Mazel tov to all the local scribes who just finished up their novels for National Novel-Writing Month! Before you book an agent for your Great American Novel, decompress with some education news:

  • We blog that the employee at the center of a conflict-of-interest case at the County Office of Education was sent back to work this week — but immediately put on paid leave. He alleges that he was fired for blowing the whistle on conflicts of interest; the office counters that his claims are a smokescreen for valid reasons to fire him, such as dishonesty.
  • School board member John de Beck opines on SDNN that the best way to cut the budget is to shorten the whole school year, instead of “cannibalizing” programs. Nice headline: “Now we are becoming cannibals.”
  • The results are in: State tests show that California kids aren’t terribly healthy, but it’s better than it was last year. KPBS and the North County Times break down the numbers locally; the San Francisco Chronicle gives you a statewide take.
  • A Del Mar parent has filed a complaint against her superintendent for sending her to the same principal who suspended her child when she wanted to appeal the suspension, the Carmel Valley News reports.
  • High school students in Los Angeles Unified pleaded to keep a beloved office worker the school had lost to budget cuts and low seniority — and won, the Los Angeles Times reports.
  • In San Luis Obispo, the Tribune zeroes in on the vanishing school nurse, and how student-to-nurse ratios have grown beyond the guidelines in many California schools.
  • Stephen Colbert High? It might just happen in the Bay Area, the Oakland Tribune reports.
  • Education historian Diane Ravitch blogs in Education Week that business leaders shouldn’t be charged with reforming schools. “Maybe people in business win by competing, maybe competition produces better mousetraps, but that is not the way that schools function,” she writes.
  • The Washington Post writes that the best and brightest students are increasingly using community colleges as an affordable stepping stone to other universities. In related news, the Orange County Register has an ongoing series about whether the University of California system is affordable anymore.
  • Claus von Zastrow at Public School Insights blogs that the unscrubbed version of a report on charter management organizations undercuts the conventional wisdom about charters and points to problems such as teacher burnout and higher costs.

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