In Today's News archive: September 2013

CFT in the News: September 27, 2013

L.A. skyscraper deal raises tax questions
Activists accuse real estate giant Brookfield of using a loophole to avoid property reassessments under Proposition 13.
By Roger Vincent September 26, 2013
Provisions of California's landmark Proposition 13 property tax measure are stoking ire again as reform activists say a high-profile commercial property deal is being structured to avoid tax increases by taking advantage of a loophole.

The union is one of several members of the ReFund LA Coalition. Other members include the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, the California Federation of Teachers and People Organized for Westside Renewal.

Education in the News: September 27, 2013

Brown vetoes bill to add more accountability on new school funding -- In a signal to school officials that the Brown administration is unlikely to burden districts with additional compliance requirements tied to the new Local Control Funding Formula, the governor on Thursday vetoed legislation that would have conditioned the funds with new reporting and tracking mandates of English learners. Kimberly Beltran SI&A Cabinet Report -- 9/27/13

Commission considers performance tests for administrators in training -- Five years ago, California became the first state to mandate that all candidates for becoming a teacher demonstrate that they have the skills needed for the classroom. Soon, it will be aspiring administrators’ turn for a performance assessment. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 9/27/13

L.A. Unified reports 71 iPads are missing -- The lost iPads are from a trial program last year, the district says. L.A. Unified officials say security is being tightened and that student hacking is also being addressed. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/27/13

San Francisco schools gambit on green guru pays off -- There were more than a few skeptics when San Francisco city officials foisted an environmental guru on the school district five years ago. Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/27/13

Diane Ravitch Rebukes Education Activists' 'Reign Of Error'
by NPR Staff | September 27, 2013
Diane Ravitch, a former assistant secretary of education, spent years advocating for an overhaul of the American education system. She supported the No Child Left Behind Act, the charter school movement and standardized testing.

State News: September 27, 2013

California state auditor sounds warning on prison realignment -- California's woefully underfunded teachers' retirement system, the state's swelling long-term health care costs for government retirees and its deteriorating roads, bridges and other infrastructure aren't the only items on the list of "high-risk" issues noted in a new report issued Thursday morning. Jon Ortiz in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/26/13

Teachers union, SEIU open wallets to California Republican Party -- One of the reasons Republicans elected Jim Brulte to be chairman of the California Republican Party earlier this year was their faith, among other things, in his ability to raise money. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/26/13

CFT in the News: September 26, 2013

Fight to save City College grows teeth and bites back
Saving City College of San Francisco became a bigger battle yesterday when the California Federation of Teachers announced a lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court to keep CCSF open. By Janina Glasov 09.24.13 SFBG

Teachers' unions file suit seeking to stop loss of CCSF accreditation
by Bay City News
A lawsuit was filed today by two teachers' unions on behalf of City College of San Francisco seeking a court injunction to prevent the school from losing its accreditation.
Representatives from the California Federation of Teachers and American Federation of Teachers Local 2121 gathered at City Hall this afternoon to announce the lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court against the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

Stop Union Busting, Concession Bargaining, Retaliation By BART-Statement Of San Francisco
by San Francisco Labor Council Tuesday Sep 24th, 2013
San Francisco Labor Council Resolution In Solidarity With Bay Area Transit Workers
Resolution in Solidarity with Bay Area Transit Workers
Alisa Messer, AFT 2121

Education in the News: September 26, 2013

Who pays if L.A. Unified students lose or break iPads? -- L.A. Unified board grapples with the question of whether to force parents to pay for damaged or lost iPads. It's uncertain whether responsibility was made clear to all parents. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/26/13

Tech panel calls for new teacher training to deliver digital instruction -- To make sure no California child is left off-line, all teachers must be specially trained to deliver technology instruction and the state also needs to be a dedicated leader to oversee implementation of big picture strategies, says a panel of experts convened to help transition K-12 classrooms into true 21st century learning environments. Kimberly Beltran SI&A Cabinet Report -- 9/26/13

Children’s advocates focus on raising money through the ballot box -- In the face of federal gridlock and state budget shortages, veteran campaigners are holding an all-day conference in Oakland on Friday to teach advocates a potentially valuable skill: how to go directly to voters to raise public money for children’s programs. Lillian Mongeau EdSource -- 9/26/13

The Giving State: Making Science Elementary
We talk to a chemist from San Jose who teaches science to elementary school kids. It's the latest installment of our occasional series on volunteers in California, called "The Giving State."

State News: September 26, 2013

Brown says court exceeded authority in blocking out-of-state prison transfers -- When a federal court gave California another four weeks to reduce its prison population, Gov. Jerry Brown was furious — not because of the extension, but because the court prohibited the state from transferring inmates to out-of-state private prisons in the meantime. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/26/13

Voters support legal pot, prison fixes, conserving water -- Voters are firm in their opinions. Except when they're not. Consider that one of the big takeaways in a new statewide poll that suggests California voters may now be ready to do what they rejected just three years ago: legalize marijuana. John Myers News10 -- 9/26/13

The Secret Stop on Legislation's Path -- Successful legislation follows a fairly typical path in California, from one house to the other and then on to the Governor. But as Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, bills also make another crucial stop. Katie Orr Capital Public Radio -- 9/26/13

Some Say Obamacare’s ‘Affordable’ Coverage Isn’t So Affordable
September 25, 2013 | By Lisa Aliferis
When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, a lot of emphasis has been placed on enrolling the so-called “young invincibles,” young people who tend to be healthy. The new Covered California insurance marketplace opens next Tuesday, and outreach workers across the state are spreading the news about new options and the coveted subsides, available from the federal government in the form of tax subsidies to make insurance more affordable.

CFT in the News: September 25, 2013

City College faculty union sues accrediting group -- A statewide faculty union filed suit Tuesday to try to stop a commission from revoking City College of San Francisco's accreditation next summer, which would shut down the venerated but troubled school of 80,000 students. The lawsuit by the California Federation of Teachers follows a similar suit filed last month in Superior Court by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera. … The decision "is causing tremendous harm to students and all city residents," said Joshua Pechthalt, the union's president.
Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/25/13

Faculty sues to keep California's biggest community college open
(Reuters) - Teachers at City College of San Francisco on Tuesday sued to block regulators from taking steps to shutter California's largest community college, which was stripped of its accreditation earlier this year.
The California Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers filed the lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court on behalf of the 78-year-old college's 1,500 instructors. By Ronnie Cohen, SAN FRANCISCO | Tue Sep 24, 2013

Education in the News: September 25, 2013

L.A. students breach school iPads' security -- It took exactly one week for nearly 300 students at Roosevelt High School to hack through security so they could surf the Web on their new school-issued iPads, raising new concerns about a plan to distribute the devices to all students in the district. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/25/13

Gov. Jerry Brown on CSU, state budget: can’t ‘squueze blood out of a turnip’ -- Gov. Jerry Brown delivered a simple message to California State University trustees on Tuesday during a discussion on funding the system next year. Josh Dulaney in the Los Angeles Daily News Carla Rivera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/25/13

Cal State trustees say needs far exceed state funding -- Jockeying for next year’s state funding is already picking up speed - at least in the California State University system, where trustees on Tuesday told the governor that the proposed budget increases for next year aren't nearly enough. Adolfo Guzman-Lopez KPCC -- 9/25/13

Foster youth switch schools at huge rate -- It’s well known that foster youth change schools more frequently than other students, but a new study using pioneering data analysis shows foster youth are more than twice as likely to switch schools as their classmates. Kathryn Baron EdSource -- 9/25/13

Stanford and Berkeley researchers among MacArthur 'genius grant' recipients -- A physicist who extracted the first-ever recorded tune, an ecologist who revealed that climate change is hurting crops and a botanist who studies how ancient plants altered our world are among the Bay Area recipients of this year's MacArthur Foundation "genius grants." Lisa M. Krieger in the San Jose Mercury -- 9/25/13

Caltech brain researcher is among MacArthur Foundation winners -- Caltech behavioral economist Colin Camerer, who studies investors' brain activity, is among five winners in California in various fields to each get $625,000. Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/25/13

California school officials toss out test result in Torrance and Pasadena schools -- Standardized state test results were tossed out at elementary schools in Torrance and Pasadena because of alleged cheating by teachers, officials said Tuesday. Brian Charles in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/25/13

Campuses that lost academic ratings -- Across California, 27 schools this year lost their rating on the Academic Performance Index — the key indicator by which schools in the state are judged. The list below has links to the report on each affected school, listed by school district. The item is in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/25/13

