All posts by John Fensterwald


Volunteers can help frame Common Core tests

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Lawsuit challenges teachers’ compulsory dues

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New schools chief: Oakland “full of opportunity”

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State awards Common Core test contract

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One (maybe final) step closer to new LCAP rules

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Single word at heart of regulatory debate

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Chronic absenteeism bill faces veto threat

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Counties approve high number of LCAPs

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NEA’s new president denounces testing

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School bond moves on to uncertain fate

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Districts split on high school math choices

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New twist to old debate on accelerated math

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Judge: State must help all English learners

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Task force urges remake of civics education

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Backers push to put school bond on ballot

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Report says new teachers face ‘bumpy path’

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Feds back English learner lawsuit against state

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Initiatives you won’t see on November ballot

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Vergara ruling becomes campaign issue

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CalSTRS reports a big year of earnings

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Draft revision of LCAP rules moves forward

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Report urges more active state role in Common Core

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LCAP library now open for readers

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Proposed changes to LCAP renew debate

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Final ruling in Vergara could be years in coming

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Poll finds Common Core opposition rising

Data Story

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Bill simplifying teacher firings now law

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East Side Union board passes LCAP with a caveat

San Jose district, teachers file bill seeking exception to tenure law

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Charter schools’ $100,000 opposition helps sink district’s bond measure

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Cap on district reserves passes despite lawmakers’ reservations

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Districts protesting closed-door deal restricting control over their budgets

More money for Common Core, early ed and LCFF in final budget

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Free online course arms parents with basics to get involved in education issues

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Judge strikes down all 5 teacher protection laws in Vergara lawsuit

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Hundreds of organizations sign statement backing Common Core

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Legislators want districts to be explicit about how they’re targeting dollars

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State superintendent candidates brace for another round of big spending

School bonds, parcel taxes win big

Race for state superintendent heated despite agreement on two key issues

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$9 billion school construction bond moves toward November ballot

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Lawmakers open to brief reprieve from big payments for teacher pensions

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East Side Union listens, rethinks, revises draft accountability plan

In revised budget, Gov. Brown details costly 30-year plan to fix teacher pensions

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Intervention agency inches closer to starting work with school districts

Compromise on rainy day fund downplays Prop. 98 reserve

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Recruiting students for meals program pays off for East Side Union

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State board denies San Jose Unified exception to 2-year teacher tenure law

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Governor’s proposed rainy day reserve for education would rarely be filled

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Survey finds Californians back both Common Core and new funding formula

Data Story

County offices to cut districts some slack for now on their LCAPs

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Wanted: districts interested in being early adopters of new science standards

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At an East San Jose high school, students react to new Common Core test

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Sacramento City Unified won’t renew No Child Left Behind waiver

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Deal in L.A. Unified designed to protect 37 high-needs schools from layoffs

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Deal announced on teacher dismissal bill that governor would support

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Ellen Moir honored for work preparing new teachers

Ed-Data updates information on districts’ finances

U.S. teens better problem solvers than expected in latest international test

Attorneys give final arguments in Vergara suit challenging laws for teacher hiring, firing

Uniform standards urged for reclassifying English learners

Mixed results for charter schools statewide in new study

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One superintendent’s spending priority for new state funds: social workers

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Legislators to state board: Consider changes to school funding rules

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Los Angeles charter schools record among the biggest learning gains in nation

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State Board makes it official: No API scores for next two years

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State Board punts, for now, on San Jose's request for waiver from tenure law

San Jose Unified, teachers to ask State Board for waiver from tenure law

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Crisis over: California gets waiver for Common Core field tests without penalties

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Former superintendent backs tenure, layoff laws as defense opens in 'Vergara' lawsuit

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Judge denies motion to dismiss lawsuit challenging teacher job protections

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Loss of supermajority in Senate could doom vote on 55 percent majority for parcel tax

School Boards Association rises to challenge, proposes teacher dismissal bill

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Legislative Analyst suggests 3 ways to fix school busing formula

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Great year for CalSTRS won't alter need for big increase in contributions

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Proposed initiative would give school districts back their property taxes

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Charter schools association continues push to weed out low-scoring schools

StudentsFirst forming small donor campaign fund for local, state elections

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CORE districts' tackling of tough issues impresses federal official

Assembly Speaker vows to tackle challenge of teacher pensions this year

In landmark trial, both sides debate whether teacher protection laws fail students

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Lawsuit challenging teacher tenure, seniority protections goes to court next week

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State Board patiently listens, then quickly passes regs for funding law

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State Board poised to elevate parents' role in setting district priorities

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Hundreds expected to speak their 1-minute piece to State Board

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LAO commends Brown's budget, predicts even more money for schools

