The gory details of my day as principal at Bell Middle will be up soon. In the meantime, catch up on education news from across the region, state and the nation with the newsblitz!

  • The Chula Vista Star News fills out its amazing report on signs that Sweetwater Superintendent Jesus Gandara interviewed to become the superintendent in Austin — but never informed the board in writing as his contract requires. The Sweetwater board is clamming up. So has Gandara.
  • KPBS previews a San Diego Unified hearing today on changes in the San Diego State admissions policy that will reduce the advantages for local students when applying. Interestingly, a college official says she would be open to creating an admissions compact with San Diego Unified like the one it has with Sweetwater schools —but it would need to make “major curriculum changes.”
  • The Clairemont High School class that inspired the cult film Fast Times at Ridgemont High had its reunion — and the Union-Tribune reports that it was actually pretty mellow.
  • Also in the UT: The four Southwestern College instructors who were suspended without pay after a protest are back at work.
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  • An ousted San Jose-area superintendent spent $1,000 for meals monthly on the district dime, the San Jose Mercury News reports. A newly released audit details the spending that led to his departure.
  • The Merc also does a nice, sweeping story about the bitter debates over whether California should change its ways on schooling to get the second batch of school stimulus dollars known as Race to the Top. It calls it a tempest over a teacup’s worth of federal funding.
  • The Los Angeles Times opines on the missteps of Los Angeles Unified. One of them: Putting a big facilities bond on the ballot instead of a smaller bond and a parcel tax that could be used to pay for teachers and programs, the editorial board writes.
  • To save money, one school district near Sacramento is considering shortening the school day, but just for high school juniors and seniors, the Bee reports.
  • School districts that want to pass a parcel tax shouldn’t spend a lot of time blaming the state for their financial woes. That’s one finding from survey of Santa Clara County voters, funded by the California Teachers Association. John Fensterwald of Educated Guess blogs about it more here.
  • The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports on alleged violations of the Brown Act at one school district.
  • Jay Mathews at the Washington Post opines that schools should be able to evaluate, reward, promote or dismiss teachers however they want. He notes that most teacher evaluation systems end up giving good evaluations to almost everybody.
  • Jezebel blogs on how a Bay Area school district is reacting to the rape of one of its students — and why it’s finally looking at extra lighting, security and fences for campuses.
  • It’s still difficult to figure out the details of stimulus spending, despite the Obama Administration having promised transparency, Education Week reports.
  • Education Week also writes about a report that finds that too few kids are eligible for the military because they fail to graduate from high school, have criminal records or aren’t physically fit. The feds’ solution? Preschool.
  • And this article from sounds like a tune that’s been playing here in San Diego too: Federal education secretary Arne Duncan urged businesses to get involved in schools.

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