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September 30 | EducateOurState

Interested in learning more about the two candidates for State Superintendent of Public Instruction? EducateOurState co-hosted an event with the Santa Clara County Office of Education, and John Fensterwald of EdSource moderated the forum. You can see a recording of the event here.

Teachers and SUSD in stalemate over salaries, evaluations

September 20 | Recordnet

By Elizabeth Roberts

The Stockton Unified School District, which in July rejected a teachers’ union demand for a 19.5 percent increase over two years, remains at an impasse with the Stockton Teachers Association following a recent meeting with a state mediator.

Both sides say they are eager to settle but remain far apart on several key issues, including contract language about teacher evaluations and transfers, language Steiner called “ridiculous and divisive” in remarks before the Board of Trustees on Sept. 9.

Debate rages over how to evaluate teachers

September 20 | Recordnet

By Elizabeth Roberts

Should student test scores affect teacher evaluations?

That issue continues to be a stumbling block between Stockton Teachers Association and Stockton Unified negotiators as they pursue a new contract. And it is playing out on a national scale as well, part of larger accountability movement framing reform as a civil rights issue unfairly affecting disadvantaged and minority students. 

California's little-known 40-year-old Stull Act, in fact, requires student achievement to be included in teacher evaluations, though many districts have failed to comply in the decades since its 1971 passage, leaving them vulnerable to lawsuits. 

Truancy Rising in California; Worst Among Low-Income Students, Minorities

September 12 | Capital Public Radio

By Ben Adler

The report from the California Department of Justice estimates that more than a quarter-million elementary students were “chronically absent” last school year – missing class at least 10 percent of the time. That’s about 7.5 percent of all K-through-6th graders.

About 40,000 students missed twice that much – and of that group, nearly 90 percent are low-income. African-American children are chronically truant at nearly four times the rate of white kids.

California teacher tenure finally a major election issue

September 10 | Los Angeles Times

By George Skelton

The quality of California public schools — and most specifically their teachers — is a top issue in this election season. And it's about time.

It's front and center because of a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge's ruling in June. Judge Rolf M. Treu, appointed by Republican Gov. Pete Wilson in 1995, threw out some state laws governing teacher job security, declaring them unconstitutional.

Tom Torlakson will appeal California teacher tenure ruling

August 29 | Sacramento Bee

By Alexei Koseff

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will appeal the June court ruling that California’s teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional, he decided Friday.

Viewpoints: California's school spending should target needy students

August 21 | The Sacramento Bee

By Shirley Weber

The stakes for our students are high. We need a smart approach in place to ensure greater transparency in the new funding system and that resources support all students, especially those with the greatest needs.

The Trouble With Tenure

August 18 | The New York Times

By Frank Bruni

“It provides no incentive for someone to improve their practice,” [Johnston] told me last week. “It provides no accountability to actual student outcomes. It’s the classic driver of, ‘I taught it, they didn’t learn it, not my problem.’ It has a decimating impact on morale among staff, because some people can work hard, some can do nothing, and it doesn’t matter.”

Judge tells California to teach English learners

August 13 | San Jose Mercury News

By Biran Melley

California was ordered to educate all children who don't speak English after reports revealed a quarter of its school districts fail to meet that requirement, which is mandated by both the federal government and California itself.

Michelle Rhee stepping down as CEO of Sacramento-based StudentsFirst

August 13 | Sacramento Bee

By Ryan Lillis

Michelle Rhee, the prominent and controversial education figure who is the wife of Mayor Kevin Johnson, revealed in a statement to The Sacramento Bee on Wednesday that she is stepping down from her post as chief executive of StudentsFirst, the national advocacy organization she founded in 2010.

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