In the News Archive: October 2014


ACCJC appeal panel biased and disdainful

Beyond Chron | Oct. 24, 2014
The lawsuit by the San Francisco City Attorney against the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) starts Monday October 27. This trial is immensely important for the entire Bay Area. The educational and employment fate of tens of thousands of Bay Area residents hinge directly on the outcome. 

Top 5 issues in Tuck vs. Torlakson state superintendent race
LA School Report | Oct. 23, 2014
Dueling views offered by Marshall Tuck and Tom Torlakson in their bid for State Superintendent of Public Instruction will give voters a stark choice — in what has become a surprisingly close race leading to the Nov. 4 election. 

Union, charter school advocates spar for MHUSD seats
Morgan Hill Times | Oct. 23, 2014
Big city politics have touched down in Morgan Hill as the burgeoning nine-candidate battle for four board of education seats up for grabs in the Nov. 4 election has the teachers union and charter school advocates trying to sway the voting public in opposite directions. 

California community colleges discuss adding accreditors
San Francisco Examiner | Oct. 22, 2014
The accrediting body that voted to strip City College of San Francisco of its accreditation last year may not be the state's only community college accreditor for much longer. 

San Francisco college accreditation problems drag on
El Vaquero | Oct. 22, 2014
With Glendale College now embroiled in the accreditaion process, administrators might look to the recent problems facing San Francisco City College. 

California rivals clash on vision for K-12 leadership
Education Week | Oct. 21, 2014
The race between incumbent California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and challenger Marshall Tuck for the state's top schools spot centers largely on one policy debate: Is the state with the nation's biggest K-12 enrollment reinventing its public schools the right way and through the right power brokers?

California superintendent battle escalates — More opportunities for students — Early ed in the election
Politico | Oct. 20, 2014
Money has been pouring into the hard-fought race for Superintendent of Public Instruction in California. In just the last two weeks, wealthy supporters of challenger Marshall Tuck, a former charter school executive deeply rooted in the education reform movement, have spent more than $4.5 million. Incumbent Tom Torlakson, meanwhile, has benefitted from the prodigious resources of the California Teachers Association, which has spent more than $2 million in the same period. 

AFT goes all in on California
Dropout Nation | Oct. 20, 2014
This morning’s move by the American Federation of Teachers (with help from the National Education Association’s Golden State affiliate) to launch a digital ad campaign aimed at beating back surging support for Marshall Tuck in his bid to become California Superintendent is another sign of how the nation’s second-largest teachers’ union deploys cash to oppose systemic reform. 

California conditions favorable for Common Core implementation

EdSource | Oct. 16, 2014
With the adoption of the Common Core standards by 43 states, the nation’s schools have embarked on one of the most ambitious reform strategies in the post-World War II era. 

Jerry Brown is getting too much credit for fixing California

Vox | Oct. 16, 2014
It's not too difficult to explain why the Republican candidate California governor, Neel Kashkari, is pulling desperate stunts like running an ad equating incumbent Governor Jerry Brown's education policies with letting a child drown in a pool. Kashkari's running 20 points behind, and a poll last month found that only 25 percent of likely voters could correctly identify him as the Republican candidate. 

California's Prop 45: Sticking it to "the Man" or to the people?
JD Supra Advisor | Oct. 14, 2014
Continuing our series covering the various measures Californians will see on the 2014 midterm election ballot, we now turn to Proposition 45, or the Public Notice Required for Insurance Company Rates Initiative. 

Decision 2014: Marshall Tuck and education
KUSI News | Oct. 13, 2014
Education is always near the top of concerns among voters. Though California passes school bonds, and even increases taxes for schools, California remains near the bottom in education. 

Outside groups stock up for California schools chief race
Sacramento Bee | Oct. 10, 2014
Independent expenditure committees have set aside almost $5.5 million in the past week for the final stage of California’s hotly contested superintendent of public instruction race, an ideologically charged battle that has pitted incumbent Tom Torlakson against former schools executive Marshall Tuck over teacher job protections. 

Once-courteous 15th Assembly campaign turns negative
Berkeleyside | Oct. 10, 2014
The two candidates in a competitive state Assembly race had the chance to woo Berkeley voters at a debate hosted by the League of Women Voters at Berkeley City College on Tuesday. 

Democrats eye 2016 for tax extension vote
Sacramento Bee | Oct. 10, 2014
As Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan lobbied for a school bond near the end of this year’s legislative session, she was asked at a Senate committee hearing why the measure could not wait two years, for the November 2016 ballot. 

Race for Assembly seat draws public debate between candidates
The Daily Californian | Oct. 8, 2014
About 200 students and community members gathered Tuesday at Berkeley City College’s auditorium for the Assembly District 15 debate between Democratic candidates Elizabeth Echols and Tony Thurmond. 

Education groups withhold support of rainy day fund
EdSource | Oct. 7, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown won’t have key education groups helping him make the case to voters for a bigger and more restrictive state rainy day fund. The most he can count on is that they won’t actively campaign against it. 

Campaign donations reach record levels in Berkeley; beverage companies donate $1.4M to defeat soda tax
Berkeleyside | Oct. 7, 2014
The beverage industry in recent days contributed another $600,000 to its fight to defeat Measure D, a proposed tax in Berkeley on sugary beverages, bringing the amount it has given so far to $1.4 million. 

Strong-mayor campaign raises large donations from Sacramento and beyond
Sacramento Bee | Oct. 7, 2014
The campaign pushing stronger powers for Sacramento mayors is getting an assist from some wealthy public figures – in Sacramento and beyond. 

Props 31, 32 and 40 would make various government, budget modifications
San Diego Newsroom | Oct. 7, 2014 
Propositions 31, 32 and 40 deal with separate areas of government and budget modifications, both locally and statewide. 

CA Dems and public schools want tax increase extended
Breitbart News | Oct. 7, 2014
California Democrats and public school advocates are eyeing the possibility of extending tax increases that were temporarily set into place in 2012, reports the Sacramento Bee. 

Assembly race: Echols, Thurmond to debate in Berkeley
Berkeleyside | Oct. 6, 2014
One of the most hotly contested seats in the Nov. 4 election is the race for Assembly District 15. Nancy Skinner, who has held the seat for six years, is termed out of office and is stepping down.

Teachers groups endorse Eggman for Assembly
The Record | Oct. 3, 2014
Two major statewide teachers’ groups have endorsed Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, in her bid for re-election to the 13th Assembly District, her campaign announced. 

Silicon Valley breeding nationwide schools-for-profit scheme
People’s World | Oct. 2, 2014
Nearly every metropolitan area these days has its own wealthy promoters of education "reform." Little Rock has the Waltons, Seattle has Bill and Melinda Gates, Newark has Mark Zuckerberg, and Buffalo has John Oishei, who made his millions selling windshield wipers.

Joshua Pechthalt: We can do better when it comes to 'willful defiance' reform
San Jose Mercury News | Oct. 1, 2014
Sometimes a symbolic gesture is good enough. But when it comes to our children and their future, we need more than symbolism from our elected leaders in Sacramento.

California’s willful defiance law limits suspensions, expulsions for backtalking students
CBS Sacramento | Sept. 30, 2014
A new state law is stirring controversy and raising questions about how to discipline kids who misbehave in school.

