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One Serious Problem Gone (Jewish Journal, February 1, 2012)

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The City Council's Shameless Pander (The Wide Angle, October 20, 2011)

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Stout Awards Honors Olney, Morrison and Mantle (The Wide Angle, October 20, 2011)

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Dance With Who Brung ‘Ya (Jewish Journal, September 28, 2011)

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Jury Got It Right in the ‘Irvine 11’ Case (The OC Register, September 23, 2011)

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'Irvine 11' Muslim student protesters found guilty on both charges (KPCC’s Airtalk, September 23, 2011)

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Voting Rights Act Outdated in Modern Day LA (The Daily News, August 21, 2011)

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What Los Angeles Can Teach the UK (BBC News World, August 15, 2011)

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When Did Carrying An ID Become A “White Thing”? (The OC Register, August 15, 2011)

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Bill Crafts Disneyland Version of History (The Sacramento Bee, July 14, 2011)

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An Education Game Changer (The Wide Angles, July 12 2011)

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A Flotilla of Fools (The Wide Angle Blog, July 8, 2011)

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Advocacy, the Academy and Mushy Thinking (The Wide Angle Blog, July 1, 2011)

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Tragic Fiction comes to Life (The Wide Angle, June 23, 2011)

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Coalition Sues to Keep Circumcision Ban Off Ballot (The Jewish Journal, June 22, 2011)

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The Circumcision Wars (The Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2011)

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Male Circumcision Ban Proposed in Santa Monica (The Jerusalem Post, May 25, 2011)

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Right Goal, Wrong Strategy (The Wide Angle Blog, May 11, 2011)

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The Bus Has Left the Station (City Journal, April 1, 2011)

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UCLA Leads the Pack (The Wide Angle Blog, March 29, 2011)

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Mixed Race Marriages and Our Attitudes (The Wide Angles, March 25, 2011)

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The Uncle Tom Accusation, Again (The Wide Angle Blog, March 18, 2011)

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A Forward Looking Decision in Civil Rights (The Wide Angle Blog, March 9, 2011)

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A Rising Wave of Anti-Semitism (Los Angeles Times, September 16, 2009)

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The Wide Angle, A Community Advocates Blog (July - September, 2009)

July… August… September…

Israeli Consul General, Palestinian Lobbyist Reach Mock Peace Agreement (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 6, 2009)

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Critical Issues Seminar—Mock Peace Summit in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, April 29, 2009)

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In Battle Between Teachers, LAUSD, It’s the Kids Who Lose (Daily News, March 6, 2009)

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L.A. at the Tipping Point (www.RonKaye.LA, February 13, 2009)

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Theatrics by the Teachers (Daily News, February 8, 2009)

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Chicago Vs. Los Angeles Their Supe Is Obama’s New Education Man. Our Supe is Nice But… (LA Weekly, January 23, 2009)

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Critical Issues Seminar—Millennials Remaking America with KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, January 21, 2009)

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The Good News About Gaza in America (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, January 21, 2009)

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What Oakland Should be Protesting (Los Angeles Times, January 19, 2009)

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Calling All Radical Reformers to LAUSD (Daily News, December 14, 2008)

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Attention Politicians: Pandering Won’t Fly (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, November 12, 2008)

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Presentation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali of Ziegler Prize for Courage of Conviction (Japan American Theatre, October 22, 2008)

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The Problems and Potential of South L.A., A Dust-Up Exchange between Joe R. Hicks and Earl Ofari Hutchinson (Los Angeles Times, August 11-15, 2008)

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Find Fresh Ideas to Battle Hate, Letter to the Editor (Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2008)

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Fast Food Freeze is a Good Choice for South LA by Jan Perry, Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2008)

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Do You Want Poppycock With That? by Tim Rutten (Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2008)

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Fast-food Moratorium is Meddling (Los Angeles Times, July 31, 2008)

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Critical Issues Seminar on the Role of Race in the 2008 Elections in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, June 27, 2008)

