Growing pains: Can disruptive innovation benefit students?

By Michael Horn and Richard Whitmire

Why do organizations struggle so much with the innovator’s dilemma? It’s not hard to grasp. Kodak, DEC, Sears, Xerox and Bucyrus Erie saw their empires fade because when disruptive innovations appeared, they did not look like opportunities that made sense to chase. For example, with profit margins of film/processing/printing so high, why would Kodak shift […]


Where are most of California’s tenured teachers?

By Sarah Butrymowicz

A California judge recently ruled that teacher tenure and other job protections violate a student’s right to education and, as such, are unconstitutional. The case, Vergara v. California, prompted speculation about what it would mean for other states where similar lawsuits might be filed. But what does the ruling – if it survives appeals – […]

At Weigand Elementary School in Los Angeles, 61 percent of parents signed a petition to replace the school's principal under California's controversial "parent trigger" law. (Photo courtesy Parent Revolution/Derrick Alan Everett)

Parent-trigger efforts: At a crossroads? A standstill? A dead end?

By Natasha Lindstrom

Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent John Deasy last month lauded a group of parents who formed their own union in an attempt to improve their children’s South Los Angeles school. The district leader toured the K-5 campus and listened to children rap about cells and sing “Let It Be” before signing a partnership […]

Jonas Chartock

Why this is California’s moment to help teachers, students grow

By Jonas Chartock

At its heart, the landmark June 11 Vergara ruling in California superior court was a decision in support of the notion that every child has a constitutional right to an excellent teacher. In finding California’s teacher tenure laws and “last in/first out” seniority rules unconstitutional, the judge found that such provisions create inequities in our schools that often […]

Shift to online testing drives California schools to close tech gap

By Pat Wingert

The largest field test in the country of new online assessments aligned to the Common Core got underway in California this spring, and as it speeds up the state’s transition to the rigorous new standards, it may also help close the digital divide. “This is the tipping point,” said Diane Hernandez, director of assessment development […]

The nine plaintiffs, including Beatriz Vergara, who brought suit against the state. This slide, without names, was shown in court.

After Vergara, activists expect court battles over teacher tenure across the U.S.

By Brenda Iasevoli

Los Angeles – When a California judge ruled earlier this week that tenure deprives the state’s students of their right to an education, activists prepared for a national legal battle that threatens the power of teachers unions across the country. In his decision in Vergara v. California, Judge Rolf Treu of Los Angeles Superior Court […]

Controversial data-driven research behind the California court’s decision to reject teacher tenure

By Jill Barshay

Underlying the California court’s decision on June 10, 2014 to reject teacher tenure as unconstitutional is a controversial body of academic research on teacher effectiveness. The argument that won out was that tenure rules often force school districts to retain their worst teachers. Those ineffective teachers tend to end up at the least desirable schools […]

Stephanie Lee

Teaching your immigrant parents how to apply to college

By Stephanie Lee

When I submitted my college applications, I thought the hard part was over. But a few weeks later, I found myself hunched over my computer trying to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The document does not look that difficult; the lines on the online application clearly link to the corresponding […]

Kristine Hoang

Computer Science: a branding issue affecting low-income students

By Kristine Hoang

If you were surfing the Internet in 2004, you wouldn’t have known that the sophisticated music-hosting website and graphic-design service blog you stumbled upon were being run by a 12-year-old hobbyist. That 12-year-old was me. After school, I’d prioritize building websites – out of a need to express myself and create something – over doing […]

Raymond Penaia

Being a model minority comes with a price

By Raymond Penaia

In high school I was your cliché Asian overachiever. I took multiple Advanced Placement classes, participated in a variety of extracurricular activities such as my high school orchestra and Key Club, and even volunteered on the weekends. But although I appeared successful, I was struggling on the inside. Often, I would stay up all night […]