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The daily newsblitz cometh:

  • Every high school in San Diego Unified offers the classes that students need to apply to the University of California or the California State schools — so why do so few actually complete them? We dissect the gaps between graduation and college readiness, zeroing in on Lincoln High, where rates have been low, and an unusual school called the Met, where rates have been high.
  • The big debate over whether California should change its rules to get more school stimulus dollars — including that touchy rule about linking test scores to teacher evaluation — came to San Diego yesterday at a State Senate hearing that brought forward Superintendent Terry Grier, union leader Camille Zombro, and a slew of other familiar faces to say their piece. We blogged on it — you can also check out more details from my Twitter feed.
  • The North County Times reports that a local state senator, Mark Wyland of Carlsbad, has authored a bill that would explicitly allow schools to link tests to teacher evaluation. The Los Angeles Times features this opinion piece from the president of the State Board of Education arguing that doing so will help us recognize excellent teaching and target ineffective teaching.
  • KPBS is breaking my heart with this second part in their series on teen drug smuggling at the border. This part is about why high schoolers view it as cool. “If you do something bad, they make a song about you. And you’ll feel cool,” one teen says.
  • A local news tidbit: The Union-Tribune writes that the Parent Teacher Association is launching a big public service campaign to encourage parents to get more involved.
  • Test results were thrown out at a Long Beach school when evidence surfaced that a teacher was coaching kids on the test, the Press-Telegraph reports. This article gives some good insight into how cheating is detected: A suspiciously high number of answers that were erased, then filled in correctly.
  • Speaking of cheating, Deborah Meier has a really fascinating blog entry at Education Week that starts off with the issue of cheating on standardized tests and winds its way to another argument: We’re measuring the wrong things. She writes: “Achievement equals standardized test scores in reading and math; others add test scores in other subjects, including aptitude/IQ tests. Everything else gets called ‘soft skills.’ It’s as absurd as calling the written driving test the real achievement and the road test a measure of ‘soft’ skills.”
  • And here’s a nice quick explainer from the Orange County Register: Are Blue Ribbon schools really the best in the country?
  • Seattle schools may soon allow teens to graduate with a D average instead of a C average, the Seattle Times reports. Educators say that won’t water down the meaning of a diploma because students now have to pass an exam to graduate and because the school district recently started counting failing grades into the grade point average, which ups the ante.
  • Stephen Sawchuk at Education Week blogs on a plan by the national teachers union to attract teachers to disadvantaged schools: Give them smaller classes and more time to plan.
  • The New York Times writes about how principals are cutting budgets in the Big Apple. They get a lot of latitude with how they spend their money, but right now those decisions aren’t happy ones.
EMILY ALPERT

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