Today is Yom Kippur, so my blog will be a little quieter than usual. Have no fear: Guest blogger Rick Beach, president of the San Diego Science Alliance, is continuing our conversation about whether to use standardized test scores to measure teachers. Check back soon for his first post. Now on to the daily newsblitz:

  • Bet you didn’t expect this from the stimulus bill: Teens are learning to channel their demons into stand-up comedy at a community school in National City, the Union-Tribune reports.
  • KPBS reports that a bill on Gov. Schwarzenegger’s desk could be the first step towards a California State University Chula Vista. But with the university system in a budget crisis, starting up a new campus could still be a long shot.
  • One Serra Mesa mom is getting steamed about paying for pricey school supplies and uniforms, 10 News reports. An attorney says the fees could violate the law guaranteeing a free public education.
  • The Los Angeles Times reports on an Oakland high school that caters specifically to refugees and immigrants who face massive challenges because of language barriers, trauma and lack of schooling.
  • Another interesting story from the LAT: Since one of the city’s toughest high schools was taken over by a charter school operator, many of the changes are subtle. However, one stands out: Class sizes are a lot smaller. The story details how they did it despite the budget woes statewide.
  • In San Francisco, the mayor wants to give every kindergartener a $50 savings bond for college. The Chronicle reports that the plan is supposed to begin this spring.
  • It’s getting ugly in the Natomas Unified School District outside Sacramento, which was taken over by its county office of education for failing to balance its books. Now they’re cracking the whip to make sure that cuts get made, and nobody is especially happy about it.
  • NPR is kicking off a big series on teacher training by asking: What seems to help improve teacher quality and what doesn’t? As they say in TV news, the answers might surprise you.
  • Sorry, kids: The Washington Post explains why Obama wants to clamp down on summer vacation and lengthen the school year, and the school day too.
  • And this is a fascinating profile of Michelle Rhee, the take-no-prisoners chief of the D.C. public schools, from the Washington Post Magazine. Rhee shies from talking about her kids or her love life. But she explains her frankness, her upbringing, why she’s set on getting more white families to enroll in her school system, and yeah, that infamous photo of her with the broom.

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