Sunday, April 06, 2008

The news that didn't fit: April 6, 2008

HEALTH CLINIC OPENS ON SUN VALLEY MIDDLE SCHOOL CAMPUS: The facility aims to serve low-income families who lack other options for medical care. Perched against the mountains on the northern tip of Los Angeles, Sun Valley is used to being ignored by City Hall. The gritty community of old landfills, power plants, auto-body shops, junkyards and industrial sprawl was home to massive quarries that produced the sand and gravel that helped build modern Los Angeles. But residents have long complained that the city has given them little in return -- except for trash hauled into the local landfill. on Wednesday, however, many residents said officials finally provided something they need: the Sun Valley Health Clinic on the grounds of a local middle school.

►CHARTERS: COMING TO A SCHOOL NEAR YOU?: Charter schools could be getting some much-needed space on LAUSD campuses. Charter schools have been offered space at 39 traditional schools across Los Angeles, including Westchester High near LAX and Taft High in Woodland Hills. The offers far surpassed those in past years, but so has demand: 54 charter schools requested space for nearly 17,000 students, a near three-fold increase. In a related move, officials have frozen popular permit programs at affected schools to see if they will still have room to accept students from outside the attendance area.

►CITY STUDENTS LESS LIKELY TO GRADUATE THAN SUBURBAN KIDS: Students in urban public school districts are less likely to graduate from high school than those enrolled in suburban districts in the same metropolitan area, according to research presented Tuesday. A new analysis finds that nationally, only 52% of students in urban areas' main school districts finish. The rate is even lower at LAUSD.

►LAUSD TALKING ABOUT SPEAKING MORE CHINESE: to help students compete globally, new classes might be offered. Acknowledging the growing force of globalization, the Los Angeles Unified School District is gearing up an ambitious program to offer Mandarin Chinese language and culture courses at all of its middle and high schools.

►PASADENA'S MUIR HIGH IS ON A NEW PATH: Pasadena 'school in crisis' requires all teachers to reapply for their jobs as part of arduous rest "A major component of the proposed fix requir(es) all teachers, administrators and counselors to reapply for their jobs. The school is in its fourth year of state monitoring because of poor test scores. District officials were able to launch the rehiring plan without approval from the United Teachers of Pasadena. But the union weighed in on how the restructuring would occur."

►Dumb Teacher Tricks - POLICE: TEACHER TOLD STUDENTS TO HIT TARDY CLASSMATE: A Grand Junction, Colorado high school teacher is facing child abuse charges for allegedly telling students to beat up another student who was late for class.

►ESSENTIAL QUALITIES OF MATH TEACHING REMAIN UNKNOWN: It is one of most widely accepted axioms in math education: Good teachers matter. But what are the qualities of an effective mathematics teacher? The answer, as a recent federal report suggests, remains frustratingly elusive.

►EXAM CHEATING GOES HI TECH, BUT ITS CAUSES ARE NOTHING NEW: Students invent new methods, schools counter with new safeguards. But the underlying issue of honesty has changed little.

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