AirTalk for October 6, 2010

Mercer 10938

Seniority challenged at LAUSD

When the district handed out pink slips to over three thousand teachers last spring, some of the city’s worst-performing schools got the brunt of the firings. This because of LAUSD’s long-standing practice of ‘last-hired, first-fired,’ which many critics contend has left students in low-income schools at a disadvantage. Now a landmark lawsuit, approved by L.A.’s Board of Education on Tuesday, aims to change that practice, allowing the LAUSD to fire teachers with seniority over new teachers and thus spread layoffs more evenly throughout the district. The suit was filed by legal groups including the ACLU. If approved by a judge, the reform could serve as a model for school districts nationwide. Do the teachers with the most experience deserve immunity from layoffs? Or should seniority be the sole basis for keeping a less effective teacher in the classroom?
Mercer 10923

Being mindful of mindfulness

Taking the mindful approach to life means increased awareness of all aspects of the self – body, mind, heart and soul - resulting in a balanced sense of health and well-being. Proponents of mindfulness tout it as a deep, internal resource that, once tapped into, can help overcome stress, chronic pain, anxiety and other health problems. Other purported benefits include improved self-esteem, greater energy and more enthusiasm for life. Sounds great – so how is it done? Here to answer your questions is Jon Kabat-Zinn, the author of numerous books on mindfulness including Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. Could mindfulness help you achieve your goal of greater health and happiness?
Mercer 10942

LA’s drive to curb food trucks

The recent explosion of gourmet food trucks - serving everything from grilled cheese to red-velvet cup cakes - has transformed curbside dining. Obsessed fans track the mobile eateries on Twitter and endure long lines to feast and commune with fellow foodies. But critics say the trucks ignore parking and zoning regulations, steal business from brick and mortar restaurants and draw crowds that leave trash in their wake. LA city officials will meet in mid-October to debate proposals, which could put an end to the thriving food truck scene in the Miracle Mile district and much of the city. But first, Larry invites the players to the table, to dish about how and where LA’s food trucks should operate.
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