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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Warrior parents fare best in securing autism services

Public spending on children with autism in California varies greatly by race and class. A major reason: Not all families have the means to battle for coveted assistance.

Schools' progress could be halted by numbers game

By any measure, Nightingale Elementary's standardized-testing gains have been impressive the past six years, a 102-point increase in the school's Academic Performance Index score. But the ongoing progress may not be enough to allow Nightingale to continue receiving a state grant that has allowed the south Stockton K-8 campus to maintain the small class sizes integral to the school's academic growth.

Group proposes dividing Fresno Unified district

The Fresno Unified School District is simply too big and too unresponsive to be effective, according to the leaders of a signature-gathering campaign launched Monday.

Sacramento region schools honored for steps to save energy, water

An ambitious plan to pool $100 million to retrofit schools in the six-county Sacramento region to save energy and water has won national acclaim.

SD Unified ranks high in school choice

The San Diego Unified School District was recently hailed by the Brookings Institution for having one of the best school-choice systems in a ranking of the nationís 25 largest districts that put it at No. 4 in a tie with Fairfax County schools in Virginia.

Modesto school district to tap reserves to get by

Modesto City Schools would lose an estimated $8.3 million if the state pulls the trigger on deeper budget cuts, but the red ink is already flowing.

Poll: 60 percent of California voters favor Brown's tax hike

With the issue of economic inequality hovering over the upcoming election season, Gov. Jerry Brown's ballot initiative to raise the sales tax and income taxes on the wealthy has strong early support among voters.

Shifting state budget puts stress on schools

California schools in recent years have been coping with uncertain revenue projections and shifting state budgets, with each new budget benchmark lasting only a few months.

California has low science standards, study says

California claims it sets its academic bar high for public school students, but a newly released study shows that the state's eighth-grade science standards fall far below a national benchmark -- and are lower than those in nearly half the states.

Moir: In the toughest time of year for new teachers, encouragement helps

Itís important to let new teachers know it will get better, and soon. First-year teachers who work with a mentor as part of a high-quality new teacher mentoring and induction program are at an advantage. A mentor, an accomplished teacher trained to coach beginning teachers, provides the exact support new teachers need to thrive in their classrooms, to remain teaching, and ultimately to improve student learning.

Fensterwald: Report says principals overworked, undertrained

School reforms on the books or in the making would pile on significant responsibilities for school principals. But a new study by the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning at WestEd warns that Californiaís principals are already short-staffed, untrained for new responsibilities, and stretched thin in many directions.

2 charter schools allowed some families to bypass lotteries

Two popular Los Angeles charter schools have allowed some families to bypass a lottery for admission in exchange for providing special services or a substantial volunteer commitment.

LAUSD set with doomsday plan

Vowing to fight "immoral" reductions in state funding, LAUSD's chief has crafted a complex strategy that would defer millions of dollars in cuts until next year - when programs like adult and early-childhood education could be gutted - and use the courts to block the disruption of student busing.

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