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.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.