May 19, 1989 |
Odir Romero, 12, and his best friend, Hugo Ruiz, roamed aimlessly across the crowded playground at Le Conte Junior High School on Thursday morning, discussing the teachers' strike that has turned their school lives upside down. The boys, who immigrated to the United States less than a year ago, casually dodged balls and ballplayers as they ambled through basketball and volleyball courts, never breaking stride or losing the thread of their conversation. While more and more of their classmates are staying home each day the strike continues, these two keep showing up for class.
May 28, 2011 |
Many popular students approach graduation day with bittersweet nostalgia: excitement for the future is tempered by fear of lost status. But as cap-and-gown season nears, let's also stop to consider the outcasts, students for whom finishing high school feels like liberation from a state-imposed sentence. In seven years of reporting from American middle and high schools, I've seen repeatedly that the differences that cause a student to be excluded in high school are often the same traits or skills that will serve him or her well after graduation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 20, 2009 |
Khadijah Williams stepped into chemistry class and instantly tuned out the commotion. She walked past students laughing, gossiping, napping and combing one another's hair. Past a cellphone blaring rap songs. And past a substitute teacher sitting in a near-daze. Quietly, the 18-year-old settled into an empty table, flipped open her physics book and focused. Nothing mattered now except homework. "No wonder you're going to Harvard," a girl teased her. Around here, Khadijah is known as "Harvard girl," the "smart girl" and the girl with the contagious smile who landed at Jefferson High School only 18 months ago. What students don't know is that she is also a homeless girl.
July 4, 1987 |
I went to see "The River's Edge" the other day intending to relive memories of the Milpitas, Calif., murder story that I broke in 1981 when I was reporting for the San Jose Mercury News. As the film unfolded, however, I began to wonder if perhaps I hadn't walked into the wrong theater. Dennis Hopper plays a dope-dealing ex-biker named Feck whose only friend is Ellie, a rubber sex doll.
August 23, 2012
Re "A good teacher is hard to keep," Opinion, Aug. 19 Sujata Bhatt describes how too many teachers fail to receive validation or support from their schools or districts. I have organized professional development workshops for more than 2,000 educators. I ask at each workshop if the teachers (usually 60 or more) feel appreciated at their school. One teacher may raise a hand. Administrators could easily validate excellent teachers with brief email messages of support and by honoring those teachers who go the extra mile to attend workshops to become even more effective.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 29, 2009 |
Nearly 30% of Los Angeles Unified School District students placed in English language learning classes in early primary grades were still in the program when they started high school, increasing their chances of dropping out, according to a new study released Wednesday. More than half of those students were born in the United States and three-quarters had been in the school district since first grade, according to the report by the TomÃ¡s Rivera Policy Institute at USC. The findings raise questions about the teaching in the district's English language classes, whether students are staying in the program too long and what more educators should do for students who start school unable to speak English fluently.