Today's News Clips 9-21-11

Subject: Today's News Clips 9-21-11

 

Defying the position of the mayor of Los Angeles, the LAUSD school board is now on the record in support of the governor’s plan to end local redevelopment agencies and transfer their funds for public services such as public schools. Meanwhile, LAUSD parents are campaigning to save the jobs of hundreds of library aides, while Meg Whitman has decided to invest in the Summit charter school company based in the Bay Area – and is urging her Silicon Valley friends to do the same. Among the good news today about three educators winning awards: A College of Marin part-time instructor and poet who teaches remedial English has won a $500,000 MacArthur “genius grant” award…

 

The Los Angeles Board of Education voted Tuesday to join opponents of local redevelopment agencies in the legal battle over who should control funds that are held by these agencies. The school board’s decision puts it at odds with L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has backed keeping funds with redevelopment agencies, including the one controlled by the city of Los Angeles. Billions of dollars...

 



 

LOS ANGELES -- Lock up libraries in a school district desperate to lift literacy rates? Sounds like either a bad joke or a satirical take on the decline of civilization. But no: It's the working plan for how to save money in Los Angeles Unified, as I laid out last week. The fight isn't quite over, though. Some folks, who consider the library-demolition idea one of the dumbest things they've eve...

 



 

Republican legislators in Sacramento are crying foul over an eleventh-hour push to limit future initiatives to November general elections. But the idea behind the union-backed legislation doesn't seem so bad to a majority of GOP voters, according to a new Field Poll. Registered Republicans supported the proposed change by a 15-point margin, 52 percent to 37 percent. Overall, 56 percent of voters...

 



 

SAN JOSE -- In San Jose on Tuesday, Whitman announced she is investing $2.5 million to support the expansion of Summit Public Schools, a charter school organization based in Redwood City that hopes to open 10 schools in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties in the next decade. She also committed to spending an additional $2.5 million in matching funds if "Silicon Valley colleagues" accept her challe...

 



 

MARIN -- Kay Ryan is an accomplished poet whose immediately distinctive and tightly woven verse is grounded in incisive explorations of seemingly familiar language, ideas, and experiences. Independent from schools of poetry and literary fashion, her mode of expression is a disarmingly clear and accessible style, characterized by concision, rhyme, wordplay, and wit. A part-time remedial English tea...

 



 

In four years, teacher Kristen Holm has started a morning running club, a bike-to-school day, family nutrition education nights and something called "Fitness Fridays," in which she acts as a kind of aerobics instructor for the entire school before the morning bell. She also has begun coordinating student trips to the nearby Lawndale farmers market -- a different class attends each week -- and seen to it that fresh fruit is available for purchase at recess for 25 cents. For these and other efforts, the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness has named Holm California's physical fitness teacher of the year…

 


The Fresno Unified School District has figured out a relatively simple way to dramatically increase the pass rates of high school students who enroll in online courses to make up for classes they have failed in a traditional classroom setting. Instead of letting students work at home, the district makes students take the online course while they are still at school—and provides a teacher in the co...

 



 

PALM SPRINGS -- The Desert Sands Unified School District board of education officially approved the tentative agreement with the teachers' union on Tuesday. The 5-0 vote makes official the negotiated contract, which was already approved by a vote of the Desert Sands Teachers Association members. The contract includes a 9-month pay freeze for teachers, an increase of the district's contribution t...

 



 

Mold found on third Lodi campus
(Stockton Record © 09/21/2011)

LODI -- Another Lodi Unified School District campus that was infested with mold will undergo costly repair work. The Washington School Development Center for the Handicapped, at 831 W. Lockeford St., was found several weeks ago to contain high amounts of airborne mold in a classroom. District Assistant Superintendent of Facilities and Maintenance Art Hand said the mold was all cleared out by Thurs...

 



 

CONCORD -- Becky Wright, who has driven buses in the Mt. Diablo school district for more than 20 years, called me today to discuss special education transportation problems. “Somebody has to say it,” she said. “We definitely have a problem in our department. The problem is big. It’s not just a few. It’s a lot.” She said the problems have a domino effect. “It affects everybody — the parents, the ki...

 



 

OLYMPIA, Wash.(AP) — Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has told both sides in the Tacoma teachers strike she wants an agreement by 3 p.m. today or she wants to see them in her office. The governor has no direct control of schools in Washington, which has a separate superintendent of public instruction, but Gregoire wants kids back in the classrooms, her spokesman Cory Curtis said. “There is no quest...

 



 

Education impact of Obama jobs bill under debate
(Education Week © 09/21/2011)

Educators and analysts are taking a hard look at whether the $55 billion K-12 portion of President Barack Obama’s nearly $450 billion jobs plan will provide the jolt to schools still feeling the pinch of a sputtering economy that the administration hopes. The plan faces long odds on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are struggling to trim at least $1.2 trillion from the deficit over the next 10 years...

 



 


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