School Superintendent race is referendum on teachers unions
Fox & Hounds | Sept. 30, 2014
While the battle for Superintendent of Public Instruction between two Democrats is drawing attention because it is the most hotly contested statewide political race, in the end the contest may not so much depend on voters feelings about the candidates as how they feel about the power wielded by teachers unions.



The war on teacher tenure

Time | Oct. 23, 2014
On a warm day in early June, a Los Angeles County trial-court judge, Rolf M. Treu, pink-cheeked beneath a trim white beard, dropped a bombshell on the American public-school system. Ruling in Vergara v. California, Treu struck down five decades-old California laws governing teacher tenure and other job protections on the grounds that they violate the state’s constitution.

Torlakson or Tuck? Race for state school chief heats up
KCRA | Oct. 23, 2014
California has more than 6 million students enrolled in public schools, but when it comes to reading and math, the Golden State gets failing grades.

Schools warned on legalities of anti-bullying
EdSource | Oct. 23, 2014
Citing an “ever-increasing” number of complaints about the bullying of students with disabilities, the federal government issued a letter this week reminding schools of their legal responsibility to stop such bullying or risk violating federal anti-discrimination laws.

California Teachers of the Year
Imperial Valley News | Oct. 22, 2014
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today named five outstanding educators as the 2015 California Teachers of the Year, one of whom he nominated as California's National Teacher of the Year.

States asked to lead on universal preschool
EdSource | Oct. 22, 2014
President Obama’s call for universal preschool appears to have stalled in Washington due to political gridlock, but administration officials are hoping that states like California will pick up the slack.

Bonds should not pay for iPad curriculum, new L.A. Unified head says
LA Times | Oct. 22, 2014
Newly installed Los Angeles schools Supt. Ramon Cortines said he opposes using construction bond money to pay for curriculum on student computers, raising new questions about the future of the system's controversial $1.3-billion technology project.

Why 10 candidates are fighting to be powerless CCSF trustees
SF Gate | Oct. 22, 2014
Some people run for mayor. Some run for governor. Whatever the race, candidates raise money for two reasons: to win and make a difference.

Turning the spotlight on education
KCRW | Oct. 21, 2014
A surprise for California voters: the hottest race in next month’s statewide election is for Superintendent of Public Instruction, a nonpartisan office with limited powers. Incumbent Tom Torlakson and challenger Marshall Tuck embody both sides of the national conflict over public education—which has made for a close race. We’ll talk to them both about teacher tenure, standardized testing, and John Deasy, former Superintendent of the LAUSD.

Education Secretary Duncan talks tech with L.A. Unified's Cortines
LA Times | Oct. 21, 2014
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, in a brief visit to Los Angeles on Tuesday, met with newly installed L.A. Unified Supt. Ramon C. Cortines to talk about local technology problems and the state of local schools.

Report urges revamping student testing
EdSource | Oct. 21, 2014
With a nod to California, a new report suggests overhauling how school and student success is measured in the United States.

City College of San Francisco trial approaches
Capital & Main | Oct. 20, 2014
Take the state law on fair competition. Add the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges‘ actions to shut down City College of San Francisco (CCSF). What will these ingredients amount to in a court of law?

John A. Tures: How 'Vergara' might backfire
Columbus Ledger-Inquirer | Oct. 18, 2014
Republicans no doubt cheered when the Vergara v. California decision was handed down, axing teacher tenure. And they'll no doubt be pleased by former CNN Anchor Campbell Brown's attack on teacher tenure, with her education reform group called the "Partnership for Educational Justice."

John Deasy resigns; Ramon Cortines named interim head of L.A. schools

LA Times | Oct. 16, 2014
The Los Angeles Unified school board on Thursday officially accepted the resignation of Supt. John Deasy and voted to appoint his predecessor, Ramon Cortines, to fill the post on an interim basis.

LAUSD regrouping after Deasy's departure
LA Times | Oct. 16, 2014
The end of Supt. John Deasy's dynamic and controversial 3 1/2 year reign over public schools in Los Angeles leaves school district leaders with the daunting task of mending broken relationships with employees, especially teachers, while stoking a continued upswing in student achievement.

How the iPad helped bring down the Los Angeles schools chief
Time | Oct. 16, 2014
For all that an iPad might be able to offer a growing mind, the device is missing a component many students would consider essential for coursework: a keyboard. A failure to recognize the importance of that omission is just one of many things that went wrong when the head of the Los Angeles public schools embarked on a plan in 2013 to get iPads in the hands of all 650,000 students in the system.

State ranks first in after-school programs
EdSource | Oct. 16, 2014
In a national ranking, California is at the top in providing quality after-school programs based on the percentage of students involved, parent satisfaction and other factors, according to a survey released Thursday.

California parents fighting Common Core math
Education Dive | Oct. 16, 2014
California parents are pushing against the Common Core math benchmarks, fearful that slow pacing will keep students out of calculus classes that they consider a prerequisite for competitive college applications.

Superintendent Tom Torlakson: California ranked #1 in after school programs
Imperial Valley News | Oct. 16, 2014
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that California leads the nation in after school programs, placing first among all states in a national survey released today by the Afterschool Alliance.

Ebola: some schools shut down; others screening for virus
Education Week | Oct. 15, 2014
Districts in Solon, Ohio, and Belton, Texas, closed some schools this week in response to news that a nurse who was recently diagnosed with the Ebola virus flew on a commercial airplane while she may have been showing symptoms, the Washington Post reports.

Torlakson-Tuck contest is just one front in war over California public education
Sacramento Bee | Oct. 15, 2014
Even at a superficial level, the contest between two Democrats for the supposedly nonpartisan office of state superintendent of schools is interesting.

NYSUT allowed to intervene in tenure case
The Legislative Gazette | Oct. 14, 2014
State Supreme Court Justice Philip Minardo has granted a motion by the New York State United Teachers to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the state's tenure law.

Antonio Villaraigosa to join candidate for California superintendent at Sherman Oaks event
LA Daily News | Oct. 14, 2014
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is scheduled to join state superintendent of public instruction candidate Marshall Tuck in Sherman Oaks today for a news conference about having a more equitable education system in California.

City College of San Francisco speakers resist the Accreditation committee
Talon Marks | Oct. 14, 2014
City College of San Francisco trustee Rafael Mandelman believes if something is wrong in the world, someone has to stand up and say enough.

City College of San Francisco Accreditation
SF Gate | Oct. 14, 2014
With nearly 80,000 students, City College of San Francisco is the largest public school in California, and one of the largest in the country.

Kashkari shocker: anti-Brown ad shows drowning boy
SF Gate | Oct. 13, 2014
With a new TV ad that depicts a drowning boy, Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari aims to make the case that Gov. Jerry Brown has “betrayed” California children.

Petaluma teachers’ union to protest stall in contract talks
Santa Rosa Press Democrat | Oct. 13, 2014
As a standoff between the Petaluma teachers’ union and the Petaluma City Schools district over pay raises and other contract changes drags into its third month, teachers are teaming up with parents to call for the district to resume negotiations on the terms they have requested.

