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What Would School Look Like if Every Student Built Caine's Arcade?

GOOD's Pathfinder Fellows headed to Melrose Elementary School to volunteer in classrooms helping kids build arcade games designed out of cardboard.

When we were in school, we sat at desks with a textbook, paper, and a pencil, and our teachers lectured. You probably had that experience too, but for students attending a school participating in the Imagination Foundation's Global Cardboard Challenge, learning is happening with popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, and of course cardboard.

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Evaluation Overload: Why Teachers Need Training and Support, Too

Los Angeles Unified school board member Steve Zimmer shares his classroom experience as evidence for why training and support is important too.


The controversy surrounding teacher evaluation has reached a fever pitch. From the streets of Chicago to dinner tables across the nation and even on the big screen—how we judge teacher performance is on everyone's mind. But my own experience instructs me that evaluation should only take place after a process of meaningful, dynamic teacher training and support.

Twenty years ago Teach for America placed me in the Los Angeles Unified School District to teach English as a Second Language. I was 22-years-old, I knew very little about teaching, and even less about English Learners, but I thought I could change the world one student at a time. I gave everything I had to 120 high schoolers who'd come from all over the world to escape poverty, war, political oppression, and abuse. Together, we discovered and rediscovered the American Dream.

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Park Talk, Water Work, and Bus Art: Have a GOOD LA Weekend

From workshops on saving water, to a roving gallery broadcasting art in every corner of the city, here's what to do in L.A.



It's Thursday, Los Angeles! The weekend is bearing down, so we've got some tips for getting out. From workshops on saving water, to a roving gallery that will broadcast art in every corner of the city, here's what to do and what to see. Know something we don't? Send it to la[at]goodinc[dot]com

Friend Griffith Park in Real Life: L.A. is home to the country's largest urban park but those 4,200 acres of wildlife in the center of the city can't protect themselves. The nonprofit Friends of Griffith Park hopes to be the park's guardian, bringing "enlightened stewardship" to the open space, including hikes, advocacy initiatives, and educational programs. Tonight kicks off their summer lecture series at the Los Feliz Library, with a talk about Griffith Park's most famous asset, the Hollywood sign. Thursday, 6:30 p.m.

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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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Jamie Oliver and LAUSD Make Up on Jimmy Kimmel Live

The fight between the school district and the celebrity chef over school lunches could be ending if the schmoozing on Kimmel's show is any clue.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4OC1a2JSS4

Could the battle between the nation's second largest school district, LAUSD, and celebrity chef and food activist Jamie Oliver be coming to a close? Oliver headed to Jimmy Kimmel Live Tuesday night to talk about his reality show, Food Revolution, and the fight with LAUSD over their refusal to let him film in school cafeterias. LAUSD's new superintendent, John Deasy, made a surprise appearance and the pair announced a plan to go ahead and make LAUSD's food healthier already. As a first step, Deasy says he's getting rid of sugar-filled chocolate- and strawberry-flavored milk, a move the audience and Oliver applauded.

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