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Voting Rights Act Outdated in Modern Day LA (The Daily News, August 21, 2011)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

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


Val Zavala>> Could this be the year that the LAUSD finally launches forward? Boosting test scores and reducing bureaucracy? Some people say yes. After all, it's got a new superintendent, two new school board members and a contentious fight with the mayor behind it. Could this be the year that students finally take priority?

For our Kitchen Table discussion this week, we've brought David Lehrer of CommUnity Advocates together with a newly-elected school board member, Tamara Galatzan, who had the support of Mayor Villaraigosa, and Marlene Canter, a board member since 2001 and is current president. The Kitchen Table is made possible by Ralph Tornberg.

David Lehrer>> Tamar, the press seems to think there was an earthquake in Los Angeles Unified with the elections. What is your view of what's going to be happening now with Los Angeles Unified?

Tamar Galatzan>> I think what we have now is a real momentum for change, a sense of urgency here at the district that something needs to happen. It needs to happen now. We're not going to wait another five years and commission thirty more studies that just get thrown in a drawer somewhere.

What's on my agenda that I want to focus on really comes down to the things I spoke about during the campaign. It has to do with decentralizing the downtown-based decision-making and finally gives schools more control over their own budget and personnel and facilities issues and really focusing on public safety and school safety, which is really one of the issues, I think, that has made a lot of parents pull their kids out of the district. So those are some of the issues that I want to focus on.

David Lehrer>> Marlene, you were elected as a reformer six years ago.

Marlene Canter>> I was.

David Lehrer>> Are you seen as the old guard now or do you think there is an urgency?

Marlene Canter>> I always felt there was an urgency. I was elected not only as a reformer, but an independent reformer because I ran on my own. I wake up every morning with a sense of urgency or I wouldn't be doing this job. For me, this election brings to an end a year of transition.

You know, the mayor's takeover plan failed and now we're all talking again and we're looking at partnerships. We hired a new superintendent and he has very large goals to really address some of Tamar's concerns of decentralization.

David Lehrer>> One of the areas that seemed to be a thread that cuts across, I think, your career and the platforms of the four people all relatively recently elected is a willingness to approve more charter schools.

Charter schools are those schools that are independently run, financed independent of the bureaucracy downtown, can create their own curriculum within certain parameters and I think there are about a hundred charter schools in the district now. I think there seems to be a yen for more charter schools. What's your attitude toward charters?

Tamar Galatzan>> You know what charters really are? They're a cry for help. There are parents and teachers and principals who are so fed up dealing with the red tape and the bureaucracy and the rules and they just want the freedom to be able to teach the kids how they think best they should be taught. That's really what this movement is about. You know, there's also a huge issue here now with physical classrooms for charter schools because these are public schools --

David Lehrer>> -- that was the recent lawsuits that were filed.

Tamar Galatzan>> Exactly. Recent lawsuits are a fact and this issue really hits my district in the San Fernando Valley differently, I think, than probably anywhere else in Los Angeles Unified. Well, we have vacant classrooms.

Marlene Canter>> Yeah, we do.

Tamar Galatzan>> We have vacant schools in especially the West Valley that are just sitting there, boarded up eyesores. Each year, charter schools have applied and turned in all their forms saying, "We would like to use Highlander Elementary School" and every year they get turned down.

David Lehrer>> So why would the district turn those schools down?

Marlene Canter>> Well, first of all, we have declining enrollment in certain parts of our district. As Tamar said, they happen to be ones that we represent. And we have overcrowding in another. Most of the charters want to be in our overcrowded areas where we really need them. Lots of times, and I'm not sure about Highlander, but I know a lot of the schools in my areas that are offered up, charters say no to. So it's not just yes or no. It's sort of trying to match the needs with the charters.

I think Tamar is right that they are a cry for help. I think what they've done, at least for me, is they have really taught me that there is that cry for really a need for autonomy. I think that's why we're looking now to create that autonomy inside of the district. Charters cannot be the only way for someone to choose to reform. We need to find a way to reform the entire district.

David Lehrer>> Well, you mentioned change within the district. Clearly, the unmentioned elephant in the room, if you talk about change within the district, is the teacher's union. What is your attitude towards the union and has some kind of olive branch been extended by them to you?

Tamar Galatzan>> If you listen to what the teachers have been saying, they want the freedom to innovate and teach in their classrooms. They didn't get into teaching in order to fill out little bubbles and make color copies of things, which is what they spend an inordinate amount of time doing, spending sometimes thousands of dollars out of pocket on classroom supplies because the district isn't supplying it.

You know, the teachers are really one of the group of people who are most frustrated with the amount of bureaucracy downtown, the lack of local decision-making. I mean, they're on the front line every day really demanding the freedom to do what they know is best for their kids. I think that there are going to be, hopefully, a lot of issues where we can really come together on and work on because, you know, as long as we all have the best interest of the kids in mind, then I think we can push this forward.

David Lehrer>> Is that the naďve optimism of a newly-elected official? You've had six years of --

Marlene Canter>> -- yeah, I don't want to call it naďve. I just think that it's just time for us to do more than agree. Duffy and I have had many, many conversations. I mean, I started out as a teacher. I was in the classroom. I know what it's like to be in the classroom and I also know how limiting the contracts are that the unions have. Most of the autonomy that charters really want are the ability to hire and fire who they want in their schools.

David Lehrer>> Like non-performers.

Marlene Canter>> Non-performers they want out. We have to work together with the union. I call on Duffy to come to the table to really address this issue.

David Lehrer>> I must say that, in studying those major school districts, large district, that have been successful in reforming, one of the keys is a concession by the union that you can get rid of bad teachers.

Marlene Canter>> Last place teachers have got to go, as well as the dance of the lemons of the principals. I've talked to not only Duffy from the teacher's union, but Michael Sullivan from the principal's association. We cannot take a principal who's not performing in one school and move them to another. That's not acceptable.

Anybody who walks through a school, as you have and for the last six months, you've probably been in lots and lots of them, you can tell in a moment's time if there's a good principal at the helm of that school. The school has an ethos about it --

David Lehrer>> -- right. You walk in the door and you can smell it in a second.

Marlene Canter>> Every school deserves that. One of the things that charters have is that they get to choose their principal. We need a system within the entire district where every school has a strong leader, every classroom has a strong teacher. We need the unions to help us with that.

David Lehrer>> And do you sense any willingness on their behalf?

Marlene Canter>> I think so. I think we're on our way. I know that we --

David Lehrer>> -- because they can count the board votes like anybody else.

Marlene Canter>> That, and also because, as Tamar said, when you sit down with them and you talk about it intellectually, our goals are in the same place. It's about how we execute them and the only way we're going to make change is if we're on the same page and we make a commitment to move together. That's not just the district and the union. It's the district, the union, the community, the parents, the city.

David Lehrer>> Well, as a parent of four kids who've been through Los Angeles Unified, I firmly believe that that's the future and that's what Los Angeles is really counting on, so I wish you, Marlene, and you, Tamar, the best of luck. I know you've got a tough row to hoe and thank you for coming here to join us today.

Tamar Galatzan>> Thank you for having us.

Marlene Canter>> Thank you.

Val Zavala>> So what do you think? Could this be the year for real improvement in Los Angeles schools? You can post your opinion on our blog. Just go to kcet.org and click on the Life and Times Blog.

 

 
   
 
 
   

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