Voices, Navigator charters appeal to the county
Morgan Hill Times | Oct. 13, 2014
Two charter school organizations still hoping to open elementary schools in Morgan Hill by fall 2015 will try their luck at the county level. Appeal proceedings for charter petitions submitted by San Jose-based Voices College-Bound Language Academy and Gilroy-based Navigator Schools kick off with a 5 p.m. Oct. 15 public hearing inside the Santa Clara County Office of Education.

Four leaders to improve San Francisco City College
SF Gate | Oct. 12, 2014
It’s one of the strangest elections on record for San Francisco. Ten candidates are vying for four seats on the City College Board of Trustees, who haven’t met in over a year while outside educators run the troubled institution.

Superintendent candidates Torlakson, Tuck offer distinct views
SF Gate | Oct. 10, 2014
They’re both Democrats — that about sums up the similarities between the two candidates running to be the state’s top schools official on the Nov. 4 ballot.

ACCJC dismissal rebuffed, City College goes to trial for its life in 18 days
San Francisco Bay Guardian | Oct. 9, 2014
The courtroom saga between City College of San Francisco and its accreditors reached a new milestone yesterday, as Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow rejected the accreditors' motion to dimiss the City Attorney's Office's case against the decision to close the college, yet again.

Teacher preparation enrollments plummet
EdSource | Oct. 9, 2014
Enrollments in teacher preparation programs in California are continuing to decline at a precipitous rate, according to new figures from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Taxpayer funds are lifeline for more than 100 for-profit schools
The Center for Investigative Reporting | Oct. 9, 2014
More than 100 for-profit colleges are so dependent on taxpayer money that they would be violating a law designed to prevent profiteering if not for a loophole that excludes GI Bill funds and Department of Defense tuition assistance to active duty military.

Event will address common core concerns plaguing district
Turlock Journal | Oct. 9, 2014
The state’s recent implementation of Common Core State Standards has left many stakeholders within Turlock Unified School District with a number of unanswered questions and reasonable distress.

EdSource Report: Preparing effective teachers
EdSource | Oct. 8, 2014
The crucial challenges of recruiting, preparing and retaining teachers has gotten short shrift in the reform debates over the last few years, despite the fact that effective teachers will be crucial to the success of a range of reforms currently being implemented in California schools, such as the Common Core standards.

Cancer concerns raised over pesticides found in air
The Californian | Oct. 8, 2014
After much delay, a new round of air sampling data released by state officials last month shows that hazardous pesticides continue to be found in the air of the state’s agricultural regions, including at cancer-risk levels in Salinas and Watsonville.

Tom Torlakson versus the corporate education reform machine
San Diego Free Press | Oct. 6, 2014
This fall in San Diego the Peters vs. DeMaio and Kim vs. Cate showdowns are getting all the attention, but my pick for the most important race on the ballot is one that nobody is taking note of at the statewide level—and that’s a problem. The race in question is for . . . (wait for it) . . . State Superintendent of Public Instruction!

What’s wrong with the Vergara ruling
EdSource | Oct. 5, 2014
Nearly two decades ago, when I was superintendent in the Long Beach Unified School District, the superintendent in nearby Palos Verdes asked me if he could send some of his teachers to our workshops to help them improve their skills in teaching kids how to read.

California state superintendent of public instruction: Torlakson or Tuck?
San Jose Mercury News | Oct. 5, 2014
The election for state schools chief is not ordinarily a page-turner, but the high-stakes battle over teacher tenure is making a tight contest of November's race between well-known incumbent Tom Torlakson and newcomer challenger Marshall Tuck.

Anti-tenure lawsuit filed in New York
Heartland | Oct. 3, 2014
Teacher quality is the most important in-school factor in students’ education, the National Council on Teacher Quality says.

Campbell Brown: teacher tenure must end
Washington Free Beacon | Oct. 2, 2014
The first grader stood at the front of the classroom, the rest of his class looking on, laughing, as he scratched “Um” on the blackboard over and over.

Dems for Public Ed’ releases poll showing overwhelming support for public schools
Democrats for Public Education | Oct. 2, 2014
Today, Democrats For Public Education (DPE) released the results of a national voter survey recently commissioned on public schools and public education. Conducted by Harstad Strategic Research – a Colorado-based firm which worked on President Barack Obama’s 2008 election and 2012 re-election – this poll shows how voters back public education in large numbers.

Brown split on student attendance data bills
Cabinet Report | Oct. 2, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday vetoed legislation that would have required the state to collect and track student attendance data but he did sign two other measures in a package of related bills from Attorney General Kamala Harris.

L.A. school board authorizes talks on departure agreement with Deasy
LA Times | Oct. 1, 2014
The Los Angeles Board of Education has authorized its attorneys to discuss terms of a possible departure agreement with schools Supt. John Deasy, The Times has learned.

Gov. Brown acts on student-related bills
EdSource | Oct. 1, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed bills to mandate kindergarten and tinker with aspects of the state’s new school funding formula, and he signed bills providing more protections for student privacy as he rushed to review a sea of bills this week to meet the Sept. 30 deadline for acting on legislation.

Dan Walters Daily: California needs a new higher education plan
Sacramento Bee | Oct. 1, 2014
As the state’s three systems of public higher education converge, California needs to revisit its master plan, Dan says.


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In the News Archive: September 2014


Brown signs bills increasing access to EpiPens, overdose drug
California Healthline | Sept. 17, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has signed into law two bills that will require California school districts to stock emergency epinephrine auto-injectors, or EpiPens, and will increase the availability of naloxone -- a drug that commonly is used to reverse respiratory depression caused by overdosing on painkillers. 

Unions line up against, for Sacramento strong-mayor plan
Merced Sun-Star | Sept. 17, 2014
The campaign opposing the November ballot measure seeking to increase the powers of the mayor’s office in Sacramento has landed its first organized-labor support. 

Teacher tenure: Flawed decision hurts schools
San Diego Union Tribune | Sept. 13, 2014
The California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers recently filed an appeal over Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu’s ruling in Vergara v. California, a decision that would strip away basic due process rights for thousands of California teachers and turn the current streamlined school layoff process into a confusing morass of favoritism, ageism, and expensive litigation.

EDITORIAL: Sign these bills, Gov. Brown
Fresno Bee | Sept. 12, 2014
Much of the legislation on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk is drivel and needs to go in the trash. But there are prizes, too. Here are six bills worthy of his signature.

Our View: Drone regulation, EpiPens in schools and other worthy bills
Merced Sun-Star | Sept. 11, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk is covered with legislation that he must sign, veto or throw away. Much of it is, frankly, drivel. But there are some prizes there, as well. Here some bills that are worthy of his signature.

Ferguson nothing new, not so far away: Guest commentary
LA Daily News | Sept. 10, 2014
Ferguson is not so far from Los Angeles. On April 29, 1992, I was wrapping up another day teaching at Manual Arts High School in the heart of South Los Angeles, preparing to return to my home in nearby Leimert Park, when the civil unrest in response to the acquittal of four police officers charged in the beating of Rodney King erupted around the school. After six days, more than 50 people lay dead and burned-out buildings reflected more than a $1 billion in property damage.