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Shalom is not Funny (Letter to the Editor, Los Angeles Downtown News, June 23, 2008)

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A Dangerous and Precedent Setting Intrusion (Jewish Journal, June 13, 2008)

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“Ziman and Lee” (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 16, 2008

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We Don’t Need More Gabfests on Diversity (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 2, 2008)

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Families Deserve More than a Moratorium (Los Angeles Times, Blowback, April 10, 2008)

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On Any Given Sunday, Rev. Wright is Wrong (www.theroot.com, March 26, 2008)

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Obama’s Minister (KPCC’s Airtalk, March 18, 2008)

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LA Gang Violence Spikes (Associated Press, March 6, 2008)

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Critical Issues Seminar on The State of the Black Civil Rights Movement Today in conjunction with the Los Angeles Public Library and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, February)

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Asking Too Much (Los Angeles Times, January 31, 2008)

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Playing a Frayed and Faded Race Card (Jewish Journal, January 18, 2008)

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Limiting Fast Food Outlets---Path to Better Health? (KCET’s Life & Times, December 20, 2007)

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The State Bar and Revealing Data on Minority Passage Rates (KCET’s Life & Times, December 18, 2007)

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Divisions in the Jewish Community—Talking About Jerusalem (KCET’s Life & Times, December 12, 2007)

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Do Los Angeles’ Anti-Gang Programs Work? (KCET’s Life & Times, December 6, 2007)

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Sharpton Leads Call for Federal Investigation of Hate Crimes (Los Angeles Times, November 17, 2007)

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Race Card Backlash (Los Angeles Times, October 30, 2007)

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Critical Issues Seminar on Charter Schools in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, October 5, 2007)

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The Private Lives of Public Officials (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, October 2, 2007)

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“Smart Growth” and Los Angeles Planning (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 20, 2007)

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Civil Rights in Louisiana (To the Point, KCRW-FM, September 20, 2007)

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The Racial/Ethnic Educational Achievement Gap (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 12, 2007)

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Board Vote Not Aimed At Students (Los Angeles Daily News, September 9, 2007)

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Healthcare Reform and Politics (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 5, 2007)

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The Constitution and Sex Offenders (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, August 30, 2007)

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‘Profiles in Courage’ ( Jewish Journal, August 24, 2007)

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Where’s the Fire? (Washington Post, August 2, 2007)

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Race and Politics in a Changing South LA (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 20, 2007)

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Gangsta Rap and its Impact (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 13, 2007)

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Mexican Americans and Drunk Driving (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 6, 2007)

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Baseball and the Decline in African-American Players (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 30, 2007)

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Los Angeles Unified’s New Board (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 23, 2007)

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Hollywood and its Impact on Political Discourse (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 16, 2007)

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New Times and the NAACP (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 9, 2007)

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Downtown Homeless and the LAPD (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 2, 2007)

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Immigration and the new Sanctuary Movement (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 25, 2007)

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The Teachers’ Union and School Reform, (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 18, 2007)

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Drop the Race Card (Washington Post, April 15, 2007)

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The Takeover of the Times (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 11, 2007)

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The Governor’s Health Care Plan (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, March 28, 2007)

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Racism in the LA Fire Department? (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, March 14, 2007)

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Critical Issues Seminar in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, February 26, 2007)

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“Has the Nanny State Gone Too Far?” (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, February 28, 2007)

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“Justice Takes A Beating In Long Beach Racial Hatred Case” ( Jewish Journal, February 16, 2007)

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“Gang ‘Marshall Plan’ - Will It Work?” (KCET’s Life & Times’ Kitchen Table Conversation, February 14, 2007)

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“Living Wages or Dying Businesses?” (KCET’s Life & Times Kitchen Table Conversation, January 31, 2007)

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“Gangs of New York and LA” (Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, January 26, 2007)

