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FROM THIS EPISODE

The opportunity is ripe for doubling the number of charter schools in LA Unified--according to a strategy plan that’s leaked out of a powerful private foundation. It’s all about raising big money and influencing politics without revealing much detail about the expansion plan. But that’s enough to have re-started a contentious debate about school performance and education reform. Also, the Wilshire Grand Tower will soon be the tallest building west of the Mississippi. With that--and 98 other projects--under way, LA’s downtown skyline is changing fast. And, can the European Union survive the refugee crisis?

Should LA Put Half its Students in Charter Schools? 13 MIN, 36 SEC

A contentious debate has been ramped up again by the leak of a 44-page strategy plan for doubling the number of charter schools in LA Unified. Most details of how that would be accomplished have not been made public—but the plan calls for raising almost a half-billion dollars in private money.  The elected school board is already sharply divided.  President Steve Zimmer says he’s not opposed to charter schools but calls this plan a 'hostile takeover.'

Guests:
Alex Caputo-Pearl, United Teachers Los Angeles (@UTLAnow)
Myrna Castrejon, CEO of the California Charters Schools Association, which supports an expansion of charters

Downtown LA’s Skyline Boom 11 MIN, 11 SEC

The Wilshire Grand Tower is rising higher and higher over downtown LA.  It will soon be the tallest building West of the Mississippi--with 73 stories reaching an altitude of 1100 feet.  It’s being constructed by the Hanjin Group of South Korea.  KCRW’s Saul Gonzalez put on his hard hat and went to check on what’s next for a changing skyline.

Photo Credits: Saul Gonzalez

Guests:
Jon Regardie, Los Angeles Downtown News (@DowntownNews)

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