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Last week, LA Unified and the Teachers' Union agreed to reduce the amount of time that children will be in school — the fourth such reduction in four years. Despite a judicial ruling yesterday, the same parties are still at loggerheads over using student achievement tests to evaluate teachers. How much more will kids have to lose in an era of dwindling resources? Is this the best or the worst time for adults to resolve their differences? Also, writer and commentator D.J. Waldie on a diminishing vision of the Golden State. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, the US Supreme Court, the Constitution and American politics.

Banner image: McQuinn/flickr

Main Topic Less School for LAUSD; Student-based Teacher Evaluations 25 MIN, 20 SEC

The Los Angeles Unified School District and the teachers' union, UTLA, have agreed to shorten the next school year by five days, for a total of 18 days in the past four years. Another three weeks could be lost if Governor Brown's tax package doesn't pass in November. Combined with larger classes, less counseling and cuts in campus management, nobody disagrees that students will suffer. So what has been gained? We hear from educators and attorneys.

Education isn't the only thing that's suffering from state budget cuts. Parks are closing, layoffs and court closures are making justice less accessible, and support for the bullet train is on the decline. D.J. Waldie, who's retired as Deputy City Manager for the City of Lakewood, is a prolific writer and commentator about Los Angeles who blogs for KCET.

Warren Fletcher, United Teachers Los Angeles (@utlanow)
John Rogers, UCLA Institute for Democracy, Education and Access
Scott Witlin, Barnes and Thornburg
D.J. Waldie, KCET (@djwaldie)

Main Topic Justice Anthony Kennedy: Key Vote on the Supreme Court 25 MIN, 5 SEC

167x120 image for tp120613justice_anthony_kennBefore the end of this month, the US Supreme Court will decide if President Obama's healthcare reform violates the Constitution. Will liberals and conservatives split four-to-four and let Justice Anthony Kennedy make the call?  Will public opinion, the court's role in politics and their own legacies influence how the justices make up their minds? Leaving issues like states' rights and the Commerce Clause until the decision comes down, we look at the justices themselves, their concerns about the law and their legacies and the Court's role in American politics.

David Savage, Los Angeles Times (@davidgsavage)
Massimo Calabresi, Time
Jill Lepore, Harvard University / New Yorker magazine (@NewYorker)
Kevin Russell, Goldstein and Russell
Sanford Levinson, University of Texas Law School


Sanford Levinson

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