FROM Jessica Calefati
California Virtual Academies: A Model of School Choice or Failure? Thousands of K-12 students in California go to online schools so that they can learn from home at their own pace, with one-on-one virtual instruction. The state’s largest network of online charter schools is California Virtual Academies, which boasts 15,000 students. They’re public schools, funded by tax dollars. However, the San Jose Mercury News reports that the network is actually run by a for-profit company called K12, based in Virginia, and that the company has reaped millions in public school funding by hiding behind non-profit status. The story also finds that California Virtual Academies is failing many of its students; fewer than half of the students who enroll earn diplomas.
Will the Smartphone 'Kill Switch' Get New Life in Sacramento? Three million smartphones were stolen last year nationwide. In Los Angeles alone, 3000 were taken away. Legislators in Sacramento are considering a new law to require a "kill switch," so you could disable your phone, making it useless to thieves. For the moment, iPhone owners have an alternative, an app called " Find My iPhone ." New York Times reporter Ian Lovett wrote about how that worked for Sarah Maguire in West Covina. Maybe that worked for Maguire, but law enforcement says chasing after your stolen cellphone can lead to unintended consequences.
Accusations of lying fly between James Comey and White House During his testimony Thursday, former FBI Director James Comey accused President Trump and other White House officials of lying when they said the FBI was in disarray and its staff had lost confidence in him. President Trump’s lawyer said Comey was wrong -- that the president never asked for his loyalty, and never asked him to back off the investigation into former NSA director Michael Flynn.
George Saunders: Lincoln in the Bardo (Part I) Lincoln in the Bardo dramatizes a grieving President Lincoln as he visits the grave of his beloved son Willie, who died at age eleven. In the novel, the buried dead believe they're not dead -- "they're sick and refer to their coffins as "sick boxes."
Morgan Parker: There Are More Beautiful Things than Beyoncé Morgan Parker says that the poems in her book There Are Things More Beautiful than Beyoncé take a stand against the clichés of the dominant culture.