Attention readers: site comments are now through social media

Social Media commentingStarting today, LA School Report is turning to social media for reader comments. We’re shedding our current model, which required logging into the site.

As always, we welcome civil discourse and encourage any and all readers to bring thoughtful points of view to our coverage.

At the same time, we ask readers to refrain from using the site for name-calling, personal attacks, political campaigning and vitriol. We reserve the right to moderate or delete objectionable material, including comments that contain live links.

To make a comment on our site, go to the bottom of the post, click on the words “leave a reply”  then sign in with Facebook, Twitter, Google or Disqus.

Two LA Unified High Schools Opening Union Bank Branches

Student bankers, like these at McLane High School in Fresno, will soon be seen at two LAUSD high schools.

Student bankers, like these at McLane High School in Fresno, will soon be seen at two LAUSD high schools.

At two Los Angeles high schools, students will soon be able to meet all their banking needs right there on the school site — if they happen to use Union Bank, that is.

The LA Unified board has announced a partnership to open student-run branches at Lincoln High School in Lincoln Heights and Crenshaw High School in Leimert Park as part of program to provide students with real-world financial education and work experience.

The full-service branches are scheduled to open in 2014 and will create a cadre of student bankers who will receive classroom credit for spending three hours a week running the branch as bank tellers and two hours a week in the classroom with a district teacher.

“It is a business academy, so they learn from the very beginning how to look people in the eye, shake peoples’ hands, and introduce themselves with business decorum,” Union Bank Senior Vice President Jan Woolsey said in an interview with LA School Report. “They also learn presentation skills and later in the year will actually make presentations on financial education to their classmates and sometimes their parents.”

Continue reading

A Note to our Readers: Let’s Keep the Comments Civil

SONY DSCAs we grow and expand here at LA School Report, we hope to continue to bring helpful information and fresh perspectives on the important education challenges facing our city.

While we know some readers don’t always agree with our coverage, we welcome all comments, both positive and critical, and we always encourage healthy debate and analysis.

However, we would like to ask readers to comment with respect and civility, without the name-calling and personal attacks that are always easier under the cloak of anonymity.

Last week, Popular Science shut off its comment section, fearing that “a fractious minority wields enough power” to undermine the study of science itself. So far, that’s not the case at LA School Report, and we’re hoping it stays that way.

In the Spotlight: LA School Report

Screen shot 2013-09-11 at 9.26.42 AMA new media column launched at Education Week by columnist Mark Walsh has already featured LA School Report twice in its very first week. Yesterday, in his post, L.A. Confidential: New Editor for Scrappy Education News Site, Walsh writes about the changing of the guard here at LA School Report with the hire of former New York Times reporter Michael Janofsky as our editor.  News, or not, we appreciate the ink — and the spotlight on education media.

Former NYT Correspondent Joins LA School Report as Editor

Michael JanofskyAs LA School Report celebrates its first anniversary, Michael Janofsky, a former New York Times journalist, is joining us as Managing Editor, with overall responsibilities for content and the daily operation of the site.

Janofsky, who lives in Los Angeles, worked at the Times for 24 years as a staff correspondent and bureau chief, specializing in domestic politics and policy and writing on such issues as education, energy, the environment and culture. He brings with him some serious journalism chops and we welcome him aboard as we expand our coverage of the intersection of politics and education in Los Angeles.

Janofsky replaces Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Alexander Russo, who served as editor since our inception. Russo is now focusing on his own blog at Scholastic and on a book project. We wish him a fond farewell.

Since our launch, LA School Report has reported on the politics of education in Los Angeles, covering the inside scoop on education policy, School Board politics, and the various players and special interests influencing our city’s decision-makers.  We hope we’re earning our keep as an objective, must-read for those who care about improving education in Los Angeles.

Listen: Hillel Aron’s July 3 KCRW Appearance*

Here’s LA School Report contributor Hillel Aron on the KCRW radio show “Which Way, LA?” from last week, talking about the Richard Vladovic LAUSD Presidency, Mayor Garcetti’s involvement in the process, among other things:

Have any trouble getting the media player to work, you can listen to it here. There’s a second segment focused on the Board’s recent purchase of $30 million in iPad tablets.

*Correction: The original version of this post incorrectly identified the public radio outlet as KPCC, not KCRW.

