Bringing the classroom to court: the battle for teacher protection
Roll Call | July 30, 2014
Two sets of lawsuits currently moving through the courts have the potential to upend the way teachers unions operate, first in California and potentially across the country.
The American Lawyer | July 30, 2014
On June 10 a state trial judge in Los Angeles struck down five California statutes governing how the state's public school teachers are fired, laid off or granted tenure. The order came in a case brought by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's Theodore Boutrous Jr., Theodore Olson and Marcellus McRae on behalf of nine public school children who claim that the state laws have protected thousands of "grossly ineffective" teachers across the state, thereby depriving the plaintiffs of equal access to a public education under the California Constitution
Why public education needs teachers unions
EdSource | July 17
There have been many assertions made over time about the negative effects of teachers unions on student performance. A number of states have moved legislatively to curtail the collective bargaining rights of teachers and, indeed, some states have never allowed teachers’ collective bargaining.
At AFT meet, energized resistance to attacks on education
People’s World | July 17, 2014 An energized resistance to ongoing attacks on education was on display at this year's American Federation of Teachers national convention here, July 11-14. Under the theme of "Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education," speakers and more than 3,500 delegates pledged to rebuff attacks by corporate forces on teachers, while also vowing to bring back equity in higher education for students and faculty.
Tenure is not the problem: Debunking education reform myths — and providing a real path forward
Salon | July 14, 2014
I’ve been a California public high school math teacher for eight years. I’m not the best teacher in my school or even in my department, but I get consistently positive evaluations, I have been honored by my principal with a local teacher of the year award called the Golden Bell, and I’ve been the chair of my department for three years.
Will AFT Call For Sec. Duncan's Removal?
Education Week | July 11, 2014
In her "state of the union" address, AFT President Randi Weingarten announced a new grant program to help affiliates deal with the common core, noted that the union had posted higher membership numbers, and praised a new Democratic political group to support public education and counter Democrats-in-name-only.
What's on tap for the 2014 AFT convention
Education Week | July 10, 2014
Friday kicks off the American Federation of Teachers' biennial convention, and we'll be bringing you the news from Los Angeles.
Keep state’s movie magic going strong with new bill
San Francisco Examiner | July 8, 2014
More than 100 years ago, 467 feet of silent black-and-white film became "A Daring Southern California Holdup," credited by many as the first movie made in Los Angeles and distributed for worldwide audience viewing.
Group files teacher tenure suit
Glen Falls Post Star | July 8, 2014
It didn’t take long for the California Supreme Court’s ruling on teacher tenure to have aftershocks closer to home.
For Vergara ruling on teachers, big questions loom
Education Week | July 7, 2014
In the annals of education-equity cases, the decision in Vergara v. California was nothing less than a bombshell.
Commission lays out next steps for CCSF on path to restoration
San Francisco Examiner | Aug. 1, 2014
The commission that last summer voted to revoke accreditation for City College of San Francisco will decide by January whether it will grant the college restoration status, the last administrative option for the embattled school to maintain its accreditation.
CCSF's last option to avoid closure is full of uncertainty
San Francisco Chronicle | July 30, 2014
City College of San Francisco leaders have exercised their last remaining option, short of winning a lawsuit, to keep the huge school accredited and to avoid closure, but they say the move is filled with uncertainty.
CCSF applies for accreditation 'restoration' option
Inside Higher Ed | July 30, 2014
City College of San Francisco this week applied to have its accreditation status restored, a solution that could buy the college two more years to work on fixing problems the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has identified. City College's lengthy accreditation crisis has become politicized. And many critics of the embattled commission had pushed for the college to resist the restoration option and to instead hold out to see the results of a legal challenge filed by San Francisco's city attorney. That trial is scheduled to begin October.
Q&A: Michelle Rhee on teacher tenure challenges
ideastream | July 30, 2014
In Vergara v. California, lawyers for the plaintiffs argued that the state's teacher tenure system hurts poor, minority students because they are more likely to end up with "grossly ineffective" teachers. The case focused on three areas: tenure, cumbersome dismissal policies and seniority-based layoffs.
Campbell Brown’s anti-union group uses union slogan
Washington Post | July 30
Campbell Brown doesn’t hide her disdain for teachers unions. She has frequently railed against them, and formed an anti-union advocacy group that filed a lawsuit in New York this week seeking to eliminate job protections for teachers in the state.
The Vergara era, part 2: a new opportunity
Huffington Post | July 29, 2014
The other day, I was in a science center when I stumbled upon a quote by John F. Kennedy that seemed to speak to this precise moment in public education: "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." While the quote was meant to make me think of climate change, I was thinking about Ron Taw, a dedicated veteran teacher, who wants to help his union lead on education equity and reform. I was also thinking about what Ron's vision for unionism and educational justice might mean for the students beyond his classroom in South Los Angeles--the students in Watts, Pacoima, Boyle Heights and my neighborhood in Highland Park.
CCSF chancellor confirms school will seek restoration status
San Francisco Examiner | July 29, 2014
City College of San Francisco has applied for restoration status, despite having "serious reservations" about the move, CCSF Chancellor Art Tyler said Monday.
Another lawsuit challenges tenure in New York
Wall Street Journal | July 28, 2014
Seven families brought together by a new advocacy group filed their anticipated suit against New York state Monday, saying that tenure and seniority protections for teachers violate students' rights to a sound basic education.
Teacher tenure lawsuits spread from California to New York
ideastream | July 28, 2014
Why are so many low-income and minority kids getting second-class educations in the U.S.?
California schools face lawsuit over physical education classes
L.A. Times | July 27, 2014
Thousands of elementary school teachers have been asked this summer to hold on to their lesson plans as 37 school districts throughout the state seek to show that they are providing students with required exercise.
EXCLUSIVE: Second lawsuit challenging teacher tenure to be filed by group of New York families
New York Daily News | July 27, 2014
Seven families will file suit Monday to end teacher tenure in the fiercest attack yet on job protections enjoyed by New York State educators.
Teacher group rallies in Washington to protest Common Core, Arne Duncan
Star Ledger | July 27, 2014
Last fall, Melissa Tomlinson took on Gov. Chris Christie and his educational policies in a heated exchange that received national attention.
AFT, NEA Agendas Converge Amid External, Internal Pressure
Education Week | July 25, 2014
What may end up being a new era for the teachers’ unions began, fittingly, with a marriage.
State looks for final decision on teacher tenure laws
KFBK | July 24, 2014
Will there be an appeal? The state is looking for a final decision on its teacher tenure laws.
Researchers find grim employment status for teachers
Cabinet Report | July 24, 2014
(District of Columbia) Much of the disproportionally high rate of teacher turnover in hard-to-staff schools serving high-poverty students can be attributed to a lack of quality induction programs for beginning teachers, according to guidance released earlier this month.
Teachers get ready for new Common Core
Manteca Bulletin | July 24, 2014
The last days in July up to the beginning of Aug. 1 are busy days for parents getting their children ready for the start of the school year. Shopping for new clothes, shoes, backpacks, papers, pencils, and pens is part of all that preparation.
To fight for public schools is to fight for democracy
Huffington Post | July 24 , 2014
Friends, when a small group of parents and educators formed the Network for Public Education in 2013, we had a singular goal: to mobilize the allies of public education against the powerful forces supporting privatization and high-stakes testing. To advance that goal, we hoped to create a force to counter the large amounts of money that were being dumped into state and local school board races to undermine public education, to demoralize teachers, and to promote an agenda of choice, testing, and sanctions.
Brown keeps mostly mum on teacher tenure ruling
Fresno Bee | July 23, 2014
In his first public comments on the controversial Vergara v. California ruling that struck down teacher tenure laws in June, Gov. Jerry Brown offered little insight into his thinking on the ruling.
Education “reform’s” new Ann Coulter: A reeling Michelle Rhee passes the lead to Campbell Brown
Salon | July 23, 2014
For years, Michelle Rhee, the former District of Columbia schools chancellor, has been upheld in the media as someone with the formula and fight required to “fix” public schools.
CCSF still in bad shape, accrediting commission says
SF Gate | July 22, 2014
City College of San Francisco remains out of compliance with eight accreditation standards, so the threat to revoke its accreditation stands, said the commission that set July 31 for the action that would shut the college down.
Accreditor won’t reconsider decision on City College of San Francisco
The Chronicle of Higher Education | July 22, 2014
The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges said on Monday that it would not reconsider its 2013 decision to revoke City College of San Francisco’s accreditation, after an independent appeals panel ordered the commission to review the college’s compliance with accreditation standards.
Accrediting panel rejects City College of San Francisco's appeal
LA Times | July 22, 2014
Another evaluation, another thumbs down. So it goes for City College of San Francisco after a private commission Monday rejected an appeal to continue the school's accreditation.
