The Morning Report
San Diego news and info
you need to take on the day.

Education news: maybe not as pungent as your morning cup of coffee, but just as addictive. The Union-Tribune delves more into the push for new graduation standards at San Diego Unified, and the district’s new policy for screening volunteers — a change that came up after a sex offender was found volunteering at a local school. The UT also profiles an “exceptionally healthy kid” who never missed a day of school. Ever.

The county superintendent of schools tells KPBS that schools feel like they’re in a “bankruptcy situation” and San Diego Unified school board President Shelia Jackson joins the conversation. Vista schools are weighing shortening the school year or cutting salaries to make ends meet, the North County Times reports. And I promise that I am working on things too!

On the state level: California totally got dissed by federal education czar Arne Duncan for keeping a firewall between teacher data and student data statewide — a wall that makes it difficult to single out which educators are most effective in raising scores. Elk Grove Unified schools around Sacramento will stop separating kids out for race-based assemblies to get them pumped before standardized tests, the Sacramento Bee reports. The San Francisco Chronicle writes that Berkeley schools just defeated a court challenge to their integration programs, which are based on the racial composition of neighborhoods, not the kids themselves. The Los Angeles Times publishes a debate on whether the freedoms given to charter schools are a good thing. And this is just one of those only-in-Los-Angeles stories: Local officials are considering a paparazzi-free zone around preschools.

And in national news, Education Week writes about the tug-of-war in school districts between using the stimulus money to save existing jobs and programs and using it on reform. The USA Today maps out (literally) the increased numbers of students nationwide who are poor enough to qualify for free or reduced price lunches. Arne Duncan tells the Christian Science Monitor that we need national education standards. And one blogger says that what schools need is more Twitter and Facebook, something like an online “cocktail party filled with educators.”

EMILY ALPERT

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