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KCET’s Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “The Future of the Middle Class in Los Angeles” (Life & Times, January 17, 2007)

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“Does Abe Foxman Have An Anti-Anti-Semite Problem?”, (New York Times Magazine, January 14, 2007)

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “Military Recruitment on Campus---Right or Wrong?” January 3, 2007

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “Is There An Assault on Christmas?” December 13, 2006

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Racism Claims a Stretch" (Daily News, December 1, 2006)

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “What is Racism Today?” November 29, 2006

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"Racism in Entertainment", (KCRW's "Which Way LA?", November 27,2006)

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “Border Fence---Boondogle or Barrier?” (life & Times, November 15, 2006)

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“LA’s Jews and Other Minorities---Oh How They Danced” (Los Angeles Jewish Journal, November 11, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Racial Profiling and a National ID Card" (Life & Times, October 18, 2006)

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Critical Issues Seminar in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, October 9, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Immigration Debate Divides Conservatives" (Life & Times, October 5, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Drugs in Sports" (Life & Times, October 3, 2006)

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Award Dispute", KPCC's Airtalk, September 15,2006

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"Two Faced On Terrorism", Los Angeles Times, September 14, 2006

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Award to Islamic Leader Hathout Stirs Dispute", KCRW's Which Way LA?, September 14, 2006

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "California's High School Exit Exam?", ( Life & Times, August 23, 2006)

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"4 Los Angeles Latino Gang Members Convicted of Anti-Black Conspiracy" (Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2006)

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"Muslim Council's Bias All Too Clear" (Los Angeles Daily News, August 1, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "UCLA's Minority Admissions, (Life & Times, July 19, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Celebrity Causes--Ego or Altruism?", ( Life & Times, July 13, 2006)

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Did Anti-Semitism Take Root at the South Central Farm? (Jewish Journal, June 23,2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversations regarding Immigration and Employment (Life & Times, June 21,2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of news segment on the South Los Angeles Farm controversy (Life & Times, June 6, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kithcen-table Conversation regarding the Mayoral takeover of the Los Angeles Unified School District (Life & Times, June 6, 2006)

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Letter to the Editor regarding Race, Religion, and Demographic Change (Los Angeles Times, June 4, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Hybrid Cars and Energy Conservation (Life & Times, May 23, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Teen Sex (Life & Times, May 18, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Black Brown Tensions in LA (Life & Times, May 2, 2006)

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Debate education policy, not race (Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Fatherless Parenting (Life & Times, April 11, 2006)

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Border Protests Not Fight for Civil Rights (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, April 7, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Black-Brown tensions (Life & Times, April 4, 2006)

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Civil Rights? How About Lawlessness? (Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Immigration (Life & Times, March 30, 2006)

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Differing Views of Race in L.A. Collide in 'Crash' (Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2006)

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Disputed Film Draws Muted Response (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, February 10, 2006)

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Blacks vs. Latinos at Work (Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2006)

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The Munich Concern Is Us--Not Film (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, January 20, 2006) with Dr. Michael Berenbaum

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NAACP Leader Turned Heads By Backing Tookie (Baltimore Sun, January 15, 2006) Joe Hicks quoted

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Munich Portrays Real World Issues (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, December 23,2005), with Dr. Michael Berenbaum

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New Farrakhan Embodies Old Message (Los Angeles Jewish Journal, October 21, 2005)

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Levees Let Loose An Ugly Flood of Black Paranoia (Los Angeles Times, October 2, 2005)

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Lessons From the Ruins (LA Weekly, August 12, 2005)

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Let's Make A Diploma Mean Something (Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2005)

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Police Beating of Minister Disputed (Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2005)

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We Only Burned Ourselves, Baby (Los Angeles Times, August 7, 2005)

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Knee-jerk Activists and Their Tantrum Politics (Los Angeles Times, July 24, 2005)

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"Crash" Is No Picture of the Real Los Angeles (Los Angeles Daily News, June 24, 2005)

