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Education Reforms

June 6, 2011 | By Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times
The 2,863 boxes of papers and memorabilia recently moved to Cal State Long Beach's library represent a hefty portion of late 20th century California's political history. The archives of former Gov. George Deukmejian's administration cover many key state issues, including the death penalty, education reform and the aftermath of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. In the large storage room where the cardboard boxes are shelved, framed photographs show Deukmejian with superstars of politics, entertainment and sports: Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher, Tommy Lasorda, Sylvester Stallone and John Travolta, among others.
May 8, 2011
The general assumption is that when it comes to educating American kids, more is more. Longer school hours. Saturday school. Summer school. Yet more than 120 school districts across the nation are finding that less can also be more — less being fewer days spent in school. The four-day school week has been around for decades, according to the National Council of State Legislatures, but it's quietly spreading as a money-saving tactic, especially after several states — including Montana, Georgia, Missouri and Washington — passed legislation allowing school districts to make the switch as long as they lengthened each school day so that there was no reduction in instructional hours.
January 7, 2011 | By Kirti Baranwal and Gillian Russom
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, in an inflammatory speech last month, referred to United Teachers Los Angeles as the "loudest opponent and the largest obstacle to creating quality schools. " In his enthusiasm to join the national chorus blaming teachers unions, he chose to ignore the myriad positive reforms teachers are making in L.A. schools with the support of our union leadership. We are UTLA representatives at schools in the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, or PLAS, which is affiliated with the mayor's office, and which the mayor has repeatedly identified as "my partnership schools.
September 19, 2010 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
In his previous Oscar-winning documentary, filmmaker Davis Guggenheim handled Al Gore, manmade climate change and imminent global peril. This time, he's really grabbing something hot: education reform. In "Waiting for Superman," which opens Sept. 24 in Los Angeles and New York City, Guggenheim vies to do for education reform what "An Inconvenient Truth" did for global warming: raise awareness, make people care and push toward a solution. But this latest docu-editorial will divide some of his biggest fans.
August 20, 2010
As Locke High School prepares for its third year as a charter school, operator Green Dot Public Schools has earned some bragging rights — as well as reasons for humility. There's no doubt that students at the Watts school are better off for the Green Dot takeover. Dropout and truancy rates are down significantly; more students are taking college-prep classes and passing the high school exit exam on the first try. Crime, especially on-campus fighting, is considerably lower. Scores on the state's standardized tests rose modestly this year.
July 29, 2010 | By Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown unveiled an education reform plan Wednesday that calls for a wholesale restructuring of California's public school system, from changing the way schools are funded to revamping the state's higher education system. The eight-page plan touches upon the major issues facing the state's education system, from the increasing cost of college to the state's dismal dropout rate. Some of the proposals, such as changing the way schools are funded, would take years.
July 15, 2010
In many third-grade classrooms in California, students are taught — briefly — about obtuse and acute angles. They have no way to comprehend this lesson fully. Their math training so far hasn't taught them the concepts involved. They haven't learned what a degree is or that a circle has 360 of them. They haven't learned division, so they can't divide 360 by 4 to determine that a right angle is 90 degrees, and thus understand that an acute angle is less than 90 degrees and an obtuse angle more.
April 18, 2010 | By Carla Rivera
Matthew Hwa is fed up with the perception that today's young people are only interested in the latest iPhone application and the collection of friends on their Facebook pages. The 16-year-old high school student is taking a hard look at the state of politics in California and is not liking what he sees. "The politicians," Matthew said, "are going to have to compromise more, ignore what's on their personal agenda and do what's best for the state. They're also going to have to listen up a little bit. We are the next generation of leaders, and we have a voice."
March 18, 2010
Taught a lesson Re "Teachers' choice," Opinion, March 13 I am a newly unemployed L.A. Unified teacher. United Teachers Los Angeles President A.J. Duffy certainly does not speak for me! Duffy and the leadership of UTLA sold out me and many others by refusing to negotiate furlough days instead of teacher cuts. UTLA refused to show solidarity with its newest teachers. So much for "we are all in this together." Duffy and UTLA are all talk. Unemployed teachers and families like mine are suffering because UTLA was unwilling to stand up for its newest teachers.
November 8, 2009
Re "Reform run rampant," Editorial, Nov. 4 I agree with your concerns over state Sen. Gloria Romero's (D-Los Angeles) potpourri education bill to qualify California public schools for federal Race to the Top education grants. However, some of the "common-sense reforms" of U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan that you call worth supporting are misguided. Duncan has never been a public school teacher. His attempts to link student test scores in determining teacher pay, promotion, sanction and evaluation are specious.
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