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Morning Read: Parent Trigger School Opens a New Era

LA School Report | July 29, 2013

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School Born of California Parent-Trigger Law Opens its Doors
The Desert Trails Preparatory Academy, in Adelanto, Calif., welcomes students following a tumultuous process led by a group of parents determined to change the leadership and direction of what has been to date an academically struggling school. Edweek 

Debate Looms Over how to Spend Money for High-Needs Students
The debate looming in LAUSD is one taking place around California as educators await regulations from the state Board of Education on how to spend revenue from Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula. The landmark reform gives districts more money to educate poor students, English learners and foster youth, along with control over how they can use it. LA Daily News 

California Ranking on Per-Pupil Spending Abysmal, But Tide May Change
The state now ranks 35th in per pupil spending, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. Factor in cost-of-living considerations and California’s place in the pecking order among all 50 states and the District of Columbia is a dismal 49. That’s ahead of only Nevada and Utah, according to a widely cited annual January report by Education Week. LA Daily News 

Critics Question Billion-Dollar Tutoring Program
Some of the 3,000 mostly for-profit companies across the nation offering subsidized tutoring have been rocked by high-profile scandals. Researchers who have studied the system cite lax oversight by states and complex federal regulations that limit the authority of school districts. San Luis Obispo Tribune 

Long Beach Summer Camp Teaches Science to Homeless Kids

Laura Henriques, a professor who trains education majors on how to teach science, began the camp in 2008 to reach kids who are at risk of being left behind at school because of insecure housing. Homeless students, who include those staying with relatives or in temporary housing, are nine times more likely to repeat a grade and four times as likely to drop out compared with students who have a stable living situation. KPCC 

Q&A: Special Trustee Bob Agrella Talks About Saving City College of San Francisco
Bob Agrella, the special trustee entrusted with saving City College of San Francisco, wants to make one thing clear: City College is fully accredited and open for business, and his intention is to keep it that way. EdSource 

Dropout Indicators Found for 1st Graders
As tracking data on students grow ever more extensive, some Maryland educators are finding that the early-warning signs of a student at risk of dropping out may become visible at the very start of their school careers. Edweek 

21st Century Learning Easier Said (or Written) Than Done
Commentary: In one of the more exciting moments in my tenure on the San Carlos School Board, this spring we passed a new Strategic Plan that recognizes and addresses the need for fundamental structural changes in a public education system designed for an era long past. It is very much aligned with the notion of 21st Century Learning — not just the adoption of new technologies, but the recognition that we are no longer constrained by 19th Century limits on the who, what, where, when and how of educating our children. EdSource 

School Choice: Part of the Solution to Our Broken Education System
Commentary: Every decision made by bureaucrats in Washington is a decision taken from the people who actually educate — principals, teachers, and especially parents. And as usual, those most vulnerable to the unintended consequences of bad education policy are those most vulnerable, period — the poor, the disconnected, and most of all, their children.Where the current system hasn’t worked — school choice has. Huffington Post 

Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education
Commentary: The promise of a great public education for all children is under pressure not only from out-of-touch legislators, but from economic and societal factors outside school that make it much more difficult to achieve success within the classroom. Nearly 1 out of every 2 students in public schools lives in poverty, and educators have become the first responders to their stress, hunger and hardships. Huffington Post

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