If the media decides that something is a done deal every time the school board has a preliminary discussion about it, this is going to be a very, very long year. You can catch it all in the newsblitz:

Despite the media hype, San Diego Unified leaders seem unlikely to seek multiple superintendents, mayoral control or other changes to how the school district is run as they seek a replacement for former Superintendent Terry Grier. We blogged about their discussion yesterday; here’s more coverage from the Union-Tribune and KPBS.

I accidentally missed this one yesterday: The North County Times writes about the lawsuits dogging plans for a new high school in Carlsbad.

Encinitas schools decided to sign on to state plans for Race to the Top, a federal competition for more school stimulus money, the North County Times reports.

Meanwhile, California Assembly members gave the thumbs up to a bill aimed at polishing California’s chances in Race to the Top. Its changes include allowing parents to trigger school turnarounds and explicitly saying that test scores can be used to evaluate teachers, if their local unions agree. Here’s the rundown from the Los Angeles Times on the bill; the San Jose Mercury News has a good explanation of some of its shortcomings in reformers’ eyes.

The San Francisco Chronicle gives its own thumbs up to the bill on its opinion page. Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters takes the long view, calling the debate “a skirmish” in a long-running educational war. And Educated Guess calls it “monumental.

San Diego Unified isn’t the only school system to shy away from signing on to Race to the Top. One of the others is Alisal, where the board decided against it, the Californian writes.

And states are peppering the feds with questions on the competition. Education Week lays out some of the questions and answers in a policy brief.

Schools in Davis are weighing whether they’re giving kids too much homework, the Sacramento Bee reports. District policies allow up to three hours nightly for high schoolers — but no work on weekends.

Reading aloud? Isn’t that for little kids? Not so fast, Education Week writes. Researchers say that reading aloud to adolescents — something that some teachers are already doing — could have unique benefits.

The Wall Street Journal has this terrific piece on how schools are spending money diverted — with the feds’ blessing — from special education. Schools were allowed to reduce their own spending on special education when new funds for children with disabilities came in. Some parents aren’t pleased; school districts say it was their only way to survive budget cuts. San Diego Unified did this, too.

President Obama is announcing a $250 million investment in math and science education that includes preparing new math and science teachers and on-the-job training for current ones, the Washington Post reports.

Claus von Zastrow blogs that the success of a Chicago attempt to reform schools by working with current staffers, not replacing everyone, throws the conventional wisdom on turnarounds into question.


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