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1297 posts
  • Higher Education
  • University of California
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

University of California President Janet Napolitano blasted the Trump administration's immigration crackdown on Wednesday, calling it a step backward that would make communities less safe.

Napolitano, who served as U.S. Homeland Security secretary under President Obama, said the vast expansion of deportation priorities announced by the White House this week would not work in the long run. 

"The new guidance essentially makes all undocumented immigrants in the United States priorities for enforcement," she said in a statement given to The Times. "When everyone is a priority, there are essentially no priorities — and my experience as secretary of Homeland Security and governor of Arizona showed clearly that the lack of priorities undermines effective immigrant enforcement and makes our communities less safe.

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State Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
State Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. (Andrew Seng / Associated Press)

With news that the Trump administration is rolling back former President Obama's guidance on protecting transgender students, State Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson is reminding California students of their rights.

"California students will continue to have their civil rights protected," he said in a statement Wednesday. "California will continue to work to provide that environment for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students regardless of any misguided directives by the federal government and the Trump administration."

This post was updated to include news of the guidance.

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  • Higher Education
  • University of California
Cal junior A.J. Moultrie, 21, of the UC Berkeley Black Student Union, reads a statement.
Cal junior A.J. Moultrie, 21, of the UC Berkeley Black Student Union, reads a statement. (Robin Abcarian / Los Angeles Times)

A small but important piece of history was made Tuesday evening at UC Berkeley when the Fannie Lou Hamer Black Resource Center opened its doors.

To celebrate, there were speeches. And refreshments. And a deejay. Also, an understandable sense of accomplishment on the part of the Black Student Union, which has spent years pushing the university to establish the center, named for the great civil rights activist.

A transgender student in Los Angeles Unified School District.
A transgender student in Los Angeles Unified School District. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

As President Trump prepares to roll back federal protections for transgender students, it may be a good time to revisit a guide we published in 2016 about the rights that transgender students are afforded in California and L.A. 

While California state law strongly protects transgender students, losing federal protection could negatively affect transgender rights in the state. Lawyers and advocates relied on the Obama administration, rather than on California's state government, to enforce student rights in a number of cases.

What rights do transgender students have in California?

  • Betsy DeVos
  • K-12
The Trump administration revoked federal requirements for public schools to let transgender students use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity.

The Trump administration is preparing to rescind the Obama administration's protections for transgender students in public schools — but U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos initially opposed the move, the New York Times reports.

Trump, according to the Times, sided with Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions.

In order for the new regulations to move forward, both the Education and Justice departments needed to sign off.

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Students at Garfield High School.
Students at Garfield High School. (Christina House / For the Times)

I had trouble believing that 18 students, without adult guidance, decided all they wanted to do was attack a single candidate rather than extol the virtues of other candidates. And that one candidate, incumbent Steve Zimmer, is a target of charter school proponents, which is where the million dollars came from, with former Mayor Dick Riordan as sugar daddy.

Political consultant John Shallman told me he pitched the idea of recruiting students to the folks at the California Charter Schools Assn., then assigned one of his staffers to run L.A. Students for Change. Smart move on his part. More than $3 million in independent committee spending alone has been sunk into school board races, and campaign records show that Shallman should have invested in an armored car for all his trips to the bank.

  • K-12
(Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

The firm that owns the SAT college entrance exam is boosting security around the world following test-stealing and other cheating incidents in recent years.

The College Board told the Associated Press it's reducing the number of international testing dates from six per year to four for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. It says the move will reduce opportunities for test content to be stolen.

  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • University of California
  • LAUSD
(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

  1. Following an FBI investigation into L.A. Unified's iPad plan, the U.S. attorney's office said Tuesday it will not file charges against the district.

California:

  1. A Georgia Tech dean known for his commitment to increasing diversity has been named the new chancellor for UC Davis. 
  2. How teachers are using virtual reality to enhance science lessons.
  3. San Diego Unified is considering layoffs to balance its budget.

Nationwide:

  1. An investigation finds that school districts direct their lowest performers to alternative schools in an effort to inflate scores and graduation rates.
  2. The Trump administration is preparing to roll back Obama-era protections for transgender students.
  3. A school prayer bill is advancing in Indiana.
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  • K-12
  • LAUSD
(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

The U.S. attorney has decided not to file charges following a lengthy FBI investigation into the bidding process that won Apple a contract to provide an iPad to every student, teacher and administrator in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The decision, announced Tuesday, brings to a close an infamous and far-reaching chapter in the history of the nation’s second-largest school system. The iPad project, approved in June 2013, was a flagship effort of then-Supt. John Deasy, who saw the devices as a way to help the district’s low-income families offset advantages enjoyed by more prosperous families and by school systems that served wealthier neighborhoods.

In the end, problems related to the $1.3-billion project contributed to Deasy’s resignation under pressure in October 2014. In December of that year, FBI agents raided district headquarters, carting away 20 boxes of documents. 

  • Higher Education
  • University of California
(Georgia Tech)

University of California President Janet Napolitano announced Tuesday that she has selected Gary May, a Georgia Tech dean and UC Berkeley alumnus, as her choice to become the seventh chancellor of UC Davis.

May, who has long supported promoting minorities in higher education, will replace Linda Katehi, who resigned last year after a UC investigation into her alleged conflicts of interest found she violated multiple university policies and misled her superiors, the public and the media.

In a statement, Napolitano praised May as a “dynamic leader and an accomplished scholar and engineer with a passion for helping others succeed.”The UC Board of Regents will vote on the appointment during a special meeting at UCLA on Feb. 23.