In the News Archive: January 2014


California students challenge teacher employment rules in lawsuit
Reuters | January 27, 2014
A group of nine California students will challenge employment rules they complain force public schools in the most populous U.S. state to retain low performing teachers, as opening arguments kick off on Monday in a lawsuit over education policy.

California students sue state over teacher-protection laws
AlJazeera America | January 27, 2014
Nine California public school students sponsored by an advocacy group are suing the state over its laws on teacher tenure, seniority and other protections that the plaintiffs say keep bad educators in classrooms.

High-Profile California Lawsuit on Teacher Protections Begins
Education Week | January 27, 2014
A controversial and potentially precedent-setting trial begins in Los Angeles Superior Court this week, with the plaintiffs essentially looking to overturn three of the teachers' unions holy grails: seniority, tenure, and dismissal procedures.

Calif. Students File Suit To Hold Union-Backed, Tenured Teachers More Accountable
CBS Sacramento | January 26, 2014
Nine California public school students are suing the state over its laws on teacher tenure, seniority and other protections that the plaintiffs say keep bad educators in classrooms.

Trial to challenge job protections for California teachers
89.3 KPCC (Public Radio BLOG) | January 24, 2014
The major players in California public education will face off in an unusual trial ... And the California Teachers Association is paying for lawyers on the ... 

Vergara trial set to begin: major test for CA teachers | January 24, 2014
Teachers' Jobs vs Students' Rights - Vergara Trial ... state, the California Teachers Association (CTA) and the California Federation of Teachers (CFT). 

Declaring war on teachers’ rights won’t improve children’s access to a sound education 
EdSource | January 22, 2014
Last year a group calling itself Students Matter filed a lawsuit, Vergara v. the State of California. The lawsuit challenges a number of labor protections for California’s teachers, including due process rights for dismissals and seniority rights during layoffs. 

Rapid Response: Gov. Jerry Brown's State of the State address 
The Sacramento Bee | January 22, 2014 
Here are some reactions to Gov. Jerry Brown's State of the State address. 

LAKE ELSINORE: Melendez revives bill to prevent student deaths 
Riverside Press-Enterprise | January 13, 2014 
An Inland lawmaker plans to revive a campaign to place defibrillators in California’s 10,000 public schools to aid those whose heart stops on campus. 

Brown vows to start debate over teacher pensions
Education Week | January 13, 2014
In Gov. Jerry Brown's promise to start paying off California's massive liabilities, the largest single unfunded debt will not be seeing any additional pay-down in the coming fiscal year.

Gov inks ed budget bonanza

The Porterville Recorder | January 10, 2014 
Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed budget released Thursday will provide an infusion of $10 billion in new Proposition 98 funding for education this year.

City College of San Francisco to remain accredited pending trial

Los Angeles Times | January 2, 2014 
A private commission cannot revoke the accreditation of City College of San Francisco until a trial is held to determine if the action is lawful, a judge ruled Thursday. “This is a tremendous win for every community college student in the state,” said Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers. 

Education in the News

Critics call for more oversight of California accreditation panel

Los Angeles Times | January 27
In the last year, a little-known panel of educators has been denounced by state lawmakers, sued by San Francisco's city attorney and faulted by the federal government for violating its own policies

What should schools spend money on? They’re asking you 
The Modesto Bee | January 23, 2014 
Over the next few months, districts will be seeking your opinion on how schools should spend their money. The extra taxes you pay under Proposition 30 require community input in budgeting.

California's higher education leaders pledge more cooperation 
The Los Angeles Times | January 22, 2014 
The leaders of California's three public higher education systems Wednesday pledged more cooperation, particularly in transferring students, while Gov.Jerry Brown urged them to develop more innovative collaborations.

CCSF enrollment drop is less than expected 
San Francisco Examiner | January 22, 2014 
More than a week after the beginning of the spring semester, the drop in enrollment at embattled City College of San Francisco appears less dramatic than originally expected.

Education a focus in State of the State 
Orange County Register | January 22, 2014 
Orange County education officials praised Gov. Jerry Brown’s emphasis on local oversight during the State of the State address on Wednesday morning.

Denair district, union reach deal; contract will end fears of takeover 
Modesto Bee | January 21, 2014 
Denair Unified School District and its teachers have reached a deal, ending fears of a state takeover, district and union spokesmen said Tuesday.

Families get a lesson in applying for college assistance 
Los Angeles Times | January 20, 2014 
Ngoctram Tran stuffed the things she hoped would unlock thousands of dollars toward her daughter's college education inside a plastic bag: her driver's license, Social Security cards, bank statements and W-2s.

