SF Gate | Aug. 20, 2015
The City College of San Francisco’s struggle to retain its accreditation has led to a rapid, roughly 27percent decline in enrollment that is threatening its state funding.

Chris Christie: “Best thing for education would be to do away with the teachers unions”
Ring of Fire | Aug. 20, 2015
New Jersey governor and Republican presidential candidate, Chris Christie, stood by his hate of teachers unions, reported CBS News. He famously stated that the unions should be “punched in the face”, and he has doubled down on that sentiment by saying the eradication of them would be “nirvana.”

Will $15 an hour lift workers to the middle class?
National Journal | Aug. 20, 2015
After 10 years as a McDonald's cashier in Los Angeles, Albina Ardon earns just $9.05 an hour. For most of her time there, Ardon, 28, has been deeply frustrated because her pay has barely budged, forcing her and her husband—a cook at the same McDonald's—to turn to Medicaid and food stamps for their two daughters, ages 6 and 8.

Assembly passes bill exempting students from exit exam
EdSource | Aug. 20, 2015
The state Assembly on Thursday approved a bill that would exempt seniors in the class of 2015 from the requirement to pass the California High School Exit Exam to graduate.

Archdiocese of San Francisco and Archdiocesan Federation of Teachers, Local 2240 announce labor agreement
Business Wire | Aug. 19, 2015
A three-year collective bargaining agreement (2015-18) with the Archdiocese of San Francisco was ratified today by members of the Archdiocesan Federation of Teachers, local 2240. This labor agreement covers 236 full-time teachers at four Archdiocesan high schools – Archbishop Riordan (San Francisco), Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep (San Francisco), Marin Catholic (Kentfield) and Junipero Serra (San Mateo).

U.S. wants better debt relief for students defrauded by colleges
LA Times | Aug. 19, 2015
Following the collapse of Corinthian Colleges Inc. this spring, the U.S. Department of Education is crafting new regulations to help students seek debt relief and better hold colleges accountable for wrongdoing.

A ‘sea change’ in education reform: Debrief of Robinson’s panel at 2015 NH Education Summit
American Enterprise Institute | Aug. 19, 2015
The 2015 New Hampshire Education Summit hit a powerful stride on the morning of Wednesday, August 19th, putting six presidential hopefuls and numerous experts in discussion of how education reform can become a meaningful part policy proposals for 2016. According to Representative Luke Messer, the forum represented a “sea change, driven by parents, the consumers” of education on their children’s behalf: “the pursuit of happiness means access to and choice of quality education.”

Common Core year two: Is it working?
KUSI | Aug. 18, 2015
Not everyone is a fan of Common Core.
Some say it's the federal governments way of mandating what children learn in school.

Efforts to attract new teachers stall in state Legislature
EdSource | Aug. 17, 2015
Efforts to reinstate state support to attract new teachers to the profession have stalled in the state Legislature, despite a shrinking supply of teachers that is spreading beyond traditionally high-needs areas such as special education, math and science, and bilingual education.

Should teachers with high achieving students get better teacher evaluations? (And what is the national council on teacher quality?)
Tucson Weekly | Aug. 17, 2015
The Star had a worthwhile idea for an education story. Two writers decided to look at how districts in the Tucson area handle teacher evaluations. The interactive map on the website and the chart in the newsprint version show that some districts are more generous than others in awarding high ratings to their teachers.

Rating California schools is a big battle
Sacramento Bee | Aug. 16, 2015
California’s largest-in-the-nation public school system educates – or purports to do so – 6 million-plus kids from dozens of socioeconomic, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds.

School year opens with promise, uncertainty
San Diego Union-Tribune | Aug. 15, 2015
As the new school year begins, some things are looking up: teachers and students are becoming familiar with the Common Core academic standards, now in their second year, and budgets are more expansive as the state continues to loosen the purse strings following the recession.

California districts sued for dismissing test scores from teacher evaluations
Heartland Institute | Aug. 14, 2015
School districts in California are violating state law by ignoring student test scores when evaluating teachers, according to a lawsuit filed in July on behalf of two teachers and four parents of former and current students by Students Matter.

In Vergara's Wake, A New Role for Unions
Huffington Post | Aug. 13, 2015
It's been just over a year since the Vergara vs. California decision tossed out five state statutes providing job protections to teachers, pending appeal. As expected, teachers unions have responded with efforts to preserve those protections. What's less well known is that alongside preservation efforts, some union leaders are pointing to alternative means of accountability -- approaches driven by teachers themselves. Enter teacher-powered schools that allow teams of teachers the autonomy to collaboratively make the decisions influencing school and student success. In exchange, teachers accept of accountability for the outcomes of their decisions.

$240 million education contract illustrates state lobbying loopholes
KQED | Aug. 13, 2015
When California education officials awarded a $240 million, three-year contract to conduct Common Core testing for millions of school children this spring, they said it was an open and competitive process — and that Educational Testing Service, the winning company, simply had the best proposal.

Zimmer: Proposed charter expansion at LAUSD ‘not about children’
LA School Report | Aug. 13, 2015
In his first extensive interview since he was elected president of the LA Unified school board in July, Steve Zimmer had a few blunt words about the recent announcementthat power brokers in the charter school movement intend to expand the ranks of charters in the district to include half of all students.

Commentary: How can we fix the teacher shortage?
LA School Report | Aug. 13, 2015
Teaching can’t compete. When the economy improves and job prospects multiply, college students turn their attention elsewhere, to professions that promise more money, more independence, more respect.

Is There Really A Teacher Shortage?
Forbes | Aug. 13, 2015
The New York Times’ Motoko Rich reports that “Across the country, districts are struggling with shortages of teachers, particularly in math, science and special education — a result of the layoffs of the recession years combined with an improving economy in which fewer people are training to be teachers.”

Why a Teacher 'Shortage'?
Education Week | Aug. 12, 2015
August is apparently our month to contemplate a teacher shortage. Or reports of a teacher shortage. Or a completely fabricated teacher shortage. The issue has had play all the way from the blogoverse to the New York Times to the Ed Week blog department.

Union Members Seem To Want Bernie Sanders Over Hillary Clinton. Will Labor Leadership Follow Them?
In These Times | Aug. 12, 2015
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has emerged as the most outspoken pro-labor candidate in the 2016 Democratic primary. With his introduction of federal $15 minimum wage legislation and his frequent targeting of Walmart’s Walton family in his stump speech, Sanders has his finger on the pulse of the some of the most vibrant and large-scale economic-justice movements in decades. That stands in stark contrast to the front runner, Hillary Clinton, who’s been mum on $15 and is a former Walmart board member.

Kids have three times too much homework, study finds; what's the cost?
CNN | Aug. 12, 2015
Nothing quite stresses out students and parents about the beginning of the school year as the return to homework, which for many households means nightly battles centered around completing after-school assignments.

Benchmark Education’s Common Core English and Spanish language arts literacy systems recommended for adoption in California K-6 schools
Business Wire | Aug. 12, 2015
Literacy publisher Benchmark Education’s California Advance with designated ELD (English Language Development) K-6 literacy system and a Spanish version, Benchmark Adelante California with designated ELD, were recently recommended for adoption in California. A state panel of reviewers for the Instructional Quality Commission recommended to the California State Board of Education the adoption of Benchmark’s new research-based elementary CA Common Core State Standards language arts systems.

Teachers gearing up for new approach to science
EdSource | Aug. 12, 2015
A group of teachers recently spent a summer morning observing a slug dangling from its slime and pill bugs rolling up into defensive balls as part of a training session on how to teach science to California’s youngest students.

Brown signs new school residency laws
Cabinet Report | Aug. 12, 2015
Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed separate but related pieces of legislation that provide an exemption in school residency laws for children of live-in workers, and protections during district investigations for students of families suspected of non-compliance.