Marshall Tuck urges California Board of Education to lead on teacher tenure revamp
Uncover California | Sept. 5, 2014
Marshall Tuck, a reelection opponent to California State Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, has urged the State Board of Education to immediately develop solutions to the issues raised in the 'teacher tenure' lawsuit. 

California teacher unions appeal ruling on job protections 
LA Times | Sept. 4, 2014
California's two largest teacher unions have appealed a court ruling that struck down key job protections for their members. 

Teachers unions file suit over tenure
Mother Lode | Sept. 4, 2014
A pair of California teachers unions has filed a lawsuit challenging a judge’s recent ruling that calls tenure and job protection “unconstitutional.” 

Calif. teachers' unions file appeal against Vergara ruling on teacher tenure
Education Week | Sept. 4, 2014
In the latest turn of events in the teacher-tenure saga in California, the state's teachers unions officially filed an appeal against the court decision that struck down tenure and dismissal laws.

California teacher unions appeal tenure ruling
CBS SF Bay Area | Sept. 3, 2014
California’s powerful teachers unions fought back Wednesday against a court ruling that struck down state laws on tenure and job protection for their 400,000 members, less than a week after Gov. Jerry Brown filed his own appeal. 

California teachers' unions appeal ruling striking down tenure
Wall Street Journal | Sept. 3, 2014
California's powerful teachers' unions fought back Wednesday against a court ruling that struck down state laws on tenure and job protection for their 400,000 members, less than a week after Gov. Jerry Brown filed his own appeal. 

Rail’s hollow victories
City Journal | Sept. 3, 2014
Recent headlines have given true believers in California’s embattled $68 billion bullet-train project a feeling of redemption. The state budget passed in June gave the California High-Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) its first infusion of state funds in years—a $250 million cut of fees from the state’s nascent cap-and-trade program. 

Brown’s Vergara appeal not so hard to understand
LA School Report | Sept. 2, 2014
While editorial boards at most of California’s major newspapers all reacted favorably to Judge Rolf Treu’s ruling in Vergara vs. California, and a USC poll showed that a strong majority of California voters oppose the state’s tenure and layoff policies for public school teachers that the court ruling struck down, Gov. Jerry Brown nonetheless appealed the decision.

Gov. Brown appeals ruling that struck down teacher job protections
LA Times | Aug. 30, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown filed an appeal Friday of a ruling that struck down traditional job protections for teachers. 

Should CA schools ban suspensions and expulsions for willful defiance?
KPCC Airtalk | Aug. 28, 2014
The state Senate has recently passed a bill that bans the use of suspensions and expulsions for dealing with students who commit defiant and disruptive acts. 


Tuck, Torlakson debate union power, lawsuit
EdSource | Sept. 30, 2014
The two candidates for state superintendent of public instruction disagreed on the condition of K-12 education in California, the influence of teachers unions and which of them is best qualified for the job at a forum Saturday in Burlingame, the last scheduled joint appearance before the Nov. 4 election.

Brown wraps up ed bills, leaves some heads shaking
Cabinet Report | Sept. 30, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have made kindergarten mandatory while at the same time signing one intended to show the overwhelming boost that optional year gives kids headed to first grade.

Jerry Brown approves community college bachelor’s degrees
Sacramento Bee | Sept. 29, 2014
In what could portend a monumental shift in public higher education in California, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Sunday that will allow up to 15 community colleges to launch bachelor’s degrees programs in vocational fields.

Is Common Core technology worth it?
Fox & Hounds | Sept. 29, 2014
California’s transition from its previous STAR program to the Common Core State Standards has been slow and more costly than expected. With the first Common Core tests scheduled for this spring, school districts are still struggling to provide all of the necessary technology and bandwidth for the new assessments, which are required to be administered electronically in lieu of traditional paper-and-pencil tests.

New math causing consternation
U-T San Diego | Sept. 28, 2014
The new Common Core math has been mocked by comedians. It’s been fodder for political conspiracies. And it’s a source of confusion for parents.

Police aren’t over-armed, considering the threats: Letters

LA Daily News | Sept. 18, 2014
Re “Ferguson — nothing new, not so far away” (Commentary, Sept. 12):
Writer Joshua Pechthalt has written about the “civil unrest” following the first verdict of the four officers charged in the beating of Rodney King and the shooting of Michael Brown.

Regents OK raises up to 20% for UC chancellors

LA Times | Sept. 18, 2014
The UC regents Thursday awarded pay increases of as much as 20% to the leaders of the Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Merced and Riverside campuses and set the annual salary of the new UC Irvine chancellor, Howard Gillman, at $485,000.

Report critical of charter school oversight
EdSource | Sept. 18, 2014
A lack of oversight of the nation’s charter schools has led to too many cases of fraud and abuse and too little attention to equity, according to a new report that offers recommendations to remedy the situation.

Governor approves bill increasing transparency for California community college accreditation
San Francisco Examiner | Sept. 18, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill unanimously supported by both the Senate and Assembly that seeks to make the accreditation system for California's 112 community colleges more transparent.

Teacher-hating right-wing shill Campbell Brown deserves all the criticism she’s getting
Politicus USA | Sept. 18, 2014
You may know Campbell Brown as a former anchorwoman who had regular gigs on CNN and NBC. Brown ended up leaving her job at CNN due to low ratings. Since then, she has kept herself busy writing critical op-eds about President Obama and Planned Parenthood and jumping into the education reform movement. 

New report on L.A. Unified's iPads reflects problems with curriculum
LA Times | Sept. 17, 2014
An evaluation of the iPads-for-all project in Los Angeles schools found that only 1 of 245 classrooms surveyed even used the costly curriculum.

Guest commentary: Must move ahead on Common Core
Contra Costa Times | Sept. 17, 2014
A multitude of voices now can be heard about the Common Core standards that have been adopted in 44 states. While there is legitimate concern about the latest reform in American education, the standards allow our nation to provide, for the first time, a set of goals that all students from primary school through high school must achieve for further academic study and career readiness.

Seven education bills await action by Gov. Brown
LA School Report | Sept. 17, 2014
Seven education bills are currently awaiting the signature or veto of Gov. Jerry Brown – and before too many more stack up, we thought a review was in order.

Fate of high school exit exam undecided
EdSource | Sept. 17, 2014
While the state’s standardized testing program is being revamped during the transition to the new Common Core State Standards, the fate of the high school exit exam – the one test students must pass – remains murky.

Lawsuit challenges teachers’ compulsory dues
EdSource | Sept. 16, 2014
Vergara v. State of California, threatening teacher protection laws in California, has consumed the attention of the California Teachers Association. But another lawsuit working its way through the courts is striking at the core of the CTA’s power: its authority to automatically deduct hundreds of millions of dollars a year in dues from the paychecks of both members and non-members.

L.A. schools police will return grenade launchers but keep rifles, armored vehicle
LA Times | Sept. 16, 2014
Los Angeles Unified school police officials said Tuesday that the department will relinquish some of the military weaponry it acquired through a federal program that furnishes local law enforcement with surplus equipment. The move comes as education and civil rights groups have called on the U.S. Department of Defense to halt the practice for schools.

NY Tenure lawsuit wracked by feuding parties
Daily Caller | Sept. 13, 2014
Legal efforts to force a change to New York’s teacher tenure laws are becoming bogged down by infighting among activists.

