In the News Archive: October 2014


ACCJC appeal panel biased and disdainful

Beyond Chron | Oct. 24, 2014
The lawsuit by the San Francisco City Attorney against the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) starts Monday October 27. This trial is immensely important for the entire Bay Area. The educational and employment fate of tens of thousands of Bay Area residents hinge directly on the outcome. 

Top 5 issues in Tuck vs. Torlakson state superintendent race
LA School Report | Oct. 23, 2014
Dueling views offered by Marshall Tuck and Tom Torlakson in their bid for State Superintendent of Public Instruction will give voters a stark choice — in what has become a surprisingly close race leading to the Nov. 4 election. 

Union, charter school advocates spar for MHUSD seats
Morgan Hill Times | Oct. 23, 2014
Big city politics have touched down in Morgan Hill as the burgeoning nine-candidate battle for four board of education seats up for grabs in the Nov. 4 election has the teachers union and charter school advocates trying to sway the voting public in opposite directions. 

California community colleges discuss adding accreditors
San Francisco Examiner | Oct. 22, 2014
The accrediting body that voted to strip City College of San Francisco of its accreditation last year may not be the state's only community college accreditor for much longer. 

San Francisco college accreditation problems drag on
El Vaquero | Oct. 22, 2014
With Glendale College now embroiled in the accreditaion process, administrators might look to the recent problems facing San Francisco City College. 

California rivals clash on vision for K-12 leadership
Education Week | Oct. 21, 2014
The race between incumbent California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and challenger Marshall Tuck for the state's top schools spot centers largely on one policy debate: Is the state with the nation's biggest K-12 enrollment reinventing its public schools the right way and through the right power brokers?

California superintendent battle escalates — More opportunities for students — Early ed in the election
Politico | Oct. 20, 2014
Money has been pouring into the hard-fought race for Superintendent of Public Instruction in California. In just the last two weeks, wealthy supporters of challenger Marshall Tuck, a former charter school executive deeply rooted in the education reform movement, have spent more than $4.5 million. Incumbent Tom Torlakson, meanwhile, has benefitted from the prodigious resources of the California Teachers Association, which has spent more than $2 million in the same period. 

AFT goes all in on California
Dropout Nation | Oct. 20, 2014
This morning’s move by the American Federation of Teachers (with help from the National Education Association’s Golden State affiliate) to launch a digital ad campaign aimed at beating back surging support for Marshall Tuck in his bid to become California Superintendent is another sign of how the nation’s second-largest teachers’ union deploys cash to oppose systemic reform. 

California conditions favorable for Common Core implementation

EdSource | Oct. 16, 2014
With the adoption of the Common Core standards by 43 states, the nation’s schools have embarked on one of the most ambitious reform strategies in the post-World War II era. 

Jerry Brown is getting too much credit for fixing California

Vox | Oct. 16, 2014
It's not too difficult to explain why the Republican candidate California governor, Neel Kashkari, is pulling desperate stunts like running an ad equating incumbent Governor Jerry Brown's education policies with letting a child drown in a pool. Kashkari's running 20 points behind, and a poll last month found that only 25 percent of likely voters could correctly identify him as the Republican candidate. 

California's Prop 45: Sticking it to "the Man" or to the people?
JD Supra Advisor | Oct. 14, 2014
Continuing our series covering the various measures Californians will see on the 2014 midterm election ballot, we now turn to Proposition 45, or the Public Notice Required for Insurance Company Rates Initiative. 

Decision 2014: Marshall Tuck and education
KUSI News | Oct. 13, 2014
Education is always near the top of concerns among voters. Though California passes school bonds, and even increases taxes for schools, California remains near the bottom in education. 

Outside groups stock up for California schools chief race
Sacramento Bee | Oct. 10, 2014
Independent expenditure committees have set aside almost $5.5 million in the past week for the final stage of California’s hotly contested superintendent of public instruction race, an ideologically charged battle that has pitted incumbent Tom Torlakson against former schools executive Marshall Tuck over teacher job protections. 

