Edvoice - Issues

LAUSD turns down 'parent trigger' bid at southeast LA elementary school

March 14 | 89.3 KPPC

By Kyle Stokes

Los Angeles Unified School District officials have rejected a "parent trigger" petition from a group seeking to turn over control of their southeast L.A. elementary school to a charter school operator.

Parent trigger advocates say the 20th Street Elementary Parents Union submitted more than 350 signatures in February — enough to to force the district to turn over 20th Street to a charter operator.

But in the district's response, a district lawyer counters that the school isn't eligible for the parent trigger process since 20th Street met its "adequate yearly progress" target under federal school accountability laws.

Dan Walters: Judging schools isn't easy

March 11 | Sacramento Bee

By Dan Walters

California’s education establishment is happily jettisoning the strict, test-based systems of rating schools under both state and federal laws.

Administrators and teachers considered the two systems, sponsored by former Gov. Gray Davis and former President George W. Bush, to be overly simplistic and punitive.

The Legislature has suspended the state system indefinitely while the federal No Child Left Behind program was superseded by the less punitive Every Student Succeeds Act late last year.


Oakland District at Heart of Drive to Transform Urban Schools

March 4 | New York Times

By Motoko Rich

Mr. Wilson is facing a rebellion by teachers and some parents against his plan to allow families to use a single form to apply to any of the city’s 86 district-run schools or 44 charter campuses, all of which are competing for a shrinking number of students.

Mr. Wilson is trying to bring the traditional schools into closer coordination with the charters. “If he gets it right, it’s a model for moving past the polarized sense of reform that we have right now,” said Robert C. Pianta, dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia.

District settles lawsuit, agrees to share parcel tax with charters

March 3 | EdSource

By John Fensterwald

The West Contra Costa Unified School District has agreed to share parcel tax revenue with charter schools located in the district under the terms of a lawsuit settlement announced Thursday.

The California Charter Schools Association, which brought the lawsuit, said the agreement should send a message to other districts that have a parcel tax or are considering putting one on the ballot this year: Give charter schools a fair share to avoid possible litigation and do what’s right for kids.

Dan Walters: Big school overhaul frustrates

February 27 | Sacramento Bee

By Dan Walters

Three years ago, Gov. Jerry Brown persuaded legislators to overhaul how tens of billions of dollars in state aid flows to schools.

It pumped more money to schools, virtually eliminated strings on billions of dollars that had been restricted to particular programs, and gave additional aid to districts with large numbers of poor and “English learner” students.

So how’s all that working out? No one knows.

New L.A. schools chief Michelle King calls for making peace with charters

March 2 | LA Times

By Howard Blume

Recently hired school L.A. schools Supt. Michelle King on Tuesday called for traditional public schools and charters—groups often at odds—to work together, pledging to set up a conference where they could share ideas.

At a town hall event in Pacoima, before an audience of 700, King demonstrated a growing comfort in her new role as well as skill in framing responses that would appeal to those assembled.

Navigating the legal threats posed by LCAPs

February 29 | Cabinet Report

By Tom Chorneau

Two prominent attorneys who tend to face-off from opposite sides of most public school issues have found common ground on one thing – that districts face significant legal threat over the development and execution of local performance plans.

Already Los Angeles Unified was sued over its method for calculating the base cost of services to disadvantaged students, and with administrators getting started this spring on the third update of their Local Control Accountability Plans, even more scrutiny from outside groups is expected.

Pending release of 10 million California students' record potential catastrophe, IT specialists say

February 25 | San Jose Mercury News

By Sharon Noguchi

With a recent court ruling ordering the release of 10 million California student records to attorneys suing the state, parents throughout California are anxious about their children's private information falling into the wrong hands.

So can they protect the data that could include everything from their child's address, Social Security number and records on mental health, discipline and test scores?

Not right now.


Changes coming to LCAP, pressure for more continues

February 25 | Cabinet Report

By Kimberly Beltran

Based on public feedback – and increasing legislative pressure – the Brown administration says it will take action to simplify and make clearer the disclosure mechanism designed to reveal how school districts are using state funds to improve educational outcomes for California’s six million K-12 students.

Changes to the Local Control Accountability Plan template could include requiring a greater breakdown of expenditures, especially around spending on programs and services for English learners, poorer children and foster youth.

How easy should it be to fire bad teachers? A landmark case may decide for California

February 25 | LA Times

By Howard Blume and Joy Resmovits

The sides squaring off in a Los Angeles appeals courtroom on Thursday in the landmark case of Vergara vs. California agree on this: Teachers are key to whether students founder or thrive, and far too many students are failing or falling behind.

The debate over how to address that problem has erupted into a pivotal fight over the competing and complementary rights of students and teachers.

The people who slammed the state with this high-stakes lawsuit have a straightforward prescription: Make it easier for schools to get rid of bad teachers.