In the News Archive: September 2014


Brown signs bills increasing access to EpiPens, overdose drug
California Healthline | Sept. 17, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has signed into law two bills that will require California school districts to stock emergency epinephrine auto-injectors, or EpiPens, and will increase the availability of naloxone -- a drug that commonly is used to reverse respiratory depression caused by overdosing on painkillers. 

Unions line up against, for Sacramento strong-mayor plan
Merced Sun-Star | Sept. 17, 2014
The campaign opposing the November ballot measure seeking to increase the powers of the mayor’s office in Sacramento has landed its first organized-labor support. 

Teacher tenure: Flawed decision hurts schools
San Diego Union Tribune | Sept. 13, 2014
The California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers recently filed an appeal over Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu’s ruling in Vergara v. California, a decision that would strip away basic due process rights for thousands of California teachers and turn the current streamlined school layoff process into a confusing morass of favoritism, ageism, and expensive litigation.

EDITORIAL: Sign these bills, Gov. Brown
Fresno Bee | Sept. 12, 2014
Much of the legislation on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk is drivel and needs to go in the trash. But there are prizes, too. Here are six bills worthy of his signature.

Our View: Drone regulation, EpiPens in schools and other worthy bills
Merced Sun-Star | Sept. 11, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk is covered with legislation that he must sign, veto or throw away. Much of it is, frankly, drivel. But there are some prizes there, as well. Here some bills that are worthy of his signature.

Ferguson nothing new, not so far away: Guest commentary
LA Daily News | Sept. 10, 2014
Ferguson is not so far from Los Angeles. On April 29, 1992, I was wrapping up another day teaching at Manual Arts High School in the heart of South Los Angeles, preparing to return to my home in nearby Leimert Park, when the civil unrest in response to the acquittal of four police officers charged in the beating of Rodney King erupted around the school. After six days, more than 50 people lay dead and burned-out buildings reflected more than a $1 billion in property damage.

Marshall Tuck urges California Board of Education to lead on teacher tenure revamp
Uncover California | Sept. 5, 2014
Marshall Tuck, a reelection opponent to California State Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, has urged the State Board of Education to immediately develop solutions to the issues raised in the 'teacher tenure' lawsuit. 

California teacher unions appeal ruling on job protections 
LA Times | Sept. 4, 2014
California's two largest teacher unions have appealed a court ruling that struck down key job protections for their members. 

Teachers unions file suit over tenure
Mother Lode | Sept. 4, 2014
A pair of California teachers unions has filed a lawsuit challenging a judge’s recent ruling that calls tenure and job protection “unconstitutional.” 

Calif. teachers' unions file appeal against Vergara ruling on teacher tenure
Education Week | Sept. 4, 2014
In the latest turn of events in the teacher-tenure saga in California, the state's teachers unions officially filed an appeal against the court decision that struck down tenure and dismissal laws.

California teacher unions appeal tenure ruling
CBS SF Bay Area | Sept. 3, 2014
California’s powerful teachers unions fought back Wednesday against a court ruling that struck down state laws on tenure and job protection for their 400,000 members, less than a week after Gov. Jerry Brown filed his own appeal. 

California teachers' unions appeal ruling striking down tenure
Wall Street Journal | Sept. 3, 2014
California's powerful teachers' unions fought back Wednesday against a court ruling that struck down state laws on tenure and job protection for their 400,000 members, less than a week after Gov. Jerry Brown filed his own appeal. 

Rail’s hollow victories
City Journal | Sept. 3, 2014
Recent headlines have given true believers in California’s embattled $68 billion bullet-train project a feeling of redemption. The state budget passed in June gave the California High-Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) its first infusion of state funds in years—a $250 million cut of fees from the state’s nascent cap-and-trade program. 

Brown’s Vergara appeal not so hard to understand
LA School Report | Sept. 2, 2014
While editorial boards at most of California’s major newspapers all reacted favorably to Judge Rolf Treu’s ruling in Vergara vs. California, and a USC poll showed that a strong majority of California voters oppose the state’s tenure and layoff policies for public school teachers that the court ruling struck down, Gov. Jerry Brown nonetheless appealed the decision.