Commission completes reassessment of CCSF, rules school failed to meet accrediting requirements
San Francisco Examiner | July 22, 2014
The clock is ticking on a July 31 deadline for City College of San Francisco to apply for restoration status, a recently formed policy that would give the embattled school two more years to reach full compliance with accrediting standards.
Tuning in to teachers
Huffington Post | July 20, 2014
Why would 3,500 people go to sun- and fun-filled Los Angeles and opt to spend the bulk of their time inside a cavernous convention hall? To be heard. This was the case last week at the American Federation of Teachers biennial convention, where educators spoke up forcefully and passionately about economic and social justice, education and professional issues on which they are often denied a voice.
Teachers union conventions reflect common (Core) frustrations
Labor Notes | July 18, 2014
At national conventions of the two major teacher unions this month, controversy flared over the Common Core, a standardized curriculum largely funded by the privatizers at the Gates Foundation.
Bonanza! Silicon Valley sees gold in corporate-driven school reforms
Capital & Main | July 17 , 2014
When Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu struck down the tenure rights of the state’s public school teachers last month in Vergara v. California, his decision was hailed by Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., lead attorney for the plaintiffs, as “a terrific, wonderful day for California students and for the California education system.”
Vergara ruling becomes campaign issue
EdSource | July 17, 2014
State Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Marshall Tuck this week launched a petition calling on his opponent, incumbent Superintendent Tom Torlakson, not to appeal a lawsuit ruling that struck down statutes giving California teachers firing protections and rights to tenure and seniority. The move indicates Tuck views the decision in Vergara v. California as an election issue that can work in his favor.
The Vergara era, part 1: how we got here
Huffington Post | July 17, 2014
As a black educator -- and the proud daughter of two immigrants who always remind me that my family climbed out of poverty on the rungs of an education -- I have nightmares when I think about what schools might have looked like if the courts hadn't "butted into the business of public education." Historically, it has been the courts that have forced lawmakers and citizens to have a brutally honest conversation about race, class and equity in public education.
Due process targeted along with teachers
Canton Daily Ledger | July 17, 2014
A lot of attention is understandably being paid to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent “Harris v. Quinn” ruling, which eliminated agency-fee arrangements for Illinois’ home health care workers who benefit from union representation but don’t want to contribute to collective bargaining.
Regents name new UC San Francisco leader, approve chancellor pay raises
LA Times | July 17, 2014
The UC regents Thursday confirmed UC San Francisco's medical school dean, Sam Hawgood, as chancellor of that health sciences campus and set his new salary at $750,000, a 13.8% increase. The regents also approved 3% pay raises for other UC chancellors and some top administrators.
Legal challenge to City College of S.F. closure gets go-ahead
SF Gate | July 16, 2014
City Attorney Dennis Herrera can go ahead with his challenge to an accrediting commission's attempt to shut down City College of San Francisco after a judge rejected the commission's request Wednesday to put the lawsuit on hold.
Judge: City College of San Francisco allowed to sue ACCJC
ABC 7 | July 16, 2014
A judge ruled Wednesday morning that a lawsuit filed on behalf of beleaguered City College of San Francisco against a regional accrediting commission can continue despite the school's accreditation no longer being in imminent danger of revocation.
Judge rejects ACCJC attempt to suspend lawsuit in CCSF saga
San Francisco Examiner | July 16, 2014
The trial between The City and the commission that revoked City College of San Francisco’s accreditation will proceed as scheduled, a judge ruled this morning.
Moral Monday leader a hit at AFT convention
People’s World | July 16, 2014
Teachers gathered here this week for the convention of the American Federation of Teachers heard the iconic leader of the Moral Monday movement in North Carolina characterize them as part of a movement fighting for the very soul of the nation.
College Board president: 'We are building an iron wall of inequality'
Huffington Post | July 15, 2014
When it comes to the state of student testing in the US, College Board President and CEO David Coleman said, "We are building an iron wall of inequality today into the next century." At the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival, Coleman, whose organization develops and administers standardized tests, such as the SAT, PSAT, and Advanced Placement exams, is also the architect of the hotly debated Common Core.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti rallies teachers at convention
LA Times | July 12, 2014
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti rallied thousands of teachers Saturday morning at a downtown teachers union convention, voicing his support for controversial job protections, praising their efforts and pledging his political support going forward.
Neel Kashkari shows up at teachers convention to challenge Brown
SF Gate | July 11, 2014
Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari - rebuffed so far in his efforts to debate Gov. Jerry Brown - took a more aggressive approach Friday, showing up at a convention where the governor was speaking to challenge him on teacher tenure.
Teachers union takes on Common Core
Politico | July 11, 2014
The American Federation of Teachers will open its annual convention Friday morning with a startling announcement: After years of strongly backing the Common Core, the union now plans to give its members grants to critique the academic standards — or to write replacement standards from scratch.
Teachers union to rally in L.A. against loss of job protections
LA Times | July 11, 2014
National union leaders will rally members in Los Angeles this weekend to oppose a recent court ruling that struck down key teacher job protections in the state.
Grounding Vergara in the realities of teaching in California
Education Week | July 10, 2014
The recent ruling by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu striking down parts of California's long held teacher tenure laws has roiled California's educational landscape. Whatever the impact of the ruling, one thing is clear. Whether one supports or opposes the Vergara decision the ruling raises critical issues regarding teaching quality with which California policymakers soon must grapple in order to strengthen the state's system of teaching and learning.
From Calif. teachers, more nuanced views on tenure
Capital Public Radio | July 10 , 2014
In the weeks since a California judge overturned the state's rules governing teacher tenure, the political noise has only grown louder. Advocates on both sides of the issues have largely stuck to "give-no-ground," press-release rhetoric that risks drowning out educators in the middle.
AFT convention set in Los Angeles
Crown City News | July 10 , 2014
The American Federation of Teachers’ mid-July convention in Los Angeles will focus on fighting back and fighting forward on key domestic issues to reclaim the promise of America, including the Common Core State Standards, due process and tenure for educators, and investing public pension dollars for much-needed infrastructure projects.
Teachers’ union convention tackles pressing school issues
LA Daily News | July 10, 2014
Union delegates from across the nation are converging in downtown Los Angeles this morning to hear California’s governor and school superintendent and education experts speak at the opening day of the American Federation of Teachers convention.
At AFT convention, teachers union expected to fire up the base
LA School Report | July 9, 2014
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) kicks off its annual convention in downtown Los Angeles tomorrow bringing more 3,500 national union delegates to the home of LA Unified, the second largest school district in the country.
Activists take teacher tenure battle to more states
U.S. News | July 9, 2014
Parents, students and legislators are challenging teacher tenure laws in an increasing number of states, as the influence of a landmark decision in California begins to ripple throughout the country.
Accrediting commission slammed by state auditor
Morgan Hill Times | July 9, 2014
State auditor Elaine Howle slammed the accreditation commission responsible for the controversial shutdown of City College of San Francisco. She said the commission—on which Gavilan College President Steve Kinsella serves as vice president—lacks transparency and consistency.
City College of San Francisco board could return to power this year
San Francisco Business Times | July 8, 2014
Although Robert Agrella was reinstated for a year as special trustee to City College of San Francisco on Monday, the troubled school's board could return to power in November.
Another teachers’ union could call for Obama’s education secretary to resign
Buzzfeed Politics | July 8, 2014
The National Education Association called for Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s resignation at its convention last week, and the next largest teachers’ union might soon follow suit.
Arne Duncan dismisses union call for resignation
Politico | July 7, 2014
Education Secretary Arne Duncan has brushed off a call for his resignation from the National Education Association.
Embattled City College may keep special trustee until next summer
San Francisco Business Times | July 7, 2014
Robert Agrella could be reappointed as special trustee at troubled City College of San Francisco until next July.
Unions to appeal California decision concluding tenure hurts poor kids
Heartland | July 7, 2014
The California Teachers Association has announced plans to appeal a June 10 court decision concluding teachers union rules send the worst teachers to the neediest students.
Why many Democrats have turned against teachers unions
Washington Post | July 5, 2014
For years now it’s been clear that Democrats have splintered over the issue of corporate school reform. President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have been leaders of the movement to transform public schools through standardized-test-based “accountability” and the expansion of charter schools, with other Democrats arguing that these reform measures are not effective ways of closing the achievement gap and improving student performance.
Union wins $15 minimum wage for L.A. schools' service workers
U.S. News | July 9, 2014
A Los Angeles Unified School District move to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour has thrust the system into the forefront of a national movement and marks another political victory for a powerful labor group — and it's not the teachers union.
CFT IN THE NEWS
Teacher tenure ruling should inspire Republican reforms
Fox and Hounds | July 3, 2014
The recent court decision essentially invalidating teacher tenure has unleashed a virtual torrent of reaction from all sides and every side – as well it should.
