All posts by John Fensterwald


Judge orders state to fix troubled L.A. school

Education groups withhold support of rainy day fund

Tuck, Torlakson debate union power, lawsuit

Volunteers can help frame Common Core tests

Lawsuit challenges teachers’ compulsory dues

New schools chief: Oakland “full of opportunity”

State awards Common Core test contract

One (maybe final) step closer to new LCAP rules

Single word at heart of regulatory debate

Chronic absenteeism bill faces veto threat

Counties approve high number of LCAPs

NEA’s new president denounces testing

School bond moves on to uncertain fate

Districts split on high school math choices

New twist to old debate on accelerated math

Judge: State must help all English learners

Task force urges remake of civics education

Backers push to put school bond on ballot

Report says new teachers face ‘bumpy path’

Feds back English learner lawsuit against state

Initiatives you won’t see on November ballot

Vergara ruling becomes campaign issue

CalSTRS reports a big year of earnings

Draft revision of LCAP rules moves forward

Report urges more active state role in Common Core

LCAP library now open for readers

Proposed changes to LCAP renew debate

Final ruling in Vergara could be years in coming

Poll finds Common Core opposition rising

Bill simplifying teacher firings now law

East Side Union board passes LCAP with a caveat

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

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

Cap on district reserves passes despite lawmakers’ reservations

Districts protesting closed-door deal restricting control over their budgets

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

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

Judge strikes down all 5 teacher protection laws in Vergara lawsuit

Hundreds of organizations sign statement backing Common Core

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

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

$9 billion school construction bond moves toward November ballot

Lawmakers open to brief reprieve from big payments for teacher pensions

East Side Union listens, rethinks, revises draft accountability plan

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

Intervention agency inches closer to starting work with school districts

Compromise on rainy day fund downplays Prop. 98 reserve

Recruiting students for meals program pays off for East Side Union

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

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

Survey finds Californians back both Common Core and new funding formula

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

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

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

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

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

Deal announced on teacher dismissal bill that governor would support

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

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

Legislators to state board: Consider changes to school funding rules

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

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

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

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

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

Judge denies motion to dismiss lawsuit challenging teacher job protections

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

Legislative Analyst suggests 3 ways to fix school busing formula

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

Proposed initiative would give school districts back their property taxes

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

StudentsFirst forming small donor campaign fund for local, state elections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brown projects big increase in school spending in next state budget

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top legislators join critics of proposed regs for new funding formula

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

Torlakson seeks testing waiver to avoid conflict with feds

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

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

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

Advocates pile on criticisms of draft funding formula regulations

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

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

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

Districts confirm they're moving ahead with Common Core

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

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

What's next for standardized testing in California?

