I’m still fielding your ideas about science education in elementary schools. Don’t hesitate to drop me an e-mail at emily.alpert@voiceofsandiego.org. And now for your education newsblitz:

  • Local education news is a little thin today. We blog on a new school reform venture started by former San Diego Unified school board member Mitz Lee. The North County Times writes that Vista schools are providing preschool to more kids this year despite the budget crisis.
  • The Los Angeles Times writes that a plan to open public school campuses to charter schools and other outside groups could be limited by charters’ capacities: They don’t have the staff or resources to take over as many schools as are available.
  • The San Francisco Chronicle reports on a new program aimed at getting dropouts back to school by putting them directly into college classes and giving them extra support.
  • The San Jose Mercury News writes about a charter school near San Jose that spent money meant for employees’ retirement funds to keep its schools open. The district attorney is mulling whether criminal charges are the next move.
  • Education Week sums up the debate over changing California laws on teacher evaluation and test scores to get more stimulus money, and why other states are watching the Golden State.
  • One third of Chicago high school teachers report that they felt pressured to change grades last year — and one in five actually did it, according to a survey reported on by the Chicago Sun-Times.
  • Education Week also writes about a new study that shows a “spillover effect” for teachers: If one teacher steps up his game, his or her peers do, too. This could have big implications for merit pay, EdWeek reports. One professor explains, “If you give the reward at the individual level, all of a sudden my peers are no longer my colleagues — they’re my competitors.”

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