If you like Bright and Early, you’ll love getting up early to see me quiz educators, students and David Page about how schools could better prepare kids for life after graduation. The county Taxpayers Association is holding a forum on the topic at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Town and Country, and I’ll be moderating. Now on to the newsblitz:

  • We zoom in on one South County high school, Montgomery High, and its quest to turn its test scores around to avoid a potential state takeover. And there is worry that one of the changes made by the school is a rule violation.
  • We also interview the soon-to-be-departing-for-Houston superintendent of San Diego Unified, Terry Grier, about why he’s leaving and what changes he wants to outlast him. And if you can’t get enough of Grier, Ericka Mellon of the Houston Chronicle wrote this profile of him.
  • The Union-Tribune reports that college students aren’t picking a major just based on the bad economy. In other words, college students aren’t suddenly flocking to accounting. I’ve got one word for them: Plastics.
  • The North County Times hangs out in Poway thrift stores and finds that many families are doing their back-to-school shopping there.
  • The Oakland Tribune examines issue of algebra for all — having every student in 8th grade in Oakland schools take algebra, ready or not. The hope is that by setting the bar high, schools will amp up the rigor of math in the earlier grades and more kids will be prepared for engineering careers. Others fear that the schools are setting kids up for failure.
  • Charter schools are growing in the Valley, the Fresno Bee reports. Parents say they’re going there for smaller enrollments and a different philosophy on education.
  • I can’t believe I overlooked this article in Education Week on efforts to cut the dropout rate in Stockton. A lot of it sounds familiar if you’ve been following the same issues in San Diego Unified: credit recovery, knocking on kids’ doors, and a controversial school chief. The Stockton superintendent says, “If arrogant means I’m trying to do something with a proven track record of success, I’ll take that word any day of the week.”
  • The New York Times looks at an Atlanta suburb where a teacher is trying out something new in English class: Letting kids pick the books they want to read. It’s supposed to get students more interested in reading, but naysayers worry that the classics will die out.
  • Lawsuits over special education services, particularly the issue of sending kids to private schools with public money, have grown more common, the Washington Post reports.
  • And a reader sent me a copy of a fascinating piece from Harper’s Magazine about what the humanities have to teach us — and what business leaders might miss about their importance. This ties back into the buzz about business interests becoming active in school system politics in San Diego Unified again. Unfortunately, it’s available to subscribers only for now, but here’s the link just in case.

And finally, speaking of business in education, the Wall Street Journal gabs with Eli Broad.

EMILY ALPERT

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