Brown budget sends extra $2.9 billion to educationSACRAMENTO, Calif.—Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday proposed a revised budget that would send an extra $2.9 billion to California schools this year, including $1 billion in one-time funding to help districts implement more rigorous academic standards.
Parent trigger law invoked to kick out L.A. school’s administratorsLOS ANGELES -- A group of parents appear ready to force the Los Angeles Unified School District to enact sweeping changes at their elementary school.
California moves quickly to carry out national education standardsFor generations, first-grade students learned how to add using math tables and flashcards. Carolyn Goehring employs plastic cubes and circles drawn in purple crayon. Rather than ask students to remember that five plus seven equals 12, the Raymond Chase Elementary School teacher wants them to visualize and illustrate different ways of getting there.
School reformers aim for teacher evaluationsEfforts in California to usher in teacher and school administrator accountability have been nearly impossible due to opposition from the teachers’ unions. But some reformers aren’t giving up, including in the Democratic Party.
Academic underperformanceThe biggest sticking point in education reform in California is the push to link academic performance of the students to the evaluation of the teachers. Reformers, including Michelle Rhee and her Students First organization, have focused on the need for better teacher evaluations. Teachers unions have resisted, and movement toward changing the rules has stalled.
Viewpoints: Resist urge to delay Common Core testingAcross California, teachers, parents and school administrators are working to make the transition to the new Common Core State Standards. They are asking an understandable question: Are schools ready?
California must remove barriers to getting rid of bad teachersNot enough is being done to address the abundance of underperforming public school teachers. When 1,100 California principals and superintendents were asked about teacher performance, they answered that roughly 13 percent of their teachers were not meeting the expectations of a satisfactory teacher.
Unions kill teacher evaluation billFor most parents in California, education is a nonpartisan issue. But too many of the state’s elected politicians, who claim to represent all constituents, accept teachers union campaign contributions — and lots of them.
Teacher evaluation bill fails to pass Senate Ed committeeA bill that would have imposed what supporters call ‘modest’ changes to the way teacher evaluations are conducted in California died Wednesday for lack of votes needed to keep it alive.
California teacher evaluation bill fails againLegislation that would alter how California schools judge teachers flunked another test on Tuesday, failing to advance for the second time in a week.
California government draws battle lines over schools funding(Reuters) - A controversial plan to shift billions of dollars in education funding toward the poorest school districts and away from wealthier ones is fast becoming a personal crusade for California Governor Jerry Brown, who this week promised "the battle of their lives" to legislators who dare to oppose it.
Editorial: Brown fights the good fight on school fundsBattling Jerry "Bulldog" Brown is back, and with the right cause. He vowed Wednesday "to fight with everything I have and whatever we have to bring to bear" to overhaul what his budget calls the state's "overly complex, administratively costly and inequitably distributed" school funding system.
Post navigation Committee Deadlocks on Teacher Evaluation BillA proposed bill known as SB 441 that would tighten teacher evaluation rules statewide narrowly failed to pass the Senate Education Committee Wednesday — but it’s not completely dead yet.
Teacher evaluations: Let the battle beginIt’s muscle-flexing time for the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers. On Wednesday, the state Senate Education Committee will take up a bill by Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, that would adopt a formal state standard for evaluating teachers. But since one of the evaluation factors is student performance, the CTA and CFT have declared war on SB 441.
State Democrats decide who’s a REAL DemocratReal Democrats don’t back school reform, apparently. Or maybe the message is that Democrats don’t let Democrats shake up the school scene. In any case, real Democrats clearly aren’t allowed to disagree with the California Teachers Assn.
Taking a crack at California’s education systemSACRAMENTO — When Michelle Rhee wants to make a point about what she sees as the coddling of American children, she refers to her daughters' abundant soccer trophies.
Q&A with Michelle RheeAfter 18 years in education, including a turbulent stint as chancellor of Washington, D.C., public schools, Michelle Rhee has attracted her share of critics and fans. Now living in Sacramento, she has written a book and founded a group, StudentsFirst, to promote school reform. She met with the U-T Editorial Board recently to discuss education. Here is an edited and condensed transcript of the interview.
School funding needs transparencyHere's a challenge for you if you have a few spare minutes this evening: Try to figure out how much money is going to public schools in your city and what it's being spent on. If you're an average parent or taxpayer, you're not going to figure it out.
Weintraub: Brown’s school plan is smart, with accountabilityArguing that Sacramento is micromanaging the public schools, Gov. Jerry Brown is pushing hard to give local districts and individual schools more power over spending and classroom instruction.
Reformer vs. SacramentoMichelle Rhee, perhaps the most formidable and certainly the most controversial reformer in American education, has picked a curious place to set up shop.