White: Good teachers need to be kept
Recordnet | Sept. 12, 2014
Teachers need job protection. No, not those teachers who are abusive or grossly incompetent or lazy. And, no, not first-year teachers or probationary ones.

Truancy rates are higher among California's low-income students, report says
LA Times | Sept. 12, 2014
Across California, truancy rates for students from low-income backgrounds were disproportionately higher than for their more affluent peers during the 2013-14 school year, according to a report released Thursday.

Sides drawn in courtroom showdown over CCSF accreditation
San Francisco Examiner | Sept. 11, 2014
Was the decision to revoke City College of San Francisco's accreditation last year truly a business-related matter?

City Attorney, Accreditation Commission get day in court over CCSF
KQED | Sept. 11, 2014
In a lawsuit that could go to trial next month, attorneys for San Francisco and a regional accrediting commission argued at a hearing Wednesday over whether City College of San Francisco has wrongly faced the loss of its accreditation.

L.A. school board OKs contract to destroy emails, raising concerns
LA Times | Sept. 11, 2014
The Los Angeles Unified School District took steps this week to enforce rules under which emails are deleted after one year, raising concerns about whether important public records would be destroyed in the process.

City Attorney, ACCJC spar in hearing of City College lawsuit
The San Francisco Appeal | Sept. 10, 2014
In a lawsuit that could go to trial next month, attorneys for San Francisco and a regional accrediting commission argued at a hearing today over whether City College of San Francisco has wrongly faced the loss of its accreditation.

California teacher tenure finally a major election issue
LA Times | Sept. 10, 2014
Who'd have thought it? Teacher tenure — the topic that made sparks fly during a gubernatorial debate. And the hottest issue in a close race for state schools chief.

Teacher tenure has little to do with student achievement, economist says
Washington Post | Sept. 10, 2014
Tenure in public schools is under attack from critics who argue that the system protects incompetent teachers and holds back students. Earlier this year, a judge threw out California's tenure laws, holding that they barred students of color from getting an equal education. 

Guest commentary: Gov. Jerry Brown must sign bill to limit school suspensions
Contra Costa Times | Sept. 9, 2014
It has been 60 years since the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education cracked the walls of racial segregation. Yet our public schools are still far from equal and one of the places we see this most starkly is in how African-American and Latino students are disciplined.

Here's a 50-state look at how the Common Core is playing out in the U.S.
Deseret News | Sept. 9, 2014
The Common Core standards, a series of educational standards aimed at helping student prepare for higher education and entry into the workforce, were adopted by more than 40 states in 2010.

Gloria Romero: Does what happens in California stay in California?
OC Register | Sept. 8, 2014
The Vergara lawsuit – in which nine children successfully challenged the constitutionality of key California teacher employment and dismissal provisions – has gone national. Amid much pomp, Students Matter, the nonprofit funding Vergara, announced support for a similar challenge, Davids v. New York.

CCSF chancellor confident school will qualify for restoration status
San Francisco Examiner | Sept. 8, 2014
Just weeks shy of his one-year anniversary on Nov. 1 as the chancellor of City College of San Francisco, Arthur Tyler will lead the school in its next step to seek restoration status — the only remaining administrative option to save the college’s accreditation.

Napolitano, UC support Common Core state standards
Daily Californian | Sept. 8, 2014
UC President Janet Napolitano and three other leaders in California public and private higher education signed a letter Aug. 29 expressing support for the Common Core State Standards.

Gates Foundation has donated more than $10 million to Colo. ed groups to support Common Core
Chalkbeat Colorado | Sept. 8, 2014
No organization has given more money to support the roll out of the Common Core State Standards than the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In the last four years, more than $200 million has been distributed to nearly every corner of the country to either implement the English and math standards or support those who are doing so.

New Common Core math standards add up to big changes
SF Gate | Sept. 6, 2014
Some say the new Common Core math standards are too easy. Others say they're too hard or too focused on ideas rather than correct answers.

Kashkari attacks Jerry Brown on Tesla, teachers, 'crazy train' in spirited debate

San Jose Mercury News | Sept. 5, 2014
Neel Kashkari, the underdog in California's race for governor, launched a fusillade of attacks on Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday night in their first and probably only debate.

Teachers unions under fire
Wall Street Journal | Sept. 4, 2014
Teachers unions are fighting back against a California ruling that gutted two things they hold sacred: tenure laws and seniority provisions. But they face an uphill battle to reshape their image as opponents—and even some allies—say they are standing in the way of needed improvements in education.

Bill that would protect elected community college trustees awaits governor
SF Gate | Sept. 4, 2014
A proposed law that would limit the removal of an elected board of trustees from California's community colleges, such as when City College of San Francisco's board was temporarily replaced by a special trustee in 2013, is awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown.

State awards Common Core test contract
EdSource | Sept. 3, 2014
With the State Board of Education’s approval, California became the eighth state** Wednesday to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium for the standardized tests in the Common Core State Standards that students will take next spring.

California appeals teacher tenure ruling
Huffington Post | Sept. 2, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown appealed a court ruling that struck down tenure and other job protections for California's teachers, setting himself apart from leaders in some other states who have fought to end such protections or raise the standards for obtaining them.

Goldstein: Who matters more than your child's teacher
Newsweek | Sept. 2, 2014
As we go back to school this fall, parents will naturally be fretting about teachers - mainly, did their kids get the best ones? But what if, in the interest of educational improvement, we paused to examine the role of one person who rarely gets talked about, but who just might be the most important figure in school reform: the principal?

Far-reaching Vergara decision headed for appeals court
KPCC | Sept. 2, 2014
Officials are challenging the Vergara v. California ruling that struck down key job protections for state public school teachers.

Calif. Governor appeals Vergara ruling on teacher tenure
Education Week | Sept. 2, 2014
California Gov. Jerry Brown has appealed the court ruling that struck down the state's teacher-tenure laws, a day after the ruling was finalized.

Analysis finds California students attend school more than U.S. peers
LA Times | Sept. 2, 2014
California students attend school more consistently than most of their U.S. peers, and such attendance directly relates to better performance on national math and reading tests, a new analysis has found.

“Just cause” and the attack on job security
Dollars & Sense | Sept. 1, 2014
The United States is alone among industrialized countries in allowing workers to be considered “at will” employees and dismissed for any reason—justified or not—unless protected by a collective-bargaining agreement or individual contract. At-will employees have no job security. 

The most important figure in school reform we never talk about
Slate | Sept. 1, 2014
As we go back to school this fall, parents will naturally be fretting about teachers—mainly, did their kids get the best ones? But what if, in the interest of educational improvement, we paused to examine the role of one person who rarely gets talked about, but who just might be the most important figure in school reform: the principal?

Media articles are ARCHIVED monthly. For assistance, Fred Glass at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the News Archive: August 2014


Torlakson asks state to appeal Vergara ruling
EdSource | Aug. 29, 2014
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson on Friday asked the California attorney general to appeal the landmark court decision in Vergara vs. California, which in June struck down statutes giving California teachers firing protections and rights to tenure and seniority. 

