Congratulations to all the grads out there! If they went to the same ceremony that I did, your parents and friends are nursing sunburns for you. The best graduation gift is education news: We write about the increasing significance of temporary teachers for cash-strapped school districts. The Union-Tribune documents the decline of summer school and profiles a retiring San Marcos principal. The North County Times gives you the rundown on summer meal programs in Oceanside, Vista and other northern ‘burbs.’ And KPBS explores the move toward e-books in local schools.
The Los Angeles Times writes that more school districts statewide are turning to voters for funding through parcel taxes, explores why it is so difficult to reform issues involving teacher tenure, and blogs that nearly 500 teaching jobs have been saved in Los Angeles Unified. Schools near San Jose are closing the achievement gap between Latino students and their classmates, the Mercury News reports — one principal credits the “human bulldozers” who work at her school. Sacramento schools are also slashing summer school. And the Associated Press writes about the disproportionate effect of teacher layoffs in California on disadvantaged schools.
And on the national level, federal education czar Arne Duncan is offering cash for states to create tests that can be used across states to measure common standards. Education Week reports that North Carolina schools are cutting teachers based on their performance instead of their seniority, and unveils this nifty tool for comparing graduation rates nationwide. The New York Times describes how one Connecticut school district is now trying to teach kids of different achievement levels in the same classes and end academic tracking. And the Boston Herald reports that African immigrant students have a significantly higher graduation rate than the national average.