Morning Read: LAUSD school cop charged with attempted sex trafficking of a minor

LAUSD police officer charged with attempted sex trafficking of a child
A Los Angeles Unified School District police officer surrendered to federal agents Wednesday morning after he was accused of attempting to have sex with a minor, officials said. Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: Kids in LA County live in more economically segregated neighborhoods

Kids in LA County grow up more segregated by income
Children in Los Angeles County are growing up in more economically segregated neighborhoods than their parents did, as affluent families move to where the best-performing schools are, according to a new USC study. By Josie Huang, KPCC

Dissecting success: Middle school teacher who sets science to rap music is honored

Middle school science teacher Tunji Adebayo was honored by Teach For America at Monday night's benefit.

Middle school science teacher Tunji Adebayo was honored by Teach For America at Monday night’s benefit.

Science lessons set to rap music. Aspirations in envelopes pinned to the ceiling. And a commitment to live alongside students.

Tunji Adebayo, who teaches 7th and 8th grade science at Lou Dantzler Preparatory Charter Middle School, was honored Monday night for his innovation and dedication at Teach For America’s “Celebrating Changemakers in Education.”

“Tunji’s dedication to his students is limitless, especially to young black males,” Lida Jennings, executive director of TFA LA, told the 350 guests at the Petersen Automotive Museum gathered for the group’s third annual benefit dinner.

Adebayo, 25, who was born in Nigeria one month before TFA was launched, is in his third year of a profession he hadn’t planned on. A TFA representative reached out to him while he was studying dietetics and nutrition science at the University of Georgia, and he’s never looked back.

“I’m staying in education no matter what,” he told LA School Report before receiving his award Monday night.

After his first year teaching and commuting into South LA from Long Beach, Adebayo moved to the neighborhood, around 51st and Vermont. For him, “It’s essential to live in the community,” he said.

He often sees his students in the area, particularly on weekends when he is at the farmers market, which is near a mall with a movie theater.

“It’s a blessing to live and understand some of their struggles on a daily basis. It makes it more real, to become a part of the community.”

The middle school, one of 12 operated by the Inner City Education Foundation, serves 264 students in grades 6-8, and 74 percent are African Americans, compared to 8.4 percent in LA Unified. The school’s student population identified as socioeconomically disadvantaged stands at 77 percent, the same percentage as LA Unified students who qualify for free and reduced-price meals. And 13 percent have disabilities.

His commitment to helping other African Americans started in college, where he noticed that other “young black males didn’t accomplish what I did because the expectations and support weren’t there.”

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Morning Read: Dance program thrives at LAUSD school

Dance program teaches LAUSD students life lessons
Dancing can make a difference in a child’s education as a program in the Los Angeles Unified School District has shown. “It’s about using dance and music to bring life and learning skills, the discipline, the focus, the energy that you can then take into anything that you do in life.” ABC7

Morning Read: LAUSD honored on Earth Day by U.S. Dept. of Education

Manhattan Beach school district, LAUSD honored on Earth Day by U.S. Department of Education
LAUSD’s efforts to incorporate sustainability into students’ education helped earn it the honor. Each school in the district has a Coordinated School Health Wellness Committee, which promotes student health and well-being with representatives from physical, health, counseling and psychological services. By The Daily Breeze staff and wire reports

Eli Broad on TIME’s list of 100 most influential people

40aEli-and-Edythe-Broad6By Michael Bloomberg 

Eli Broad is one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs—not only in business but in philanthropy too.

The two Fortune 500 companies he built (KB Home and SunAmerica Inc.) have helped millions of people achieve their aspirations of owning their own homes and retiring with security. As a philanthropist, he seeks out the most promising ideas on a wide variety of issues—and we happen to share a passion for education reform, medical research, gun safety and the arts.

Eli has helped spur an artistic renaissance in Los Angeles, and the Broad Prize for Urban Education (an honor New York City received when I was mayor) has helped drive progress in schools across the country. His support for medical research and commonsense gun laws is helping save lives.

It’s hard to say whether Eli has done more good for the world through his work in business or philanthropy—and that’s saying an awful lot about both.

Click here for the full story.

Villaraigosa parts ways with Brown on education issues in CALmatters interview


Antonio Villaraigosa

By Judy Lin | CALmatters

As he eyes a run for governor, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is spotlighting the lagging academic performance of Latino and African American students and saying the state should do more to hold schools accountable.

The 63-year-old Democrat says parents have a right to know how their schools are doing, and he doesn’t see a contradiction between supporting teachers and holding schools to higher standards.