Staples boycott grows
nwLaborPress.org | July 1, 2014
Dozens of protesters carrying signs and banners marched inside a Staples store in Northeast Portland June 20, where they attempted to present a petition signed by 500 Portland residents who have pledged to boycott the office supply stores.
Editorial: A gold star for legislators on EpiPens and bilingual education
Sacramento Bee | June 30, 2014
Assembly Education Committee members earned an “A” for outstanding accomplishment Wednesday by negotiating political obstacles to make the right moves on two important bills.
Final ruling in Vergara could be years in coming
EdSource | June 30, 2014
Vergara v. State of California, in which a Superior Court judge struck down California’s teacher tenure, layoff and dismissal laws, may be headed for a lengthy appeals process. A clue to how long may lie in another far-from-resolved education lawsuit.
California teachers take another hit from politicians
Counter Punch | June 30, 2014
With Democratic Governor Jerry Brown in office since 2011 and the Democratic Party winning a supermajority in the state legislature in 2012, one might think that organized labor was secure and riding high. At least, that is the impression organized labor projects during campaign season. But the Democratic politicians have used their supermajority to serve up a cruel bill of fare to working people, who are still trying to digest it.
OP-ED: Can America Really Fire Its Way to Better Teachers?
The Ann Arbor Independent | June 30, 2014
To the average American there’s only one Vergara that matters: “Modern Family” actor Sofia Vergara. But despite never gracing a single magazine cover, Beatriz and Elizabeth Vergara, two Los Angeles Unified School District students, have a bombshell court case named after them, one that’s likely to have a greater impact on the nation than the talented television star.
Protesters against USPS-Staples partnership demonstrate in Downtown Berkeley
The Daily Californian | June 29, 2014
Opponents of the U.S. Postal Service’s decision to allow Staples to operate postal counters at its stores have set up camp outside the Downtown Berkeley Staples.
Podcast: Is teacher tenure unconstitutional?
Constitution Daily | June 27, 2014
The National Constitution Center’s Jeffrey Rosen is joined by two attorneys involved in the California teacher tenure case to discuss its constitutional implications.
Audit slams California community college accreditation process
Sacramento Bee | June 26, 2014
The accrediting commission that evaluates California’s community colleges acts inconsistently and without enough public disclosure, according to a state audit released Thursday.
Commission that revoked accreditation to City College of SF deemed inconsistent in audit
San Francisco Appeal | June 26, 2014
The commission that revoked City College of San Francisco’s accreditation last year has been inconsistent in sanctioning schools and applies sanctions at a higher rate than other accreditors, a state auditor’s report released today said.
Poll shows state voters are willing to weaken teacher job protections
LA Times | June 26, 2014
California voters support weakening teacher job protections that were the subject of a high-profile trial in Los Angeles, according to a poll released Thursday.
After teacher tenure ruling, could student evaluations gain ground?
San Jose Mercury News | June 26, 2014
Maki O'Bryan faced the teacher from hell her junior year at George Washington High School in San Francisco. The teacher was constantly late to class, talked about her personal life, put down her students and the school and gave bad grades to those who even questioned her.
Right decision, wrong reasons
Victorville Daily Press | June 25, 2014
As an instructor at a public community college for 34 years, I had a mixed reaction to the ruling of Judge Rolf M. Treu of Los Angeles that California’s teacher tenure law violates the rights of students, “particularly poor and minority students,” and is therefore unconstitutional. Of course, tenure shields bad teachers, whether ill prepared or lazy. But it may also protect good ones, who are well-prepared but perhaps also critical of administration. Everything cuts two ways.
California ruling ignores real factors behind school performance
AFL-CIO Now | June 12, 2014
Earlier this week in a suit financed and backed by corporate and wealthy benefactors—including those with investments in charter schools and educational technology—a California judge ruled that the state’s teacher tenure and seniority-based layoff statutes were unconstitutional.
Silicon Valley’s Welch vows nationwide fight on teacher tenure
Bloomberg News | June 12, 2014
The fight to end teacher tenure is just beginning, said David Welch, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur who backed a California lawsuit in which a state judge ruled the practice was unconstitutional.
Judge Overturns Job Protections for CA Teachers in Landmark Case
Public News Service – CA | June 11, 2014
A judge's decision to declare some of California's teacher employment rules unconstitutional has teachers' unions vowing to appeal.
Aftermath: what the Vergara decision means
Capital & Main | June 11, 2014
Reagan Duncan has taught a combined kindergarten-first grade class in Vista for 10 years. When she heard about Tuesday’s ruling in the Vergara v. California trial, she feared the worst. The case’s plaintiffs sought to throw out the state’s job protections for its teachers on the grounds that the safeguards make it impossible to dismiss “grossly ineffective” teachers.
Is this the end of teacher tenure in California?
San Francisco Chronicle | June 11, 2014
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge threw out California's teacher tenure laws Tuesday, calling them unconstitutional and declaring in a landmark ruling that public school students and their teachers are cheated by the state's system of hiring and firing instructors.
U.S. schools chief calls California ruling 'a mandate' to fix tenure, firing laws
CNN | June 11, 2014
A California judge ruled as unconstitutional Tuesday the state's teacher tenure, dismissal and layoff laws, saying they keep bad teachers in the classroom and force out promising good ones.
Los Angeles Times | June 11, 2014
The ruling Tuesday by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge that struck down job protections for teachers in California as unconstitutional will undoubtedly spawn a series of appeals that could last years before a final outcome is reached.
California teacher tenure ruling: Not as earthshaking as it seems?
Christian Science Monitor | June 11, 2014
Many educators are calling Tuesday's court decision – striking down five, key teacher protections as unconstitutional – a historic turning point that will vastly improve American education.
Debating tenure protections for public school teachers
PBS Newshour | June 10, 2014
A California judge ruled that the state’s tenure protections for public school teachers are unconstitutional. Students who sued the state argued that the tenure policies denied their right to a quality education. Gwen Ifill gets reaction from Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers, and Russlynn Ali, former assistant secretary to the Department of Education.
Judge rejects teacher tenure for California
New York Times | June 10, 2014
A California judge ruled as unconstitutional Tuesday the state's teacher tenure, dismissal and layoff laws, saying they keep bad teachers in the classroom and force out promising good ones.
California court rules teacher tenure creates impermissible unequal conditions
Washington Post | June 10, 2014
A Los Angeles judge Tuesday struck down teacher tenure and other California laws that offer job security to educators, a decision that is expected to trigger widespread challenges of teacher job protections nationwide.
Teacher tenure dealt legal setback
Wall Street Journal | June 10, 2014
A California judge declared the state's strong teacher-tenure laws unconstitutional in a rebuke that promises to spur similar challenges around the country.
Sacramento Bee | June 6, 2014
The battle for City College of San Francisco continues. California Federation of Teachers President Joshua Pechthalt will join community college faculty members and students at a rally outside the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges meeting today, urging the body to reconsider its decision to revoke City College's accreditation. Follow the chants to the Citizen Hotel starting at 11.
Calif. accreditor won't budge on City College decision
AFT | June 4, 2014
When it holds its semiannual meeting in Sacramento June 4-6, the California-based Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges is determined not to reconsider its decision to revoke the accreditation of the 85,000-student City College of San Francisco.
CCSF absent from agenda for accrediting commission meeting
San Francisco Examiner | June 4, 2014
Despite requests to extend the accreditation compliance deadline for City College of San Francisco, the accrediting body for more than 130 colleges is not scheduled to discuss the fate of the embattled school at its final meeting of the year, which begins today.
Sweetheart deal with Staples results in postal cuts in San Francisco
People’s World | June 3, 2014
In the wake of a secretive, sweetheart deal to outsource postal operations to low-wage, high-turnover Staples stores, the U.S. Postal Service is reducing customer service hours at 21 of 39 U.S. Post Office stations in San Francisco. Cutbacks in hours are also planned in surrounding Bay Area communities.
Cleaning up Sacramento an issue for candidates in 32nd state Senate district
Long Beach Press-Telegram | June 1, 2014
Tuesday’s primary election for the 32nd state Senate district is, to a degree, overshadowed by the allegations of corruption against state Sen. Ron Calderon.
School workers union ratifies 3-year deal with LA Unified
LA School Report | July 3, 2014
Members of the school service workers union, SEIU Local 99, have ratified their three-year contract agreement with LA Unified, raising the wage of nearly 20,000 workers to $15 an hour by July 1, 2016.
City College’s board of trustees should be restored
San Francisco Examiner | July 2, 2014
At its meeting next week, the California Community Colleges Board of Governors will consider a resolution that continues the reign of the Special Trustee with Extraordinary Powers at City College of San Francisco and thus continue the suspension of the college's democratically elected board of trustees. This is an egregious disregard for democracy as well as the will of the San Francisco voters.
