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Morning Read: Ignoring Critics, Brown Suspends State Tests

LA School Report | October 3, 2013

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Brown signs bill delaying exams despite Duncan’s threat
With threats of federal repercussions waylaid by the government shutdown, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a bill that suspends most standardized tests and replaces them with a no-stakes field test aligned to the new Common Core standards. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan previously threatened to withhold some federal funding if the state passed Assembly Bill 484. EdSource

UTLA nixes LAUSD bid for $30M federal grant
For the second straight year, the Los Angeles Unified teachers’ union refused to endorse the district’s application for a prestigious federal grant, which officials said would have brought in $30 million to fund counselors and instructional coaches at high-needs middle schools. Superintendent John Deasy released a statement late Wednesday expressing “deep disappointment” in the decision. LA Daily News

The L.A. schools’ excellent iPad adventure
Commentary: In the latest installments of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s $1-billion marketing venture with Apple Inc. — excuse me, I meant its visionary effort to equip every pupil with 21st century educational technology — the district has found that scores of its $678 tablets have gone missing. LA Times

‘Improvement Science’ seen as emerging tool in k-12 sphere
A great deal is unknown about what works in learning—but translating even what is known into classroom practice in the myriad settings of American education can be frustrating. That’s why federal research agencies are showing increasing interest in so-called “improvement science,” which allows educators to try out new interventions quickly in a wide variety of environments. EdWeek 

LAUSD holds public hearings on 2014-15 budget plan
San Fernando Valley residents can weigh in next week on Los Angeles Unified’s budget for next year, as the district opens a series of five public hearings on how it should spend an influx of revenue expected from a voter-approved sales-tax hike. The hearing, from 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Daniel Pearl High School in Lake Balboa, will be the first chance for parents to outline their spending priorities for the nation’s second-largest school district. LA Daily News

Turning the city of L.A. into a classroom
Commentary: With his recent appointment of veteran Superintendent Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana as his deputy for education, Mayor Eric Garcetti has signaled that he, like his predecessors, is going to take a keen interest in education. However, instead of using all of his political energy on the school district, Garcetti and the city would be further ahead by connecting schooling to out-of-school learning, making Los Angeles a more educational place to grow up. LA Times 

Federal grant hip-hops physical education activities
Some students in Alameda County schools will soon be walking across the state without ever leaving their classrooms. Others will be playing a series of games – both inside and outside – that while keeping them on the move also teaches them collaboration and cooperation skills. Still others will be learning the art of hip-hop dance without even realizing the health benefits. SI&A Cabinet Report

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