I’m still sloughing away on a special project, but I’ll be back in the saddle next week. In the meantime, soak up your daily newsblitz!

  • The union takeover of my blog continues. Guest blogger Camille Zombro, president of the teachers union, argued yesterday that adding “maintenance of standards” to the teacher contract would help balance teacher workloads and ultimately help kids. Now Bruce McGirr, director of the principals union, will blog on why he thinks it’s a bad idea that would hamstring principals from making changes. Look for his first post this morning.
  • Grossmont Union High School District is kicking its school construction projects into high gear — and they want you to know more about it, the Union-Tribune reports.
  • At the San Diego News Network, school board member John de Beck asks: What exactly is a free public education? And have class mandates for digital cameras in photography class or pricey uniforms for cheerleading gone over the line?
  • The North County Times reports that a charter school was found to have some potential conflicts of interest, but many have been resolved with the choice of a new superintendent. We also blogged about the report and its findings a few weeks ago. Some were specific to the old superintendent; others weren’t.
  • The Christian Science Monitor writes that a new study on No Child Left Behind found that the gap between students of different races and economic levels has narrowed under the law, although there are still big gaps to contend with. Education Week provides more details for the wonkier reader.
  • The National Education Association, the largest teachers union in the country, says it will urge local unions to drop provisions that prevent needy schools from getting the best teachers, the USA Today reports.
  • States are using the stimulus dollars to plug holes in their aid to schools, by cutting their own education spending and replacing it with the federal money, a federal watchdog found. The Associated Press reports that the switcheroo is not going to make Obama happy.
  • And this Wall Street Journal opinion piece by a wonk and the former head of the Education Writers Association takes on the issue of how — and why — teachers unions lost the media, with critical editorials appearing in the New York Times and other major papers.

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