Top 6 shockers: how Weingarten and Deasy agree on tenure
LA School Report | July 2, 2014
The stage was set with the two public education luminaries, ready to square off on such lightning rod issues as tenure and teacher dismissal laws in the wake of last month’s Vergara trial: Randi Weingarten, leader of the nation’s second largest teachers organization, AFT, and Superintendent John Deasy, leader of the second largest school district in the country, Los Angeles Unified.
It's a trap
San Francisco Bay Guardian | July 2, 2014
As City College of San Francisco struggles to loosen the noose around its neck, this week its accreditors are slated to offer the college a new way out. But some skeptics are sounding the alarm: it's a trap.
Teacher dismissal fix shows Capitol can collaborate, but public wants more
Modesto Bee | July 2, 2014
Faster action in egregious cases of misconduct by teachers has been signed into law. Teachers, too, are applauding AB 215. It streamlines the process, “saving the state time and money while protecting students and ensuring an educator’s rights to due process,” the California Teachers Association said.
California teacher reform lawsuit sparks copycat, more likely to come
California Watchdog | July 1, 2014
Teacher quality is the most important in-school factor in students’ education, the National Council on Teacher Quality says.
Bruce Maiman: A cautionary tale for those applauding teacher tenure ruling
Sacramento Bee | July 1, 2014
This story has two components – one many would like to see eliminated, the other a warning of what might happen if we do.
Firing bad teachers: A superintendent and a teacher's union official debate
The Atlantic | June 29, 2014
Dr. John E. Deasy, Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, supports the California lawsuit against the state's tenure, layoff and termination rules. He believes that the current system has a disparate impact on the quality of education offered to poor students and minorities, and is therefore unconstitutional.
City College of S.F., commission both need overhaul
SFGate | June 29, 2014
City College of San Francisco may not have had its house in order - but neither did the commission that decided to terminate its accreditation, according to State Auditor Elaine Howle in a heated report released Thursday.
State auditor slams accrediting group that sanctioned CCSF
SF Gate.com | June 27, 2014
The California state auditor slammed the commission trying to revoke accreditation from City College of San Francisco on Thursday, confirming accusations from faculty critics that it treats other colleges more leniently, is too secretive, and imposes sanctions significantly more often than do other accrediting commissions around the country.
California State Auditor takes a swipe at community-college accreditor
Chronicle of Higher Education | June 27, 2014
The California Legislature directed the state auditor’s office to look into whether the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges was complying with state and federal laws and was applying its standards consistently, in particular in its controversial decision to revoke the accreditation of City College of San Francisco.
State auditor criticizes CCSF’s accreditor as inconsistent
San Francisco Examiner | June 27, 2014
The commission that revoked City College of San Francisco's accreditation last summer acted inconsistently, lacked transparency and could have given the school more time to meet accrediting standards, according to a report from the state auditor's office released Thursday.
California auditor criticizes CCSF's accreditor
Inside Higher Ed | June 27, 2014
The California State Auditor on Thursday issued a scathing report on the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), the regional accreditor that has come under fire for its handling of the City College of San Francisco crisis.
Audit criticizes panel for move to revoke S.F. college's accreditation
Los Angeles Times | June 26, 2014
In a blistering critique, state auditors Thursday faulted the decision by a private panel to revoke the accreditation of San Francisco's only community college and found that the overall authorization process is weak.
More thoughts about the Vergara v. California teacher tenure and seniority decision
Washington Post | June 26, 2014
I have a new Reason.org blog post up about Vergara v. California, the recent trial court decision striking down various teacher tenure and seniority statutes under California’s Equal Protection Clause.
Poll finds Common Core opposition rising
EdSource | June 26, 2014
An annual poll of Californians’ views on education contains bad news for teachers unions and advocates of the Common Core standards, good news for backers of charter schools, mixed news for preschool supporters and a warning for State Superintendent Tom Torlakson in his re-election campaign against Marshall Tuck.
LA Daily News | June 26, 2014
Although the ramifications of Vergara v. California — Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu’s ruling that found California’s laws governing teacher tenure, dismissal and layoffs unconstitutional — sent shock waves through the nation, the unionized teachers at Green Dot Public Schools won’t feel as much as a quiver.
Californians like teachers but hate teachers' lifelong tenure and seniority: poll
LA Weekly | June 26, 2014
If California teachers felt a shadow pass over today, it was the fairly stunning PACE/USC Rossier Poll showing California residents are sick of "last hired, first fired" teacher union rules and oppose the nearly automatic tenure system that makes it all but impossible to fire crappy teachers.
Orange County Register | June 25, 2014
Laws providing for job security for teachers are not to blame for educational problems in California or elsewhere. There is little evidence that lessening job protections for teachers would do anything to make education better. In fact, it might make education worse by making teaching a less attractive profession.
The case against teacher tenure (Vergara v. California): The (un)Treu story
Huffington Post | June 25, 2014
The setting, the characters, and the dialogue in this play, are fictional. Unfortunately the court case, Vergara v. California, and the judge's decision are all too real.
Bill to create teacher tenure for small districts dies in committee
LA School Report | June 25, 2014
A bill that sought to create teacher tenure for California’s smallest school districts died in committee today when the bill’s sponsor, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, could not generate enough support for passage by the Senate Education Committee.
New York Post | June 25, 2014
An earthquake struck California this month. This week, the aftershocks finally hit New York.
Obama alums join anti teachers union case
Politico | June 24, 2014
Teachers unions are girding for a tough fight to defend tenure laws against a coming blitz of lawsuits — and an all-out public relations campaign led by former aides to President Barack Obama.
Advocacy group targets New York teacher tenure and seniority laws
Wall Street Journal | June 24, 2014
In the wake of a California court ruling against the state’s teacher tenure laws, a student advocacy group is preparing to take the fight to New York.
Washington Post | June 23, 2014
The Vergara vs. California decision has garnered a great deal of media attention. It has been covered as an education story, a labor story, a legal story, but the connection to another highly topical subject has been largely overlooked: Vergara vs. California is an income-inequality story.
Commentary: Vergara decision on tenure — and our union
LA School Report | June 23, 2014
I came to education out of the business world. Before entering the classroom, I was making my way up the corporate ladder at a Fortune 500 company. But then, over 15 years ago, I realized that I wanted a job where “success and advancement” would mean changing more lives, not just earning more money.
Education Week | June 13, 2014
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten is angry about U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's statement on the Vergara v. California ruling, and she wants everyone to know.
Tenure Is Not the Problem
Slate.com | June 13, 2014
On Tuesday, a California court struck down state teacher tenure and seniority protections as a violation of the rights of poor and minority students to an equal education. The decision, which will make it easier to fire bad teachers, who are disproportionately found in high-poverty schools, is being hailed as a great triumph for civil rights. Bruce Reed, president of the Broad Foundation and a former Democratic staffer, suggested the ruling was “another big victory” for students of color, in the tradition of Brown v. Board of Education.
Job protections do not hurt students
New York Times | June 12, 2014
America is the land of misdirected anger. This time, teachers in California are on the receiving end.
New York Times | June 12, 2014
A century ago, teaching was one of the few white-collar jobs open to women. Classes were large, salaries were low, and working conditions were poor. Supervisors and school boards, male-dominated, made many rules governing teachers' lives. In some cities, for example, school boards fired teachers if they married, or if they were allowed to marry, they were fired if they became pregnant.
Los Angeles Times | June 12, 2014
Tuesday's ruling by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu declaring all sorts of job protections for teachers "unconstitutional" is being hailed by a certain category of education activists.
Last Dance of the Lemons
EduShyster.com | June 11, 2014
Reader: barely had the verdict been announced in the landmark legal case Vergara vs. Lemons when the verdict was reached.The Vergara verdict represents a huge win for the kids.
Huffington Post | June 11, 2014
Judge Rolf M. Treu, who decided the Vergara case, declared that he was shocked -- shocked! -- to learn from Professor Raj Chetty and Professor Thomas Kane of Harvard about the enormous harm that one "grossly ineffective" teacher can do to a child's lifetime earnings or to their academic gains.
Making it easier to fire teachers won't get you better ones
Los Angeles Times | June 10, 2014
Tuesday's ruling by Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu, which held that California's contract with teachers violates the state's constitutional guarantee to an equitable education, is certain to set off legal battles across the nation. Explaining his ruling, Treu wrote that inequities in teaching quality, which disproportionately affect low-income and minority students, "shock the conscience." And he's right. They do. Yet his ruling will do nothing to solve the problem.
Blue Nation Review | June 10, 2014
Today there was a decision in California. A judge struck down basic protections for teachers. His logic: For students to win, teachers must lose. Of course, that’s ridiculous.
Sacramento Bee | June 12, 2014
Against the backdrop of a ruling declaring California's teacher dismissal rules unconstitutional, the Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed and sent to Gov. Jerry Brown legislation speeding the teacher firing process.
Huge CCSF win: College won't close, deadline extension expected
San Francisco Chronicle | June 12, 2014
In a stunning turnabout, City College of San Francisco will not be forced to close and is expected to retain accreditation under new rules proposed Wednesday by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.
