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Morning Read: Out With The Old CA Standardized Testing

LA School Report | September 5, 2013

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California accelerates shift in student testing
In a major shift in how California’s 6.2 million public school students are taught and tested, state officials plan to drop the standardized exams used since 1999 and replace them with a computerized system next spring. The move would advance new learning goals, called the Common Core, which are less focused on memorizing facts.  LA Times

LAUSD pays $246,000 in overtime to keep air-conditioners running
Los Angeles Unified has paid out nearly $250,000 in overtime in the last month to keep aging air-conditioning units running on Los Angeles Unified campuses, but that’s just a fraction of the bonus pay racked up by repair crews during a heat wave last year. About 170 maintenance workers collected $246,000 in overtime since Aug. 1, about two weeks before students returned to campus, officials said Wednesday. Daily News

Are LAUSD’s Healthy School Lunches At Risk Of Being Cut?
Federal officials are saying that some schools are dropping out of the $11 billion National School Lunch Program, which offered reimbursement to schools for meals served and gives them access to lower-priced food, so long as it complied with their healthy meal agenda. The new menus were supposed to increase the availability of whole grains, fruits and vegetables and low-fat milk, and set limits on the levels of calories and saturated fat in foods. LAist

Not Very Giving
Editorial: As school gets rolling across the country, many parents will be asked to make a large financial contribution to their children’s school. In Hillsborough, Calif., for example, parents receive a letter from the Hillsborough Schools Foundation in which the amount requested is $2,300 per child.  New York Times

Why charter schools need better oversight
Editorial: There are undoubtedly wonderful charter schools in existence, and Americans generally have a favorable opinion of charters, but hardly a week goes by without news of a scandal or a study tarnishing their image. With schools reopening everywhere across the country, the past week or so was no exception in exposing new problems with an idea that was once thought of as a collaborative endeavor between teacher unions and school administrators. Washington Post 

Congress Aims to Revamp Child-Care Grant Program
For more than two decades, Congress and the states have poured billions of dollars into a huge child-care block grant program, with the aim of helping low-income parents join or return to the workforce. Now, as part of a long-stalled effort to renew the program, Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Senate are hoping to add a new a twist: an emphasis on the quality and safety of the programs children are entering. EdWeek

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