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It’s a cavalcade of education news! We blog about an apparent disconnect between the kids whose test scores are down — teens — and the kids who are getting most of the stimulus dollars — grade schoolers — and explain that San Diego Unified considering a baby step toward decentralizing how its decisions are made.

KPBS reports that San Diego Unified is waiting to find out whether the state budget deal will force them to make more cuts. And The Union-Tribune sums up the new plan for stimulus dollars in San Diego Unified.

The big news for California schools is that the feds seem to be putting their money where their mouth is on merit pay: California will lose out on a second batch of school stimulus dollars unless it changes a law that bars schools from using student test scores to evaluate teachers, the Los Angeles Times reports. “This is poking teachers’ unions straight in the eye,” a Fordham Institute bigwig tells the New York Times.

The question is whether California buckles to get the cash, or holds out because of objections from teachers unions and other groups. New York is in the same boat, GothamSchools reports.

Check out Education Week and the New York Times for a broader look at this question and read blogger Alexander Russo for some skepticism on whether these rules will really pan out.

In other national news, Education Week blogs that when federal education auditors audited their own audits (say that three times fast) they found recurring problems in how schools spend federal money. That could be a problem for the stimulus, which, as you may recall, is a chunk of federal money winging its way to those same errant school districts. And I missed this fascinating dialogue on the National Journal earlier this week, which asks education gurus and opinion-makers on how schools should be held to task for “juicing” test scores.

— EMIL Y ALPERT

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