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1297 posts
  • Betsy DeVos
  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • LAUSD
  • Community Colleges
Alexander Ke left, Eugene Woo and other members of the North Hollywood High School cyber defense team are cheered at a pep rally.
Alexander Ke left, Eugene Woo and other members of the North Hollywood High School cyber defense team are cheered at a pep rally. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

  1. USC's head chaplain stands out. He's a Hindu with a law degree.
  2. Students from North Hollywood High School are flying to Baltimore this week to compete in a cyber security contest.
  3. A San Pedro High School baseball player was badly beaten on Thursday night.
  4. A judge in San Diego approved a $25-million Trump University settlement, ending six years of acrimonious litigation.

In California:

  1. California has spent more than $890 million to boost community college completion, but statewide rates have yet to increase.
  2. Bay Area school districts face budget deficits.

Nationwide:

  1. Trump will nominate former Jeb Bush lawyer and school voucher supporter Carlos Muñiz as general counsel for the U.S. Department of Education.
  2. How some community colleges and other schools are trying to help more students graduate.
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  • Higher Education
Father Richard Sunwoo, left, Varun Soni, middle, and Rev. James Burklo.
Father Richard Sunwoo, left, Varun Soni, middle, and Rev. James Burklo. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Varun Soni is an unusual college chaplain. He is a Hindu. He has a law degree. In 2008, when USC hired him as its dean of religious life, he was the sole head chaplain at a major American university who was not only not a Christian but not an ordained Christian at that.

Today, at a time when differences — religious and otherwise — grow ever more fraught and complex, he remains all but alone in breaking the Protestant chaplain mold, except for a rabbi at Dartmouth, another at Wesleyan, a Buddhist at Emerson.

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State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) talks with Assemblyman Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond).
State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) talks with Assemblyman Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond). (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

State Assemblyman Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) will run for state superintendent of public instruction.

He announced his candidacy in a statement Monday that focused on resisting the Trump administration's education plans.

"Fighting for education starts with opposing the efforts by President Trump and Betsy DeVos to defund our public schools," Thurmond said in the statement, referring to Trump's budget blueprint. "I will fight the Trump Agenda to gut our public schools at every step."

A 15-year-old student from San Pedro remained hospitalized Sunday with severe injuries after two men beat him while he was walking home, authorities said.

The student, identified as Evan Jimenez, was attacked at about 10 p.m. Thursday in an alley near 2nd and Bandini streets in San Pedro, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

  • K-12
  • LAUSD
Alexander Ke left, Eugene Woo and other members of the North Hollywood High School cyber defense team are feted by cheerleaders during a pep rally Thursday.
Alexander Ke left, Eugene Woo and other members of the North Hollywood High School cyber defense team are feted by cheerleaders during a pep rally Thursday. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

Schools from the Los Angeles Unified School District long have dominated the national Academic Decathlon. Now they're trying to do the same in the National Cyber Security Championship.

In this more recently launched competition, teams detect and disarm simulated cyber threats. L.A. Unified is the only district to have teams advance to the nationals for the last eight years. 

North Hollywood High on Thursday staged a send-off for its three teams that will compete next week in Baltimore. The students got the football-star treatment, entering the celebration through a tunnel of cheerleaders. The school's band gave them a musical salvo. Principal Ricardo Rosales talked them up.

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  • Higher Education
Plaintiffs' attorney Jason Forge speaks alongside attorney Rachel Jensen.
Plaintiffs' attorney Jason Forge speaks alongside attorney Rachel Jensen. (Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

A San Diego federal judge on Friday morning finalized the $25-million settlement in the Trump University litigation, dismissing the objection of a Florida woman and finding in favor of the 3,700 others who stand to recoup the vast majority of what they spent on the real estate baron’s investment program.

The ruling ends six years of litigation that got nasty from the start — including an early countersuit by Donald Trump that failed — and became political fodder in his race for the White House.

  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • University of California
  • LAUSD
  • Charter Schools
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

In and around Los Angeles;

  1. Several groups have joined forces to push L.A. Unified to create a common enrollment system that includes independent charter schools.
  2. Parents protested the potential addition of a charter school on the Third Street Elementary School campus.

In California:

  1. UC President Janet Napolitano visited Mexico to announce $10 million in new funding for binational research projects.
  2. The state released guidelines to help educators teach new science standards.
  3. College students from California and schools nationwide are launching a campaign to push the Trump administration to enforce Title IX.

Nationwide:

  1. Denver Public Schools Supt. Tom Boasberg is the latest charter school backer to criticize Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' private-school-choice agenda.
  2. How school vouchers work in Indiana.
  • Higher Education
  • University of California
UC President Janet Napolitano
UC President Janet Napolitano (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Mexican officials have announced $10 million in new funding to support binational research projects on energy efficiency with the University of California.  

The money, announced in Mexico City on Thursday after Mexican energy officials met with UC President Janet Napolitano, will go to projects led by Mexican research institutions in collaboration with UC researchers.

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  • Betsy DeVos
  • Higher Education
  • University of California
Students at Stanford University protest sexual assault.
Students at Stanford University protest sexual assault. (Associated Press)

Students and faculty members at Columbia University in New York have launched a national campaign to nudge the Trump administration to enforce Title IX, the law that bans gender discrimination in educational programs receiving federal assistance. 

The campaign, #CantTrumpOurTitleIX, kicks off with campus actions on Friday. The coalition also sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions.

"No student should experience gender-based violence, nor should schools ignore threats to a student’s safety or ability to learn," the letter states. "We will not rest until the rights and protections of all students, especially survivors of gender-based violence, are guaranteed."

Each week, HS Insider lets high school journalists across the country know about opportunities to join the community and get their work seen. Here are some highlights from our latest newsletter. Fill in your email address below to get it delivered to you every week:

Amanda Jimenez and Michael Chidbachian reported on their school’s efforts to curtail drug use. “Daniel Pearl Magnet High School Principal Deb Smith walks into school in the morning, mapping out which bathrooms will be closed during break due to the increase of drug use on campus … This year, there’s an increase in recorded incidents on campus.”

(John Stamos)

John Garcia (East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy) explored how Belvedere park in East Los Angeles illustrates California’s skateboarding culture. He writes: “Many people like going to this park because when you’re skating there, it’s like surfing a wave.”