State News: September 25, 2013

Court grants 4-week extension of prison order, tells state to negotiate -- California wants a three-year extension of a federal court’s Dec. 31 deadline to reduce its prison population by nearly 10,000 to ease overcrowding and improve health care. On Tuesday, the court granted a four-week extension and told state officials to start negotiating with lawyers for the inmates. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/25/13

Gov. Jerry Brown mum as court rejects prison plan -- Gov. Jerry Brown remained mum about the latest twist in the California prison saga, as a federal court ruled on Tuesday that the state cannot solve its overcrowding problem by sending thousands of state inmates outside of California. Anthony York in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/25/13

Brown expands family leave program to cover care for grandparents -- Gov. Brown on Tuesday signed legislation that allows workers to get partial pay while taking family leave to care for a wider variety of relatives suffering from serious illness. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ Jonathan Horn UT San Diego$ -- 9/25/13

CFT in the News: September 24, 2013

Teachers' unions sue to stop loss of CCSF’s accreditation
SAN FRANCISCO — A lawsuit was filed Monday by two teachers' unions on behalf of City College of San Francisco seeking a court injunction to prevent the school from losing its accreditation.
Representatives from the California Federation of Teachers and American Federation of Teachers Local 2121 gathered at City Hall that afternoon to announce the lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court against the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

The lawsuit alleges that the ACCJC violated state and federal laws during the accreditation process for City College, CFT president Joshua Pechthalt said. and wires Monday, Sept. 23, 2013

Faculty union sues to keep City College of SF open
The accrediting agency that ordered City College of San Francisco closed is facing a second lawsuit in as many months.
The California Federation of Teachers and its parent union, the America Federation of Teachers, filed suit Monday in San Francisco Superior Court to keep the community college open.

At a news conference on the steps of San Francisco City Hall, Alisa Messer, an English instructor at City College San Francisco and president of the faculty union, AFT Local 2121, said, “The decisions made and processes used by the ACCJC were flawed, not just at CCSF but in numerous other cases as well. By Kathryn Baron September 23rd, 2013

Teachers' Unions File Lawsuit to Stop CCSF Closure
Another twist in the saga of City College of San Francisco:
Today, state and local teachers’ unions said they will file suit against the commission that is threatening to terminate CCSF’s accreditation next summer.
Robert Bezemek, an attorney representing the California Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers Local 2121, said the lawsuit seeks an injunction against the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges for unlawful business practices.

Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers… September 23, 2013 • By Alex Emslie

New Lawsuit Aims To Keep City College Of San Francisco Open
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – State and local teachers’ unions have filed suit in San Francisco Superior Court, in the latest attempt to save City College of San Francisco from closing next summer.
In the lawsuit filed on Monday, the California Federation of Teachers and American Federation of Teachers Local 2121 said the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges didn’t follow the rules when deciding to terminate CCSF’s accreditation.

“The decision was ordered without taking into account whether the alleged deficiencies cited by the commission adversely affected the quality of education at City College,” said California Federation of Teachers President Joshua Pechthalt. September 24, 2013

Unions Allege That Body Seeking To De-Accredit CCSF Broke State And Federal Laws
A lawsuit was filed today by two teachers’ unions on behalf of City College of San Francisco seeking a court injunction to prevent the school from losing its accreditation.
Representatives from the California Federation of Teachers and American Federation of Teachers Local 2121 gathered at City Hall this afternoon to announce the lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court against the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

星島日報-美國版-1 hour ago
加州教師聯盟主席佩其索特(Joshua Pechthalt)公布了評委會的諸多違法違規操作,包括評審會本身存在缺陷,未指明對市大的改善建議和不符合規定的地方;評審會 ...

Education in the News: September 24, 2013

Schools lose academic ratings after claims of cheating -- Schools in five L.A. County districts are among 27 campuses statewide that are stripped of scores on the state's Academic Performance Index. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/24/13

Bill allowing higher fees for high-demand college classes advances -- Backers say the two-tier fee system would help students transfer or graduate faster, but foes call it unfair to low-income students. Carla Rivera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/24/13

Enrollment in teacher preparation programs plummets -- Enrollments in teacher preparation programs in California are continuing to decline at a precipitous rate, according to new figures prepared for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Louis Freedberg EdSource -- 9/24/13

L.A. Unified dropped from suit to limit seniority rights of teachers -- The lawsuit, filed by the group Students Matter, originally targeted the nation's second-largest school district and two other school systems, as well as state officials and state government. But the organization decided to focus instead on the state, dropping L.A. Unified as a defendant. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/24/13

Pensions, rising costs to pressure California school budgets -Fitch -- Bigger payments to California's pension fund for teachers and other rising costs will challenge school district finances despite an increase in education spending by the state, a report released by Fitch Ratings said on Monday. Reuters -- 9/24/13

Modesto district paying absent teachers
Modesto City Schools has spent at least $5 million over the last three school years paying teachers to stay home – and it won’t say why.
The school board approved 283 paid leaves – averaging nearly 12 weeks each – for teachers and administrators in the 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years, a Bee investigation found. The practice involved 233 individuals, or roughly 15percent of its employees with teaching certificates. By Nan Austin - September 21, 2013 

State News: September 24, 2013

Critics fear unions could gain power in ballot process under new bill --The measure, AB 857 by Assemblyman Paul Fong (D-Cupertino), would require 10% of petition signatures to be gathered by volunteers instead of paid workers. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/24/13

California immigrant driver’s licenses bring many questions -- The ride Isabel Medina was waiting for never arrived. Jeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/24/13

CFT in the News: September 23, 2013

City College of San Francisco Worth an Estimated $311 Million to Local Economy
City College of San Francisco (CCSF) could lose its accreditation and be shut down in 10 months, but a recent hearing to quantify the school's economic impact could influence that decision, KQED News reported.

"The report doesn't fully capture what has happened in the last year or so since the accreditation challenges really came to the forefront," said Alisa Messer, president of the faculty union AFT Local 2121. "There are at least 150 less faculty at City College of San Francisco compared to [last] fall." Posted by Russell Westerholm on Sep 20, 2013

Teachers' Unions to File Lawsuit to Stop CCSF Closure
Monday, Sep 23, 2013
Two teachers' unions are taking the next steps to block the planned closure of City College of San Francisco.

L.A. Unified dropped from suit to limit seniority rights of teachers
The Los Angeles Unified School District has exited litigation that seeks to limit the seniority rights of California teachers by voiding several provisions of state law.

Two key parties joined the litigation as intervening defendants after it began -- the California Teachers Assn. and the California Federation of Teachers. By Howard Blume , September 23, 2013

Education in the News: September 23, 2013

CCSF's critical role in local economy highlighted in report
Everybody knows that City College of San Francisco is in crisis and in jeopardy of closing. What is less widely agreed upon is exactly what impact this has on every San Franciscan's day-to-day lives.
A new report I commissioned from The City's Budget and Legislative Analyst makes the facts clear: City College generates well over $300 million in economic activity every year. The loss of CCSF would be a complete disaster for The City and its economy. by Eric Mar

Billl would prevent double testing and double frustration for students, teachers
Of all the bills sitting on the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown, perhaps none is more important to the future of education in California than Assembly Bill 484. Sponsored by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and authored by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, AB 484 would end the standardized tests that have been in place since 1999 and move California forward in implementing tests based on the new Common Core State Standards. By Randolph Ward / commentary September 22nd, 2013

Napolitano choice fuels criticism over UC system's selection process -- Supporters of a more open method say better decisions are made when three or four finalists are formally identified to the public. Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/23/13

CSU trustees to talk budget -- Next year’s budget will be on the minds of California State University trustees this week when they gather here to examine a preliminary proposal that seeks at least $100 million more than what Gov. Jerry Brown plans for the 2014-15 fiscal year. Josh Dulaney in the Inland Daily Bulletin -- 9/23/13

Enduring legacy of Marin teen activist, 15, to be intro’d in San Francisco middle schools — and new national campaign -- San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, tech angel investor Ron Conway, and a host of other local elected officials Monday will kick off a new middle school program — Beyond Differences — aimed at ending bullying and social isolation, and changing the sometimes brutal classroom culture. Carla Marinucci in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/23/13

State constitutional measure binds schools to open meetings -- School districts and local government agencies will forever be required to provide meeting notices and documents to the public if voters agree this June to add that provision to California’s Constitution. Kimberly Beltran SI&A Cabinet Report -- 9/23/13

New focus on school climate in massive student survey -- The California Healthy Kids Survey – a massive survey of student behavior and a key resource for schools – has unveiled extensive revisions that put a stronger focus on students’ emotional health. Jane Meredith Adams EdSource -- 9/23/13

In Push For 'Common' Standards, Many Parents Left Uneducated
The Common Core Standards establish academic expectations across states in math and English language arts.
Forty-five states have adopted the Common Core State Standards, the first-ever national academic standards for students. But opposition is growing, and some lawmakers are having second thoughts about their states' support. by Claudio Sanchez | September 22, 2013

State News: September 23, 2013

Skelton: Buffaloes threaten pristine landscape --Construction of two giant tunnels to funnel water to the Central Valley and Southern California would disrupt farming and despoil the delta. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/23/13

CFT in the News: September 20, 2013

San Francisco Measures Value of CCSF
With the deadline for City College of San Francisco to lose its accreditation less than 10 months out, city officials are questioning its economic impact on the city.