Can we interest you in teaching?
New York Times | Aug. 12, 2015
Teaching can’t compete. When the economy improves and job prospects multiply, college students turn their attention elsewhere, to professions that promise more money, more independence, more respect.

Teacher shortages spur districts nationwide to try new tactics
CBS News | Aug. 12, 2015
As students return to their classrooms this year, some may find fewer teachers waiting to greet them.

State delays releasing Common Core-aligned test scores until September
EdSource | Aug. 11, 2015
As educators eagerly await the results of the new standardized assessments aligned with the Common Core standards that more than 3 million students took in the spring, state officials now say they plan to release the scores in early September, later than originally projected.

Teachers in SCOTUS case opposing unions explain their side
LA School Report | Aug. 11, 2015
Ten California teachers and the Christian Educators Association have sued the California Teachers Association in a case that could eliminate public employee unions’ right to collect fees from all workers. Many observers believe that the case, to be argued before the Supreme Court this fall, could seriously undermine public sector unions nationwide.

Does Hillary Clinton’s college plan go far enough?
New Yorker | Aug. 11, 2015
Nathan Hornes, a twenty-five-year-old musician from Southern California, recently had a run of bad luck that changed his life. In 2010, after his mother insisted he pursue a higher degree, he chose a campus of Everest College, run by the for-profit Corinthian Colleges. “I thought I could go to school and be a pop star on the side,” he told me. Everest had a reputation among students for misleading marketing pitches and awful teachers, but the scope of the college’s problems didn’t become apparent until 2013, when the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau disclosed that they were investigating Corinthian.

Bay Area school districts suffer from teacher shortage
ABC 7 | Aug. 11, 2015
A new school year is about to begin and yet many Bay Area districts are struggling to find enough teachers to fill the ranks. Math and science teachers are especially needed.

Two teachers explain why they want to take down their union
The Washington Post | Aug. 11, 2015
Ten California teachers and the Christian Educators Association have sued the California Teachers Association in a case that could eliminate public employee unions’ right to collect fees from all workers. Many observersbelieve that the case, to be argued before the Supreme Court this fall, could seriously undermine public sector unions nationwide.

Teacher shortages spur a nationwide hiring scramble (credentials optional)
New York Times | Aug. 9, 2015
In a stark about-face from just a few years ago, school districts have gone from handing out pink slips to scrambling to hire teachers.

Carl Cohn to direct new school improvement agency

EdSource | Aug. 6, 2015
Carl Cohn, a former longtime Long Beach Unified superintendent, State Board of Education member and sharp critic of federally imposed school sanctions under the No Child Left Behind law, will lead a new autonomous state agency that will direct the state’s evolving school improvement system. The five-member board of the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence announced the appointment of Cohn as its first executive director on Thursday.

Friedrichs v. CTA could change the face of the teaching profession
Education Week | Aug. 6, 2015
As a veteran educator and advocate for teacher freedom, I was thrilled to hear that the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the Rebecca Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (CTA) case this fall. Their decision could send shock-waves through the teaching profession and once and for all empower teachers to make educated decisions about union membership.

Commission upholds revoking CCSF accreditation
SFBay | Aug. 6, 2015
A regional commission Wedneday said it has voted to uphold a previous decision to revoke City College of San Francisco’s accreditation, despite efforts to have it overturned.

CCSF’s accreditation revocation upheld by commission
San Francisco News | Aug. 6, 2015
The question over the accreditation status of the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) has been settled, with the decision of a regional commission to uphold its accreditation revocation ruling of 2013.

Management vs. labor: Is the game rigged?
Huffington Post | Aug. 5, 2015
Proving that the Domino Theory is alive and well, one more domino fell last week when the Michigan Supreme Court ruled, 4-3, that public sector employees could continue to bask in the superior wages, benefits and working conditions that their union contract provided, but weren't required to pay their "fair share" of union dues. Not one penny of it.

City College of San Francisco works to lure back students
ABC 7 | Aug. 5, 2015
City College of San Francisco is trying to convince would-be students that it has the classes they need. This is after the school saw a decline in attendance of more than 25,000 students following its accreditation battle.

CCSF’s accreditation unaffected by affirmation of 2013 termination decision
San Francisco Examiner | Aug. 5, 2015
Accreditors for City College of San Francisco have upheld their 2013 decision to terminate the school’s accreditation, but the move will not affect the current status of the college, which remains open and fully accredited.

Suit filed to force use of test scores in reviews
Education Week | Aug. 4, 2015
A lawsuit has been filed in California by Students Matter, contending that some districts have inked collective bargaining agreements prohibiting the use of test scores to evaluate teachers. Those pacts, the suit charges, contravene state law, which requires "pupil progress" on tests as one component of evaluations.

Housing is so outrageously expensive in San Francisco the city can't hire enough teachers
SF Gate | Aug. 4, 2015
Housing in San Francisco is expensive. So expensive, in fact, the city's schools can't hire enough teachers because the cost of living is so onerous.

Lessons learned: Making the Local Control Funding Formula work
EdSource | Aug. 4, 2015
The transition to a new funding and accountability system for California’s schools has required a more responsive, collaborative and nimble California State Board of Education than at any other time in recent history. The first full year of Local Control Funding Formula implementation is complete, and local educational agencies have produced their first annual updates and second round of accountability plans using a new template adopted by the board.

California teachers seeking more training to get Common Core right
KPCC | Aug. 3, 2015
Teachers taking part in last Friday's California Teachers Summit training called on school administrators to provide more examples of how Common Core can be best taught, if they want it done right.

California teachers summit attracts 20,000 educators statewide
LA School Report | Aug. 3, 2015
In what organizers call the state’s largest teacher training ever attempted, more than 20,000 educators gathered for the California Teachers Summit at 33 sites across the state on Friday.

Teachers share Common Core experiences
San Diego Union-Tribune | Aug. 1, 2015
Thousands of teachers up and down California huddled Friday to learn and swap stories — the good, the bad and the funny — about how to bring alive Common Core academic standards during an education summit held simultaneously in 33 venues.

Catholic school teachers near deal, but ‘morality’ fight goes on
SF Gate | July 29, 2015
Teachers at four Catholic high schools emerged from an emotional and drawn-out contract battle this week with a tentative agreement that limits the ability of San Francisco’s archdiocese to link their private lives to their job description.

Media articles are ARCHIVED monthly. For assistance, Fred Glass at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the News Archive: June 2015


California's state pension funds move closer to divesting from coal
The Guardian | June 26, 2015
A key vote in the campaign to get California’s state pension funds to divest from thermal coal was passed this week. 

Vergara appeal moves forward, but final decision may be 1 year away
LA School Report | June 24, 2015
An appellate court ruling in the landmark Vergara v. California case moved closer to an end date today with the attorneys for the nine student plaintiffs filing their appeal brief. 

School nurse bill by Sen. Lois Wolk moves forward
The Reporter | June 24, 2015
Legislation by Senator Lois Wolk, D-Solano, to enable schools to hire more school nurses and take a lead role in managing chronic childhood diseases received unanimous, bipartisan support in the Assembly Health Committee this week. 

How California teachers beat the gun companies
Huffington Post | June 23, 2015
The recent success of the California Federation of Teachers' (CFT) battle to remove investment in guns and pro-guns organizations from their retirement fund is a major victory. In the years since the ultimately successful divestment campaign to end apartheid in South Africa, the tactic of using one's money to change the world has been repeatedly second-guessed, called ineffective and generally dismissed. Yet divestment campaigns continue, on fossil fuels, on guns, and on other issues, for a reason: They work.