Eric Lerum: Raising quality in school choiceCalifornia has long embraced the notion of ensuring that parents have more school choice options.
LAUSD school board passes parent trigger petitionThe 24th Street Elementary School Parent Union is the third group to use California's parent trigger law, which allows groups that collect enough petitions to force dramatic changes on public schools.
Michelle Rhee Names Kahlil Byrd as StudentsFirst New PresidentStudentsFirst, a bipartisan grassroots education reform movement, announced key new hires as the organization transitions into its next phase of development. The new hires include individuals with a breadth of knowledge and experience in politics and nonprofit management. They will all work of out the StudentsFirst headquarters located in Sacramento, California.
California misses school improvement opportunity
It is now almost certain that more than half of California's low-income schools will be labeled "failing" by the U.S. Department of Education.
California 8th graders behind states and world on math, science tests
California 8th graders ranked in the middle overall, but behind eight states in math and science in the latest international tests.
The California Department of Education says you have a right to a bad education
California Department of Education recently defended itself from allegations that our kids are receiving a substandard education by arguing that, "There is no constitutional right to a 'meaningful' education."
A good teacher is hard to keepA great teacher can have a huge effect on a child's life. So, unfortunately, can a bad teacher. But in education, job performance has virtually nothing to do with opportunities for advancement. Teachers who are consistently successful with students are not given leadership roles that would allow them to reach students beyond their own classrooms, and if they don't have enough seniority, they can be let go without anyone seeming to care come layoff time. This is enormously frustrating.
Sorry, teachers, test scores should countIn many ways, the recently resurrected Assembly Bill 5 would bring needed clarity and rigor to the performance evaluations of California's public school teachers. It nicely balances minimum requirements for all teachers and considerable control by local school districts. What a shame, then, that it also would weaken a key aspect of existing law, making the new bill unworthy of support when it comes before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.
Thursday deadline for resolving teacher evaluation billThe Senate Appropriations Committee has given Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes three days to figure out how to pay for and, if possible, mollify critics of his bill to redesign teacher evaluations.
Negotiations intensify around teacher evaluation billThe author of a bill requiring school districts to implement a teacher evaluation system said Monday he still needs to find the almost $22 million needed to pay for the plan – although there are indications a major policy rewrite could also be in the offing.
In Sacramento, bogus education ‘reform’The case for making teacher quality the top priority in public schools has never been stronger. President Barack Obama, like his Republican predecessor, is on board. And no wonder: Research keeps underlining that just as exceptional teachers help students thrive, mediocre and bad teachers slow student progress.
Opinion: Michelle Rhee Makes Her MarkIt's been more than a year since the state Assembly passed AB5, a hotly disputed measure meant to change the way California's public schoolteachers are evaluated. It's been in the legislative deep freeze ever since. But the bill, which has raised labor's ire, is being thawed out in the closing weeks of the legislative session.
New Jersey’s fairer way to fire teachers
Every time a proposal to reform the hiring and firing of teachers is put forward in California, it's just as complicated and, in ways, as counterproductive as the current system.
Editorial: ‘parent trigger’ clarityFinally, a judge has put an end to the nonsense at Desert Trails Elementary School in Adelanto, where parents want to force major changes but have been blocked by the district.
Viewpoints: Sac City needs new teacher evaluation systemThese teachers were acknowledged as outstanding classroom educators, excellent collaborators and unrivaled school leaders while working with an unmatched passion and dedication. Ironically, both were given a "pink slip" by our district.
Editorial: A win for educational reform with parent-trigger law’s use at failing elementary schoolA ruling this month in a San Bernardino County court is another victory for education reform in an ongoing battle to give parents in California the power to fix failing schools.
Teacher Of The Year Gets Lay-Off Notice From Sacramento School District Amid Budget CutsApperson's case in Sacramento is perhaps the clearest example of why many support the end of California's "last in, first out" teacher layoff policy. In a poll conducted last month by StudentsFirst, more than 75 percent of 805 surveyed Californians said they support ending seniority-based teacher layoffs.
Where Layoffs Destroy a School’s FabricThe district's last-in-first-out policy on layoffs means schools in San Diego's poorer neighborhoods are typically hit hardest when pink slips are issued, because those schools tend to have higher proportions of young, less-experienced teachers in their ranks. Those teachers are the first to get laid off.
District’s “Teacher of the Year” laid offThe district was facing a $43 million budget shortfall, which it addressed in part through cuts in its workforce -- including teachers. A district spokesperson said the way teacher layoffs are handled is mandated by state law, and that the layoffs were based on seniority.
LAUSD ordered to use student achievement in judging teachersA court finds that L.A. Unified violated state law requiring measurements of pupils' progress be used to evaluate instructors. But he gives the district wide latitude on how to measure learning.
