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

Officials say leaked test questions have no effect on exams


Education officials have found that the online posting of photos of the state standardized test posed no significant impact on the integrity of the exams.

California education officials have found the online posting of photos of the state standardized test during testing in May posed no significant impact on the integrity of the exams.

Paul Hefner, communications director for the California Department of Education, said the vast majority of the 442 images were of closed booklets for the Standardized Testing and Reporting exam or illegible pages that were snapped by students with cell phones.

The photos were posted on social media websites, including MySpace and Facebook.

About 36 test questions, however, were clearly readable and hundreds of schools had the questions on their tests (including North Hollywood Senior High, Glendale High, Millikan High and North Monterey County High Schools).

Hefner says the scoring formula for the schools where students exposed the questions is being adjusted to eliminate those items without affecting test results.


Jose Luis Orozco, rockstar to toddlers, has taught language through song for decades

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez/KPCC

Jose Luis Orozco, rock star to the toddler and preschool set.

Jose Luis Orozco is a rock star — at least to the toddler and preschool set (along with their parents). The Santa Cruz-based musician has performed children’s songs in Spanish and English for more than four decades. Even if crowd surfing’s unlikely at his Levitt Pavilion concert Wednesday night in Pasadena, it is likely that parents may be the loudest people in the audience.

Orozco talked about his career at a recent Los Angeles performance in the Silver Lake Public Library, during that magic time between nap and dinner. About 20 kids and their parents gathered to hear Orozco sing and play guitar. He began the show with standards like “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” which he then blended into Spanish. 

The bilingual performance teaches kids two sets of words, two different ways of communicating with the same melody and it creates a positive setting for kids to express themselves in multiple ways. It is how many people around the world grow up, Orozco said, and how many U.S. parents want their kids to communicate.  


Cal State trustees approve salary increases for 3 campus presidents, despite freeze

Vanessa Romo/KPCC

Cal State trustees have OK'd salary increases for three of their campus presidents, by-passing a compensation freeze by using private funds. This comes on the heels of campus rallys protesting the Cal State system for hiking tuition.

The Cal State University trustees approved salary increases for three campus presidents on Tuesday. 

Technically there’s a freeze on all executive compensation for Cal State’s 23 campuses because the system’s finances are in such bad shape, meaning that state money can’t go to raises for campus presidents. But, nevertheless, trustees approved a raise for three university presidents — drawing on money from independently-run foundations. 

"So again, that’s not taxpayer funds," says Mike Uhlenkamp with the Cal State chancellor's office. "It’s private funds that [are] generated by the fundraising arm of their respective university."

Uhlenkamp says the university system wants to remain competitive in a national marketplace for talent "whether it’s for a president, a faculty member or a staff member."


State agency suspends teaching credential of LAUSD coach

Kip Arnold teaching credential suspended

California Commission on Teacher Credentialing

A screen shot of Kip Arnold's suspended teaching credential for misconduct.

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing today suspended the credential of an L.A. Unified physical education teacher charged with multiple felony counts of sexually molesting a 14-year-old girl.

Kip Richard Arnold, 51, a Southeast Middle School teacher, was charged Friday with three felony counts of lewd acts on a child who was 14, two counts of oral copulation of a person under 16, one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object, plus one count of evading an officer, according to Deputy District Attorney Diana Martinez.

Arnold is on unpaid leave from his teaching position with L.A. Unified as of Monday, district officials said.

"The staff of employee relations will monitor the criminal proceedings until the matter is concluded," said LAUSD spokeswoman Gayle Pollard-Terry. She said the state's education code requires a mandatory leave of absence when a teacher is charged with committing a sex offense.


Cal State trustees consider contingency plans in face of $250 million shortfall

Vanessa Romo/KPCC

California Faculty Association members staging a protest of a CSU meeting. CSU trustees are considering a plethora of contingency plans if voters reject a tax initiative intended to cover the university’s growing shortfall.

The Cal State University chancellor’s office says “the easy choices are gone” when it comes to budget-cutting. CSU trustees are considering a plethora of contingency plans at their meeting on Tuesday if voters reject a tax initiative intended to cover the university’s growing shortfall.

Cal State Assistant Vice Chancellor Robert Turnage says it's time to consider "something that we call a 'trigger on a trigger.'"

That’s a series of cuts that would take effect if state lawmakers remove $250 million from the university’s budget in November.

And, Turnage says, that won’t be pretty.

"All the feasible approaches that add up to $250 million share one thing in common," says the vice chancellor. "And that is that they are unpalatable."

To keep all 23 Cal State campuses functioning, the trustees have two options. They could hike tuition by another $150 per semester for in-state students, and kick it up almost double that for out-of-staters — or they could slash the system’s enrollment by about 6,000 students.