California tempers backlash while embracing Common Core
ABC News | June 22, 2015
While the Common Core education standards provoked political backlash and testing boycotts around the country this year, the state that educates more public school children than any other — California — was conspicuously absent from the debate. 

California nurses, teachers oppose Phillips 66 oil train project
Bay Area Indymedia | June 19, 2015
The 120,000-member California Federation of Teachers voted to add their voice to the growing community of nurses and teachers opposed to the Phillips 66 oil train project.

Financing the destruction of American lives
East Bay Express | June 17, 2015
More than two years after it promised to do so, the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) announced last week that it had finally stopped financing Remington Outdoor, the firearms company that makes Bushmaster rifles, including the AR-15 used by Adam Lanza to murder twenty children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut in 2012. California teachers praised CalSTRS' decision to liquidate its stake in Remington — held through a private equity fund managed by Cerberus Capital Management — but said it was long overdue. "This divestment will ensure that educators and their pension system are not associated with weapons that place communities, and, in rare but tragic cases, schools, at greater risk," said Dean Vogel, president of the California Teachers Association. 

Don’t let child poverty undermine school readiness: Guest commentary
LA Daily News | June 16, 2015
By the time they set foot in their kindergarten classroom for the first time, half a million children in California will already have had their opportunities for academic success undermined by the pernicious impact of profound poverty. 

English learners: Props for CTA power play
U-T San Diego | June 16, 2015
There is always going to be cynicism about politics because of the awareness that the interests of the powerful often dictate how our elected leaders act, whatever pure motives they claim. But what’s going on now with the implementation of a costly, much-ballyhooed state education reform is stupefying in its cynicism. 

Debate over funding child care is a trap
Sacramento Bee | June 11, 2015
As an educator, a parent, and someone who wants to see the next generation given every tool possible to succeed, I support the proposed expansion of child care programs. The earlier we prepare children for the classroom, the stronger their foundation for learning will be.

CA teacher retirement fund dumps firearms shares
Breitbart News | June 10, 2015
The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) has sold its investment in Remington Outdoor, the parent company for Bushmaster firearms–the firearm that Adam Lanza stole and used in his his heinous attack on Sandy Hook Elementary. 

CalSTRS cashes out of firearms investment
Sacramento Bee | June 8, 2015
Ending a lengthy effort that had frustrated school teachers, CalSTRS has sold its investment in the firearms manufacturer linked to the 2012 massacre at a Connecticut elementary school.

Assemblyman Ting, education advocates demand accreditation process reforms
San Francisco Appeal | June 6, 2015
Legislators and education advocates today called for curbs on the powers of college accreditors, who they accused of targeting City College of San Francisco while allowing violations by the for-profit Heald College to go unchecked. 


Public sector unions’ $9 billion, two-stage attack on Prop 13
Breitbart News | June 2, 2015
It was only a matter of time until California’s powerful public sector unions geared up for a two-step approach to overturn the 1978 Proposition 13 ballot measure that has saved California property owners about $550 billion in property taxes.

New approach leads to drop in CMS suspensions
Charlotte Observer | May 31, 2015
The number of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students who have been suspended is down 14 percent this year, a reflection of the district’s new emphasis on finding alternatives to sending children home to discipline them. 


California vaccine bill that bans personal, religious exemptions advances
CNN | June 25, 2015
The California House passed a proposal that would outlaw a family's personal and religious beliefs as reasons to exempt their children from school vaccinations.

SB277 update: Calif. state Assembly approves controversial vaccination bill
KPCC | June 25, 2015
The controversial bill that would require almost all children entering daycare or school in California to be vaccinated crossed another key hurdle Thursday, as the state Assembly approved it by a vote of 46-30.

U.S. appoints monitor to oversee Corinthian Colleges claims
LA Times | June 25, 2015
The U.S. Department of Education on Thursday appointed an advisor to help guide the debt relief process for potentially hundreds of thousands of students who attended now-defunct Corinthian Colleges campuses.

Schools consider impact of ending vaccination opt-outs
EdSource | June 25, 2015
In the pockets of California where hundreds and even thousands of kindergartners are not fully vaccinated, school districts are starting to think seriously about how a proposed law requiring vaccinations – which the Legislature approved Thursday – could affect their enrollment and in turn, their funding.

U.S. enlists monitor for Corinthian student loans
Wall Street Journal | June 25, 2015
The Obama administration is enlisting the lawyer who carried out the government’s landmark mortgage settlement to oversee the process of forgiving the loans of tens of thousands of former students of Corinthian Colleges Inc., drawing into focus the similarities between the mortgage crisis and the student loan burden facing many Corinthian students.

Bad teachers: New bill puts poor performers in the crosshairs
Watchdog | June 25, 2015
Ineffective teachers kept safe by seniority may soon lose that protection. Pennsylvania is one of a few states in which performance does not factor into layoff decisions. Instead, it employs a system designed to shield veteran educators from budget cuts while newer teachers, no matter how good in the classroom, are typically the first to go.

For-profit colleges aggressively target veterans for enrollment. These Democrats want it to stop.
Washington Post | June 25, 2015
When it comes to enrolling veterans and their families, there is only upside for for-profit colleges. Men and women who serve in the military receive federal education funding that has become a stable source of revenue for many of the schools. And that money is exempt from a key federal rule that governs the way for-profit colleges are funded.

Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions selling controversial gun holding
LA Daily News | June 25, 2015
One of Los Angeles’ pension funds is dropping its holding in Remington Outdoor, the gun manufacturer whose rifle was used in the 2012 Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre.

Taxpayers on the hook for Corinthian Colleges student loan bailout
World Magazine | June 25, 2015
Taxpayers will be on the hook for a massive student loan bailout the federal government is offering students left stranded after the beleaguered for-profit Corinthian Colleges chain abruptly closed its doors in April. The debt-relief plan could cost taxpayers as much as $3.6 billion.

Lawyers challenging California teacher tenure cite 'dance of lemons'
Reuters | June 24, 2015
California's tenure system for public school teachers shields the jobs of ineffective instructors in a "dance of the lemons" that disproportionately harms minority students, attorneys for students argued in appeals papers filed on Wednesday in support of a lower court ruling.

SD Unified budget to lower class size, raise teacher pay
San Diego Union-Tribune | June 24, 2015
The San Diego Unified School District finalized its $1.37 billion operating budget for the 2015-16 academic year, setting into motion a spending plan that lowers class size, adds counselors and nurses, and raises pay 5 percent over two years for some 14,000 employees.

CSU looks to enroll 12,000 more students under budget signed by Gov. Jerry Brown
LA Daily News | June 24, 2015
The CSU will be able to expand enrollment by 12,000 students after receiving a funding boost from Sacramento on Wednesday.

L.A. schools Supt. Cortines wants out soon but sets no deadline
LA Times | June 24, 2015
Los Angeles schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines has set no hard deadline for his departure, but wants the Board of Education to move forward with a search for his successor, ideally by the end of the year.

California students respond to union appeal in Vergara case
Watchdog | June 24, 2015
Nine California students have filed a legal brief against the state claiming teacher job protections violate their right to equal and quality education.

California teachers unions fight for their special privileges against students' right to a good education | June 24, 2015
A little over a year ago, a group of nine California students with the help of the activist group Students Matter won an amazing victory in California Superior Court in the case of Vergara v. California.

Respondents file brief countering unions' claims in Vergara appeal
Education Week | June 24, 2015
The high-powered legal team supporting the plaintiffs in Vergara v. California has filed its first brief in response to an appeal to last year's ruling.

Another View: Accrediting commission is helping colleges
Sacramento Bee | June 24, 2015
Assemblyman Phil Ting argues that the failings of California’s college accreditation system require the Legislature to support his “reform” legislation (“College accreditation agency is unfair, rife with conflict,” Viewpoints, June 15).

