In Today's News archive: August 2013

Education in the News: August 30, 2013

Accreditation worries hit City College enrollment (Video)
Uncertainty around City College of San Francisco's accreditation is crippling fall enrollment, the head of California's community colleges said Thursday, which could lead to a drop in enrollment-dependent state aid. Ron Leuty, Reporter- San Francisco Business Times

20 California community colleges face accreditation problems, chancellor says -- As many as 20 California community colleges face some sort of accreditation challenge, California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris said Thursday. Ron Leuty San Francisco Business Times -- 8/30/13

CCSF transfer influx after accreditation failure
As City College of San Francisco lost its accreditation students have been worrying about the future of their school and their education. However, for the time being CCSF’s accreditation is in good standing at least through spring 2014. This means that any classes taken before then and any degrees or certifications earned will be honored. Michelle Kelly, TSV Interim News Editor, August 29, 2013

California API scores fall, but Silicon Valley schools dominate state top tier -- After years of steady gains, Academic Performance Index scores in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties dropped this year, a decline reflected across the state. Sharon Noguchi in the San Jose Mercury -- 8/30/13

State academic performance slips, but L.A. Unified improves -- California public schools lost ground this year in overall academic performance for the first time in a decade, but more than half met state goals for achievement on reading and math standardized tests, according to data released Thursday. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 8/30/13

Few California schools hit proficiency goals -- The idea of No Child Left Behind was sound: Make sure that every child is proficient in math and English by 2014. Yet 12 years after the federal law was passed, few schools are close to meeting that mandate. Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle Kathryn Baron EdSource -- 8/30/13

California schools' API test results: Browse our database -- Chris Keller, Evelyn Larrubia, and Emmanuel Martinez KPCC -- 8/30/13

Goodbye, API: Get ready for rough transition to better system of measuring schools -- Say farewell to the API as you know it. Welcome to new era of accountability, with at least a couple years of confusion in between. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 8/30/13

Freedberg: Federal education law traps schools in spiral of failure -- Nearly a dozen years after President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind law, its deepest imprint may be its labeling of 90 percent of California’s schools serving poor children as failures. Louis Freedberg EdSource -- 8/30/13

What Your College Degree Will Be Worth After 20 Years -- Those who doubt the value of a college degree may want to think again. New research has found that individuals with a four-year degree make an average of $215,000 more than a high school graduate over the span of 20 years. Mashable -- 8/30/13

Criticism softens as new high school opens
CARLSBAD — Thousands of students and hundreds of teachers returned to classes in the Carlsbad Unified School District on Wednesday, but many eyes are on one particular campus. By Gary Warth, Aug. 29, 2013

State News: August 30, 2013

Jerry Brown outlines prison plan for federal judges -- Two days after Gov. Jerry Brown proposed moving thousands of prisoners to local facilities and out of state to comply with a court order to reduce California's prison population, the administration outlined the plan in a court filing this evening but suggested it is still preparing for potential inmate releases if the plan fails in the Legislature. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/30/13

Jerry Brown's Tough-Love California Miracle -- The 75-year-old governor rescued the Golden State from financial ruin - and is reshaping a national progressive agenda Tim Dickinson Rolling Stone -- 8/30/13

CFT in the News: August 29, 2013

Service Workers Close to Winning Vote in Charter Process
A bill that would allow cafeteria workers, custodians and teacher aides to vote when a public school wants to become a charter is one vote (State Assembly) and one signature (Gov. Brown) away from becoming law. Both are expected, and it could happen within days.
Currently, only teachers get to vote for conversion. But the change in the law is winning support not only from the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA), but also, according to a press release, the California Federation of Teachers (CFT). Posted on August 28, 2013 by Hillel Aron

San Francisco Students Sit In to Save Beloved Community College
Wednesday, August 28 2013 Contributed by: WorkerFreedom
Late last night, 150 students staged a sit-in at San Francisco's City Hall, demanding that the mayor defend City College of San Francisco. Twenty-six were arrested.

In April the California Federation of Teachers (CFT), the state-level organization of the faculty union, submitted a 300-page complaint about the ACCJC to the federal Department of Education.

Disappointed, Not Surprised
Thursday, 29 August 2013 By Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed | Op-Ed
Faculty members overwhelmingly supported President Obama in his candidacies. To many, his academic background and intellectual bent were welcome relief after his predecessor. Obama – a former law professor at the University of Chicago – was one of them.

Robert Samuels, lecturer of writing at the University of California at Los Angeles and president of the University of California’s American Federation of Teachers faculty union, called Obama’s plan a “Band-Aid approach,” one that appropriates liberal think tanks ideals – such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “obsession” with access – and notions supported by many conservative groups, such as increasing dependence on MOOCs and competency-based initiatives.

Education in the News: August 29, 2013

Changing the narrative
08.27.13 | Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez SF Bay Guardian
ACCJC hit with city lawsuit and legislative investigation, broadening the discussion of City College's fate
Three distinct players with three distinct strategies for saving City College of San Francisco showed their hands last week, all centered around the Association of California Community and Junior Colleges, which plans to revoke City College's accreditation in less than a year.

Xpress staff weighs in on the CCSF accreditation crisis
Opinion
With a little more than an academic year left for City College of San Francisco, its accreditation — along with its state funding — will likely be revoked, leading to the closure of the nearly 80-year-old campus.

Pass rates up for online classes at San Jose State -- The Cal State campus' project with Udacity sees better results in a summer session, boosting the touted program that saw problems with its initial spring courses. Carla Rivera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/29/13

Two more UC campuses exonerated of fostering anti-Semitic climates -- U.S. clears UC Irvine and UC Santa Cruz. Both had been accused of allowing protests against Israel's treatment of Palestinians that made Jewish students fearful. Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/29/13

SAB considers urgency legislation to free up funds for high-performance schools -- An urgency legislative measure is among options being considered by a state panel to free up some $38 million in bond money intended to promote high-quality school facilities. Kimberly Beltran SI&A Cabinet Report -- 8/29/13

New LAUSD technology panel tackles details of iPad project -- A day after LAUSD handed out iPads to kids at two of its campuses, the school board’s Technology Committee started its own deep dive into the program that will put a tablet computer in the hands of every student by this time next year. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 8/29/13

California school district hires firm to eavesdrop on students' social media activity
Mark Frauenfelder , Wed, Aug 28, 2013
Matthew says, "The Glendale [California] Unified School District has hired Geo Listening ["Your students are crying for help. We have heard these cries of despair, and for help and attention, loud and clear from students themselves via their public postings on social networks"]to eavesdrop and monitor students’ public posts on websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram."

State News: August 29, 2013

Dems spar over plan to reduce California inmate count -- In a direct slap to Gov. Jerry Brown, his fellow Democrats in the state Senate on Wednesday rejected his plan for dealing with California's prison crisis, throwing the state's response to a federal court order into chaos. Don Thompson Associated Press Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$

Federal laws limit Yosemite firefighting movements -- Even as more than 4,000 firefighters battle the ferocious Rim fire -- the nation’s top wildland fire priority -- they have to tread carefully in Yosemite National Park. Julie Cart in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/29/13

Gov. Brown signs bills to increase state accountability, transparency -- One bill aims to flesh out the role of agency monitors, another to curb accounting errors and fraud. And one will make agency reports available to the public online. Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/28/13

CFT in the News: August 28, 2013

The March on Washington: 1963 and 2013
By Martin Bennett and Fred Glass Posted on 28 August 2013
Fifty years ago, on August 28, 1963, the nation witnessed the largest march in its history. The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom lives on in popular memory as the moment when Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his iconic “I Had A Dream” speech and called for racial integration and reconciliation in America.

College for Free
Could public colleges be free?
Yes, says the head of the union for University of California’s 4,000 instructors and librarians.
How?
Trim non-essential functions, redirect a bunch of money and end tax breaks that mostly benefit wealthy college-goers’ families, argues University Council-American Federation of Teachers President Bob Samuels. Of course, not everyone would agree with his definition of non-essential, particularly researchers. By Ry Rivard August 28, 2013

Education in the News: August 28, 2013

Release of L.A. teachers' performance ratings delayed by judge -- After earlier ruling that performance ratings of L.A. teachers must be made public, judge agrees to delay during district appeal. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/28/13

New law gives aspiring teachers an extra year to complete training -- A measure signed Tuesday by Gov. Jerry Brown will let aspiring teachers pursue an additional year of training. SB 5, sponsored by Sen. Alex Padilla, aims to ease the time crunch faced by would-be educators by extending the maximum length of graduate teaching programs to two years. Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/28/13

Duncan wants to end test for disabled students that California overused --U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is proposing to eliminate an alternative test for students with disabilities, arguing it undercuts their academic potential. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 8/28/13

LAUSD launches its drive to equip every student with iPads -- Two elementary schools — Broadacres in Carson and Cimarron in Hawthorne — roll out the tablet computers. Some question if they will help learning. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ Rob Kuznia in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 8/28/13

Former Google exec is turning your student debt into someone else's investment opportunity -- Girouard's new venture, a Palo Alto-based startup called Upstart, is kind of like a crowdfunding marketplace that connects needy young people with investors who are willing to give them money to pay down debt and establish themselves. In exchange, those investors get a percentage of the young person's yearly income for a set number of years. Jon Xavier Silicon Valley Business Journal -- 8/28/13

CSU faculty receive modest pay raise -- The CSU agreed with the California Faculty Association to increase the compensation pool by more than $19.2 million, which will be distributed evenly as an increase to base salary for eligible employees and retroactive to July 1. Josh Dulaney in the Inland Daily Bulletin -- 8/28/13

Orange County high school drama teacher who fought to stage 'Rent' resigns -- Ron Martin, who won accolades from free-speech advocates for fighting to stage a campus production of "Rent," confirmed Tuesday that he left his job last week for health reasons and to avoid having to come before the school district's review board. Hannah Fry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/28/13

Study: Waivers Leave Behind at-Risk Students -- Millions of at-risk students could fall through the cracks as the Education Department gives states permission to ignore parts of No Child Left Behind, according to a study education advocates released Tuesday. Philip Elliot Associated Press -- 8/28/13

Freedberg: In shadow of March on Washington, schools increasingly segregated in California -- Fifty years after the March on Washington, a major challenge facing California and the West in general is increasing segregation of black and Latino students, reviving a debate that Brown v Board of Education was supposed to resolve: whether it is possible to have “separate but equal” schools. Louis Freedberg EdSource -- 8/28/13

Oakland Schools Teach Trafficking Prevention in Schools
by Lynsey Clark | August 27, 2013
Oakland public schools are trying to prevent child trafficking by educating Oakland students and parents.
While the schoolrooms are empty for the last bit of summer, a task force of Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) administrators have been planning ways to prevent child sex trafficking before it starts. The newest phase of their outreach includes educating parents about the facts of child trafficking in Oakland and holding assemblies across the district to educate seventh graders about the issue.

State News: August 28, 2013

Brown's $315 million prison plan at odds with Senate Democrats -- Gov. Jerry Brown, laboring under a federal court order to reduce California's prison population by nearly 8,000 inmates, proposed Tuesday to spend hundreds of millions of dollars housing those inmates in local lockups and out of state. David Siders and Laurel Rosenhall in the Sacramento Bee$ Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/28/13

CFT in the News: August 27, 2013

Mayor Lee, City Attorney Herrera Effectively Defending CCSF
As Moira Sullivan detailed in our pages on August 26, the San Francisco Chronicle’s misguided attack on City Attorney Herrera’s lawsuit to protect CCSF reflects the paper’s pattern of inaccuracies about the school’s accreditation. But it also highlights the Chronicle’s failure to understand the distinction between law and politics.

were also highlighted in an administrative complaint filed by the California Federation of Teachers and in a lawsuit by the American Federation of Teachers Local 2121. by Randy Shaw‚ Aug. 27‚ 2013

CCSF in the News: August 27, 2013

CCSF’s accreditation crisis affects potential transfers
Like the other 80,000 students at City College of San Francisco, 21-year-old Giselle Rouede had faith that her school would remain open so she took time off from her education to join the National Guard reserves.

