A transitional kindergarten class in Long Beach serves kids who are about to turn five-years-old at the beginning of the school years. Governor Jerry Brown proposed cutting funding for the classes to start in the fall.
Supporters of early childhood education are praising a decision by Los Angeles Unified School District to keep a special kindergarten program for four-year-olds – even after Governor Brown had threatened to cut off the funding.
L.A. Unified runs transitional kindergarten classes in about a quarter of its elementary schools, for children who will turn five in the fall.
The state is in the process of moving back the kindergarten birthday cutoff date from December to September.
The one-year transitional program is ideal for its four-and-a-half year-old classmembers, says Nora Armenta, who oversees transitional kindergarten at LAUSD.
"We now expect kindergarteners to become emergent readers, for example," she explains. "To be able to really understand mathematics, and quantities, and operations."
Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images
File photo: Pupils listen to their teacher in a classroom on the first day of the school year.
California teacher Rebecca Mieliwocki has been named the 2012 National Teacher of the Year, which is the oldest and most prestigious teaching prize in the country.
Mieliwocki is a seventh-grade English teacher at Luther Burbank Middle School, in Burbank, Calif., and has taught for a total of 14 years.
She initially trained to become an attorney, then went into publishing before eventually turning to teaching. Both her parents were teachers for 30 years.
"It's in my DNA," she said in a statement released today. "It's who I am. It's who I'm supposed to be. Teaching truly is a calling. I may not have picked up the phone right away, but eventually I answered the call."
Mieliwocki studied speech communication at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. As the 62nd National Teacher of the Year, she will serve as a one-year, full-time national spokesperson for education. She will be honored at a ceremony at the White House Tuesday.
Tami Abdollah / KPCC
Four California schools were among the first 78 in the country to be named "Green Ribbon Schools" by the U.S. Department of Education today for their model environmental programs and practices.
- Environmental Charter High School from the Lawndale Elementary School District
- Longfellow Elementary School from the Long Beach Unified School District
- Grand View Elementary School from the Manhattan Beach Unified School District
- The Athenian School, a private school in Danville, Calif.
"California's schools are leading the way into a cleaner, more energy-efficient future, and it’s wonderful to see that work recognized with some of the very first national Green Ribbon Schools awards,” said state Superintendent of Instruction Tom Torlakson in a statement today.
A total of 29 states, plus the District of Columbia and the Bureau of Indian Education, nominated nearly 100 schools, with 2 out of 3 of them public. California nominated four schools.
CSU Dominguez Hills graduation ceremony. An analysis of education data shows 50 percent of new college graduates are jobless or underemployed.
It's cold out there.
An analysis shows that 50 percent of new college graduates are jobless or underemployed, working away at positions that are below their skill levels.
The Associated Press looked at education data, which indicate that job prospects, including underemployment, for those with bachelor's degrees were at their lowest level in more than a decade.
"While there's strong demand in science, education and health fields, arts and humanities flounder. Median wages for those with bachelor's degrees are down from 2000, hit by technological changes that are eliminating midlevel jobs such as bank tellers. Most future job openings are projected to be in lower-skilled positions such as home health aides, who can provide personalized attention as the U.S. population ages."
The story brings up the point that more than ever, choices young people make early in life are having a long-lasting impact. That decision to major in humanities as a 17- or 18-year-old could leave you wondering whether the college degree was worth it as you work as a restaurant server to offset mounting college loans. Recent news showed the student loan burden now exceeds $1 trillion in the United States.
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The California DREAM Act became law last year, but efforts are only now being made to prepare students for the law’s implementation in 2014.
The California Dream Act became law last year, making it possible for undocumented students in the state to apply for financial aid at colleges and universities. Efforts are now being made to prepare students for the law’s implementation in 2014.
The process of figuring out who will benefit from the California DREAM Act, or how to apply, is anything but easy.
And at a time of shrinking budgets and rising tuition costs, many teachers and students have lingering questions about how the undocumented student population will be able to pay for college at all.
In an effort to help students navigate the system, the California Student Aid Commission is starting an aggressive outreach effort to high school counselors, parents and college admissions officers.
Bryan Dickason is a manager with Cal Grants. He says workshops, held throughout the state, including at six sites in the L.A. area, are meant for AB 540 students — undocumented kids who attended a California high school and are headed to a public college.
"[The DREAM] application, because it’s for a population of students that probably don’t have Social Security numbers, will be a way to get that data to the campuses very efficiently," says Dickason.
Once the DREAM Act benefits kick in next year, many undocumented students will be eligible for in-state tuition, as well as private scholarships and state financial aid, cutting costs by almost two-thirds.
The California DREAM Act does not offer the possibility of legal immigration status. An effort to recall the legislation fell through earlier this year.