California lawmakers propose property tax reform for commercial and industrial properties
Mondaq News Service | June 24, 2015
California lawmakers recently introduced SCA 5, a new proposal of an old idea to create a “split-roll” property tax. The proposed constitutional amendment would remove Proposition 13’s limits on property taxes for commercial and industrial properties. The measure would allow for yearly reassessment of those properties to ensure their property taxes reflect current market value, as opposed to only reassessing a property when it changes ownership. Protections for residential and agricultural property assessments would remain in place.

California dodges Common Core controversy
Education Dive | June 23, 2015
California is keeping testing tied to the Common Core State Standards as a practice run this year while also making efforts to keep parents’ expectations in check as the release of test scores looms.

Teachers to teach teachers at statewide Common Core summit
EdSource | June 23, 2015
Thousands of California teachers, who’ve spent recent years simultaneously learning and teaching the new Common Core State Standards, will share ideas about what has worked best in their classrooms at a multi-site conference on July 31.

Keeping better tabs on California's education funding
LA Times | June 18, 2015
One of Gov. Jerry Brown's greatest and most dramatic accomplishments has been his reform of the way California allocates money to public schools. He used the recession to hit the reset button, replacing an arcane and blatantly unfair formula with a streamlined and equitable distribution: a certain amount of funding per student, and significantly extra for those who are poor, in foster care or not fluent in English — in other words, students who need extra help.

CA’s budget avoids funding equity issue in special ed
Cabinet Report | June 18, 2015
Despite the recent release of a sweeping road map for improving special education, legislative leaders and Gov. Jerry Brown have settled on far less ambitious changes for how those services are delivered and paid for.

Corinthian steals spotlight at accreditation hearing
Politico | June 18, 2015
Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Chris Murphy tore into Albert Gray, president and CEO of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, at a Higher Education Act reauthorization hearing Wednesday. Senate HELP Committee members balked at Gray’s claims that ACICS found no evidence that the 55 Corinthian campuses it accredited defrauded students, and that accreditors were right to keep federal dollars flowing.

Early education makes substantial gains in state budget
EdSource | June 17, 2015
Despite initial resistance from Gov. Jerry Brown, the final budget deal struck by lawmakers on Tuesday provides more than $300 million for early education. (Subscription needed)


Letters: Common Core best for California kids
OC Register | June 17, 2015
It’s time we move the Common Core conversation out of the realm of political in-fighting and focus our attention on what’s best for California kids. The fact is that the Common Core education standards will better prepare students to meet the challenges they’ll face after graduation.

Vaccine opt-outs, teacher evaluation bills still alive as state budget approved
EdSource | June 17, 2015
It’s not exactly the summer All-Star break, but the June deadline for bills to move successfully from one house in the state Legislature to the other – or be declared dead – reveals what remains possible in this legislative season.

Gunshot-sensing technology installed in first U.S. high school
CBS News | June 17, 2015
Earlier this year, New York City became one of 90 cities now using ShotSpotter technology - gunshot-detecting sensors that alert police to the location of shots fired.

Civil rights fights focus on public results, watching the money and keeping Common Core
Modesto Bee | June 16, 2015
Several conversations on civil rights converge on education right now. The first focuses on keeping the teeth in federal No Child Left Behind mandates to show all kids are doing better. Another focuses on state funding for high-needs students, parsing out how much is really being spent on those kids. A third links best practices in Common Core to closing the achievement gap.

The toughest for-profit college rules in years are here. And lawmakers are still fighting over them.
Washington Post | June 16, 2015
A spending plan released by a House committee Tuesday would prevent the Obama administration from moving forward with new regulations limiting the amount of debt students can carry in career-training programs, two weeks before the rules take effect.

Budget deal confirms record K-12 spending
EdSource | June 16, 2015
Gov. Jerry Brown got the bottom line he wanted faster than expected. Brown and legislative leaders announced a budget deal Tuesday, one day after state lawmakers approved spending $2 billion beyond what the governor said he’d accept. The final agreement will not alter the record education spending that Brown proposed through Proposition 98, the voter-approved formula that determines revenue for some preschool programs, K-12 schools and community colleges.

Vergara time bomb still hangs over public schools: Thomas Elias
LA Daily News | June 15, 2015
Like a time bomb, the court decision in Vergara v. California has been mostly dormant since the last election season ended in November 2014. But its explosive potential remains as large as ever.

Common Core can help Latino students
CNN | June 15, 2015
Graduation season is upon us once again. Proud parents from California to Florida beam as their children walk across the stage and embark on the next phase of their lives. While this is a time to celebrate, there is more work to be done and progress to be made to prepare our graduates -- especially Latino students -- for the journey ahead.

Prop.13 changes could affect health care
California Healthline | June 15, 2015
Proposed changes to Proposition 13, California's landmark property tax initiative, could generate as much as $9 billion a year for state and local governments. In addition to helping schools, public safety and infrastructure, the money would improve delivery of health care services, proponents say.

Torlakson reinterprets department’s stance on teacher raises
EdSource | June 15, 2015
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has softened clear-cut guidance his department issued in a memo regarding the use of money intended for underserved students to fund across-the-board pay raises for teachers.

Corinthian Colleges grilled over how it failed
Wall Street Journal | June 12, 2015
Federal bankruptcy watchdogs and lawyers for California’s attorney general grilled representatives of Corinthian Colleges Inc. on Friday, seeking information about what brought down the operator of for-profit schools.

Preventing the next Corinthian
U.S. News & World Report | June 12, 2015
In a breathtaking acknowledgement the federal government bears some responsibility for college quality, the Obama administration announced this week that it will forgive the federal student loan debt of up to 350,000 Corinthian College students at a taxpayer cost of as much as $3.5 billion. Corinthian, the for-profit corporate parent to Heald College and Everest Institutes, was forced to shut down last month amid widespread charges of misrepresentation and fraud.

Taking on student debt, and refusing to pay
New York Times | June 12, 2015
Over the last couple of decades, we have been engaged in an enormous national experiment, taking impressionable and often ignorant teenagers and young adults and seeing just how much student loan debt they can handle.

Exclusive Interview: Robert Reich on the War Against Teachers and Public Education
Capital & Main | June 11, 2015
It’s no secret that former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich has some misgivings about the direction of the American economy. But the prolific writer, radio commentator and longtime University of California, Berkeley professor isn’t thrilled about how we are educating our kids, either.

LAUSD adds $889.5 million in spending power in $8.09 billion budget
LA Daily News | June 11, 2015
Los Angeles Unified revealed an $8.09 billion operating budget Thursday, summarizing its plans to spend a windfall of state funding in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Democrats' budget has more money for UC, CSU
Capital Public Radio | June 11, 2015
Don’t expect a California budget deal before the Legislature’s constitutional deadline Monday. Lawmakers will instead vote that day on a plan by legislative leaders that relies on higher revenue estimates to fund several Democratic priorities -- including more money for the UC and CSU systems.

Student teaching key to teacher retention, report says
EdSource | June 11, 2015
Aspire Public Schools and the San Francisco Unified School District both use a new teachers preparation program that has earned high marks for teacher retention, according to a new report by the American Institute for Research.

Digital needs fuel Common-Core-curricula choices
Education Week | June 10, 2015
There was a new face at the table this school year as the Meriden public schools set out to evaluate digital curricula aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

Lawmakers push to scrap Prop. 13 tax limits for factories and business
LA Times | June 10, 2015
Saying a major “loophole” allows some business to unfairly avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes, two Democratic state senators on Wednesday filed a proposed constitutional amendment to revise Proposition 13, the landmark property tax initiative approved by California voters in 1978.

