FROM Jackie Goldberg
Why Has Los Angeles Unified Been So Bad for So Long? When David Brewer became Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District , he ordered a study of what works and what doesn't. The Florida-based consulting firm he hired didn't have to look far. Evergreen Solutions spoke with more than 100 people who work for the district and reviewed reports on LAUSD going back five to ten years. Findings include reform efforts being discarded or put on hold by senior managers, out-of-date policies or administrators ill-informed of newer policies, disconnect between planning and budgeting, a lack of urgency in responding to priorities and deadlines, and a lack of accountability at all levels. Superintendent Brewer promises to change all that, just as past superintendents have. But the question remains: how did things stay so bad for so long?
LA County's Declining Quality of Life On a scale of 10, the State of California ranks 8.08. Los Angeles County lags behind at 7.32. That’s according to the United Way's first Quality of Life Index , measuring public safety, economic status, education and health. We hear more about why the quality of life in LA County lags behind the rest of the state, in a conversation with the United Way's Elise Buik, former Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, and economist and political analyst Joel Kotkin.
Props 1A and 1B: Big Money for Transportation? Governor Schwarzenegger spent last week signing bills with George Clooney by his side and Tony Blair appearing by video linkup. Today and tomorrow he'll be putting partisanship aside as he tours the state with top Democrats, advocating a package of propositions on next month's ballot. Phil Angelides won't be going along, even though he backs the same measures. We look at the first two, Proposition 1A and 1B , which deal with the gasoline tax and a bond issue worth $20 billion--all for roads, freeways and public transit. It would be the biggest transportation investment in 50 years.
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?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
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.