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Good morning and welcome back to your daily school newsblitz! We take you inside a classroom in Otay Mesa where a teacher is piloting a new way of teaching English class, meant to help students build their skills analyzing arguments in text. KPBS delves more into the lawsuit that contractors are filing over the project labor agreement in San Diego Unified. And we blogged Friday on how San Diego Unified’s concerns that a charter school with a largely Somali student body is racially isolated are threatening to derail its expansion to a high school.

Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez takes on the issue of why schools can’t take teacher performance into account when they have to lay off teachers.

The San Francisco Chronicle explores the land holdings of San Francisco schools. A grand jury report that found that leaving the sites unused amounted to waste. It also reports on the growth in online education as the economy sours. And the Sacramento Bee explores how teachers nationwide are using cell phones as part of their lessons.

Newsweek says that pouring money into schools won’t automatically reform them. The editorial offers some suggestions on reforms that could work, and explains why few schools or even countries are taking them up. The Washington Post explores the successes of the Harlem Children’s Zone, which supports children and families from the womb through school, and why the Obama Administration wants to clone it elsewhere. NPR reports on how lower expectations can undercut the children of Dominican immigrants in class.

And blogger Alexander Russo highlights the back-and-forth between federal schools czar Arne Duncan and the editorial board of the Chicago Sun-Times. The editorial board is asking why Duncan’s reform efforts on the national level are emphasizing data systems over school safety. Russo says he doesn’t have a very good answer.


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