How one school fashions geometry lessons from recyclables
KPCC | June 10, 2015
This is another story in KPCC's ongoing series, Classroom Core, that takes a close look at how the Common Core teaching standards are playing out in schools in Southern California.

Prop. 13 overhaul targets commercial property tax rates
Sacramento Bee | June 10, 2015
Facing long political odds, state Sens. Loni Hancock and Holly Mitchell introduced a constitutional amendment Wednesday to overhaul portions of Proposition 13, California’s landmark tax-limiting measure.

Democrats propose Proposition 13 overhaul for businesses
KPCC | June 10, 2015
California businesses would pay billions more in property taxes under a long shot bid by two Democratic lawmakers to unravel some of the voter-approved tax limits in Proposition 13.

After two years of trying, California teachers divest from Remington | June 10, 2015
The California State Teachers’ Retirement System successfully pulled funds from the Remington Outdoor Company, a conglomerate of 16 gun and gun accessory companies, management of the pension fund announced June 5.

California state senators to propose overhaul of Prop. 13
LA Times | June 10, 2015
Two Democratic state senators plan to introduce legislation Wednesday to overhaul Proposition 13, the state's landmark restrictions on property taxes, so local governments can raise more revenue from commercial and industrial properties.

For some ex-Corinthian Colleges students, loan forgiveness not enough
KPCC | June 10, 2015
Former students of the shuttered Corinthian College chain welcomed the U.S. Department of Education's announcement that they won't have to pay back federal loans, but some said that wasn’t enough.

It’s time to make Prop. 13 fairer for homeowners
Sacramento Bee | June 9, 2015
Saturday marked the 37th anniversary of Proposition 13, California’s landmark law that capped all property tax increases at 2 percent a year. For homeowners and renters, Proposition 13 was an extraordinary victory, and a huge relief that helped millions, especially those on fixed incomes, stay in their homes.

Have the Vergara plaintiffs unwittingly helped their reform adversaries?
PR Web | June 9, 2015
The California Court of Appeals is currently considering arguments about whether to uphold or reverse the trial court decision in Vergara v. State of California, which declared unconstitutional a set of state statutes that provide teachers with due process protections, seniority-based layoffs, and a two-year review period before a tenure decision (Vergara v. State, No. BC484642 [Cal. Super. Aug. 27, 2014, Unpublished Opinion]).

Years after Sandy Hook shooting, pension fund CalSTRS exits Cerberus-backed Remington
Forbes | June 8, 2015
More than two-years after stating its intention to exit investments in gun manufacturers following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut that left 20 children and six staff dead, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, or CalSTRS, said on Monday it has completed its firearms divestment.

For Corinthian Colleges students: what you need to know about debt relief
Home Room | June 8, 2015
Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Education announced new steps to protect students from abusive for-profit colleges, as well as a new debt relief process for students at Corinthian Colleges – which operated schools under the names Everest, Heald, and Wyotech.

State lawmakers want to change teacher evaluations
LA Daily News | June 6, 2015
State legislators are approving bills that will revamp teacher evaluations for the first time in 44 years, but critics say the measures give more power to teachers unions, even as a landmark court ruling threatens to overturn labor-backed laws that protect ineffective teachers.

California teachers pension fund divests from weapon maker
Huffington Post | June 5, 2015
The largest teachers pension fund in the world plans to end its indirect investment in Remington Outdoor assault weapon manufacturer after two years of urging for divestment.

Corinthian debt strike grows larger
Inside Higher Ed | June 5, 2015
The group of former Corinthian Colleges students refusing to repay their federal loans and pressing the Education Department to forgive their debt announced Friday that their membership had again grown.

Corinthian Colleges closing: Student debt strike reaches 190 while lawmakers consider loan forgiveness
International Business Times | June 5, 2015
The Corinthian 15 -- a 15-member group of for-profit college students refusing to pay back their loans to the federal government -- is no more. Now, it's the Corinthian 190. The number of students in Occupy Wall Street's Debt Collective arm's crusade to get the Education Department to forgive the debt they accrued while attending schools in the Corinthian Colleges Inc. network has grown to 190 since the organization's February formation, the group announced Friday in a blog post. They've also enlisted 13 senators and nine attorneys general in their fight to get their loans canceled over the past four months.

AM alert: accredit this
Sacramento Bee | June 4, 2015
Students and teachers will rally outside the Oakland Airport Hilton where the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges will hold biannual meetings.

Assembly passes comprehensive community college accreditation reforms
Assemblymember Phil Ting | June 4, 2015
The California State Assembly Committee passed legislation authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) to ensure fairness, objectivity and transparency in the accreditation process affecting California’s community colleges. The vote occurred while our accreditor – the San Rafael-based Accreditation Commission on Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) – meets behind closed doors this week. Ting’s legislation moves to the State Senate for further review.

Former students press claims against Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges
OC Register | June 4, 2015
Things are heating up in the bankruptcy case of Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges Inc., the for-profit education chain that shut down in April.

Ed chair’s facility bond fails passage in Senate
Cabinet Report | June 4, 2015
State support for building new schools could be nearing historic lows after Senate Republicans on Tuesday nixed a plan to seek voter approval for a bond measure that would help pay for construction and modernization costs.

CA needs better effort on Common Core math, says Ed Trust-West
LA School Report | June 3, 2015
California is woefully deficient in providing quality math education to low-income students and students of color and needs to make a better coordinated effort as it switches to the new Common Core State Standards in math (CCSSM), according to a new report from Education Trust-West.

Teachers union: Revised faculty handbook could reduce San Francisco legal protections
National Catholic Reporter | June 3, 2015
The executive council of the teachers union representing the four high schools administered by the San Francisco archdiocese released a statement Monday to members that says a revised faculty handbook section on church teaching and practice could significantly reduce their legal protections against discrimination.

California’s requested waiver from providing test scores denied
EdSource | June 3, 2015
The U.S. Department of Education has denied California’s request for a waiver from the requirement that it provide test scores to parents of students who are taking this year’s California Alternate Assessment, the standardized assessment for students with severe cognitive disabilities.

This is what it takes to get a teacher fired around the country
Huffington Post | June 3, 2015
States around the country can't agree on what job protections teachers should be granted. Some states allow teachers to obtain tenure -- a tool that typically grants educators due-process rights -- or other similar job protections after only two years on the job, while others force teachers to work up to five years first. Similarly, while some states hold that teachers without tenure should be the first to go in cases of layoffs, others prohibit tenure from being a factor.

New LAUSD board member proposes holding failing kids back, like in the 1980s
LA Weekly | June 3, 2015
Scott Schmerelson knew he would win. “I don't want to sound cocky,” says the genial Schmerelson, the first Republican elected to the LAUSD Board of Education in decades. “I could just tell by the pulse of the people I met. I could just tell.”

Report finds school districts lag in implementing new science standards
EdSource | June 3, 2015
A review of some of California’s largest school districts shows that fewer than half even mention the new science standards adopted by the state nearly two years ago in their Local Control and Accountability Plans, which they are required to draw up as a result of school reforms championed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Schools face challenge of explaining Common Core test results to parents
EdSource | June 2, 2015
As school districts wrap up administering new online assessments aligned with the Common Core, educators now face another challenge: how best to share with millions of parents how their children fared on the tests.

Common-Core algebra seen as tougher
Education Week | June 2, 2015
Under the Common Core State Standards, Algebra 1 is a much tougher course than what was taught previously in most states, teachers and standards experts say, in part because many of the concepts that historically were covered in that high school class have been bumped down into middle school math.

