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

Teachers can learn in their PJs at online arts education conference

Photo Courtesy of The Art of Education

The National Online Conference for Art Teachers will take place June 25.

Attention teachers: Looking for some new arts education ideas for your classroom? An online conference is taking place next week and there's still time to register.

The Tuesday conference is a first for host Jessica Balsley, the founder of the online website The Art of Education. Balsley is a former K-5 art teacher. Her website and the upcoming conference are dedicated to helping art teachers via professional development.

"A lot of schools aren't paying for these conferences anymore," Balsley said. "To provide something affordable for everyone was our number one goal."

One expert says online training has some unique benefits.

"I actually think it’s a rather brilliant idea," said Associate Vice Provost Susan Metros, who coordinates online learning for the University of Southern California. "Interaction online is actually very rich. It equals the playing field."


LA school district working to get students qualified for UC schools

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez

The L.A. Unified School District said Thursday they intend to meet an ambitious goal of making all graduates eligible to meet University of California admission requirements. (Photo: A May 2013 Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education meeting).

Eight years ago, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) committed to graduating students from high school with the courses needed to enter University of California schools.

LAUSD leaders said Thursday at a conference they may be far from reaching the 2016 goal but the district is taking the steps needed to make the policy a reality.

Superintendent John Deasy said the district's biggest job is to make sure each high school campus offers enough college prep English and math courses for all students.

“So that part isn’t necessarily the greatest expense," said Deasy. "The expense is expanding the science and language offerings for all students. That is a new expense."

Foreign language, science, English, and math are two of seven University of California entry requirements, known as A through G. Deasy said future district budgets will include A through G funding.


New online tool gives community college students an idea of post-degree salaries

Armenian Genocide

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Students at Glendale Community College. New data shows that many students with community college degrees earn the same amount as four-year degree holders.

A new online tool released this week shows that 45 percent of community college students with associate degrees earn the same median wage as bachelor's degree holders in California: $54,000.

Those numbers are for community college students who did not transfer to a four-year school. The data, which was released by the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Officerepresents their earnings five years after graduation.

The numbers can be found on the chancellor's office Salary Surfer website.

The tool also includes helpful information for people interested in careers in the arts. Among the highest earning programs in the arts fields are community college degrees and certificates for commercial music. Students with Associate Degrees in Commercial Music earned a median annual salary of $30,898 five years after graduation.


Saugus school board member booted over question of residence

Stephen Winkler


Saugus Union trustee Stephen Winkler was voted off the school board Tuesday night.

The Saugus Union School Board voted Tuesday night to remove one of its members because it's believed he doesn’t live in the district.

The question of Stephen Winkler’s residence was the subject of a months-long investigation. Winkler maintains he lives in Valencia, but the investigation showed he had rented a room in Sylmar, which is not in the district.

“We had actually had a private investigator following him, and the [residence] he said he was living in, he never showed up in," said board member Doug Bryce." And the [residence] down in Sylmar, he did show up several times."

Winkler has been the center of controversy recently for alleged improper online activity, including subscribing to several Nazi-themed videos on YouTube.

The board voted 4-1 to vacate his seat. Winkler was the lone “no” vote.


Want to make it in Hollywood? Orange County arts high school brings students to talent agents


Mary Plummer/KPCC

Shannon Viele and Michael Tingley rehearse a scene from "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams. The high schoolers beat out several hundred of their classmates to win a spot performing in front of about 80 agents and managers in L.A.


Mary Plummer/KPCC

Juniors Ymari Stephens (left) and Dacota Nitti perform in front of agents and managers in L.A. The students were bused up from their high school in Orange County for the opportunity.


Mary Plummer/KPCC

High school seniors Phillip Jarrell (left) and Will Daniel (right) on stage at the Matrix Theatre in L.A. The students were performing during the Orange County School of the Arts' second-ever student showcase.


Mary Plummer/KPCC

Orange County School of the Arts students make a final impression on agents and managers before leaving the stage after their performance. The students rehearsed for about six months in preparation for their showcase at the Matrix Theatre in L.A.

It's a weekday afternoon and about 20 acting students are sitting in chairs with their eyes fixed on a TV at the front of the room. The group is watching a recording of a classmate’s monologue. Aspiring actor Michael Tingley is offering feedback to his classmate.

"I missed it, I don't know if anyone else did," Michael says, referring to what he describes as one of the most important beats in the piece, which he says his colleague didn't handle quite right.

All of the actors in the room are taking the lesson very seriously. But this isn’t your average L.A. acting class. In fact, it's quite a ways from Hollywood, down in Santa Ana.

Michael is just 17, and the class is part of a regular day at his public high school – the Orange County School of the Arts, commonly referred to as OCSA (pronounced OH-shuh). He is one of thousands of aspiring actors who attend performing arts high schools in the region. Like many of the top schools, OCSA has seen a big boost in interest.