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Morning Read: Battle for CA’s Ed Chief position heats up

LA School Report | May 27, 2014

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Contentious battle brews for California’s K-12 chief
The two leading candidates for California’s top K-12 spot in the June 3 primary both identify as Democrats in a technically non-partisan race. But the campaign between incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and challenger Marshall Tuck has each camp slamming the other’s candidate as a creature of competing education power blocs. EdWeek

Congress on school reform: Why not start with No Child Left Behind?
Editorial: Congress is taking up a large number of education bills this year. Unfortunately, the issue it is ignoring — as it has for years — is the one that most needs its attention: an overhaul of the No Child Left Behind Act. It would be an understatement to say that school reform is in a state of disarray because of this legislative inaction. LA Times

Making school lunches healthier doesn’t mean kids will eat them
Los Angeles Unified, the country’s second-largest school system, is home to more than 650,000 students, and 42 percent of them are overweight or obese. In 2011, the district decided healthier school lunches were the best way to help them not be. At that point, Los Angeles was already on the julienning edge when it came to fighting childhood obesity through food: It outlawed sodas in schools in 2004, banned selling junk food on campus, and swapped the bulk of its canned and frozen produce for fresh. The Atlantic

School librarians a rare find in California public schools
California employed 804 school librarians in 2012-13, which translates to one certified school librarian for every 7,784 students in 2012-13, according to data from the California Department of Education. That is the lowest per-student ratio of any state in the country. The national average in the fall of 2011, the most recent year for which data is available, was one school librarian for every 1,022 students, according to The National Center for Education Statistics. EdSource

Maybe insiders know what we don’t
Commentary: The State Superintendent of Public Instruction is a nothing office. It’d be pointless to stir yourself to vote for such a powerless position on June 3, right? Then again, the California Teachers Association, which represents more than 300,000 public school teachers and allied unions, is spending $4.5 million to elect its candidate, the incumbent Tom Torlakson, and bump off his challenger in the top-two primary, Marshall Tuck. Maybe the insiders know something the rest of us don’t. Sac Bee

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