Jerry Brown in cross-hairs as Prop 13 foes push ‘split roll’ in California
Washington Times | May 31, 2015
Ever since Proposition 13 ignited a nationwide tax revolt in 1978, the California measure has been regarded as politically untouchable — until now.


Media articles are ARCHIVED monthly. For assistance, Fred Glass at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the News Archive: May 2015


In San Diego Unified, pension tsunami is nearing shore
U-T San Diego | May 28, 2015
Stories about budget problems at local school districts have been a staple in California since the revenue crisis hit Sacramento in 2008. This eased somewhat after voters approved Proposition 30 in 2012, imposing temporary income tax and sales tax hikes to boost school funding. Now we’re hearing more good news about state education funding soaring in fiscal 2015-16 because of revenue running sharply higher than expected, thanks primarily to Silicon Valley’s latest boom.

State taxes may go down – and up
The OC Register | May 24, 2015
Is there a tax cut in your future? Could be. A consensus is forming that, barring a big recession, the $7 billion yearly Proposition 30 state tax increase voters passed in 2012 will be allowed to expire at the end of 2018. 

Editorial: No reason to make the temporary tax a permanent one
Chico Enterprise-Record | May 23, 2015
If you believe Gov. Jerry Brown’s words and his budget team’s projections, something miraculous
could happen in California next year. A temporary tax could actually prove to be temporary. 

Free College?
On Point | May 21, 2015
Another college academic year down, another huge whack of college debt for young Americans. $1.2 trillion in college debt now in this country. Absolutely massive. The only kind of consumer debt not headed downward since the recession. In fact, student loans are up 84 percent. Critics says it’s a yoke on the necks of a whole generation and more. Now there’s a call – and legislation on the table – to make public higher education, college tuition, free. Not cheaper, but free. Like Germany and Finland and more. Would that be wise? Crazy? Up next, On Point: College for free. 

CalSTRS finally allowed to cash out of controversial gun investment

Fox 40 | May 18, 2015
After two-and-a-half years of pressure from its members, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System is about to do something it’s been trying to do since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. 

Anti-union groups target California teachers
People’s World | May 18, 2015
Pro-corporate education anti-union groups have taken aim at California teachers unions with two separate lawsuits - one of which would strip away the right for unions to collect "fair pay" or "agency fees" from non-members; and another which argues the right of workers to be represented by the union, and to vote in union elections, but to not have to join the union or pay agency fees. 

Brown believes state’s revenue will be healthy without Prop. 30 taxes
LA Daily News | May 17, 2015
When Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his revised state budget late last week, the news that California is swimming in black ink rightfully stole the show.

CalSTRS, others can cash out of gun investment
Sacramento Bee | May 15, 2015
A month after protesters demanded that CalSTRS dump its investment in a firearms manufacturer tied to the mass shooting at a Connecticut school, it appears they will get their wish. 

Education groups generally like Brown’s revised budget plan
KPCC | May 15, 2015
Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal increasing funding by billions for education from a record $115.3 billion budget plan for the next fiscal year drew mostly applause after it was unveiled on Thursday. 

Governor Brown proposes record $115.3 billion budget
KPCC | May 14, 2015
Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday proposed a record $115.3 billion California spending plan that will send more money to public schools, freeze in-state undergraduate tuition and establish a new state tax credit for the working poor.

Revised estimate for K-12 spending: $6 billion more next year
EdSource | May 14, 2015
Spending for K-12 schools in the coming year will be $6 billion more than Gov. Jerry Brown proposed just five months ago, raising per-student spending $3,000 – 45 percent – from what it was four years ago, according to the revised state budget that the governor released on Thursday.

Billions in extra education funds brings praise from around state
LA School Report | May 14, 2015
Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget, which directs billions more toward schools over the next few years, has brought smiles to the faces of educational leaders around the state. 

Rapid response: Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget
Sacramento Bee | May 14, 2015
“The Assembly has made clear our budget priorities include reducing poverty, restoring funding for schools and early childhood education, improving higher education funding, building reserves and paying down debt, and providing a down payment for transportation infrastructure. The Governor’s May Budget revision makes significant progress in these areas, and we look forward to working with the Senate and the Governor in the coming weeks to find ways to improve the budget and make vital investments for California’s future.”

K-12 funding increase more than $3,000 per student over 2011-12 levels
San Jose Mercury News | May 14, 2015
As expected, Gov. Jerry Brown's revised state budget includes lots of good news for schools. It increases K-12 spending $6.1 billion above what was projected in January, based largely on higher-than-anticipated state revenues, boosting per student spending by $3,000 over 2011-12 levels, and rising 45 percent over four years. 

Unions target Prop. 13 again
OC Register | May 13, 2015
Public employee unions are leading a charge to take on what has long been considered a “third rail” of California politics: Proposition 13. The Make It Fair coalition, led by public unions such as the Service Employees International Union, California Teachers Association and California Federation of Teachers, proposes increasing property taxes for commercial properties.

Déjà vu or something new? California seeks labor-management cooperation
Education Week | May 13, 2015
A quarter century ago Julia Koppich and I synthesized the experience of labor relations radicals in A Union of Professionals, case studies of districts and unions that were trying to redefine teacher labor relations by moving from industrial unionism toward what we dubbed "professional unionism." Late last week, I observed California districts and unions getting energized by some of the same possibilities.

EDITORIAL: Unions target Prop. 13 again
Press Enterprise | May 13, 2015
Public employee unions are leading a charge to take on what has long been considered a “third rail” of California politics: Proposition 13. The Make It Fair coalition, led by public unions such as the Service Employees International Union, California Teachers Association and California Federation of Teachers, proposes increasing property taxes for commercial properties.


Group behind Vergara case says website was hackedGroup behind Vergara case says website was hacked
LA School Report | May 11, 2015
The non-profit group behind the Vergara lawsuit, Students Matter, said its website was hacked over the weekend to display “vulgar and disgusting language.”


Teachers unions battle court ruling on tenure laws
SF Gate | May 10, 2015
The fate of nearly a century of job-security protections for California teachers is in the hands of a state appellate court, which is preparing to review a judge’s bombshell ruling that found tenure and seniority laws protect incompetent instructors, serve no educational purpose and, in particular, discriminate against poor and minority students. 

Suit against teachers unions isn't about free speech but silencing members
LA Times | May 8, 2015
Attacks on public employee unions, especially teachers unions, have become a permanent feature of the political landscape. But you'd be hard pressed to find one as incoherent and dishonest as a lawsuit filed last month in federal court in Los Angeles against six California and national teachers unions. 

Teachers unions file appeal of Vergara decision
Heartland Institute | May 7, 2015

The California Federation of Teachers and the California Teachers Association filed an appeal to the landmark Vergara decision on May 1. A local CBS affiliate reports the unions are challenging the ruling for lacking "legal or factual justification."

SD labor forum attracts statewide school, union leaders
U-T San Diego | May 7, 2015
Top officials from school districts and teachers unions throughout California will meet with state education leaders in San Diego this weekend for a rare, invitation-only conference that aims to promote collaboration between labor and management. 

California doesn't enlist in teacher wars; seeks labor-management partnership
Education Week | May 7, 2015
California is taking an exceptional labor relations path. In Republican-dominated states, declaring outright war on teacher unions has been a political best seller, and ambitious governors, such as Wisconsin's Scott Walker, see the drubbing of teachers as a ticket to the White House. In more traditionally Democratic states, such as New York, a war of percentages over testing diverts the state from what is more important business. California chose not to enlist in the teacher wars, and it is hoping for a peace dividend. 

Teachers unions appeal Vergara
Fox & Hounds | May 7, 2015
On May Day (how fitting!) the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers filed their appeal of the Vergara decision. In that 2014 ruling, Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu struck down California’s teacher tenure, layoff and dismissal laws, claiming that they deny students access to a quality public education, especially those from poor and minority families.