But even these numbers don't account for the fallout that the accreditation process has had on the school, in addition to several years of state-level budget cuts, said Alisa Messer, president of the faculty union AFT Local 2121. September 19, 2013 • Posted by KQED News Staff
By Sara Bloomberg

LAUSD dropped as defendant in teacher tenure, seniority lawsuit
By Barbara Jones, Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Unified has been dropped as a defendant in a lawsuit that claims students’ rights to equal educational opportunities are being violated by state laws governing teacher tenure, job security and seniority.

The other defendants are the California Teachers Association and California Federation of Teachers

Students Walk Out, Protest PVUSD Teacher Salaries
Negotiators for both the teachers' union and the school district are due to meet Thursday evening.
A large group of high school students Watsonville walked out of class in just before noon Thursday to show solidarity with teachers who are involved in contentious contract negotiations with the Pajaro Valley Unified School District.

The Pajaro Valley Teachers Federation, which represents hundreds of PVUSD employees, has been embroiled in labor negotiations for some time. Posted by Jennifer Squires (Editor) , September 19, 2013

Education in the News: September 20, 2013

Teacher, two superintendents to hold key positions on funding law’s new agency -- Consistent with the goal of shifting power over education decisions away from Sacramento, the Local Control Funding Formula law creates a new agency to work with, not dictate to, local districts on how to meet their improvement goals. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 9/20/13

Fresno State official looks for support on Capitol Hill -- Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro has a lot to teach lawmakers – and, perhaps, vice versa. Michael Doyle McClatchy DC -- 9/19/13

Schrag: How are the schools doing? This year, don’t ask -- Gov. Jerry Brown’s George Wallace act seems just a little forced. Standing defiantly against the feds in the schoolhouse door as the Alabama governor once did is probably not his shtick. Peter Schrag in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/20/13

Airing September 20, 2013 at 9am and 7pm
One out of four adults in California is a high school dropout. Class Dismissed takes an up-close look at the crisis through the lives of four young people from the Central Valley. The stories reveal what’s at stake for their future and ours.

Dan Walters Daily: Teacher pension plans may punish California
Once again, Dan says, the Legislature adjourned without tackling the huge deficit in California's teacher retirement system.

State News: September 20, 2013

DWP says it can't track millions in ratepayer money -- The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has directed an estimated $40 million in ratepayer money to two nonprofit groups charged with improving relations with the utility's largest employee union, but the agency claims to have scant information on how the public funds have been spent. Jack Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/19/13

State watchdog cracks down on stealth lobbying in Capitol -- Launching a crackdown on stealth lobbying at the Capitol, the state’s ethics watchdog agency on Thursday imposed $43,800 in fines on lobbyists and their clients for not properly reporting their activity. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ Laurel Rosenhall in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/19/13

Podcast: The Bigger Debate -- The most interesting political issues often play on more than one level, and there seem to be several such issues in play as Gov. Jerry Brown mulls the stacks of bills now sitting on his desk. John Myers News10 -- 9/19/13

Education in the News: September 19, 2013

CCSF's value to Bay Area outlined in report -- It's a no-brainer that losing City College of San Francisco would cripple thousands of students who depend on its classes for a leg up into the workforce and higher education while hurting dozens of Bay Area industries that rely on its trained graduates to fight fires, nurse patients, serve up gourmet food and much more. But now there's proof. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/19/13

City College of SF 'Czar' Robert Agrella
In July, the Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges announced that the City College of San Francisco would lose its accreditation by next summer. Mon, Sep 16, 2013

CCSF closure would bruise San Francisco's economy
If City College of San Francisco is shuttered, at least $300 million in economic activity would be lost annually, earning power would be jeopardized and education costs for those who enroll in comparable programs elsewhere would skyrocket, according to a new study. by Joshua Sabatini

Bill on Brown's desk to make two-tiered system of college tuition: for the rich, and the poor
It seems that one California politician is adapting an old adage for a modern era: If at first students protest and get pepper sprayed, try, try that legislation again.
AB 955 is a bill that would create a pilot program to raise community college tuition, allowing six allegedly overcrowded community colleges to charge the full cost of their classes during summer and winter sessions. Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

California school aid change already enmeshed in controversy -- A brand-new overhaul of how state aid is distributed to California schools - focusing more money on districts with large numbers of poor and/or English learner students - is already generating controversy. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/19/13

STUDENT AID: Implementation of the California Dream Act for undocumented students and of the middle-class scholarship, a coveted project of Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, are among agenda items for a meeting of the California Student Aid Commission today. From 1 p.m. at 11040 White Rock Road in Rancho Cordova.

U.S. Ed Secretary Duncan’s testing threats may be more bluff than bully -- With Gov. Jerry Brown and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan locked on a collision course over student testing, school officials and policy-makers in California are bracing for the Obama administration to make good on their threat to withhold potentially billions in federal funds. Tom Chorneau SI&A Cabinet Report -- 9/19/13

UC turns to social networks to raise scholarship money -- A celebrity-studded crowdsourcing campaign that launched Wednesday, "Promise for Education," counts on students and young alumni to tap into their extensive social media networks to ease the financial burden on students across the system. Katy Murphy in the San Jose Mercury Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/19/13

Jerry Brown promises brown-bag lunch in UC fundraising effort -- University of California regents spent much of Wednesday morning cheering a new fundraising initiative to encourage faculty, students and other people to raise money through their social networks for students who demonstrate financial need. Gov. Jerry Brown, who sits on the UC board and is attending its meeting in San Francisco, pledged to raise $10,000. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/19/13

Some UC regents discuss unloading university-owned mansion -- Some University of California regents on Tuesday said it might make more sense to sell off a university-owned mansion that needs a major overhaul rather than restore the Contra Costa County property. Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/19/13

Online courses are failing as a teaching tool -- Massive open online courses were supposed to revolutionize — and democratize — higher education. But two years since their debut, the initial buzz seems like nothing but hype. Caitlin Emma Politico -- 9/19/13

Let Students Know They Matter
In her Tedx talk, Angela Maiers gives examples of how telling students that their voice and actions have consequence in the world can change how they perceive their contributions — and affects their level of commitment. They’ll also have a better understanding of their individual genius when they know the potential is there. MindShift | September 18, 2013

Jerry Brown’s Opportunity to Act Like a Leader for Children…
Amid revelations last year of the scandal enveloping the Los Angeles Unified School District over the long careers of criminally abusive teachers such as former Miramonte Elementary School instructor Mark Berndt — and news about how difficult it was for districts to remove such laggards from classrooms — California legislators had a chance to do right by our children.

State News: September 19, 2013

Skelton: Gov. Brown should give gun legislation the go-ahead -- Man goes to work. Woman visits a mall. Child sits in class. Couple attends a movie. All have one thing in common. They are vulnerable to being shot and killed by some "innocent law-abiding citizen." George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/19/13

CFT in the News: September 18, 2013

Opponents Back Effort To Drop ‘Increasingly Radical’ Teachers’ Unions
LOS ANGELES ( — Two California  advocacy groups are calling on teachers in Los Angeles and statewide to drop their memberships with labor unions.
The campaign also seeks to inform Los Angeles Unified School District teachers represented by United Teachers Los Angeles — which allows members to affiliate either with the California Teacher Association (CTA) or the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) — on how they can receive a rebate of $300 to $400 on dues if they drop their union memberships.