Bill that would increase transparency for community college accreditation heads to governor’s desk
San Francisco Examiner | Aug. 29, 2014
A bill that seeks to make the accreditation system for California's 112 community colleges more transparent landed on the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown this week after receiving unanimous support from the state Senate and Assembly. 

Judge sets up battle over teacher protections
Politico | Aug. 28, 2014
A Los Angeles judge on Thursday affirmed a tentative June ruling that struck down five laws governing job protections for teachers in California.

Vergara ruling stands, judge rules in final review
L.A. School Report | Aug. 28, 2014
The judge in Vergara vs. California today released his final review of the case, affirming his preliminary decision in June, that five state statures governing teacher employment rules violate the California constitution by denying students access to a quality public education. 

Here are the winners and losers in California's $330 million film tax subsidy
LA Weekly | Aug. 28, 2014
Jerry Brown, California's skin-flint governor, acceded Wednesday to an increase in the film tax credit to $330 million. Brown is a well-known skeptic of Hollywood subsidies, but the combined forces of organized labor, multinational entertainment conglomerates, and B-list celebrities proved too powerful to resist. 

Viewpoints: More transparency required at community college accrediting agency
Sacramento Bee | Aug. 27, 2014
A bipartisan, unanimous vote in the Legislature doesn’t happen every day. So it’s worth noting that Assembly Bill 1942, for fair community college accreditation practices, recently passed 36-0 in the Senate and 74-0 in the Assembly. 

Joshua Pechthalt: Doing what works for school success
Orange County Register | Aug. 27, 2014
In my home, like millions across the country, kids and parents are preparing for the beginning of a new school year. New backpacks are stuffed with folders, pencils, pens and erasers. Kids hurry off to meet friends, check out their new teachers and classes and settle in for another year of learning, physical and emotional growth and hopefully some fun. 

S.F. College evaluators proposed probation, not more severe sanctions
LA Times | Aug. 22, 2014
The private panel that moved last year to revoke the accreditation of City College of San Francisco has admitted in a court filing that all 15 members of its evaluation team recommended a less punitive sanction. 

Hancock College board extends president's contract
Lompoc Record | Aug. 20, 2014
Hancock College Board of Trustees extended the contract of President Kevin Walthers on Tuesday as one in a series of personnel moves.

California bill curbing ‘willful defiance’ suspensions opens school discipline debate
San Luis Obispo Tribune | Aug. 16, 2014
The way he sees it, a stolen backpack could have derailed Brian Hernandez’s academic career. 

CFT President Pechthalt Discusses Merits of Due Process
Al-Jazeera America | Aug. 14, 2014
California Federation of Teachers President Joshua Pechthalt talks about due process in California and the Vergara v. California decision with lead attorney for the plaintiffs Ted Boutros.

Petaluma teacher pay standoff drags into school year
Petaluma Argus Courier | Aug. 12, 2014
Many Petaluma teachers are already in their classrooms preparing for the start of the school year on Aug. 19. But while their lesson plans may be taking shape, some terms of their own employment contract, including their salary for the coming year, are less certain. 

Bipartisan coalition supports school facilities bond on November ballot
Pleasanton Weekly | Aug. 5, 2014
Assemblymembers Joan Buchanan and Curt Hagman, along with many supporters from around the state, urged Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday during a news conference to sign assembly bill 2235 to place a school facilities bond on the November 4 ballot. 

School reforms that actually work
Washington Post | Aug. 5, 2014
For years now education leaders have been pushing onto school districts school reforms that don’t show any sign of working while giving short shrift to those that have a track record of working. Gary Ravani, a 35-year public school teacher and president of the California Federation of Teachers’ Early Childhood/K-12 Council, explains in this post.

The Secret campaign of Sandra Fluke
Vogue | Aug. 4, 2014
Her website lists her campaign address as a post office box in Santa Monica. But on a somewhat obscure, untraveled city street in West Los Angeles, black and white paper cutout letters hang in the shape of a rainbow, spelling out: “Stand With Sandra.” In another window, on the other side of the unmarked door, a more festive neon version states (or rather understates): “Sandra Fluke for Senate.” 

What happens when students sue their teachers?
Al Jazeera America | Aug. 1, 2014
In June, Christine McLaughlin, who had been named Pasadena’s Teacher of the Year in 2013, found her work on trial. 



Tom Torlakson will appeal California teacher tenure ruling
Sacramento Bee | Aug. 29, 2014
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will appeal the June court ruling that California’s teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional, he announced Thursday.

Calif. teacher tenure case spices up superintendent race
Washington Post | Aug. 29, 2014
The Vergara case in California, in which a judge struck down that state’s tenure laws and other job protections for teachers, is about to become a central issue in the November race for state schools chief.

The attack on bad teacher tenure laws is actually an attack on black professionals
Washington Post | Aug. 28, 2014
After the Vergara v. California decision in California’s state Supreme Court, which held that key job protections for teachers are unconstitutional, anti-union advocates everywhere began spawning copycat lawsuits. But while reformers may genuinely want to fix education for everyone, their efforts will only worsen diversity in the teaching corps. The truth is that an attack on bad teacher tenure laws (and ineffective teachers in general) is actually an attack on black professionals. 

Fiasco: Attack on San Francisco City College outrages CA officials
Capital & Main | Aug. 27, 2014
Throughout the two-year debate over a plan by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) to shut down San Francisco’s nine-campus City College, the school’s supporters held their tongues on one key belief. Namely, that the commission had long ago made up its mind to shut down the college and no amount of restructuring could change the ACCJC’s mind. 

CCSF decision defended by accrediting commission
San Francisco Examiner | Aug. 27, 2014
The commission that voted to strip City College of San Francisco of its accreditation last summer is defending its decision to exceed an evaluation team's recommendation in 2012 to only place the school on probation, according to recently revealed court documents.

CCSF visiting team had recommended lesser penalty
SF Gate | Aug. 27, 2014
The team that visited City College of San Francisco in 2012 recommended placing the college on probation - a far lesser penalty than was adopted by the accrediting commission, which instead issued its most severe sanction and is seeking to revoke accreditation from the school of nearly 80,000 students.

Judges’ rulings take away workers’ rights
People’s World | Aug. 27, 2014
If there ever is a year that proves the importance of judges' rulings to workers' rights, 2014 is it. That's because the jurists in black robes spent much of the year taking rights away.

Changes coming for California public schools: Thomas Elias
LA Daily News | Aug. 25, 2014
For many years, it was valid to urge that students take a good look around as they entered high school in the fall — because more than one-third of their opening-day classmates would probably drop out before Graduation Day four years later.

L.A. Unified halts contract for iPads
LA Times | Aug. 25, 2014
L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy suspended future use of a contract with Apple on Monday that was to provide iPads to all students in the nation's second-largest school system amid mounting scrutiny of the $1-billion-plus effort.

Endorsement: Attorney General Kamala Harris, all but unchallenged, deserves a second term
Sacramento Bee | Aug. 25, 2014
Attorney General Kamala Harris almost certainly will lead California’s Department of Justice for the next four years, appropriately so.

