Pass / Fail | So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

University to offer Vietnamese language BA and teaching credential

Trangdai Glassey-Tranguyen and about 200 other people showed support for a forthcoming CSU Fullerton BA and teacher credential program in Vietnamese language and culture.
Adolfo Guzman-Lopez

There’s a huge interest among Vietnamese Americans in Southern California to keep the language and culture alive among their American born children and grandchildren. But doing that isn't so easy.

California State University Fullerton will soon be launching a program designed to help.

Starting next year, the university will offer classes for a bachelor’s degree in Vietnamese language and culture, as well as training teachers in Vietnamese as a foreign language.

Cal State Fullerton education professor Natalie Tran said most of the teachers teaching Vietnamese as a second language now aren't credentialed - because it doesn't exist.

"Typically what they do is they have a credential in another content area like a science or math,” she said.  This program is a first of its kind for California teachers.


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Looking for an inventive arts lesson plan? Street art guide, maps may be just the ticket

Graffiti Artist Julian, who tags as Naive, takes a break to examine the work he's done on the Triumph Optical mural in Highland Park.
Grant Slater/KPCC

Street art has a long history in Los Angeles. From graffiti artists like MEAR ONE and SMEAR to the internationally-known street artist Shepard Fairey, outdoor works of art are sprawled across the city.

Teachers who want to expose their students to the form may want to visit the online magazine Mental Floss. It recently posted an illustrated guide to street art terms

Here's a sampling from the piece by Jessica Allen.



An adhesive made from equal parts flour and water; also the name for a type of street art that relies on it. To put up a wheatpaste, an artist covers an area with the paste, then unfurls a poster, drawing, painting, or photo made off site. After smoothing out the paper’s wrinkles and bubbles, another smear of wheatpaste goes on top. The result is sometimes called a paste-up.    


Icy and Sot

A design cut into heavy paper or cardboard, then spray-painted onto a wall. A stencil may be a phrase, an image, or a combination thereof. Some stencils are one-offs; others are repeated throughout a geographic area or around the world. Blek le Rat, the so-called father of stencil graffiti, popularized the form via images of rats he began putting up in Paris in the early 1980s. 


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School board votes to cut pay of Palmdale teachers, staff

Palmdale Elementary Teachers Association members rally outside a July 16, 2013, school board meeting.
Calvin Robinson

The Palmdale School District Board of Trustees voted Tuesday night to implement proposed salary cuts and furlough days for its employees.

The 4-1 vote immediately institutes a 3.8 percent salary cut, up to nine furlough days and a hard cap on employee health benefits. The cuts would go up by an additional 8.4 percent next year.

"Obviously this is going to have a dramatic impact on our membership – many who will be losing their homes, defaulting on loans," said Hugo Estrada, president of the Palmdale Elementary Teachers Association. "It’s going to be a very hard time for our membership."

Estrada said that the cuts add up to about $1,000 each month for district employees.

“Can you imagine what our members are going through right now, thinking about losing that much money from their monthly checks?” Estrada asked. “That’s going through my mind right now. What am I going to do? What’s my family going to do? There’s so much at stake here, not only for my membership, but to my family as well.”


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Teens use beats and rhymes to process, organize in aftermath of Zimmerman acquittal

The Global Awareness Through Hip Hop youth group meets near Leimert Park in the aftermath of the Zimmerman acquittal.
Deepa Fernandes

Lee Greenwood hasn’t been to any of the protests on the George Zimmerman trial verdict. His mom won’t let him.

But the 15-year-old Crenshaw Arts and Tech High School student is outraged at George Zimmerman’s acquittal on murder charges in the death of Trayvon Martin. So he’s been tweeting about it and, yesterday at a meeting of his hip hop youth group, he freestyle rapped about it. (Hear Greenwood's full freestyle verse in the radio feature.)

“Rest in Peace

To Trayvon

Your death won’t be in vain.”

Social media has lit up with anger over the verdict — and spontaneous protests and vigils have sprouted nationwide. Much of the anger has come from teens and early twentysomethings. Young people were at the forefront of protests in New York City’s Time Square.

RELATED: In the wake of the Zimmerman verdict, what sort of conversations are you having?


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As UC regents vote on Napolitano as president, critics cite lack of academic background

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Kevin Dietsch /UPI/Landov

University of California Regents are meeting in San Francisco on Thursday to vote on the appointment of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano to be the next UC president — one of the most prestigious jobs in higher education — but some are asking whether she's the right person for the job.

The Regents are set to hire Napolitano, in large part, because of her success running the nearly $60 billion Department of Homeland Security. Many people are praising Napolitano’s decades-long history of managing large agencies, and Napolitano bragged about running Homeland Security to a gathering at the Brookings Institution earlier this year.

“Today, a decade after the creation of a cabinet level agency bearing that name, Homeland Security has come to mean much more," she said. "It means the coordinated work of hundreds of thousands of dedicated and skilled professionals and more than ever of the American public, of our business and families, communities and faith based groups.”


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