Don’t let the newsblitz hit you on your way out:

  • California released a list of persistently struggling schools that will have to take drastic steps to improve. We blogged the list of low performers
  • The North County Times writes that in Escondido, school leaders were surprised to see their school on the list. The Union-Tribune talks to a principals’ union leader who says district principals shouldn’t have to face those choices unless they can choose their teachers
  • Torrey Pines High is known as “the drug school,” SDNN writes.
  • Also in the UT: Poway schools will appeal a court ruling that allows a teacher to keep banners with slogans like “In God We Trust” in the classroom.
  • The Sacramento Bee has a nice explanation of what being on that low-performing schools list means. Educated Guess dissects why so few schools were on the list.
  • Santa Monica and Malibu schools angling for voters to pass a parcel tax for schools are going the mail-in-ballot route to avoid an expected surge of conservative voters at the polls in June, the Los Angeles Times reports. I wonder whether San Diego Unified will do the same if they go for a tax this fall.
  • The San Gabriel Valley News Tribune writes about the end of small classes in many California districts — and why some researchers say they may not be worth saving.
  • Mentors help children of color through school in Berkeley, the Contra Costa Times reports. San Diego Unified has a similar program.
  • The feds are investigating whether school districts are providing equal opportunities to girls, boys and kids of different races, The New York Times writes. That includes whether all kids have the same access to Advanced Placement and college preparatory classes.
  • Health problems play a part in the achievement gap between kids of different races when they come to school, Education Week reports.
  • Historian Diane Ravitch explains in the Wall Street Journal why her mind changed about school reform — and why she opposes the tactics used by the Obama Administration. Jay Mathews at the Washington Post blogs that her book is worth a read, but it isn’t as big a break from her past thinking as everyone seems to believe.
  • A method called Everyday Mathematics seems to be working in D.C. schools, the Washington Post reports.
  • And Newsweek takes a gloves-off look at the D.C. school reform battles.

— EMILY ALPERT

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