In the News Archive: October 2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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