Once-courteous 15th Assembly campaign turns negative
Berkeleyside | Oct. 10, 2014
The two candidates in a competitive state Assembly race had the chance to woo Berkeley voters at a debate hosted by the League of Women Voters at Berkeley City College on Tuesday. 

Democrats eye 2016 for tax extension vote
Sacramento Bee | Oct. 10, 2014
As Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan lobbied for a school bond near the end of this year’s legislative session, she was asked at a Senate committee hearing why the measure could not wait two years, for the November 2016 ballot. 

Race for Assembly seat draws public debate between candidates
The Daily Californian | Oct. 8, 2014
About 200 students and community members gathered Tuesday at Berkeley City College’s auditorium for the Assembly District 15 debate between Democratic candidates Elizabeth Echols and Tony Thurmond. 

Education groups withhold support of rainy day fund
EdSource | Oct. 7, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown won’t have key education groups helping him make the case to voters for a bigger and more restrictive state rainy day fund. The most he can count on is that they won’t actively campaign against it. 

Campaign donations reach record levels in Berkeley; beverage companies donate $1.4M to defeat soda tax
Berkeleyside | Oct. 7, 2014
The beverage industry in recent days contributed another $600,000 to its fight to defeat Measure D, a proposed tax in Berkeley on sugary beverages, bringing the amount it has given so far to $1.4 million. 

Strong-mayor campaign raises large donations from Sacramento and beyond
Sacramento Bee | Oct. 7, 2014
The campaign pushing stronger powers for Sacramento mayors is getting an assist from some wealthy public figures – in Sacramento and beyond. 

Props 31, 32 and 40 would make various government, budget modifications
San Diego Newsroom | Oct. 7, 2014 
Propositions 31, 32 and 40 deal with separate areas of government and budget modifications, both locally and statewide. 

CA Dems and public schools want tax increase extended
Breitbart News | Oct. 7, 2014
California Democrats and public school advocates are eyeing the possibility of extending tax increases that were temporarily set into place in 2012, reports the Sacramento Bee. 

Assembly race: Echols, Thurmond to debate in Berkeley
Berkeleyside | Oct. 6, 2014
One of the most hotly contested seats in the Nov. 4 election is the race for Assembly District 15. Nancy Skinner, who has held the seat for six years, is termed out of office and is stepping down.

Teachers groups endorse Eggman for Assembly
The Record | Oct. 3, 2014
Two major statewide teachers’ groups have endorsed Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, in her bid for re-election to the 13th Assembly District, her campaign announced. 

Silicon Valley breeding nationwide schools-for-profit scheme
People’s World | Oct. 2, 2014
Nearly every metropolitan area these days has its own wealthy promoters of education "reform." Little Rock has the Waltons, Seattle has Bill and Melinda Gates, Newark has Mark Zuckerberg, and Buffalo has John Oishei, who made his millions selling windshield wipers.

Joshua Pechthalt: We can do better when it comes to 'willful defiance' reform
San Jose Mercury News | Oct. 1, 2014
Sometimes a symbolic gesture is good enough. But when it comes to our children and their future, we need more than symbolism from our elected leaders in Sacramento.

California’s willful defiance law limits suspensions, expulsions for backtalking students
CBS Sacramento | Sept. 30, 2014
A new state law is stirring controversy and raising questions about how to discipline kids who misbehave in school.

School Superintendent race is referendum on teachers unions
Fox & Hounds | Sept. 30, 2014
While the battle for Superintendent of Public Instruction between two Democrats is drawing attention because it is the most hotly contested statewide political race, in the end the contest may not so much depend on voters feelings about the candidates as how they feel about the power wielded by teachers unions.



The war on teacher tenure

Time | Oct. 23, 2014
On a warm day in early June, a Los Angeles County trial-court judge, Rolf M. Treu, pink-cheeked beneath a trim white beard, dropped a bombshell on the American public-school system. Ruling in Vergara v. California, Treu struck down five decades-old California laws governing teacher tenure and other job protections on the grounds that they violate the state’s constitution.

