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

Anaheim schools receive donation, guitars from music group

Anaheim Orchestra

Brian Brooks/Anaheim City School District

A group of students at Anaheim City School District practice music during the district's new after-school orchestra program. Until 2013, school officials say the district didn't own a single musical instrument.

A California school district that didn't own a single musical instrument until recently is getting a hat tip for reviving music instruction and a donation of guitars from a national group on Tuesday. 

The foundation for the National Association of Music Merchants, hosting its annual trade show in Anaheim this week, is donating $10,000 and 12 guitars to the Anaheim City School District.

RELATED: Anaheim school district music program needs instruments

As KPCC previously reported, the district had no instruments until 2013 when it partnered with the local symphony and started an after-school orchestra. The district also recently hired full-time music instructors.

In recognition of the district's efforts to revive music education, the NAMM Foundation donated the money, to be used for the district orchestra, and the classical guitars, which will go to John Marshall Elementary School. Musicians will perform and hold student workshops at the school on Tuesday as part of NAMM's day of service.


3D printers changing the way some Pasadena students learn

3D Printers in Education - 1

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Fifth-grader Noah George removes a plate with finished pieces off a 3D printer in the Hamilton Elementary School computer lab on Jan. 13. Schools in the Pasadena Unified School District have began incorporating the printers into class curriculum.

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Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Computer lab teacher Nichole Anderson prints toy block pieces for a demonstration on fractions at Hamilton Elementary School in Pasadena on Jan. 13.

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Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Senior Dabit Ghandilyan, center, takes part in a 3D printing class on Jan. 13 at Marshall Fundamental Secondary School in Pasadena.

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Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Junior Carter Robertson, a teacher's assistant in Marshall Fundamental Secondary School's 3D printing class, shows a prototype to his teacher. The class is working to build props for the upcoming school performance of "Pippin."

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Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Teacher Miguel Almena, left, works with junior Stuart Litjen during a class assignment to build a Roman pilum as a prop for the school play. Litjen is experimenting with a screw-shape generator.

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Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Senior Malik Jones, center, takes part in a 3D printing class at Marshall Fundamental Secondary School in Pasadena on Jan. 13.

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Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Computer lab teacher Nichole Anderson helps 5th-grader Noah George take 3D-printed Lego pieces off the printer plate during a class on fractions at Hamilton Elementary School on Jan. 13.

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Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Fifth-graders Adrienne Tapia, left, Irene Martinez, Natalia Zenit and Zoe Fleming work together on a 3D printing project about fractions. The group decided to build a 3D pizza to demonstrate the concept.

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Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Hamilton Elementary 4th-grader Haven Prosperi looks through a bin of earlier 3D printer projects, including a cell phone case, during a Jan. 13 computer class.

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Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Computer lab teacher Nichole Anderson works with 5th-graders Zoe Fleming, left, and Sam Karp during a 3D printing class Jan. 13 at Hamilton Elementary School in Pasadena.

A $100,000 donation from a retired businessman has turned some lucky Pasadena students into technicians, collaborators and possibly future entrepreneurs.

Richard Davis' contribution to the Pasadena Unified School District made it possible to place 3D printers in each of the district's 27 schools. 

The printers spit out objects in three dimensions from materials like plastic and even paper. As the printers drop in price, they are making their way into classrooms around the country and changing the way students are learning. 

RELATED: Can art help students learn science and other subjects?

Last week, a group of 4th and 5th-graders at Hamilton Elementary School huddled around a 3D printer as the machine sputtered and a wheel of white plastic melted into shape, slowly printing out a toy block piece.


Arizona civics group targets California after winning test for high school graduation

Students Pledge Allegiance To The Flag In Pennsylvania

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

Arizona's new law requiring students take a civics test to graduate is spurring its advocates to target California for a similar exam.

After success in Arizona, civics education advocates are looking to push through a requirement in California that public school students pass an exam based on one given for U.S. citizenship.

“We hope to get out to California maybe in the next year or two and start working with citizens, legislators, teachers there, and see if we can’t make this happen in California as well,” said Sam Stone, Civics Education Initiative executive director, on Friday.

Stone said his group cheered when Arizona lawmakers and the governor approved a new law requiring public school students to pass a civics test to graduate, one based on questions given by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to immigrants seeking citizenship.

Federal officials asks individuals 10 questions orally and require six correct answers. The Arizona law requires students to pass 60 out of 100 questions from the test.


Ex-LAUSD superintendent attracted millions from foundations — will they stay the course?

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy in a photo taken last year. Deasy stepped down as head of the district on Thursday after a controversial tenure.

Damian Dovarganes/AP

Former Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy drew in millions in foundation contributions to the district during his tenure. He will be working for one of the large nonprofits, The Broad Center.

News that former Los Angeles Unified Superintendent John Deasy is taking a job at The Broad Center, an education reform nonprofit funded by philanthropist Eli Broad, came as little surprise.

Deasy attracted millions of dollars from Broad and other education reformers while he was superintendent from 2011 until his resignation in October. The foundations supported Deasy's push for tougher teacher evaluations, an expansion of charter schools, the controversial iPad program and other changes that riled labor unions.

The foundations contributing to the LA Fund, a fundraising nonprofit established by Deasy, helped to expand the district's free breakfast program into the classroom, growing participation. The goal now is to feed 650,000 students by the end of the school year.

The fund further helped to pay for field trips and art supplies, items that were cut from recession-era budgets. Other foundations focused on supporting Deasy's travel and paying the salaries of dozens of his top staffers. 


LAUSD tries new George Lopez campaign to raise funds for the arts

Thurgood Marshall College Fund 26th Awards Gala - Inside

Larry French/Getty Images for Thurgood Marshall College Fund

Comedian George Lopez is joining LAUSD in a campaign to raise funds for arts education and promote his new movie, "Spare Parts."

Actor George Lopez is partnering with Los Angeles Unified School District to help raise money for arts education and promote his new film.

The new campaign, called "Lowride with George Lopez," offers people a chance to win a ride-along with the comedian in a vintage, lowrider car on the Sunset Strip if they donate $10 or more. Airfare, dinner and hotel stays are also included in the prize. 

"We strongly believe that LAUSD should actively partner with the entertainment industry in working together to support arts education," said Rory Pullens, new head of the district's arts education branch, by email. 

RELATED: Top 10 arts education stories for 2014

Lopez is promoting his film “Spare Parts,” which tracks the real-life journey of four Arizona high school students who start a robotics team on a tight budget.