Education in the News: September 18, 2013

Feds elaborate on the requirements California can’t meet for testing waiver -- The federal Department of Education specified for the first time Tuesday what states would have to do to receive a waiver from giving state standardized tests next spring in the one-year transition to implementing the Common Core standards. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 9/18/13

Local Tea Party activists oppose Common Core standards -- They’re promoted as making American students more competitive with their international peers, but some local conservatives say new educational standards set to be fully implemented next school year amount to a federal takeover of local education. Beau Yarbrough in the Inland Daily Bulletin -- 9/18/13

Academic Growth Over Time data show improvement at LAUSD schools -- The Los Angeles Unified School District on Tuesday released its latest Academic Growth Over Time data, which found that 13 schools had performed “Far Above Predicted” in some categories for the last three years. The item is in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/18/13

LAUSD approves $113M budget to train teachers for Common Core standards -- After debating nearly two hours and voting down a proposed compromise, the Los Angeles Unified board on Tuesday approved a plan for spending $113 million to implement a new curriculum — the same budget that triggered the resignation of the district’s instructional chief when it was rejected last week. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/18/13

Credentialing revenues continue to slide, prompting new budget tightening at CTC -- Despite cost-cutting efforts that reduced operational costs by 75 percent since 2007, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing faces a bleak outlook next year that threatens core functions. Tom Chorneau SI&A Cabinet Report -- 9/18/13

Nationally recognized child care program opening center in California -- A multi-million dollar preschool and child care center that education leaders say will help close achievement gaps between low-income and wealthier students is coming to California. Lillian Mongeau EdSource -- 9/18/13

Lawmakers resolve community college funding gap -- Across California, some six dozen community college districts – locally administering 112 schools, the largest higher education institution in the country – were scrambling for $90 million. On the last night of the legislative session, just before lawmakers went home for the year, the Legislature approved it. Samantha Gallegos Capitol Weekly -- 9/18/13

Students build futures in old-school shop classes -- Several engine blocks sat on racks near an early 1980s white Volkswagen Rabbit and a slightly beat-up, bright yellow Porsche 914 on a lift. A greasy garage smell wafted out the door. Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/18/13

UC panel OKs initial work to presidential mansion -- The UC regents' buildings and grounds committee voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend that the regents spend $620,000 in nonpublic funds as a first step toward renovating the grand but decaying Blake House in Kensington, a 1924 mansion that could cost $3.5 million to $6 million to fully restore. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/18/13

Zuckerberg talks with students at new San Francisco school -- A seemingly ho-hum ribbon-cutting ceremony for a charter school Tuesday turned into a who's-who, full-house event starring Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/18/13

LAUSD pays out $27 million as 58 more Miramonte molestation claims are resolved -- Los Angeles Unified has paid out more than $27 million to settle claims by nearly five dozen children who allege they were molested by former Miramonte Elementary teacher Mark Berndt, the district announced Tuesday. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/18/13

Lopez: L.A. Unified leaders don't make the grade -- The nation's second-largest public school district is dealing with a few disciplinary problems of late, but it's not the students I'm talking about.It's the grown-ups. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/18/13

Teaching Common Core
Sarah Knutson says the new Common Core Standards will require her to teach in new, exciting ways.
"Why aren't you using all the resources?"
That was the first question a district coach asked me in my rookie teaching year. She wanted me to use the nearly 60 teacher books that went along with our structured textbook series. By Sarah Knutson

School Parcel Taxes: Usage Won't Really Expand With Easier Passage
Lowering the vote threshold for passage of local school parcel taxes would likely allow far more to pass. But there is no evidence that it would expand their use beyond the sort of wealthy Bay Area school districts that already have them. These are the key findings of a report released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). By Public Policy Institute of California 17 September 2013

State News: September 18, 2013

California prison riddle -- How ever California meets a December deadline to ease prison crowding, the state's prison problems are far from over. Paige St. John in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/18/13

Jerry Brown says he will sign bills extending vehicle fees -- Gov. Jerry Brown said Monday that he will sign legislation extending a fee on vehicle registrations and tire sales in California to pay for programs designed to reduce emissions and promote alternative fuels. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/18/13

California Bill Would Add Privacy Option in Health Insurance Paperwork -- California reproductive health and civil liberties advocates are waiting for Governor Jerry Brown to take action on a bill that would create a more private way for patients to receive information about sensitive health services. Pauline Bartolone Capital Public Radio -- 9/18/13

CFT in the News: September 17, 2013

Capitol Alert: AM Alert: Special elections reshuffle California Legislature
For you political junkies and journalists ruing the fallow months between now and the Legislature's return in January, thank goodness for special elections.

Councilmember Paul Koretz; and Glendale College professor of politics Andra Hoffman, who has Blumenfield's blessing and the backing of the California Federation of Teachers.

Education in the News: September 17, 2013

UC leases housing at $9,950 a month for president Napolitano -- Napolitano, the former U.S. secretary of Homeland Security and former governor of Arizona, will be provided the housing plus an annual $570,000 salary, $8,916 a year for car expenses and $142,500 for one-time relocation costs. Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/17/13

Brown not backing away from decision to suspend state standardized tests -- In remarks Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown defended the state’s decision to suspend state standardized tests this year and instead offer students a practice test in the Common Core standards that’s now being developed. And he gave no sign of steering away from a collision with the federal government over this issue. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 9/17/13

School finance reform prompts dispute over counting low-income students -- Delivering significantly more money to schools based on the number of low-income children they serve is at the heart of the sweeping new K-12 finance system approved by the state Legislature in June. The new system defines “low income” as those students eligible for the school’s free and reduced-price meals program. Jane Meredith Adams EdSource -- 9/17/13

Drive seeks to save San Francisco State glassblowing course -- A young woman withdraws a long metal rod from a fire and whirls around to sit on a bench. She sets it on holders above her lap, twirling it as a second woman pulls a rod from another oven and touches its red-hot tip to the original. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/16/13

Berkeley cracks down on turning houses into mini-dorms -- It took four years and five moves, but Igor Akimenko, a UC Berkeley senior, finally found a decent place to live. He shares a converted living room with three other people, in an 11-bedroom house about a half-mile from campus. His rent: $540 a month. Carolyn Jones in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/16/13

Parcel Taxes For Schools: A Tough Sell For Most Voters
For years, education advocates have wondered what it would be like if they could lower the ballot box threshold for new parcel taxes to 55 percent from the current two-thirds.

State News: September 17, 2013

Brown seeks 3-year delay on easing prison crowding -- Following through on a deal struck with legislative leaders, Gov. Jerry Brown told federal judges Monday that he is prepared to spends hundreds of millions of dollars moving inmates out of crowded prisons — but would rather use the money to rehabilitate prisoners so they don't come back. Paige St. John in the Los Angeles Times$ Don Thompson Associated Press -- 9/17/13

Walters: Odd events punctuate California Legislature’s last night -- Strange things tend to happen in the final hours of any legislative session. Last Thursday night was no exception. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/17/13

CFT in the News: September 16, 2013

Buchanan's teacher-firing bill passes Legislature
Bills focus on teacher discipline and dismissal
The state Legislature passed a locally authored bill Friday that aims to protect and ensure the safety of children. Assembly Bill 375, authored by Assembly Education Committee Chair Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), streamlines the appeal process for teacher dismissal, resulting in faster resolution and significant cost savings to school districts.

AB 375 received the support of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, former Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin, California State PTA, Crime Victims United, Child Abuse Prevention Council, California Teachers Association and California Federation of Teachers. by Jessica Lipsky

Fixing California: Teachers unions demonstrate again who controls Sacramento
This past week, the Legislature offered as stark an affirmation as possible of the thesis offered by education reformer Michelle Rhee on the cover of today’s SD In Depth section: The top priority for California’s public schools in California should be helping students. Instead, priority No. 1 is protecting teachers from accountability — including perverts as well as incompetents.

And so in 2013, the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers ordered their puppets to adopt AB 375 — a fake reform that in some cases actually gives teachers even more job protections. By U-T San Diego Editorial Board Sept. 14, 2013

An Immodest Proposal: Free College for the People
Congress is fighting again. About you. Specifically, about your education and how it is paid. The options are to double interest rates on government-subsidized loans and cut Pell Grants, extend the current rate and make less drastic cuts to grants, increase grants, expand loan limits, lower interest rates or cap tuition.