Unions focus of LBUSD agenda 
Orange County Register | January 20, 2014 
Public hearings on the negotiations between the Long Beach Unified School District and two branches of the employees' union will be heard at the school board meeting today.

A War on Poverty, or on the Poor? 
Huffington Post | January 19, 2014 
What does today's war on poverty look like? It's waged by people like Maria Shriver, who this week called attention to a human tragedy: the 42 million women and 28 million children in America who either live in poverty or are on the brink of it. And by Mackenzie Childers, a Head Start teacher in Kanawha County, W.Va., who last week brought food to 75 students who missed school -- and school meals -- because of the community's contaminated water supply, knowing that many of them would otherwise go hungry. Childers teaches at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, and, as the country celebrates Dr. King's life and legacy, she shows that his ideals endure.

Alpine teachers moving toward strike 
U-T San Diego | January 19, 2014 
Schools in the rustic mountain community of Alpine are facing their toughest times in memory.

Everything you need to know about Common Core — Ravitch 
The Washington Post | January 18, 2014 
Diane Ravitch, the education historian who has become the leader of the movement against corporate-influenced school reform, gave this speech to the Modern Language Association on Jan. 11 about the past, present and future of the Common Core State Standards.

Federal Spending Plan Aims to Ease 'Sequester' Pain 
Education Week | January 17, 2014 
The massive spending bill passed by Congress and sent to President Barack Obama this week aims to largely restore federal aid for most schools after the biggest cuts to K-12 funding in history, while including a more than $1 billion down payment on the Obama administration’s proposal to ramp up existing early-childhood programs.

Obama encourages economic diversity in higher education 
Los Angeles Times | January 17, 2014 
More than 100 colleges and universities, including several in California, promised Thursday to try to attract more low-income students by strengthening relationships with high schools and community colleges, increasing access to advisors and offering more remedial programs.

L.A. community colleges see benefit in Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget 
Los Angeles Daily News | January 17, 2014 
The nation’s largest community college district may soon get its first financial boost since the recession, with millions for new classes, tutoring and student support.

Big changes to California's school-funding rules are approved 
Los Angeles Times | January 16, 2014 
State education officials pushed forward sweeping changes to public school funding Thursday, approving rules to give more money to needy students and more power to local educators to decide how to use the dollars.

Obama urges action on expanding college access | January 16, 2014
President Barack Obama says the U.S. still has a long way to go to open the door to college for low-income Americans.

In Strong Common-Core Endorsement, NEA and Firm Unveil Curricula by 'Master Teachers'
Education Week | January 15, 2014
The National Education Association and the for-profit firm BetterLesson today unveiled a jointly designed, $7 million free platform with more than 3,000 lessons aligned to the Common Core State Standards—a move that comes concurrent with NEA's strongest endorsement yet for the standards.

Long Beach college tests out two-tiered tuition
Orange County Register | January 15, 2014
For 20-year-old Brianna Markley, the decision to enroll in a Long Beach City College course that cost more than four times its normal price tag came down to the lesser of two evils.

Concerns raised over how funds for higher-needs kids will be used
Modesto Bee | January 15, 2014
Parents will converge on the Capitol today to rally for more stringent rules tying education funding to direct services for children.

Napolitano sees Brown’s budget plan for UC as a ‘good starting point’
Sacramento Bee | January 15, 2014
University of California president Janet Napolitano on Wednesday called Gov. Jerry Brown’s recent budget outline a “good starting point” for higher education funding in California.


College Summit Previews For Obama Administration Its New College Access And Success Apps For Low-Income Students
Sacramento Bee | January 15, 2014
Today at the White House and the U.S. Department of Education's Education Datapalooza, College Summit showcased its new suite of 19 online and mobile apps developed to help low-income students and their families navigate the college application process. College Summit students trained educators and counselors to use the apps at the event, which featured U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park and Assistant to the President Cecilia Munoz. Education Datapalooza was organized by the Obama Administration to spur innovators to build products, services and apps to advance post-secondary education.

New Advocacy Group Seeks to Expose Corporate Ties to Ed. Department
Education Week | January 14, 2014
A new advocacy group, Integrity in Education , has filed Freedom of Information Act requests to expose connections between the U.S. Department of Education officials and for-profit education companies.

LAUSD moves forward with second phase of iPad rollout
Los Angeles Daily News | January 14, 2014
Amid scrutiny over Los Angeles Unified School District’s $1 billion iPad program, board members moved Tuesday to put more devices into the hands of thousands of students.

Funding boost of nearly $1 billion proposed for California's community colleges
Contra Costa Times | January 14, 2014
A proposal to increase funding for California community colleges by nearly $1 billion has administrators doing the happy dance after Gov. Jerry Brown made the announcement as part of his budget last week.

