The Morning Report
San Diego news and info
you need to take on the day.

We just launched a spiffy new feature called the San Diego Fact Check blog, devoted solely to checking out what’s true and what isn’t. You can send us your suggestions for myths that need debunking or claims you want checked, educational or otherwise, to factcheck@voiceofsandiego.org. And now for your newsblitz!

  • We blog about a slippery question: How do you measure creativity? That’s one of the challenges facing the San Diego Unified school board as it rethinks how it gauges student progress. I’m gathering your suggestions, so shoot me an e-mail if you know of tests for critical thinking, creativity or applying knowledge!
  • We also blog that the schoobrary could be paid off more slowly than originally expected, potentially freeing up money to get other school renovations done earlier. 
  • Our guest blogger Ashley Hermsmeier writes that her school district is getting teacher training wrong — and has some suggestions on how they could do it right. 
  • School board member John de Beck opines in SDNN that priority-based budgeting isn’t going to help San Diego Unified make cuts: “Painting a skunk doesn’t change the smell,” he concludes.
  • KPBS brings on school board President Richard Barrera to talk about why he isn’t sold on Race to the Top, a competition for more school stimulus money.
  • The Los Angeles Times writes about President Obama’s push to expand Race to the Top for next year. Educated Guess explains that the new batch of money would be available to individual districts, even if their states lose out in earlier rounds of the race.
  • Youth advocates in Sacramento want to pass a parcel tax to pay for job and educational programs, the Bee reports. Parcel taxes have been discussed more often across California amid budget cuts, including in San Diego.
  • Also in the Bee: Dan Walters argues that California school funding is a confusing parallel universe like Alice’s Wonderland, “where day is night, up is down, black is white, and square is round.” He concludes, “As usual, school finance will be at the center of the annual budget wrangle, and as usual, it will be almost impossible for us to make sense of it.”
  • California could move towards tighter legislation to protect student athletes from concussions, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
  • Education Week writes that 40 out of the 50 states threw their hats into the Race to the Top ring. The Wall Street Journal has a nice graphic to show the dollars at stake. And I missed this one earlier, but EdWeek also has this interesting blog on where the money would go if it were purely political.
  • Confused? Want a refresher on this whole thing? PBS Newshour takes a sweeping look at Race to the Top
  • Why would a teachers union leader criticize a superintendent for agreeing with her? Jay Mathews at the Washington Post explains the dynamics behind the back-and-forth between the American Federation of Teachers and Houston Superintendent Terry Grier. I can’t put my finger on it, but this all sounds oddly familiar.
  • Also in Education Week: A sociologist argues that we have to be able to study how effective No Child Left Behind tutors are. School board members in San Diego have also fretted about this; check out our earlier article about the problem of how to tell which tutors are any good.
  • And the headline says it all on this New York Times article: “If Your Kids Are Awake, They’re Probably Online.”

— EMILY ALPERT

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