Bob Samuels, president of the University of California American Federation of Teachers, argues we can offer free public tuition and drastically reduce government expenditure in his article “Making All Public Higher Education Free.” By CHRISTOPHER DANIEL Opinion Columnist

Education in the News: September 14-16, 2013

Cry for help unheeded at CCSF
Three days after receiving word that City College of San Francisco would receive the most severe sanction issued by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, interim CCSF Chancellor Pamila Fisher asked state education officials for help. by Andrea Koskey

Education secretary tones down criticism of California -- Arne Duncan says his threat to withhold federal funding over state's new student test plan was a 'last resort' and praises Gov. Brown. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/16/13

Common Core opponents shift attention to new national science standards -- As the push for common academic standards in schools gains steam around the nation, a new front in the opposition is forming – this time against the Next Generation Science Standards. Carrie Marovich SI&A Cabinet Report -- 9/16/13

L.A. Unified seeks to end confusion and fights over parent trigger law -- School board votes to require public informational meetings about campuses targeted in parent petition campaigns. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/16/13

Glendale district says social media monitoring is for student safety -- Glendale Unified is using the firm Geo Listening in a bid against cyberbullying, suicides, drugs and other ills. Critics say it infringes on privacy and steps beyond schools' jurisdiction. Stephen Ceasar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/16/13

LAUSD superintendent Deasy 'saddened' by deputy's resignation -- In an interview with KPCC, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy expressed regret over Friday's sudden announcement that his top aide over classroom instruction, Jaime Aquino, would be leaving the district. Annie Gilbertson and Ben Bergman KPCC -- 9/15/13

Deputy Supt. Aquino departs L.A. Unified with warning -- Calling the Los Angeles Board of Education dysfunctional and warning that academic progress is at stake, a senior school district administrator confirmed Friday that he is resigning. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/14/13

Bill to streamline teacher dismissals heads to governor; critics call it flawed -- Critics say Assembly Bill 375, authored by Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, and originally killed in a Senate committee in July, will actually worsen the multilayered firing procedure. They say teachers unions hijacked the bill and pressured lawmakers to pass it after quietly resurrecting the legislation this week, days before the legislative session ends. Matthias Gafni in the Contra Costa Times -- 9/14/13

Mansion may be repaired so UC presidents can live there again -- Blake House, the Northern California mansion that is intended to be the official residence of the UC system president, may be coming back to life. Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/14/13

Local Tea Party activists oppose Common Core standards -- They’re promoted as making American students more competitive with their international peers, but some local conservatives say new educational standards set to be fully implemented next school year amount to a federal takeover of local education. Beau Yarbrough in the San Bernardino Sun -- 9/14/13

Google’s Boss and a Princeton Professor Agree: College Is a Dinosaur -- Colleges and universities are indecisive, slow-moving, and vulnerable to losing their best teachers to the Internet. That’s the shared view of Google (GOOG) Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former Department of State official and until this month a tenured professor at Princeton University. Peter Coy Bloomberg Businessweek -- 9/14/13

Students Will Soon Face a More Difficult GED Exam
Thousands of adults in California and across the nation are racing to get their GEDs before the high school equivalency exam goes through a major transformation.

State News: September 16, 2013

Employment gap between rich, poor widest on record -- The gap in employment rates between America's highest- and lowest-income families has stretched to its widest levels since officials began tracking the data a decade ago, according to an analysis of government data conducted for The Associated Press. Hope Yen Associated Press -- 9/16/13

Brown’s influence helps moderate California Legislature -- After Democrats captured two-thirds majorities in both houses of the Legislature in November — the first time it had happened in 130 years — some Californians predicted that donkeys would run wild through the Capitol and push the state much further to the left. Mike Rosenberg and Josh Richman in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/16/13

Podcast: We Are Adjourned -- So few things in politics -- and, well, life -- have a recognized moment of finality that when one finally comes along... it's hard to process. But let's give it a shot, shall we? John Myers News10 -- 9/15/13

CFT in the News: September 13, 2013

ACCJC Faces Its Own Challenges
Written by Stephanie Swonger Friday, September 13th, 2013
A complaint filed by the California Federation of Teachers on April 30, 2013, according to the CFT website, alleges that the Accrediting Commission of California Junior Colleges has violated several of the Secretary of Education’s Criteria for Recognition as an accrediting institution.

Jerry Brown to California’s Children: I Don’t Care About Your Futures
September 12, 2013
Nothing is all that surprising when it comes to the unwillingness of Gov. Jerry Brown and the rest of California’s political leaders to advance the kinds of systemic reforms needed to help children succeed.

This is exactly what traditionalists, including the NEA affiliate, the California Teachers Association, and the AFT division, the California Federation of Teachers, want to see happen.

Education in the News: September 13, 2013

Three Thoughts: Why Common Core Foes Can’t Sustain Their Coalition
A Confederacy of ?: Kathleen Porter-Magee is only partly right: Opponents of implementing Common Core reading and math standards can fight something with plenty of nothing. History is replete with examples of people opposed to any reform or social movement strongly fighting, and even winning winning for a time.

CUSD Adapts to the Common Core
New national standards mean the district will be going through an adjustment period
The first day of school is often accompanied by feelings of nervous anticipation and optimism. In recent years, budget cuts in school districts across the country have added an increasing sense of uncertainty to that mix, as education officials have been forced to tighten their purse strings while working to mitigate the effects of a recovering economy. By Brian Park September 13, 2013 by Staff

Contested teacher dismissal bill heads to Jerry Brown -- A union-backed teacher discipline bill is on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown, despite concerns from school districts, the California School Boards Association and the Association of California School Administrators that it falls short of improving the current process. Melody Gutierrez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/13/13

Fees for some summer, winter community college courses could triple under bill on governor’s desk -- Community College students would have to pay as much as 300 percent more for some high-demand classes under a divisive bill on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown after passing the state Senate and Assembly this week. Kathryn Baron EdSource -- 9/13/13

Thousands of students vie for class space at Sacramento community colleges -- Enough students found themselves on class waiting lists at Sacramento-area community colleges on the first day of fall semester to fill Candlestick Park, the football stadium where the 49ers play. Loretta Kalb and Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/13/13

Lack of experience, technical issues hurt San Jose State online program -- Limited Internet experience, email glitches and confusing websites hampered many students struggling to pass online classes in a San Jose State University experiment that produced mixed results, a new report found. Carla Rivera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/13/13

Study shows school grants targeted toward low-income students get results -- The California Teachers Association on Thursday released a report showing that nearly $3 billion in funding targeted toward low-income students statewide has helped improve academic achievement. Theresa Harrington in the San Jose Mercury -- 9/13/13

Report: Race to the Top isn’t delivering big results -- The Obama administration’s signature education initiative, Race to the Top, can’t deliver much educational improvement in America’s public schools because there is a huge mismatch in its mandates and what is actually possible to accomplish with the provided funding and requirements, according to a new report released Thursday. Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post$ -- 9/13/13

Pasadena City College ‘porn professor’ says he’s leaving the college -- Infamous Pasadena City College “porn professor” Hugo Schwyzer announced on his blog this week that he does not plan to return to the college as a professor. Lauren Gold in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/13/13

State News: September 13, 2013

State passes bill to license more drivers who are here illegally -- Eligibility for immigrants in the country illegally would be expanded. Another measure requires OT for domestic workers. Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ Josh Richman in the San Jose Mercury -- 9/13/13

Minimum-wage hike heading to Gov. Jerry Brown -- Lawmakers voted Thursday evening to send a measure boosting California's minimum wage to Gov. Jerry Brown, who has already promised his signature. Jeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee$ Don Thompson Associated Press -- 9/13/13

Walters: Unions held whip hand in California Capitol -- When the Legislature’s 2013 session began nine months ago, a giant question mark hung over the Capitol. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/13/13

Jerry Brown signs prison housing bill -- Gov. Jerry Brown today signed legislation in which the state will seek more time from federal judges to reduce California's prison population, while committing hundreds of millions of dollars to house inmates out of state and in local facilities if the request is denied. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/13/13

CFT in the News: September 12, 2013

Thoughts on Syria
The nation waits to see what will happen
As the executive editor, I see and hear opinions of all kinds every day. They come in by e-mail, by mailed envelope, and by fax. Some are hand delivered. Some are left as voicemails.