Education in the News: August 27, 2013

Exercise in, junk food out at nation’s schools, CDC study finds -- Increasing numbers of school districts nationwide have adopted policies to prohibit junk food sales, ban tobacco use during school events and require physical education classes in elementary grade levels, according to a major new study released Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Jane Meredith Adams EdSource -- 8/27/13

Kerchner: Teachers deserve a shot at running their schools -- Ted Kolderie, the Minnesotan who had a large hand in drafting the nation’s first charter school law, is selling ideas again. This time he’s promoting teacher-run schools, or at least greatly enhanced teacher capacity to design their own jobs. Charles Taylor Kerchner EdSource -- 8/27/13

In California, School Anti-Bullying Efforts Falling Short
Just as kids are heading back to classrooms, a new state audit has found that most schools do not track whether their anti-bullying programs have made campuses any safer and that schools are inconsistent in how they record and resolve bullying incidents. By Jane Meredith Adams, EdSource Today August 27, 2013

Youth Wish List For Changing Education
Host Michel Martin gets perspective from two recent high school grads on what's working, and what isn't in schools. She speaks with Elijah Miles, a freshman at Morgan State University in Maryland, and Kashawn Campbell, a sophomore at UC Berkley.

CA Getting ‘Smarter’ with New Tests to Probe Critical Thinking
Posted on August 27, 2013 by Brenda Iasevoli
When California’s new statewide tests are in place by the spring of 2015, an 11th grade student might be asked the following: “Pretend you are preparing a report for a congresswoman on the pros and cons of using nuclear power to generate electricity. Gather some evidence, then write an essay arguing for either using nuclear power or banning it.”

State News: August 27, 2013

Rim fire near Yosemite state's 7th largest, containment holds at 20% -- The massive Rim fire on Tuesday became the seventh-largest wildfire in California's history, and remained 20% contained as it burned in and around Yosemite National Park. Diana Marcum, Jason Wells and Samantha Schaefer in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/27/13

Gov. Jerry Brown signs dozens of new laws -- Bills signed by Jerry Brown include one to allow government background checks for coach applicants in private youth sports leagues. Theresa Harrington in the San Jose Mercury -- 8/27/13

Millions spent on water-storage plan that leaks -- More than two decades ago, two water distributors came up with a tantalizing idea to increase reserves in parched Southern California: Create an underground lake so vast it could hold enough to blanket Los Angeles — all 469 square miles — under a foot of water. Michael R. Blood and Elliot Spagat Associated Press -- 8/27/13

CFT in the News: August 26, 2013

Santa Cruz teachers take action amid pay dispute
SANTA CRUZ -- Amid a pay dispute with the leadership of Santa Cruz City Schools, union leaders have asked teachers returning to work Monday from the summer break to halt voluntary work and be at school only when their contract requires.
Barry Kirschen, president of the Greater Santa Cruz Federation of Teachers, called for the "work-to-rule" action Friday as a symbolic protest against what he characterized as the district's unwillingness to give teachers a "fair share" of unanticipated revenue. It's been 10 years since the union has taken such action. By J.M. Brown Santa Cruz Sentinel, 08/25/2013

Beloved San Francisco Community College Targeted by "Rogue" Accreditation Commission
Late last night, 150 students staged a sit-in at San Francisco's City Hall, demanding that the mayor defend City College of San Francisco. Twenty-six were arrested.

In April the California Federation of Teachers (CFT), the state-level organization of the faculty union, submitted a 300-page complaint about the ACCJC to the federal Department of Education. The complaint charged ACCJC with abandoning its mission of judging quality of education, operating in secret, having conflicts of interest, and violating due process. Monday, 26 August 2013 By Joe Berry and Helena Worthen
Banished from Home, 10-Year-Old Rodrigo Guzman DREAMs of Real Immigration Reform
Driving her minivan down the narrow streets of downtown Cuernavaca, Reyna Mayida is in her element. She shouts to a friend walking by. She rolls down the window to buy watermelon from a street vendor.

To that end, the Bring Rodrigo Home campaign has received endorsements and support from groups ranging from the Alameda Labor Council and Berkeley Federation of Teachers to the National Latino Children's Institute. Sunday, 25 August 2013 00:00 By Andrew Stelzer, Truthout | Report

CCSF in the News: August 26, 2013

City Attorney Herrera, not the SF Chronicle, is Protecting CCSF
The San Francisco Chronicle's August 23 editorial criticizing the lawsuit filed by City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera against the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior College (ACCJC) moves the Chronicle farther than ever into the realm of tabloid journalism. by Moira Sullivan‚ Aug. 26‚ 2013

Accreditation should be more transparent
As City College of San Francisco fights to regain its accreditation, two things must occur. Chiefly, the school needs to get its house in order. But at the same time, the public deserves a much better accounting of how exactly CCSF got into such precarious shape. by Examiner Editorial

Education in the News: August 26, 2013

Prop. 30 Helps Deliver $2.6 Million To State Schools — But Academic Results Are Expected
Mechale Murphy is one of those principals students consider “cool.”
She is tall and beautiful, and greets her pint-size students with a smile and handshake just like celebrities greet their fans.
Murphy is in charge of West Elementary, a suburban school nestled among cookie-cutter homes near Sacramento. It is one of 61 schools in Elk Grove Unified, the fifth-largest district in the state. By Ana Tintocalis, August 26, 2013 • Posted by KQED News Staff

Students press schools to drop fossil fuel stocks -- San Francisco State moved this summer to divest. But the UC system and others express concern about the financial impact. Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/26/13

UC San Diego tops list of nation's 'socially conscious' colleges -- Washington Monthly's list puts three other UCs — including Riverside — in the top 10 and emphasizes such factors as enrolling and graduating low-income students. Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/26/13

CSUN facing record student turnout this week -- Today begins the greatest first-day-of-school scramble for student parking, books and classes at Cal State Northridge — ever. Dana Bartholomew in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 8/26/13

Students press feds to get tough on campus sexual assault -- Activists have been pressuring the Department of Education this summer to punish colleges and universities that don’t comply with the law that prohibits sexual violence on campus. Renee Schoof McClatchy DC -- 8/26/13

May Budget Revise: Oliver Twist vs. Great Expectations
In Charles Dickens' early and dark novel, Oliver Twist, an orphan is condemned to the poorhouse and forced to labor for an undertaker. He escapes to London only to be recruited into a gang of child pickpockets. The book presents an unrelenting view of poverty and the social ills that come with it. By Sheila Kuehl

Education in the News: August 24-26, 2013

Coast board takes issue with letter to education department
Trustees say they played no part in the missive sent by a fellow member asking for probe of accreditation agency decision.
In a sometimes-tense meeting of the Coast Community College District trustees Wednesday, local college officials decided to distance themselves from a letter criticizing the body that oversees accreditation for two-year colleges in California and elsewhere. By Jeremiah Dobruck August 22, 2013

Coast Community College trustee's letter creates dustup
A Coast Community College District trustee is facing criticism from fellow board members for sending what may have been an unauthorized letter this week to federal education officials. By LAUREN STEUSSY / SCOTT MARTINDALE

Uncertainty grows over California standardized testing
Adolfo Guzman-Lopez | August 25th, 2013
The first day of school has come and gone in many California public schools, but one big question is still hanging over the year: will schools have to administer state standardized tests or not?

Are high-risk and district No Child waivers illegal? -- An unprecedented set of recent Education Department decisions about No Child Left Behind waivers is at the least an overreach and at the very worst illegal, a chorus of critics say. Caitlin Emma Politico -- 8/25/13

College housing costs: How high do they go in Bay Area? -- Tired of dorm life, Daniel Harris-Lucas made up his mind: He would spend his senior year off-campus, away from all of the annoying rules and supervision -- not to mention the false fire alarms that would drag him out of bed and down 11 flights of stairs in the middle of the night. Katy Murphy in the San Jose Mercury in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/25/13

With new state funding, East Bay schools eye crowded classrooms -- With the best budget prospects in years, East Bay school districts are finally taking a look at reducing their bloated class sizes after five years of brutal cuts. Doug Oakley in the Contra Costa Times -- 8/25/13

Making Mistakes: Why They’re Crucial for Learning
We try so hard to be perfect, to never make mistakes and to avoid failure at all costs. But mistakes happen — and when they do — how do we deal with being wrong? In this episode, TED speakers look at those difficult moments in our lives, and consider why sometimes we need to make mistakes and face them head-on. Tina Barseghian | August 25, 2013

State News: August 26, 2013

Massive Rim fire continues to reshape lives and topography -- The blaze, now 134,000 acres, pushes into Yosemite National Park. Each day, what it does depends on the wind. Diana Marcum and Samantha Schaefer in the Los Angeles Times$ Brian Skoloff and Tracie Cone Associated Press -- 8/26/13

Walters: Steinberg's bills show his visions for California -- Five years ago, Darrell Steinberg carried into law a sweeping revision of California's local land-use rules, aimed at creating what the legislation called "sustainable communities." Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/26/13

Walters: Jerry Brown's agenda has a tough slog -- The New York Times published what has become a standard paean to Jerry Brown from the out-of-state media the other day, citing his balancing the budget and implying that he sparked California's emergence from recession. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/25/13

CFT in the News: August 23, 2013

Panel OKs ACCJC audit
Joint Legislature Audit Committee to review accrediting group that put COS on notice
Aug. 22, 2013 Written by Crystal Morales
The Joint Legislature Audit Committee approved an audit on Wednesday to analyze the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, according to a news report.

The audit was supported by the California Teachers Association, The California Federation of Teachers, the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges and the California Community College Independents.

Dennis Herrera Sues Accrediting Commission to Stop City College Closure
By Rachel Swan Thu., Aug. 22 2013
When the 85,000 students at San Francisco City College got wind that the college could close, they immediately took to the streets, forming a Save CCSF coalition and staging mass demonstrations.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and California Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris both firmly endorsed the plan over objections from the California Federation of Teachers, whose members filed their own complaint in April.

Battle Over Transgender Student Rights Law Begins, Groups File Referendum Paperwork In Effort To Put Issue On Statewide Ballot
by Joe Mello, LBREPORT.com Community Correspondent
(Aug. 22, 2013) -- Opponents of AB 1266, a bill signed into law on Aug. 12 by Governor Jerry Brown giving transgender public school students specified rights in sex segregated school programs and activities, have filed paperwork with the CA Attorney General's Office, the first step in pursuing a statewide referendum (vote of the people) to repeal the measure.

At the legislative level, the bill's supporters included The Center Long Beach, the CA State PTA, the CA Teachers Ass'n, the CA Federation of Teachers and the ACLU of CA.

CCSF in the News: August 23, 2013

San Francisco files suit to keep CCSF open -- San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed suit Thursday against the commission that is set to revoke City College of San Francisco's accreditation next year and said he hopes to halt the process that could shut down the school of 85,000 students in 2014. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle Carla Rivera in the Los Angeles Times$ Courthouse News Service -- 8/23/13

SF City Attorney Sues To Keep City College Open
August 22, 2013 Posted by KQED News Staff and Wires
City College of San Francisco's struggle to survive took another turn this morning. The San Francisco city attorney's office announced it is filing two lawsuits in an effort to keep CCSF open.
S.F. Sues Panel for Yanking City College Accreditation
By Sylvia Ramirez KRON 4 Thu Aug 22nd, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco’s city attorney today filed a lawsuit seeking to block a decision by a regional accrediting panel last month to revoke the accreditation of City College of San Francisco. KRON 4; KCBS

San Francisco city attorney sues over City College accreditation fight
By Michelle Maitre August 22nd, 2013
San Francisco’s city attorney has sued the state accrediting commission to block attempts to revoke City College of San Francisco’s accreditation.