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Hit Film Paints Inaccurate Picture of Diverse LA (89.3 KPCC Perspectives, June 23, 2005)
Joe Hicks, the vice president of Community Advocates, says the hit movie Crash ...
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Jackson Trial Reaction Shows How Unimportant Race Is in US (Los Angeles Daily News, June 19, 2005)

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"Reel Life" (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, June 10, 2005)

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Joe Hicks talks about the election results (89.3 KPCC AirTalk, May 18, 2005)
with KPCC's Larry Mantle and reporter Adolfo Guzman Lopez, Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Raphe Sonenshein, Bill Rosendahl, Rick Caruso, Antonia Hernandez, , Joel Kotkin and D.J. Waldie.
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  David A. Lehrer
Joe R. Hicks
 
Latest Headlines
 

The Teachers’ Union and School Reform, (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 18, 2007)


Val Zavala>> There is no more powerful force in California education than the Teacher's Union. Yet some say that the union puts teachers' interests above those of our students, but the union says that the teachers bear the most responsibility for educating our kids. So is the union an obstacle to reform or the key to improving our schools?

David Lehrer of CommUnity Advocates moderates our debate between A.J. Duffy, President of United Teachers Los Angeles, and David Abel of New Schools Better Neighborhoods, a critic of the Teacher's Union. The Kitchen Table is made possible by Ralph Tornberg.

David Lehrer>> How does UTLA view school reform? How important is it on your agenda of priorities?

A.J. Duffy>> It's our number one priority. I mean, in our new contract that we just negotiated, first time ever class size reduction, first time ever caps on balloon classes, a beginning to be a fair and equitable salary which we feel is critically important to retain the good teachers and to entice the bright young minds in college and the second and third career people.

We've done some things aside from the contract like the Belmont Center of Choice which is a reform movement to give local control to about ten schools in the Belmont area high schools, bring teachers and parents and administrators to the table to do hiring, to do professional development, craft the curriculum that's necessary for the students that live in the communities that the school services.

David Lehrer>> David, Duffy says UTLA is a change agent for school reform.

David Abel>> There are many things that Duffy just said that are meritorious and supported in the community. I think teachers need to be paid better. I think they are working for some things that would help education, but they're the only voice in town. Everyone else has dropped by the side. He is the most powerful person. You're talking to the equivalent of the most powerful person in LAUSD by having Duffy here, he and his union.

They ought to have a voice, but they ought not to be the only voice. You know, absolute power absolutely corrupts and our conversations about education reform is not extensive enough. They're allowed to be taken down tributaries by talking about one off examples. They're talking about rehashing issues that most of their members agree with, but they never talk about the issues that really would drive some of their members crazy, but would be welcomed by parents, by students, by community leaders.

A.J. Duffy>> What issues?

David Abel>> It's a very narrow conversation.

A.J. Duffy>> What issues? What are you talking about?

David Abel>> Well, Duffy, you raised the Belmont Zone and I think that's a great program, but you can't explain to me why that isn't district-wide as a policy. You can't explain to me why the charter schools which you don't agree with mostly for administrative convenience. You just don't want to organize school by school in a seven hundred mile school district.

A.J. Duffy>> We're going to get there.

David Abel>> But you haven't shown me in your collective bargaining agreement you just signed, a three-year agreement, where the elements of reform, lessons learned from those charter schools, are incorporated in that contract. Because those aren't the issues that drive your members. The issues that drive your members are health benefits and that's why we spend three million dollars in this race in the Valley over an election about health benefits.

A.J. Duffy>> That's not true. What drives my numbers --

David Abel>> -- is that not the key issue in the race for you?

A.J. Duffy>> No, that is not the key issue, absolutely not.

David Abel>> But you just said it was.

A.J. Duffy>> The key issue is to continue driving reform. The Belmont Zone of Choice is not the only other game in town. We have an agreement about Parkman Middle School which is an expanded school base management school. I'm not going to go into --

David Abel>> -- there are eight hundred schools in Los Angeles Unified School District. There are eight hundred schools.

