I’m headed out to see teacher training this morning. Enjoy your newsblitz!

  • The Union-Tribune reports that schools in the La Mesa-Spring Valley district are proposing that the state peel back some of its standardized tests to save money, letting the district use its own tests in their place. “It’s a conversation starter,” Superintendent Brian Marshall tells the Union-Tribune. “If you don’t start to have the conversation, certainly nothing gets done.”
  • We blog on some more stats on student achievement in San Diego Unified and ask for your help sorting out the numbers.
  • Superintendent Terry Grier talks about his departure to Houston on KPBS, and school board member John Lee Evans calls in. KPBS also sums up Grier’s remarks for those who didn’t hear the whole broadcast: The teachers union has got to get over Alan Bersin, Grier said.
  • The North County Times writes that school is about to start at the Escondido Adult School and uses that news as a springboard to talk about the challenges facing adult education, as well as the sheer variety of classes out there.
  • Los Angeles Unified is offering bonuses for boosting test scores for two top administrators, a move that the Los Angeles Times writes could pave the way for merit pay for other employees, too. This is a hot topic across the state: Dan Walters at the Sacramento Bee opines that merit pay still has pitfalls for teachers.
  • Education Week writes that federal education czar Arne Duncan is setting stiff conditions on yet another batch of stimulus dollars, this one for school turnarounds. Districts would have to take “radical steps” such as firing most of a school’s staff or converting it into a charter school, Education Week reports.
  • The American Association of School Administrators released a report finding that most school districts are using stimulus dollars just to plug budget holes — not to do the new and innovative things the stimulus was supposed to kickstart. Read the full report here. The Christian Science Monitor also sums up the findings in this article.
  • A Gallup poll finds that most U.S. adults don’t understand what charter schools are — but even more of them think they’re great, Bloomberg.com reports. The biggest misconceptions? Fifty seven percent of the people surveyed thought that charter schools charge tuition (they’re free) and 71 percent think they can selectively enroll students based on their abilities (it’s illegal for them to do that.)

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