Education in the News: August 23, 2013

New college rankings put Stanford and Berkeley in the top three -- in the world -- Two of the best universities in the world are in the Bay Area and only 40 miles apart, according to a new set of rankings. Katy Murphy in the Oakland Tribune -- 8/23/13

Key education bills await action as session deadline looms -- Whatever education bills the Legislature passes in the next four weeks will pale in importance compared to its monumental achievement of 2013, the Local Control Funding Formula, Gov. Jerry Brown’s sweeping school finance and accountability plan that legislators enacted as part of the state budget in June. EdSource -- 8/23/13

L.A. schools top lists of California’s best charters -- High Tech High in Lake Balboa was named Thursday as the top charter high school in California by the University of Southern California, which included 11 other Los Angeles-area campuses in its annual ranking of the best independent schools. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 8/23/13

LAUSD charged with violating union contract in teacher evaluation -- Los Angeles Unified’s teachers union has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the school district, saying administrators failed to negotiate key changes to a controversial performance evaluation system now being used to review educators. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 8/23/13

LAUSD has deal for ad-free Bing searches -- The partnership between Microsoft's Bing search unit and several school districts is aimed at providing a safer experience online while drawing more users to Bing. Paresh Dave in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/23/13

How Obama could 'shake up' higher ed himself -- The Education Department doesn’t need Congress to enact some big chunks of the sweeping new higher education agenda President Barack Obama proposed Thursday. Libby A. Nelson Politico -- 8/23/13

Obama's Very Smart and Utterly Hopeless Plan to Make College Cheaper -- The White House wants to tie federal aid to educational results and affordability. Too bad it doesn't stand a chance in Congress. Jordan Weissman The Atlantic -- 8/23/13

Straight From Students: Smart Tips for Searching Online
MindShift | August 22, 2013
The Internet is full of useful information. You can find everything from food recipes, new jobs, news, and information on various topics. Most students use the internet to find information, because there is so much information about almost anything you can imagine to be found on the web.

California Department of Education to Expand Access to Preschools
The California Department of Education is ramping up its effort to get more kids into preschool with a $25 million item in the new state budget.
By Harry Gibbons (Sacramento, CA)  Thursday, August 22, 2013
The funds will be used to add classes and are predicted to help enroll more than 8,300 children.
Nancy Remley is with the Department. She said the new money is an important step to help make up for previous deep cuts to childcare.

With new money, California schools report less stress
With billions more dollars to spend, California's school districts are exhibiting fewer signs of financial stress, a new survey from EdSource, a California public education research organization, concludes.

State News: August 23, 2013

Legislature OKs bill to let noncitizens serve on California juries -- Controversial measures allowing legal immigrants who are not American citizens to serve on juries and as poll workers now await action by Gov. Jerry Brown. Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/23/13

Walters: Big reform of CEQA bogs down -- Substantially overhauling the 40-year-old California Environmental Quality Act may still happen, but with just two weeks remaining in the legislative session, it probably won't happen this year. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/23/13

CFT in the News: August 22, 2013

Special Trustee Agrella: 'Cooperation' Key to Save SF City College
SAN FRANCISCO – Members of the media and public packed a room Tuesday to hear what Special Trustee Robert Agrella, entrusted with saving City College of San Francisco (CCSF), had to say about the future of the school that is in the midst of a fight to keep its accreditation.

News emerged Wednesday that the administration had broken off contract negotiations with the union, highlighting their differences. In a statement, AFT 2121 president Alisa Messer said, “We are concerned that those charged with putting CCSF’s accreditation affairs in order have simply walked away from their responsibility to negotiate in good faith with faculty.”

City College's judges get judged
City College of San Francisco had its accreditation revoked by the Accrediting Commission of Junior and Community Colleges in July, and now the ACCJC is getting a taste of its own medicine — its own existence has been threatened over its treatment of City College.

The California Federation of Teachers, which filed the appeal with the DOE, wants the ACCJC to reconsider its sanction of City College in light of these validated concerns over its process.  Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

San Francisco Students Sit In to Save Beloved Community College
August 21, 2013 / Joe Berry and Helena Worthen
Late last night, 150 students staged a sit-in at San Francisco's City Hall, demanding that the mayor defend City College of San Francisco. Twenty-six were arrested.

In April the California Federation of Teachers (CFT), the state-level organization of the faculty union, submitted a 300-page complaint about the ACCJC to the federal Department of Education.

The 1963 March on Washington Then and Now
by Martin Bennett and Fred Glass‚ Aug. 22‚ 2013
Fifty years ago, on August 28, 1963, the nation witnessed the largest march in its history. The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom lives on in popular memory as the moment when Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his iconic “I Had A Dream” speech and called for racial integration and reconciliation in America.

CCSF in the News: August 22, 2013

Lawmakers OK probe of accrediting panel over CCSF -- California lawmakers voted Wednesday to investigate whether the accrediting commission that is threatening to shut down City College of San Francisco is doing its job right. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 8/22/13

Commission That Revoked SF City College’s Accreditation Facing Audit
August 21, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The regional panel that decided last month to revoke the accreditation of City College of San Francisco effective next year is now under increased review itself after state legislators Wednesday approved a request to audit the organization. KTVU

Protesters Arrested At San Francisco City Hall Following CCSF Sit-In
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – There were about two dozen arrests early Wednesday morning at San Francisco City Hall, following a sit-in at the entrance of Mayor Ed Lee’s office by supporters of City College of San Francisco. Reporting Chris Filippi August 21, 2013

CCSF Officials Appeal Decision To Pull Accreditation, Shy Away From Pointing Out Knocks On Accrediting Board
City College of San Francisco officials on Monday submitted a formal request for review of a regional panel’s decision to revoke the school’s accreditation, but the request made no mention of recent criticism of the accreditors by the U.S. Department of Education. - San Francisco Appeal

City College seeks review of accreditation decision
by Peter Hernandez Published 08/22/2013
City College of San Francisco's crisis took an unexpected turn when the very commission that determined its accreditation would be revoked next year was found noncompliant by the federal agency that oversees it.

Education in the News: August 22, 2013

Public opposes use of test scores in teacher reviews, poll shows -- In a reversal of public opinion, a majority of Americans now oppose using student test scores to evaluate teachers and more believe that increased testing has hurt rather than helped improve public schools, a new survey shows. Teresa Watanabe and Marina Villeneuve in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/22/13

Schools rising from budget depths, EdSource report finds -- With the passage of Proposition 30 and implementation of a new funding system channeling more money to most districts this fall, the 2012-13 school year will be the base for measuring how well schools recover from the Great Recession. Yet as EdSource documents in a report issued Thursday, there will be a steep climb out of the trough. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 8/22/13

State to audit sexual assault policies at UC Berkeley -- The policies of three other California colleges, yet to be chosen, will also be audited. Students at Berkeley filed a complaint, saying they had been sexually assaulted but their cases were inadequately investigated. Jason Song in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/22/13

Vargo: Creative leadership lies between top-down and bottom-up -- Whenever I say that “neither top-down nor bottom-up approaches to change work in public education,” educators nod in agreement. But when it comes to acting on this insight, agreement is nowhere in sight. Merrill Vargo EdSource -- 8/22/13

State News: August 22, 2013

Southern California charter school leader running for state superintendent -- Marshall Tuck, a leader of Southern California’s charter school and reform movements, launched his campaign Wednesday to become State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Adolfo Guzman-Lopez KPCC John Fensterwald EdSource -- 8/22/13

Capitol Weekly's Top 100 -- Another year, another Top 100 list, but there’s a big difference in this go-round: This is the first time we’ve put the list into a dedicated booklet and we think that’s pretty snazzy. The list, like Capitol Weekly itself, is now being published by the public benefit corporation Open California -- and that’s cool, too. John Howard Capitol Weekly -- 8/22/13

CFT in the News: August 21, 2013

Listen to Marty Hittelman on KPFA Re: CCSF
Fast forward to 35:00

ACCJC found in noncompliance
Earlier this month, the United States Department of Education sent a letter to the Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) that it was found out of compliance with some of the department’s criteria for recognition.
The evaluation of the ACCJC was prompted when the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) filed a complaint with the Office of Postsecondary Education over the sanction that fell on City College of San Francisco (CCSF) and other issues it found with the commission’s policies. Aug. 20, 2013

Protect local power and control
EDITORIAL There's a growing stench of political corruption — or, at the very least, hidden agendas aimed at subverting popular will in favor of entrenched corporate interests — emanating from the Mayor's Office these days. And it's undermining projects and institutions that are vital to the future of San Francisco.

Critics mocked these concerns, as they did those of the California Federation of Teachers, which formally challenged the actions by the Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges, with Lee and others saying that we need to just accept the death threats against CCSF and do whatever these outsiders are asking. 08.20.13 | Guardian Editorial |
Updated - accreditationwatch.com featuring accjc gone wild
This site is an attempt to expose the Accreditation Commission for Community and Junior Colleges for the rogue organization that it is and the harm it is causing at City College of San Francisco as well as at numerous other community colleges in California.

CCSF in the News: August 21, 2013

CCSF supporters stage sit-in at SF Mayor's office
SAN FRANCISCO — More than 150 students from City College of San Francisco staged a sit-in at San Francisco’s City Hall Tuesday evening to demand that the mayor help save the school from losing its accreditation. Also on KPIX

Dozens cited after CCSF protest at SF City Hall
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco City College students are calling on Mayor Ed Lee to support them in their fight to keep the school's accreditation. Protestors marched on city hall Tuesday, but ran into trouble when they refused to leave. Matt Keller

San Francisco: Arrests Being Made at City Hall
Demonstrators are being arrested in San Francisco’s City Hall just before midnight on August 21.
Chris Filippi, a reporter for KCBS radio, tweeted a picture of people being arrested inside the building. By Zachary Stieber, Epoch Times | August 21, 2013

Education in the News: August 21, 2013

LAUSD takes aim at reforming Proposition 39 charter law -- After years of battling over the co-location of charter and traditional campuses, the Los Angeles Unified board took steps Tuesday toward seeking changes to the law approved by voters in 2000 that requires districts to give unused space to the independent schools. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 8/21/13

L.A. school board ratifies hiring of Garcetti's top education aide -- The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday ratified the unusual hiring of the mayor’s top education advisor, Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/21/13

California auditor says schools should measure if anti-bullying programs are working -- California's state auditor, citing recent high-profile tragedies tied to bullying, called on the Sacramento City Unified School District as well as districts statewide to gauge whether their anti-harassment programs are working. Loretta Kalb in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/21/13

L.A. Unified union, district at odds over best way to train teachers for Common Core -- Both Los Angeles Unified officials and the union representing teachers agree that the bulk of one-time state money for the transition to the Common Core standards should be spent on teacher training. They disagree over how best to provide it. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 8/21/13

Poll of Americans' views on education shows little awareness of new standards, wariness of tests -- Although 45 states including California have adopted new Common Core curriculum standards aimed at improving education, more than half of Americans surveyed in May had never heard of it. Theresa Harrington in the Oakland Tribune -- 8/21/13

Berkeley Moves Forward with UC Student District -- A new council district could result in the first student elected to the city council in decades — and it could oust longtime Councilman Kriss Worthington from office. Sarah Burke East Bay Express -- 8/21/13

Sequestration slashes Head Start funding -- Last year about 1 million of the nation's poorest children got a leg up on school through Head Start, the federal program that helps prepare children up to age five for school. This fall, about 57,000 children will be denied a place in Head Start and Early Head Start as fallout from sequestration. Adrienne Lu McClatchy -- 8/21/13

State News: August 21, 2013

California Considers Force-Feeding Inmates -- If dozens of hunger-striking California state prison inmates are so close to death that they must be force-fed, the method will likely be less invasive than what was used on terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, the prison system's top medical services official said Tuesday. Don Thompson Associated Press -- 8/21/13

Walters: Big school money row surfaces again in California -- When Gov. Jerry Brown's landmark overhaul of school finance – aimed at shifting more money into educating poor and English-learner students – was making its way through the Legislature this year, a big issue was whether the extra funds should go to school districts or the schools with large concentrations of the targeted kids. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/21/13

Brown: "Clutter" of Legislation Produces "Bureaucracy and Inertia"
With just three-and-a-half weeks to go before California lawmakers adjourn for the year, Governor Jerry Brown says he wants to avoid what he calls legislative “clutter.” By  Ben Adler

CFT in the News: August 20, 2013

Listen to Joshua Pechthalt on KXJZ on August 19, 2013

CCSF's loss of accreditation must be reassessed
by Examiner Editorial
There is no doubt that City College of San Francisco has deep-rooted systemic problems, and regardless of what lies ahead for the community college, changes need to be made.

The letter was a response to a complaint from the California Federation of Teachers and American Federation of Teachers over the commission's sanction of City College.

U.S. faults accreditation panel in City College of San Francisco ruling
In a significant win for City College of San Francisco, the U.S. Department of Education issued a letter, Aug. 13, which could turn the tables on the accrediting agency - citing the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) for being out of compliance with a number of education codes.
The letter was a response to the 300-page complaint filed by American Federation of Teachers Local 2121 and California Federation of Teachers documenting the many irregularities in the review panel and the overall process which eventually led accrediting group to place City College on sanction and one year later to revoke its accreditation.

Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers, concluded that the finding "confirms what we have known for some time, that the commission has operated as a rogue agency." by: Michelle Kern  August 19 2013

The 1963 March on Washington Then and Now
Fifty years ago, on August 28, 1963, the nation witnessed the largest march in its history. The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom lives on in popular memory as the moment when Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his iconic “I Had A Dream” speech and called for racial integration and reconciliation in America. Most Americans today point to the emergence of a substantial black middle class and the election of the first African American President as evidence of our progress towards that goal. By Martin Bennett and Fred Glass

Education in the News: August 20, 2013

Why is Agrella defending ACCJC instead of CCSF?
Readers who are following the crisis at CCSF know that the college has student success in the top 10% of community colleges but is under threat of closure by the Accrediting Commission (ACCJC). by Rick Sterling‚ Aug. 20‚ 2013

LAUSD teachers want more time to plan for new curriculum -- With the Los Angeles Unified school board being asked to spend $113 million to implement a new curriculum, the district and its teachers union released separate poll results Monday rating how educators view their training for the new Common Core standards. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 8/20/13

Civil rights activists call for end to 'willful defiance' discipline -- As students across the state return to school, civil rights activists are hoping a bill working its way through the California Legislature will decrease the disproportionately high number of expulsions and suspensions among some student groups. Melody Gutierrez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/20/13

White House warns of Head Start cuts in California -- But officials in California say action this summer by the Legislature will open up thousands of new slots for low-income children to take part in state preschool programs. Evan Halper in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/20/13

Faced with job complaints, Loyola Law School accepting fewer students -- With alumni complaining they can't find employment, Loyola Law School and other universities are reducing their incoming classes. Jason Song in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/20/13

Principals take the initiative to keep school open in the summer -- Thanks to enterprising principals, students in a few California communities will have no trouble answering the question: What did you do this summer? Susan Frey EdSource -- 8/20/13

New national standards pump extra $113 million into LA Unified -- The Los Angeles Unified School District will soon have an extra wad of cash on hand. It's getting $113 million from the state of California over two years to phase in new national standards called the Common Core. Annie Gilbertson KPCC -- 8/20/13

More students than ever rely on federal college aid -- Students and families are more willing than ever to borrow to pay for college and increasingly reliant on federal grants and loans to help with tuition bills, statistics released today from the U.S. Education Department show. Libby Nelson Politico -- 8/20/13

San Jose State Rethinking Online Classes After Dismal Start
California is at the forefront of the effort to make college classes available online to students. But early results from an initiative at San Jose State were disappointing, with the majority of students failing the course. August 20, 2013, Posted by Charla Bear

Obama's College-Cost Tour Is A Chance To Get Past Climbing Walls
President Obama is scheduled to address the college affordability crisis in a two-day, campaign-style bus tour. Will he talk about the complex reasons behind rising costs? By Frank James

State News: August 20, 2013

Prisoner rights lawyer says force-feeding breaks international law -- A prisoners' rights lawyer says Monday's federal judge's order allowing California prison doctors to force-feed inmates on hunger strike "violates international law and generally accepted medical ethics." Paige St. John in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/20/13

Jerry Brown, Harry Reid criticize environmentalists' challenge to Tahoe plan -- Three months after California Gov. Jerry Brown and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval reached an agreement on the governance of the basin surrounding Lake Tahoe, the governors praised the accord here Monday, and Brown fired back at environmentalists who fear it will lead to more development. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/20/13

Jerry Brown says high-speed rail ruling won't stop project -- Gov. Jerry Brown said Monday that California's high-speed rail project will not be stopped by a judge's ruling that project officials failed to comply with provisions of Proposition 1A, the initiative in which voters approved initial funding for the project in 2008. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/19/13

CFT in the News: August 19, 2013

With negotiations looming, teachers make demands
WATSONVILLE - As Pajaro Valley Unified School District administrators and employees began congregating in the Pajaro Valley High School cafeteria for the annual back to school district-wide breakfast Friday, teachers represented by the Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers (PVFT) held up signs on the corner of Green Valley Road and Main Street to rally support as they prepare for continued contract negotiations with the district. BY: ROSEANN HERNANDEZ Posted: Friday, Aug 16th, 2013

PVUSD Has Money to Spend
District has variety of improvement projects under way
WATSONVILLE — After several years of recessionary cuts to its budget, the Pajaro Valley Unified School District is suddenly flush with cash and has a reliable source for more — and it’s spending it.
The main reason for the influx is new legislation called the Local Control Funding Formula, which puts an emphasis on providing more money for students who are either English language learners or are economically disadvantaged. Enacted as part of the 2013-2014 budget package, PVUSD Chief Business Officer Brett McFadden said it is the most sweeping change to school funding in the past 40 years. By Jon Chown

Strife Between PVUSD and Teachers Union
WATSONVILLE — With funding flowing in to the Pajaro Valley Unified School District, workers’ salaries are set to rise. The administration and classified employees have agreed to a 7 percent raise, but the district is still negotiating with the teachers union on a raise. The Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers complains that the district’s offer of 7 percent does not go nearly far enough — failing to provide retroactive raises and pay, raises in future years, doesn’t reduce class sizes for enough grades, and reduces prep time for teachers.

Jack Carroll, executive director of the Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers (PVFT), said the district isn’t being fair. By Jon Chown

School year starts, despite contract uncertainties
Petaluma City Schools students know when they will start the school year, they just don’t know for certain when they will finish. With the exception of two schools, Penngrove and Mary Collins Charter School at Cherry Valley, both on a year-round schedule, Petaluma City Schools open Wednesday, Aug. 21. Penngrove and Cherry Valley students have already returned to their classrooms.
The plan is for a 180-day school year, ending June 6. However, the 180-day plan has not been approved by the Petaluma Federation of Teachers. The teacher’s union and school district are currently at odds over proposed changes to he current contract. By John Jackson ARGUS-COURIER STAFF August 19, 2013

Petaluma city schools, teachers union reach impasse
With two schools opening in less than a week, the Petaluma City Schools District and the Petaluma Federation of Teachers have reached an impasse in contract negotiations and asked for a state mediator to help them come to an agreement. By John Jackson ARGUS-COURIER STAFF, Friday, July 19, 2013

Dispatches from the Higher Education Wars: Wins for City College of San Francisco, Outsourcing Opponents, and Adult Education
Last week I outlined the plight of the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) noting that CCSF had become the “Chicago of Higher Education” as the college and their community allies were engaged in a struggle to stop the loss of its accreditation at the hands of a corrupt commission that was driven by a misguided corporate education reform agenda.

The California Federation of Teacher’s (CFT) response to this untenable situation was to file a complaint with the ACCJC noting the commission’s failure to follow state and federal law… by Jim Miller on August 19, 2013

Education in the News: August 19, 2013

'Deja vu all over again' at CCSF
As City College of San Francisco wages a last-ditch campaign to remain accredited, officials from a California school that failed the same assignment see eerie similarities and urge university supporters to cooperate with CCSF's critics. by Andrea Koskey

L.A. Unified president pushes board’s authority to set policy -- The new president of the Los Angeles Unified school board is moving aggressively to reshape the panel’s operation and mission, including plans to improve communication, enhance collaboration and take a more decisive stance in setting district policy. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 8/19/13

UCSD pulls in almost $1 billion for research -- Why are Navy SEALs better than most people at handling stress? Will a new molecule help fight prostate cancer? What are the best spots to place seismometers around California? And are there more effective ways to prevent terrorist attacks? Gary Robbins UT San Diego$ -- 8/19/13

Head Start eliminated services to 57,000 children in U.S. as a result of sequester -- Head Start programs across the country eliminated services for 57,000 children in the coming school year to balance budgets diminished by the federal sequester, cutting 1.3 million days from Head Start center calendars and laying off or reducing pay for more than 18,000 employees, according to federal government data scheduled for release Monday. Michael Alison Chandler in the Washington Post$ -- 8/19/13

Deasy: $1 billion price tag to restore staff, programs to pre-recession levels -- The battle is expected to begin in earnest Tuesday over how Los Angeles Unified should spend hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue generated by a voter-approved sales-tax hike that will bring a windfall to the district under the state’s new education-funding formula. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 8/17/13

California Upends School Funding To Give Poor Kids A Boost
As the school year begins, districts in cities such as Oakland, Fresno and Los Angeles have not gone on a hiring spree. But they might soon. by Alan Greenblatt | August 19, 2013

State News: August 19, 2013

Half of California voters report difficulty paying for health care, poll finds -- Half of California voters say they are paying more for health care than they were a year ago, and the same percentage of voters say their health care costs are hard to afford, according to a new Field Poll. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/19/13

Rough seas ahead as lawmakers embark on plan to save Lake Tahoe -- Lake Tahoe has friends in high places, like Capitol Hill. Now, those friendships will be tested again. Michael Doyle McClatchy DC -- 8/19/13

CFT in the News: August 16, 2013

City College of San Francisco: Saviors, Standards, And a Ticking Clock
August 16, 2013 • Posted By Ana Tintocalis
Years of budget cuts have been brutal for California’s 112 community colleges. The hard times have also exposed deficits in management at nearly a quarter of the colleges, including the system's biggest: City College of San Francisco. CCSF is the only school at risk of losing its accreditation.

That lack of transparency frustrates CCSF faculty like counselor Li Lovett. Lovett says the commission has disregarded the fact that CCSF students transition into jobs and universities at a higher rate than students at other state community colleges. She says accreditors are grading schools based on strict administrative benchmarks.

‘No Child Left Behind’ Waiver Leaves Some Behind
By Lori Abbott, California News Service
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Eight California school districts are being given more time to comply with the federal No Child Left Behind Act, but critics say all California schools should have been given a waiver. According to Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers, the U.S. Department of Education has chosen to bypass the governor and the state superintendent, and engage in a piecemeal approach.

James Takata's documentary chronicles the efforts of a group of Compton parents fighting for better education through the state's "parent trigger" law.
A sort of documentary correlative to the recent activism drama Won’t Back Down starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis, James Takata’s no-budget film chronicles the efforts of a group of Compton parents to secure better education for their children via California’s so-called "parent trigger" law.

Naturally this doesn’t sit well with educators, as evidenced by this quote from an onscreen interview with the president of the California Federation of Teachers: “You don’t let the patients decide what the doctors can do,” he asserts.

Education in the News: August 16, 2013

Clock Is Ticking for City College of San Francisco's Accreditation
Coming out of the Great Recession, a lot of California's 112 community colleges are looking a lot worse for wear. The years of budget cuts were brutal, but the hard times also exposed deficits in management at nearly a quarter of the colleges. Perhaps no campus epitomizes this problem more dramatically than the state's biggest, City College of San Francisco, which is at risk of losing its accreditation. Reporter: Ana Tintocalis

Rampant Misinformation Surrounds City College Struggle
by Moira Jean Sullivan‚ Aug. 15‚ 2013
City College of San Francisco opens August 14. It is accredited and has made that loud and clear to the community that deserves a community college. The "Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior College" (ACCJC) may have put a dent in the car but CCSF is still on the road and running at top speed. The Save City College of San Francisco maintains that the ACCJC "manufactured a crisis, deepening the atmosphere of emergency that had hung over the college since the ACCJC put it on “show cause” in July of 2012".

Gov. Brown urged to restrict suspensions for 'willful defiance' -- Civil right leaders from across the country sent a letter this week to Gov. Jerry Brown encouraging him to support legislation that would ban expulsions and restrict suspensions for "willful defiance" in California schools. Stephen Ceasar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/16/13

Students with dental disease face new obstacle in Medi-Cal rate cut -- In a move that affects millions of California students who rely on Medi-Cal for dental services, reimbursement rates for dentists who care for low-income children will be cut, the Department of Health Care Services announced Thursday. Jane Meredith Adams EdSource -- 8/16/13

Yoga helps children focus, relieve stress and concentrate at school -- It may be a rare sight to see an American child practicing yoga. Kristopher Rivera in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/16/13

College packet could pave way to elite universities -- This year, up to 20,000 of the nation's top high school students will receive an unsolicited packet in the mail that could change their lives -- if they don't toss it in the junk pile. Katy Murphy in the Contra Costa Times -- 8/16/13

Duncan pledges more help for parents seeking federal college loans -- The Education Department is taking new steps to help parents obtain federal college loans if their applications are rejected because of minor problems in their credit history — an effort to address complaints about tighter lending standards that has hurt enrollment at historically black colleges and universities. Nick Anderson in the Washington Post -- 8/16/13

Q&A: Bill Gates on Teaching, Ed Tech, and Philanthropy
By Benjamin Herold on August 16, 2013
Philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates recently dipped into the coffers of bgc3—his personal office, think tank, and incubation engine—to make a multimillion-dollar investment in Graphite, a new venture from the San Francisco-based nonprofit Common Sense Media that aims to provide teachers with easy-to-search, Consumer Reports-style peer reviews of ed-tech products. In conjunction with Graphite's launch, Gates offered to respond via email to some questions from Education Week and our Twitter followers.

