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Morning Read: Cal Arts Council Betting $2 Million on a Raise

LA School Report | November 26, 2013

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California using $2-million arts grant windfall for new programs
The California Arts Council, the agency behind state government’s arts grants, is putting down most of its chips from a one-time, $2-million funding windfall on several new bets involving arts education and community improvement through the arts. The nearly $1.6 million allocated at the panel’s most recent meeting is primarily aimed at two audiences: citizens and public school students.  LA Times

Draft spending guidelines on energy funds readied
Even as school districts this week are receiving the first round of state funding to make facilities more energy-efficient, the agency overseeing the program is preparing proposed guidelines for regulating how the money can be used. SI&A Cabinet Report

Rocketship charter schools singled out in CA as Race to the Top finalist
Rocketship Education, with eight K-5 charter schools in San Jose, one in Milwaukee and invitations to expand into urban districts in other states, is the sole finalist from California competing for $120 million in the second district Race to the Top competition. EdSource

From truant slacker to straight-A student, an LAUSD success story
With LAUSD in the midst of a Thanksgiving week off, students and parents are being warned about tacking on extra days to their school vacations. Under the state’s education code, a student is considered truant after three unexcused absences, a habitual truant after five unexcused absences. LA Daily News

Civil Rights Groups Wary on Waiver-Renewal Guidelines
Civil rights groups that have been waiting for years for federal officials to address the problem of inequitable distribution of effective teachers suffered a setback when U.S. Sec. of Education Arne Duncan backtracked on plans to attach more requirements for states hoping to renew their No Child Left Behind Act waivers. EdWeek

Wiping out the blackboard
Classrooms have had computers for decades, but in the past few years the buzz about “education technology” (or edtech) has become persistent, especially in America. This is because of new generations of learning software, free online tutorials and better connectivity. The Economist

The Opt-Outers
More than a year before 7-year-old Oscar Mata was scheduled to take his first major standardized test, his parents received word from his school that he was failing. The Dept. of Education calls it a Promotion in Doubt letter—a well-intentioned, if blunt, method used to get families to take notice of gaps in a student’s skills. New York Magazine


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