Torlakson or Tuck? Race for state school chief heats up
KCRA | Oct. 23, 2014
California has more than 6 million students enrolled in public schools, but when it comes to reading and math, the Golden State gets failing grades.

Schools warned on legalities of anti-bullying
EdSource | Oct. 23, 2014
Citing an “ever-increasing” number of complaints about the bullying of students with disabilities, the federal government issued a letter this week reminding schools of their legal responsibility to stop such bullying or risk violating federal anti-discrimination laws.

California Teachers of the Year
Imperial Valley News | Oct. 22, 2014
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today named five outstanding educators as the 2015 California Teachers of the Year, one of whom he nominated as California's National Teacher of the Year.

States asked to lead on universal preschool
EdSource | Oct. 22, 2014
President Obama’s call for universal preschool appears to have stalled in Washington due to political gridlock, but administration officials are hoping that states like California will pick up the slack.

Bonds should not pay for iPad curriculum, new L.A. Unified head says
LA Times | Oct. 22, 2014
Newly installed Los Angeles schools Supt. Ramon Cortines said he opposes using construction bond money to pay for curriculum on student computers, raising new questions about the future of the system's controversial $1.3-billion technology project.

Why 10 candidates are fighting to be powerless CCSF trustees
SF Gate | Oct. 22, 2014
Some people run for mayor. Some run for governor. Whatever the race, candidates raise money for two reasons: to win and make a difference.

Turning the spotlight on education
KCRW | Oct. 21, 2014
A surprise for California voters: the hottest race in next month’s statewide election is for Superintendent of Public Instruction, a nonpartisan office with limited powers. Incumbent Tom Torlakson and challenger Marshall Tuck embody both sides of the national conflict over public education—which has made for a close race. We’ll talk to them both about teacher tenure, standardized testing, and John Deasy, former Superintendent of the LAUSD.

Education Secretary Duncan talks tech with L.A. Unified's Cortines
LA Times | Oct. 21, 2014
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, in a brief visit to Los Angeles on Tuesday, met with newly installed L.A. Unified Supt. Ramon C. Cortines to talk about local technology problems and the state of local schools.

Report urges revamping student testing
EdSource | Oct. 21, 2014
With a nod to California, a new report suggests overhauling how school and student success is measured in the United States.

City College of San Francisco trial approaches
Capital & Main | Oct. 20, 2014
Take the state law on fair competition. Add the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges‘ actions to shut down City College of San Francisco (CCSF). What will these ingredients amount to in a court of law?

John A. Tures: How 'Vergara' might backfire
Columbus Ledger-Inquirer | Oct. 18, 2014
Republicans no doubt cheered when the Vergara v. California decision was handed down, axing teacher tenure. And they'll no doubt be pleased by former CNN Anchor Campbell Brown's attack on teacher tenure, with her education reform group called the "Partnership for Educational Justice."

John Deasy resigns; Ramon Cortines named interim head of L.A. schools

LA Times | Oct. 16, 2014
The Los Angeles Unified school board on Thursday officially accepted the resignation of Supt. John Deasy and voted to appoint his predecessor, Ramon Cortines, to fill the post on an interim basis.

LAUSD regrouping after Deasy's departure
LA Times | Oct. 16, 2014
The end of Supt. John Deasy's dynamic and controversial 3 1/2 year reign over public schools in Los Angeles leaves school district leaders with the daunting task of mending broken relationships with employees, especially teachers, while stoking a continued upswing in student achievement.

How the iPad helped bring down the Los Angeles schools chief
Time | Oct. 16, 2014
For all that an iPad might be able to offer a growing mind, the device is missing a component many students would consider essential for coursework: a keyboard. A failure to recognize the importance of that omission is just one of many things that went wrong when the head of the Los Angeles public schools embarked on a plan in 2013 to get iPads in the hands of all 650,000 students in the system.

