1297 posts
  • Higher Education
  • Community Colleges
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

The chancellor of the California Community Colleges system says intermediate algebra should no longer be required to earn an associate's degree — unless students are in the fields of science, technology, engineering or math.

Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley, who heads the nation’s largest community college system of 114 campuses, told The Times that intermediate algebra is seen as a major barrier for students of color, preventing too many from completing degrees. About three-fourths of those who transfer to four-year universities are non-STEM majors, he said, who should be able to demonstrate quantitative reasoning skills by taking statistics or other math courses more applicable to their fields.

  • K-12
(Los Angeles Police Department)

Two Boyle Heights teenagers who were reported missing Wednesday were found safe early Thursday, police said.

Authorities had been searching for Jaylin Mazariegos, 15, and Adrian Gonzalez, 14, since 3 p.m. They were found about 12:45 a.m. near the intersection of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Normandie Avenue, Hollenbeck Division police said.

Sgt. John Porras said police were able to determine their cellphone location.

  • Higher Education
Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito stepped down as USC medical school dean in 2016.
Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito stepped down as USC medical school dean in 2016. (Alex J. Berliner / Associated Press)

Addressing scores of bewildered and at times angry students, the dean of USC’s medical school said Wednesday that the university had launched multiple internal investigations into the conduct of his predecessor after The Times reported that he associated with criminals and drug abusers who told of using methamphetamine and other drugs with him.

“These allegations, if they are true, they are horrible and despicable,” Dr. Rohit Varma told the gathering of scores of medical scholars and graduate students at the Keck School of Medicine in Boyle Heights, who were summoned to a town-hall-type meeting to discuss The Times’ article about Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito. The newspaper obtained a recording of the meeting.

“He’s a man who had a brilliant career, all gone down the drain,” Varma said. “I’m standing in this place where my predecessor now has this taint. ... It is sad.”

(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Accusing Sacramento’s political power barons of neglecting California schoolchildren, former state schools chief Delaine Eastin jumped into the 2018 governor’s race in the fall vowing to shove the issue of education to the forefront of the campaign.

Eastin’s done her part, at least, calling for increased funding for schools and lower, in some cases free, college tuition as she travels the state.

She’s also been quick to stoke California’s fiery left, calling for President Trump’s impeachment and the establishment of a state-run single-payer healthcare system.

  • Betsy DeVos
  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • California State University
  • Charter Schools
Austin Beutner began quietly putting together the advisory task force, with the superintendent's endorsement, in the latter part of 2016.
Austin Beutner began quietly putting together the advisory task force, with the superintendent's endorsement, in the latter part of 2016. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

  1. A group of business, philanthropic and community leaders want to advise L.A. Unified Supt. Michelle King on fixing the district.
  2. USC's president sent a letter to the campus community saying he would "examine and address" a Times report about the former medical school dean's drug use and criminal ties.

In California:

  1. Cal State's trustees are trying to assemble a budget that helps the system accommodate more fully qualified students, thousands of whom were turned away from their desired campuses.
  2. Meet the Nazarians, an Iranian couple that donated $17 million to CSUN's Valley Performing Arts Center in the system's largest ever arts-related donation. 


  1. House Republicans are rejecting Trump's proposed cuts to higher education.
  2. Betsy DeVos started a speech focused on special education by talking about school choice.
  • Higher Education
  • California State University
Cal State University Board of Trustees Chairwoman Rebecca Eisen, right, listens to CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White
Cal State University Board of Trustees Chairwoman Rebecca Eisen, right, listens to CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

About 31,000 fully qualified students were turned away from California State University for the fall term because their desired school was at capacity, administrators told trustees during a meeting Tuesday as they discussed budget challenges and new directives to increase enrollment at the largest public university system in the nation.

Although Cal State has made room for an additional 30,000 students since 2013, administrators said, the number of eligible applications continues to outpace the amount of funding provided by the state. After months of lobbying by faculty, students and staff, Gov. Jerry Brown last month signed off on a $20-million boost dedicated to increasing enrollment by about 3,000 students across the 23-campus system.

(Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Unified School District, which just two months ago saw a pro-charter school majority elected to the Board of Education for the first time, is about to get another jolt.

Philanthropist and former investment banker Austin Beutner has assembled an advisory panel to work with Los Angeles schools Supt. Michelle King. The group, which includes business, philanthropic and community leaders, will start with the nuts-and-bolts issue of improving student attendance but intends to conduct a broad review of district operations.

USC President C.L. Max Nikias
USC President C.L. Max Nikias (Jonathan Leibson / Getty Images)

Acknowledging widespread concern on campus, USC President C.L. Max Nikias said Tuesday the university would “examine and address” a report in The Times that its former medical school dean abused drugs and associated with criminals and drug users.

Nikias, speaking about the controversy for the first time in a letter to the campus community, said that “we understand the frustrations expressed about this situation” involving Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito and “we are working to determine how we can best prevent these kinds of circumstances moving forward.”

  • Higher Education
  • California State University
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

In the 1940s, many years before he fled the Iranian Revolution and became a rich man in America, Younes Nazarian was a boy from the Jewish ghetto selling and replacing light bulbs in the alleys and bazaars of Tehran. 

That youthful enterprise eventually turned into a career manufacturing construction machinery and running an import-export business. But Nazarian’s factory and wealth were threatened by rising Islamic clerics seeking to overthrow the shah. He and his wife, Soraya, and children left their home, and by 1979, when Ayatollah Khomeini seized power in Iran, Nazarian was working on his second fortune in California.

The spirit of that reinvention as a first-generation immigrant among a growing Iranian American community prompted his family’s $17-million donation Tuesday to the Valley Performing Arts Center at Cal State Northridge. It is the largest single arts gift to the state university system and highlights the center’s diverse programming as a leading San Fernando Valley venue for world-class acts that resonate with the region’s evolving cultural landscape.

  • Higher Education
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The former dean of USC’s medical school is on leave and is no longer seeing patients after the Los Angeles Times reported that he associated with criminals and drug users who said he abused methamphetamine and other drugs, university officials said Monday.

Carmen A. Puliafito led the Keck School of Medicine for nearly a decade before resigning in 2016.