So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

East L.A. teens learn confidence through arts

Monterey Continuation HS theater

Theresa Chavez, Artistic Director About Productions

Rosalio Muñoz (center), who participated as an organizer in the 1970s Chicano Moratorium is interviewed by Monterey Continuation High School students. Visible from left to right: Jessie Serna, 17; Oscar Lechuga, 18; and Andrew Burciaga, 18.

Andrew Burciaga, 18, felt the pressure, and it was too much for him.

The East L.A. teen has two older sisters who both went to college: one to UC Irvine and the other to a Cal State. One even got a Masters degree afterward. But Burciaga, a Garfield High School student, said he was overwhelmed, got lazy, and "pretty much was just going to give up."

A school counselor recommended he head to Monterey Continuation High School in East L.A., and though he had some misgivings about it, he gave it a go. Only a couple months in, the senior hesitatingly joined a theater group on campus; he'd done improvisation before, but this time he would be conducting interviews and writing a play.

Burciaga and his fellow classmates spoke with four former participants of the 1970 Chicano Moratorium: organizer Rosalio Muñoz, visual artist Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin, film and television director Jesus Treviño and AFTRA director Consuelo Flores as part of About Productions' Young Theaterworks program, Through the Ages.


Executive pay capped at $325,000 a year by Cal State trustees

Corey Moore/KPCC

Faculty union members staged an informational picket last November at Cal State Dominguez Hills ahead of a planned one-day strike regarding faculty pay.

Trustees at California State University say they’ve heard the protests, loud and clear. The trustees are changing how much top executives get paid.

From now on, any new president of a Cal State school will make no more than 10 percent above his predecessor’s pay — and never more than $325,000 a year.

"Which I think gives a moderate and reasonable predictability to salaries moving forward," said trustee Lou Monville, "that both taxpayers, the Legislature and other members of the CSU can understand."

What many of those people didn't understand was why the incoming president of San Diego State received a $400,000 salary last year. That decision set off a wave of protests.

Trustee Gavin Newsom says that this new salary cap is not ideal, but it’s necessary.

"It’s frustrating, but at the same time we need to be competitive, Newsom said, "and I think what we did was appropriate and measured under the circumstances. Had we not made the amendment, I think there would have been, let me say respectfully, hell to pay."


Education in brief: CSU board meets, L.A. Unified restructuring, teachers tenure weakens

CSU Broken Glass

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez/KPCC

Protestors broke through a glass door at CSU headquarters in Long Beach on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011. A San Diego State student was one of several people arrested.

Lots going on in education today. Here's the rundown: 

The Cal State University Board of Trustees is meeting for in Long Beach and are set to debate and vote on changes to the system's executives' pay. You can listen to the discussion on their website. The meeting got off to an emotional start with public comment from angry students who asked the trustees to reconsider tuition increases, and said they would be held responsible for their actions.

Students at Monterey Continuation High School in East L.A. are performing their own plays — "2012 Meets 1970" — with professional actors tonight today and tomorrow. The students interviewed four former participants of the 1970 Chicano Moratorium including organizer Rosalio Munoz, visual artist Viviana Chamberlain, film and television director Jesus Trevino, and AFTRA director Consuelo Flores. More on this to come.


Education in brief today

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A Google Maps screen shot of the front of Gardner Street Elementary School. The school will showcase its new music lab Monday.

A couple education-related things going on around town today:

Students at Gardner Elementary School are hosting an open house for its Michael Jackson Music Education Lab. The King of Pop attended six grade at the Hollywood school and the new MusIQ program includes state-of-the-art equipment and focuses on teaching students how to read music, play piano, and compose and arrange music.

Today is also the day to drop by Starbucks and get a $10 gift card to support LAUSD teachers' classroom projects along with your latte. The cards are available at nearly 200 Los Angeles Starbucks stores.

In case you missed it:

The "Teacher of the Year" award may go to Rebecca Mieliwocki, a Burbank Middle School teacher, who is among five national finalists. Last November she was named one of California's top five educators. Now she will compete for that national honor.


What happened to that UC Riverside professor? He was fired.

Tami Abdollah/KPCC

UC Regents meeting in November at UCLA.

In a rare move, the University of California has fired a tenured full-time professor.

The UC Board of Regents voted in a closed meeting Wednesday to fire UC Riverside finance professor Sarkis Joseph Koury for allegedly violating university rules that prohibit earning outside income while on sabbatical, the AP reports.

The professor was fired and denied emeritus status in closed session, said UC spokeswoman Dianne Klein. She did not identify the professor per university system policy, though he has spoken to the media.

The move is the latest in 20 years of acrimony and lawsuits between the university and Khoury, who has taught international finance at UC Riverside since 1984.

In a statement, Khoury called the decision "absurd" because in December he resigned from the university effective Jan. 1. He says he'll continue with his lawsuit against the university.