“The California Federation of Teachers Executive Council has empowered CFT President Joshua Pechthalt to speak out in opposition to U.S. military intervention in Syria. Pechthalt commented. BY VARIOUS CONTRIBUTORS

Education in the News: September 12, 2013

California Legislature sends school-test bill to Gov. Jerry Brown -- California has been preparing to implement tests aligned to new national Common Core standards, but late bill amendments broadened the number of schools that can drop the current Standardized Testing and Reporting so teachers would not teach to new standards while old tests loom. Jeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee$ Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ Maureen Magee UT San Diego$ -- 9/12/13

Bill already tinkers with school funding formula -- Legislative leaders and Gov. Jerry Brown struck a landmark agreement in June over restructuring state funding of K-12 schools – but lawmakers are already at work on changes. Tom Chorneau SI&A Cabinet Report -- 9/12/13

Bill to Change Standardized Testing Meets With Mixed Reviews
Every spring for more than a decade, California schools have administered standardized tests, using the scores to evaluate school and district performance. A bill now headed to Governor Jerry Brown's desk would end the old STAR tests in favor of new computerized tests. And it would exempt schools from reporting the scores for at least a year. September 11, 2013 • Posted by KQED News Staff and Wires

Enrollment, courses increase at state's two-year colleges -- California community colleges are starting the fall term on an upbeat note, with most boosting enrollment and the number of classes offered, according to a survey of the state’s two-year schools released Wednesday. Carla Rivera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/12/13

LAUSD improving its investigations of teacher misconduct -- Los Angeles Unified expects to have a team of full-time professional investigators in place by December as it implements a streamlined process for dealing with teachers accused of sexual misconduct, officials say. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/12/13

State News: September 12, 2013

Gov. Jerry Brown backs a minimum wage boost -- In a rare effort to move legislation more quickly, Gov. Jerry Brown endorsed a bill that would raise California's minimum wage to $10 an hour by January 2016. Marc Lifsher and Tiffany Hsu in the Los Angeles Times$ Michael Gardner UT San Diego$ -- 9/12/13

California lawmakers approve fracking bill -- Oil and gas drillers that use a technique known as fracking would face new rules in California under legislation sent to the governor's desk Wednesday. The measure includes a requirement that drillers disclose the chemicals they use in the process of hydraulic fracturing. Laura Olson and Don Thompson Associated Press John Howard Capitol Weekly -- 9/12/13

Skelton: Gov. Jerry Brown is big winner in deal to ease prison crowding -- The compromise legislation will allow Brown to ease crowding in California prisons, as ordered by a three-judge federal panel, without releasing inmates. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/12/13

CFT in the News: September 11, 2013

Bill reforming process of firing teachers resurfaces with amendments
AB 375 sponsor, Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan
A highly contested bill that potentially would make it quicker and less costly to dismiss teachers has risen from legislative purgatory with significant changes that could lead to passage by the Legislature this week.

The California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers supported her bill but organizations representing school boards and administrators opposed it, along with the advocacy groups StudentsFirst and EdVoice, saying it didn’t go far enough to fix the problem. By John Fensterwald September 11th, 2013

PVUSD teachers to 'work to contract'
WATSONVILLE Pajaro Valley Unified School District teachers voted Monday to work to contract, a form of protest they say is designed to help ongoing contract negotiations move forward.

The vote came as Pajaro Valley Federation of teachers negotiated with PVUSD for a new contract.

Now is the time to restore lower class sizes, provide adequate preparation time for teachers and ensure that support personnel, such as nurses, psychologists, counselors and other specialists, have manageable caseloads, said PVFT president Francisco Rodriguez. But the district is intent on locking in the cuts of the previous five years.

PVUSD Chief Business Officer Brett McFadden said that the district has already begun to reduce class sizes for lower grades. BY: TODD GUILD Tuesday, Sep 10th, 2013

Education in the News: September 11, 2013

COMMUNITY COLLEGE CHECK-IN: (Scroll towards the bottom)
Brice Harris, chancellor of California's community college system, will provide an update during a phone briefing this afternoon on fall enrollment and how a windfall of Proposition 30 money is being spent.

Brown backs school-test measure despite federal opposition -- Gov. Jerry Brown says he'll push forward with school-testing legislation despite U.S. Department of Education threats to withhold federal funds. Don Thompson Associated Press Kimberly Beltran SI&A Cabinet Report John Fensterwald EdSource 9/11/13

Walters: California school test conflict heating up -- Gray Davis may have been the most risk-averse governor in living memory and paid the price for his reticence when he was recalled for failing to deal forthrightly with severe budget and energy crises. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/11/13

LA Unified's plan to implement Common Core standards put on hold -- The Los Angeles Unified School District's Board of Education on Tuesday delayed approval of the district's proposed $113 million budget to implement standards for Common Core – California’s new English and math standards shared with 46 other states. Annie Gilbertson KPCC -- 9/11/13

LAUSD teacher evaluation system prompts state labor board complaint -- The state labor board has issued a complaint charging Los Angeles Unified with implementing a new performance evaluation system without first negotiating key provisions with its teachers union. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/11/13

L.A. school board approves new parent trigger rules -- Pioneering guidelines to help Los Angeles Unified school staff and parents navigate the complex and controversial process to overhaul failing schools under the state parent trigger law were approved Tuesday by the school board. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/11/13

LAUSD moves to facilitate screening for parent volunteers -- Trying to encourage more parents to volunteer at local campuses, the Los Angeles Unified school board approved a plan Tuesday to make it easier to get necessary fingerprinting and tuberculosis screenings, although the South L.A. representative asked that her schools be excluded from the plan. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/11/13

State News: September 11, 2013

Brown gets bills on immigration, guns and drugs -- Measures address issues that include illegal immigration, a ban on lead ammunition and a reduction in penalties for possession of heroin or cocaine. Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/11/13

Change in 3 strikes law under review -- A voter-approved change in the three strikes law has resulted in the release of 1,000 prisoners statewide and officials are seeing a far reduced rate of recidivism among former prisoners released when their sentences are reviewed, according to a statewide study. Rick Orlov in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/11/13

CFT in the News: September 10, 2013

Southland representatives undecided about potential strikes on Syria
A day before President Barack Obama addresses the nation in an effort to rally support for military strikes on Syria, many Southland Congress members said they’re still undecided or are leaning against a potential attack on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s capabilities.

The California Federation of Teachers came out Monday against U.S. military intervention in Syria.
“The act of dropping bombs on Syria or any other country is an act of war,” said CFT President Joshua Pechthalt in a statement. By Brenda Gazzar, Los Angeles Daily News 09/09/13

AFL-CIO blasts big business prison profiteers
LOS ANGELES -- The AFL-CIO condemned the nation's prison system that disproportionately targets people of color, in a strongly worded resolution unanimously approved by the federation's quadrennial convention here Sept. 10.

Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers and a 20-year teacher at Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles, spoke on the resolution. He noted that his school's population was 100% black and brown. by: Eric A. Gordon & Juan Lopez, September 10 2013

Education in the News: September 10, 2013

Duncan threatens repercussions if California ends state tests for all students -- It looks like “High Noon” again for California and the Obama administration over education. John Fensterwald EdSource Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/10/13

California wins $10.8-million federal grant to pay AP test fees -- Nearly 130,000 California high school students will have most of their test fees paid by the federal government for Advanced Placement and other college-level exams, state education officials announced Monday. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/10/13

Bill inspired by St. Frances Cabrini sex offender fiasco becomes law -- Schools will no longer be able to let registered sex offenders on campus without first notifying students' families, under a bill signed into law Monday and inspired by an uproar over an incident at a San Jose Catholic school. Josh Richman in the San Jose Mercury -- 9/10/13

Bill limiting 'willful defiance' discipline in schools done for year -- A bill to restrict how students are disciplined under the broadly used grounds called "willful defiance" is being shelved for this legislative session. Melody Gutierrez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/10/13

Udacity teams with Google, others to rethink tech education -- The company has partnered with the likes of Google and Autodesk to try to create more opportunities in tech for students. Richard Nieva c|net -- 9/10/13

UCLA, USC tie in U.S. News rankings; Princeton is No. 1 -- Crosstown rivals UCLA and USC are tied again in the closely watched university rankings by U.S. News & World Report, despite some scoring changes that give more weight to students’ graduation rates. Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/10/13

State News: September 10, 2013

Prisons timeline: A scramble to comply after years of controversy -- Gov. Jerry Brown stood with top lawmakers Monday to say they would seek more time to comply with a court order requiring the state to cut its prison population. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/10/13

CalBuzz: Why DiFi Is Wrong About Who’s a ‘Real Reporter’ -- Dianne Feinstein, the senior US Senator from California, has never been a fan of the press, dating back to her days as a local official in San Francisco. Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 9/10/13

CFT in the News: September 9, 2013

Teacher misconduct bill signed by Jerry Brown
Bill in response to an L.A. Unified scandal, requiring timely reporting of teacher discipline, is among 55 signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed a bill that will penalize school superintendents who fail to report to the state when teachers are disciplined or fired for misconduct.

