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Morning Read: 12 Charged in Textbook Theft Scheme

LA School Report | September 6, 2013

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Workers in L.A. Unified, other districts accused of stealing books

A dozen employees in four of the region’s most financially strapped school districts have been charged with helping steal thousands of textbooks for a book buyer, and in some cases the titles would be sold back to the same schools. LA Times

The only frog dissections PETA wants are virtual ones

With the Los Angeles Unified School District’s push into iPads in schools, animal rights group PETA wants the district to stop dissecting real animals and instead dissect virtual ones. It’s offering the district a free app to simulate dissections. The pitch? Along with avoiding cruelty to animals, PETA argues that this represents a significant cost savings to L.A. schools. KPCC

New coalition seeks to influence LA Unified’s spending

A group of advocacy organizations want to influence how the Los Angeles Unified School District spends an extra $188 million it’ll be receiving each year as part of the state’s  new Local Control Funding Formula. The money is meant to meet the high costs of educating disadvantaged students, including kids from low-income families, foster children and those still learning English. KPCC

Schools focusing on intervention to stem chronic absenteeism 

With chronic absenteeism costing California school districts millions and putting huge numbers of students at academic risk, schools from Willits to Los Angeles and beyond are working harder than ever to address the root causes of absenteeism, including student health, family distress and how connected students feel to adults at school. Ed Source

The Pedagogical Agenda of Common Core Math Standards

Mathematics education in the United States is at a pivotal moment. At this time, forty-five states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core standards, a set of uniform benchmarks for math and reading. Thirty-two states and the district have been granted waivers from important parts of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law. As part of the agreement in being granted a waiver, those states have agreed to implement Common Core. States have been led to believe that adoption of such standards will improve mathematics and English-language education in our public schools. My fear (as well as that of many of my colleagues) is that implementation of the Common Core math standards may actually make things worse. Education News

Mexico Passes Weakened Bill to Evaluate Teachers

Mexico took a major step this week toward instituting evaluations of public schoolteachers and ending their practice of buying and inheriting their posts, but analysts said violent protests by teachers had led Congress to include provisions in the new legislation that might undermine the overhaul. New York Times







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