State News: August 16, 2013

Payroll system: Weak contracts, lack of expertise hurt tech projects -- California officials didn't include stricter rules in the contract for overhauling the state payroll system because they feared scaring companies away from the complex project, officials told a panel of lawmakers Thursday. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ Jon Ortiz in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/16/13

California is re-routing delta tunnel system -- The state is moving the route of a proposed tunnel system in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta away from north delta communities to a land preserve that is an important winter home for the greater sandhill crane and other migratory birds in the Pacific Flyway. Bettina Boxall in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/16/13

CFT in the News: August 15, 2013

CCSF Teachers Celebrate Department Of Educations Drubbing Of Accrediting Commission
City College of San Francisco teachers and their advocates said today that a decision to revoke the school’s accreditation should be overturned after the U.S. Department of Education issued a letter Tuesday finding fault with the regional panel that made the decision.

“It’s a clear justification for reversing the decision,” said Alisa Messer, president of American Federation of Teachers Local 2121, the school’s faculty union.

Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers, said the federal letter “confirms what we have known for some time, that the ACCJC has operated as a rogue agency.” by Bay City News | August 14, 2013

Feds: Group pulling CCSF accreditation didn't follow rules
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- There may be some relief coming for City College of San Francisco because the same accrediting commission that investigated City College is now being reprimanded by the Department of Education.

"Absolutely a big no-no," says Alisa Messer with the California Federation of Teachers. "It is at the very least an appearance of a conflict of interest. I would think that if there is supposed to be a separation between the visiting team and the commission itself, then probably pillow talk counts as a possible conflict of interest." Lyanne Melendez Wednesday, August 14, 2013
The California Federation of Teachers is the union that complained to the Department of Education.

Panel Seeking To Revoke City College Of SF’s Accreditation Faces Questions From Feds
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – City College of San Francisco teachers  and their advocates said on Wednesday that a decision to revoke the school’s accreditation should be overturned after the U.S. Department of Education issued a letter Tuesday finding fault with the regional panel that made the decision.

“It’s a clear justification for reversing the decision,” said Alisa Messer, president of American Federation of Teachers Local 2121, the school’s faculty union.

Joshua Pechthalt, President of the California Federation of Teachers, said the federal letter “confirms what we have known for some time, that the ACCJC has operated as a rogue  agency.” August 14, 2013 5:37 PM

Unions demand that CCSF sanctions be lifted
Labor leaders representing college faculty across California demanded Wednesday that an accrediting commission withdraw a decision that could close City College of San Francisco next year, now that federal officials have found that the commission violated procedures.

"We call on the accrediting commission to announce that City College will remain open and fully accredited beyond 2014 so students will enroll with full confidence," said Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers, which represents instructors at 112 community colleges.

"We have lost a tremendous amount of students," said Alisa Messer, president of the City College faculty union, who joined Pechthalt and other union leaders in calling for the commission to reverse its accrediting decision. Nanette Asimov, Updated 11:20 pm, Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Now the inspector is feeling the heat
There's been a twist in the saga of San Francisco's City College. After reviewing the teachers union's complaints about the accreditation commission - which has pledged to pull City College's accreditation in 2014 unless substantial reforms are made - the U.S. Department of Education essentially sided with the teachers.

The teachers union hopes that it will mean a major rollback of the assigned reforms. "The impact of ... the subsequent disaccreditation process of the college needs to be mitigated and reversed in every way possible," said Alisa Messer, a City College English professor and president of the teachers federation. "The timing is such that for (the commission) not to consider this new information would be a mistake." Published 4:46 pm, Wednesday, August 14, 2013

U.S. faults panel that criticized City College of San Francisco
U.S. Department of Education gives the panel a year to correct problems after it comes under fire for moving to revoke accreditation of City College of San Francisco.
A panel that moved to revoke the accreditation of City College of San Francisco is under fire, accused of violating several federal regulations in its review of the campus.

"This letter powerfully validates our complaints … and confirms what we have known now for some time, that the ACCJC has operated as a rogue agency and created a climate of fear and retaliation throughout the community college system," Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers, said during a telephone news conference. By Carla Rivera August 14, 2013
Top higher ed official to leave education department - Empty at the top - Cory Booker coasts to victory

EDUCATION DEPARTMENT WARNS CCSF’S ACCREDITOR — The Education Department warned the accreditor of the beleaguered City College of San Francisco that the accrediting agency itself was out of compliance with several federal regulations. In response to a complaint from the California Federation of Teachers. By LIBBY A. NELSON | 08/14/13

U.S. Steps In on College-Accreditation Dispute
Department of Education Warns Agency It Wasn't in Compliance With Federal Guidelines.
A dispute that erupted last month over an accreditation agency's proposed shutdown of one of the country's largest community colleges escalated when the Department of Education warned the agency it wasn't in compliance with federal guidelines.

Meanwhile, on the 78-year-old City College of San Francisco’s main campus, news of the review spread fast. Alisa Messer, an English instructor and president of a local branch of the American Federation of Teachers, criticized the accreditation system and called the commission that had condemned her school “a largely unaccountable agency.” By Douglas Belkin, Jim Carlton

Accreditor that Whacked S.F. City College Faces Challenge to Its Own Accreditation
City College of San Francisco, staring into oblivion after being told last month it will lose its accreditation in a year, saw a glimmer of hope yesterday when the commission that whacked them was told by the U.S. Department of Education that its own accreditation was in jeopardy.

The department conducted the review after receiving a 300-page complaint from the California Federation of Teachers and other groups complaining about how the commission treated the college.

評審委會程序與組成均受質疑
三藩市市大危機現轉機
(本報訊 )
美國教師聯盟2121分會(American Federation of Teachers Local 2121)學校教職員工會主席Alisa Messer表示,這是反對評審會決定的最好證明。她說:「我們同意學校有需要改進的地方,但無法贊同對學校造成極大破壞的反覆無常的行動及懲處行為。」
加州教師聯會(California Federation of Teachers)主席Joshua Pechthalt表示,聯邦的信函證實了我們早就知道的情況:社大評審委員會是一個以無賴方式運作的機構。
Updated - Dept. of Education Ruling Won't Solve CCSF Accreditation Woes
For those City College of San Francisco supporters who were hoping for a reversal of a commission's decision to rescind CCSF's accreditation: Not so fast. Their optimism was based solely on a Department of Education finding that the  commission did not comply with a handful of federal regulations.

But in a conference call today, Josh Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers, said the union was looking into the possibility of legal action.  "I think it's a little premature to say we're going to sue. But certainly the findings by the Department of Education suggest in a very powerful way that the decision on City College of San Francisco just cannot stand." August 14, 2013, 3:25 pm • by Charla Bear and Jon Brooks

‘We the Parents’ Chronicles L.A.’s Controversial Charter-School Law
Aug 15, 2013  
A new documentary takes the side of activists who tried to use L.A.’s ‘parent trigger’ law to turn a public school into a charter. Eliza Shapiro on the education battle behind the movie.

“The notion that parents should have the ability to yank a school away from a district seems to be a huge mistake,” said Josh Pechthalt, the president of the California Federation of Teachers.

Education in the News: August 15, 2013

First day at CCSF a bit less busy
When Keith Kimber heard about the accreditation crisis at City College of San Francisco, he decided to help out the only way he knew how: by enrolling in classes.
As a result, the 33-year-old now splits his time between his home in Sacramento and a friend's house in the Castro district so he can keep up with the 15 credits he's taking in San Francisco. by Andrea Koskey Education News: August 15, 2013

School Standards’ Debut Is Rocky, and Critics Pounce
The Common Core, a set of standards for kindergarten through high school that has been ardently supported by the Obama administration and many business leaders and state legislatures, is facing growing opposition from both the right and the left even before it has been properly introduced into classrooms. By MOTOKO RICH, August 15, 2013

Brown administration, school leaders launch special ed overhaul -- With the cost of special education soaring in California even as academic outcomes fall short of national averages, key members of the Brown administration are organizing plans to overhaul how instructional services are delivered to students with disabilities. Tom Chorneau SI&A Cabinet Report -- 8/15/13

The Parent Trigger Warriors of Watts: -- How a Special Forces Hero and a Group of Moms Took Back Weigand Elementary. Jill Stewart LA Weekly -- 8/15/13

No iPads on first day of classes for students in LA Unified -- The Los Angeles Unified School District’s iPad pilot program is starting this school year – just not yet. Anthony Perez KPCC -- 8/15/13

Charter school enrollment climbs in Sacramento region -- Dozens of private schools across the Sacramento region closed their doors in recent years as enrollment plummeted and students transferred to public schools. Diana Lambert and Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/15/13

Michelle Rhee invites teachers union reps to new town halls -- Michelle Rhee wants to have a candid conversation with her fiercest critics. The outspoken education reformer will host a series of national town hall meetings beginning in September, according to invitations obtained by POLITICO. Byron Tau Politico -- 8/15/13

For Low-Income Students, Prohibitive College Costs Hit Hard
As the school year gets underway, many of the state's low-income high school seniors will be pursuing the dream of going to college.
Just getting there often comes with many hurdles -- but some of the toughest challenges surface after students get to college. What keeps many low-income students from finishing college once they're there?  For many, it's increasing costs. by KQED News Staff and Wires | August 14, 2013

Obama bus tour to focus on higher ed -- President Obama will present proposals for reducing the cost of higher education during a Northeastern bus tour next week, the latest in a series of summertime campaign-style economic events from the White House. Justin Sink The Hill -- 8/15/13

State News: August 15, 2013

Water plan may shift Delta tunnels -- California water officials are proposing a dramatic redesign of two massive water diversion tunnels planned for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a concession to Delta residents who have complained the project would upend their lives. Matt Weiser in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/15/13

Unions, local governments clash over campaign restrictions -- An unusual alliance of unions, Common Cause and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association lined up Tuesday behind late-blooming legislation that would crack down on use of public resources to promote ballot measures. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/15/13

CFT in the News: August 14, 2013

Department of Education Warns Accreditor That Sanctioned City College of San Francisco
By Eric Kelderman August 13, 2013
The U.S. Department of Education has warned the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges that it is out of compliance with several federal regulations and could face a possible sanction if the problems are not corrected within 12 months.

The action against the accreditor is in response to a complaint filed by the California Federation of Teachers, which contended that the commission had violated the law and was biased by conflicts of interest in its decision to terminate the accreditation of the City College of San Francisco.

"We are gratified that the department agreed with us that the process is deeply flawed, the union's president, Joshua Pechthalt, said in a prepared statement.

KPFA Up Front
Joshua Pechthalt was on this mornings Up Front in the 7:00am hour
Fast forward to the 34:00 point

Feds cite faults with CCSF accreditation panel
Will Kane, Tuesday, August 13, 2013
The commission that decided to revoke City College of San Francisco's accreditation next year did not adhere to several federal regulations when it investigated the school system, the Department of Education said in a letter to the body on Tuesday.

But a leader of the American Federation of Teachers Local 2121, which represents faculty at the school, said she thinks the accrediting commission's ruling should be overturned.
"I believe it means they need to reverse the entire decision," said Alisa Messer, an English teacher at the school and president of the teachers federation, which filed the complaint with the Department of Education in May that prompted the investigation of the accrediting commission. "When you get a letter from the Department of Education that goes into detail, noting that there were significant policies that were violated, that means something."

Now Who's Out of Compliance? Feds Cite Accreditation Commission Errors in CCSF Ruling
August 14, 2013 by KQED by Charla Bear and Jon Brooks
The Examiner had a pretty good headline this morning:"CCSF's critics get a dose of their own medicine."