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Latest – but outdated – Ed Week survey ranks California 50th in per pupil spending

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Brown projects big increase in school spending in next state budget

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Gates Foundation considers major Common Core grant program in California

Draft regs detail how much districts must spend on high-needs students

Torlakson calls for giving school districts more money for Common Core

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Taking stock of Jonathan Raymond's tenure and legacy at Sac City

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Two-week delay in posting spending regs for K-12 funding formula

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Draft of local accountability plan – key piece of funding formula – open for comment

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Special Education Task Force to hold initial meeting Tuesday in Redwood City

Ballot measure filed to speed up dismissals of teachers charged with sexual assault, abuse

Some sober words for school boards amid predictions of plenty

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Common Core could help U.S. scores rise on international test

New chair named for key Assembly education subcommittee

U.S. scores stagnant, other nations pass us by in latest international test

Once lured by incentive grants, most teachers stuck around at new campuses, study says

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Top legislators join critics of proposed regs for new funding formula

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Rocketship charter schools singled out in California as Race to the Top finalist

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Torlakson seeks testing waiver to avoid conflict with feds

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LAO projects huge Prop. 98 increase for K-12, community colleges next year

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Brown's choice: California ignores annual survey on states' use of ed data

Data Story

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Special education now on Sacramento's radar; task force to take long look

After 5 hours of testimony, State Board sends funding law regs back for revisions

Charter schools add 49,000 students, now serve 8.4 percent of state students

States' testing exec embraces California's controversial decision for Common Core tests

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Advocates pile on criticisms of draft funding formula regulations

State Board executive director optimistic conflict with feds over testing can be resolved

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Feds set price of defiance on standardized tests: at least $15 million

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Proposed spending regs give districts leeway to choose how to serve high-needs students

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Districts confirm they're moving ahead with Common Core

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California groups publish how-to guide for districts on Common Core

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API will soon lose its clout as shorthand for defining school success

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What's next for standardized testing in California?

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Davis Unified drops parcel tax on apartments, settles lawsuit

Stanford professor finds Michelle Rhee's teacher evaluation system was effective

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Brown vetoes teacher dismissal bill, urges one more attempt at a fix

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Most districts say they're equipped and ready for new Common Core tests

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Amid heavy lobbying, Brown must decide teacher dismissal bill

Commission considers performance tests for administrators in training

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EdSource feature turns states' ed data into charts in motion

Data Story

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Teacher, two superintendents to hold key positions on funding law's new agency

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California won't qualify for testing waiver under new federal guidelines

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Brown not backing away from decision to suspend state standardized tests

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Bill reforming process of firing teachers resurfaces with amendments

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Despite looming showdown with feds, Senate passes standardized testing bill

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Duncan threatens repercussions if California ends state tests for all students

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State Board adopts national K-12 Next Generation Science Standards

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Common Core practice test would replace state math and English tests next year

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Civil rights groups dispute memo to State Board on new funding formula

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Goodbye, API: Get ready for rough transition to better system of measuring schools

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Duncan wants to end test for disabled students that California overused

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Schools rising from budget depths, EdSource report finds

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Former head of alternative schools in Los Angeles challenging Tom Torlakson

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L.A. Unified union, district at odds over best way to train teachers for Common Core

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State Board must find balance between rules and flexibility

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Common Core poses big challenge for students, big opportunity for teachers

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Eight California districts receive historic NCLB waiver

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California committed to move forward with Common Core tests as planned

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Advocates: Start spending new money now on high-needs students

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Charter school leaders generally pleased with Gov. Brown’s new funding system

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Districts leave Washington without waiver but still confident one is coming

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A new K-12 funding system demands new thinking in building local budgets

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CORE districts to make final personal pitch for No Child Left Behind waiver

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Effort to shorten process of firing teachers faltering again

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Infusion of money for career education in new state budget

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Amended bill to rein in high-cost construction bonds moves on

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Brown signs state budget with big changes for health care, K-12 funding

After legal ruling leaves some parcel taxes in jeopardy, clarity must come from Legislature

More charters, including those in California, outperform district schools in reading, study says

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Districts to get $1.25 billion this fall to implement Common Core

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Duncan grants relief to some schools facing two sets of standardized tests next year

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State Board handed job of defining rules of new funding system

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Michael Kirst, father of new school funding formula, looks back and at the work ahead

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It's a deal: Brown, top lawmakers raise base funding in finance formula

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Funding reform worries potential 'loser' schools within 'winning' districts

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No agreement yet on how to hold districts accountable for new state money

No year’s delay: Deal likely on school finance reform, Steinberg says

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Q&A: Lessons for California from New Jersey's 'Improbable Scholars'

