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Morning Read: More State Dollars For Smaller Classes

LA School Report | October 14, 2013

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New funding formula revives push for smaller class sizes
Just weeks into the school year, some districts are struggling with a provision in California’s dramatic revision of its school financing system that calls for smaller class sizes in grades K-3. The new funding formula, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in July, gives school districts additional funds if they can keep the average class size for kindergarten though 3rd grade to 24 at all of their schools, or work toward achieving that goal. EdSource

Federal shutdown could cause LEAs to pony up millions for meal program
Even as President Obama and GOP House leaders appear to edge closer to a deal on the federal shutdown – schools across the country and in California face the unhappy likelihood of having to dip into their general fund money to pay for subsidized meals soon if the standoff continues. SI&A Cabinet Report

LAUSD Could Employ Student Hackers to Help Improve iPad Security
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is planning to engage student hackers to improve an iPad program gone wrong. A week after iPads were distributed to thousands of students in a pilot to test a district-wide plan, school officials were surprised to find that students broke security measures that were intended to block free internet browsing. Education News

Students in foster care face ‘invisible achievement gap,’ study says
Thousands of California students in foster care are suffering from an “invisible achievement gap,” with worse academic performance, a higher dropout rate and placement in more failing schools than their statewide peers, according to a study set for release Monday. LA Times

UFT Calls For Moratorium on High-Stakes Consequences for Common Core
Citing a lack of curriculum materials in many schools in New York City, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) is calling for a moratorium on high-stakes consequences for Common Core Standards assessments as the city schools are just a few months into implementing new teacher evaluations. Education News

Elementary students learn keyboard typing ahead of new Common Core tests
The 7-year-olds in Natalie May’s class have to stretch their fingers across the keyboards to reach “ASDF” and “JKL;” as they listen to the animated characters on their computer screens talk about “home keys.” Washington Post

Truancy is just a symptom
Op-Ed: He was 15 years old but looked 12, a reedy, pale little guy with a mop of dark hair. When he stood in front of the class to tell his story, he was so nervous you could see his skinny legs trembling under his khakis. The drama class assignment was to tell a story about a minor life event that led to some new realization about the world – an assignment designed to teach the meaning of the word “epiphany.” LA Times

Three Questions for Tech Education Pioneer Scot Osterweil
Scot Osterweil is the creative director of the Education Arcade and a professor at the MIT Media Lab. He spoke at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech conference about why educators need to encourage more creativity—and how that could help us build a better, more leisurely future. MIT Technology Review

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