Edvoice - Issues

Teacher removed for 'dangerous' science projects; supports rally

April 10 | Los Angeles Times

By Howard Blume

A popular Los Angeles high school science teacher has been suspended after students turned in projects that appeared dangerous to administrators, spurring a campaign calling for his return to the classroom. 

Schiller was ordered to report daily to a district administrative office pending an investigation after two students turned in science projects...

As California standardized testing gains steam, help center inundated' with teacher calls

April 10 | Southern California Public Radio

By Adolfo Guzman-Lopez

It's week three for California’s new web-based standardized tests and some schools are reporting hair-pulling moments. 

Everything about the test is new: new Common Core standards, new online portal and, for those using tablets, even new devices to test on.

Sacramento Unified won't renew No Child Left Behind waiver

April 10 | EdSource

By John Fensterwald

Faced with intense opposition from teachers, Sacramento City Unified announced Wednesday it would not join other California districts in reapplying for a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Editorial: Faced with an initiative, teachers union blinks on discipline bill

April 9 | Sacramento Bee

By the Editorial Board

The threat of a ballot initiative did the trick, persuading the California Teachers Association to negotiate a new process for teacher dismissal. 

...Now the old one-size-fits-all process that treated dismissal for lewd acts or drug dealing the same as chronic tardiness is gone in a new bill, Assembly Bill 215 by Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo.

EdVoice promises to withdraw the initiative if [AB 215] becomes law by mid-June.

Deal announced on teacher dismissal bill that governor would support

April 7 | EdSource

By John Fensterwald

Signaling the resolution of an acrimonious issue, Assembly Education Committee Chairwoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, introduced a bill [AB 215] Friday to make dismissing teachers charged with severe misconduct quicker, easier and cheaper.

EdVoice has formed an unlikely alliance with the California Teachers Assocaiton in support of Buchanan and AB 215.

Legislation Speeds Process to Dismiss School Employees Accused of Egregious Misconduct

April 4 | EdVoice

Sacramento, CA – After years of contentious debate and no progress to fix the complex law governing appeals of the suspension and dismissal of permanent certificated school employees, the Legislature finally has a viable chance to act on a comprehensive measure to protect students and staff from abusers in California public schools and streamline all adverse action appeals.

AB 215 expedites the hearings of due process appeals by employees dismissed for sexually or physically abusing students or other staff, or who try to sell controlled substances to minors. The bill also significantly streamlines the appeals process of other misconduct and chronic unsatisfactory performance suspension and dismissal adverse actions.  

“Unfortunately, it’s no secret that when it comes to dismissing an adult for committing unthinkable acts against a child in a California public school, the law is broken. The bottleneck of procedural complexities and costs of permanent school employee dismissal appeals ties the hands of districts and incentivizes shocking settlement agreements,” said Bill Lucia, President of EdVoice.

Next Generation Blends will Teach to One

March 31 | EdWeek

By Tom Vander Ark

Over the last three years, New Classrooms, a nonprofit, has developed an instructional model that seeks to addresses the inherent limitations in one of the more common forms of blended learning -- rotational models -- where students transition among two or three learning stations within a class period.

"The problem with rotational models is content alignment," said Joel Rose, founder of nonprofit New Classrooms, "A kid at the computer station is working on something on his/her level but then goes to the teacher station and usually works on something different--even if teacher has a dashboard, kids are all over the map." This lack of alignment between adaptive and engaging online math instruction and a teacher-taught core curriculum have plagued math blends for a decade.

Calif. Testing Waiver Draws Civil Rights Concerns

March 25 | Education Week

By Michele McNeil

California's federal waiver, which [allows] the state with the most students and the largest enrollment of English-learners ditch its state tests, for the most part. The waiver means no data on student performance will be produced for at least a year for 3 million students.

Civil rights officials ... argue that it could jeopardize everything from who gets special education services in that state to how English-learners are classified.

Study: Los Angeles charter students learn more than in traditional public schools

March 17 | Southern California Public Radio

By Kristen Muller

Stanford University's Center for Research on Economic Outcomes (CREDO) issued a report Saturday that found charter school students in Los Angeles learn more in a year than their peers in traditional district schools. According to the study, charter school students receive the equivalent of about 50 more days of learning in reading and 79 days of math than students in traditional public schools.

State Board punts, for now, on San Jose's request for waiver from tenure law

March 14 | EdSource

By John Fensterwald

The district and the San Jose Teachers Association have a contract in which a panel of administrators and teachers together evaluate probationary teachers, defined as those in their first two years on the job. In other districts, teacher evaluation is the sole authority of principals. As part of the process, San Jose wants the State Board to give it flexibility to extend by one year the state’s two-year limit on probation before deciding to dismiss the teacher or grant permanent status, often referred to as tenure.

...Members [are] conflicted between expressing admiration for the district’s collaborative relationship with teachers and worrying about the legal implications of approval.