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Morning Read: LAUSD receives $7 million federal tech grant

LA School Report | April 25, 2014

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New federal grant will prepare graduates for high-demand careers
The Los Angeles Unified School District received $7 million Youth CareerConnect grant to expand career pathways in health care, biotechnology and other tech-related opportunities at three high schools, as well as business and finance, another high growth area, on three additional campuses. Students will benefit from specialized instruction linked to these fields, through work experience, internships and mentoring. They will graduate ready for advanced studies in college, an apprenticeship, a paycheck, or all three. LA Sentinel

L.A. teacher wins job back after removal for science projects
A Los Angeles high school science teacher is returning to the classroom two months after being suspended over concerns that two students had assembled “dangerous” science projects under his supervision. Both projects overseen by teacher Greg Schiller were capable of launching small objects. A staff member at the downtown Cortines School of Visual & Performing Arts had raised concerns about one of them. Both are common in science fairs. LA Times

Districts may have funding flexibility to repair, improve school facilities
To weather deep cuts in public school funding, many California school districts shifted much-needed dollars away from repairing and maintaining their buildings to keep teachers in the classroom and save instructional programs from being eliminated. EdSource

Schools’ English-only mandate set to resurface
A much-anticipated bill aimed at repealing the state’s controversial ban on most bilingual education in K-12 schools faces its first legislative test next week, as supporters seek to reshape the debate from one that generates ethnic divide to a question of global competitiveness. SB 1174 by state Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, would put an initiative before voters in November, 2016 that would enable California’s public schools to teach foreign language immersion classes. S&I Cabinet Report

New studies laud California preschools, transitional kindergarten
Two separate studies by nonprofit groups dig into preschool programs in California – mostly bringing good news. The American Institutes of Research (AIR), a national non-profit, conducted surveys, interviews and focus-groups to examine how “transitional kindergarten” fared in its first year in California. KPCC

What the L.A. Unified iPad investigation couldn’t find

Commentary: As Times education writer Howard Blume reported this week, the scoring sheets used to rate different vendors for the district’s technology purchase were lost, which hampered the investigation. Without them, the investigators would have had a hard job trying to figure out whether the contract went to the most highly rated contenders for the contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars. LA Times

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