FROM Myrna Castrejon
Is Austin Beutner the right pick to lead LA's public schools? Austin Beutner is the new chief of the Los Angeles public school system. Beutner is a philanthropist, former deputy mayor, former LA Times publisher. He doesn’t have much experience in public education - though he founded a charity to give glasses to students who can’t afford them. He’s an unconventional choice to head the LAUSD, but a good one? We get perspectives from the president of a teachers union, a parent of a local high school student, and the leader of a nonprofit that’s funded LA Unified and charter schools.
A New Charter School Plan from Great Public Schools Now Last September, a confidential draft memo from an organization called Great Public Schools Now was published by the LA Times. The memo said that several pro-charter schools groups wanted to build more than 200 charters and enroll half of LA’s public school students in them. That caused a lot of outrage, mainly from the teachers union and traditional public school supporters. Great Public Schools Now has since pulled back from that idea, but today it’s coming out with another ambitious plan. What is it?
Should LA Put Half its Students in Charter Schools? A contentious debate has been ramped up again by the leak of a 44-page strategy plan for doubling the number of charter schools in LA Unified. Most details of how that would be accomplished have not been made public—but the plan calls for raising almost a half-billion dollars in private money. The elected school board is already sharply divided. President Steve Zimmer says he’s not opposed to charter schools but calls this plan a 'hostile takeover.'
Hua Hsu: A Floating Chinaman Author Hua Hsu stops by to discuss his book A Floating Chinaman, recounting the life of 1930's actor/writer H.T. Tsiang and his struggles entering the American literary world.
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.
Securing Public Spaces, Super Wealthy Asians Vehicles are increasingly being used as weapons, as seen in the London Bridge attack over the weekend and in New York’s Times Square last month. The Compton-based company Calpipe is designing security bollards to help make public spaces safer. And novelist Kevin Kwan satirizes the “crazy rich” Asian jet set and their luxurious tastes in his latest book, “Rich People Problems.”
Why did Jared Kushner want a back channel with Russians? News broke Friday that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, tried setting up a back channel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government. What are the consequences for Kushner, President Trump, and the investigation into Russian meddling?