A.J. Duffy>> This school district has refused to reform. The demonstration project --

David Abel>> -- you're part of the school district.

A.J. Duffy>> The demonstration project districts --

David Lehrer>> -- don't you have a majority of the membership, or you did on the school board, and if you're interested, why didn't reform take place?

A.J. Duffy>> You know what? Because David's fallacy that we control the school board is in fact a fallacy because, if we did control the school board, we would have a dozen more Parkmans, we would have more Belmont Zones of Choice because UTLA is all about local control of schools, which we believe means quality education and decision-making for parents and teachers and administrators and, if you get local control of a massive amount of schools which we are pushing for, then you have less bureaucracy.

David Abel>> The conflict that Duffy has, it's part of his union responsibilities both to be a progressive and to protect his members, is that if a bad teacher exists in the school and well-known, he's obligated to protect that teacher. That's his obligation.

A.J. Duffy>> By law, by law.

David Abel>> You made the law, but by law. So he has a problem of being a true reformer from the constituents' point of view because he has to do that service.

A.J. Duffy>> And yet, according to the Los Angeles Times, over two hundred teachers were fired last year. We brought peer review and assistance into the district and you know what? Every teacher who gets a bad write-up has to go in it. Not administrators, and I know we got a lot of good administrators, but we have a lot of bad administrators that should have --

David Lehrer>> -- you know, it seems the consensus in this town seems to be that -- actually, this country -- public education is in terrible shape, test scores are inching up slowly in Los Angeles, but all too slowly. It becomes a major issue periodically when elections --

A.J. Duffy>> -- if you believe in test scores.

David Lehrer>> But wouldn't it be in your membership's interest to really shake things up and to have, you know, semi-contented parents out there who know their kids are moving up instead of this kind of, you know, status quo which you take Belmont and you've got Parkman and there are hundreds of other schools out there that something has to be done?

I mean, I know as a parent of four kids who've been through the public school system, it is a challenge to navigate this system and to make sure your kids get a quality education and you just watch it for twenty-five years deteriorate.

A.J. Duffy>> I have been in office for a year and a half and, during that time, we have the Belmont Zone of Choice, we have Parkman Middle School, we are trying to get Families of School Projects going which is not just an education innovation, but it's an urban planning education where students get into a mini-district away from the bureaucracy that includes early childhood ed centers, elementary, middle, high schools --

David Abel>> -- all meritorious. Ask him what's in the contract --

A.J. Duffy>> -- so that they can be a part of --

David Lehrer>> -- David, what is happening in the contract?

David Abel>> You just negotiated probably the most advantageous contract UTLA has negotiated in twenty-five years. What's in that three-year contract that picks up on these experiments that ought to be praised? You're talking about good things in a district of seven hundred square miles and nine hundred schools. What's in that contract?

A.J. Duffy>> Class size reduction, class size caps and the living contract. The first time, we didn't throw --

David Abel>> -- you didn't throw any of those out of the Belmont contract? You didn't take any of those out of the charter schools?

A.J. Duffy>> No. For the first time, this district will now be able to sit down with the union on an ongoing basis and negotiate items.

David Lehrer>> And you'll be able to raise the issue of wages all the time?

A.J. Duffy>> Wages, as re-openers, are aside from the living contract concept. We will be at the table aside from re-openers with issues for counselors, with issues for further class size reduction. I'm going to be working with the district to go upstate and raise money for lower class sizes --

David Abel>> -- with hopefully more than five percent of the voters vote in the May election. That's what we need.

A.J. Duffy>> I would like to see that.

David Lehrer>> I want to thank you both for coming today. David and Duffy, it's been a very enlightening conversation and we appreciate it.

A.J. Duffy>> Thank you, David.

David Abel>> Thank you, Duffy.

 

 
   
 
 
   

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