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Our best and worst worksheets contest is coming to a close! Send your entries in today for a shot at a voiceofsandiego.org T-shirt, a free book (choose one of three) and unending fame on my blog. But before you go scrounging through your old folders and binders, keep up with the school newsblitz:

  • Federal agents told kids at Montgomery High in South County about the consequences of smuggling drugs, a practice that teens are being recruited for, the Union-Tribune reports.
  • The UT also reports that running clubs are growing more popular in Poway schools.
  • Encinitas school officials are trying to decide what to do with a vacant school site, the North County Times writes.
  • KPBS reports that college professors held a rally against budget cuts downtown.
  • The Sacramento Bee has this fascinating piece about the ideological battle between the California Teachers Association and an organization called EdVoice. Each will back a different candidate to replace the state superintendent, Jack O’Connell. Their divide mirrors the reform debate nationwide.
  • Los Angeles schools are raising the possibility of shortening the school year, counter to what Obama is pushing, the Los Angeles Times blogs. They’re studying whether it would save money.
  • Speaking of Los Angeles, Teacher Beat blogs about a study financed by the Broad Foundation finds that kids taught by Teach for America teachers there actually outperformed their peers who were taught by other teachers — even veteran teachers. But it’s tough to say whether that really means the TFA teachers are better, because students weren’t randomly assigned to teachers.
  • Students are rallying around the cause of a San Jose-area custodian whose job is at risk after he recruited student as models, the Mercury News reports.
  • The Orange County Register reports on a national study that found that California’s educational standards are among the highest in the country, as measured by the toughness of state tests. The Christian Science Monitor lists the top and bottom states.
  • Meanwhile, the New York Times notes that the same report found that one third of states actually lowered their standards in recent years to stay ahead of No Child Left Behind sanctions. Check out the Education Week article for

href=”http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2009/10/29/10nces.h29.html?tkn=[ZPF7Fi9WZgIEMrgf2wACSTLSTKapbyLFQjL” target=”_blank” title=””>a slightly wonkier take. Blogger Robert Pondiscio does not find this terribly surprising. Neither does Eduflack.

EMILY ALPERT

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