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Poll showing strong voter support for revised budget

Disparities in education can crush aspirations in heart of Silicon Valley

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Nine districts resubmit 'stronger' application for NCLB waiver

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Assembly adds its version of school finance reform to the mix

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San Jose teachers, board adopt landmark teacher evaluation system

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Brown commits $1 billion for Common Core, sticks with funding formula

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School funding will be focus, source of contention, of Brown's revised budget

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Lower-income districts would benefit from 55 percent parcel tax threshold, study suggests

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Common Core test is on track, State Board told

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Summer enrichment programs prove their value

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California looks to Ontario schools' reformer for guidance

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Duncan says it's still possible for state to get NCLB waiver

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Rocketship Education's next phase: technology in a blended classroom

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Advocacy groups urge rejection of NCLB waiver for California districts

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Democrats split on timing, specifics of Brown's funding formula

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Brown fights back, responds to critics of his funding formula

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Democratic senators offer alternative to Brown's funding formula

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Math framework for Common Core ready for your critique

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Apples to apples comparison of Brown's funding formula

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Brown's funding plan faces vigorous review – and speed bump

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Bill would protect adult ed, career tech while extending local control

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Teacher dismissal bill off and running with committee approval

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Aspire and State Board give up fight over controversial charters

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StudentsFirst hires former Assembly Speaker Núñez

Promising signs, potential lessons from Long Beach College Promise

U.S. Ed Department agrees to review 9 districts' plan for NCLB waiver

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Budget cuts create unprecedented stress on community colleges

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Poll finds the less you make, the more you like Brown's school finance reform

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Torlakson, Kirst write letter supporting nine-district NCLB waiver

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In meeting of the minds, CTA also backs teacher dismissal bill

Oakland pulls Americian Indian charters, citing mismanagement

Solving teacher retirement system's shortfall would cost billions

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Sen. Padilla drops his teacher dismissal bill

Ed Committee backs crackdown on interest-deferred bonds

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Legislative Analyst urges conditions on selling property

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Alternative bill to speed up teacher dismissals introduced

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Committee wrestles with incorporating graduation rate into API

Most State Board members back districts' NCLB waiver

Dramatic dip in ‘pink slips’ given to teachers

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State Board eliminates incentives to offer Algebra in 8th grade

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Brown's school funding formula lauded, then picked apart at hearing

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Diane Ravitch to lead new organization into political trenches

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Victorious LAUSD incumbent vows to keep challenging Deasy

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Brown's former adviser: Aim for balance behind shift to local control

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Worst is over: Sharp decline in districts in financial straits

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Pursuit of college financial aid varies widely among high schools

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Nine districts submit waiver for relief from NCLB

Districts drop at-large elections to comply with voting rights law

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For now, K-12 districts can wait and watch sequestration unroll

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LAO would cut money from basic aid districts, other programs Brown would protect

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Bill would open the door to undergraduate teaching credentials

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Study compliments and questions Brown's funding formula

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State releases district breakdowns under school funding formula

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LAUSD's Deasy, union spar over teacher evaluation measures

LAUSD approves $50 million in bonds for student computers

API penalties for not offering 8th grade Algebra to be dropped

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CalSTRS board to forward options for saving teacher pensions

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Another trophy in the case for Long Beach Unified

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Districts must return to 180-day instructional year by 2015-16

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Districts pocketing school lunch money for other expenses

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Brown details how to hold districts accountable under funding reform

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Bill would allow charging commercial properties a bigger parcel tax

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Rocketship's cofounder departing for online learning startup

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State ordered to pay back districts $1 billion for 20-year-old mandate

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LAUSD to compete with charters to run 'parent trigger' school

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Brown lashes out at regulators and testers, makes case for his reforms

In his own words: Brown on education in the State of the State

ACLU warns it will sue state over 20,000 unserved English learners

Silicon Valley charters get $1.7 million for 'blended learning'

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United Teachers Los Angeles approves teacher evaluation deal

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'Parent trigger' organizers find willing partner in Los Angeles Unified

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Legislative leaders assert role in shaping school finance plan

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Districts urged to hold off buying high-risk construction bonds

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It's final: State Board shifts policy on eighth grade Algebra

It’s final: State Board shifts policy on eighth grade Algebra

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Brown names combination adviser and State Board executive director

Districts preparing their own request for NCLB waiver

California drops to 49th in school spending in annual Ed Week report

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With more money to spend, Brown launches K-12 funding reform

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'Parent trigger' backers notch first win with charter in Adelanto

Legislature to consider suspending state tests ahead of Common Core

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Torlakson suggests suspending many state tests

