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Morning Read: CA Refuses to Grade Teachers

LA School Report | July 15, 2013

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California Holds Out Against Obama’s Education Vision
California has defiantly refused to follow the administration’s lead in grading the performance of teachers and using those measurements to reward the best teachers and punish the worst. The state is one of very few that have told Washington that under no conditions will it put in place the type of teacher evaluation system President Obama has championed. LA Times

Praise for Appointment of Janet Napolitano to UC President Post
Friday’s news that a University of California Regents committee recommended U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to the University of California presidency spread fast in California. KPCC

Updated Screening Test for English Learners Targeted for 2015-16
Adoption last fall of new English Language Development Standards for K-12 students – based on the Common Core standards – rendered obsolete the California English Language Development Test or CELDT. Creating a replacement that not only reflects the new standards but also one that takes advantage of current test management practices will require more time and money. SI&A Cabinet Report

New, Tougher GED Has Students Racing to Finish Before January
The new General Educational Development tests will be administered starting on January 2, 2014. People who want to take the current version of the test have a little more than five months to finish. Anyone caught in the middle of the process when the deadline passes will have to begin all over again. KPCC

Hacienda La Puente District Gets $3.5 million Head Start Grant
The Hacienda La Puente Unified School District has received a $3.5 million federal grant to continue its Head Start program in area schools. Teachers and staff had faced an uncertain future over the federal funding. San Gabriel Valley Tribune

L.A.’s Cortines Arts High School Loses Another Principal
One principal quit even before the flagship arts high school in downtown Los Angeles enrolled its first students in 2009. The school opened with two leaders, and both were gone by the end of the first year. The next principal lasted a year. Two high-profile principals from arts high schools elsewhere accepted the job twice — and backed out twice. Now it’s happened again. LA Times

Adaptive Testing Gains Momentum, Prompts Concerns
The federal government and dozens of states are slowly paving the way for widespread use of high-stakes online exams that adjust the difficulty of their questions based on the skill levels of individual test-takers. EdWeek

Cramming for Kindergarten: Summer Program Gives Young Students An Edge
The 5-year-olds making animal puppets in a West Oakland classroom think they’re just doing fun arts and crafts. But they’re the newest recruits in a kindergarten “boot camp” that teaches them essential skills they’ll need when they start school in the fall. EdSource

Tougher Requirements Ahead for Teacher Prep
A panel tapped by the national accreditation body for teacher preparation has finalized a set of standards that, for the first time, establishes minimum admissions criteria and requires programs to use much-debated “value added” measures, where available. EdWeek

Study: ADHD Drugs Don’t Improve Academic Performance in Kids
For some families, drugs that treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are magic pills that hold the promise of turning their scattered kids into academic super-performers. Earlier this year, a study published in Neurology warned about the growing number of ADHD drug prescriptions being written for kids as doctors have increasingly hopped on the bandwagon, too. Education News

Largest School Districts Celebrate One Year Of Urban School Food Alliance
The largest school districts in the U.S. announce the one-year anniversary of the Urban School Food Alliance, a coalition that includes New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami-Dade as well as Dallas, Texas and Orlando, Fla. The group procures more than $530 million in food and food supplies annually and currently serves about 2.9 million students and nearly 2.6 million meals daily. PRNewswire

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