Previous posts: How Vladovic Won (& Zimmer Went Un-Nominated)Mild Reactions to Vladovic VictoryHillel Aron Opines on Which Way, LA?

Twitter Update Captures Dramatic Moment

Here’s an eerily prescient tweet LA School Report contributor Hillel Aron sent out at the beginning of the June 18 Board meeting:


Thanks to Barbara Jones’ LA Daily News story, we now know that indeed, Board members were in those very moments being informed of the accusations against Board member Vladovic.

Previous posts: Harassment Allegations Could Hurt Vladovic’s ChancesBoard Presidency Up for Grabs TuesdayVladovic the Frontrunner for PresidentZimmer Reversal Likely Ends Garcia Presidency

Update: All Your Twitter Favorites in One Place

social-media-channelA couple of weeks ago we published a list of LA’s Top Education Tweeters — a semi-complete compendium of prolific and/or important people and organizations.

We got a lot of responses and suggestions — keep them coming, we’ll do an update soon! — and then this week the kind folks at the College-Ready Promise (@CollegeRdyPrmse) turned it all into a Twitter list.

What’s a Twitter list?  It’s a collection of individual Twitter feeds gathered together so you can follow all 69 of them at once, without having to sign up for them individually.

What’s the College-Ready Promise? It’s a coalition of charter networks “committed to graduating all students college-ready through innovative teacher support.”

Previous posts: Top Education Tweeters“Social Media? We Don’t Need No Social Media.”

LA School Report Takes Home Journalism Award

laschoolreportsquarelogoLA School Report won 3rd place in the 55th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards, after being named a finalist in two categories (group blog, online-only website) in its first year of publication.

In the online-only news outlet category (H13), Truthdig and California Healthline came in just ahead of us.  In group blog category (H12), the top spots went to THR, Truthdig, and LA Weekly).

Other winners of note include WitnessLA, which won 1st place in two different categories (including Database Driven Online Journalism).  LA Weekly writers also won a bunch of awards — including among them Gene Maddaus (Print Journo of the Year). Martin Henderson from won online journalist. Check out the full listings here.

Congrats to everyone, and watch for us out next year!

Previous post:  LA Press Club Award Finalist

Mentions: Add UCLA News Roundup to Your List

Screen shot 2013-06-13 at 5.36.34 PMThe Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access (IDEA) at UCLA put outs a daily Education News Roundup that’s a good source of information about education in LA and statewide. So it’s great when the newsletter includes stories from LA School Report like it did on Thursday (with Hillel Aron’s story about who might be the next President of the LAUSD School Board). Check it out here.  You can subscribe here.

Ratliff: “The Most Powerful Woman in LA”?*

ratliff deasy LA Weekly 060613A new feature in the LA Weekly claims Board member-elect Monica Ratliff “may be the most powerful woman in Los Angeles” (given the dearth of elected officials on the City Council) and compares LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy to former police chief William Bratton.

Written by LA School Report contributor HIllel Aron, The Woman Who May Change L.A. notes that Coalition for School Reform campaign veterans charged with defeating Ratliff in last month’s runoff may have been limited by “wildly naive” Coalition donors who didn’t want to attack Ratliff. They also believed erroneous poll projections putting Sanchez safely in the lead and ignored Ratliff’s controversial positions on teacher dismissal.

Of particular note are some juicy quotes from former Mayor Richard Riordan, who’s quoted saying the Coalition picked a political hack as its candidate (in large part because of SEIU opposition to another candidate, Iris Zuniga), “had the wrong people running our campaign” (a reference to losing campaign consultants SCN’s Ace Smith and Sean Clegg), and failed to focus on making losing candidate Antonio Sanchez more likable.

*Correction:  The original version of this post mis-identified the District 6 candidate who was opposed by SEIU as Nury Martinez.  See the corrected sentence above.

Previous posts: Board Member-Elect Highlights Vocational TrainingCampaign 2013: What Next for the Coalition for School Reform?Endorsements, Garcetti — and Race

Listen: Hillel Aron Opines on Which Way, LA?

Listen here for LA School Report contributor Hillel Aron on last night’s show:

Starting at about the 10:00 minute mark, Aron points out that it’s unclear whether the outside money behind Sanchez backfired or was simply not effective, and in a later segment that Ratliff will join two other Board Members who might best be considered independent/swing votes.