Reprieve for CCSF
Inside Higher Ed | June 12, 2014
City College of San Francisco may get two more years to work on keeping its accreditation, thanks to a shift by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.
San Francisco City College can stay open, for now
Sacramento Bee | June 11, 2014
One of California's largest community colleges has another chance to hold onto its accreditation and stay open.
Accrediting commission may give San Francisco college time to prevent closure
San Jose Mercury News | June 11, 2014
City College of San Francisco may be able to keep its doors open, at least for now.
New rules could keep San Francisco community college open
Los Angeles Times | June 11, 2014
The battle to save San Francisco’s community college may finally be resolved as a private panel on Wednesday announced new rules that could allow the troubled institution to retain accreditation.
Postal union targets Staples over mail services program
Boston Globe | May 21, 2014
The announcement last year drew little notice: The long-troubled United States Postal Service was teaming up with equally distressed retailer Staples Inc. to offer mail services in 82 of its office supply stores.
Hillsborough Democrat urges boycott of Staples stores
Creative Loafing | May 20, 2014
Last fall, a new partnership between the United States Postal Service (USPS) and Staples, Inc was announced. The pilot project called for the opening of 82 Contract Postal Units (CPUs) in Staples stores across the country. The initial announcement said that if successful the program could be expanded to the remainder of Staples' 1,500 domestic locations.
Independent campaign mega-cash cuts both ways
San Francisco Chronicle | May 20, 2014
In politics, money is nice, but it can come with a cost. Especially if it’s arriving in chunks way bigger than California’s campaign finance laws typically allow.
Big money pours into California schools chief race as challenger gains steam
Sacramento Bee | May 19, 2014
Among California’s eight statewide constitutional offices, the superintendent of public instruction is a peculiar case.
Students protest against new rainy day amendment proposal, demand money is needed now
The State Hornet | May 1, 2014
In response to Gov. Jerry Brown’s rainy day fund constitutional amendment proposal in January, activists rallied at the State Capitol Tuesday and demanded re-investment in education, social services and healthcare.
This is what real postal privatization looks like
Bloomberg News | May 1, 2014
American postal workers and their allies complain that U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe is trying to privatize his agency, and Donahoe says this is preposterous. Who’s right?
Political pressure builds against accrediting commission in CCSF saga
San Francisco Examiner | May 23, 2014
Three San Francisco lawmakers have joined the growing list of politicians voicing support for embattled City College of San Francisco.
State lawmakers urging CCSF accreditor to extend deadline
SFGate.com | May 22, 2014
State lawmakers have introduced a pair of resolutions urging the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges to give City College of San Francisco more time to fix problems and avoid closure.
Give City College of San Francisco more time to improve
San Francisco Chronicle | May 21, 2014
It's clear to everyone but a hard-line review panel that City College of San Francisco deserves more time to fix its problems before losing its all-important academic pedigree. The outside reviewers should heed the latest advice from federal officials about extending a crucial deadline for an institution that's vital to the city's economy and future.
Schools chief candidate files ethics complaint against teacher union
Sacramento Bee | May 21, 2014
Marshall Tuck, one of two challengers in this year's race for state superintendent of public instruction, has filed an ethics complaint against the California Teachers Association for a series of television ads supporting incumbent Tom Torlakson.
Officials Say City College Deserves More Time To Fix Shortcomings
San Francisco Appeal | May 21, 2014
Elected leaders this week are calling on the Accreditation Commission for Community and Junior Colleges to give City College of San Francisco more time to fix more of its alleged shortcomings before revoking its accreditation.
CCSF accrediting group can extend deadline, feds tell Pelosi
SFGate.com | May 21, 2014
In its clearest communication yet, the U.S. Department of Education has told House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi that the commission seeking to revoke accreditation from City College of San Francisco can extend that looming deadline to give the school more time to fix its problems and avoid closure.
CCSF support gains momentum, but accreditation deadline remains unclear
San Francisco Examiner | May 21, 2014
As City College of San Francisco prepares for a record-high number of graduates at its commencement Friday, support is pouring in to keep California's largest community college alive amid an ongoing accreditation crisis.
Pelosi urges new review of troubled San Francisco City College
Los Angeles Times | May 20 , 2014
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi called Tuesday for a new review of embattled City College of San Francisco, arguing that its accreditation loss would devastate thousands of students and the community.
A different way to implement Common Core
Washington Post | May 20, 2014
Critics of the critics of high-stakes standardized testing and the Common Core State Standards often say that the attackers don’t provide alternatives but just complain. That has never been true of many of the critics of these school reforms, and it still isn’t.
It's time for a new accountability in American education
Huffington Post | May 19, 2014
Voices across the country are raising concerns about the new Common Core State Standards. But if you listen carefully to the conversations, the main concern is not about the standards, themselves, but about the consequences of high-stakes tests attached to the standards.
California should delay Common Core tests for at least 2 years
EdSource | May 19, 2014
Since June 2011 when California joined the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, the target date for implementation of computer-adaptive Common Core tests has been spring 2015. With that date now fast approaching, are California schools ready?
Vergara suit wrong to blame teachers for inequities
UT San Diego | April 30, 2014
In 2013, Christine McLaughlin, who teaches eighth-grade English at Blair High School, was named Pasadena Teacher of the Year. In the video that was made for the award ceremony, a student said, “My favorite thing about Miss McLaughlin is how determined she is to make sure we learn something new every day.”
California House delegation urges Postal Service to nix Staples deal
Los Angeles Times | April 29, 2014
A California House delegation led by Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) is calling on Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe to reject a recent pilot program with Staples to operate retail mail counters at 82 U.S. stores.
Post office piles on shift to low-wage economy with Staples deal
Huffington Post | April 29, 2014
The National Employment Law Project (NELP) has just come out with its latest report on the wage levels of jobs added as the nation has emerged from the Great Recession. As with NELP's previous reports, which continue to garner national attention, the news was pretty simple: we're only adding low wage jobs.
AM Alert: Teachers, welfare advocates rally for oil extraction tax
Sacramento Bee | April 29, 2014
Though Gov. Jerry Brown rejected the notion during his January budget proposal, another effort to introduce an oil severance tax in California is winding its way through the Legislature.
Demonstrators demand state budget funds
Fox 40 | April 29, 2014
Demonstrators demanding a tax on oil extracted from California wells held a rally in the lobby of a high rise that houses offices of Chevron Oil on Tuesday.
Competing Views of Teacher Tenure Are on Display in California Case
New York Times | April 16, 2014
These are two vastly different portraits of California’s education system. In one, poor and minority students are frequently placed in front of incompetent teachers whose blackboards are filled with basic misspellings and who play irrelevant movies instead of devising lesson plans for class time. In the other, the vast majority of teachers are providing students with all they need to learn, and well-run school districts are able to ferret out and dismiss the ones who are not.
In Plain Sight: The Rise of Corporate Democrats in California
Capital & Main | April 15, 2014
Marin County is one of California’s most liberal regions and, with its iconic redwoods and stunning coastline, it is also a power center for environmental activism. And so, when a bill to give the state Coastal Commission authority to levy fines against shoreline despoilers came for a vote in the state Assembly in 2013, it was taken for granted that Marin’s new Assemblyman, Marc Levine, would vote for passage. That didn’t happen.
AM alert: Student Health
Sacramento Bee | April 9, 2014
Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, seeks to make state funds available to school districts to hire more nurses and mental health professionals and extend daily library hours. He will introduce legislation for the program at 12:30 p.m. at the Sacramento Central Library on I Street, along with representatives from the California Federation of Teachers.
Letters to the Editor: Health professionals for students' needs
Sacramento Bee | April 8, 2014
As a parent of a public school student with a life-threatening allergy who carries an EpiPen, and as a 20-year high school teacher who witnessed many epileptic seizures, I am aware of the shortcomings of Sen. Bob Huff's legislation, Senate Bill 1266.
EpiPens may be required in schools
Seaside Courier | April 7, 2014
An EpiPen can be a lifesaver for someone with a severe allergic reaction. That's why a state lawmaker wants them available in all public schools. Senator Bob Huff's bill (SB 1266) passed the Senate Education Committee last week and now heads to the Senate Health Committee. The bill would require school districts to give the epinephrine auto-injectors, known as EpiPens, to trained school personnel to use in emergencies.
Trial date set for CCSF accreditation lawsuit
San Francisco Examiner | April 4, 2014
A fall trial date has been set for a legal battle between The City and a commission seeking to strip City College of San Francisco of its accreditation.
EpiPen bill advances, with testimony from Natalie Giorgi's mom
Sacramento Bee | April 2, 2014
A bill to increase the prevalence of emergency epinephrine auto-injectors, or EpiPens, in California schools, would not have helped Natalie Giorgi, who died from an allergic reaction after biting into a Rice Krispies treat at Camp Sacramento last year.
