In the News Archive: April 2014


Vergara suit wrong to blame teachers for inequities 
UT San Diego | April 30, 2014
In 2013, Christine McLaughlin, who teaches eighth-grade English at Blair High School, was named Pasadena Teacher of the Year. In the video that was made for the award ceremony, a student said, “My favorite thing about Miss McLaughlin is how determined she is to make sure we learn something new every day.” 

California House delegation urges Postal Service to nix Staples deal 
Los Angeles Times | April 29, 2014 
A California House delegation led by Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) is calling on Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe to reject a recent pilot program with Staples to operate retail mail counters at 82 U.S. stores. 

Post office piles on shift to low-wage economy with Staples deal 
Huffington Post | April 29, 2014 
The National Employment Law Project (NELP) has just come out with its latest report on the wage levels of jobs added as the nation has emerged from the Great Recession. As with NELP's previous reports, which continue to garner national attention, the news was pretty simple: we're only adding low wage jobs. 

AM Alert: Teachers, welfare advocates rally for oil extraction tax 
Sacramento Bee | April 29, 2014 
Though Gov. Jerry Brown rejected the notion during his January budget proposal, another effort to introduce an oil severance tax in California is winding its way through the Legislature.

Demonstrators demand state budget funds 
Fox 40 | April 29, 2014 
Demonstrators demanding a tax on oil extracted from California wells held a rally in the lobby of a high rise that houses offices of Chevron Oil on Tuesday. 

Competing Views of Teacher Tenure Are on Display in California Case
New York Times | April 16, 2014
These are two vastly different portraits of California’s education system. In one, poor and minority students are frequently placed in front of incompetent teachers whose blackboards are filled with basic misspellings and who play irrelevant movies instead of devising lesson plans for class time. In the other, the vast majority of teachers are providing students with all they need to learn, and well-run school districts are able to ferret out and dismiss the ones who are not. 

In Plain Sight: The Rise of Corporate Democrats in California
Capital & Main | April 15, 2014
Marin County is one of California’s most liberal regions and, with its iconic redwoods and stunning coastline, it is also a power center for environmental activism. And so, when a bill to give the state Coastal Commission authority to levy fines against shoreline despoilers came for a vote in the state Assembly in 2013, it was taken for granted that Marin’s new Assemblyman, Marc Levine, would vote for passage. That didn’t happen. 

AM alert: Student Health
Sacramento Bee | April 9, 2014
Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, seeks to make state funds available to school districts to hire more nurses and mental health professionals and extend daily library hours. He will introduce legislation for the program at 12:30 p.m. at the Sacramento Central Library on I Street, along with representatives from the California Federation of Teachers.

Letters to the Editor: Health professionals for students' needs
Sacramento Bee | April 8, 2014
As a parent of a public school student with a life-threatening allergy who carries an EpiPen, and as a 20-year high school teacher who witnessed many epileptic seizures, I am aware of the shortcomings of Sen. Bob Huff's legislation, Senate Bill 1266. 

EpiPens may be required in schools
Seaside Courier | April 7, 2014
An EpiPen can be a lifesaver for someone with a severe allergic reaction. That's why a state lawmaker wants them available in all public schools. Senator Bob Huff's bill (SB 1266) passed the Senate Education Committee last week and now heads to the Senate Health Committee. The bill would require school districts to give the epinephrine auto-injectors, known as EpiPens, to trained school personnel to use in emergencies. 

Trial date set for CCSF accreditation lawsuit
San Francisco Examiner | April 4, 2014
A fall trial date has been set for a legal battle between The City and a commission seeking to strip City College of San Francisco of its accreditation. 

EpiPen bill advances, with testimony from Natalie Giorgi's mom
Sacramento Bee | April 2, 2014
A bill to increase the prevalence of emergency epinephrine auto-injectors, or EpiPens, in California schools, would not have helped Natalie Giorgi, who died from an allergic reaction after biting into a Rice Krispies treat at Camp Sacramento last year. 

Vergara v. California lawsuit targeting teacher tenure could revolutionize U.S. public education, for better and worse
Forbes | March 31, 2014
You might think that the leading clusters of education reform are the Bay Area, Phoenix, and Washington, DC. However, testimony that just concluded March 27 in a Los Angeles Superior Courtroom could lead to sweeping reforms for public education not just in the Golden State, but across the country as well. 



Education rally to protest Common Core State Standards 
KCRA | April 30, 2014 
As school districts across California prepare for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, a concerned group of citizens is holding a rally at the state Capitol to protest the new requirements.

