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I might be really nerdy, but I’m actually kind of excited about this: National test scores that compare San Diego Unified to other urban school districts are coming out today!  This is unusual because most tests are different from state to state. Check back later for more details. And now for the newsblitz:

 

  • Parent Sally Smith argues that schools are charging illegal fees for classes and clubs in a column at SDNN. Check out our past news coverage on this issue here.
  • A national report from the Food Research and Action Center lauds San Diego Unified for boosting the eligible percentage of kids eating free breakfast. But it’s still behind other big city schools.
  • Higher education leaders in California are pushing for more state funding, the Associated Press reports. More details on the same issue from the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • There’s a new quirk in the proposed state bill that could improve California’s chances of getting more school stimulus money: It would allow parents to trigger major reforms at failing schools, the Los Angeles Times and Educated Guess blog.
  • More news about that state bill: Dan Walters at the Sacramento Bee explains how the debate over the law follows the fault lines over education reform and how it should be done in California.
  • Also in the Bee: California gets an ‘A’ for being receptive to charter schools.
  • Los Angeles Unified could eliminate 5,000 jobs to save money, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. District officials say that number could be whittled down if employees take furloughs or a pay cut, but the teachers union says it would be unfair to ask teachers to take such a deep hit.
  • Budget cuts everywhere in California: The Bee also reports that school closures are up for discussion in San Juan Unified. The Daily News worries about the fate of Los Angeles music programs. And class sizes have increased in San Bernardino.
  • And I hate to say it, but it looks even worse in Detroit. Schools there may delay giving teachers some of their pay to avoid bankruptcy, the Free Press reports.
  • In Education Week, a professor argues that we already know how to turn around struggling schools. We just haven’t been doing it.
  • Portland officials are moving back to big, comprehensive high schools after embracing small high schools, the Oregonian reports. This is a debate that is happening nationwide after breaking schools up into smaller schools showed mixed results in many cities, including San Diego.
  • I had to give these blogs an “Amen!” Linda Perlstein at the Educated Reporter blogs that one of the biggest obstacles to good education reporting isn’t lack of space or editorial disinterest — it’s the tendency of schools to whitewash their problems and not allow reporters into classrooms.
  • “Education is a secretive world,” Perlstein concludes. Education Week chimes in about reporters needing classroom access, too.
  • Jay Mathews at the Washington Post asks: Do we really need the traditional lunchtime in the school cafeteria?
— EMILY ALPERT

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