Alisa Messer, spokeswoman for the faculty union, says while most instructors are committed to riding out the accreditation issues, more than 50 full-time faculty members resigned or retired last school year, a record number for the school. Dozens of part-time instructors also left, she says.

San Francisco City College accreditation crisis takes a dramatic turn
KTVU-2
Alisa Messer – Video under latest videos.

Tables turned: Department of Education finds City College's accreditors out of compliance
San Francisco Bay Guardian
City College had its accreditation revoked by the Accrediting Commission of Junior and Community Colleges this past July, and now the ACCJC is getting a taste of its own medicine -- its own existence has been threatened over its treatment of City College.

The California Federation of Teachers had a different take on the letter.  “We are gratified that the U.S. Dept. of Education agreed with us that the process was deeply flawed, and we call on the ACCJC to rescind its unprecedented decision to deny accreditation to CCSF,” wrote CFT President Joshua Pechthalt, in a press release.

Accrediting commission threatened with possible withdrawal of federal recognition

By Louis Freedberg August 13th, 2013
In an unexpected turn of events, the U.S. Department of Education is threatening to “limit, suspend or terminate” federal recognition of the accrediting commission that has threatened to shut down City College of San Francisco next July.
In a six page letter to Barbara Beno, president of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), the Department of Education said that the commission needed to take “immediate action” to correct four areas of non-compliance with federal regulations.  The letter came in response to a 275-page complaint filed by California Federation of Teachers over how the Commission handled the accreditation review of City College.

City College of San Francisco Gets a Much Needed Win in Accreditation Review
Posted by Russell Westerholm on Aug 14, 2013
The City College of San Francisco (CCSF) is set to lose its accreditation in one year unless substantial changes are met, but a new and very odd twist could change that, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
"I believe it means they need to reverse the entire decision," said Alisa Messer, an English teacher at CCSF and president of the teachers federation. "When you get a letter from the Department of Education that goes into detail, noting that there were significant policies that were violated, that means something."

Game Changer for CCSF?
By Paul Fain  August 14, 2013
City College of San Francisco’s regional accreditor is now in the same existential bind as the college, having been told by its overseer to fix several problems, pronto, or risk being stripped of power.

However, the California Federation of Teachers and other faculty unions had filed a complaint about the accreditor’s reviews of City College and other California community colleges.

CCSF's critics get a dose of their own medicine
by Andrea Koskey
The Accreditation Commission for Community and Junior Colleges turns out to have some explaining of its own to do.
In response to a complaint filed by teachers, the agency that revoked the accreditation of City College of San Francisco has been warned by the U.S. Department of Education that will lose its own accreditation in 12 months unless it reforms its operations.

"We think this means the accrediting decisions particularly around CCSF are totally in question," said Alessa Messer, president of American Federation of Teachers Local 2121. "They need to rescind the ... accreditation decision and start over."

Feds Say Community College Accreditation Commission is Out of Line
By Michael Higham on 08/14/2013
The accreditation crisis taking place at the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) took a turn in favor of campus advocates. The US Department of Education got involved, and sent the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) a notice that it is “out of compliance” with federal regulations.

Students and teachers have questioned the legitimacy of the ACCJC and its accreditation process and stated that it’s not indicative of academic performance. After complaints were filed from several groups, most notably the California Federation of Teachers, the federal government decided to officially question the ACCJC’s legitimacy.

CCSF Update: Dept of Education Says Accrediting Commission is "Out of Compliance"
by Rick Sterling‚ Aug. 14‚ 2013
On August 13, the Accreditation Group of the U.S. Department of Education issued a decision regarding complaints filed by California Federation of Teachers and others against the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC).

City College Opens for Fall While Fighting Threat of Accreditation Loss
By Molly Oleson Posted August 14, 2013
Michael Condiff remembers the first time he walked into City College of San Francisco (CCSF) —  he’d just finished a 13-year prison sentence, and it was the first time in a long time that he felt good about himself. As Condiff explains, it was the day he got a shot at a better life.

In an effort to expose what they believe to be misuse of the accreditation process, the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) 2121 union filed a lengthy complaint with the U.S. Department of Education in April. Instead of helping to improve the education of students, the groups argued that the accrediting commission diverts attention, time and resources away from the classroom to focus on arbitrary compliance issues that have little to do with education.

Commission Scrutinizing SF's City College Is Itself Being Investigated
The commission that accredits community colleges in the Western U.S. is now itself in hot water with the U.S. Department of Education over its review of City College of San Francisco. City College is not the only California school in the commission's target sights, but it's the only one to have its accreditation revoked. Reporter: Ana Tintocalis

"No Child Left Behind" Waiver Leaves Some Behind
Public News Service - CA August 13, 2013
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Eight California school districts are being given more time to comply with the federal No Child Left Behind Act, but critics say all California schools should have been given a waiver. According to Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers, the U.S. Department of Education has chosen to bypass the governor and the state superintendent, and engage in a piecemeal approach.

Education News: August 14, 2013

Head Start limiting enrollment -- Hundreds of children across the state will be shut out of preschool in September as the federal sequestration cuts to Head Start take effect. Lillian Mongeau EdSource -- 8/14/13

Charter partnership gives L.A. Unified school new name and outlook -- Parents, under 2010 trigger law, force change at 24th Street Elementary, which suffered from persistently low test scores. Stephen Ceasar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/14/13

LAUSD more security, new curriculum -- More than 600,000 Los Angeles Unified School District students returned to class Tuesday after summer break and were greeted with enhanced security measures, new disciplinary rules and expanded health services. Carla Rivera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/14/13
Walters: California higher ed resistant to change -- College administrators and instructors – particularly those in public institutions – usually profess "progressive" ideological outlooks. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/14/13

Back-to-School, But Supplies No Longer Required
by KQED News Staff and Wires | August 13, 2013
Back-to-school season has arrived, which for many families means shopping for pencils, binders, calculators and gym clothes.

SB 440: Strengthening Pathways to Four Year Degrees
By Michele Siqueiros Posted on 14 August 2013
The Campaign for College Opportunity
The key to meeting our economy’s demand for a skilled workforce lies within California’s Community Colleges. Serving over two million students annually, community colleges provide an affordable and valuable opportunity in every community across our state and serve a diverse student body.

State News: August 14, 2013

Feds Owe California Mass Transit Agencies $2 Billion -- The money has been held by the U.S. Department of Labor as it tries to ascertain if California's new pension reform law breaks federal law. Bob Moffitt Capital Public Radio -- 8/14/13

CFT in the News: August 13, 2013

Ceiling or Incentive?
August 13, 2013 By Colleen Flaherty
Faculty groups in California are divided over legislation that would set a limit on how many overtime courses full-time faculty members can teach at community colleges.

The California Federation of Teachers, a union affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers that represents both full-time faculty and adjuncts, supports the bill – and helped write it – for the same reasons.

Teachers Unions Chagrin: Waiver Process Left Them Out
Aug 12th, 2013 Hillel Aron
The two biggest statewide teachers unions — California Teachers Association (CTA) and California Federation of Teachers (CFT) — have problems with the waivers granted to eight school districts from the federal program, No Child Left Behind. The objections, however, are more about how they came about than what they mean.
“My guess is that there are probably some elements in there that we would embrace, but I think the process itself is flawed,” said CFT President Joshua Pechthalt. “Somehow, the women and men who are actually in the classrooms doing the day-to-day teaching were left out of the process of improving our schools. It’s just not going to work.”

Alumni, Veterans Struggle to Preserve City College of San Francisco
By Michael Stoll San Francisco Public Press — Aug 12 2013
Students, faculty and alumni at City College of San Francisco are grappling with the school’s loss of accreditation and its struggle to retrieve its status before it expires in the summer of 2014.

ALISA MESSER is the president of City College’s faculty union, American Federation of Teachers Local 2121. She has been working to respond to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges’ requirements for avoiding suspension of accreditation and closure. She is an English teacher at the college.

California governor signs historic bill protecting transgender students
SDGLN Staff, August 12th, 2013
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California Gov. Jerry Brown today signed the historic School Success and Opportunity Act into law, ensuring transgender youth have the opportunity to fully participate and succeed in schools across the state.

Other supporters of the bill included the ACLU, California Federation of Teachers, California Teachers Association, Public Advocates, California State PTA, Anti-Defamation League and National Association of Social Workers/California Chapter.

Turlock Now: Turlock school board to vote on raises
Posted by Marijke Rowland on August 12, 2013  
TURLOCK — The Turlock Unified School District will have a special meeting Tuesday to approve salary and benefits increases and restorations for its teachers and staff.

The packages for teachers, classified staff, Head Start and preschool employees were negotiated with the Turlock Teachers Association, California School Employees Association and Turlock Classified American Federation of Teachers.
Education News: August 13, 2013

CCSF holding annual convocation for faculty, staff
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- City College of San Francisco's annual convocation for faculty and staff to kick off the fall semester takes place Tuesday morning.

Beverly Hills principal's on-campus camp is for-profit business -- Some parents of Beverly Hills High students thought money paid to the principal's sports camp went to support the school's teams. Not so. Stephen Ceasar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/13/13

Schools don't need licensed nurses to give medications, court rules -- Schools may provide trained employees instead of licensed nurses to administer insulin injections and other medications to students, the California Supreme Court decided unanimously Monday. Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ Howard Mintz in the San Jose Mercury -- 8/13/13

California Supreme Court: Trained School Employees May Administer Insulin
By KQED News Staff and Wires August 12, 2013
SACRAMENTO — Trained school employees can administer insulin shots to diabetic students if a nurse is not available, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday.
State Board must find balance between rules and flexibiltiy -- There was an abundance of thoughtful advice Monday at a public hearing in Sacramento on the state’s new school funding and accountability system. But that good advice also was rife with conflicting views, underscoring the challenge the State Board of Education will face in writing rules for the Local Control Funding Formula that took effect in June. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 8/13/13

Obama administration presses forward on early education -- President Barack Obama has found a way to cater to his obsession with pre-K programs while the rest of his education agenda stalls: Skip Congress and spend the money anyway. Caitlin Emma Politico -- 8/13/13

Paying It Forward on Student Debt
Monica Potts  August 13, 2013
A new idea for making college affordable is attracting supporters—and detractors—in state capitals across the nation.
Next month, lawmakers will return to state capitals around the country, and as many as a dozen legislatures could consider a new proposal to tackle the growing student-debt crisis.
Deasy: ‘One of the Biggest Adjustments Ever’
Posted on August 12, 2013 by LA School Report
LA Unified opens its doors for a new school year tomorrow, and despite an especially contentious few months for LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy, he’s all optimism.  
In Part One of a two-part interview, LA School Report contributor Vanessa Romo talks with Deasy about his relationship with teachers, the challenges of pioneering the new Common Core curriculum and the possibility that district-wide test scores might fall this year.

State News: August 13, 2013

In San Francisco, Hillary Clinton calls for defense of voting rights -- Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged the Obama administration, Congress and the nation's lawyers to work together to protect Americans' voting rights, now besieged after a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Josh Richman in the San Jose Mercury

Minimum wage bill sidetracked for more negotiations -- A proposal to increase the minimum wage by $2 over five years was sidelined, at least temporarily, on Monday because it would cost the state millions of dollars. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/12/13

CFT in the News: August 12, 2013

Corporate Education Reform Goes to College: San Francisco is the “Chicago of Higher Education”
This summer few people outside of the Bay Area probably noted what was one of the most important stories about higher education in America: City College of San Francisco (CCSF) is losing its accreditation.

As the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) put it:
At no point in the accrediting commission’s so-called assessment has anyone faulted the quality of education our students receive. by Jim Miller on August 12, 2013

CFT Statement on CORE Districts Receiving No Child Left Behind Waiver
On August 6, eight California school districts received word from the U.S. Department of Education that they had been granted a waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act. California Federation of Teachers President Joshua Pechthalt issued the following statement: Published: Friday, August 9, 2013

Fixing California: Obama bribes schools to follow state law
On the cover of this week’s SD In Depth section, in the latest installment of our Fixing California series, former state Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero explains how she went from union loyalist to union enemy because she challenged labor power plays in Sacramento — especially those involving public schools.

