May 23, 2006
Calling All Public School Teachers in L.A., Hawthorne, Inglewood and Compton
In a perfect world, our public schools would have enough funding to buy sufficient textbooks, supplies, field trips, and other resources for every child in every school. But this is not a perfect world -- too many kids don't have enough basic supplies. Enter DonorsChoose. It was started six years ago by Charles Best, a high school social studies teacher in the Bronx. In a nutshell, it provides a web-based venue for public school teachers to request funds for books, field trips, supplies, etc. Visitors to the website can scan all of the requests and choose those they want to support. It's a simple idea, and it's working: since 2000, visitors to DonorsChoose have donated nearly $7 million to more than 400,000 students around the country. DonorsChoose only serves selected areas, because there are costs involved with expanding to new regions. It expanded into southern California last fall -- teachers in the LA Unified, Hawthorne, Inglewood and Compton School Districts can submit requests. Since DonorsChoose became available in our area, more than $200,000 has been donated to 11,500 students. And check this out: DonorsChoose has collected $500,000 to give away to teachers in the LA Unified, Hawthorne, Inglewood and Compton School Districts above and beyond any individual contributions that may come in. So if you're a public school teacher in one of those districts, check out DonorsChoose and learn how to submit a request for funding. If you know a public school teacher in one of those districts, tell him or her to check out DonorsChoose.
May 1, 2006
Who Should Run L.A.'s Schools?
On May 19 and 22, KPCC will present special coverage of the controversy over Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's plan to take control of the L.A. Unified School District away from the school board. Villaraigosa's proposal would effectively give L.A.'s mayor control over public school policy and budgets. He is asking for a change in state law that would create a council of mayors from L.A.U.S.D. cities that would hire the superintendent and approve the budget. L.A.'s mayor would dominate the council, because Villaraigosa wants representation to be proportional to population. Villaraigosa wants the elected school board's role reduced to overseeing teacher discipline and transfers, creating school "report cards," and surveying parent attitudes.
September 28, 2005
Education Week on KPCC
The week of October 17-21, KPCC will be taking a close look at the state of K-12 public education in southern California. As we planned what we wanted to focus on, we had to deal with the fact that this is such a huge subject, there's no way we can cover every facet of the topic. We will try to provide a broad sweep, however, as well as opportunities for you to weigh in.
Our team of reporters will be producing features on: activist parents; a principal shortage in the Inland Empire; the success story at Long Beach Polytechnic High School; the breakup of Santa Monica High School into smaller academies; a day in the life of L.A.'s Jefferson High School; and much more. Our talk shows will explore a variety of issues, including: the funding imbalance; the challenge of dealing with so many English learners; teacher training and retention; the role of parents; magnets; and charters.