FROM Vanessa Romo
LAUSD Considers Lowering Student Standards Under current rules, at least two-thirds of LAUSD tenth graders are not on track to graduate in 2017. A rule passed in 2012 requires that high school students pass college prep courses with a C grade or better in order to graduate. The plan was intended to create a more college-ready group of kids, but it hasn’t quite worked out that way. So tomorrow, the school board will consider whether to lower the grade requirement from a C to a D. Why aren’t students making the grade?
Money Pours into Tuesday's School Board Race There’s an election on Tuesday, in case you didn’t know. And believe it or not, races for L.A. school board seats are some of the most heated battles on the ballot, pitting the teachers’ union against charter school advocates. The LAUSD iPad debacle is also part of the campaigning. And gobs of money -- more than $4.5 million so far-- has poured into the election, a lot of it from outside Los Angeles. The primary election for the board of education was on March 3rd and only around 10 percent of registered voters turned out. With so much at stake, will the turnout be better this time around?
Outside Money in Local Elections Angelenos hopefully know there’s an election next week. Seven city council seats and three school board seats are up for grabs, and a couple of charter amendments are on the ballot that would move election day to line up with state and national timelines -- a move intended to increase voter turnout. Last time, the rate was just 23 percent of registered voters. Special interests, on the other hand, are clamoring to get involved in the election. From a billboard company to an apparel manufacturer, firefighters and labor groups, money is flowing into these campaigns. What do all these outside parties want?
UC Tells Students: Take a Hike The governing body of the University of California voted this week to go ahead with a plan to raise tuition for five straight years. But the big story here in Los Angeles is that the LAUSD reached an historic agreement with plaintiffs in the recent sex scandal at Miramonte Elementary School.
Pushing Deasy: From iPads to iQuit After three and a half years heading the LA Unified School District, John Deasy stepped down from his post this week. He’s set to remain with the district on “special assignment” through the end of the year.
LAUSD’s Student Records Problems An L.A. Superior Court judge has ordered state education administrators to help the Los Angeles Unified School District fix problems related to its new student scheduling system, MiSiS. The teachers’ union blames superintendent John Deasy for the malfunctioning software. But Deasy applauded the judge’s ruling. We look at what went wrong and the problems it’s caused.
iPads School Debate For L.A.’s public school students, the school year ends next week. So, we thought it would be a good time to check in with a story that got the school year off to a rocky start: the introduction of iPads into the classroom. At the end of last year, school officials rolled out a billion dollar program that was supposed to put an iPad in the hands of every student. But many problems soon emerged. We get an update on the latest.
Are US Journalists Being Used as Pawns by North Korea? North Korea said today that it would use nuclear weapons in a "merciless offensive" if provoked, just two days after sentencing two American journalists to twelve years in a gulag-type prison labor camp. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, guest host Sara Terry explores the motives behind North Korea's recent aggressive actions and whether the US should re-start negotiations. Also, "congestion pricing" comes to Southland freeways, and a victory for human rights activists in the Niger Delta.
ICE Cracks Down in Southern California US Immigration and Customs Enforcement promises to continue its crackdown, despite claims that a climate of fear is bad for LA's economy. Also, are LA Sheriff's deputies playing games with the law?
New Gang Initiatives and a New 'Gang Czar' in Los Angeles In February's election, Los Angeles voters may be asked to approve a $30 parcel tax on every property in the city. The objective would be $40 million for the fight against gangs.
Will Giuliani Divide the Republican Party? Rudy Giuliani's continued strength in the polls has Christian conservatives talking about a third party, but that might put Hillary Clinton back in the White House. Major anxiety for a major element of the Republican Party. Is the religious right losing its clout? What about those cell phone calls from Giuliani's wife? Also, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and a Presidential veto—rare, but without any fanfare. What's next for SCHIP?
Private Security Guards and the War in Iraq On Capitol Hill today, Blackwater USA got a grilling about its private security guards. Are they highly-paid mercenaries out of control or skilled professionals taking on risky assignments so Marines and soldiers can focus on combat? Also, a historic meeting in North Korea, and the latest on Israel’s midnight raid in Syria.
What Can the US Do about Burma? The bloody repression of peaceful protest in Myanmar—or Burma—has outraged the rest of the world and put China in a diplomatic squeeze. What can be done to stop the violence? Should the US intervene or keep its head down? Also, civilian attorneys for key detainees at Guantánamo, and the latest on Blackwater USA in Iraq.
The Last Months of the Bush Administration and Global Warming President Bush has come late to the conclusion that industrial activity causes climate change, but today he begins his own conference on Global Warming. Is he trying to bolster or circumvent the UN? Does he still have time to make a difference? Also, Los Angeles celebrities charged with murder but not convicted. What does big money have to do with it?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
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.