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August 1, 1999
Re "Pockets of Progress but Question Marks, Too," July 23: Please know that my decision to temporarily withdraw my school accountability plan from school board consideration does in no way suggest that we are abandoning our efforts to hold schools accountable for student achievement. If approved, our new accountability plan will not only use standardized test scores to evaluate a school's performance, it will do so in a much tougher way than did our groundbreaking 100 schools plan. The reason for withholding our plan for a brief period is only to allow time for district staff to align portions of our plan with the one being developed by the state.
April 13, 2014 | Chris Megerian and Melanie Mason and Hailey Branson-Potts
Two conflicting eyewitness accounts emerged Saturday as investigators delved deeper into the cause of the horrific collision between a truck and a charter bus that killed 10 and cast a pall over a college-acceptance trip to Humboldt State University. A driver who was sideswiped moments before Thursday evening's fatal accident said she saw flames coming from beneath a FedEx freight truck as it veered across a grassy median toward disaster. A man who lives next to Interstate 5, however, said he saw no flames from the truck before the crash and watched the twin-trailer FedEx vehicle swerve out of control after it made an abortive attempt to move into the fast lane.
September 17, 1997
In response to "Grading the Teachers," editorial, Sept. 14: Holding teachers accountable for student achievement is, as you state, not simple. Nor should it be simple when one seriously considers the nature of teaching. Those critics who would measure student performance solely based on standardized tests fail to understand the diverse needs of our student population and appreciate the significant progress of the teaching profession. To challenge teachers with accountability is fair and reason- able, but the means of assessment must be valid and reliable.
April 4, 2014 | Bill Plaschke
Vin Scully, marching to the middle of the field to throw out the ceremonial first pitch in all his red-roaring glory, was on time. Yasiel Puig was not. Sandy Koufax, sprinting out of the dugout to home plate to catch that pitch amid shrieks of surprise, was on time. Yasiel Puig was not. The best of Dodgers history and majesty showed up as scheduled Friday in what should have been a glorious 53rd home opener at Dodger Stadium. If only their most exciting young player of the present had shown this game the same respect.
August 17, 1997
Re "Zacarias Cracks the Whip," Aug. 4. I am delighted to see [LAUSD Supt. Ruben] Zacarias' plans for accountability in education, especially when recalling those of his predecessor, and hope he gets the support necessary to see his program through to a definite conclusion. He should be eager to accept the assistance of Ted Mitchell, "a high-ranking UCLA administrator who formerly headed the Graduate School of Education," and should apply Mitchell's ideas in an accountable experimental way. Low-scoring schools could be matched into three comparable groups--one group to use primarily Mitchell's academic advice, another to use primarily teacher-training by outstanding teachers, and the third group free to choose and apply methods used in more successful neighboring schools.
April 5, 1992
Budgetgate--Who knew and when did they know? Official documents prepared by officials of the Los Angeles County Office of Education made public March 18 leave tainted the credibility of statements by Antelope Valley Union High School District administrative officials that the district did not have knowledge of the impending $6-million deficit. In fact, the documents indicate "a potential negative position as high as $14.6 million may be realized by the end of the fiscal year."
July 24, 2012 | By Chris Foster
UCLACoach Jim Mora's first words at his first Pac-12 media day were: “What's that?” Mora had just been asked by the moderator to make an opening statement and was off to a slow start. Still, it may work out better than opening with a joke that became a self-fulfilling prophecy. A year ago, then-UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel's first words were, “I'm happy to be here. But as a coach on the proverbial hot seat, I guess you're happy to be anywhere” The buzzwords that might keep Mora around longer were tossed out. Mora frequently used “accountability” throughout the 20-minute group media session.
October 22, 2006
Re "Torture and accountability," Opinion, Oct. 17 It seems that Alan Dershowitz is still in favor of the rack and other forms of torture to find those mythical "ticking bombs." Only now he's complaining that when President Clinton suggested something similar, the media and public didn't beat up on him. But Clinton pointed out that he didn't know of any ticking bomb instances, and he was aware that errors had been made in deciding who was a suspect. Dershowitz has not, to my knowledge, addressed what to do with innocent people who have been subjected to torture warrants.
May 14, 1989
Last Tuesday we went to the polls for a special school district election on a bond issue for more school capacity. We have no argument with the need for adequate school availability, nor for the overriding need for education of young and old. We do wonder what has been done with that money that was to flow into California's educational program--from the devious promises made by the backers of the lottery in order to give the lottery a semblance of...