Vergara v. California lawsuit targeting teacher tenure could revolutionize U.S. public education, for better and worse
Forbes | March 31, 2014
You might think that the leading clusters of education reform are the Bay Area, Phoenix, and Washington, DC. However, testimony that just concluded March 27 in a Los Angeles Superior Courtroom could lead to sweeping reforms for public education not just in the Golden State, but across the country as well.
Education rally to protest Common Core State Standards
KCRA | April 30, 2014
As school districts across California prepare for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, a concerned group of citizens is holding a rally at the state Capitol to protest the new requirements.
Common Core State Standards -- testing the test |
KEYT | April 29, 2014
Some say the new Common Core State Standards will ramp up our children academically and give students an international edge. Others argue that parents need to do their homework; this curriculum is not the right direction for California.
“The Common Core may actually fail”: Union chief sounds off on Christie, Rhee, and for-profit testing “gag order”
Salon | April 29, 2014
When executives at Pearson, the world’s largest for-profit education company, held their London shareholder meeting Friday, they were greeted by activists from the American Federation of Teachers, urging them to oppose so-called “gag orders” restricting teachers from revealing information about Pearson’s Common Core tests.
Morning report: teacher tenure on trial
Voice of San Diego | April 28, 2014
We know the upcoming round of contract negotiations between San Diego Unified and the teachers union is bound to get heated — especially with teacher evaluations on the table.
AFT asks Pearson to stop ‘gag order’ barring educators from talking about tests
Washington Post | April 25, 2014
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten is sending a letter (see below) to the executives of Pearson, the world’s largest education company, asking them to stop a ”gag order” that is part of their $32 million contract with New York state to design new standardized tests aligned to the Common Core.
Californians Support State-Funded Preschool for 4-Year-Olds, Survey Shows
Sacramento Bee | April 18, 2014
Educating 4-year-olds is important to California voters – important enough that 57 percent say it’s worth spending $1.4 billion a year for the state to provide all of them with preschool.
Charter School Bill Stirs Debate Over Autonomy
U-T San Diego | April 17, 2014
Charter school advocates from the county and state rallied Wednesday in San Diego against legislation they believe would chip away at the autonomy that’s crucial to their brand of education.
Contract Jousting Begins at SD Unified
U-T San Diego | April 17, 2014
As San Diego teachers prepare to receive their final pay raise under an existing contract — part of a 7 percent salary increase negotiated in 2010 and deferred in 2012 — the coming bargaining sessions for a new agreement could be heated.
CCSF Legal Battle Heats Up
San Francisco Examiner | April 16, 2014
The legal battle between City College of San Francisco and the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has taken an unusual twist, with federal laws now being called into question amid the potential loss of the college’s accreditation.
SF Community College Losing Filipino Students Due to Accreditation Crisis
Inquirer.net | April 16, 2014
The City College of San Francisco (CCSF) suffered a staggering loss of 712 Filipino American students, from 2,434 from Fall 2011 to a 1,722 today, a hemorrhage largely attributable the college’s possible loss of accreditation.
Fresno Teachers Union Opposes Extension of No Child Left Behind Waiver
Fresno Bee | April 16, 2014
Officials with the Fresno teachers union are urging district administrators to follow the lead of another California school district in opting not to seek renewal of a waiver from federal accountability rules.
Archive of Cesar Chavez, UFW Unveiled
U-T- San Diego | April 16, 2014
The UC San Diego Library on Wednesday unveiled a large digital archive it acquired that documents the history of the United Farm Workers movement, a treasure trove of materials that officials expect will serve as a valuable research tool for scholars and students.
Community College Completion Rate Falls During Recession
Sacramento Bee | April 15, 2014
Completion rates at the California Community Colleges have fallen steadily over the past four years, according to the first update of the system's Student Success Scorecard.
L.A. Teachers Union Chief Ends Reelection Campaign
Los Angeles Times | April 14, 2014
Los Angeles teachers union President Warren Fletcher said he would no longer actively campaign for reelection, clearing the path for challenger Alex Caputo-Pearl to become the next leader of United Teachers Los Angeles.
Guest Commentary: Must be a Combined Effort to Effectively Reform Schools
Contra Costa Times | April 12, 2014
The recent guest commentary "Teachers aren't to blame for most of schools' problems" addressed a number of important educational issues. Focusing on the Vergara v. California case currently in the courts, the author also points to "misleading and false statements that only serve to distract us from the real problems facing our schools."
Common Core Education Standards are Changing the way Schools Test Children
San Bernardino Sun | April 12, 2014
More than 30 sixth-graders sat at computers at Country Springs Elementary School in Chino Hills, but they weren’t facing the monitors.
Why is public television against public schools?
Huffington Post | April 11, 2014
You'd think that that public television would support public education, but you'd be wrong. The Public Broadcasting System (PBS) has gotten in bed with the billionaires and conservatives who want to privatize our public schools.
Student loan plan for 'Dreamers' at UC, Cal State advances
KPCC | April 10, 2014
Potentially thousands of students brought to the US illegally as children could turn to a $9.2 million loan program for help with tuition at California's public universities.
Adjunct professors stuck in jobs with low pay, no benefits
SFGate.com | April 10, 2014
In many ways, Anne Winkler-Morey loves being a professor. It's the job she always wanted, teaching history at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minn.
Los Angeles settlement on teacher layoffs ducks the seniority question
Education Week | April 9, 2014
Plaintiffs and the local teachers' union reached an agreement April 8 designed to prevent 37 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District from being decimated by layoffs.
Deal in L.A. Unified designed to protect 37 high-needs schools from layoffs
EdSource | April 9, 2014
The parties in a 4-year-old lawsuit challenging mass layoffs of teachers at low-income middle schools in Los Angeles Unified announced a settlement Tuesday that an attorney called a potential model for creating a stable work force in schools beset by teacher churn.
California fight for free preschool passes first hurdle
Reuters | April 9, 2014
A proposal to offer free preschool to all California four-year-olds passed its first legislative hurdle on Wednesday with support from Democrats but facing skepticism from Governor Jerry Brown and some educators that could doom its chances this year.
K-12 group wants to highlight common core successes, but delay high stakes
Education Week | April 8, 2014
An education advocacy group with over 10 million members wants to highlight success stories in implementing the Common Core State Standards, yet simultaneously delay high-stakes associated with common-core aligned tests to ensure that the standards ultimately succeed.
L.A. Unified settles lawsuit over layoffs
Los Angeles Times | April 8, 2014
Sixteen consecutive years of the state's standardized testing are now under my belt, all of them spent covering the accountability program as a journalist, as well as having one or more of my three children filling in bubbles in public school for the annual assessments. And on the 17th year, the last spring that I have a student scheduled for testing, it's time for a rest.
375 desks block traffic outside LAUSD office in dropout-rate protest
Los Angeles Times | April 8, 2014
It was a surreal scene for some, a traffic headache for others, as demonstrators set up 375 desks in neat rows Tuesday on the street in front of the headquarters of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Pauline Liu: Kids' tests shouldn't grade their teachers
Time Herald-Record | April 7, 2014
Let's take a minute to evaluate the teacher evaluation system. Shall we? I wonder if it's really working. It's difficult to tell. Students in grades 3-8 just finished taking the Common Core-based state tests in English last week.
States mull dropping Common Core
MSNBC | April 4, 2014
More than a dozen states are considering legislation to repeal their involvement in the Common Core State standards, responding to a surge of discontent from an unlikely coalition of conservatives, parents, unions, and teachers.
Guest commentary: Teachers' working conditions are students' learning conditions
Contra Costa Times | April 4, 2014
It's interesting how so many people with limited or no classroom teaching are quick to weigh in on educational issues. From Bill Gates and Eli Broad to Michelle Rhee and now Tony Smith, these self-proclaimed education "reformers" are short on education experience and long on placing the blame for educational failures where it doesn't belong.
Two more arrests as UC teaching assistants' strike spreads
Los Angeles Times | April 3, 2014
Two picketers were arrested at UC Santa Cruz Thursday as a strike by unionized teaching assistants and tutors widened to all nine UC undergraduate campuses..
Bill Clinton, Mayor Eric Garcetti to meet, discuss strengthening city infrastructures
LA Daily News | April 3, 2014
Former President Bill Clinton and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will host a meeting at Los Angeles City Hall today to discuss ways of strengthening infrastructure in cities across the country.
Teachers' unions slam campaign-finance ruling
Education Week | April 3, 2014
The teachers' unions on Wednesday criticized the U.S. Supreme Court's decision striking down limits on aggregate campaign contributions to federal candidates, political parties, and political action committees.
CalSTRS says pension funding gap has grown to $73.7 billion
Sacramento Bee | April 3, 2014
CalSTRS said Thursday that its long-term funding shortfall has risen to $73.7 billion, a stark reminder of the financial issues facing the teachers’ pension fund.