The California Federation of Teachers, the California Teachers Assn. and United Teachers Los Angeles supported the bill. By Patrick McGreevy  September 6, 2013

Education in the News: September 9, 2013

With little warning, dozens forced from Pacific Oaks preschool -- For years, the respected preschool had been operating at over-capacity. When it failed to get state permission to increase capacity, it quickly laid off teachers, cut programs and booted students. Stephen Ceasar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/9/13

LAUSD revives effort to reopen four blighted West Valley schools -- Under pressure to provide classroom space to popular charter schools, Los Angeles Unified plans to seek proposals to redevelop and lease four long-closed campuses in the Woodland Hills area that could cost up to $80 million to restore. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/9/13

Q & A: Documentary filmmakers aim to start a national conversation about early education -- An argument in favor of universal preschool and publicly funded early care for infants and toddlers will hit the small screen early next year in the form of a new PBS documentary series, “The Raising of America.” Lillian Mongeau EdSource -- 9/9/13

Corinthian Colleges challenged by declining enrollment -- Corinthian Colleges faces a downturn in enrollment at its for-profit colleges as well as regulatory investigations by the SEC and state prosecutors. Stuart Pfeifer in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/9/13

Scrutiny again for for-profit colleges -- As the Education Department gathers a panel to rewrite controversial for-profit college regulations, the motto might as well be “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Libby A. Nelson Politico -- 9/9/13

Farm Workers Face Tough School Choices
The school year is just getting underway across most of California. Preschoolers in Ventura County, about an hour from Los Angeles, have actually just finished the school year. It's a program that caters to the needs of parents who are migratory farm workers.

Education News: September 7-8, 2013

For-profit colleges soaking up tax dollars despite student loan defaults, low graduation rates -- and could be in trouble -- They rake in millions of dollars in federal tuition aid and still charge students more than $20,000 a year, on top of scholarships and grants. Katy Murphy and Thomas Peele in the Contra Costa Times -- 9/8/13 -- 9/8/13

Walters: Old school battles are flaring up -- California is simultaneously implementing two major – even historic – changes in its 6-million-student public school system, and all adults involved pledge that they have the best interests of those kids at heart. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/8/13

San Francisco middle schools bursting at seams -- After years, if not decades, of classrooms with too many empty seats, San Francisco middle schools this year are bursting at the seams. Jill Tucker, Marisa Lagos in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/8/13

LAUSD counselors, volunteers fan out in dropout-prevention campaign -- Alfonso Martinez had dropped his 17-year-old daughter off at Grant High early Friday, so he figured that Roxana had just missed morning roll call when he got the robocall from the school alerting him that his child was tardy or absent. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/7/13

JPMorgan Chase exits student loan business: 'No meaningful growth' -- Citing a large drop-off in private student loan originations, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. spokeswoman confirmed Friday that the bank would stop issuing student loans Oct. 12. Ricardo Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/7/13

State News: September 9, 2013

Lawmakers save big bills for final push -- California lawmakers will wade into the final week of the year Monday to tackle an unfinished agenda that includes milestone measures to increase the minimum wage, strip tax breaks from the Boy Scouts and grant driver’s licenses to unauthorized immigrants. Michael Gardner UT San Diego$ -- 9/9/13

Walters: In California Legislature, some games alter the rules of others -- Our perpetual fascination with sports reflects, consciously or otherwise, the simple fact that for most of us, life itself is a competitive game. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/9/13

Education in the News: September 6, 2013

L.A. schools Supt. Deasy withdraws support for new testing plan -- He raised concerns Thursday after more details emerged about a pending major shift in how California's 6.2 million students are taught and tested. State officials plan to drop the standardized exams used since 1999 and replace them with a computerized system next spring. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/6/13

Union accuses L.A. Unified of targeting its school leaders -- The Los Angeles teachers union has ramped up the battle over displaced teachers at Crenshaw High and another campus, accusing the district of removing instructors because they engaged in union activity that is protected by law. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/6/13

Daily Cal seeks funding as major donor cuts off cash flow -- Berkeley’s Daily Californian newspaper has been cut off from its biggest source of funding — a single anonymous donor — and is now tapping companies and alumni in an effort to scrounge up more sources of private funding. Renée Frojo San Francisco Business Times -- 9/6/13

Teachers in Daly City schools to get raise, but must take on more work
The Jefferson Elementary School District is giving teachers their first raise in five years, but it's also asking them to do more work.
Under the agreement, teachers will receive a 6 percent pay raise, in addition to help covering health insurance costs for their dependents. by Brendan P. Bartholomew

State News: September 6, 2013

Inmates end California prison hunger strike -- Inmates leading California's largest prison protest ended a two-month hunger strike Thursday without winning major concessions on solitary confinement conditions — their main grievance — but with the promise of legislative hearings on the issue. Paige St. John in the Los Angeles Times$

A Corporate Tax Idea That Fixes Lots Of Problems
Here is one thing Congress could do that would create more jobs, boost the economy and reduce both the budget deficit and the trade deficit. This one thing would not only provide a big boost now, but would provide an ongoing boost from now on. Congress should modify the “deferral” tax loophole that lets companies dodge their taxes by moving and keeping profits “out of the country.” By Dave Johnson Posted on 06 September 2013

CFT in the News: September 5, 2013

September 4, 2013 (Sacramento) – A measure that would require all school modernization projects seeking state funding to include classroom doors that lock from the inside was held today in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Block authored the legislation, which was sponsored by the California Federation of Teachers.

With City College on the Ropes, 150 Sit-In
On August 3, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges revoked the City College of San Francisco’s accreditation in July 2014—which, if it goes through, will effectively shut down a historically accessible institution of higher education for working-class students.

Meanwhile, in response to a nearly 300-page complaint filed by the American Federation of Teachers 2121 and the California Federation of Teachers, the ACCJC is under federal investigation over failing to comply with federal regulations.

Education in the News: September 5, 2013

SF City College Finds Another Way to Avoid Closure
City College of San Francisco, faced with possible closure in July 2014, may have found a lifeline.
The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) has threatened to pull CCSF's accreditation over concerns about its finances and governance. But according to the S.F. Examiner, a little-known clause in the bylaws of the ACCJC allows for a fresh review of its ruling. September 5, 2013

City College may have another chance to save itself
A little-known clause in the bylaws of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges apparently allows for a fresh review of the ruling that could force City College of San Francisco to close in July. by Andrea Koskey

Education Interrupted
The controversy over CCSF's future has Youth Radio's Morgan Boeder worried about the future of her education.
I was sitting in my boyfriend's room in my pajamas, picking out classes when I opened the email informing me that my school had lost its accreditation and might close its doors next year. By Morgan Boeder Thu, Sep 5, 2013

Common Core practice test would replace state math and English tests next year -- In order to avoid serving two masters – the old state academic standards and the new multi-state Common Core standards – state leaders are now proposing to discontinue nearly all state standardized tests next spring, including English language arts and math. John Fensterwald EdSource Kimberly Beltran SI&A Cabinet Report 9/5/13

LAUSD pays $246,000 in overtime to keep air-conditioners running -- Los Angeles Unified has paid out nearly $250,000 in overtime in the last month to keep aging air-conditioning units running on Los Angeles Unified campuses, but that’s just a fraction of the bonus pay racked up by repair crews during a heat wave last year. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/5/13

SBE guidance on LCFF accountability: Read the law -- School administrators and advocacy groups inundated the state board meeting Wednesday with yet another dose of unease and anxiety over regulatory oversight of the state’s new funding system for schools, the Local Control Funding Formula. Tom Chorneau SI&A Cabinet Report -- 9/5/13

State Board adopts national K-12 Next Generation Science Standards -- California became the sixth state to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards with the unanimous approval Wednesday by the State Board of Education. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 9/5/13

Judge denies Mills High School suit against AP testmakers -- A federal judge has struck down a lawsuit by Mills High School students, their parents and the San Mateo Union High School District that sought to force the College Board and Educational Testing Service to score 634 disputed Advanced Placement exams. Aaron Kinney in the San Jose Mercury -- 9/5/13

Ranking Schools Based On What Matters
President Obama recently proposed a new college ranking system, based on more than test scores. The Washington Monthly has been doing that for years. Host Michel Martin finds out more.