State ranks first in after-school programs
EdSource | Oct. 16, 2014
In a national ranking, California is at the top in providing quality after-school programs based on the percentage of students involved, parent satisfaction and other factors, according to a survey released Thursday.

California parents fighting Common Core math
Education Dive | Oct. 16, 2014
California parents are pushing against the Common Core math benchmarks, fearful that slow pacing will keep students out of calculus classes that they consider a prerequisite for competitive college applications.

Superintendent Tom Torlakson: California ranked #1 in after school programs
Imperial Valley News | Oct. 16, 2014
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that California leads the nation in after school programs, placing first among all states in a national survey released today by the Afterschool Alliance.

Ebola: some schools shut down; others screening for virus
Education Week | Oct. 15, 2014
Districts in Solon, Ohio, and Belton, Texas, closed some schools this week in response to news that a nurse who was recently diagnosed with the Ebola virus flew on a commercial airplane while she may have been showing symptoms, the Washington Post reports.

Torlakson-Tuck contest is just one front in war over California public education
Sacramento Bee | Oct. 15, 2014
Even at a superficial level, the contest between two Democrats for the supposedly nonpartisan office of state superintendent of schools is interesting.

NYSUT allowed to intervene in tenure case
The Legislative Gazette | Oct. 14, 2014
State Supreme Court Justice Philip Minardo has granted a motion by the New York State United Teachers to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the state's tenure law.

Antonio Villaraigosa to join candidate for California superintendent at Sherman Oaks event
LA Daily News | Oct. 14, 2014
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is scheduled to join state superintendent of public instruction candidate Marshall Tuck in Sherman Oaks today for a news conference about having a more equitable education system in California.

City College of San Francisco speakers resist the Accreditation committee
Talon Marks | Oct. 14, 2014
City College of San Francisco trustee Rafael Mandelman believes if something is wrong in the world, someone has to stand up and say enough.

City College of San Francisco Accreditation
SF Gate | Oct. 14, 2014
With nearly 80,000 students, City College of San Francisco is the largest public school in California, and one of the largest in the country.

Kashkari shocker: anti-Brown ad shows drowning boy
SF Gate | Oct. 13, 2014
With a new TV ad that depicts a drowning boy, Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari aims to make the case that Gov. Jerry Brown has “betrayed” California children.

Petaluma teachers’ union to protest stall in contract talks
Santa Rosa Press Democrat | Oct. 13, 2014
As a standoff between the Petaluma teachers’ union and the Petaluma City Schools district over pay raises and other contract changes drags into its third month, teachers are teaming up with parents to call for the district to resume negotiations on the terms they have requested.

Voices, Navigator charters appeal to the county
Morgan Hill Times | Oct. 13, 2014
Two charter school organizations still hoping to open elementary schools in Morgan Hill by fall 2015 will try their luck at the county level. Appeal proceedings for charter petitions submitted by San Jose-based Voices College-Bound Language Academy and Gilroy-based Navigator Schools kick off with a 5 p.m. Oct. 15 public hearing inside the Santa Clara County Office of Education.

Four leaders to improve San Francisco City College
SF Gate | Oct. 12, 2014
It’s one of the strangest elections on record for San Francisco. Ten candidates are vying for four seats on the City College Board of Trustees, who haven’t met in over a year while outside educators run the troubled institution.

Superintendent candidates Torlakson, Tuck offer distinct views
SF Gate | Oct. 10, 2014
They’re both Democrats — that about sums up the similarities between the two candidates running to be the state’s top schools official on the Nov. 4 ballot.

ACCJC dismissal rebuffed, City College goes to trial for its life in 18 days
San Francisco Bay Guardian | Oct. 9, 2014
The courtroom saga between City College of San Francisco and its accreditors reached a new milestone yesterday, as Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow rejected the accreditors' motion to dimiss the City Attorney's Office's case against the decision to close the college, yet again.