May 20, 2003
Re "Schools Go AYP Over Test," Commentary, May 8: John Merrow describes the "adequate yearly progress" measurement system as an annual measurement, arguing that this "snapshot" is prone to a "sizable error range." He neglects to mention that when determining which schools are in need of improvement, states specifically base their decisions on multiple years of data for the reason that it is important to identify trends and not one-time snapshots. Merrow also describes "machine-scored, multiple-choice tests" as the only criteria by which schools will be measured.
March 30, 2014 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: I'm the president of our homeowner association mainly because no one else wants the job. We live in a prestigious area of Los Angeles and have fewer than 30 units. Because nobody wants to be on our board we hired a management company. They're not a California company. Their head office is out of state, and we've never seen or been to their California place of business and do not know where it is or that they even have a California office. A management representative came and picked up our files and documents, including owners' personal information and accounts, and gave us their P.O. box number.
March 30, 2014 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: How can I get a clear and complete picture of the debts that are hurting my credit score? I have my credit report already. I'm a bit lost and I need to get my credit cleared up to buy a home. Answer: You actually have three credit reports, one at each of the major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Your mortgage lender is likely to request FICO credit scores from each of the three, so you need to check all three reports. You get your reports for free at one site:
March 23, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
For-profit colleges that wildly exaggerate their graduates' success and talk prospective attendees into taking on extraordinary debt are not only harming their students but costing taxpayers billions of dollars on wasted Pell grants and defaulted federal student loans. After an earlier court defeat, the Obama administration is trying again to set rules to stop schools from overpromising to attract students. This time, the rules should stick. The administration has spent years looking for ways to crack down on the bad actors within the for-profit college industry, which accounts for just 13% of college enrollment but almost half of all federal student loan defaults.
March 23, 2014 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: Our association board allows the manager to control all the homeowners association notices that owners are supposed to get. The manager picks and chooses who will receive notice of meetings, elections and other important issues. Sometimes she puts these vital notices in a locked glass case, way at the other end of our huge complex, takes a picture of them as proof the notices were put up, then orders the security guards to remove those same notices from the case after the snapshot.
March 16, 2014 | By Teresa Watanabe
The two schools are a two-minute drive apart in similarly low-income, largely immigrant neighborhoods. But to hear students tell it, the two places might as well be different planets. Lincoln High School in Lincoln Heights, located on the edge of Chinatown in a hilly area of Victorian dwellings and low-rent apartments, is home to 29,000 residents, mostly Latino and Asian. The Academy of Environmental and Social Policy is a small campus affiliated with Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights, an enclave of 91,000 mostly Mexican American residents, small businesses and a burgeoning arts scene.
March 11, 2014 | By Barbara Demick
BEIJING - The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 grew more puzzling Tuesday as reports suggested the plane may have veered more than 300 miles west of its intended flight path and flew lower and longer than previously thought. Although the flight from Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, to Beijing disappeared from civilian air traffic control screens at 1:30 a.m. Saturday, military sources told the Malaysian press that it was detected by the military at 2:40 a.m. over the Strait of Malacca - a narrow stretch of water off the west coast of the Malay peninsula.
March 10, 2014 | By Hillel Italie
Joe McGinniss, the adventurous and news-making author and reporter who skewered the marketing of Richard Nixon in "The Selling of the President 1968" and tracked his personal journey from sympathizer to scourge of convicted killer Jeffrey MacDonald in the blockbuster "Fatal Vision," died Monday at a hospital in Worcester, Mass. He was 71. McGinniss died from complications of prostate cancer, according to his attorney and longtime friend Dennis Holahan. Few journalists of his time so intrepidly pursued a story, burned so many bridges or more memorably placed themselves in the narrative, whether insisting on the guilt of MacDonald after seemingly befriending him or moving next door to Sarah Palin's house for a most unauthorized biography of the former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate.
March 10, 2014 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Fugitive secrets-leaker Edward Snowden made a rare video appearance Monday at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, condemning mass government surveillance and urging members of the tech-savvy audience to take action against it. Speaking from Russia, where he was granted asylum, the former National Security Agency contractor said "absolutely, yes" he would leak secret government information again. Snowden has been charged with espionage for releasing a trove of intelligence-gathering secrets.
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