Davis Unified drops parcel tax on apartments, settles lawsuit

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

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

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

Amid heavy lobbying, Brown must decide teacher dismissal bill

Commission considers performance tests for administrators in training

EdSource feature turns states' ed data into charts in motion

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

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

Brown not backing away from decision to suspend state standardized tests

Bill reforming process of firing teachers resurfaces with amendments

Despite looming showdown with feds, Senate passes standardized testing bill

Duncan threatens repercussions if California ends state tests for all students

State Board adopts national K-12 Next Generation Science Standards

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

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

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

Duncan wants to end test for disabled students that California overused

Schools rising from budget depths, EdSource report finds

Former head of alternative schools in Los Angeles challenging Tom Torlakson

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

State Board must find balance between rules and flexibility

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

Eight California districts receive historic NCLB waiver

California committed to move forward with Common Core tests as planned

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

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

Districts leave Washington without waiver but still confident one is coming

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

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

Effort to shorten process of firing teachers faltering again

Infusion of money for career education in new state budget

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

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

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

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

State Board handed job of defining rules of new funding system

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

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

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

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

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

Poll showing strong voter support for revised budget

Disparities in education can crush aspirations in heart of Silicon Valley

Nine districts resubmit 'stronger' application for NCLB waiver

Assembly adds its version of school finance reform to the mix

San Jose teachers, board adopt landmark teacher evaluation system

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

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

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

Common Core test is on track, State Board told

Summer enrichment programs prove their value

California looks to Ontario schools' reformer for guidance

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

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

Advocacy groups urge rejection of NCLB waiver for California districts

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

Brown fights back, responds to critics of his funding formula

Democratic senators offer alternative to Brown's funding formula

Math framework for Common Core ready for your critique

Apples to apples comparison of Brown's funding formula

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

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

Teacher dismissal bill off and running with committee approval

Aspire and State Board give up fight over controversial charters

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

Budget cuts create unprecedented stress on community colleges

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

Torlakson, Kirst write letter supporting nine-district NCLB waiver

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

Sen. Padilla drops his teacher dismissal bill

Ed Committee backs crackdown on interest-deferred bonds

Legislative Analyst urges conditions on selling property

Alternative bill to speed up teacher dismissals introduced

Committee wrestles with incorporating graduation rate into API

Most State Board members back districts' NCLB waiver

Dramatic dip in ‘pink slips’ given to teachers

State Board eliminates incentives to offer Algebra in 8th grade

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

Diane Ravitch to lead new organization into political trenches

Victorious LAUSD incumbent vows to keep challenging Deasy

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

Worst is over: Sharp decline in districts in financial straits

Pursuit of college financial aid varies widely among high schools

Nine districts submit waiver for relief from NCLB

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

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

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

Bill would open the door to undergraduate teaching credentials

Study compliments and questions Brown's funding formula

State releases district breakdowns under school funding formula

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

CalSTRS board to forward options for saving teacher pensions

Another trophy in the case for Long Beach Unified

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

Districts pocketing school lunch money for other expenses

Brown details how to hold districts accountable under funding reform

Bill would allow charging commercial properties a bigger parcel tax

Rocketship's cofounder departing for online learning startup

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

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

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'

United Teachers Los Angeles approves teacher evaluation deal

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

Legislative leaders assert role in shaping school finance plan

Districts urged to hold off buying high-risk construction bonds

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

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

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

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

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

Legislature to consider suspending state tests ahead of Common Core

Torlakson suggests suspending many state tests

EdWatch 2013: Teacher evaluation law will be taken on again

EdWatch 2013: School finance reform redux

Federal cuts to education left unresolved

Feds deny state a No Child Left Behind waiver

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

Appeals court imposes restrictions on parcel taxes

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

Darling-Hammond elected new chair of Credentialing Commission

Credentialing commission imposes tougher test to become school administrator

Many math students are flailing, repeating courses without success

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

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

Great uncertainty over direction of state standardized tests

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

New Assembly Education chair skeptical of plan for weighted funding

Analysis shows differences in teacher effectiveness in LAUSD

Los Angeles tops nation in charter school enrollment

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

Local votes of confidence: Most bonds, parcel taxes pass

Ed advocates foresee new era with supermajority

Big win for schools as Prop 30 defies polls

Principal convicted for not reporting suspected sex abuse

Fresno coaxes union to sign, enters Race to the Top

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

San Jose Unified, teachers reach breakthrough evaluation, pay plan

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

Report: weighted student formula alone not enough

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

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

Parents, teachers can now sample Common Core test questions

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

California test results on the up and up – partly

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

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

Rift widens between backers of ed initiatives 30 and 38

Credentialing Commission receptive to Torlakson's Task Force reforms

Once castigated, Commission on Teacher Credentialing is praised

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

Brown signs bill moving API away from standardized tests

New 2-year lease on life for 163 Partnership Academies

Reform by the ounce, unfunded pension debt by the pound

Brown signs bill spelling out evaluations (for principals)

Skeptical unions pose challenge to districts' Race to the Top

Brown kills bill establishing study committee on school finance

11 parcel taxes, 44 school bonds on November ballot

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

Far-reaching plan to strengthen teaching in California

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

State Board now can wade back into eighth grade math debate

Fuentes withdraws teacher evaluation bill

More amendments coming to AB 5, including sunset clause

Pension reform: top-paid administrators to take biggest hit

Zoning exemption for Rocketship charter riles local districts

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

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

Evaluation bill moves on to state Senate

Fuentes finds possible $60 million for evaluation bill

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

Thursday deadline for resolving teacher evaluation bill

Court backs union, sends LAUSD layoffs case back to judge

Do-or-die time for teacher evaluation bill

Joan Buchanan to chair Assembly Ed

Distinct choice for 'parent trigger' families in Adelanto

Report pinpoints high-suspension districts

School funding primer: A is for Alligator

Duncan appoints California teacher as one-year ambassador

What next for Brown's school finance reform?

Big win in court for 'parent trigger' organizers

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

Aspire to expand residency program for teachers in training

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

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

Brown's veto throws wrench in AVID college prep program

Brown names former head of military charter to State Board

Report lauds leadership focus in Sac City, Fresno

Judge nullifies statewide charter granted to Aspire

Second year of science remains a mandate

Not one, but two 160-day minimum years

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