California Latino Caucus backs bilingual education, paid sick days
Sacramento Bee | April 2, 2014
Changes to California's health care, education and labor laws are among the bills the Legislature's Latino Caucus will prioritize this year.
Vergara-like ballot initiative pulled until 2016, report says
LA School Report | April 1, 2014
A state ballot initiative aimed at regulations governing teachers that was headed for the November ballot has been pushed to 2016, according to a report by ABC affiliate KXTV in Sacramento.
Court dismisses lawsuit over CCSF accreditation loss
San Francisco Examiner | March 31, 2014
In a setback for City College of San Francisco supporters, a Superior Court judge in San Francisco has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the attempted revocation of the school’s accreditation.
Students' interests at center of trial over teacher protection laws
Los Angeles Times | March 27, 2014
A groundbreaking, two-month trial challenging teacher job protections in California concluded Thursday with both sides asserting that the interests of students are at stake.
Attorneys give final arguments in Vergara suit challenging laws for teacher hiring, firing
EdSource | March 27, 2014
The future of tenure and other laws governing how teachers are hired and fired in California is now in the hands of Judge Rolf Treu.
Vergara trial ends, with CA teacher laws hanging in the balance
L.A. School Report | March 27, 2014
Lawyers from both sides in Vergara v California — the state’s most significant teacher rights case in two decades — unleashed their final arguments today, in a last attempt to amplify their own case and destroy their opponent’s.
Landmark teacher tenure trial concludes
Annenberg Television News | March 27, 2014
A landmark education trial, Vergara v. California, concluded in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom on Thursday, as lawyers on both sides made the case for why teacher tenure and employment protection laws should either be kept or discarded.
California case challenges teacher job protection laws
Reuters | March 27, 2014
Incompetent teachers in California are holding back poor and minority children, an attorney for several students said on Thursday in closing arguments for a closely watched trial that could change the way public school teachers are hired and fired in the most populous U.S. State.
Closing arguments conclude in landmark teacher tenure trial
CBS Los Angeles | March 27, 2014
Attorneys in a widely-watched trial calling into question tenure and other employment protections granted to teachers statewide presented their closing arguments Thursday.
Viewpoints: It’s time to bring public school sports off the bench
Sacramento Bee | March 23, 2014
Pitching, hitting and fielding have become a central theme in my house. Not because it’sspring training; it’s that my daughter’s high school fast pitch softball season is starting.
A new learning curve
Chico News & Review | March 20, 2014
The room is dark and silent. Inside, a young computer scientist with a shaved head and intense blue eyes sits alone at a desk facing a pane of sound-absorbent foam. Above him a video camera points straight down at a high-tech tablet; his right hand is poised to scribble out code on its screen. Taped to the camera’s microphone is a yellow Post-it with one word scrawled on it—“ENERGY”—a curious message to the professor in his own handwriting.
Dance of the lemons
The Economist | March 15 , 2014
Josh, a young social-studies teacher working in a tough part of Los Angeles, had been on the job for less than a year when word came that it might not last much longer. Its public finances in ruins, California was slashing budgets and laying off thousands of teachers. Josh’s headmaster fought to keep him, but his hands were tied; under the state’s strict “last in, first out” seniority rules, enshrined in statute, the most recent recruits had to be fired first, regardless of ability.
California schools issue few pink slips
San Jose Mercury News | March 14, 2014
For several years, March 15 has been a day of dread for new teachers. It's the deadline for being notified that schools might let them go in June due to anticipated budget shortfalls.
Teacher Tenure Tested in California
Public News Service | March 12, 2014
The defense is calling witnesses in a lawsuit that's putting California teacher employment laws to the test.
Vergara Witness Says San Diego District, Teachers Worked Together
L.A. School Report | March 10, 2014
A member of the San Diego Unified School District board testified today in the Vergara v California trial that the district increased student achievement scores while managing deep budgetary cutbacks.
Teacher in Vergara Trial Blames student for Performing Poorly
L.A. School Report | March 7, 2014
For the second time this week, the defense in Vergara vs. California today turned to a teacher characterized as “ineffective” by a plaintiff in the case to show a starkly different picture.
Vergara case inside court, dueling press conferences outside
L.A. School Report | March 27, 2014
As lawyers in the Vergara v. California case made their closing arguments inside the court room for the benefit of an audience of one – Judge Rolf Treu – their dueling press conferences held outside were directed at a statewide audience, to be broadcast by a number of television cameras.
Vergara v. California trial ends... for now
Annenberg Radio News | March 27, 2014
The Vergara v. California trial will decide if two years is long enough to determine if a teacher is successful or not and deserves tenure. Lawyers for both sides made their closing arguments on Thursday. The plaintiffs argue two years is too short and pushes ineffective teachers on schools made up of mostly poor and minority students. Teachers unions say the laws are critical for the teaching profession.
Closing arguments heard in suit over teacher tenure
BakersfieldNow.com | March 27, 2014
Loss of the state's teacher tenure laws would be bad for students and teachers alike, an attorney for teachers told a judge Thursday.
Attorneys argue value of California teacher tenure laws
L.A. Daily News | March 27, 2014
Attorneys for a group seeking to eliminate tenure protection for California teachers argued Thursday that such iron-clad job security makes it almost impossible to fire an incompetent instructor.
How ‘education reform’ perpetuates racial disparity
Press TV | March 27, 2014
America was shocked, shocked, by new data from the U.S. Department of Education last week showing that a child’s education destiny in the nation’s public schools is strongly determined by race.
Supervisors call for restoration of CCSF board of trustees
San Francisco Examiner | March 25, 2014
San Francisco city leaders united Tuesday to call for the re-empowerment of the elected board of trustees overseeing City College of San Francisco.
CCSF Chancellor Wants Independent Review Of Clash Between Protesters, Police
CBS Bay Area | March 20, 2014
City College of San Francisco Chancellor Art Tyler plans to propose initiatives to promote respectful dialogue on campus and calling for an independent review of campus police officers’ response to student and faculty protests last week that turned violent, officials said Wednesday.
More than just teachers affect learning, Vergara expert says
LA School Report | March 19, 2014
An expert on the role that teachers play in academic performance today became the latest defense witness in Vergara v California to testify that students in high-poverty area schools face higher challenges to learning.
University of California regents debate lifting tuition freeze
Sacramento Bee | March 19, 2014
Facing a budget shortfall of more than a hundred million dollars, the University of California Board of Regents expressed doubts at its bimonthly meeting Wednesday that it could sustain the current tuition freeze for students.
Democracy For None
San Francisco Bay Guardian | March 18, 2014
Democracy is dead at City College of San Francisco. At least, that's what student protesters allege.
CCSF assesses fallout from protest that resulted in arrests
San Francisco Examiner | March 18, 2014
Hundreds of aggressive student protesters -- and warnings that they intended to take over the administration building -- prompted City College of San Francisco's leaders to lock down the school's Conlan Hall last week, resulting in two arrests and multiple injuries, according to officials.
Vergara witness says streets more than teachers shape academics
LA School Report | March 18, 2014
An expert in educational psychology testified today that violence in the neighborhood, family income, food insecurity and other out-of-school factors are three times more likely to impact a student’s classroom performance than the effectiveness of the teacher.
California can be national leader in reforming testing and school accountability
EdSource | March 18, 2014
Beginning next week, California students will begin taking field tests of the new Smarter Balanced assessments, replacing the mostly multiple choice standardized tests that have been administered in schools for the past 15 years.
Vergara v. California: The most dangerous lawsuit you probably haven't heard of
Daily Kos | March 16, 2014
Ask yourself one question: what's the biggest challenge preventing children from economically disadvantaged, minority neighborhoods from receiving a quality public education?
Are schools ready for the new online Common Core tests?
EdSource | March 16, 2014
California is just weeks away from learning whether its test of the test will pass or fail.
City College should be handed back to trustees, supes say
SFGate.com | March 14, 2014
Cheering City College of San Francisco supporters crowded onto the grand staircase at City Hall Friday afternoon, maneuvering around beaming brides in white dresses to mug for photos with Supervisor David Campos.
Violent Protest at City College of San Francisco
SFGate.com | March 14, 2014
City College of San Francisco students stormed an administrative building at the Ocean Avenue campus Thursday afternoon and clashed violently with campus police, leading to two arrests.
Supervisors Committee to Vote on Resolution Seeking to Reinstate CCSF Trustees
San Francisco Examiner | March 14, 2014
Lawmakers today will continue a push to reinstate the elected board of trustees that had overseen the beleaguered City College of San Francisco until being stripped of power last year.
An Update on the Billionaire Lawsuit to Destroy Teachers Unions
San Diego Free Press | March 13 , 2014
Regular readers here will remember that I wrote a while back about the Vergara v. California trial, which is essentially an attempt by the billionaire education “reform” crowd to achieve through a ridiculous lawsuit what they have not been able to accomplish by convincing voters. The gist of the suit is that union provisions to protect teachers hurt students, thereby harming their civil rights.
