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Morning Read: LA Unified Planning Start for Phase 2 of iPads

LA School Report | November 14, 2013

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LAUSD hammering out details of iPad compromise
Los Angeles Unified officials began laying the groundwork Wednesday for the second phase of the district’s $1 billion technology project — one that will include about 70,000 more iPads, plus a test of laptops at several high schools and an in-depth comparison of which device works best. LA Daily News

iPad use out of sync with L.A. charter school’s philosophy
The eighth-graders in Stephanie McGurk’s class at Ocean Charter School began a recent day as they usually do: reciting a verse celebrating nature. Next, they played scales on recorders as they sat in a classroom furnished with wood furniture, lamps, wicker baskets, artwork and plants. LA Times

LAUSD board compromise on iPads is a promising sign
Editorial: In another marathon meeting this week, Los Angeles Unified School District board members took meaningful action on one of the big issues they faced while failing miserably to confront two others. Given the board’s recent track record, one out of three sounds like progress. LA Daily News

Better ways to grade public schools
Commentary: How do you measure school quality? For the last decade, the answer has been informed by a single set of data: standardized test scores. Now there is a chance to change that. Although Congress remains unwilling to overhaul No Child Left Behind, with its overemphasis on testing, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has taken matters into his own hands, issuing waivers that have freed 42 states and eight California districts — including L.A. Unified — from the law’s accountability mechanisms. LA Times 

A tough road ahead for early education bill 
A roomful of pre-schoolers, a movie star, the Secretary of Education, and mostly Democrat lawmakers unveiled a bill Wednesday to boost funding for early childhood education. With the national dropout rate at 25%, lawmakers on Capitol Hill say the answer is to tackle the problem before kids show up for kindergarten. A bill co-sponsored by California Democrat George Miller would spend more than $4 billion to improve pre-school for children from low- and middle-income families. KPCC

Repeal of transgender student law would not change existing protections
As efforts to overturn a new law allowing transgender students to use bathroom facilities and participate in sports teams consistent with their gender identity gain momentum, repeal of the law would have no impact on many existing policies protecting transgender rights in youth sports, according to legal advocates. EdSource

‘Linked learning’ seems to work for high school students
Commentary: It used to be called “shop.” Then educators started using two-bit labels like “vocational education.” And it got worse. “Career tech,” they renamed it when the era emerged. Now it goes by “linked learning.” Or is it “career pathways?” I’m confused. LA Times

Ten year decline in CA’s ‘specific learning disabled’
The number of students receiving special education services as a result of “specific learning disabilities” in California schools has fallen nearly 20 percent over the past decade – although students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder has spiked more than 300 percent over the same period. SI&A Cabinet Report

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