FROM John Ayers
Seniority Rules and Equal Rights in LA's Public Schools Because of the economic crunch, the Los Angeles Unified School District was forced to lay off teachers last year, and that’s certain to happen again. State law mandates that the last teacher hired must be the first fired. In February, the American Civil Liberties Union went to court , claiming that the seniority rule was depriving some kids of their constitutional right to an equal education. Now, the elected School Board has approved what Mayor Villaraigosa calls a “ landmark agreement ” that protects some 45 under-performing schools from lay-offs. The teachers’ union may challenge the deal .
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
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.
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.