Team that reviewed City College of S.F. recommended a less-severe penalty
The Chronicle of Higher Education | Aug. 25, 2014
The accreditor that oversees the City College of San Francisco has admitted in a court filing that members of its evaluation team recommended a less-severe penalty than the one that eventually led to the accreditor’s move to revoke the college’s accreditation, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Lily Eskelsen Garcia talks to Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera America | Aug. 22, 2014

Ray Suarez: Recently in Vergara v. California the teachers' unions defending the notion of tenure were handed a big defeat in a California court. What's more interesting is who was lined up on the side of Vergara, a young California schoolgirl who was the petitioner: Arne Duncan, the secretary of education. 

Some California community colleges could soon start offering 4-year degrees
San Jose Mercury News | Aug. 22, 2014
A small number of California's two-year colleges will start offering four-year degrees if the governor signs a bill that cleared the state Legislature Thursday.

Duncan offers teachers leeway on job performance tied to standardized tests
Washington Post | Aug. 21, 2014
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Thursday announced a plan to allow states to delay using student standardized test results on teacher performance evaluations, a move widely seen as an effort to calm tension between Duncan and the nation’s educators.

Dan Choi running for City College of San Francisco board spot
Towleroad | Aug. 21, 2014
Lt. Dan Choi, who was for many years the public face of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal movement, has announced a candidacy for the City College of San Francisco Board.

California lawmakers pass education and drug bills, strike Prop. 187.
L.A. Times | Aug. 21, 2014
California community colleges could offer four-year degrees for the first time, and suspension of defiant schoolchildren would be curtailed, under proposals sent to Gov. Jerry Brown by the Legislature on Thursday.

LAUSD's $1-billion iPad effort beset by problems, report finds
L.A. Times | Aug. 21, 2014
The groundbreaking effort to provide an iPad to every Los Angeles student, teacher and school administrator was beset by inadequate planning, a lack of transparency and a flawed bidding process, according to a draft of an internal school district report obtained by The Times.

Democrats reject GOP attempts to lift school reserves cap
Sacramento Bee | Aug. 21, 2014
Democrats in the California Senate on Thursday rejected a Republican effort to overturn a state budget provision that caps the amount of money school districts can hold in reserve.

'Future is rich' for City College of San Francisco, says chancellor
New America Media | Aug. 20, 2014
This week marks the start of the fall semester at City College of San Francisco, which celebrates its 80th anniversary next year. Even as the fight to retain its accreditation continues, school administrators say they are working to ensure CCSF’s survival for another eighty years.

NEA’s new president denounces testing
EdSource | Aug. 20, 2014
In the midst of her first swing through California, the incoming president of the National Education Association praised the Common Core State Standards and California’s measured approach in implementing them while warning that the nation’s largest teachers union would fight efforts to use the new tests for the standards in ways that “harm kids” and punish schools and teachers.

California high school seniors beat national averages on ACT exams
L.A. Times | Aug. 19, 2014
California high school seniors outperformed their peers nationally in all categories of the ACT college entrance exam this year, according to data released Wednesday.

The public turns against teacher tenure
The Wall Street Journal | Aug. 19, 2014
It's back-to-school season, but teacher tenure has been a hot topic since summer began. In June a California court ruled that the state's tenure and seniority laws are unconstitutional in Vergara v. State of California. Minority students have filed a similar case in New York, with more to come elsewhere.

Gallup finds opposition to Common Core
EdSource | Aug. 19, 2014
Americans are hearing more about the Common Core State Standards and most of them don’t like what they’re hearing, according to a national opinion poll released Wednesday.

S.F. teachers vote to strike, but not just yet
SF Gate | Aug. 18, 2014
San Francisco teachers overwhelmingly supported a preliminary strike vote, with 2,238 checking the yes box on the ballot and 16 voting no.

Higher ed is embracing goals of Common Core
EdSource | Aug. 18, 2014
Most attention to the Common Core State Standards has focused on the continued political backlash against the standards and the status of implementation in schools. As we look ahead to next spring when students will take assessments that indicate whether they are on track to college and career readiness, we are seeing some attention begin to focus on the role of higher education (see New America’s paper on this topic and a story from the Hechinger Report). 

Proposed November school bond all but dead
Sacramento Bee | Aug. 15, 2014
Californians’ ballots this fall are all but certain to lack a proposed $4.3 billion school bond, even though the legislation cleared a key Senate committee this week.

Campbell Brown put on notice by teachers union
Washington Post | Aug. 15, 2014
I recently wrote a post about how Campbell Brown’s new advocacy group, the Partnership for Educational Justice, had used on its Web site the exact wording of the slogan of the current branding campaign of the American Federation of Teachers, the nation’s second-largest teachers union.

School bond moves on to uncertain fate
EdSource | Aug. 14, 2014
A slimmed down school construction bond measure approved by a state Senate committee on Thursday faces an uncertain future.

Attorney general moves to consolidate teacher tenure lawsuits
Staten Island Advance | Aug. 14, 2014
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has filed a motion in state Supreme Court, St. George, to consolidate two similar lawsuits filed since July that seek to end teacher tenure.

S.F. teachers set to vote on strike | Aug. 14, 2014
Days before heading back to school, San Francisco teachers will take their first of two votes that could lead to a strike after months of labor negotiations have failed to produce a new contract.

AFT President on the Death of Michael Brown and Events in Ferguson, Mo.
AFT | Aug. 14, 2014
Statement from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the events in Ferguson, Mo.

McKenna wins key L.A. school board seat, according to unofficial results
LA Times | Aug. 13, 2014
Veteran school administrator George McKenna won his bid for a key seat on the Los Angeles Board of Education besting political newcomer Alex Johnson, according to unofficial results released Tuesday night.

Outspent by rival, McKenna drew on connections in school board victory
LA Times | Aug. 13, 2014
In this week's election for a seat on the Los Angeles Board of Education, one side had deep pockets and extensive political connections; the other side had people such as Orley Frost Jr.

Michelle Rhee drops out of school group
Politico | Aug. 13, 2014
Michelle Rhee had big ambitions when she went on Oprah four years ago to launch her new advocacy group, StudentsFirst, with a promise to raise $1 billion to transform education policy nationwide.

Campbell Brown responds to critics (including me)
Washington Post | Aug. 13, 2014
have recently published several posts about a new effort led by former CNN journalist Campbell Brown to eliminate or restrict teacher and other job protections for teachers. (You can see them here, here, here and here.) Brown has appeared on numerous television shows recently arguing that legal job protections for teachers have a negative impact on student achievement; critics say there is no research showing a connection between teacher tenure laws and lower rates of student achievement.

School leaders oppose Brown’s rainy day measure
Cabinet Report | Aug. 13, 2014
A coalition of some of the state’s most influential education groups is rallying opposition to a Constitutional amendment placed on the November ballot by the Legislature that would require the state to reconstruct a rainy day fund for use in lean budget years.

Yes, I am a teacher. No, I am not going to destroy society and your children

The Guardian | Aug. 12, 2014
I learned recently that I don’t live in the real world: before that, I’d assumed that if my degrees, certifications and teaching career didn’t qualify me as a resident of the “real world”, then the taxes, rent, car payments and student loans that I am dutifully paying off certainly would. But each time my eyes wander into the comments section of an education-related article, I’m told that my fellow educators and I inhabit an alternate universe in which we are the villains, responsible for all of society’s ills.