Teachers' unions throw students under the bus
Economics 21 | May 7, 2015
In many cities with abysmal school systems, teacher firings are exceedingly rare, due to powerful teachers' unions. In New York City and Chicago, barely 1 in 1,000 teachers loses his job for poor performance.

Calif. legislation would require schools to negotiate evaluations
Education Week | May 6, 2015
The Democratic leadership in both the California Senate and Assembly is backing bills to restructure teacher evaluation, bring it within the scope of collective bargaining, and connect it to test scores. The debate rekindles a historic divide and raises the question of whether either teachers or school administrators are prepared for the consequences of the new law.

Commentary: Chavez's failed bill proves teachers' unions have control
Seaside Courier | May 4, 2015
Former Oceanside City Councilman Rocky Chavez is learning, the hard way, just how tough it can be as a Republican in a state dominated, and run, by Democrats. 

The Grove School, Competitive Edge Charter plan events this week
Redlands Daily Facts | May 2, 2015
The Grove School in Redlands and Competitive Edge Charter Academy in Yucaipa offer learning experiences not typically found in traditional public schools. 

State, teacher unions file briefs in tenure-ruling appeal
San Francisco Chronicle | May 1, 2015
Attorneys for the state and California's powerful teachers unions argued in a filing Friday that a landmark California teacher tenure case was flawed and should be overturned because no evidence was presented showing the disputed statutes are the cause of educational inequalities. 

State teacher unions file appeal in Vergara case, calling it ‘baseless’
LA School Report | May 1, 2015
The state’s two teachers unions — the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers — filed their appeal today in the landmark education case they lost last year, Vergara v. California.

AB 925 lets debt collectors, subprime lenders, others secretly record phone calls
Satellite PR News | May 1, 2015
A coalition of California consumer, privacy, senior, student, labor and immigrant advocates urge the defeat of Assembly Bill 925 (Evan Low, D-Campbell), which would eliminate a longstanding prohibition against secret recordings of consumer cell phone calls by subprime lenders, debt collectors, student loan companies, hotels, health care providers, retailers and other businesses. Key backers of AB 925 include AT&T, Verizon and high-tech corporate lobbyists.

Democrats kill Republican bills on teacher tenure, firing
Sacramento Bee | April 29, 2015
A legislative committee on Wednesday rejected Republican education bills that would have overhauled teacher tenure and firing rules in response to a federal judge striking down California’s teacher employment laws.

In major anti-labor case, union-busters no longer even pretend unions don’t benefit workers
In These Times | April 29, 2015
April Bain is a high school math teacher in Los Angeles, and a dues-paying member of her union, Los Angeles Teachers United. She has benefited from this membership, and indeed claims that “everybody has a horror story of a teacher that needed their union.” She describes a personal experience of conflict with her principal in which having a union behind her made her feel safe. “You felt safe. You kind of felt like, okay, we can do what’s right here and we’ll be protected,” she has stated. 

School boards and administrators oppose teacher evaluation bills
EdSource | April 28, 2015
The Legislature’s top Democrats have made a comprehensive rewrite of the law on teacher evaluations a priority this session. But a fundamental disagreement over granting teachers the power to negotiate all aspects of evaluations, including whether to use student test scores as a factor, could doom prospects for passage, as it has in the past.

City College battle prompts bills to rein in accreditation panel
SF Gate | April 26, 2015
As state officials sift through the aftermath of the near-closure of California’s largest public college, a San Francisco lawmaker is proposing to rein in the state’s only community college accreditation commission — though it’s not clear that the state has the authority to regulate the private, nonprofit commission. 

Elementary indoctrination
City Journal | April 24, 2015
To say California’s teachers’ unions wield outsize influence over state education policy is hardly novel. From setting tenure rules to rewriting dismissal statutes and blocking pension reforms, the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers roam the halls of the legislature like varsity all-stars. But less well known are the unions’ efforts to remake curriculum—and thereby influence the next generation of citizens and voters.


Union-led effort launched to change Prop 13, would make it easier to raise taxes on commercial properties, not residential properties; opposition swiftly surfaces from business interests
LB Report | May 8, 2015
A union-lead coalition of groups, calling itself "Make It Fair," has launched an effort to change Proposition 13 to make it easier to raise taxes on what it calls commercial properties -- mainly industrial, retail and office properties -- while not affecting owner-occupied homes, residential rental properties and agricultural land.

New Prop. 13 reform effort could succeed by splitting business interests
Capital & Main | May 7, 2015
A broad-based coalition today launched an effort to reform Proposition 13, the 1978 law passed by voters that many critics believe imposed a fiscal stranglehold on the Golden State.

Union-led coalition launches campaign to change Proposition 13
Sacramento Bee | May 7, 2015
A coalition of public employee unions and other liberal groups, including many churches, launched a campaign Thursday to alter Proposition 13, California’s iconic property tax limit, and raise billions of dollars by hiking taxes on commercial property.

Opinion: Finally, war on Prop. 13 breaks out
Sacramento Bee | May 7, 2015
A political war over taxes that’s been brewing for nearly four decades finally erupted Thursday – maybe. A union-led coalition of liberal groups launched a campaign to change Proposition 13, the iconic 1978 property tax limit, seeking billions more in revenue from commercial and industrial property owners.

The beginning of the end of for-profit colleges
ThinkProgress | May 7, 2015
Education Management Corporation or EDMC, announced it will gradually shut down 15 of 52 campuses of The Art Institutes, leaving 5,400 students without a college.

VUSD leaders heap praise on Dean Vogel, president of CTA
The Reporter | May, 7, 2015
President of the Vacaville Teachers Association, Moira McSweeney suggested a newspaper headline about Dean Vogel could read “local boy does good.”

After Corinthian, two more for-profit college chains announce closings
Fortune | May 7, 2015
For the for-profit college industry, the knocks just keep coming. Corinthian Colleges, once one of the nation’s largest for-profit chains, grabbed headlines late last month when it announced it would close its remaining 28 campuses, displacing roughly 16,000 students. The announcement came less than two weeks after the Department of Education announced a $30 million fine against the institution for misrepresenting student job placement data.

Schools ‘big winners’ from surging state revenues
EdSource | May 7, 2015
As Gov. Jerry Brown prepares to release his revised state budget for the coming fiscal year next week, educators around the state are looking forward to hearing about the additional funds they will receive, a dramatic departure from the bleak years of the recession, when they braced themselves for further cuts.

Students occupy CCSF administration building for several hours
SF Gate | May 6, 2015
About 200 students occupied the administration building at City College of San Francisco for several hours on Wednesday, demanding that program cuts be reversed and that the special trustee running the school be removed.

CCSF students occupy administration building, demand special trustee’s resignation
San Francisco Appeal | May 6, 2015
A group of City College of San Francisco students occupied an administration building this afternoon and said they intended to stay until their demands are met or they are forced out, a student organizer said.

Congresswoman Speier urges federal oversight of for-profit colleges in wake of Corinthian closures
San Francisco Appeal | May 6, 2015
Congresswoman Jackie Speier met with Bay Area college administrators this morning to discuss the lack of federal oversight that led up to the abrupt closure of for-profit college franchise Corinthian Colleges Inc. and its 28 campuses, including Heald College in San Francisco, last week.

Loopholes in Prop. 13 let corporations off the hook
Sacramento Bee | May 6, 2015
Californians having been living with scarcity for so long that it’s become natural for us to assume that our teachers will scrape together whatever they can for our classrooms, that libraries will be open only a couple of hours a day, that our communities won’t have what they need. We shrug our shoulders and accept that it’s OK for thousands of our roads and bridges to be structurally deficient, for our kids to have no place to go after school, for emergency response times to stretch longer and longer.

