FROM Ingrid Villeda
Are California Public Schools Giving Up On Their Students? Some 20,000 California “students cannot afford to wait any longer.” That’s according to the US Justice Department, which has backed the ACLU in a lawsuit against the state’s elected Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torklakson, and the Department of Education. The 20,000 kids are English learners who, allegedly, are not getting any of the services required by federal law or the State Constitution.
Common Core: For Better or Worse As the father of children in New York public schools, comedian Louis CK has become a poster-parent for protest against Common Core . That's the new federally approved program of educational standards designed to produce the critical thinking and analytical skills required for success in the global economy. Louis CK says, "My kids used to love math. Now it makes them cry." California has adopted the Common Core standards for public schools but not for everybody. Tests are being given this year in grades three through eight and 11 — but no results will be made public. In fact, the tests themselves are being tested.
It's a Brave New World for LA Unified LA Unified began training teachers for the new Common Core curriculum two years ago. Last year, it was introduced in kindergarten and grades one, six and nine. How important is it? Superintendent John Deasy told school administrators, "We have a historic opportunity…to lead a complete shift in how we asses what our youth know and can do, and to lead the complete shift in an accountability system." Acknowledging that introducing it to other grades this year won't be easy, he encouraged, "We will be successful at this I have no doubt. The best predictor of future success is past performance." Also, among the challenges for this year of change is the "Parent Trigger" law passed by California voters two years ago. The first school affected in LAUSD is 24th Street Elementary in South LA. Alex Schmidt, who came to us from KCRW's Independent Producer Project , has a report.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.