Depending on when you read this, it might not be too late to come hear me quiz educators, bigwigs and ordinary folks about dropouts and how well schools are preparing kids for life after graduation. The Taxpayers Association forum starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Town and Country hotel. Now for the newspalooza:

  • Lots of back-to-school news: San Diego State University students used the first day of classes to protest budget cuts, the Union-Tribune writes. KPBS reports on the protests too.
  • Meanwhile, the North County Times reports that MiraCosta College is facing a deficit and the first day of school in Fallbrook is “basically controlled chaos.”
  • We blog that a local group of math boosters got a $1.5 million grant to help nurture math teachers. That triggers a question: What are schools doing right — or wrong — in the world of math and science? I’m interested in your thoughts, especially if you’ve got some math or science expertise.
  • More news about budget cuts: The San Jose Mercury News writes about cuts to adult education. School Library Journal reports that elsewhere in California, Folsom-Cordova schools are shutting down their school libraries because they can’t staff them with librarians or clerks.
  • Educators in rural areas are complaining that the criteria for getting a second dose of the federal stimulus seem slanted towards urban areas, Education Week reports. For instance, charter schools may struggle to get enough students in sparsely populated areas, the article explains.
  • Loved this tidbit from Alexander Russo on fetishizing reform. It sounds wonky. It’s not.
  • Education Week also reports on an Obama Effect in opinions on school reforms, detailed in a new national survey. Merit pay and charter schools seem to become more popular when people know that Barack Obama backs them. And a bunch of bigwigs and wonks blog in the National Journal about what they think will power school turnarounds. This is another part of the Obama education agenda that is still being fleshed out.
  • And this isn’t exactly education news, but I just got an e-mail from Cindy Marten, principal of Central Elementary, urging me to buy Woman’s World magazine this week. Marten writes that as a child, she was adopted into a “wonderful, loving, supportive family” but had always wished that her biological mother could see the life she had been given. Twenty years later — three years ago this week — her mother found her. Their story is on the last page of the magazine.

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