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Morning Read: LA Unified scores improve — but why?

LA School Report | December 20, 2013

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What’s driving L.A. Unified’s better test scores?

Editorial: Los Angeles schools showed the second-highest improvement in the nation on a test of urban school districts that is widely considered one of the most reliable measurements of student skills. This is cause for applause but also some frustration, because even the experts don’t know which factors are driving the improvement. The long-term success of students here and across the country depends on finding out. LA Times

Network upgrades to push up cost of massive iPad project

The L.A. Unified school district is planning to spend more than $700 million to upgrade servers, pull wire and connect antiquated schools to a data grid – a necessary part of its massive effort to get every student and teacher on wifi, according to district documents. But only some of those costs are included in the district’s $1 billion estimate for the program. KPCC

Powerful factions go to war over direction of California schools

Commentary: The powerful political forces that have been skirmishing for years over the direction of California’s public schools appear to be headed for a multi-front political and legal war next year. It pits the education establishment – led and mostly financed by the California Teachers Association – against a loose coalition of civil rights activists and business-backed school reform groups. Sacramento Bee

Tallying of low-income students nears completion for funding

The majority of low-income students who stand to benefit from California’s new school spending law have been identified and their financial eligibility has been verified, a milestone in the rollout of the new finance system. The law, which took effect July 1, aims to deliver substantially more money to schools that serve large numbers of disadvantaged students. But school administrators say that reaching the last 10 to 20 percent of eligible students remains an arduous and unnecessary data collection burden that they are loathe to repeat next year. Ed Source

Great Education Books for Holiday Gifts and Reading

If someone on your holiday gift list is a teacher, a student, a former student, or an education policy wonk, here are some great books you might want to consider as stocking stuffers. Many of these titles coincidentally have some sort of Education Next connection. Education Next

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