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SPORTS
April 5, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
Juergen Klinsmann hasn't made many missteps in his 2 1/2 years of coach of the U.S. national team. Still it was hard not to question last week's decision to jettison Martin Vasquez, his longtime right-hand man, and replace him with Tab Ramos and former German national team coach Berti Vogts. Sacking your top assistant two months before the World Cup is a little like a presidential candidate dumping his running mate after the convention. So was it an act of panic or prescience? It's too early to tell.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 4, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
A Santa Monica High School teacher was placed on leave Friday after he was caught on a cellphone video in an altercation with a student. The incident took place in a classroom at the high school and was recorded on cellphone videos by several students, according to the superintendent of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. One recording shows Mark Black, a science teacher and wrestling coach, involved in a physical confrontation with an unidentified student. Other students are shown scrambling to avoid the altercation as it continued across the classroom.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 2014 | By Howard Blume
A groundbreaking, two-month trial challenging teacher job protections in California concluded Thursday with both sides asserting that the interests of students are at stake. The case, Vergara vs. California, seeks to overturn a set of laws that affect how teachers are fired, laid off and granted tenure. The Silicon Valley-based group Students Matter brought the lawsuit on behalf of nine plaintiffs, contending that the regulations hinder the removal of ineffective teachers. The result is a workforce with thousands of "grossly ineffective" teachers, which disproportionately hurts low-income and minority students, attorneys said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 26, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez
A 35-year-old teacher at a Valencia Christian school was charged Wednesday on suspicion of inappropriate contact with a student, authorities said. Carl Astrera is accused of engaging in the inappropriate behavior during the last 18 months at Legacy Christian Academy, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said. The school has students from kindergarten throughout 8th grade, according to its website. Detectives launched an investigation on Feb. 28.  Prosecutors charged Astrera Wednesday with one count of annoying/molesting a child, according to the department.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014 | By KTLA
Students at El Dorado High School in Placentia on Monday paid tribute to a 16-year-old boy who was fatally struck by an SUV while skateboarding over the weekend. Logan Wells, 16, was struck by an SUV on Bastanchury Road near Secretariat Way in Yorba Linda around 4:45 a.m. Sunday, investigators said. He later died at a hospital. Friends told KTLA-TV Wells was a typical teen who loved skateboarding and wearing Hawaiian shirts. As the school week began, Wells' classmates honored him by wearing Hawaiian shirts and bucket hats, another staple of his wardrobe.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2014 | By Howard Blume
The contest to head the nation's second-largest teachers union will go to a second round, pitting challenger Alex Caputo-Pearl against incumbent Warren Fletcher, who finished a distant second in the initial race, according to results released Thursday. Caputo-Pearl, 45, received 48% of the votes and Fletcher 21%. In the vote-by-mail election, 7,158 members of United Teachers Los Angeles returned ballots, about 23% of those eligible to vote. Fewer than one in four voters supported the one-term incumbent.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO - The longer California's leaders delay shoring up the cash-strapped teacher pension fund, the more money it will cost taxpayers in the long run, according to an analysis presented to lawmakers on Wednesday. If lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown eliminate the fund's $71-billion shortfall over the next 20 years, the extra contributions needed from the state, schools and teachers would total a little more than $180 billion in that time period. But if they put forward a 60-year plan, the total cost would be $622.8 billion.
OPINION
March 16, 2014
Re "In defense of Common Core," Editorial, March 13 The Obama administration's attempt to meddle in public education has been a failure. The switch to Common Core cannot be an administration victory over the conservative contingent in Congress because, as it has been articulated many times over, the federal government has no business in education. (Read that old document called the Constitution, Amendment 10.) You cite the numerous groups that are leading opposition to Common Core, and in fact you also voice minor opposition to many facets of this ill-conceived grand illusion of a "fix" to education once and for all. There is no "cure-all" because education is delivered by people, to people and generally administered by other people with little appreciation that the teachers and students are individuals who teach and learn differently.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 16, 2014 | By Teresa Watanabe
For 14 years, Los Angeles math teacher Darryl Newhouse has run a robotics program aimed at showing inner-city students that careers in science and engineering are just as possible as ones in sports and entertainment. But when funds run short, he digs into his own pocket - often shelling out as much as $5,000 a year. That's not easy to do on a public school teacher's salary - but now Newhouse will get some help. The Los Angeles Fund for Public Education is set to announce Monday a groundbreaking initiative that will give L.A. Unified teachers access to hundreds of millions of dollars in funding opportunities through a new website featuring custom grants, training tools and the services of a grant writer.
OPINION
March 14, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
If a sentence contains the phrases "New York state" and "Common Core," chances are that somewhere between the two is the word "botched. " New York and California have taken opposite approaches to implementing the new academic standards, which have been adopted by 45 states but are now the target of a backlash. California's approach bucked the Obama administration's rules, but as it turns out, California was right. New York jumped feet first into the new standards, administering tests based on them - tests that, among other things, were supposed to be used in teacher evaluations.
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