EdWatch 2013: Teacher evaluation law will be taken on again

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EdWatch 2013: School finance reform redux

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Federal cuts to education left unresolved

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Feds deny state a No Child Left Behind waiver

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Mum's the word on uses for Zuckerberg's $500 million foundation gift

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Appeals court imposes restrictions on parcel taxes

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Districts face questions in spending long-term bonds for short-lived technology

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Darling-Hammond elected new chair of Credentialing Commission

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Credentialing commission imposes tougher test to become school administrator

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Many math students are flailing, repeating courses without success

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Los Angeles Unified, union cut deal on test scores and evaluations

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Abuse records don’t follow some school workers

Renewed push for a 55 percent threshold to pass parcel tax

Four CA districts make Race to the Top finals

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Great uncertainty over direction of state standardized tests

Fiscal cliff, with federal cuts, not imminent for school districts

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New Assembly Education chair skeptical of plan for weighted funding

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Analysis shows differences in teacher effectiveness in LAUSD

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Los Angeles tops nation in charter school enrollment

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This time, groups get to say their piece on weighted student funding

Local votes of confidence: Most bonds, parcel taxes pass

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Ed advocates foresee new era with supermajority

Big win for schools as Prop 30 defies polls

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Principal convicted for not reporting suspected sex abuse

Fresno coaxes union to sign, enters Race to the Top

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Big districts divided over cutting school year if Prop. 30 fails

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San Jose Unified, teachers reach breakthrough evaluation, pay plan

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Boards, teachers must be careful to toe the line on advocacy

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Report: weighted student formula alone not enough

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CTA’s big push, winning hearts and minds, one voter at a time

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Desert Trails parents choose charter operator, next step in 'parent trigger'

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Parents, teachers can now sample Common Core test questions

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$25 million gift to make Bay Area center for blending online instruction into school day

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California test results on the up and up – partly

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The grit factor: hard to measure, hard to succeed without

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Munger-funded "compare and contrast" ad criticizes Prop. 30

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Rift widens between backers of ed initiatives 30 and 38

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Credentialing Commission receptive to Torlakson's Task Force reforms

Once castigated, Commission on Teacher Credentialing is praised

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State Board gets authority to pare back 8th grade math standards

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Brown signs bill moving API away from standardized tests

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New 2-year lease on life for 163 Partnership Academies

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Reform by the ounce, unfunded pension debt by the pound

Brown signs bill spelling out evaluations (for principals)

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Skeptical unions pose challenge to districts' Race to the Top

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Brown kills bill establishing study committee on school finance

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11 parcel taxes, 44 school bonds on November ballot

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Residue of once-promising finance reform bill in Brown's hands

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Far-reaching plan to strengthen teaching in California

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Steinberg hoping this time Brown will sign bill changing API

CalSTRS estimates $22.7 billion savings from pension reform

Prop 38 sponsor says ed initiative will upset polls

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State Board now can wade back into eighth grade math debate

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Fuentes withdraws teacher evaluation bill

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More amendments coming to AB 5, including sunset clause

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Pension reform: top-paid administrators to take biggest hit

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Zoning exemption for Rocketship charter riles local districts

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Fuentes agrees to compromises on AB 5: Are they enough?

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KQED's Rachael Myrow interviews John Fensterwald about Common Core standards

Brown struggling to sell Prop 30 to wary voters

Another study questions state's push for 8th grade Algebra

AB 5 falls short of meeting NCLB waiver requirements

District settles with ACLU over program for English learners

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Evaluation bill moves on to state Senate

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Fuentes finds possible $60 million for evaluation bill

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Los Angeles Unified wants Race to the Top's last brass ring

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Thursday deadline for resolving teacher evaluation bill

Court backs union, sends LAUSD layoffs case back to judge

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Do-or-die time for teacher evaluation bill

Joan Buchanan to chair Assembly Ed

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Distinct choice for 'parent trigger' families in Adelanto

Report pinpoints high-suspension districts

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School funding primer: A is for Alligator

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Duncan appoints California teacher as one-year ambassador

What next for Brown's school finance reform?

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Big win in court for 'parent trigger' organizers

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Mum's the word on California's request for NCLB waiver

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Aspire to expand residency program for teachers in training

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State to adopt Common Core view of Algebra I in 8th grade

Security breach will delay release of CST results

Two years plus and counting: Teachers prep for Common Core

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ACLU sues district over conditions of school for at-risk students

Brown's veto throws wrench in AVID college prep program

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Brown names former head of military charter to State Board

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Report lauds leadership focus in Sac City, Fresno

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Judge nullifies statewide charter granted to Aspire

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Second year of science remains a mandate

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Not one, but two 160-day minimum years

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