In a recent evening inside Glendale High School’s auditorium high school student Angela Pachanian rehearsed a poem of suffering and sadness by Paruyr Sevak, Armenia’s best-known poet of the genocide.
Below her, in the auditorium’s first few rows, a group of nine and ten year old Armenian American children run through a melodious song. Their choirmaster said it’s a nationalistic Armenian song about going to war, defending and saving the mother country.
The Armenian clubs at four Glendale high schools organized the remembrance, with help from school district officials. The event’s title, “Our Traditions Keep Us Alive,” hints at how tightly the genocide is interwoven with Armenian identity.
“I clearly remember how when my parents would try to teach me about what exactly happened,” Crescenta Valley High junior Sevag Alexanian, as for most of these students, the genocide is among his earliest memories, “how my great grandparents were affected by this, how we’re lucky that we’re still here today because my great grandfather survived and just pretty much how we’re the youth and we’re going to be the ones getting the word out when we grow older, as a kid that was always embedded in us.”
John Perez promotes the Middle Class Scholarship Act in Sacramento
A Los Angeles lawmaker is putting forth a controversial idea he says will help the middle class: taxing private corporations to help students pay for their college tuition.
Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, says his Middle-Class Scholarship Act would cut tuition by more than half for families with a total yearly income under $150,000 -- affecting about 200,000 students statewide. A CSU student, for example, would save about $4,000 under the bill, according to supporters.
A promotional website says the savings “will be paid for entirely by closing the $1 billion wasteful corporate tax loophole that allows out-of-state corporations to elect to lower their California tax bill.”
James F Clay/Flickr
The police working for the L.A. Unified School District, the largest force in the country, came under scrutiny in recent months over charges that they were ticketing a disproportionate number of black and Latino kids for truancy. Now the school police are under fire over another issue: how many tickets they give out for a variety of infractions, and to whom.
The Labor Community Strategy Center analyzed data provided by L.A. Unified on how many tickets school police handed out from 2009 through 2011.
What they found is that, in that time, school police issued more than 33,500 tickets to youths up to 19 years old. That's an average of 28 tickets a day over the three years. These include tickets from fighting to truancy, loitering and even possession of markers that could be used for tagging.
Several hundred people protested outside L.A. Unified headquarters earlier this year as the school board prepared to cut funding to preschool and adult education. The protests continue, made all the more tense by tens of thousands of pink slips the state has sent to teachers.
Teachers and students in LAUSD’s Adult Education Division rallied in Van Nuys on Friday in an attempt to pressure the district to not lay off a large portion of its adult education teachers.
To help balance a severe budget deficit, L.A. Unified sent preliminary layoff notices to about two-thirds of adult education teachers in the district.
The planned layoffs stand to affect mostly the lower class and immigrants, who learn English using adult education classes.
"We still don’t see a lot of movement from the school board or superintendent," said teacher Matthew Kogan. "In fact, we’re getting the feeling they’re digging in their heels and trying to say it’s a done deal."
An LAUSD spokesman said the district is in negotiations with the teachers' union to rescind some layoff notices to adult education teachers. There are a couple more steps in the budget process, but layoff notices should become final in just over a month.
Rogers Herr Middle School
Standarized test scantron answer sheet
Students have posted several hundred images of this year's state tests online on social networking sites including Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, California Department of Education officials said today.
The California Department of Education learned about the testing security breach within the last 24 hours after a district notified them that a student was seen taking a photo of an exam with their cell phone, said department spokesman Paul Hefner.
Schools across the state are currently in their annual testing season (which spans several months) for the STAR, or Standardized Testing and Reporting Program, and California High School Exit Examination.
The department has asked the website operators to remove the pictures of these tests, and notified all school districts statewide as well as testing coordinators today to "be extra vigilant" in following security protocols, Hefner said.