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September 16, 2014

An 'On California' Design Competition: Build a Better ELL System

What the best way to deliver assistance to English Language Learners and their teachers? Join our design challenge.

September 11, 2014

Vergara: The Campaign for What? And Why?

The Vergara public relations campaign came to Pomona College this week, restating its case but leaving its goals cloudy.

September 04, 2014

Los Angeles iPad Story Keeps Growing; Critics More Pointed

The iPad story in Los Angeles grows, as we had predicted. On Tuesday, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy sent the school board a six-page memo defending his actions. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times called for greater transparency, for the release of the district inspector general's reports, and for a new investigation.

September 02, 2014

iPad Scandal Grows in L.A., Raising Leadership Questions

The story of how the Los Angeles Unified School District contracted for iPads and software with Apple and Pearson is not going away. Calls for investigation continue along with public questions about whether Superintendent John Deasy can, or should, survive this issue and others. But the important issue is not the contract; it's the strategy behind it.

August 31, 2014

Gov. Brown Appeals Vergara, Creating Electoral Issue

The ink was hardly dry on the judge's final ruling before California Gov. Jerry Brown filed an appeal of the Vergara ruling that struck down statutory job protections for teachers. Attorney General Kamala Harris filed the appeal Friday.

August 28, 2014

Final Vergara Decision Issued: Let the Appeals Begin

Judge Rolf Treu has issued his final judgment in the case of Beatriz Vergara v. the State of California affirming his tentative decision that five state statutes regarding tenure and teacher employment violate the state's constitution. The appeals process now begins. The state and the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers have 60 days to decide whether to appeal. It is expected that they will.

August 27, 2014

Contracting Not an Easy Answer, as Los Angeles iPad Venture Shows

After disclosures of possible improprieties in the negotiation and letting of contracts, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy has halted purchases of Apple iPads under a $30-million contract that was to be the first round of a $1-billion program. Now that the district has hit the reset button on the troubled program, it's time to learn from experience. The real lesson here isn't about iPads; it's about managing through contract.

August 25, 2014

Who Are These Kids? Language Learners in California

The English Language Learner lawsuit ruled upon August 12 by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant probably won't grab the attention of Silicon Valley billionaires the way the Vergara suit has, but it's still a big deal. EL students make up about a quarter of the state's student population, and it's important to understand who they are.

August 20, 2014

English Learner Ruling Challenges State's Lax Oversight

Everyone's talking about Vergara but now there's another lawsuit rattling the California education system, this one involving English Language Learners. On August 3, a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge ruled that ELs were being denied an adequate education. The remedies sought could reshape how language learners are monitored.

August 19, 2014

What Happens When Teachers Run Schools?

Teacher-led schools are often defined by what they don't have: a conventional administrator. At the Mission Hill School in Boston, the subject of a PBS Newshour report on Monday, the school as a whole makes decisions and the principal doesn't even have a proper office. Though still rare, these schools carry valuable lessons about how to expand responsibility and authority for teachers. Yet, the real payoff occurs in how students step up and take responsibility for their own learning.

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