Gov. Brown appeals ruling that struck down teacher job protections
LA Times | Aug. 30, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown filed an appeal Friday of a ruling that struck down traditional job protections for teachers. 

Should CA schools ban suspensions and expulsions for willful defiance?
KPCC Airtalk | Aug. 28, 2014
The state Senate has recently passed a bill that bans the use of suspensions and expulsions for dealing with students who commit defiant and disruptive acts. 


Tuck, Torlakson debate union power, lawsuit
EdSource | Sept. 30, 2014
The two candidates for state superintendent of public instruction disagreed on the condition of K-12 education in California, the influence of teachers unions and which of them is best qualified for the job at a forum Saturday in Burlingame, the last scheduled joint appearance before the Nov. 4 election.

Brown wraps up ed bills, leaves some heads shaking
Cabinet Report | Sept. 30, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have made kindergarten mandatory while at the same time signing one intended to show the overwhelming boost that optional year gives kids headed to first grade.

Jerry Brown approves community college bachelor’s degrees
Sacramento Bee | Sept. 29, 2014
In what could portend a monumental shift in public higher education in California, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Sunday that will allow up to 15 community colleges to launch bachelor’s degrees programs in vocational fields.

Is Common Core technology worth it?
Fox & Hounds | Sept. 29, 2014
California’s transition from its previous STAR program to the Common Core State Standards has been slow and more costly than expected. With the first Common Core tests scheduled for this spring, school districts are still struggling to provide all of the necessary technology and bandwidth for the new assessments, which are required to be administered electronically in lieu of traditional paper-and-pencil tests.

New math causing consternation
U-T San Diego | Sept. 28, 2014
The new Common Core math has been mocked by comedians. It’s been fodder for political conspiracies. And it’s a source of confusion for parents.

Police aren’t over-armed, considering the threats: Letters

LA Daily News | Sept. 18, 2014
Re “Ferguson — nothing new, not so far away” (Commentary, Sept. 12):
Writer Joshua Pechthalt has written about the “civil unrest” following the first verdict of the four officers charged in the beating of Rodney King and the shooting of Michael Brown.

Regents OK raises up to 20% for UC chancellors

LA Times | Sept. 18, 2014
The UC regents Thursday awarded pay increases of as much as 20% to the leaders of the Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Merced and Riverside campuses and set the annual salary of the new UC Irvine chancellor, Howard Gillman, at $485,000.

Report critical of charter school oversight
EdSource | Sept. 18, 2014
A lack of oversight of the nation’s charter schools has led to too many cases of fraud and abuse and too little attention to equity, according to a new report that offers recommendations to remedy the situation.

Governor approves bill increasing transparency for California community college accreditation
San Francisco Examiner | Sept. 18, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill unanimously supported by both the Senate and Assembly that seeks to make the accreditation system for California's 112 community colleges more transparent.

Teacher-hating right-wing shill Campbell Brown deserves all the criticism she’s getting
Politicus USA | Sept. 18, 2014
You may know Campbell Brown as a former anchorwoman who had regular gigs on CNN and NBC. Brown ended up leaving her job at CNN due to low ratings. Since then, she has kept herself busy writing critical op-eds about President Obama and Planned Parenthood and jumping into the education reform movement. 

New report on L.A. Unified's iPads reflects problems with curriculum
LA Times | Sept. 17, 2014
An evaluation of the iPads-for-all project in Los Angeles schools found that only 1 of 245 classrooms surveyed even used the costly curriculum.

Guest commentary: Must move ahead on Common Core
Contra Costa Times | Sept. 17, 2014
A multitude of voices now can be heard about the Common Core standards that have been adopted in 44 states. While there is legitimate concern about the latest reform in American education, the standards allow our nation to provide, for the first time, a set of goals that all students from primary school through high school must achieve for further academic study and career readiness.

