FROM Monica Garcia
Does LA Unified Really Want School Reform? Mayor Villaraigosa says the LA Unified School District has delivered " a terrible blow to reform ." The elected school board has given control of 36 new and underperforming schools mostly to groups organized by administrators and teachers who already work for the District. Only four went to charter operators and three to the Mayor's reform organization. One charter operator says the move shows that "big labor has…control over these school board members." Yolie Flores, the board member who pushed for outside control, says some of her colleagues "are still beholden to unions."
Ramon Cortines Named Superintendent of LA Schools Former admiral David Brewer is now the former Superintendent of Los Angeles Schools. Last week, Brewer said he'd step down before the end of the year. Today, the elected School Board picked his top deputy to replace him. Ramon Cortines will take a position he once held on a temporary basis. We get an update on today's decision from LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia.
The New $7 Billion School Bond Early last week, the LA Unified School District's elected board of trustees was planning a $3.2 billion bond measure for the November ballot. But Mayor Villaraigosa had conducted a poll showing that voters would be willing to go for more. On Thursday, the board almost doubled its request from $3.2 billion to $7 billion, with $2 billion of that not earmarked for any specific projects. In 1997, voters approved Proposition BB, a bond issue worth $2.4 billion, with the proviso that a citizens' advisory board would be set up to watch how the money was spent. Since then, $13 billion in bonds have been approved by the voters.
LAUSD Names Brewer New School Superintendent The Board of the Los Angeles Unified School District has named retired Vice Admiral David Brewer, III to be the next Superintendent. Mayor Villaraigosa, who's on a trip to Asia, says he's "disappointed" he wasn't involved. One of his allies, Democratic Senator Gloria Romero, calls it "a complete mockery" of the Mayor and the legislature, which passed a law to give him a voice in the process. But another Villagraigosa ally, the most recently elected board member, made the board's vote unanimous.
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?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.