Common Core State Standards -- testing the test |
KEYT | April 29, 2014 
Some say the new Common Core State Standards will ramp up our children academically and give students an international edge. Others argue that parents need to do their homework; this curriculum is not the right direction for California.

“The Common Core may actually fail”: Union chief sounds off on Christie, Rhee, and for-profit testing “gag order” 
Salon | April 29, 2014 
When executives at Pearson, the world’s largest for-profit education company, held their London shareholder meeting Friday, they were greeted by activists from the American Federation of Teachers, urging them to oppose so-called “gag orders” restricting teachers from revealing information about Pearson’s Common Core tests. 

Morning report: teacher tenure on trial 
Voice of San Diego | April 28, 2014 
We know the upcoming round of contract negotiations between San Diego Unified and the teachers union is bound to get heated — especially with teacher evaluations on the table. 

AFT asks Pearson to stop ‘gag order’ barring educators from talking about tests 
Washington Post | April 25, 2014 
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten is sending a letter (see below) to the executives of Pearson, the world’s largest education company, asking them to stop a ”gag order” that is part of their $32 million contract with New York state to design new standardized tests aligned to the Common Core. 

Californians Support State-Funded Preschool for 4-Year-Olds, Survey Shows
Sacramento Bee | April 18, 2014
Educating 4-year-olds is important to California voters – important enough that 57 percent say it’s worth spending $1.4 billion a year for the state to provide all of them with preschool.

Charter School Bill Stirs Debate Over Autonomy
U-T San Diego | April 17, 2014
Charter school advocates from the county and state rallied Wednesday in San Diego against legislation they believe would chip away at the autonomy that’s crucial to their brand of education.

Contract Jousting Begins at SD Unified
U-T San Diego | April 17, 2014
As San Diego teachers prepare to receive their final pay raise under an existing contract — part of a 7 percent salary increase negotiated in 2010 and deferred in 2012 — the coming bargaining sessions for a new agreement could be heated.

CCSF Legal Battle Heats Up
San Francisco Examiner | April 16, 2014
The legal battle between City College of San Francisco and the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has taken an unusual twist, with federal laws now being called into question amid the potential loss of the college’s accreditation.

SF Community College Losing Filipino Students Due to Accreditation Crisis | April 16, 2014
The City College of San Francisco (CCSF) suffered a staggering loss of 712 Filipino American students, from 2,434 from Fall 2011 to a 1,722 today, a hemorrhage largely attributable the college’s possible loss of accreditation.

Fresno Teachers Union Opposes Extension of No Child Left Behind Waiver
Fresno Bee | April 16, 2014
Officials with the Fresno teachers union are urging district administrators to follow the lead of another California school district in opting not to seek renewal of a waiver from federal accountability rules.

Archive of Cesar Chavez, UFW Unveiled
U-T- San Diego | April 16, 2014

The UC San Diego Library on Wednesday unveiled a large digital archive it acquired that documents the history of the United Farm Workers movement, a treasure trove of materials that officials expect will serve as a valuable research tool for scholars and students.

Community College Completion Rate Falls During Recession
Sacramento Bee | April 15, 2014
Completion rates at the California Community Colleges have fallen steadily over the past four years, according to the first update of the system's Student Success Scorecard.

L.A. Teachers Union Chief Ends Reelection Campaign
Los Angeles Times | April 14, 2014
Los Angeles teachers union President Warren Fletcher said he would no longer actively campaign for reelection, clearing the path for challenger Alex Caputo-Pearl to become the next leader of United Teachers Los Angeles.

Guest Commentary: Must be a Combined Effort to Effectively Reform Schools
Contra Costa Times | April 12, 2014
The recent guest commentary "Teachers aren't to blame for most of schools' problems" addressed a number of important educational issues. Focusing on the Vergara v. California case currently in the courts, the author also points to "misleading and false statements that only serve to distract us from the real problems facing our schools."

Common Core Education Standards are Changing the way Schools Test Children
San Bernardino Sun | April 12, 2014
More than 30 sixth-graders sat at computers at Country Springs Elementary School in Chino Hills, but they weren’t facing the monitors.

Why is public television against public schools?
Huffington Post | April 11, 2014
You'd think that that public television would support public education, but you'd be wrong. The Public Broadcasting System (PBS) has gotten in bed with the billionaires and conservatives who want to privatize our public schools. 

Student loan plan for 'Dreamers' at UC, Cal State advances
KPCC | April 10, 2014
Potentially thousands of students brought to the US illegally as children could turn to a $9.2 million loan program for help with tuition at California's public universities.