CSU prepares to move forward under Governor Jerry Brown’s budget
Los Angeles Daily News | January 13, 2014
After years of severe budget cuts, Cal State University officials are pleased with a second-consecutive year of modest increases proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown — though his plan fell far below what they had requested.

Arne Duncan: School Expectations Are Too Low in the United States
U.S. News & World Report | January 14, 2014
Today's parent advocates do not limit themselves to coaching soccer teams and organizing bake sales as a way to get involved in their students' schools. But parents, educators and policymakers alike need to do more to "walk the walk" in working to close achievement gaps and improve education in the United States, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told an audience of parent leaders Monday.

CCSF to hold public forums on education master plan
San Francisco Examiner | January 14, 2014
A series of public strategy sessions and open forums will be held at City College of San Francisco campuses in coming weeks to offer input about the school’s education master plan.

Weingarten slams teacher evaluation by student test scores
Washington Post | January 13, 2014
Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, the country’s second largest teachers union, has been a supporter of the Common Core State Standards for a long time but she has expressed concern in the last year over the way the standards are being implemented, saying that the rollout was “far worse” than the website. Last April she called for a moratorium on high-stakes Common Core tests, and she made a call in November with early childhood education expert Nancy Carlsson-Paige for education officials to convene a task force to review the “appropriateness and the implementation of the Common Core standards for young learners … and recommend developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive guidelines for supporting young children’s optimal learning.”

The Global Search for Education: The World Test?
Huffington Post | January 13, 2014
The Program of International Student Assessment (PISA) is an exam given every three years to 15 year olds around the world in reading, math and science. In the recent 2012 test, 65 countries and education systems participated. While the US did not perform well, impressive PISA gains were made in low-performing countries, such as Qatar and Kazakhstan. Some higher performing nations, such as Singapore, Poland, Germany and Italy, also made significant advances. PISA results are often used by governments around the world to justify decisions they wish to take on education policy. But should PISA be allowed to become the conclusive world exam for our kids? Today in The Global Search for Education, I have asked Pak Tee Ng, Tony Wagner and Randi Weingarten to share their perspectives.

Limits placed on community college fee waivers
Sacramento Bee | January 13, 2014
The governing board that sets policies for California's 112 community colleges has approved new eligibility requirements for a popular financial aid program.

Feds issue guidelines against bias in school discipline
Los Angeles Times | January 12, 2014
Federal officials kicked up their campaign against discriminatory school discipline policies last week, issuing first-ever guidelines for school districts on how to avoid racial disparities in student punishment.


L.A. Unified surveys prices others pay for iPads, similar devices
Los Angeles Times | January 12, 2014
The Los Angeles Unified School District is conducting a survey to determine what other districts pay for technology just as the Board of Education is scheduled to vote Tuesday on the next phase of a $1-billion program to provide computers to every student.


Education funds raise concerns in Fresno-Clovis area
Fresno Bee | January 11, 2014
After months of waiting for directions from the state, California school districts soon will get guidance on how to use millions of new state dollars for low-income kids and English learners. But concerned civil rights groups say that while the state's proposed rules are well-intentioned, they may be too little, too late.


How the Rise of Women in Labor Could Save the Movement
The Nation | January 10, 2014
“While birthing ROC I have birthed two children,” Saru Jayaraman, co-founder and co-director of the restaurant worker organizing group ROC United, told me over the phone. She was talking over the yells and laughter of her young daughter, riding in a car with her between meetings. “I’ve been really thinking about work/life balance, and I want for myself the same things I want for the restaurant workers. Our two priority issues, paid sick days and the minimum wage, are framed as gender justice issues.”


Teaching and Learning Over Testing
Huffington Post | January 10, 2014
I'm often asked how I can be in favor of the Common Core State Standards while opposing the standardized-testing fixation in education and other failed market-based education strategies. The question is as revealing as the answer; unfortunately, the standards have come to be associated with testing rather than the deeper learning they were intended to promote.


Students and faculty blindsided by for-profit school's closure
Los Angeles Times | January 9, 2014
Hundreds of students and faculty at a financially troubled South Gate trade school were left angry and unsure of their fate Thursday, after the school abruptly closed its doors and federal officials said students would no longer be eligible for financial aid.


Public Sector Unions Win When They Preach 'Tax the Rich'
Labor Notes | January 2, 2014
Washington’s much-hyped federal budget deal offers little relief for public employees—or the rest of us who drive on city streets, send our kids to school, or rely on any of a thousand other public services.


California Board of Education to vote on new spending template
KPCC | January 2, 2014
The California Board of Education will vote this month on proposed guidelines for school districts to receive extra funding next fiscal year for disadvantaged students.

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