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

Cal State Monterey Bay sued over pro-Prop 30 email

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Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

An anti-tax group is suing Cal State Monterey Bay over an email that urged students to support Proposition 30.  That’s Governor Jerry Brown’s tax initiative to stem further cuts to education. 

The email was written by Professor Ernest Stromberg, director of Humanities and Communications at Cal State Monterey Bay.

Stromberg's email laid out a passionate case for a "yes" vote on Prop 30. He wrote that the Cal State system would face $250 million in cuts if Prop 30 fails, and he wrote that faculty jobs are on the line.

Then Stromberg hit “send” - and the email landed in the "in" boxes of 360 Monterey Bay students.

It would have been legal if Stromberg had used a Gmail or Yahoo email account. But the professor used his Cal State Montrey Bay work email.

That’s why the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has sued, claiming Stromberg violated a state campaign law against using public resources for mass political mailings.

And the CSU system agrees. General Counsel Christine Helwick released the following statement:


Compton College on road to accreditation after mismanagement 7 years ago

Compton College lost accreditation and local control seven years ago after a mismanagement scandal and a corruption probe of the board of trustees led California officials to take over the campus.

That's when California Community College officials allowed El Camino College in Torrance to run Compton College under a new name: El Camino College Compton Center. Compton Mayor Eric Perrodin wants academic accreditation and the old name back.

“I wish it was a lot faster than it has been proceeding,” he said.

Perrodin said many people in Compton didn’t believe El Camino College was acting in their best interest. That’s changed, he said, in part because Compton College CEO Keith Curry is talking publicly about the road to re-accreditation.

“I don’t get stuck on timelines and I don’t get stuck on dates. What I get stuck on is processes and if we continue to make improvements, it’s going to happen,” Curry said.


A conversation with author Reyna Grande on illegal border crossings and today's DREAMERS

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Courtesy Reyna Grande

Author Reyna Grande.

A conversation with author Reyna Grande on crossing the border as a 10-year-old, getting dumped into the reject pile, and today’s DREAMERS

During Tuesday night’s Presidential debate President Obama and Governor Romney touched on immigration reform and lay out their plans for immigrant students.  Both candidates advocated for a pathway toward legal residency for undocumented “young people” who were brought to the United States as children.

That’s a topic author Reyna Grande knows a lot about.

Grande is a Mexican-American writer who lived in silence and shadows as an undocumented child in Southern California. Her latest book, a memoir called “The Distance Between Us” chronicles the LA-based writer’s journey from Mexico - left behind by her parents, living in poverty - to the US, and her coming of age in Highland Park.


LA schools to 'shake it up' with the rest of California

Bottled water to be sent to Haiti on Jan

Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images

Each L.A. Unified school has designated search and rescue and triage team members, as well as medical supplies, water, sanitation supplies, and extra food stored away for emergencies, said Jill Barnes, the district's emergency services coordinator.

As millions of Californians participate in the "Great California ShakeOut" Thursday, so will students at L.A. Unified. The district uses the day for an annual full-scale emergency drill and an opportunity to teach kids about earthquakes.

Most of the district's 1,100 school sites will conduct their drills at 10:30 a.m. Thursday when students, faculty and staff will "drop, cover and hold on" before they file outdoors, said Jill Barnes, coordinator of emergency services at L.A. Unified.

Each L.A. Unified school has designated search and rescue and triage team members, along with medical supplies, water, sanitation supplies, and some extra food stored away for emergencies, Barnes said.

"This is the one official time a year where they go through everything," Barnes said. "It's a good chance also for the schools to get out their emergency supplies, get their hands on them, make sure everything's in good shape."


Google partners with CSU to bolster STEM education in California

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Darren Hauck/Getty Images

A brain trust of educators, philanthropists and business leaders convened in San Diego to discuss how science, technology, engineering and math – STEM subjects – are taught in California schools.

The summit wrapped up Tuesday afternoon - but not before honoring a dozen “Leading Women in STEM”, all of whom work in science and technology-driven fields. Including LA’s own, Rachel Bondi, Chief of Mobile Innovations for the talent agency, CAA.

The other big reveal: a $25,000 grant that partners Google with the California State University System, and the California STEM Learning Network – the nonprofit that hosted the conference.

All three organizations are members of the “100K in 10” campaign – a program the Obama administration launched to recruit 100,000 new STEM teachers over the next decade.  (An attempt to thwart the looming shortage of STEM teachers across the country.)