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State’s “District of Choice” Law Sized Up by Legislative Analyst’s Office

Executive Summary:

State Faces Key Decision About Whether to Reauthorize “District of Choice” Program. A state law adopted in 1993 allows students to transfer to school districts that have deemed themselves Districts of Choice. Two main features distinguish this program from other interdistrict transfer laws. First, Districts of Choice must agree to accept interested students regardless of their academic abilities or personal characteristics. Second, interested students generally do not need to seek permission from their home districts...

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Feds Grant NCLB Waiver, Giving California Districts Flexibility in Spending About $233 Million in Funding

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced on February 1 that the federal government has granted California’s request to be free of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) rules regarding Supplemental Educational Services (SES) for the 2016–17 school year, the last year those rules would have been in effect.

SES funds are used to provide tutoring or other academic instruction outside the regular school day for academically deficient students at certain Title I schools...

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Shielding a Few Students from Stereotypes Benefits Everyone’s Grades, Stanford Research Shows

Sharing a classroom with students who are protected from negative stereotypes about their group can boost all students' grades, new Stanford research shows.

The study was published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. Joseph Powers, a Stanford psychology graduate student and lead author on the paper, said the research showed that sharing a classroom with a few students who are protected from negative stereotypes can help the entire class...

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Governance & Leadership

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Human Resources

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Operations & Technology

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Two Major Court Cases, Two Ballot Initiatives Could Have Major Implications for Education During 2016

A pair of major court cases – one being heard in Los Angeles, the other in the nation’s capital – and a pair of proposed statewide ballot measures – one already qualified for the November 8 ballot, the other getting ready to launch a petition drive – could have broad implications for California educators in years to come. Here’s a recap:

--On January 11, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case, which challenges the ability of public employee unions to collect mandatory fees from members...

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California Legislative Analyst’s Office Compiles Eye-Catching Statistics About Teachers

On January 20, the California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) presented a handout to the Senate Education Committee regarding California’s Teacher Workforce, which contained a 16-page checklist with a number of interesting statistics:

—California currently has approximately 295,000 teachers. About half of California’s teachers serve in elementary schools, slightly more than 40 percent serve in middle and high schools, and slightly less than 10 percent serve in other settings (such as alternative and adult schools)...

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Fire Safety Experts Offer Guidelines and Tips Regarding Hazards of Trendy Hoverboards

Citing media coverage of several recent fire incidents, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has issued a series of safety tips urging hover board owners to read product guidelines and be aware of potential fire hazards when using these trendy devices.

“It seems hover boards are the hottest holiday gifts on the planet this year. A number of media outlets reporting fire incidents is cause for caution to avoid Christmas wishes going up in smoke,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president...

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