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FROM THIS EPISODE

Governor Jerry Brown gathered with lawmakers in Sacramento Wednesday to celebrate the passage of a pair of major climate change bills this week. The bills barely passed the state assembly after failing altogether last year. They passed this time thanks to an unlikely pair who pushed lawmakers from working-class, Latino and inland communities to get on board.

New standardized test results prove that California is struggling when it comes to race, education and closing the achievement gap. The racial divide between the lowest and highest scorers is remarkable; black students had the lowest scores of any group. Why is that and what might the implications be?

Then, what if a college degree came with a money-back guarantee? Next, in the new film “Spa Night,” a mild-mannered teenage son takes a job at an all-male spa to help his struggling immigrant family. What he sees there opens his eyes to who he really is, even if that means not being who his parents expect.

And finally, SNL star Leslie Jones found herself on the receiving end of all kinds of ugly Twitter harassment after she starred in the all-female reboot of “Ghostbusters.” Now Jones is on the receiving end of a hack and federal investigators are getting involved.

Photo courtesy of Tony Webster

Producers:
Matt Holzman
Anna Scott
Jolie Myers
Christian Bordal
Sarah Sweeney

How an unlikely pair helped pass California’s new climate change bills 9 MIN, 49 SEC

Governor Jerry Brown gathered with lawmakers in Sacramento Wednesday to celebrate the passage of a pair of major climate change bills. The bills he’s signing into law extend California’s ambitious efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into 2030. The state will have to slash emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by then. The bills barely passed the state assembly after failing altogether last year, and passed this time thanks to an unlikely pair who pushed lawmakers from more working-class, Latino, and inland communities to get on board.

Guests:
Joe Mathews, Host, "Zocalo's Connecting California" (@joemmathews)

CA student scores improve overall, but black students lag behind 8 MIN, 56 SEC

New standardized test results prove that California is struggling when it comes to race, education and closing the achievement gap. The racial divide between the lowest and highest scorers is remarkable; black students had the lowest scores of any group. About a third met grade-level standards in English and fewer than 20 percent were proficient in math. Compare that to the highest-scoring group, Asian-Americans: roughly 70 percent met or exceeded the standards. The tests are based on the Common Core learning standards, and they’re supposed to measure whether students are on track to be college-ready, so the implications could be far-reaching.

Guests:
Tyrone Howard, UCLA (@tyronechoward)

What if a college degree came with a money-back guarantee? 8 MIN, 48 SEC

What if a degree came with a money-back guarantee? Many colleges are already promising big returns on students’ investment: jobs after graduation, networking, and a shiny path to success. Lots of carrots to attract students, but no sticks if those promises don’t pan out. Brookings Institution Fellow Beth Akers has taken up the idea of a money-back guarantee on degrees.

Guests:
Beth Akers, Fellow (@BethAkers_)

‘Spa Night’: Struggling with gay identity in Koreatown 13 MIN, 50 SEC

Koreatown is a sprawling, urban polyglot of an area and it’s LA’s densest neighborhood. These days, it’s home to immigrants from just about everywhere. But Koreans have been coming there since the 1960s to take a swing at the American dream. One Korean family living in Koreatown seems to have struck out. They’re at the center of a new film called “Spa Night.” Their mom and pop restaurant has failed, and their mild-mannered teenage son takes a job to help out, cleaning up at an all-male spa. What he sees there opens his eyes to who he really is, even if that means not being who his parents expect him to be.

Guests:
Andrew Ahn, Writer, Director
Joe Seo, Actor

Web Roundup: Leslie Jones’ Twitter harassment and, now, a hack 7 MIN, 47 SEC

Saturday Night Live star Leslie Jones found herself on the receiving end of all kinds of ugly harassment from Twitter trolls after she starred in the all-female reboot of “Ghostbusters.” And now she’s on the receiving end of a hack. Since her big presence at the Rio Olympics boosted her Twitter following by more than 200,000, her website has been hacked and federal investigators are getting involved. Xeni Jardin joins Press Play to talk about that and other web news.

Guests:
Xeni Jardin, BoingBoing.net (@xeni)

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