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AM News: LA Teachers Union Refuses to Sign Race to the Top Application

LA Loses $40 Million Of Race To The Top Funds Because Of Teachers' Union Resistance To Evaluations HuffingtonPostEducation: The Los Angeles Unifed School District (LAUSD) has just lost out on $40 million of free federal money because the teachers union has declined to sign the district's Race to the Top grant application.


Poll: Obama Favored by Likely Youth Voters, But by Less Than in 2008 PoliticsK12: That margin for Obama is down from 2008, when he claimed 66 percent of the youth vote, compared to Sen. John McCain's 32 percent. That was a margin of 34 percentage points, or twice what this week's CIRCLE poll shows for the Obama versus Romney matchup.

Attention Shifts to Blended Learning at Virtual Ed. Conference EdWeek: From beginning to end, blended learning—briefly defined as any of a variety of approaches that combine features of both face-to-face and online instruction—took headline status in keynote speeches, panel discussions, and report releases throughout the three-day conference hosted here by the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, or iNACOL.

Texas Public School Districts Spent $227 Million On Disciplinary Problems, School Security: Study TexasTribune: At a joint hearing Tuesday of the Senate Committees on Criminal Justice and Education, lawmakers discussed ways to save money and improve the quality of school discipline practices, including giving more discretion to teachers, law enforcement and judges when it comes to dealing with disciplinary violations.


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Failure in ninth grade continues to be an underlying theme in many of these stories, including (obviously) the Texas discipline and Los Angeles Race to the Top proposals and (arguably) the online and blended learning conference. At some point someone should ask, and might investigate, whether the return of ninth grade from junior high schools to high school settings, which as I recall happened about 25 years ago in Los Angeles, was a big mistake. At Locke I continually witnessed ninth graders who were unprepared for the opportunities and dangers of the bigger campus, and in Irvine I am teaching students who are so easily distracted by ninth grade opportunities in band, tennis, and so on that their learning also suffers, and their college dreams rapidly turn to nothing.

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