Students get piece of the action after seeking a say in budget
EdSource | May 5, 2015
Last fall, high school sophomores Stephanie Perez and Ismael Mauricio joined a contingent of students at a State Board of Education meeting demanding that students get a say in how school districts spend money.

Opt-out parents have a point
US News & World Report | May 5, 2015
A new phrase has rapidly become familiar in schooling: "opt-out." Across the nation, hundreds of thousands of students are refusing to take state reading and math tests, usually at the behest of their parents. In New York, 200,000 students have opted out of this spring’s state tests. Some New York districts have had more than half of their students refuse to take the tests. Polling suggests that half of all New York voters say they support the families that have opted out of the tests. Meanwhile, more localized opt-out pushes are bubbling up in states including New Jersey, Colorado and California.

For-profit Corinthian Colleges files for bankruptcy
Washington Post | May 4, 2015
Corinthian Colleges, once one of the country’s largest career college chains, on Monday filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a week after shutting down its remaining 28 campuses.

Updated: State board again to pursue waiver from No Child Left Behind
EdSource | May 4, 2015
The State Board of Education isn’t giving up on the hope that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan might grant California at least a partial waiver from the No Child Left Behind law that he has given to 43 other states.

Corinthian Colleges is out of money and drowning in debt
CNN | May 4, 2015
Twenty years after opening its doors, Corinthian Colleges has officially gone bust. The for-profit education company filed for Chapter 11 protection Monday.

Corinthian Colleges files bankruptcy to facilitate wind-down
Reuters | May 4, 2015
Corinthian Colleges Inc, the for-profit college operator hamstrung by federal and state investigations, filed for bankruptcy in Delaware on Monday, about a week after announcing it would shutter its remaining campuses and cease operations.

Why the movement to opt out of Common Core tests is a big deal
Washington Post | May 3, 2015
The movement among parents to refuse to allow their children to take Common Core-aligned standardized tests has been growing in a number of states, as recent Answer Sheet posts have chronicled (here and here, for example). As opt-out numbers have grown, so too has reaction from officials who argue that frequent testing is valuable and that school districts could lose federal funds if too many students refuse to take the test (a threat that appears to be based on shaky ground.) Though testing supporters have attempted to minimize the importance and impact of the opt-out movement, it is having a big impact, as explained in the following post by award-winning New York Principal Carol Burris.

"You're gonna rape me?" demands a Democrat whose teacher tenure law got killed
LA Weekly | May 1, 2015
It was a busy week in Sacramento, city of trees, where state legislators were frantically jamming their bills through committees to make a May 1 deadline by which all proposed laws must sent to various fiscal committees to live another day.

State panel blocks teacher evaluation, tenure bills
U-T San Diego | April 30, 2015
An Assembly committee on Wednesday shelved a handful of bills aimed at overhauling teacher tenure, evaluation and firing policies, including a measure by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego.

Californians embrace Common Core
San Francisco Chronicle | April 30, 2015
If you’ve tuned in to some of the national chatter aroud Common Core, you might assume that updating our education standards to meet the needs of today’s students is controversial. It’s true that in many states it’s been a lightning rod for conflict and political posturing, even with Common Core’s clear benefits to students and strong support from education, business and community leaders.

Popular LA preschool language program is targeted once again
EdSource | April 30, 2015
A popular and well-regarded preschool program in Los Angeles, which was created more than three decades ago to help children and their parents in low-income, racially and ethnically isolated neighborhoods of the city, would be shut down over the next two years under a district proposal to cut costs.

Jury finds Cal State acted reasonably in 2009 tuition hikes
LA Times | April 30, 2015
A jury Thursday found that California State University did not act unfairly when trustees voted to impose fee increases on students twice within a few months.

What’s not on California’s education agenda – and should be
EdSource | April 29, 2015
California is in the process of implementing a range of reforms, from the Local Control Funding Formula, the Common Core State Standards and a new accountability system. What other reforms are needed to ensure that students succeed? Nonprofit education leaders speak out on what reforms they think should be added to California’s agenda. Other voices will be added as part of this ongoing series. Please let us know if you want to contribute.

Despite progress, still too few Latinos admitted to UC, report says
LA Times | April 29, 2015
Despite progress in gaining admission to the University of California, Latino students in the state still are underrepresented compared with their overall population, and are heavily concentrated at three of the system’s 10 campuses, according to a new report.

State vaccination bill passes Senate committee
EdSource | April 28, 2015
The issue of mandatory vaccinations roiled a legislative hearing in Sacramento on Tuesday for the third time this month, and for the third time, state Senate committee members approved the proposed state law that would restrict exemptions to required school vaccinations

Hundreds protest S.F. archbishop’s push on morality clauses
SF Gate | April 28, 2015
Hundreds of Catholic-school teachers and supporters gathered outside the San Francisco Archdiocese on Monday afternoon waving rainbow banners and preaching acceptance of gays and lesbians — all in protest of efforts by the archbishop to require employees to embrace church opposition to “homosexual relations,” “fornication” and other “gravely evil” sexual activities.

Project-based learning on the rise under the Common Core
EdSource | April 27, 2015
The young-adult novel “Hatchet” – about a boy who learns to live in the wild after surviving a plane crash – has been a staple of elementary-school English classes for years. But this year Sara Siebert taught it with a twist.

Education bills squelch any reform agenda
U-T San Diego | April 27, 2015
Several years ago, TV host John Stossel held up a chart in tiny print detailing the long and complex process for firing a teacher in New York City. The audience was guffawing by the time he worked his way to the bottom of the second page — at which point he revealed that there were even more pages to this maddeningly long process.

SanFran Archbishop weighs 'adjustments' to teacher contracts
National Catholic Register | April 27, 2015
On April 27, the Archdiocese of San Francisco signaled that it was prepared to make "adjustments" to advance negotiaions with the local Catholic teachers' union. The statement marked an afternoon of protests against the archdiocese.

AM Alert: Darrell Steinberg returns to Capitol to promote mental health legislation
Sacramento Bee | April 27, 2015
Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, will be on the east side of the Capitol at 11 a.m. to urge passage of legislation to overhaul the accreditation process for California community colleges. Last year, a scathing state audit slammed the accrediting agency for acting inconsistently and without sufficient public disclosure, particularly in the ongoing case of City College of San Francisco, which had its accreditation revoked in July 2013. The two bills, one of which would open the accrediting agency’s closed meetings, will get their first hearing before the Assembly Higher Education Committee, 1:30 p.m. in Room 126.

San Francisco archbishop: I expected controversy, but not to this degree
Crux | April 27, 2015
Many Roman Catholics in this city named for humble St. Francis are sparring with each other on social media and in letters to the editor over one figure: Their leader in the faith, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.

Common Core tests well under way
EdSource | April 27, 2015
With less than two months of instruction time left before summer vacation for most California schools, roughly half of the 3.2 million students expected to take the first online tests aligned with the Common Core State Standards have begun to do so, the California Department of Education reported Monday.

"I want education, not indoctrination": Catholic teachers and students protest archdiocese
SF Weekly | April 27, 2015
Over 100 Catholic teachers, students, and labor activists rallied outside the San Francisco Archdiocese Chancery this afternoon, in protest of what teachers at Bay Area Catholic schools are calling attacks on their rights as workers.

Time for state's leaders to tackle teacher tenure
U-T San Diego | April 25, 2015
Nearly a year ago, a state Superior Court ruled in favor of nine students who brought a suit against California for violating their constitutional right to a quality education. The testimony of the students from racially and economically diverse backgrounds who brought the case laid bare our troubled and inequitable educational system, a system that continues to allow teachers to flounder and students to fail.

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