Critics decry latest shrinkage of L.A. Unified’s school yearAll sides agree that the tentative agreement to trim 5 instructional days in 2012-13 is a bad outcome for students, but some defend it as a necessity.
At This School, a Good Deed Outlives a JobThe band uniforms were falling apart. Literally coming apart at the seams during football games. So Russell Shedd decided to run. The music teacher at Scripps Ranch High School was in his ninth year at the school. He’d seen his budget go from $700 a year for everything, to zero.
StudentsFirst CEO Michelle Rhee joins the show!Michelle Rhee, founder and CEO of StudentsFirst is a champion for letting go of the status quo and making education in America the finest in the world. There is a better way to do education, and it always is when the student's needs come first, and not the unions and administrators!
California primaries show Democratic divide on educationDemocratic candidates backed by teachers unions narrowly lost on Tuesday in two California state assembly primary races that highlighted a bitter split in the Democratic Party over education policy.
News & Resources: Survey finds support for reforming teacher layoff policiesThree of four likely voters in California support ending the seniority-based, teacher-layoff policy, a new survey released Thursday showed…Nearly 80 percent of those polled support reforms that would replace the current policy, known as ‘last in, first out,’ according to results of the survey, conducted May 18-23 for StudentsFirst, a Sacramento-based non-profit organization led by former D.C. chancellor Michelle Rhee.
Huffington Post: San Francisco Teachers Layoffs Partially AvertedA recent survey conducted by controversial education reform group Students First found that that a large majority of likely California voters oppose seniority-based layoff policies--with the strongest opposition from the state's African American and Hispanic communities. Only 29 percent of respondents said seniority should play any factor in deciding which teachers to lay off.
Despidos de maestros afectan más a latinosLos despidos de maestros han registrado un impacto desproporcionado en las comunidades de bajos ingresos y minorías, sobre todo en los latinos y afroamericanos en California.
California’s Teacher Layoff Policy Hits Low-Income and Minority Students Hardest, Research ShowsReforming Policies Like California's Seniority-Based Layoffs Will Promote Social Justice, Save Jobs and Better Serve California Students
Newton: A split among DemocratsEspecially in California, the party is deeply divided on the question of how best to improve schools.
Editorial: New pressure for teacher qualityAcross the political spectrum, people agree that quality teaching is essential to student success. The National Council on Teacher Quality puts it this way: "Effective teachers matter a great deal and ineffective teachers may matter even more." … No one is well-served when ineffective teachers are protected at the expense of students and good teachers.
Editorial: S.F. schools’ teacher layoff plan is flawedSan Francisco's lowest-performing schools need help, not rigid labor rules. But that's just what over a dozen bottom-rung schools are getting as the teachers union insists on seniority-based layoffs that will devastate these classrooms.
Lawsuit Attacks Teacher Tenure Rules as Protecting Ineffective TeachersLawyers for seven California schoolchildren are suing the state in an attempt to overturn five laws that they say violate their constitutional right to a fair education because they protect bad teachers.
Lawsuit attacks teacher tenure rules in low-income San Jose school districtLawyers for seven schoolchildren from the South Bay and around California are suing the state and an East San Jose school district in an attempt to overturn five laws that they say violate their constitutional right to a fair education because they protect bad teachers.
8 students file suit against LAUSD, gov alleges state tenure laws deprive them of quality educationIn a sweeping challenge of teacher employment rules, eight students have filed suit claiming that California law violates their right to a quality education by protecting bad teachers from being laid off or fired.
S.F. teacher layoffs threaten improving schoolsDr. George Washington Carver Elementary School's test scores have consistently been the worst in the state year after year.
Why I may have to leave my Compton classroomAs a sixth-grade teacher in Compton, I am doing what I love and having the kind of impact with kids that I dreamed about when I entered the teaching profession four years ago. But, sadly, I think this may be my last year on the job.
California should revamp teacher layoff process, analyst saysCalifornia school districts issue more pink slips than necessary and the state should consider alternatives to seniority-based layoffs, according to a report from the state legislative analyst’s office. In the report, released Thursday, the nonpartisan analyst said that because state and local budget information is available only after the initial deadline for districts to send out layoff notices, more pink slips are issued.
Editorial: Students hurt by ‘last hired, first fired’ ruleLayoffs are an unfortunate feature in these tough times – including in public schools. "Pink slip" season is coming upon us again, March 15.
Calif. judge rules district improperly rejected parents’ petition, must implement reformsThe effort to have parents drive school reform received a substantial boost with a court ordering a San Bernardino County school district to accept a parent petition demanding changes at a failing elementary school.
11/8/2012 StudentsFirst Electoral Activity in 2012