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 San Francisco Unified School District Supt. Vincent Matthews gives a presentation on African American achievement and leadership.
San Francisco Unified School District Supt. Vincent Matthews gives a presentation on African American achievement and leadership. (Jessica Christian / San Francisco Examiner)

Black students in San Francisco would be better off almost anywhere else in California.

Many attend segregated schools, and the majority of black, Latino and Pacific Islander students did not reach grade-level standards on the state’s recent tests in math or English tests.

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Al Seib / Los Angeles Times
Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Kevin Castillo was in his freshman year at Hamilton High School when administrators carrying hand-held metal detectors interrupted his English class to conduct a random search.

They asked a student to pick a number between 1 and 10. The student chose 7, so every seventh person in the class had to gather up belongings and step out of the classroom.

The chosen students, Kevin among them, were taken to a nearby office, he said, where they were instructed to open their backpacks slowly to allow administrators to look inside. The administrators used sticks to move items around, he said. They also waved the metal-detector wands up and down the students’ bodies.

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(Erik Lesser / European Pressphoto Agency)

The U.S. Department of Education has asked California to resubmit its plan for satisfying the Every Student Succeeds Act, a major education law.

President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015 to replace the No Child Left Behind Act. Where the much-criticized former act took a prescriptive, test-score-based approach to grading schools, ESSA gives states more agency to design their own systems. 

Californians used the opportunity to include multiple factors, such as attendance rates and suspensions, in new school ratings under ESSA.

Students know little about real-world finance.
Students know little about real-world finance. (Getty Images)

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The late Chris Cornell, of Soundgarden/Audioslave.
The late Chris Cornell, of Soundgarden/Audioslave. (Ricardo de Aratanha / Los Angeles Times)

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School's out for LAUSD students during winter break.
School's out for LAUSD students during winter break. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

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(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

California colleges and universities do a better job protecting free speech than their national peers but they still need to improve, a new study has found. 

Nationally, 32% of campuses have at least one policy that “clearly and substantially” restricts free speech, according to an annual report by the nonprofit Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. In California, that number drops to about 14%. The report gives these schools its lowest rating — a “red light.” 

On its website, the foundation, known as FIRE, states that its mission “is to defend and sustain individual rights at America’s colleges and universities” and that those rights “include freedom of speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience — the essential qualities of individual liberty and dignity.”

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USC graduate students Mariel Bello, Nina Christie and Alyssa Morris, left to right, pose for a selfie to forward to their congressman as they join national protests against the GOP tax bill.
USC graduate students Mariel Bello, Nina Christie and Alyssa Morris, left to right, pose for a selfie to forward to their congressman as they join national protests against the GOP tax bill. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

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(Maria Alejandra Cardona / Los Angeles Times)

Female politicians are used to finding themselves in rooms full of men.

But on Friday, two of the nation’s most prominent political women got the chance to address 10,000 girls.

Hillary Clinton and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) shared their experiences and offered advice to the young women in middle and high school at the annual Girls Build L.A. leadership summit in downtown Los Angeles.

Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

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