Seven education bills await action by Gov. Brown
LA School Report | Sept. 17, 2014
Seven education bills are currently awaiting the signature or veto of Gov. Jerry Brown – and before too many more stack up, we thought a review was in order.

Fate of high school exit exam undecided
EdSource | Sept. 17, 2014
While the state’s standardized testing program is being revamped during the transition to the new Common Core State Standards, the fate of the high school exit exam – the one test students must pass – remains murky.

Lawsuit challenges teachers’ compulsory dues
EdSource | Sept. 16, 2014
Vergara v. State of California, threatening teacher protection laws in California, has consumed the attention of the California Teachers Association. But another lawsuit working its way through the courts is striking at the core of the CTA’s power: its authority to automatically deduct hundreds of millions of dollars a year in dues from the paychecks of both members and non-members.

L.A. schools police will return grenade launchers but keep rifles, armored vehicle
LA Times | Sept. 16, 2014
Los Angeles Unified school police officials said Tuesday that the department will relinquish some of the military weaponry it acquired through a federal program that furnishes local law enforcement with surplus equipment. The move comes as education and civil rights groups have called on the U.S. Department of Defense to halt the practice for schools.

NY Tenure lawsuit wracked by feuding parties
Daily Caller | Sept. 13, 2014
Legal efforts to force a change to New York’s teacher tenure laws are becoming bogged down by infighting among activists.

White: Good teachers need to be kept
Recordnet | Sept. 12, 2014
Teachers need job protection. No, not those teachers who are abusive or grossly incompetent or lazy. And, no, not first-year teachers or probationary ones.

Truancy rates are higher among California's low-income students, report says
LA Times | Sept. 12, 2014
Across California, truancy rates for students from low-income backgrounds were disproportionately higher than for their more affluent peers during the 2013-14 school year, according to a report released Thursday.

Sides drawn in courtroom showdown over CCSF accreditation
San Francisco Examiner | Sept. 11, 2014
Was the decision to revoke City College of San Francisco's accreditation last year truly a business-related matter?

City Attorney, Accreditation Commission get day in court over CCSF
KQED | Sept. 11, 2014
In a lawsuit that could go to trial next month, attorneys for San Francisco and a regional accrediting commission argued at a hearing Wednesday over whether City College of San Francisco has wrongly faced the loss of its accreditation.

L.A. school board OKs contract to destroy emails, raising concerns
LA Times | Sept. 11, 2014
The Los Angeles Unified School District took steps this week to enforce rules under which emails are deleted after one year, raising concerns about whether important public records would be destroyed in the process.

City Attorney, ACCJC spar in hearing of City College lawsuit
The San Francisco Appeal | Sept. 10, 2014
In a lawsuit that could go to trial next month, attorneys for San Francisco and a regional accrediting commission argued at a hearing today over whether City College of San Francisco has wrongly faced the loss of its accreditation.

California teacher tenure finally a major election issue
LA Times | Sept. 10, 2014
Who'd have thought it? Teacher tenure — the topic that made sparks fly during a gubernatorial debate. And the hottest issue in a close race for state schools chief.

Teacher tenure has little to do with student achievement, economist says
Washington Post | Sept. 10, 2014
Tenure in public schools is under attack from critics who argue that the system protects incompetent teachers and holds back students. Earlier this year, a judge threw out California's tenure laws, holding that they barred students of color from getting an equal education. 

Guest commentary: Gov. Jerry Brown must sign bill to limit school suspensions
Contra Costa Times | Sept. 9, 2014
It has been 60 years since the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education cracked the walls of racial segregation. Yet our public schools are still far from equal and one of the places we see this most starkly is in how African-American and Latino students are disciplined.

Here's a 50-state look at how the Common Core is playing out in the U.S.
Deseret News | Sept. 9, 2014
The Common Core standards, a series of educational standards aimed at helping student prepare for higher education and entry into the workforce, were adopted by more than 40 states in 2010.

Gloria Romero: Does what happens in California stay in California?
OC Register | Sept. 8, 2014
The Vergara lawsuit – in which nine children successfully challenged the constitutionality of key California teacher employment and dismissal provisions – has gone national. Amid much pomp, Students Matter, the nonprofit funding Vergara, announced support for a similar challenge, Davids v. New York.

