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1297 posts
  • 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."

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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.”

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(Camille Vance)

George Mason University freshman Carmine Gothard, 18, turned anger into art as a coping mechanism for her generalized anxiety, bipolar, and post-traumatic stress disorders. She never expected to inspire so many people with her story.

Gothard was sexually assaulted when she was 7 years old.

Repressed emotion bubbled to the surface during her freshman year at Briar Woods High School, causing destructive behavior that her family could not understand. She formed connections through mental health blogs and was inspired by mental illness-themed poetry videos to document her own journey in a private blog.

  • K-12
  • LAUSD
  • For Parents
  • Charter Schools
Author Luis Rodriguez signs books for the Mendez High School Reading Club, the kind of activity that the school hopes will attract new students.
Author Luis Rodriguez signs books for the Mendez High School Reading Club, the kind of activity that the school hopes will attract new students. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Several organizations officially joined forces Thursday to press the Los Angeles Unified School District toward a common enrollment system for all students.

The idea is that students and families would have one place, one form and one process for managing the myriad educational options available in the nation’s second-largest school system.

Relatively sophisticated middle-class families have spent years learning the nuances of the different enrollment timelines and strategies, giving them a huge advantage over, say, immigrant families learning English, parents with limited education or working-class families in which parents juggle multiple low-wage jobs.

  • Higher Education
Sherri Simpson is objecting to a $25-million settlement that would end the Trump University litigation.
Sherri Simpson is objecting to a $25-million settlement that would end the Trump University litigation.

On Thursday afternoon, some 3,700 claimants, scores of attorneys and perhaps even the president himself will be awaiting the ruling from a San Diego courtroom in what could be the final chapter in the Trump University legal saga.

Days after winning the presidency in November, Donald Trump settled three class-action lawsuits over his real estate seminar program. Since then, attorneys for the plaintiffs and others have been working to make sure as many class members as possible have the opportunity to get a slice of the $25-million deal.

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  • K-12
A new principal and two new assistant principals took over at Rincon Middle School in Escondido this week, after this video circulated on social media showing two students fighting in front of an administrator who doesn’t intervene.

A new principal and two new assistant principals took over at Rincon Middle School in Escondido this week, after a video circulated on social media Friday showing two students fighting in front of an administrator who doesn’t intervene.

Escondido Union School District Superintendent Luis Rankins-Ibarra announced the changes in a letter to district parents Monday night.

  • Betsy DeVos
  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • LAUSD
  • Charter Schools
LAUSD district 4 board candidate Nick Melvoin
LAUSD district 4 board candidate Nick Melvoin (Los Angeles Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

  1. Former U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan endorsed Nick Melvoin and Kelly Gonez, two L.A. school board candidates supported by charter school backers.
  2. Early numbers are in on spending in the runoff school board races.

In California:

  1. A reporter describes how hard it is to track the flow of education dollars in California.
  2. Thirty-nine California school districts — including L.A. Unified — reported that they expect to have difficulty paying their bills in 2018-19.

Nationwide: 

  1. In New Rochelle, N.Y., school nurses' offices now carry naloxone, an antidote to opioid overdoses.
  2. Moody's says that Trump's budget cuts could put stress on universities.
  3. Betsy DeVos compares school choice to the fight between taxis and ride-sharing apps. (Taxis = "the education establishment.")
  • Betsy DeVos
  • K-12
  • LAUSD
  • Charter Schools
Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)

Arne Duncan, who was secretary of Education under President Obama, has endorsed Kelly Gonez and Nick Melvoin for the Los Angeles Board of Education, giving these candidates a counterpunch against opponents attempting to link them ideologically with the Trump administration.

Like President Trump and his Education secretary, Betsy DeVos, Melvoin and Gonez strongly support privately operated, publicly funded charter schools. But so does Duncan. And so did the administration of President Obama, who also maintained close ties with leaders of teachers unions critical of charters.

The union message to liberal Los Angeles voters has been that Melvoin and Gonez will pursue the Trump education agenda. But the candidates insist the more apt association is with Obama.

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  • Higher Education
(David McNew / Getty Images)

Provoked by the stream of executive orders coming out of President Trump’s White House, a group of USC faculty members has sent a letter to the school’s administration asking it to do more to protect foreign students, faculty and staff.

The letter comes on the heels of a full-page advertisement the group took out in The Times last week.

It lists seven recommendations, including proposals to create an emergency fund for students and faculty affected by executive orders on immigration and travel, and to set up a center for immigrant and international students.

  • University of California
(Peter DaSilva / For The Times)

Squirrels are so ubiquitous, they’re easy to ignore. But UC Berkeley doctoral student Mike Delgado and others at the Jacobs Lab for Cognitive Biology say they’re more than bright-eyed and bushy-tailed; they’re brainy enough to deserve a close look.

The rodents have figured out how to survive for millions of years, adapting on five continents to diverse terrain including tropical rainforests and semiarid deserts. They like nuts and seeds, but they’ll eat bird eggs, tree bark, insects — and, at Berkeley anyway, French fries and chocolate.