Your Bright and Early today is dedicated to Gerald Bracey, who died this week. Bracey was an author who loved to poke holes in arguments about schools, whether they were made by journalists, pundits or people in power. I was picking his brain about teacher research just two weeks ago. He will be missed.

  • State Assemblyman Marty Block wants San Diego State University to delay changes in its admission policy that would impact how likely local students are to gain admission, letting current high school seniors in under the old policy, the Union-Tribune reports. This follows a public hearing where criticism of the changes was widespread, the UT writes.
  • KPBS brings on San Diego State president Stephen Weber to talk about the change and why the university says the new admissions policy is necessary.
  • Diane Bell at the UT writes that a local high schooler is part of a documentary about resilience made by Mariane Pearl, widow of slain journalist Daniel Pearl. The girl, Inocente Izucar Galiciao, also has an art show coming up Saturday.
  • Veteran substitute teachers in Los Angeles will take a backseat to full-time teachers who were laid off and need substitute jobs, the Los Angeles Times writes. This is a departure from how substitutes are usually prioritized, and it caused a firestorm within the union this summer.
  • An Orange County school board member is trying to ban “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou from school libraries because it includes a scene in which a young girl is raped, the Orange County Register reports.
  • The Sacramento Bee highlights a new California website that helps schools share strategies to close the achievement gap.
  • Looks like SDSU isn’t the only university to tweak its admissions plans: UC-Berkeley will admit more out-of-staters and fewer Californians because of the budget crisis, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
  • Funding for preschools in California and in other states actually increased this year despite budget woes, Education Week writes. But much of the gain was due to temporary stimulus money.
  • Linda Perlstein blogs that Obama got it wrong: Nobody has shown that teachers outweigh other factors outside of school in deciding whether students achieve. Rather, teacher quality has been shown to have the strongest effect on student scores of any factor measured inside schools — which leaves out big variables like students’ home environment.
  • Arne Duncan is scheduled to give a big talk about the shortfalls of teacher education programs. Jay Mathews at the Washington Post breaks it down.
  • And unfortunately, what started out as an alarming Tweet turned out to be true: Author and education advocate Gerald Bracey has passed on, Education Week confirms. Bracey was a biting critic of “disinformation” about public schools, often criticizing the reform ideas in vogue.

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