Brown and Torlakson are reluctant to cross the California Teachers Association or the California Federation of Teachers. By U-T San Diego Editorial Board Aug. 10, 2013

Education News: August 12, 2013

Chinese for Affirmative Action advocates for CCSF
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- During an ABC7 Listens meeting, ABC7 News found out about a group of community activists who are stepping forward to advocate on behalf of City College. The school has been told its being stripped of its accreditation next summer. Carolyn Tyler

LAUSD giving principals, teachers 'live shooter' training -- Prompted by last year's massacre in Newtown, Conn., Los Angeles Unified is instructing administrators and faculty in how to keep students safe if there's a gunman on campus. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 8/12/13

With first new money in years, school labor negotiations grow complicated -- uncertainty over how schools can spend billions of new state dollars delivered under a new funding formula is generating both conflict and complication between labor and management as districts statewide seek new collective bargaining agreements. Tom Chorneau SI&A Cabinet Report -- 8/12/13

Back to school means big changes, challenges at LAUSD -- The start of classes Tuesday will launch a watershed year for Los Angeles Unified as it rolls out a new curriculum, toughens its graduation requirements and launches an innovative system for dealing with disruptive students. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 8/12/13

Common Core poses big challenge for students, big opportunity for teachers -- With an emphasis on developing verbal and analytical skills, the new Common Core standards will pose a big step up for most students. For English learners, who comprise a quarter of California’s children, it’ll seem more like a pole vault. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 8/12/13

Napa schools put laptops on the back-to-school supplies lists -- A recent entry on Dawn Rhoades’ Facebook page sums up the shift that is taking place in schools this year across California as well as other parts of the country: “Who needs No. 2 pencils anymore?” wrote the Napa resident and mother of three school-aged kids. “New requirement for entering sixth-graders is a lap-top!” Kimberly Beltran SI&A Cabinet Report -- 8/12/13

Education News: August 10-11, 2013

Possible cheating during standardized testing is investigated -- California officials find 242 schools where students posted photos of test materials online, but only 16 campuses with suspicious incidents. Three of those schools are in the L.A. area. Stephen Ceasar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/11/13

Backpack giveaway gives youths a jump on school -- Five-year-old E'vangela Rogers knew exactly what she wanted, making a beeline to snag one of the last Hello Kitty selections among the 1,200 backpacks being distributed to kids Saturday in San Francisco's Western Addition. Victoria Colliver in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 8/11/13

STAR test questions and answers posted to social media at 16 schools -- State education officials remained confident Friday that the leaking of questions from a statewide test to social media did not result in massive cheating on the exam taken last spring. Brian Charles in the Los Angeles Daily News Stephen Ceasar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/10/13

Obama signs student loan interest rate legislation into law -- As college students prepare to return to class in a few weeks, President Obama on Friday signed into law a new way of setting interest rates for federal education loans. The rates will now move with the financial markets, which means lower rates for the coming school year. Jenna Johnson in the Washington Post$ -- 8/10/13

California college students relieved after Obama signs loan bill -- News that President Obama signed a bill into law on Friday to restore lower interest rates for student loans was met with relief by many undergraduate students in California. Megan Messerly in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 8/10/13

Schools anticipate energy grants -- Inland Southern California schools could receive more than $35 million for energy-saving projects under the state formula to allocate money from last year’s Prop. 39. Rachel Uda in the Riverside Press -- 8/10/13

State News: August 12, 2013

California Legislature faces raft of bills on volatile issues -- State lawmakers, back from their summer break and starting their final month in session, have a lengthy to-do list that features such politically volatile issues as environmental rules, gun control and immigration. Melanie Mason and Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/12/13

Walters: It's 'let's make a deal' time for Darrell Steinberg in California Senate -- Darrell Steinberg will be a busy man for the next month as the central figure in what happens – or doesn't happen – on the Legislature's remaining major issues. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/12/13

Today in labor history: California school workers organize union
On Aug. 9, 1927, 10 school custodians met in Oakland, Calif., to form what was to become the 230,000-member California School Employees Association, representing school support staff throughout the state. It is now the largest such union in the country. by: Special to PeoplesWorld.org

AFT In the News: 8/9/13

SEIU, AFT join coalition to stop job discrimination vs. gays People’s World 8.8.13

Conference addresses alternatives to racial profiling, harsh school discipline Center for Public Integrity Video portions of "We can do better" conference online now … Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, was at the conference. She said her union is “moving away” from zero-tolerance discipline policies that result in removal of kids, and pushing for widespread training in proven alternatives that can resolve core problems while keeping students in school.

Education News: 8/9/13

Walters: California schools' test scores may drop again -- State schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson tried to put a positive spin on it, but the harsh reality is that academic test scores in California's public school system of 6 million students declined this year after years of apparent gains. Moreover, scores are likely to get worse when new Common Core standards are applied. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/9/13

As STAR test phases out, LA Unified students trail state average in proficiency in Math, English -- In what is likely to be the final year for the California Standardized Test, not much changed from 2012 scores. Chris Keller with Madhu Srikantha KPCC

Schrag: Those federal school waivers: It ain’t over yet -- The waivers that eight large California school districts got this week from U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan are yet another measure of the power of the federal law they tried to escape from. Peter Schrag EdSource -- 8/9/13

In annual address, Supt. Deasy tells school leaders to keep calm and teach on -- Judging by his annual address to administrators on Thursday, if there's one thing the superintendent of the nation's second-largest school district wants to see next year, it's calm. Jed Kim KPCC Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Daily News  

8/9/13 LARRY SAND  City Journal

Trigger Tremors California’s parent-empowerment law gains ground—and meets new resistance. 8 August 2013 City Journal Last week, parents in the Southern California desert city of Adelanto celebrated the opening of the first school transformed under the state’s 2010 parent-empowerment law, also known as the parent trigger. After two San Bernardino County Superior Court judges upheld their petition to take control of foundering Desert Trails Elementary School, parents selected a nonprofit charter operator to reopen the school as Desert Trails Preparatory Academy. But even as parents celebrate their accomplishments in Adelanto and elsewhere, school-reform opponents are renewing their efforts to undermine the law.

Kim Wilcox appointed ninth chancellor of UC Riverside -- Kim Wilcox, 59, a former top official at Michigan State University, is appointed at a special meeting of the UC Board of Regents. Carla Rivera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/9/13

CFT in the News: August 8, 2013

Senate leader’s online education bill draws fire -- A bill backed by Coursera, a high-flying online education company, that would extend academic credit opportunities for California public university students is likely to be put on hold, the bill author’s office says.

In a letter to Steinberg, an education coalition including the California Teachers Association, California Faculty Association and California Federation of Teachers expressed their opposition to the bill. “We believe that SB 520 as amended will lower academic standards, exacerbate the educational divide along socio-economic lines and diminish accountability within our institutions. Ultimately, we believe SB 520 would worsen the situation it attempts to address.” Robert Thompson Capitol Weekly -- 8/8/13

Education News: August 8, 2013

"CCSF: News of its Death is Greatly Exaggerated"
Want to take some good classes at a great community college? Enroll at City College San Francisco. With all the misinformation and negative news, there are more openings available than usual. If you, a friend or relative is considering it, now is a great time to enroll. Classes start August 14. by Rick Sterling‚ Aug. 08‚ 2013

City College Update, Campos Announces, and Remembering Jazzie Collins
It has now been just over a month since the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) announced its decision to terminate accreditation for City College of San Francisco, effective July 2014. Within a week of the ACCJC’s announcement, the Chancellor of the statewide community college system had temporarily suspended the locally elected Board of Trustees and imposed a special trustee with wide-ranging powers and the charge to save the College. By Rafael Mandelman, August 8, 2013

Bill to streamline Cal State University transfer process moves forward -- It may take a Pythagorean effort for many community college students to figure out which courses they need to transfer to a California State University campus. But a bill working its way through the state Assembly aims to finally eliminate the headache of lining up the exact amount of coursework required by each of the 23 CSU schools. Josh Dulaney in the Inland Daily Bulletin -- 8/8/13

California Schools Get Reprieve From No Child Left Behind
More than one million public school students in San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento and five other districts won’t have to meet federal achievement standards under the No Child Left Behind Act. The Department of Education on Tuesday issued a first-of-its-kind one-year waiver to the eight California school districts. by KQED News Staff and Wires | August 7, 2013

AM Alert: How does technology affect California students?
How does the Internet affect what California kids experience in school, from classroom learning to the hazards of cyberbullying? The answer gains importance given the technology-related standards running through the Common Core curriculum for which schools have been allocated $1 billion.

State News: August 8, 2013

Spokesman for California Assembly Speaker John Perez wears many hats -- It was the Assembly's first day back to work after summer recess, and while the Democratic leader answered questions about bills his house will vote on in coming weeks, his communications chief Steven Maviglio stood in the corner, away from the cameras. Laurel Rosenhall in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/8/13

Bill to expand California's Paid Family Leave Act Clears Committee -- Californians who miss work to care for a sick loved one outside of the immediate family could be covered under the state’s Paid Family Leave Act under a bill that’s cleared an Assembly committee. Max Pringle Capital Public Radio -- 8/8/13

Education News: August 7, 2013

Eight California districts receive historic NCLB waiver -- Eight California school districts collectively will receive the first district waiver from penalties under the No Child Left Behind law, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced Tuesday. John Fensterwald EdSource Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 8/7/13

LAUSD, Long Beach win waiver from No Child Left Behind law -- Los Angeles and Long Beach Unified, along with six other school districts, won a first-of-its kind waiver from a federal law requiring that all students be proficient in English and math by 2014. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/7/13

Proposal Heats Up to Merge City College of San Francisco
by Jamilah King, Wednesday, August 7 2013
There have been many opinions on how to deal with City College of San Francisco’s impending loss of accreditation. The college, which serves more than 90,000 students, has been beset by political woes and fiscal mismanagement. One idea that seems to be picking up steam is to merge the school with neaby San Francisco State University, creating something akin to City University of San Francisco.

San Francisco Mayor's Opportunity to Create a New City University
Robert Shireman Posted: 08/06/2013
With all of the attention on the infighting and poor management at City College of San Francisco, city residents could be excused for forgetting that San Francisco has another large public institution serving undergraduate students. Toiling quietly amid the hullabaloo has been San Francisco State University, under the leadership of its new president, Leslie Wong.

Bills Would Give In-State Tuition Rights to Veterans -- Competing bills moving through the state legislature would give military veterans who have moved to California recently the right to pay in-state tuition in the state’s colleges and universities. Max Pringle Capital Public Radio -- 8/7/13

Lodi schools to require student contract in campaign against cyberbullying -- Fed up with episodes of cyberbullying, Lodi Unified School District officials are requiring high school athletes and club members to sign a contract vowing not to post inappropriate language or photos online. Loretta Kalb in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/7/13

Senate leader’s online education bill draws fire
By Robert Thompson | 08/07/13
A bill backed by Coursera, a high-flying online education company, that would extend academic credit opportunities for California public university students is likely to be put on hold, the bill author’s office says. The Senate sent SB 520 by Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, to the Assembly in May over the opposition of teachers’ unions and higher education faculty organizations.

State News: August 7, 2013

Follow the money: A look at the massive Delta project -- Fixing the Delta is necessary, say officials, but it won’t be cheap. The costs to build and operate the Gov. Brown’s twin-tunnels plan are estimated to cost $24.54 billion over the 50 year term of the project. Where will the money come from? John Howard Capitol Weekly -- 8/7/13

CalPERS sued over long-term care insurance rate hikes -- The class-action suit was filed by a Los Angeles law firm on behalf of more than 100,000 CalPERS members who have purchased the coverage and now face big rate increases. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/7/13

Herdt: 50 years later, the story of a dream -- Fifty years ago this month, an up-and-coming labor leader in Southern California received a call instructing him to come to Washington, D.C. Something big was in the works. Timm Herdt in the Ventura Star$ -- 8/7/13

Education News: August 6, 2013

Classes Begin August 14 at City College of San Francisco; Financial Aid Opportunities Still Available for Current and New Students
By  AsianWeek Staff – August 5, 2013
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – There is a lot of good news for current and new City College of San Francisco students. The college is open, fully accredited and many classes are still available for fall 2013.  A variety of financial aid opportunities are also available for students who want to enroll this fall but may need a little extra assistance paying for fees, books, supplies and even help with the rent. Students are encouraged to register now as classes begin August 14.