CCSF chancellor confident school will qualify for restoration status
San Francisco Examiner | Sept. 8, 2014
Just weeks shy of his one-year anniversary on Nov. 1 as the chancellor of City College of San Francisco, Arthur Tyler will lead the school in its next step to seek restoration status — the only remaining administrative option to save the college’s accreditation.

Napolitano, UC support Common Core state standards
Daily Californian | Sept. 8, 2014
UC President Janet Napolitano and three other leaders in California public and private higher education signed a letter Aug. 29 expressing support for the Common Core State Standards.

Gates Foundation has donated more than $10 million to Colo. ed groups to support Common Core
Chalkbeat Colorado | Sept. 8, 2014
No organization has given more money to support the roll out of the Common Core State Standards than the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In the last four years, more than $200 million has been distributed to nearly every corner of the country to either implement the English and math standards or support those who are doing so.

New Common Core math standards add up to big changes
SF Gate | Sept. 6, 2014
Some say the new Common Core math standards are too easy. Others say they're too hard or too focused on ideas rather than correct answers.

Kashkari attacks Jerry Brown on Tesla, teachers, 'crazy train' in spirited debate

San Jose Mercury News | Sept. 5, 2014
Neel Kashkari, the underdog in California's race for governor, launched a fusillade of attacks on Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday night in their first and probably only debate.

Teachers unions under fire
Wall Street Journal | Sept. 4, 2014
Teachers unions are fighting back against a California ruling that gutted two things they hold sacred: tenure laws and seniority provisions. But they face an uphill battle to reshape their image as opponents—and even some allies—say they are standing in the way of needed improvements in education.

Bill that would protect elected community college trustees awaits governor
SF Gate | Sept. 4, 2014
A proposed law that would limit the removal of an elected board of trustees from California's community colleges, such as when City College of San Francisco's board was temporarily replaced by a special trustee in 2013, is awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown.

State awards Common Core test contract
EdSource | Sept. 3, 2014
With the State Board of Education’s approval, California became the eighth state** Wednesday to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium for the standardized tests in the Common Core State Standards that students will take next spring.

California appeals teacher tenure ruling
Huffington Post | Sept. 2, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown appealed a court ruling that struck down tenure and other job protections for California's teachers, setting himself apart from leaders in some other states who have fought to end such protections or raise the standards for obtaining them.

Goldstein: Who matters more than your child's teacher
Newsweek | Sept. 2, 2014
As we go back to school this fall, parents will naturally be fretting about teachers - mainly, did their kids get the best ones? But what if, in the interest of educational improvement, we paused to examine the role of one person who rarely gets talked about, but who just might be the most important figure in school reform: the principal?

Far-reaching Vergara decision headed for appeals court
KPCC | Sept. 2, 2014
Officials are challenging the Vergara v. California ruling that struck down key job protections for state public school teachers.

Calif. Governor appeals Vergara ruling on teacher tenure
Education Week | Sept. 2, 2014
California Gov. Jerry Brown has appealed the court ruling that struck down the state's teacher-tenure laws, a day after the ruling was finalized.

Analysis finds California students attend school more than U.S. peers
LA Times | Sept. 2, 2014
California students attend school more consistently than most of their U.S. peers, and such attendance directly relates to better performance on national math and reading tests, a new analysis has found.

“Just cause” and the attack on job security
Dollars & Sense | Sept. 1, 2014
The United States is alone among industrialized countries in allowing workers to be considered “at will” employees and dismissed for any reason—justified or not—unless protected by a collective-bargaining agreement or individual contract. At-will employees have no job security. 

The most important figure in school reform we never talk about
Slate | Sept. 1, 2014
As we go back to school this fall, parents will naturally be fretting about teachers—mainly, did their kids get the best ones? But what if, in the interest of educational improvement, we paused to examine the role of one person who rarely gets talked about, but who just might be the most important figure in school reform: the principal?

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