So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

Education in brief: unhappy teachers, changes at Cal, and more

California Education Protest

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Derrick, a member of Occupy San Francisco, sits in front of California Highway Patrol officers dressed in riot gear during a demonstration against cuts to higher education held at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, March 5, 2012. Thousands of students, teachers and supporters marched to the Capitol as part of a daylong protest over state budget cuts to higher education.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

In case you missed it, here's a rundown of some interesting recent education stories:

Unhappy times for teachers

Given all that's happened with school budgets recently and debates over how teachers should be evaluated, it's probably no surprise that teacher morale has sunk to its lowest point in 20 years, at least according to a recent survey of teachers, parents and students. The New York Times has more details from the annual release of the MetLife Survey of the American Teacher.

Changes at the top, at UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau announced Tuesday he will step down after eight years at the head of premier public university. The announcement happened to come on the same day the latest World University Rankings listed UC Berkeley among the top 10 best schools on the planet, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Want to read more about the budget?

The Sacramento Bee's Dan Walters delves into the political machinations up in Sacramento and how education drives the "annual budget ritual."

Strengthen democracy by investing in education

Harvard economics professor Edward Glaeser makes the case on The New York Times Economix blog that countries with a high-level of education remain a stable democracy and those without struggle or fail at being democratic. Glaeser writes: 

"Education teaches skills, like reading and writing, that enable people to work collaboratively. At younger grades, teachers spend a lot of time teaching children how to get along. In the United States, education is strongly linked to civic engagement and membership in social groups. The ability to work together enables the defense of democracy."

Education Secretary Duncan gets six Fs, one expert says

Diane Ravitch, an author of 14 books on learning and education, gives Education Secretary Arne Duncan six Fs in an essay for the New York Review of Books' blog. The Los Angeles Times' Michael Hiltzik reports that "much of Ravitch’s dissatisfaction with Duncan stems from his support for national statistical standards for primary and secondary education."

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).

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