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Morning Read: State Supporting ‘Coaches’ For Common Core

LA School Report | August 20, 2013

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New National Standards Pump Extra $113 Million into LA Unified
The Los Angeles Unified School District will soon have an extra wad of cash on hand. It’s getting $113 million from the state of California over two years to phase in new national standards called the Common Core. School officials are presenting a proposed budget to the school board on Tuesday on how to spend it. “You won’t see in-classroom positions with this funding,” said Jamie Aquino, the district’s Deputy Superintendent of Instruction. “The funding does not allow for that.” KPCC

Garcetti Picks Santa Ana Official as Education Advisor
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has chosen a former Santa Ana schools superintendent and Obama administration education official as his top education advisor, a key appointment in his evolving relationship with the Los Angeles Unified School District. But in an unusual arrangement, Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana, 55, will be hired through L.A. Unified, so she can continue to accrue benefits in the state teachers retirement system. The cost of her employment will be covered by the city. LA Times 

NCLB Waiver for CORE Districts Is Bad Policy, ‘Insiders’ Say
Three-quarters of Washington “insiders” say U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s decision to grant a special waiver to eight California districts is bad policy. That’s according to the latest Whiteboard Advisers’ survey of mostly inside-the-Beltway folks, who have some harsh things to say about the No Child Left Behind Act waiver granted by the Education Department on Aug. 6. EdWeek

Tutoring Firms Hit Hard by NCLB Waivers
The private tutoring industry, which has flourished under the No Child Left Behind Act, has been hit hard by federal waivers that have eased key provisions of the law. Those waivers, granted by the U.S. Department of Education to most states and a group of California districts, allow school systems to avoid the NCLB mandate that they use 20 percent of Title I funds for after-school tutoring and transportation for school choice to eligible students. Many for-profit providers of the tutoring, known in the NCLB law as supplemental education services, have had to pursue new K-12 revenue streams, or even close their doors, as federal funding funneled through affected school districts is being reallocated for other purposes. EdWeek

Algebra Reform Effort Shows Gains with Low-Income LA Students
An innovative algebra reform program at two Los Angeles Unified middle schools serving low-income students shows dramatic gains on annual standardized test scores recently released by the State of California, proving that its success can be replicated, while possibly becoming a model for the district. Nour Zolfeghari and Mak Family, both former math instructional coaches from Berendo Middle School, located in the Pico-Union area of downtown, have just finished the first year of a multi-year partnership at a second school, Irving Magnet Middle School, also in Los Angeles, proving that their newly formed organization, Partners in Algebra, gets results. PRWeb 

Move Over iPad, Here Comes Google Play For Education
In education circles, Apple’s iPad has been stealing the spotlight the last few years, as it sweeps across the country’s schools. Apple has reported that 10 million iPads are currently being used in schools, and the company’s share continues to grow in the education market. But the famous rivalry between Google and Apple is finding its way into schools, and Google is looking to dethrone the famous iPad with its new Google Play for Education, a suite of apps and management tools that will be available to teachers and students this fall. When it was unveiled at last spring’s I/O Conference, Google Play for Education was billed by engineering director Chris Yerga as more intuitive and easier to use than the iPad. KQED

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