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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.

July 16, 2014

How to Drive Reform With Instruction Rather Than Testing

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.

June 16, 2014

Even in Winning, Vergara Is Still a Loser

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.

May 29, 2014

Potentially Game-Changing Month Ahead for California

It could be firecrackers before the 4th of July as big decisions loom for California education: A contested election next week, the Vergara lawsuit, first results from the state's Local Control Funding Formula, and the end of Common Core pilot tests.

May 27, 2014

State Superintendent Tom Torlakson on the Record

Here's my interview with California State Superintendent Tom Torlakson running for re-election on June 3. He talks about his accomplishments including the Common Core and local control financing.

May 15, 2014

Public Education the Prime Beneficiary of Better Budget Times

The California economy is growing faster than projected, and tax revenues are increasing. There's new money to fight over, and if Gov. Jerry Brown has his way some to salt away in a "rainy day" fund and to draw down the teacher pension debt.

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