I’m back, but education news stops for no woman! Here is the rundown of the big school news today and over the weekend:

  • In case you missed it last week, we sorted out how a controversial proposal from the San Diego teachers union has played out in other school districts nationwide. It’s hard to draw any simple conclusions, especially because the local union recently tailored the wording of its proposal, but we round up stories from elsewhere to explain what San Diego could learn from them.
  • The Los Angeles Times reports on the showdown in San Diego Unified over “value-added” data that try to track how individual teachers impact their students’ test scores. Superintendent Terry Grier wanted it; the teachers union was against it. This article gives a good explanation of the debate and how it impacted Grier’s relationship with the school board here. The reporters also give this breakdown of the key findings from value-added research.
  • The Union-Tribune zeroes in on Alpine schools to see how budget cuts impact a small school district.
  • Also from the UT: The County Office of Education is still looking for a corporate sponsor to lend their name — and $3 million — to its outdoor school. Donors have stepped up for other programs.
  • San Diego News Network reports on the counter-protests when an anti-gay, anti-Semitic church group showed up at San Diego High School on Friday.
  • The North County Times writes about a Carlsbad school with a special academy where history is taught through film.
  • Math scores in California aren’t pretty, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Golden State ranked above only Mississippi, Alabama and the District of Columbia when it comes to 4th grade math.
  • An Oakland school board member announced he will will step down after the school district attorney told him that his job at a youth nonprofit posed a conflict of interest, the Oakland Tribune writes.
  • The Washington Post writes about digital textbooks, highlighting California as one of the biggest pioneers in this regard. But the push raises questions about access for kids who don’t have computers at home or share them at school.
  • The Wall Street Journal takes a new teachers contract in New Haven as a springboard to talk about the key battles for teachers unions and the Obama Administration — and where they could be finding agreements on touchy issues such as teacher evaluation. Alexander Russo, blogger extraordinaire, doesn’t buy the idea that this is a national trend.
  • One blogger asks: What if we paid and evaluated newspaper pundits based on their judgment and accuracy, just like many such pundits are proposing we do for teachers and their job performance?
  • Forty percent of schoolteachers surveyed nationwide seem to be disappointed and disheartened by their jobs, Education Week reports. The results were gathered by two nonprofits.

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