Gov. Jerry Brown appoints three California State University trustees
L.A. Daily News | March 13, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday appointed two Democrats and a Republican to the California State University Board of Trustees, which oversees the 23-campus system.
Francisco Rodriguez will be Los Angeles Community College District’s new chancellor
L.A. Daily News | March 13
A new chancellor has been named to help turn around the Los Angeles Community College District, which has struggled to overcome budget cuts, threats to campus accreditation and poor graduation rates.
How billionaire-funded ‘ed reform’ groups push charters, vouchers
Washington Post | March 11, 2014
How powerful are organizations such as Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst and other like-minded groups that support charter schools, voucher programs and the weakening of teachers unions.
Teachers union cites Common Core in decision to cut Gates funding
Washington Post | March 11, 2014
The American Federation of Teachers, which has won millions of dollars in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will no longer accept foundation money for its Innovation Fund. Union members have expressed concern about the poor implementation in many states of the Common Core State Standards, one of the initiatives in which the fund invests.
CCSF accreditor appeals judge’s ruling to suspend accreditation loss
San Francisco Examiner | March 9, 2014
The agency that stripped the accreditation of City College of San Francisco has filed an appeal of a judge’s ruling to temporarily block the decision.
Teachers union president: Vergara lawsuit just an 'AstroTurf' attempt to dismantle teachers' rights
San Jose Mercury-News | February 12, 2014
Writing in the San Jose Mercury-News, CFT President Joshua Pechthalt warns of artificial movement threatening the rights of teachers. The plaintiffs in the Vergara v. California lawsuit, which challenges five state rules governing teachers' rights, are the face of a classic AstroTurf operation. AstroTurf looks like it grows from grass roots but is artificial -- manufactured by corporations seeking cover for their activities against the public interest.
Bill would stabilize funding for City College of San Francisco
Los Angeles Times | February 10, 2014
Flanked by the mayor and officials from City College of San Francisco, state Sen. Mark Leno announced Monday that he has introduced legislation to guarantee funding levels to the institution as it fights to retain accreditation, despite enrollment drops triggered by its uncertain future. [...Meanwhile, the San Francisco city attorney and the California Federation of Teachers have filed lawsuits against ACCJC alleging...]
Deasy v. Deasy: The Two Faces of LA’s School Superintendent
Capital & Main | February 7, 2014
Last week’s testimony in the Vergara v. California trial raised many an eyebrow when Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent John E. Deasy testified on behalf of plaintiffs in a lawsuit whose defendants had originally included LAUSD.
Stop tenure tyranny and show some love for our hardworking teachers
Los Angeles Times | February 6, 2014
My mother retired recently from teaching under pretty much the best possible working conditions one could expect in an American high school.
Vergara hears moving testimony from oft-dismissed teacher
L.A. School Report | February 4, 2014
A stunning silence fell over the courtroom today when Bhavini Bhakta, the first teacher to testify in the Vergara v California trial, described the impact of the state’s current teacher dismissal and seniority laws.
Teachers' Job Protections Debated in California Trial
Education Week | February 3, 2014
When a teacher fails to meet even basic job duties yet remains in the classroom, is that the fault of byzantine laws governing teacher dismissal—or the failure of administrators to adhere to them?
Deasy provides fodder for both sides in lawsuit
Los Angeles Times | February 2, 2014
In a groundbreaking trial over teacher job protections, Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy was the early star witness — for both sides.
Despite accreditation woes, CCSF gets high marks from public
San Francisco Examiner | January 31, 2014
Even after several years of turmoil, threats of closure and a court battle, City College of San Francisco is still a respected institution, according to polling and focus group findings obtained by The San Francisco Examiner. […said Alisa Messer, president of faculty union AFT Local 2121...]
In Calif., Janet Napolitano’s Vision: More Unity, Money, and Research
The Chronicle of Higher Education | February 13, 2014
Janet Napolitano had zero experience leading a college before she became president of the University of California last year.
A fight is brewing over tests in the Common Core age
Washington Post | February 12, 2014
Testing season begins soon in U.S. public schools, requiring millions of students to spend days answering standardized questions in math and reading, as mandated by an outdated federal law.
No contract yet for OC Dept. of Ed. workers
Orange County Register | February 12, 2014
About 20 school staff members demonstrated outside the Orange County Department of Education on Wednesday to boost support for their union’s push for cost-of-living increase, a one-time pay increase and a boost to the cap on health care benefits.
IRS Explains How To Count Adjunct Work Hours
Huffington Post | February 11, 2014
The U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued long-awaited guidelines Monday on how to determine whether adjunct faculty are full-time employees for the purpose of providing health insurance coverage.
Duncan Says 'Preschool Education Is Ultimate Bipartisan Issue'
Huffington Post | February 11, 2014
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined Bloomberg Radio's Jane Williams last week to talk about the state of education in this country. "Early childhood education has become the ultimate bipartisan issue," said Duncan. "We actually have more Republican governors than Democratic governors investing."
Calif. ranks 6th in US on AP exam participation
SF Gate | February 11, 2014
California often ranks near the bottom of national measures of education quality and student achievement, but a report to be published Tuesday puts the state ahead of the curve in one area: the number of public school students enrolling in Advanced Placement classes and also doing well enough to earn college credits.
CCSF to formally appeal the revoking of its accreditation
San Francisco Examiner | February 9, 2014
City College of San Francisco officials will soon be filing a formal appeal of the decision made last July to revoke the school's accreditation after a regional commission rejected the school's bid to have the decision reviewed.
Concerned with growing class sizes, teaching assistant union files complaint against UC
Sacramento Bee | February 9, 2014
As a teaching assistant in the music department at University of California, Santa Cruz, Lisa Beebe is regularly assigned to classes that have more than 350 students.
Ravitch unloads on school ‘deform’
Washington Post | February 5, 2014
Diane Ravitch, the education historian who has led a de facto national movement against current education policies — including standardized testing, charter schools, vouchers and teacher evaluations tied to student test scores — said Tuesday evening that “the White House’s obsession with data is sick.”
The Teacher Commitment That Cannot Be Evaluated With Tests
The Nation | February 5, 2014
Teachers, parents and students are pushing back against high-stakes testing, over-testing and the fantasy that education is made better by preparing for, conducting and evaluating tests.
Alpine teachers reject tentative pact
U-T San Diego | February 5, 2014
In a vote taken Tuesday and Wednesday by secret ballot and announced Wednesday afternoon, members of the Alpine Teachers Association rejected a proposed contract settlement with the Alpine Union School District.
Sacramento area school districts resist push for smaller class sizes
Sacramento Bee | February 5, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown’s new school funding plan promises smaller class sizes, but that is more dream than reality at some California districts.
51 Groups Call On President To Not Let For-Profit Colleges Weaken “Gainful Employment” Rule
The Consumerist | February 4, 2014
Last summer, the Dept. of Education began the process of reviewing a new rule aimed at those educational institutions that failed to demonstrate their students could find gainful employment in the fields in which they had been trained. The for-profit college industry has managed to weaken the rule, but today more than 51 different groups — including advocates for consumers, veterans, and students — asked the President to help prevent this rule from becoming toothless.
Cal State Long Beach, Long Beach City College partner in scholarship program for undocumented students
Los Angeles Daily News | February 4, 2014
Officials at Cal State Long Beach and Long Beach City College announced Tuesday that they will partner with the private sector to provide scholarships for students who are in the country illegally.
California community colleges could offer bachelor's degrees
SFGate.com | February 2, 2014
Tamara Martin, a nursing student at College of San Mateo, desperately wants a bachelor's degree in her field, so she applied to Cal State East Bay because it had 60 open spots and would surely have room. But 199 people had the same idea.
Long Beach City College experiments with tiered pricing
Los Angeles Times | February 3, 2014
Every semester since 2009, Sequoyah Hilt has tried to sign up for a phlebotomy course at Long Beach City College. She never got a seat.
There Have Already Been At Least 11 School Shootings This School Year
The Nation | February 3, 2014
The Associated Press counts at least eleven US school shootings since the start of the 2013–14 academic year, more than eight months after Congress rejected a gun control proposal prompted by the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Fresno Unified teachers wear black to protest contract proposal
Fresno Bee | February 3, 2014
Dozens of Fresno Unified teachers wore black Monday, protesting an employee contract pitched by administrators that lengthens school days and ties student test scores to teacher evaluations.
Teachers’ unions resist all-out assault
Workers World | February 1, 2014
Some $682 billion in public funds was spent in the United States in 2012-13 on pre-K through Grade 12 education. This vast amount of public money provides a vast market for businesses to exploit, and, where possible, to privatize. (usgovernmentspending.com)