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Why Isaac Asimov Would Be Ashamed of Los Angeles' Schools

The brilliant writer and scientist was a champion of libraries. He might have a few choice words for LAUSD's decision to get rid of its librarians.

Brilliant science fiction writer and biochemist Isaac Asimov was a firm believer in lifelong learning and self education—and he believed in getting much of that education in libraries. He grew up in a poor family that could not afford to buy many books, so he truly treasured the time he spent in libraries as a youth. He even wrote the note above back in 1971 in honor of a library opening. So, I can't help but wonder what Asimov would say to Los Angeles schools chief Dr. John Deasy over the district's recent decision to lay off teacher librarians at more than 80 schools.

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L.A.'s Mayor Asks for Public Input on Education. But Does He Care What We Say?

Villaraigosa took to Twitter to announce that he wants to hear from the masses about education. Whether he cares what they say is still unclear.


Education is a hot topic in Los Angeles—more than 5,000 teachers protested budget cuts in Downtown last Friday and the Los Angeles Times just released a second go-round of its controversial database ranking teachers according to how much their students' test scores improved—so it's no surprise that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants the public's input on the direction of education reform in the city.

Villaraigosa took to Twitter late Monday afternoon to announce that he wants to hear from the masses about education. The link in his tweet goes to a question submissions page where Villaraigosa—who has long been involved with education reform efforts in the city—outlines his plans to introduce new LA Unified Superintendent John Deasy to San Fernando Valley residents on Monday, meet with parents on Tuesday, and speak to policymakers on Thursday about "changes that need to be made at the state level to help our local schools to succeed and thrive."

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Broke L.A. Schools Are Giving Teachers a Half Day to Protest

In an unprecedented move, LAUSD is working with the local teachers union to make a protest of education cuts happen.

Just how bad is California's education budget crisis? In an unprecedented move, the Los Angeles Unified School District plans to dismiss students early on Friday, May 13 so that teachers and other school staff can protest proposed cuts to education. In fact, the nation's second largest school district is in such a financial crisis that they're actually working with the local teacher's union, UTLA, to make the protest happen—a very rare thing.

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Court Decision Ends "Last Hired, First Fired" in Los Angeles Schools

The ACLU argued that the policy of firing the newest teachers first unfairly targets students in disadvantaged communities—and won.


Pink slipping teachers according to seniority is on the way out the door in Los Angeles—at least at schools in some of the city's poorest neighborhoods. Superior Court Judge William F. Highberger gave the go-ahead on Friday to a settlement that limits the use of seniority in teacher layoffs at 45 Los Angeles Unified School District campuses with high staff turnover. The settlement also decrees that layoffs at the rest of the district's schools must be equitably distributed.

The case, Reed v. State of California, et al., pitted the ACLU against the city's teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles. Massive budget cuts in LAUSD over the past few years have led to the layoffs of thousands of newer teachers. The ACLU argued that given these cuts, LAUSD's agreement with UTLA—the last hired, first fired method of doling out layoff notices—unfairly targets students attending schools in disadvantaged communities.

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Year in Review 2010: Urban School District Leadership in Transition

Almost every major urban school districts saw leadership shakeups this year. Here are some of the biggest.

What do Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, D.C. all have in common? In 2010, the heads of these major urban school districts-superintendents, chancellors and CEOs-either resigned, were fired, or announced that they'd be out the door come 2011. If you're looking for a job in school district, these cities might just be hiring.

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