L.A. teachers give their new iPads a test drive -- LAUSD instructors gather at six schools this week to train on iPads, which 31,000 students and 1,500 teachers in 47 schools will begin using this year. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ Adolfo Guzman-Lopez KPCC -- 8/6/13

State begins work revising teacher preparation based on common core -- The state’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing has approved a two-year plan for updating educator training standards – the first comprehensive review in more than a decade. Tom Chorneau SI&A Cabinet Report -- 8/6/13

Resistance greets pumped-up effort to streamline community college, CSU transfer -- When a long-awaited and much-needed bill to streamline transfer from community colleges to California State University passed the state Legislature three years ago, it had sweeping support: unanimous approval among lawmakers and a list of backers more than 80 deep. Kathryn Baron EdSource -- 8/6/13

CSULB hosts engineering week for homeless minority girls -- Maylaun is among about 30 elementary and middle-school girls who live in transitional housing for the homeless at the Century Villages at Cabrillo in Long Beach and are spending a week in the dorms at CSULB while learning about college life and engineering. Josh Dulaney in the Long Beach PT -- 8/6/13

Half of $1 trillion in federal student loan debt unpaid -- About half of the outstanding $1 trillion in federal student loan debt in the U.S. isn’t being repaid. And 1 out of 8 borrowers are defaulting on their loans despite unprecedented federal attempts to help. Libby A. Nelson Politico -- 8/6/13

UC will open its research to the public -- for free -- In just a few months, the latest University of California research will be available online for free -- no subscription required. Katy Murphy in the Contra Costa Times -- 8/6/13

The next disruptive frontier in online education: Tutoring? -- You've heard about the startups in Silicon Valley and beyond looking to upend the traditional model of exorbitantly expensive higher education. Now a Palo Alto startup is taking aim at a different segment of the education market: private tutors. Lauren Hepler Silicon Valley Business Journal -- 8/6/13

State News: August 6, 2013

Bill would limit tax credits -- The California Assembly may vote on a bill this week that could set strict performance measures for personal and business tax incentives. Christopher Arns Sacramento Business Journal -- 8/6/13

Study touting economic boon of Delta water tunnels draws criticism -- Critics swiftly attacked the study, claiming it relies on rosy water delivery scenarios that may not prove feasible in the fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Matt Weiser in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/6/13

CFT in the News: August 5, 2013

Crunch time: Deals loom as clock ticks
By Greg Lucas | 08/05/13
You name it, it’s on the table
The final weeks of the 2013 legislative session begin Monday.
May God have mercy.

--SB 520 by Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, which seeks to expand the use of college-level online courses. The measure has drawn the wrath of powerful education-labor groups, including the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers, although Gov. Brown has favored exploring the use of online courses.

Education News: August 5, 2013

An idea for City College — merge with San Francisco State
The future of City College of San Francisco remains a pressing concern for the community because of its importance to the economic, cultural and political life of the city. So important is the institution that it is inconceivable that the state would shut it down, but that is what the California Community College System Board of Governors is contemplating.

Is sun finally rising at battered CCSF?
The debacle known as City College of San Francisco appears to have entered its darkest-before-dawn phase.
How dark did it get? Last summer, the college was told it would lose its accreditation and public funding if it didn't comply with the standards every other community college in California has to follow. by Joel P. Engardio

Don’t give up on City College, register for classes now
Editorial by Juan Gonzalez, El Tecolote, August 3, 2013
City College is OPEN and ACCREDITED. These are the words posted by Interim Chancellor Thelma Scott-Skillman on the front page of the college website.
With all the recent negative publicity surrounding City College over its threatened loss of accreditation, there is growing concern that it may discourage students from returning to the college.

L.A. teachers union urged to improve training for bad teachers -- An L.A. school board member tells UTLA activists that the union must fight public perceptions that it protects bad teachers. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/5/13

Aspiring teachers do the math — and science — in summer school -- College students in a special training program must agree to teach in urban, low-performing schools for four years. Jason Song in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/5/13

Bay Area teachers get hands-on math and science experience -- This fall, when students ask Chuck Perez and Kavous Mazaheri why learning math is relevant to their success in life, the teachers will know exactly what to say. Theresa Harrington in the Contra Costa Times -- 8/5/13

UCD pays top dollar for communications chief -- UC Davis officials are making an expensive investment toward improving the college's image. The university hired Luanne Lawrence, formerly of the University of South Carolina, as associate chancellor for strategic communications earlier this year. Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/5/13

Early literacy programs receive boost from national campaign -- Galvanized by a national reading campaign, communities across California are launching innovative partnerships that are resulting in new early literacy programs in schools, libraries and even laundromats. Lillian Mongeau EdSource -- 8/5/13

Education News: August 3-4, 2013

Parent-trigger efforts in L.A. give parents control of the classroom -- As the 2013-14 school year begins this month, Southern California will be ground zero for a new experiment in how schools are run. Beau Yarbrough in the Torrance Daily Breeze -- 8/4/13

Teach for America criticized for apparent stance on education policy -- Critics say Teach for America has strayed from a core mission of helping needy urban schools, favoring efforts seen as anti-teacher union. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/4/13

UC Davis study challenges magazine's medical school rankings -- On the surface, it might seem self-serving for UC Davis School of Medicine to rip into the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings that rate it below the nation's elite primary care schools. Cynthia H. Craft in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/4/13

Teachers get sad lesson in quest for pencils -- Rachel Tevlin woke up Saturday with the high hopes of a little kid on Christmas morning. It was - at least at one big-box office supply store - Teacher Appreciation Day. Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 8/4/13

Cal State to debut online program, accept spring 2014 applications -- California State University students this fall will be able to enroll in online classes offered at other Cal State campuses, the latest move by the state’s public universities to expand online learning. The program will offer 36 fully online classes in high-demand subjects such as biology, physical geography, statistics, astronomy and business finance. Carla Rivera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/3/13

University Of California Approves Major Open Access Policy To Make Research Free -- The policy is major win for those who want to see academic research made public, rather than behind the pricy paywalls of big publishers. Gregory Ferenstein TechCrunch -- 8/3/13

Fremont school officials warn of worse overcrowding if development goes ahead -- Builders of the Patterson Ranch subdivision are expected to break ground next year, but school district officials fret that its 500 new homes will add more students than nearby schools can handle, worsening the Ardenwood neighborhood schools' already major overcrowding problem. Chris De Benedetti in the Contra Costa Times -- 8/3/13

Research Says: Actually, Where You Go To College Matters -- There are lots of questions for high school grads: Should you go for an associate degree or a bachelor's? A community college or a four-year university? Does it really matter where you go? If we're comparing top-tier schools with open-access ones, then yes. It matters a whole lot, and it has long-lasting effects. Kat Chow NPR -- 8/3/13

State News: August 5, 2013

Assembly has ambitious goals for its last six weeks -- Assembly speaker cites enterprise zone and a major sales-tax credit as huge accomplishments but says there's more to come. Marc Lifsher in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/5/13

Walters: Is California's new health plan really ready? -- California is more heavily invested in the federal Affordable Care Act than any other state because it has, by far, the nation's largest number of medically uninsured residents and has embraced the law more fully than any other state. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/5/13

Unions target Westfield malls over Prop. 13 tax benefits -- Unions that say big businesses pay too little in taxes under Prop. 13 target Westfield malls to try to make a point. Abby Sewell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/5/13

CFT in the News: August 2, 2013

Fewer feet are dragging at CCSF
In the battle to save City College of San Francisco from potential closure, the voices opposing change have been much louder than those supporting efforts to keep the institution open. But since the July 3 decision to revoke accreditation next year, more faculty and students are speaking up in support of new directions. … The California Federation of Teachers filed a 300-page complaint with the commission and the U.S. Department of Education, claiming conflicts of interest and accusing the commission of violating its own policies. by Andrea Koskey

Education News: August 2, 2013

L.A. Unified teachers ratings should be disclosed, judge rules -- The performance ratings of individual teachers in the city school district are matters of keen public interest and should be released to the Los Angeles Times, a judge ordered Thursday. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/2/13

Race to Top dollars modernize Galt school libraries, extend hours -- Last school year Galt residents held bake sales, car washes and spaghetti feeds to raise money to keep school libraries open for limited hours, most of the school year. Diana Lambert in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/2/13

State News: August 2, 2013

Capitol lobbyists make more this year; oil group tops in spending -- KP Public Affairs and Lang Hansen O'Malley Miller were neck and neck for the top two spots, with KP bringing in $2.931 million and Lang Hansen bringing in $2.928 million. Laurel Rosenhall in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/2/13

Education News: August 1, 2013

Mar wants to know economic impact of City College closure
The Board of Supervisors doesn’t have the power to save San Francisco’s City College — but that isn’t stopping them from trying. One week after board members grilled city college and mayor’s office officials over the school’s problems, Supervisor Eric Mar on Tuesday asked the board’s budget analyst to look at the college’s economic impact on the city and its residents.

Ruling spotlights hole in dismissal of troubled students from charters -- Classroom security could be deminished as a result of a recent court ruling that found charter schools are under no obligation to notify neighboring school districts of a student’s dismissal – even if the separation was the result of dangerous or threatening behavior. Tom Chorneau SI&A Cabinet Report -- 8/1/13

California committed to move forward with Common Core tests as planned -- Georgia last week became the fifth state to pull out of the nationwide efforts to create the same tests for the new Common Core standards. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 8/1/13

California State University's 'radical' plan for online courses -- This fall, for the first time, California State University students will be able to take courses offered online on any of the system's campuses -- regardless of where they attend. Katy Murphy in the San Jose Mercury  Harry Gibbons  Cap Public Radio -- 8/1/13

LAUSD steals well-known New York arts principal to lead Cortines High -- Kim Bruno, head of New York's famous LaGuardia Arts high school will be the fifth principal in five years to take the helm of Cortines high school, a combined campus that includes a large performing arts program. Mary Plummer KPCC -- 8/1/13

Tran: Local Control Funding Formula: Is there a new rulebook? -- Now that the state’s new system of funding schools has been signed into law, educators and community groups are trying to get their bearings. Samantha Tran EdSource -- 8/1/13

The Best New Argument for Affirmative Action -- According to a surprising new report from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, white students are now more overrepresented at the most selective U.S. colleges than they were in 1995. Jordan Weissmann The Atlantic -- 8/1/13

Teach For America gets $20 million boost from Walton Family Foundation -- The Walton Family Foundation announced today that it will donate $20 million to the non-profit Teach For America, the celebrated national organization that hires and trains recent college graduates to teach in rural and urban schools for two years. Jed Kim KPCC Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 8/1/13

Student loan bill wins final congressional passage, goes to Obama -- Congress took the government out of the job of setting student loan rates Wednesday when the House of Representatives passed a bill that leaves the work to markets. Renee Schoof McClatchy DC -- 8/1/13

First School to Reorganize Under Parent Trigger Law Reopens
This week, a little elementary school in Adelanto, Calif., opened its doors for the first time under new management, thanks to the so-called parent trigger law. It's the first public school in the state to do so, after two years of conflict and court battles. Expectations are running high. Reporter: Ana Tintocalis

University of California 2012 payroll up 6 percent
By Phillip Reese
The University of California paid its employees across the state $11.22 billion last year, up 6 percent from 2011, according to figures released today.
Academic pay rose by 4 percent to $4.34 billion. Pay for executives and managers rose by 7 percent to $725 million.

State News: August 1, 2013

Poll finds Californians back climate change fight, skeptical on fracking -- An overwhelming majority of Californians believe the state should act to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new poll, while residents narrowly oppose hydraulic fracturing and support construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Jeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee Paul Rogers in the Contra Costa Times -- 8/1/13

New poll shows voters give Gov. Jerry Brown high marks -- The poll from the Public Policy Institute of California found 54% of the state’s likely voters give Brown positive marks for his work as the state’s chief executive. Anthony York in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/1/13

McFadden: CalBuzz: Red States Fixin’ to Gut Progressive California Laws -- We Californians have been pretty smug about it for years now — even decades. But it all may be coming to an end. I’m talking about our laws addressing climate change, the way we treat animals, consumer protections and workplace safety — you know, all that effete left-coast stuff. Chuck McFadden CalBuzz -- 8/1/13

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