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October 26, 2013 | Steve Lopez
The playground at Berendo Middle School, just west of downtown Los Angeles, looks more like the surface of an aircraft carrier than a playground. There's virtually nothing but blacktop for the roughly 1,300 students to play on - acres and acres of sun-baked tar that heats up in summer and gets slippery when it rains. And that's why there's so much enthusiasm for a beautification plan that aims to transform a corner of the campus into an oasis that would be enjoyed not just by students, but the whole community.
October 25, 2013 | By Howard Blume and Teresa Watanabe
When John Deasy took the helm of Los Angeles Unified in 2011, he was backed by the school board, mayor and civic leaders in a bid to transform the nation's second-largest school district with bold measures to improve student performance. Now Deasy's future - along with the district's direction - is in doubt at a critical point. L.A. Unified is facing new academic standards, major budget decisions and a massive iPad technology project. On Thursday, just days before his scheduled performance review by a new, less supportive school board, the school chief told some top officials that he might step down.
October 17, 2013
Re "A tablet, not a cure-all," Column, Oct. 15 Sandy Banks raises very good points about the ill-conceived rollout of Apple iPads to students in the Los Angeles Unified School District. I am not a Luddite, and I definitely believe that students can benefit from technology, but too many executive types (read: Supt. John Deasy) succumb to the techno-lust brought on by slick sales and marketing folks. Too many decisions in education and business are made at the "blue sky" level and don't really take into consideration what will be needed to avoid obvious (and not so obvious)
October 10, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
Beginning Friday, thousands of rainbow "ally" badges will be passed out to Los Angeles Unified teachers and staff members that they can wear to identify themselves as allies of  gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students. The "Out for Safe Schools" initiative coincides with National Coming Out Day on Friday and was announced Thursday by leaders of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and the school district. "We want all our youth and staff to know that it is safe to be you in LAUSD," Supt.
October 9, 2013 | By Stephen Ceasar and Howard Blume
Los Angeles school board President Richard Vladovic apologized Wednesday for abrasive behavior over his career, but again denied accusations released this week of sexual harassment, verbal harassment and retaliation against two unidentified employees. "I violated the district's civility policy along with the board's policy; for that I am truly sorry," Vladovic said in a statement. "I also apologize to any employee who has felt intimidated because of my actions. In my capacity to serve the district I admit to having crossed the line and I intend to never do so again.
October 9, 2013 | Michael Hiltzik
If you think Citizens United has unleashed a torrent of cash and real corruption into our electoral system - and it has - brace yourself for something worse. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a campaign finance case that could be even bigger than Citizens United, which was decided in 2010. The new case, McCutcheon vs. FEC, challenges the aggregate spending rules that limit any one campaign contributor to $123,000 in total spending to political candidates and election committees during any two-year federal election cycle.
October 7, 2013 | Sandy Banks
It was a forum for Los Angeles Unified officials to promote the school district's ambitious plan to equip every student with an iPad. But the first question on the televised call-in program last week had nothing to do with tablet computers. Why doesn't the district train students in career skills, like machine shop, anymore, the caller wanted to know. It didn't get much better as the hour wore on. Callers concerned about bond money, board politics and school district priorities didn't give Supt.
October 2, 2013 | By Karin Klein
Judging from the comments coming in to The Times regarding the various problems with the iPads supplied to students at L.A. Unified schools, the public is plenty mad about this $1-billion plan. Students hacking their iPads, some of the devices going missing, no clear policy on who pays if and when students lose or damage their tablets. As Times staff writer Howard Blume most recently reported,  the district now is collecting the tablets from at least some of the schools where they have been distributed.
October 1, 2013
Re "LAUSD project: 'whyPads,'" Column, Sept. 29 As Steve Lopez demonstrates, once again our tax dollars are at work in an efficient, intelligent way. Of course, I am joking. The Los Angeles Unified School District's effort to give Apple iPads to every student has gone terribly. I have raised three children; they are now 32, 28 and 21. Do you know how many pagers, phones, glasses, jackets, lunch boxes and calculators we have replaced over the years because the people who used them were children and teenagers?
September 27, 2013
Re "U.S., Iran talk of diplomacy, differences," Sept. 25 President Obama has seldom failed to disappoint. He appeared to recognize, a couple of years ago, that an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement would have to be based on the pre-1967 borders - a plan that made sense to everybody except the Israelis, so he stopped pushing it. At the U.N. on Tuesday, Obama "conceded," as The Times puts it, that "Iranians long have complained of U.S. interference...
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