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Education Headlines

FCMAT provides links to California K-12 news stories as a service to the industry. However, some stories may not be accessible because of newspapers' subscription policies.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

County board of ed approves Sweetwater maps

The county board, acting as a committee on school district organization, on April 9 voted 3-1 for a map that divides the school district into five zones of nearly equal population.

Fresno teachers union opposes extension of No Child Left Behind waiver

Officials with the Fresno teachers union are urging district administrators to follow the lead of another California school district in opting not to seek renewal of a waiver from federal accountability rules.

Revised SAT won't include obscure vocabulary words

The College Board released the sample test questions on Wednesday, offering clues to how the revised college entrance exam, taken last year by 1.7 million students, will look when it rolls out in 2016.

State panel grapples with defining 'college and career ready'

The committee is working on incorporating measures of career and college readiness into the Academic Performance Index, the primary measure of school effectiveness.

Probes target Centinela Valley school district superintendent's pay

County, state and federal authorities are investigating the compensation of a South Bay school district superintendent who received nearly $675,000 last year, far more than the leaders of much larger systems.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bassett Unified lays off 13 administrators after investigation of past hiring practices

Bassett Unified issued notices to lay off or reassign 13 administrators at the end of a months-long third party investigation into past hiring practices and complaints of workplace harassment.

Tam High shelves New Tech Network -- for now

Responding to a backlash from parents, Tamalpais High School is postponing plans to partner with New Tech Network, the Napa-based education company the school was courting to train its teachers in project-based learning.

Tam Union official tapped as superintendent of Bolinas-Stinson, Lagunitas school districts

After being helmed by the same superintendent for the better part of a decade, the Bolinas-Stinson and Lagunitas school districts have a new leader. John Carroll, 50, assistant superintendent of human resources for the Tamalpais Union High School District, has been hired to oversee the two West Marin districts, who have shared a superintendent for years.

Top Centinela official says FBI probing superintendent's high salary

A top Centinela schools official on Tuesday said the FBI has contacted the district regarding the high salary of Supt. Jose Fernandez, who was paid $674,559 last year.

Long Beach school board votes to increase amount of math needed for graduation

School officials voted unanimously Tuesday to increase the number of math credits students must complete to graduate from high school.

Desert Sands school board approves employee raises

The Desert Sands Unified School Board approved raises for a majority of its employees on Tuesday night, including about 1,300 teachers in mid-valley schools. Teachers will receive a 2 percent raise, retroactive to the beginning of this school year, and an additional 1 percent raise, effective for the last 36.4 work days of the school year.

Torres pushes bill to defray school district busing costs

As the Inland Empire has shot up in population in recent decades, it’s become harder for school districts to be able to afford to bus students to school, due to a funding system that doesn’t account for increased enrollment. On Wednesday, Sen. Norma Torres, D-Montclair, spoke before the Senate Education Committee, pushing for their support of Senate Bill 1137, which would change the funding formula, reimbursing districts up to at least 50 percent of approved costs for Home-to-School Transportation expenses.

Centinela school board ousts president, names interim superintendent

The embattled Centinela Valley school board on Tuesday night replaced its president and appointed a new interim superintendent to replace Jose Fernandez, who was placed on paid leave after coming under fire for extraordinary compensation.

Fresno Teachers Association: Contract mediator not yet selected

Leaders of the Fresno Teachers Association union say they're baffled by statements made by Fresno Unified Superintendent Michael Hanson that the two parties -- which have been embroiled for months in a standoff over teacher contracts -- have settled on a third-party mediator.

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/04/15/3879210/fresno-teachers-association-contract.html?sp=/99/406/263/564/#storylink=cpy

New teacher dismissal bill deal has governor's support

Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) says she’s brought the California Teachers Association and the school reform group EdVoice together on an issue that’s split the education community for years: How to allow districts to quickly fire teachers accused of sexual abuse, child abuse or serious drug crimes.

Districts face challenge of prioritizing public input on school spending

California’s school funding reform law has triggered a burst of outreach efforts to solicit parent and community input in at least some districts – along with a plethora of suggestions about how to spend the additional education funds they will receive from the state.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Centinela Valley school board to vote on interim superintendent to fill in for Jose Fernandez

The Centinela Valley school board on Tuesday evening is scheduled to begin the process of hiring an investigative agency to review the controversial contract of Superintendent Jose Fernandez, who was placed on paid leave last week amid a firestorm of criticism for his hefty compensation last year.

Albany names new school chief

The Albany school board named a new superintendent Friday to replace Marla Stephenson who is retiring June 30. Valerie Williams, who currently works as assistant superintendent of human resources at Dublin Unified School District, will take over the top job in Albany July 1. Albany has 3,800 students.

Dublin High reopens gymnasium after mold scare

The old gymnasium at Dublin High School has reopened after environmental consultants declared the building safe for occupancy after tests for mold were performed.

L.A. teachers union chief ends reelection campaign

Los Angeles teachers union President Warren Fletcher said he would no longer actively campaign for reelection, clearing the path for challenger Alex Caputo-Pearl to become the next leader of United Teachers Los Angeles.

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

The students in John Daniels’ U.S. history class at in East San Jose are a smidgen of the tens of thousands of juniors who are taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium field test this spring. And their views of the new test on the Common Core State Standards are but a snapshot of many that the creators of the test and the state Department of Education will receive over the next two months.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Stockton USD teachers join forces with online Gooru community

Stockton Unified leaders have announced the district's participation in a fledgling website that could help teachers find and share lesson plans, instructional videos and other information, changing the way educators find their classroom materials and ultimately the way they teach.

Solar panels to save Long Beach Unified $2 million over next 25 years

Thanks to the newly installed solar panels at Cabrillo High, Long Beach Unified School District expects to slash its utility bills by $2 million over the next 25 years.

Fresno Unified, teachers take contract dispute into fact-finding phase

 Contract talks between the Fresno Teachers Association and the Fresno Unified School District stalled Friday as state-appointed mediators determined that no settlement in the months-long deadlock was possible.

Santa Ana school police seek witnesses in use-of-force investigation involving teen

Santa Ana Unified School District Police Chief Hector Rodriguez asked for witnesses to come forward as the department investigates video footage apparently showing a school police officer restraining a sobbing 14-year-old boy with a headlock.

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