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Morning Read: First iPads Reach Eager Little Hands

LA School Report | August 28, 2013

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 LAUSD launches its drive to equip every student with iPads
Two local elementary schools became the first to roll out tablet computers Tuesday in a $1-billion effort to put iPads in the hands of every student in the Los Angeles Unified School District. For Broadacres, in Carson, the tablets were an exhilarating upgrade for a campus that had no wireless Internet and few working computers. LA Times

LAUSD board OKs hiring of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s education chief
The LAUSD board voted behind closed doors Tuesday to hire veteran school administrator Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana, who will be “detached” to the city to head Mayor Eric Garcetti’s education team. Brought aboard as a “temporary adviser” to the district, Melendez is slated to go to work for Garcetti next month as his director of education and workforce development. LA Daily News

Duncan wants to end test for disabled students that California overuses 
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is proposing to eliminate an alternative test for students with disabilities, arguing it undercuts their academic potential. The value of the test has divided the education and disability rights communities, with some advocates agreeing with Duncan and others saying the test accurately captures what students have learned. EdSource

Release of L.A. teachers’ performance ratings delayed by judge
The performance ratings of individual teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District will be kept confidential until a legal battle over them is resolved, a judge decided Tuesday. L.A. County Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant had ruled earlier this month that the ratings must be released to the Los Angeles Times because public interest in them outweighed any teacher privacy rights under the California Public Records Act. LA Times

Monica Ratliff, the new teacher on board
Interview: It was a spur-of-the-moment thing that became momentous. Monica Ratliff, outspent by nearly $2 million, improbably won election to the L.A. Unified School District board. She’s a second-generation teacher — her mother teaches Spanish at a charter school in Phoenix — and her new view, from the 24th floor of “Beaudry,” the district’s headquarters, is far different than it was from her schoolroom at San Pedro Elementary, on the edge of downtown. LA Times

 Making room for charter students
Editorial: When voters passed Proposition 39 in 2000, they surely had no idea of the headaches it would cause Los Angeles schools. Most Californians probably never even noticed the wording about providing space for charter schools, and if they did, they had little idea of what a charter school was. The chief purpose of the measure was to allow school bonds to pass with 55% of the vote rather than the two-thirds supermajority required up to that point. LA Times

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