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Best part of the State of the School District address last night: Mariachi. I think every school event should be introduced by mariachi. Or bagpipes. Now for the newsblitz:

Our blog was busy yesterday: We reported on local Dems’ picks for the school board, broke down how much the candidates are earning and spending, live tweeted and then blogged what school board prez Richard Barrera had to say in the State of the School District Address.

The Union-Tribune focuses on Barrera’s push to get the public involved in schools. City News Service gives some more details.

KPBS zeroes in on Barrera’s advocacy for a parcel tax.

Also in the UT: Sweetwater schools have experienced a massive jump in autism cases.

The North County Times reports on another twist in the legal battle over the MiraCosta College scandal.

California is at the rock bottom in national reading scores, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, but observers caution that it’s hard to compare California to other states.

University of California leaders apologized to black students at UCSD for a string of racially offensive incidents there and talked about possible next steps to boost minority enrollment, the Los Angeles Times writes.

I accidentally overlooked this one in the LAT yesterday: Arun Ramanathan , now the leader of EdTrust West and formerly a San Diego Unified official, argues against laying off teachers without regard to which ones are better and which are worse.

Educated Guess blogs that school officials are arguing with the state over how the list of persistently low-performing schools was made. The Oakland Tribune reports that the Oakland schools superintendent declared that they picked the wrong schools.

California Watch got around to this a little late, but it’s worth reading yet another article about it: The Brookings Institution found that California’ worst schools have largely stayed that way over the past 20 years.

National reading scores were deemed disappointing, Education Week writes. Math scores were better than reading scores, The New York Times reports.

The Chicago Tribune explains how VIPs lobbied Arne Duncan, now the federal education secretary, to get their kids into elite schools in Chicago.

The National Journal rounds up experts to give their take on the new No Child Left Behind.

In Teacher Magazine, one educator writes about “enlightened sexism” at his all-girls school.

A national clearinghouse has the data to tell high schools how their graduates are faring in college. Jay Mathews at the Washington Post is psyched. So am I.

— EMILY ALPERT

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