Sunday, July 20, 2008

The news that doesn't fit from July 20th

Video - WHAT IS RESPONSE TO INTERVENTION: Dr. Judy Elliott      Dr. Elliot is the Chief Academic Officer of LAUSD

JUDGE BLOCKS CONSTRUCTION OF ECHO PARK SCHOOL: L.A. Unified submitted a flawed environmental impact report, ruling says. District must now consider other sides and gather community opinion.

TEACHERS TO LEARN SIGNS OF SUICIDE The governor signed into law today a measure that would allow teachers to get up to two hours of suicide prevention training. The Jason Flatt Act, SB 1378, authorizes school districts to use some of their Professional Development Block Grant funding to pay for the training.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT DROPOUTS: State statistics should boost efforts to reduce the number of students who quit before graduation.                It wasn't true, what the critics said about half the students in Los Angeles Unified School District dropping out. One in three do. The first state database to count dropouts in a more realistic way revealed this week that although the district's numbers weren't as bad as feared, neither were they statistics to inspire a happy dance. L.A. Unified is finally taking meaningful measures to keep kids in school, a formidable task. But how did we get to this place?

DROP-DEAD DROPOUT NUMBERS: One-third of all L.A. Unified students don't finish high school — where's the civic outrage?          We've all become so inured to the unending stream of dreary and dispiriting news produced by the Los Angeles Unified School District that Thursday's horrific report on the high-school dropout rate came and went with barely a civic whimper.

ARNOLD TERMINATES EDUCATION BUDGET   Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as the Terminator once more. It's not in a feature film this time but as the trigger of impending budget cuts in California education.

GAS PRICES AND LAUSD   In a year the amount of money LAUSD has spent on fuel for its 1300 busses, 400 other vehicles and gas-operated machines has increased from $9.85 million for the 2006 -2007 school year to $12.4 million in 2007-2008 for the school year,

ULTIMATE COLLECTOR: Eli Broad wields his vast fortune like a blunt instrument—buying art, hiring architects, and shaping L.A. through a mix of civic vision and force of will. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has long been notorious for stalled construction and indecisive leadership. When its old headquarters on Grand Avenue became the proposed site for a new high school, Broad stepped in and spent much of 2002 holding backroom meetings to convince the district to scrap a complete (and admittedly unexciting) plan by AC Martin Partners and to build a Fame-style performing-arts academy by Wolf Prix of Coop Himmelb(l)au.

STATE SCHOOL DROPOUT RATE CAUSE FOR CONCERN   "Not good news," says California's Superintendent of Public Instruction. That, after he revealed that nearly a quarter of all public high school students in the state dropped out last year.

RIGHTING RODRIGUEZ: IMPLICATIONS FOR ADVANCING A FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO EDUCATION   Lynn Huntley, President of the Southern Education Foundation, introduced the topic by making the case for a U.S. Constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to a quality education for all children. The idea for such an amendment is not new. Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. introduced a bill in Congress five years ago to guarantee students such a right. Jackson’s efforts have not gained much traction, although, according to Huntley, his ideas have broad public support.

SCHOOL BOARD RESOLUTION AND CAMPAIGN BEST PRACTICE EXAMPLES QUALITY PHYSICAL EDUCATION FOR ALL   Thirty seven school districts throughout California including LAUSD did not enforce physical education requirements in 2006.

SWITCHING BAD VARIABLE RATE DEBT: LAUSD Refunding Ambac-Backed Certificates of Participation   The Los Angeles Unified School District plans to refund $120.9 million of Ambac Assurance Corp.-insured variable-rate demand obligations early next month after seeing rates on the debt surge to as much as 10% after the insurer's credit ratings were cut.

CITY READIES A 'BEAUTIFUL 'VISTA' : Park on Long-Troubled Belmont Learning Center Site to Open This Week This week, City West will get a lot greener with the debut of a 10-acre park. If some people thought it might never arrive, that's understandable: It is opening on a notorious site where construction first began a decade ago.

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