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Morning Read: Another iPad Surprise — Software Term Ends

LA School Report | November 20, 2013

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iPad software licenses expire in three years, L.A. Unified says
Contradicting earlier claims, Los Angeles school district officials said Tuesday that their right to use English and math curriculum installed on district iPads expires after three years. Buying a new license for the curriculum would cost $50 to $100 each year per iPad, an additional cost that could surpass $60 million annually. LA Times

Nearly 30 L.A. students sickened on 2 campuses, puzzling officials

An illness that caused flu-like symptoms among roughly 20 students at an elementary school in Watts last week has spread to another school, sickening about 10 others, Los Angeles Unified officials said. LA Times

LAUSD executive receives $75,000 award to fight chronic absenteeism

Debra Duardo, a former high-school dropout who went on to earn her doctorate and to head LAUSD’s dropout-prevention program, was announced as the recipient of a $75,000 fellowship from the Durfee Foundation. Duardo, executive director of the Student Health and Human Services Division, plans to use the two-year award to decrease chronic absenteeism, a strong predictor of dropout rates. LA Daily News

Measuring alternative charter performance
Accountability measures for “alternative” charter schools need to be carefully worked out as part of their authorization contracts, with additional evaluation measures clearly laid out to go along with traditional performance indicators, according to a new report from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers. SI&A Cabinet Report

Next steps for implementing California’s new science standards
Commentary: I have been highly critical of the Next Generation Science Standards for their vagueness and lack of rigorous scientific content. Now that those standards have been adopted by the State of California, what can be done to mitigate those weaknesses during implementation at the national, state and local levels? EdSource

Too many school kids don’t get eyeglasses, learning suffers
Editorial: Gov. Jerry Brown stood before 30 fidgety kids at Jefferson Elementary School in the Natomas Unified School District on Tuesday. All were wearing brand new, free glasses at a school where nearly 80 percent of students come from lower-income families. “I didn’t realize so many kids weren’t getting glasses,” Brown said as he took in the mobile eye clinic, modeled on bookmobiles and launched by the nonprofit Vision to Learn. Sacramento Bee

Is It Better to Have a Great Teacher or a Small Class?
When it comes to student success, “smaller is better” has been the conventional wisdom on class size, despite a less-than-persuasive body of research. But what if that concept were turned on its head, with more students per classroom – provided they’re being taught by the most effective teachers? The Atlantic


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