After blogging that plaid is apparently fashionable with middle schoolers, I have been informed that plaid is fashionable with everyone. I never said I wasn’t a nerd. Enjoy your daily education newsblitz!

  • We blogged about visiting Marston Middle School for day one of classes in San Diego Unified. KPBS reports that Superintendent Terry Grier called it the smoothest first day he had ever seen. KPBS also brought on San Diego Unified school board President Shelia Jackson to talk about the new year and its challenges.
  • The San Diego Unified school board last night balked at approving a class where kids tutor other kids. We explain why.
  • La Mesa schools called an emergency meeting of their board to bar teachers from showing the Obama speech to schoolchildren on Tuesday, the Union-Tribune reports. They can now show a taped version that has been reviewed. The UT also wrote about what Obama had to say to kids — and how they received it — after all the furor about the speech.
  • The Los Angeles Times also reports on the criticism, and later praise, for the speech, which ended up being a lot less controversial than its detractors had suggested. (One of my favorite education bloggers, Alexander Russo, has dubbed it a nontroversy.)
  • reports that an interstate agreement to smooth out the constantly changing graduation requirements for military kids who move frequently is awaiting a signature from Schwarzenegger. Check out our article on this issue for a refresher on what this is and what it would do.</</p>
  • The idea of a mayoral takeover of the schools in Milwaukee is upsetting Democrats who say it will strip people of the right to elect school board members, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports. But there still isn’t any actual proposal on the table to transfer power to the mayor.
  • The Associated Press reports on a study that found an unexpected answer to the question of why students drop out of college: They don’t aim high enough when choosing a school, settling on less a selective school that they think will be easier. But when students do that, they’re more likely to drop out, according to the study.
  • Education Week writes that some states don’t even report the graduation rates for English learners separately, despite a No Child Left Behind mandate to do so. California does, and the numbers look good, but a dropout researcher calls them overstated.
  • Teachers in New York can get reports on how much they raise student scores compared to other teachers, but many never get them. Furthermore, parents can’t see them, and some principals say it’s unclear what teachers are supposed to learn from them, the New York Times reports.” The reports put New York at the center of a national debate over ways to measure the effectiveness of individual teachers and the role that test scores should play in the evaluations,” the article states.
  • And Education Next decries the decline of education reporting but notes that “a growing number of cities, such as Minneapolis and San Diego, are home to new online nonprofit newspapers that feature strong education reporting.” Aw shucks.

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