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Morning Read: Common Core Training? Of Course. But How?

LA School Report | August 21, 2013

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L.A. Unified Union, District at Odds over Training for Common Core
Both Los Angeles Unified officials and the union representing teachers agree that the bulk of one-time state money for the transition to the Common Core standards should be spent on teacher training. They disagree over how best to provide it. In a debate that will likely be repeated in districts across California, the district is proposing that a sizable piece of the $113 million coming its way should create a network of teacher specialists who’ll lead the charge for implementing the new English language arts and math standards. United Teachers Los Angeles wants all of the money sent to school sites for full-day trainings and collaboration.  EdSource

More Money, More Problems? LA Unified Wrestles with Influx of Cash
Several new funding streams are rushing into Los Angeles schools this year. Even though students hit the books again last week, Los Angeles Unified School District leaders are only now finalizing plans on where to channel funds. On Tuesday, board members and union representatives expressed concern about how quickly the money was coming in and going out. “How will we know we are on track?” asked school board member Monica Garcia. “We have a budget, we have this plan – how will know if we are moving the way we want to move? And, how is this investment going to support the change in culture we are trying to see?” KPCC

LAUSD Takes Aim at Reforming Proposition 39 Charter Law
After years of battling over the co-location of charter and traditional campuses, the Los Angeles Unified board took steps Tuesday toward seeking changes to the law approved by voters in 2000 that requires districts to give unused space to the independent schools. After a lengthy, convoluted and emotional discussion, the board OK’d an initial resolution drafted on the fly by member Steve Zimmer to lobby lawmakers for changes that address LAUSD’s concerns. Zimmer’s plan also would prohibit charter operators from recruiting students from traditional schools while on the campus and to explore whether to file a class-action lawsuit on behalf of children negatively affected by a co-located charter. The sharing of facilities — from playgrounds to parking lots — has created friction between charter and traditional operators and prompted concerns that kids at traditional schools are being shortchanged. DailyNews

Protesters Target LAUSD Over Plan for Special Needs Students
Protesters targeted the Los Angeles Unified School District’s first board meeting of the new year to voice their anger over the district’s plan to transfer special-education students to traditional campuses. Operation Save Our Special Schools, a coalition which includes several parents and teachers, demonstrated Tuesday outside the school board building at 333 S. Beaudry Ave. The group was trying to keep the LAUSD’s remaining special-education centers, which were on a list of budget cuts, open. KTLA

L.A. School Board Ratifies Hiring of Garcetti’s Top Education Aide
The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday ratified the unusual hiring of the mayor’s top education advisor, Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana. Melendez will be brought on as an employee of the L.A. Unified School District, but with her salary and benefits paid by the city of Los Angeles. The arrangement will allow Melendez, a career educator, to continue to accrue pension benefits in the state teachers retirement system. Her salary will be $139,000, according to a spokesman for Mayor Eric Garcetti. LATimes

Brown Vetoes Career Tech Certification Bill
Gov. Jerry Brown shot down Monday widely embraced legislation that would have allowed local educational agencies to award performance certificates to students who met specific benchmarks in career technical education. SB 540, by Sen. Mark Wyland, R-Escondido, passed out of both the Assembly and state Senate without dissent earlier this spring. The bill came forward as the Legislature and the Brown administration are putting new emphasis on career technical education especially as it relates to the concept of linked learning. Wyland’s bill would authorize school districts to recognize students that had completed the equivalent of four semesters of study within the same industry and satisfactorily finished a work-based internship or apprenticeship. SI&A Cabinet Report


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