Readers have asked us how to keep up with what's happening in California. Reading 'On California,' and following us on Twitter, is a good way, the best in our estimation. But what do we read? And what do we recommend to our readers? Here's an incomplete and changing list.
I saw the Roger Ebert homage movie, Life Itself, and came away thinking about both Roger and the Daily Illini, the student newspaper that formed our rite of passage into adulthood.
The Common Core will work in California if its adoption is driven by instruction rather than testing. Making this happen challenges the state to slow the consequences of testing and to find ways to invest in a modern educational infrastructure.
Sometimes the lack of news is actually a story. The widely expected train wreck during the California field testing of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium exams didn't happen. But history suggests that lack of a deep political coalition around the Common Core and its tests could present a problem next spring and beyond.
Reality in California is different from that posited by Vergara plaintiffs. Most teachers in California don't get tenure after two years, and the system of evaluation they are subjected to does not differentiate between effective and ineffective teachers, write guest bloggers Julia Koppich and Daniel Humphery.
California's new accountability plan proves to be complex, and it is only one of many that district's need to complete.
A public opinion poll released Thursday shows that a large majority of Californians supports the restrictions on tenure and due process that were the subject of the recent Vergara decision.
The problems raised in the Vergara lawsuit could be solved if we would think about them differently, argues guest blogger Ted Kolderie. It is clear that the source of the problem is the boss/worker arrangement itself rather than the way the teachers behave in it, he argues.
In a stunning, but little recognized gift, Esri, the makers of geographic information systems software, have given $1-Billion in free access and mentoring to public schools. Guest Blogger Charlie Fitzpatrick writes about its use as a powerful learning tool.
Remember the analogy test you had to take to get into college. Well, here's one: Vergara is to education reform as pancake makeup is to beauty. Makeup covers up the pockmarks and makes the surface look better. But it doesn't do anything about the body's systemic problems that caused the blemishes.