In Charter School Fantasy World, Teacher Experience Irrelevant
As the New York Times reported on August 27, most charter school teachers only remain in the profession for two to five years. In contrast, traditional public school teachers average nearly fourteen years of experience. But in the fantasy world of charter school proponents, far from being a shortcoming this lack of teaching experience is a positive. By Randy Shaw Posted on 05 September 2013

Do You Have the Right to be an Advocate?
Where do teachers’ rights begin and end when it comes to voicing their opinions in the public square?
So many times, teachers, faculty, and public employees are hesitant to step forward and speak out on issues — political issues, election debates, candidate endorsements, education policy questions. By Julie Underwood, Phi Delta Kappan

State News: September 5, 2013

Brown offers pension deal to unlock transit funds -- Gov. Jerry Brown has offered the Obama administration a compromise that would keep $1.6 billion in federal transit dollars flowing into California in return for temporarily exempting unionized public transportation workers from being forced to contribute more to their pensions. Jon Ortiz

State Senate panel endorses alternative to Gov. Brown's prison plan -- A state Senate panel Wednesday approved a plan to reduce prison crowding by spending more on rehabilitation and mental illness and drug treatment. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ 9/5/13

Dianne Feinstein supports fracking regulation bill -- U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Wednesday endorsed a controversial state bill that would regulate but allow “fracking” and another new means of extracting oil and gas. Josh Richman Political Blotter -- 9/5/13

CFT in the News: September 4, 2013

Solidarity in the Fight for 15
September 4, 2013
Activists in several cities report on their local experiences in a one-day strike by fast-food workers fighting for a living wage and union recognition.
ON AUGUST 19, low-wage workers in some 50 cities across the United States walked off the job at various fast-food restaurants as part of the latest action in the "Fight for 15" campaign for union recognition and a $15 an hour wage.

The following day, activists and rank-and-file members of California Federation of Teachers, SEIU, the Teamsters, and United Auto Workers escorted the workers back to their jobs.

Education in the News: September 4, 2013

5 vacancies on UC Board of Regents go unfilled under Gov. Jerry Brown -- Three of the seats on the panel overseeing the 10-campus system have been vacant for at least a year and a half. A spokesman says the governor's focused on getting the best candidates possible. Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/4/13

Early education advocates seek more support from governor -- Gov. Jerry Brown has been lauded for major reforms that are restoring K-12 schools to fiscal health, but advocates say he hasn’t made anywhere near the same kind of commitment to funding education for children before they enter kindergarten. Lillian Mongeau EdSource -- 9/4/13

LAUSD gets $113M in state money to launch Common Core -- Los Angeles Unified will receive about $113 million over the next two months to implement the new Common Core academic standards, the state Department of Education announced Tuesday. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/4/13

Civil rights groups dispute memo to State Board on new funding formula -- In a sign of a skirmish to come, leaders of 30 civil rights and non-profit groups representing disadvantaged children are disputing a memo to the State Board of Education characterizing the purpose of the Local Control Funding Formula. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 9/4/13

International Baccalaureate curriculum teaches SoCal students to think globally -- Across Southern California and the Inland Empire, students are being held to international standards, with schools in Ontario, Fontana, Yucaipa and elsewhere adopting the International Baccalaureate curriculum. Beau Yarbrough in the Inland Daily Bulletin -- 9/4/13

Poll: California voters support more testing to assess students, teachers -- By an undisputed majority, California voters strongly support more state standardized testing, both to measure student progress and to evaluate teachers, a poll released Tuesday shows. Sharon Noguchi in the Oakland Tribune -- 9/4/13

Beyond the iPad: Schools’ Choices In Tablets Grow
Just a couple of short years ago, the presence of tablets in schools was an exceptional phenomenon. This year, as students across the country go back to school, the presence of tablets is far more common in classrooms. Though it’s definitely not the norm yet, many more schools and districts are investing in the devices for a variety of reasons. Holly Korbey | September 4, 2013

EDUCATING EDUCATORS: California's schools are undergoing some big changes, notably the incoming Common Core standards and the newly passed Local Control Funding Formula. The California State Board of Education will discuss some of the implications at a meeting today, touching on new tests, new Common Core-driven instructional guidelines for math and what schools can expect from the new formula. Starting at 8 a.m. at the California Department of Education building on N Street.

State News: September 4, 2013

Walters: Prisons pivotal in crunch time at the Capitol -- Having taken off Labor Day and planning to observe two of the Jewish high holidays, state legislators have just six business days remaining before the scheduled end of their 2013 session, with hundreds of bills still awaiting action. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/4/13

CFT in the News: September 3, 2013

Viewpoints: Don’t rush opening the new house of education
By Joshua Pechthalt and Gary Ravani
Special to The Bee Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013
A lot of hard work is being done to prepare California’s teachers, schools and districts for the implementation of Common Core standards, the new assessments that go with them, and the latest iteration of the state’s Academic Performance Index, or API.

AB 917 Would Send Charter Schools to the Back of the Class
By Katy Grimes news reporter Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013
The popularity and success of California’s 900 charter schools aren’t making everyone happy. Union leaders have tried to organize the non-union schools, but unsuccessfully.

This isn’t the first controversial dance over charter schools. The California Federation of Teachers union sponsored AB 401 last year, which would have imposed a cap of 1,450 charters through 2017

Education in the News: September 3, 2013

In school iPad project, L.A. might need to tap funding for keyboards -- Los Angeles school officials are acknowledging a new looming cost in a $1-billion effort to provide iPads to every student: keyboards. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/2/13

State Ed Board considers key questions surrounding LCFF regs -- This week school administrators anxious over the lack of regulations governing use of more than $2 billion in new state formula funding should get some new insight over how much interim guidance the state board intends to provide. Tom Chorneau SI&A Cabinet Report -- 9/3/13

USC scholarship program keeps parents in the 7-year process -- Nearly all students who participate graduate — either from USC or other schools they're accepted to. Family involvement is key. Devin Kelly in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/2/13

UCSD loses two Google experts to Michigan -- The University of Michigan has raided UC San Diego, hiring a pair of young computer scientists who've been drawing attention for their efforts to help Google find better ways to operate online. Gary Robbins UT San Diego$ -- 9/2/13

Back to the Supreme Court
By Scott Jaschik Inside Higher Ed September 3, 2013
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June kept alive the right of colleges and universities to consider race in admissions. But in some states -- starting with California in 1996 -- voters have taken away that right, barring public colleges and universities from considering race and ethnicity in admitting students.

Education in the News: August 31 - September 2, 2013

Six Ways To Motivate To Students To Learn
Annie Murphy Paul | September 2, 2013
Scientific research has provided us with a number of ways to get the learning juices flowing, none of which involve paying money for good grades. And most smart teachers know this, even without scientific proof.

State review finds problems in Folsom Cordova special ed program -- The Folsom Cordova Unified School District repeatedly violated rules for evaluating special needs students and documenting their status last school year, a California Department of Education analysis has found. Loretta Kalb in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/2/13

School support staff must back charter under bill -- Legislation that cleared the state Assembly on Friday could make it harder to create charter schools in California by requiring supporters to seek consent of lower-level unionized school employees. Laura Olsen Associated Press -- 8/31/13

State News: September 3, 2013

Firefighters gaining upper hand on Rim fire in Yosemite -- Firefighting officials said Monday that they are gaining the upper hand on the massive Rim fire burning in and around Yosemite National Park. Containment jumped overnight from 45% to 60%, the weather was cooperating and some firefighters were beginning to be taken off the line, authorities said. Scott Gold in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/2/13

Crunch Time Begins for California Lawmakers -- The California legislature enters its home stretch Tuesday. Lawmakers have just two weeks left to tackle hundreds of bills before they adjourn for the year – including some that are quite controversial. Ben Adler Capital Public Radio -- 9/2/13

The state and challenges of L.A.’s labor movement -- Even with slight improvements in the economy, the labor movement in Los Angeles continues to face challenges in 2013, fighting to keep what it has and head off renewed efforts to scale back salaries and pensions. Rick Orlov in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/2/13

New water tunnel route sets up conservation battle over Delta island -- The new route proposed for Gov. Jerry Brown's giant Delta water-diversion project may conflict with direction from California voters, who spent $35 million in 2001 to acquire part of the new route as permanent wildlife habitat. Matt Weiser in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/1/13