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

3 coaches on University of California top-5 paid employee list

Arizona v UCLA - Pac-12 Semifinals

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Head coach Ben Howland of the UCLA Bruins at the Pac-12 tournament at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in March.

The University of California on Wednesday released its yearly salary list and the top spots went to sports coaches at UCLA and UC Berkeley.

UCLA basketball coach Ben Howland earned $2,234,191 in gross pay last year, UC Berkeley's Jeff Tedford earned $2,146,581 before being fired in December after a 3 win-9 loss season. The university said their salaries come from non-state funds.

Number two on the list - and the top paid UC faculty member - is UCLA’s world renown liver transplant surgeon Ronald Busuttil. He earned $2,232,151 in gross pay last year. A big part of his salary, comes from his clinical practice, according to UC.

The university's highest profile employee, incoming president Janet Napolitano, won't be anywhere near that. She'll probably come in as the 180th highest paid when she starts in the fall, at a salary of $570,000. The university includes multiple search options in its salary database.


Teach For America gets $20 million boost from Walton Family Foundation

Teach for America map

Teach for America

Teach for America has been on an expansion push for several years.

The Walton Family Foundation announced today that it will donate $20 million to the non-profit Teach For America, the celebrated national organization that hires and trains recent college graduates to teach in rural and urban schools for two years. 

The money will pay for nearly 4,000 new teachers across the country over two years. The Los Angeles branch will receive about $3 million of that - enough to cover the costs for about 340 teachers in the first year.

“It’s obviously going to make sure that we have a really strong and sustainable organization here in Los Angeles over the long term," said Lida Jennings, interim executive director of Teach for America - Los Angeles. "It’s going to allow us to bring a lot of really strong, really bright, smart, new teachers into Los Angeles schools."


Coachella Valley at forefront of iPad wave in Southern California schools

Judith Capper Golf Swing

Jed Kim

Coachella Valley Unified teachers record as Judith Capper demonstrates a golf swing.

Temperatures were nearing 100 degrees in Coachella Valley, but dozens of teachers were outside practicing filmmaking. 

They were using iPads to record each other miming golf swings, tennis shots and free throws.

Back in the airconditioned classrooms, they learned to edit the shots into short videos using iMovie. The teachers were taking part in training to learn how to incorporate the tablets into their lessons. 

The Los Angeles Unified School District may have grabbed national headlines last month when it committed to a pilot program putting iPads in the hands of every teacher and student at select schools, but the relatively tiny  Coachella Valley Unified School District in Riverside county is a year ahead.

Coachella finished it's pilot program in June that put 5,600 iPads in teachers' and students' hands. It will roll it out the program to all of the district's 18,000 students in the fall.


Where do we learn? New report finds arts education increasingly happens outside of school

The just-launched Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone is the latest competition for Apple's iPhone 5.

Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images

The Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone. Studies show that today's teens regularly use more than one screen at a time to stay connected.

A new report by The Wallace Foundation argues students are increasingly finding valuable arts education exposure via technology they access outside of the classroom - and teachers should use that to their advantage.

The extensive, 104-page report pushes for educators and policy makers to take advantage of what she calls "arts learning opportunities," many of which are happening outside of normal school hours as kids spend several hours a day using tablets, computers and other devices. 

Rather than look down her nose at the increasing amount of time students are spending on their electronics, the report's author, Indiana University professor Kylie Peppler, said those habits are "full of promise for engaging young people in artistic activity."

She said this is especially critical now, after years of cuts to arts budgets at public schools across the country.


Options growing for bilingual education for the preschool set

Dual Language API - 1

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Transitional kindergarten dual language student Jesus Lopez goes through a keycard exercise with his classmates on Wednesday, March 20 at Foster Elementary School. Half of the school is in a dual language program, and the other half of the students are taught in English only.

Bilingual learning continues its upward trend in Southern California. Two of the latest offerings: a drop off program at the Zimmer and a new preschool in Pasadena. 

Called “Jugando Grande” (Playing Big), the museum invites 3 year-olds to participate in a five-week program that it said “combines best practices in Early Childhood and Arts Education with the Zimmer mission to help young people develop their capacity for creating positive change.”

It comes at a time when dual language immersion education is gaining in popularity across Southern California.

Experts say a dual language education helps children develop the focus and mental flexibility of young minds. Immersing preschool- and elementary school-aged children in learning in a second language can improve their performance in both languages, according to researchers. (Check out KPCC’s extensive series on bilingual learning from earlier this year.)