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Morning Read: School Board Moves to Encourage Volunteers

LA School Report | September 11, 2013

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LAUSD moves to facilitate screening for parent volunteers
Trying to encourage more parents to volunteer at local campuses, the Los Angeles Unified school board approved a plan Tuesday to make it easier to get necessary fingerprinting and tuberculosis screenings, although the South L.A. representative asked that her schools be excluded from the plan. LA Daily News

State labor board challenges L.A. teacher evaluations
California’s labor oversight board has issued a complaint alleging that the Los Angeles Unified School District improperly established a new evaluation system for teachers. The nation’s second-largest school system erred by failing to reach agreement on key elements with the teachers union, as required by law, according to the L.A. regional office of the Public Employment Relations Board. LA Times

Bill reforming process of firing teachers resurfaces with amendments
A highly contested bill that potentially would make it quicker and less costly to dismiss teachers has risen from legislative purgatory with significant changes that could lead to passage by the Legislature this week. Spurring calls for change was the case of elementary school teacher Mark Berndt, now awaiting trial on multiple molestation charges against students. Ed Source

L.A. school board approves new parent trigger rules
Pioneering guidelines to help Los Angeles Unified school staff and parents navigate the complex and controversial process to overhaul failing schools under the state parent trigger law were approved Tuesday by the school board. The 2010 state law gives parents at low-performing schools the right to force out school staff, close their campus or reopen as an independent, publicly financed charter. LA Times 

Board orders LA Unified to produce budget for arts education plan
In a vote of 5 to 2, the Los Angeles Unified School Board voted to require district officials to spell out how they will implement a new plan to expand arts instruction. The superintendent and his staff will have until Dec. 3 to produce a budget for the 44-page plan, which was presented to the school board without allowing public comment earlier this summer. KPCC 

State Senate approves bill to overhaul standardized tests
California lawmakers pushed ahead Tuesday with a new state testing plan despite a threat by the Obama administration to withhold federal education funds unless substantial changes are made. The state Senate approved an overhaul of standardized exams by a 25-7 vote, with Democrats overwhelmingly in support. The Assembly is expected to take up the bill later this week. LA Times

Loud Voice Fighting Tide of New Trend in Education
Diane Ravitch made her name in the 1970s as a historian chronicling the role of public schools in American social mobility. In the 1990s, she went to work in the Bush administration’s Education Department, where she pushed for a rejection of 1960s relativism and a return to basics and standards. New York Times


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