No time for puns today. On to your daily school newsblitz!

  • What happens when an old law — No Child Left Behind — collides with a new program — credit recovery where students retake failed classes online? We report on the contortions that San Diego Unified had to go through to meet a requirement in the law for qualified teachers and why that ultimately forced them to strip any assignments that required teacher grading out of the online classes. School has started, but officials are still trying to figure out how to handle the dilemma this year.
  • Not a done deal? It sure looks like one now: Houston is poised to offer Terry Grier, the superintendent of San Diego Unified, a new gig with a higher salary. The Houston Chronicle breaks down the details here. The San Diego Unified board is meeting behind closed doors this morning — check back for updates on any announcements.
  • The Union-Tribune reports on the fledgling principals union in San Diego Unified. Some principals are still queasy about calling it a union.
  • The UT also blogs that a bill that would smooth the way for military children who have to change schools constantly could get held up by by Gov. Schwarzenegger. He has threatened to veto bills until lawmakers show progress on other issues, such as prison reform. Check out our past reporting about the bill here.
  • Up in Vista, a school board member and union critic is questioning why the Vista schools pay the teachers union chief one salary while the union reimburses them for a replacement teacher at a lower pay rate, the North County Times writes.
  • San Diego News Network zeroes in on Math for America San Diego, a nonprofit that is trying to fill the gaps in math teaching. Education Week bloggers write about how a national organization is eyeing the same issue.
  • Golden State budget woes are also causing worries that schools will be hampered when trying to choose textbooks and teaching strategies, Education Week writes.
  • Peter Schrag at the California Progress Report argues that California needs to answer some serious questions if it decides to scrap a law that bars the state from evaluating teachers based on test scores: “Would basing a teacher’s compensation on student tests, even if fairly measured, put even more emphasis on cramming and other test prep at the expense of everything else?” And, he asks, “how heavily should student scores be used in evaluating teachers?”
  • The New America Foundation complains that stimulus money for schools has been sitting at the federal Department of Education unused. More than two-thirds of the funds have yet to see the light of day, they blog.
  • I’m not the only one preoccupied with middle school style: The Washington Post weighs in with this article. No mention of plaid, but does anyone else think that see-through sneakers are a terrible idea?
  • And here’s a fun one to eavesdrop on: Over at the Teacher Magazine discussion boards, a high school teacher is trying to gather a list of the 10 things that teacher credentialing programs don’t teach you — but should. One of my favorite suggestions so far: “You can’t fool kids.  Be real with them and they will respond.  Don’t be real and they will respond as well – but look out.”

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