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Morning Read: New in LA Unified — iPad Video, A/C, Fun Trip

LA School Report | November 15, 2013

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LA Unified sponsors promotional video for iPad program

L.A. Unified’s troubled iPad program is getting an image makeover – Hollywood style. The the school district has tapped promotional filmmaker Art Simon to make a documentary-style video about the iPad project – the district’s initiative to give every student a tablet computer. KPCC

LAUSD OKs $17M to replace ‘green’ air-conditioner 

Just because something is “greener” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. That’s a lesson Los Angeles Unified learned the hard way, after it experienced an array of problems with a state-of-the-art air-conditioning system at 5-year-old Byrd Middle School in Sun Valley. With work crews unable to find a permanent solution, the school board voted Tuesday to spend $17.2 million in bond money to replace Byrd’s $12 million radiant-cooling system with a traditional unit. LA Daily News

LAUSD Homeless Students

Delvin Newburn is like any fifth grader, he’s excited to spend the day at Universal Studios. But not every fifth grader has to go through what he’s been through with his family. “We just moved from one place to another, just like a trip, we’re just moving to different places.” He moves around a lot because his family is homeless. Roughly fourteen thousand children are just like Delvin in the Los Angeles Unified School District. They’re homeless students who live in apartments with friends, in motels or garages with their families, or who live on the street. Fox-LA

Special education now on Sacramento’s radar

Special education, a multi-billion-dollar operation long viewed in Sacramento as too big and confounding to reform, may finally grab policymakers’ attention. Three state education agencies announced Thursday the creation of a foundation-funded Task Force On Special Education. Established at the request of State Board of Education President Michael Kirst and Stanford School of Education Professor Linda Darling-Hammond, who’s a member and former chairwoman of the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the task force will take until early 2015 to examine all facets of educating students with disabilities. Ed Source

Education reform through the courts and why it’s necessary

Commentary: In California – and in many other states – the Legislature has proven devastatingly ineffective at ensuring equal educational opportunity in our public schools and protecting the fundamental rights of students. Fortunately, our government has another branch – the judiciary – whose express purpose is to protect constitutional rights, to step in when popular will or an ineffective legislature tramples the rights of the voiceless and the powerless. It is in the courts where legal challenges to statutes that infringe on constitutional rights can be resolved, free from powerful special interests and lobbyists. Ed Source

Needs of gifted students too often ignored, study finds

While a majority of states have laws or policies requiring districts to identify and serve high-ability students, programs for the gifted across the U.S. are hampered by a lack of demographic data, adequate funding and appropriately trained teachers, according to a just-released, biennial report on the status of gifted education. Although typical classroom is perhaps the most common setting for where gifted and talented students get their daily instruction, researchers noted that only three states require general education teachers to have some type of training about the needs of these pupils. Cabinet Report

Of Course We Want Instructional Change. Don’t You?

Commentary: It’s silly season for the Common Core debate, and I’m not referring to the latest outlandish claims from folks on the far right. It appears that Common Core Dystopia Disorder has infected some of our usually rational and levelheaded friends in the think-tank community, too. Education Next




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