Bills Seek to Curb Chronic Absenteeism
Capital Public Radio | Aug. 12, 2014
A lot of kids miss a day of school here and there. But some are chronically absent or late. Now some California lawmakers want to crack down on the problem.

With fractions, Common-Core training goes beyond 'invert and multiply'
Education Week | Aug. 12, 2014
"Who would draw a picture to divide 2/3 by 3/4?" asked Marina Ratner, a professor emerita of mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley, in a recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece.

My teacher family urges "Yes" on pending California EpiPen bill
Huffington Post | Aug. 12, 2014
Our toddler daughter stopped breathing in our arms after eating a bite of food to which she was severely allergic. The EpiPen injection we quickly gave her likely saved her life. My teacher-husband Alex was stung by a bee when in his 30s, and unexpectedly had his first anaphylactic reaction, losing consciousness within minutes. Quick action on a friend's part, and an EpiPen injection, likely saved his life.

Confused about where to stand on teacher tenure? So is the rest of America
Huffington Post | Aug. 12, 2014
From New York to California, teacher tenure has been under attack across the nation this summer.

Lunch lady rises to teachers union leader and takes on all comers, bluntly
Washington Post | Aug. 11, 2014
She began her career in a school cafeteria, as a lunch lady. In three weeks, she will take over as head of the nation’s largest labor union, representing 3 million educators.

The Vergara decision: a dagger aimed at teacher unions
Socialist Alternative | Aug. 10, 2014
Several weeks ago, a California judge delivered a ruling that, if upheld, would represent a devastating blow to teacher unions in that state and set a very dangerous precedent nationwide. The ruling in Vergara v. California by Judge Rolf M. Treu decrees that the state’s teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional because they deprive students from receiving a quality education.

An Open Letter to Whoopi Goldberg and 'The View' Regarding Teacher Tenure

Huffington Post | Aug. 8, 2014
I am writing you today to shed some light on teacher "tenure," better described as due process. Your comments over the past week regarding teacher tenure have created much controversy across this nation, but more than that, your words were perceived as an attack on teachers. I personally would like to think that you do value and support the teachers who are working so hard, day in and day out, to ensure that our nation's children are getting the education they need and deserve. 

California millionaire joins fight against teacher tenure in New York
New York Daily News | Aug. 7, 2014
The Silicon Valley millionaire who won a landmark legal case against teacher tenure in California is joining the fight in New York.

Who the @$#! is Campbell Brown?
Esquire | Aug. 6, 2014
To paraphrase from my grandmother, the former shepherd lass from the hills and hollows of north Kerry, who the fck is Campbell Brown when she's at home?

‘The View’ hosts apparently love teachers, hate tenure
Huffington Post | Aug. 6, 2014
Hosts of "The View" caused a stir in the education world this week after sounding off on teacher tenure on Monday's show.

L.A. teachers union says district wants it to pick pay or class size
L.A. Daily News | Aug. 6, 2014
Concluding a second round of contract talks Wednesday, teachers union leaders released a statement claiming Los Angeles Unified administrators were attempting to pit the community and parents against educators.

Vergara legal team joining similar teacher case in New York 
L.A. School Report | Aug. 6, 2014
The LA-based legal team that prevailed in Vergara v. California, convincing a California judge to strike down state laws governing teacher employment, has been brought into a similar lawsuit now underway in New York.

Supporters make case for California school bond
Sacramento Bee | Aug. 5, 2014
Legislative supporters of putting a multibillion-dollar school construction bond on the fall ballot kicked off efforts Monday to pass the measure by the end of next week, with California’s largest homebuilding group warning that the state otherwise faces a “nuclear option” of more expensive homes.

Backers push to put school bond on ballot
EdSource | Aug. 5, 2014
Despite widespread bipartisan support from state legislators and school districts, Gov. Jerry Brown is remaining mum on whether he supports putting a multi-billion-dollar school construction bond on the ballot in November. The governor had no comment, his press office said in an email.

Lawmakers face long list of education bills
Cabinet Report | Aug. 5, 2014
Standardized testing inaccuracies, funding for new adult education programs and new Common Core assessments for students with disabilities are among the education proposals left to be decided upon by legislators returning from summer recess Monday.

Former Obama aides broke with democratic firm over anti-teachers union project
Huffington Post | Aug. 4, 2014
Every day throughout the summer of 2006, seemingly without end, things just kept getting worse for Washington Republicans. Iraq was spiraling out of control, President George W. Bush was at the depth of his unpopularity. Congressional Republicans were mired in scandal. One was even caught sending dirty instant messages to young boys.

Teacher tenure: taking it to the courts
Huffington Post | Aug. 4, 2014
Like all society's most vexing problems, the question seems deceptively simple -- what is the best educational system for our children? This question is so broad that it may be all but unanswerable with anything other than, "it depends." The current focus of our never-ending education debate has settled on a narrower issue, that of teacher tenure.

Celebrated trial lawyer to head group challenging teacher tenure
New York Times | Aug. 3, 2014
David Boies, the star trial lawyer who helped lead the legal charge that overturned California’s same-sex marriage ban, is becoming chairman of the Partnership for Educational Justice, a group that former CNN anchor Campbell Brown founded in part to pursue lawsuits challenging teacher tenure.

Fact-checking Campbell Brown: What she said, what research really shows
Washington Post | Aug. 3
Former CNN correspondent Campbell Brown appeared on The Colbert Report last week in her role as head of the new Partnership for Educational Justice, an advocacy organization that is supporting seven parents in a lawsuit against New York State’s teacher tenure laws. (Supporting may be underestimating what the group is doing, given that she called the parents “our plaintiffs.”) Colbert asked her some good questions but her answers were, well, questionable. 

City College Of San Francisco continues to fight to stay open
SFist | Aug. 1, 2014
In the continuing saga of City College of San Francisco (CCSF)'s credentials, the Chronicle reports that CCSF leaders have applied to restore its accreditation as a learning institution.


Media articles are ARCHIVED monthly. For assistance, Fred Glass at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




In the News Archive: July 2014


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.

Big suits
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.


Media articles are ARCHIVED monthly. For assistance, Fred Glass at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





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 | 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. 

California teacher tenure is struck down: Expect years of appeals

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. 

Capitol Alert
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 | 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 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.

Vergara ruling should spark collaboration, not confrontation: Guest commentary

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.

Erwin Chemerinsky: Scapegoating California 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.

A lawsuit to upend New York tenure laws

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.

Vergara vs. California: Are the top 0.1% buying their version of education reform?

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.

AFT President Takes Secretary Duncan to Task Over Vergara Ruling

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 | 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.

Due process prevents capricious firings

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.

Why that ruling against teacher tenure won't help your schoolchildren 

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 | 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.

Vergara decision is latest attempt to blame teachers and weaken public education

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.

Court thinks billionaires know more about schools than teachers 

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.

California teacher firing bill headed to Gov. Jerry Brown

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.



Media articles are ARCHIVED monthly. For assistance, Fred Glass at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




In the News Archive: May 2014


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 | 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 | 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?

Media articles are ARCHIVED monthly. For assistance, Fred Glass at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.