Adjunct professors stuck in jobs with low pay, no benefits | April 10, 2014
In many ways, Anne Winkler-Morey loves being a professor. It's the job she always wanted, teaching history at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minn.

Los Angeles settlement on teacher layoffs ducks the seniority question
Education Week | April 9, 2014
Plaintiffs and the local teachers' union reached an agreement April 8 designed to prevent 37 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District from being decimated by layoffs.

Deal in L.A. Unified designed to protect 37 high-needs schools from layoffs
EdSource | April 9, 2014
The parties in a 4-year-old lawsuit challenging mass layoffs of teachers at low-income middle schools in Los Angeles Unified announced a settlement Tuesday that an attorney called a potential model for creating a stable work force in schools beset by teacher churn.

California fight for free preschool passes first hurdle
Reuters | April 9, 2014
A proposal to offer free preschool to all California four-year-olds passed its first legislative hurdle on Wednesday with support from Democrats but facing skepticism from Governor Jerry Brown and some educators that could doom its chances this year.

K-12 group wants to highlight common core successes, but delay high stakes
Education Week | April 8, 2014
An education advocacy group with over 10 million members wants to highlight success stories in implementing the Common Core State Standards, yet simultaneously delay high-stakes associated with common-core aligned tests to ensure that the standards ultimately succeed.

L.A. Unified settles lawsuit over layoffs
Los Angeles Times | April 8, 2014
Sixteen consecutive years of the state's standardized testing are now under my belt, all of them spent covering the accountability program as a journalist, as well as having one or more of my three children filling in bubbles in public school for the annual assessments. And on the 17th year, the last spring that I have a student scheduled for testing, it's time for a rest.

375 desks block traffic outside LAUSD office in dropout-rate protest
Los Angeles Times | April 8, 2014
It was a surreal scene for some, a traffic headache for others, as demonstrators set up 375 desks in neat rows Tuesday on the street in front of the headquarters of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Pauline Liu: Kids' tests shouldn't grade their teachers
Time Herald-Record | April 7, 2014
Let's take a minute to evaluate the teacher evaluation system. Shall we? I wonder if it's really working. It's difficult to tell. Students in grades 3-8 just finished taking the Common Core-based state tests in English last week.

States mull dropping Common Core
MSNBC | April 4, 2014
More than a dozen states are considering legislation to repeal their involvement in the Common Core State standards, responding to a surge of discontent from an unlikely coalition of conservatives, parents, unions, and teachers.

Guest commentary: Teachers' working conditions are students' learning conditions
Contra Costa Times | April 4, 2014
It's interesting how so many people with limited or no classroom teaching are quick to weigh in on educational issues. From Bill Gates and Eli Broad to Michelle Rhee and now Tony Smith, these self-proclaimed education "reformers" are short on education experience and long on placing the blame for educational failures where it doesn't belong.

Two more arrests as UC teaching assistants' strike spreads
Los Angeles Times | April 3, 2014
Two picketers were arrested at UC Santa Cruz Thursday as a strike by unionized teaching assistants and tutors widened to all nine UC undergraduate campuses..

Bill Clinton, Mayor Eric Garcetti to meet, discuss strengthening city infrastructures
LA Daily News | April 3, 2014
Former President Bill Clinton and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will host a meeting at Los Angeles City Hall today to discuss ways of strengthening infrastructure in cities across the country.

Teachers' unions slam campaign-finance ruling
Education Week | April 3, 2014
The teachers' unions on Wednesday criticized the U.S. Supreme Court's decision striking down limits on aggregate campaign contributions to federal candidates, political parties, and political action committees.

CalSTRS says pension funding gap has grown to $73.7 billion
Sacramento Bee | April 3, 2014
CalSTRS said Thursday that its long-term funding shortfall has risen to $73.7 billion, a stark reminder of the financial issues facing the teachers’ pension fund.

California Latino Caucus backs bilingual education, paid sick days
Sacramento Bee | April 2, 2014
Changes to California's health care, education and labor laws are among the bills the Legislature's Latino Caucus will prioritize this year.

Vergara-like ballot initiative pulled until 2016, report says
LA School Report | April 1, 2014
A state ballot initiative aimed at regulations governing teachers that was headed for the November ballot has been pushed to 2016, according to a report by ABC affiliate KXTV in Sacramento.

Court dismisses lawsuit over CCSF accreditation loss
San Francisco Examiner | March 31, 2014
In a setback for City College of San Francisco supporters, a Superior Court judge in San Francisco has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the attempted revocation of the school’s accreditation.


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