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

Intrigued by immersion schools? Cal State Fullerton event looks at bilingual K-12 students

bilingual education

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Los Angeles County leads the state in the number of schools that offer bilingual education starting in kindergarten.

California State University Fullerton education researchers are looking at how K-12 schools can better teach bilingual children. About a quarter of public school students statewide live in bilingual households, according to California Department of Education statistics.

"One of the biggest barriers is access to translated school material," CSU Fullerton Professor Sharon Chappell said. “Curriculum can be very monocultural.”

She said the university organizes “Bilingual Family Night” on campus Tuesday night to allow parents and educators to share their efforts to create a welcoming environment at schools for students who speak a second language.

At tonight's event, Chappell will talk about her research into how schools create an inclusive environment for bilingual students, a Mexican folkloric dance troupe will perform, and Chappell will screen a film based on her research,  "Con Mucho Orgullo:  Oral Histories of Bilingual Families in California Schools."


Pasadena learns to dance krump, but will it attract younger arts patrons? (Photos, Video)

Al Kamalizad

Dance students practice krump moves at the Pasadena Dance Festival. Krump dancing originated in Compton in 2001.

Al Kamalizad

Queen of Krump Miss Prissy, born Marquisa Gardner, co-founded krump dancing in 2001.

Al Kamalizad

Elizabeth Ceja, left, and Whitney DiAcri, right, on stage at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

Al Kamalizad

Nordhoff High School Dance Program student Taylor Koester, center, waits for her krump dancing class to begin. This is the first year the Pasadena Dance Festival featured the street dance.

Al Kamalizad

Students stretch as they prepare for a krump dancing class.

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Miss Prissy leads students in a warm up exercise ahead of her krump class at the Pasadena Dance Festival.

Al Kamalizad

Pasadena Dance Festival students line up to hug Miss Prissy, one of the co-founders of krump dancing, after taking a class with her at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

Al Kamalizad

Students from the Idyllwild Dance Academy perform during the Student Showcase Matinee on April 27. The Pasadena Dance Festival featured a variety of dance styles including modern, tap, tango, bollywood and krump.

With a string of performances and master classes in everything from ballet to African dance, the annual Pasadena Dance Festival attracts aspiring dancers and teachers from all over the West Coast.

This year it debuted something new: a class in krump dancing. The Compton street dance, with its signature chest pops and stomps, can appear almost violent to a first-time audience.

"We try to spice it up every year with something that makes people kind of raise one eyebrow," said Peggy Burt, a board member of the dance company that puts on the festival, Lineage Dance. 

Lineage didn't include the dance solely to expose young dancers to new forms of the art – it was also hoping to attract younger audiences.

"All throughout the country we find that the dance audiences are getting older," Burt said.


CA bill would curtail police role on public school campuses

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A bill sponsored by L.A. Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer would limit the role of police officers on public school campuses.

A bill to limit the role of campus police in disciplining students passed its first committee  hearing in Sacramento Wednesday. 

The bill’s L.A. sponsor aims to reduce the number of tickets that campus police issue to students.

As school districts consider adding additional campus security following the Sandy Hook shootings, Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer (D-LA) wants administrators to handle minor discipline issues — and for campus police to only get involved when a student’s behavior is a physical threat.

“Cops should not be giving out truancy tickets,” Jones-Sawyer said.  “The only time they should come on campus are  those unfortunate times, like Sandy Hook, when they have to, or when a student brings a weapon on campus.”  

Los Angeles Unified School District employs more than 350 police on school campuses. The district recently reported that its officers issued 33,000 tickets over a three-year period — for infractions such as vandalism, tardiness, and disturbing the peace. 


California teachers sue unions to stop dues

Michael Carvin, lead attorney for the teachers, says: "We’re not attacking unions. We are attacking the union’s ability to coerce people ... to give money."

Dean Vogel, president of the California Teachers Association, says the lawsuit reflects a nationwide attack on unions.

Ten California teachers — several of them from Orange County — are suing in federal court to stop mandatory union dues. The lawsuit seeks to expand last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision involving union activity in a California special election.
California law allows public employees to decide whether to have union representation for collective bargaining, which  requires members to pay dues. The dues are used to finance union activities, which sometimes includes political lobbying.

The lawsuit, filed by ten California teachers against their state and local unions and national advocacy groups, seeks to change that. Michael Carvin, lead attorney for the teachers, said: "We’re not attacking unions. We are attacking the union’s ability to coerce people ... to give money."
Union members are allowed to ask unions for a refund on the portion of dues spent on political activities. The teachers essentially want to opt-in to such dues, not have to opt-out after the fact.


Poll: Should breakfast be banned from the classroom?

California Children's Academy Budget Cuts Preschool Education

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Kids eat lunch at Jardín de Niños in Lincoln Heights. The program provide multi-lingual early education to low-income families.

Should under-nourished students be allowed to eat in the classroom? The issue became a hot topic this week after Los Angeles Unified Superintendent John Deasy passed on making a decision, putting the future of a pilot breakfast program into the hands of the school board. 

The program was launched last year after LAUSD discovered that only 29 percent of children eligible for free breakfast were eating before school in the cafeteria.

Nevertheless, teachers say that it takes away from instructional time and leaves a clean-up nightmare.  

RELATED: Future of schools breakfast program has become a 'power struggle' 

Where do you stand on the issue? Should food be restricted to the cafeteria? Take our poll, and see a roundup of quotes from Twitter and Facebook below.