Can you make a really good argument for tying teacher evaluation and pay to test scores? I’ve got a blogger raring to argue the opposite — now I need to hear from you. Shoot me an e-mail at Now for your daily newsblitz!

  • Dozens of middle school teachers called in sick in Chula Vista yesterday as strife continues over the Sweetwater teachers’ contract, the Union-Tribune reports. The union president said they didn’t coordinate the activity. “It is the policy of [the union] to actively discourage misdirected, ineffective wildcat tactics like sick-outs,” he wrote to the school district.
  • Buried in the documents for the San Diego Unified board meeting next week is a disturbing report about why a disproportionate number of black children are dubbed “emotionally disturbed” and English learners are more likely to be put into special education too. We blog that an outside consultant found that the school system often failed to take other factors into account, such as whether a child had moved frequently, when diagnosing them with a disability.
  • We also blog on how San Diego Unified may soon put $300,000 behind its push to make all high school graduates ready to apply to the University of California and California State schools.
  • Want to host a charter school? Anyone? Anyone? An Orange County group has deluged all 12 unified school districts in San Diego County with petitions to sponsor an online charter school, the North County Times reports. State officials say it is the first time that a charter-to-be has sent out so many applications.
  • Students protested budget cuts at the University of California schools statewide. Check out links from the Los Angeles Times, the Union-Tribune, Sacramento Bee and San Jose Mercury News.
  • The Austin American-Statesman reports that documents from their superintendent search seem to be talking about Sweetwater superintendent Jesus Gandara. Gandara was never confirmed as a candidate by their sources but his name kept cropping up. Austin went with a different chief, even though interviewers worried that she “ruffles feathers.”
  • Outside Sacramento, a school district is being taken over by the county office of education because it failed to balance its books, the Bee writes. The school board blames the teachers union for not letting go of automatic pay increases in its contract.
  • Education Week zeroes in on a Philadelphia “school of the future” that has struggled to live up to the hype. It’s a fascinating story about how the limitations of a traditional school system have clashed with the dreams of completing revamping instruction in the digital age.
  • The Associated Press reports that a shortage of school nurses could hamper how well schools respond to swine flu.
  • Teachers unions nationwide are criticizing the Obama Administration’s education reforms as “Bush III” — more charter schools and more standardized tests. The Washington Post writes about why traditional Obama allies are sour on his plans.
  • More interesting stuff from Larry Cuban: The longtime educator and researcher blogs about the dilemma a teacher faces when deciding whether or not to hold a struggling student back — and why the easiest answers might be too simple for a complex problem.

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