Last week, the Los Angeles Times revealed that the nation's second largest school district had information that could help evaluate teachers, but never used it. This week, it applied the same information to find that some supposedly good schools aren't so hot after all, and that some "failing" schools are doing better than anyone realized. We hear from the Times, the teachers' union and an activist parent. Also, Eli Broad, the decider. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, flooding in Pakistan is a slow-motion humanitarian crisis that threatens democratic government and civic order—not to mention American interests. We get a comprehensive look at the disaster.
FROM THIS EPISODE
"It is as if a neutron bomb exploded overhead, but instead of killing the people and leaving their houses intact, it piled trees upon the houses and swept away the villages and crops and animals, leaving the people alive.” That's from an account by Daniyal Mueenuddin, a prize-winning writer who practiced law in New York City but now lives on a farm in Pakistan's southern Punjab. We hear from him and others about the breadth of the disaster.
Daniyal Mueenuddin, Mango farmer and writer, living in Pakistan
Issam Ahmed, Correspondent, Christian Science Monitor
Eric Schmitt, New York Times (@ericschmittNYT)
Christine Fair, Georgetown University (@CChristineFair)
The Los Angeles Times has been reporting on what's called "value added" analysis of standardized test scores. Last week, the paper revealed that LA Unified had information that could help evaluate individual teachers, but wasn't using it, partly because of objection from the teachers' union. The United Teachers of Los Angeles, or UTLA is holding its annual meeting in Indio, and President A.J. Duffy has accepted this district's offer to reopen negotiations over teacher evaluations.
Los Angeles billionaire Eli Broad has been dangling the possibility that a new art museum to hold has massive collection might be constructed in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills or downtown LA. Broad said he was postponing a final decision to make sure he got the deal he wanted. Today, the downtown LA site got final official approval and Broad said what's been reported for weeks. It'll be downtown and the architect has already drawn up the plans. Christopher Hawthorne is architectural critic for the LA Times.
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Which Way, LA? The Question that Won't Go Away 23 years ago, the fires of the Rodney King riots were burning and the sirens wailing when KCRW first asked, WWLA? We've been through fires, floods, earthquakes and massive social, cultural and economic change. While this is the last program titled WWLA? the question still needs to be asked. We talk with a group of important and thoughtful people about what LA has become and about the challenges to be faced in the future…as we continue.
Then and Now: Is LA Still the Car Capital of the World? Urban planners got some bad news today. Ridership on public transit in Southern California is on the decline, despite the billions being spent in recent years to build light rail and subway lines. Why aren't more drivers leaving their cars at home, as traffic gets more congested than ever? Meantime, there's a shortage of money to repair aging roads, bridges and other parts of the infrastructure. We look at the impact on the state's economy.
Does California Have a Double Standard for the Public's Protection? Porter Ranch and Vernon are mirror images of each other. In one, schools have been closed and thousands of residents are being moved away by the polluter—just months after a natural gas leak was discovered. In the other, residents complained for years about health risks to school children from exposure to lead and arsenic from a battery recycling plant— until the federal government finally stepped in.
Is 'Warfare' a Thing of the Past at the LAPD? Video of police misconduct wasn’t as common 25 years ago as it is today. The spectacle of LAPD officers beating Rodney King was a wake-up call, but didn’t persuade a jury in Simi Valley. When the cops received not-guilty verdicts, the city exploded. We hear from veteran officers who say they’ve changed. What about their tactics? Have they gained the trust of marginalized communities and people of color?
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