Teacher preparation enrollments plummet
EdSource | Oct. 9, 2014
Enrollments in teacher preparation programs in California are continuing to decline at a precipitous rate, according to new figures from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Taxpayer funds are lifeline for more than 100 for-profit schools
The Center for Investigative Reporting | Oct. 9, 2014
More than 100 for-profit colleges are so dependent on taxpayer money that they would be violating a law designed to prevent profiteering if not for a loophole that excludes GI Bill funds and Department of Defense tuition assistance to active duty military.

Event will address common core concerns plaguing district
Turlock Journal | Oct. 9, 2014
The state’s recent implementation of Common Core State Standards has left many stakeholders within Turlock Unified School District with a number of unanswered questions and reasonable distress.

EdSource Report: Preparing effective teachers
EdSource | Oct. 8, 2014
The crucial challenges of recruiting, preparing and retaining teachers has gotten short shrift in the reform debates over the last few years, despite the fact that effective teachers will be crucial to the success of a range of reforms currently being implemented in California schools, such as the Common Core standards.

Cancer concerns raised over pesticides found in air
The Californian | Oct. 8, 2014
After much delay, a new round of air sampling data released by state officials last month shows that hazardous pesticides continue to be found in the air of the state’s agricultural regions, including at cancer-risk levels in Salinas and Watsonville.

Tom Torlakson versus the corporate education reform machine
San Diego Free Press | Oct. 6, 2014
This fall in San Diego the Peters vs. DeMaio and Kim vs. Cate showdowns are getting all the attention, but my pick for the most important race on the ballot is one that nobody is taking note of at the statewide level—and that’s a problem. The race in question is for . . . (wait for it) . . . State Superintendent of Public Instruction!

What’s wrong with the Vergara ruling
EdSource | Oct. 5, 2014
Nearly two decades ago, when I was superintendent in the Long Beach Unified School District, the superintendent in nearby Palos Verdes asked me if he could send some of his teachers to our workshops to help them improve their skills in teaching kids how to read.

California state superintendent of public instruction: Torlakson or Tuck?
San Jose Mercury News | Oct. 5, 2014
The election for state schools chief is not ordinarily a page-turner, but the high-stakes battle over teacher tenure is making a tight contest of November's race between well-known incumbent Tom Torlakson and newcomer challenger Marshall Tuck.

Anti-tenure lawsuit filed in New York
Heartland | Oct. 3, 2014
Teacher quality is the most important in-school factor in students’ education, the National Council on Teacher Quality says.

Campbell Brown: teacher tenure must end
Washington Free Beacon | Oct. 2, 2014
The first grader stood at the front of the classroom, the rest of his class looking on, laughing, as he scratched “Um” on the blackboard over and over.

Dems for Public Ed’ releases poll showing overwhelming support for public schools
Democrats for Public Education | Oct. 2, 2014
Today, Democrats For Public Education (DPE) released the results of a national voter survey recently commissioned on public schools and public education. Conducted by Harstad Strategic Research – a Colorado-based firm which worked on President Barack Obama’s 2008 election and 2012 re-election – this poll shows how voters back public education in large numbers.

Brown split on student attendance data bills
Cabinet Report | Oct. 2, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday vetoed legislation that would have required the state to collect and track student attendance data but he did sign two other measures in a package of related bills from Attorney General Kamala Harris.

L.A. school board authorizes talks on departure agreement with Deasy
LA Times | Oct. 1, 2014
The Los Angeles Board of Education has authorized its attorneys to discuss terms of a possible departure agreement with schools Supt. John Deasy, The Times has learned.

Gov. Brown acts on student-related bills
EdSource | Oct. 1, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed bills to mandate kindergarten and tinker with aspects of the state’s new school funding formula, and he signed bills providing more protections for student privacy as he rushed to review a sea of bills this week to meet the Sept. 30 deadline for acting on legislation.

Dan Walters Daily: California needs a new higher education plan
Sacramento Bee | Oct. 1, 2014
As the state’s three systems of public higher education converge, California needs to revisit its master plan, Dan says.


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