Villaraigosa, who got into politics as a union organizer for teachers in Los Angeles, did not want to criticize the governor, but his comments differed sharply from Gov. Jerry Brown’s view that the academic performance gap between African Americans and Latinos to other student groups is likely to persist despite government interventions. Brown told CALmatters recently that he doesn’t want his key education policy, the Local Control Funding Formula, to be judged on whether it closes that gap.

“I hear all the time, ‘Well, that’s just the way it is and that’s the way it’s always been,’” said Villaraigosa, who was kicked out of a Catholic high school and credits public schools for a second chance.

Click here for the full CALmatters story.

Read LA School Report‘s interview with Villaraigosa here.

Morning Read: LAUSD magnet schools accepted less than half of applicants this year

Magnet schools seen as a way to keep students in the district
The high interest in magnets shows that those types of schools could be a way to bring students back, school board member Richard Vladovic says. By Sonali Kohli, Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: Poll shows CA voters support school bond and Prop. 30 extension

Poll: Voters support school bond and Prop. 30 extension
Seven months before the November election, substantial majorities of likely California voters said they would support extending Proposition 30, the temporary income tax on the wealthiest state residents, and passing a proposed $9 billion school construction bond, according to a survey. By John Fensterwald, EdSource

Morning Read: What the loss of thousands of preschool seats will cost LA County

Massive loss of preschool seats looms for LA County
A new report estimates that the economic toll on Los Angeles County from the loss of funding for thousands of preschool seats later this year will be almost $600 million annually. By Deepa Fernandes, KPCC

Morning Read: California’s K12 online charter school fails to make the grade

California Virtual Academies: Is online charter school network cashing in on failure?
A growing network of online academies, operated by a Virginia company traded on Wall Street called K12 Inc., is failing key tests used to measure educational success. By Jessica Calefati, San Jose Mercury News

Morning Read: Charters, LAUSD battle over who should pay retiree benefits

Retiree benefits become a flashpoint between charters, traditional schools
Financial challenges are all-but-universal in the education world, and retiree benefits are particularly costly. The latest battle is over who should pay for an employee’s health benefits after retirement. LA Unified’s unfunded liability for employee benefits has escalated to $13.6 billion. By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: Mayor proposes a year of free community college for LAUSD grads

Garcetti proposes free year of community college for LAUSD graduates
At his State of the City address, Mayor Eric Garcetti said LA will commit to giving every graduate of LA Unified one free year of community college. Funding would come from the community college district, the city and a private philanthropist. ABC7 

Morning Read: LA students at White House Science Fair

Los Angeles students attend 2016 White House Science Fair
The White House Science Fair features winners of prestigious science, technology, engineering and math competitions from around the country. KPCC

Morning Read: School for boys coming to LAUSD

LA Unified OKs all-boys school in downtown
The Los Angeles Unified School District approved the creation of the Boys Academic Leadership Academy, a single-gender school that will be located on the campus of Washington Preparatory High School. City News Service

LIVESTREAM of today’s LAUSD school board meeting

livestreamGrafix250The LA Unified school board is scheduled to hold an open session meeting today at 1 p.m.

Items up for discussion are two resolutions aimed at identifying, encouraging and replicating successful schools within the district.

Other potential board actions include approval of a $40 million operating budget for MiSiS, the district’s student data computer system, and discussion of tearing down two schools in the West San Fernando Valley that have been closed for decades.

Click here to watch the livestream of the meeting.

Morning Read: $7.1 million awarded to charter school in Prop. 39 case against LAUSD

Charter school awarded $7.1 million in case against LAUSD
The Los Angeles Unified School District must pay $7.1 million to a San Fernando Valley charter school for failing to provide the school with rent-free classroom space, a violation of state law. By Zahira Torres, Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: Survey shows black, Latino parents want better teachers, tougher curriculum

Black and Latino parents want better teachers and harder classes for their kids
In a nationally representative survey of black and Latino parents in the U.S., the Leadership Conference Education Fund found that these parents care about having good teachers, more money for their schools and a more challenging curriculum for their students. By Sonali Kohli, Los Angeles Times

Morning Read: Pollution devices help monitor schools close to freeways

To fight an invisible problem, researchers and health advocates give teens pollution monitors
A science teacher from Lincoln High School in East Los Angeles brings the portable pollution monitoring devices to the classroom to find real world applications. There are health concerns for about 90 K-12 schools operating within 500 feet, or about one city block, from a major highway. By Deepa Fernandes, KPCC

Morning Read: State bills would increase mental health services for students

Bridging gaps in mental health services to students
State legislators are moving forward with a plan to incentivize cooperation between schools and government agencies to provide mental health services for students. By Alisha Kirby, Cabinet Report