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Monday, October 29, 2012

Stockton USD facing reality of guns

Two gun incidents on Stockton Unified campuses this month have placed a glaring spotlight on a disturbing reality confronting the school district.

Poway schools chief nets top pay package

The top compensated superintendent in the county is John Collins of Poway Unified, a district that made national news this year with a $105 million bond deal that will cost taxpayers ten times that amount to pay back over 40 years.

'New' Anaheim school marks decade-long effort

Lincoln Elementary students will return to their newly rebuilt school in January, marking the final project funded after Anaheim City School District voters approved a $111 million bond measure 10 years ago.

School principal alters grades without teacher's consent

A set of exam scores was dropped from the semester grades of 100 students enrolled in a Woodbridge High School teacher's geometry classes, boosting the final letter grades of 36 students without the teacher's knowledge or consent.

Chaffey Joint asks voters for $848M school bond

After years of declining revenue and budgetary uncertainty, Chaffey Joint Union High School District officials are hoping voters will help them cut the cord with Sacramento - at least partially.

O.C.'s 13 charter schools growing, filling niches

Today, more than 10,000 students attend one of the county's 13 charter schools, accounting for nearly one out of every 50 public school students countywide. Enrollment has more than tripled over the past decade as parents have sought out these alternative public school options.

Superintendents get raises amid budget crisis

Amid the ongoing budget crisis affecting schools statewide, six superintendents in San Diego County have seen their base salaries increase more than 10 percent in the past two years.

Poway schools chief nets top pay package

The top compensated superintendent in the county is John Collins of Poway Unified, a district that made national news this year with a $105 million bond deal that will cost taxpayers ten times that amount to pay back over 40 years. His compensation was $386,000, which included a $67,000 retirement benefit payout and an $18,000 longtime service bonus, according to a survey by The Watchdog of 42 districts.

Transitional kindergarten gives students extra school year

Some parents throughout the state are taking advantage of a new program that can give their children a head start in school and change the age they will be when they graduate.

Scare tactics -- and scary protests over Prop. 30 -- and some school-based advocacy may be illegal

From sending letters to prospective college students to using automated phone calls reminding parents to vote, education officials are pushing harder than ever for the passage of Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative. But some critics call these methods scare tactics and in at least one case say the educators' efforts violated election laws

California school districts could take credit rating hit if tax measures fail

With five straight years of budget cuts and deferred payments from the state, California school districts have increasingly had to turn to borrowing. Now, if neither state proposition that would shore up education funding passes Nov. 6, the cost of borrowing for many districts is likely to go up. Some may be forced to seek a state bailout, or possibly face bankruptcy.

Superintendents paint dire picture if California's Prop. 30 fails

As Gov. Jerry Brown's revenue-raising proposition loses support, school superintendents say class sizes could grow, cherished programs could die and jobs will be lost.

A lot is new under the hood in high school auto shop classes

Auto shop's long skid in the face of budget cuts and a shift toward college-prep classes may be reversing. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the San Diego Unified School District.

Teachers union refuses to sign off on LAUSD plan for Race to the Top grant

The Los Angeles teachers union has refused to sign off on Los Angeles Unified's bid for a prestigious Race to the Top grant, costing the district a shot at winning $40 million in federal money, sources said Saturday.

Proposition 30 analysis: Does California need more tax money?

In TV commercials and campaign stops, Gov. Jerry Brown has told Californians that voting against his tax-hike measure, Proposition 30, will mean devastating cuts for public schools. Yet the governor's finance team concedes that state spending will go up next year regardless of your vote. So what's a voter to think? Does the state of California really need more of your money?

Moir: Renewing Californiaís commitment to new teachers

I hope that the Educator Excellence Task Forceís recommendations for developing and supporting beginning educators carry weight with policymakers and program administrators in Sacramento. Letís learn from the best. Letís build upon whatís working. Letís fix whatís not.

New environmental curriculum corrects plastic bag information

The stateís Environmental Protection Agency finalized a revision of a controversial K-12 environmental curriculum on plastic bags Friday. California Watch, sister site of The Bay Citizen, reported last year that whole sections of an 11th-grade teachers' edition guide for a new curriculum had been lifted almost verbatim from comments and suggestions submitted by the American Chemistry Council, the chemical and plastics industry trade group.

Free-speech debate in Roseville school district

A decision by the Roseville Joint Union High School District board this month to give the superintendent the right to approve advertising content in school newspapers and yearbooks has sparked a First Amendment civil rights debate within the district.

Measuring the worth of a teacher?

The Los Angeles Unified School District's Academic Growth Over Time measurement system, based on students' progress on standardized tests, spurs debate over fairness, accuracy.

Q&A: Director chosen to lead state schools' accountability overhaul

State Schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson has named Keric Ashley director of the Analysis, Measurement and Accountability Reporting Division of the state Education Department. He is a key player in redesigning the state's accountability system for schools. T

State strips 23 schools of API rankings for cheating

Teachers helped students correct mistakes on standardized tests, prepared them with actual test questions or left instructional posters displayed in the classroom during testing, according to school district reports.

Jerry Brown's local strategy on school funding falling short for Prop. 30

One reason several months ago to think Gov. Jerry Brown's ballot measure to raise taxes might have a better chance of passing than previous, failed tax initiatives was its potential to look more like a local issue than a statewide one. But a week before Election Day, the effort appears to be falling short.

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