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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Voting Rights Act Outdated in Modern Day LA (The Daily News, August 21, 2011)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 Racial/Ethnic Educational Achievement (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 12, 2007)


Val Zavala>> It's a problem that's been with us for decades, the learning gap between minority students and white students. Now a new study shows that even middle class and upper middle class minority students don't achieve as well as their white counterparts and that's caught the attention of the California State Superintendent of Schools. So what's at the heart of this learning gap?

For a provocative conversation around our Kitchen Table, we brought Austin Dragon, President of the Southern California Republican Club, together with John Rogers from UCLA's Institute for Democracy, Education and Access. Our debate is kicked off by Joe Hicks from CommUnity Advocates.

Joe Hicks>> Guys, it looks like the whole discussion around this achievement gap is intensified with the Superintendent of Schools Jack O'Connell saying that it's just not issues of poverty, but that there may be issues of culture that's informing a fairly wide learning gap between black and Latino kids at the lower end and white and Asian kids at the upper end. You've been around education issues for a long time. In your view, what do you think is informing that gap?

John Rogers>> I think the primary thing that informs the achievement gap is an opportunity gap, that African American and Latino students in California receive fewer resources than white and Asian students, that they go to fundamentally different schools, for the most part, than white and Asian students, schools that are more crowded, schools that have far more under-prepared teachers, and that leads to lower performance.

Joe Hicks>> Austin, I got a hint that you may disagree with that. What's your take?

Austin Dragon>> I totally disagree because even when you look at upper middle class blacks and Latinos, particularly in the black community, you're still seeing those gaps. So they have the resources, they have the best teachers, they live in safe communities and all of that, yet they're still under-performing when they're compared to their white and Asian counterparts. So it's not an issue of resources. It's not a lack of opportunity. It is really a value system.

Again, there is not the focus on the serious business of education. One of the studies we saw from UC Berkeley, they went out to look at the students. The parents asked, "Well, what's going on? We're doctors, we're lawyers, we have the best for our children, yet they're still not performing. What's going on?" It really is a value system.

Joe Hick>> Bill Cosby, in his sort of pop comedic way, made this argument that parents aren't parenting, we got to get serious about education, that's the key to the future. The allegation coming from Bill Cosby, who's for some reason really zeroed in on this issue, is that's not going on to the extent that it should be. Do you think that there's any component of culture that is part of this issue of this gap?

John Rogers>> I'd like to take Bill Cosby into the schools in South Los Angeles and East Los Angeles that I've been visiting recently with high school students. In those schools, I see high school students that are very engaged, that want to learn, that sometimes don't have the conditions in place for them to learn.

Students I was working with did a survey of other young people and eighty percent said that they wanted to do well in school because they wanted to make their parents proud. Those sound to me like engaged students, students that want quality education, but haven't been provided it.

Joe Hicks>> So, Austin, what's the problem? Why aren't these kids performing at the levels that we expect them to or want them to?

Austin Dragon>> In certain communities, they will think that education is either boring or that getting a good education is trying to be white. I mean, that is a big component. You know, education is not that important because I'm going to get a record deal or whatever. So if you have that --

Joe Hicks>> -- or to fight dogs.

Austin Dragon>> Or kill dogs or whatever (laughter). So if you have that component where people think, "Well, I can't bring books to the classroom because that's not cool" or "I'm not going to do homework because, you know, that's for squares" or whatever the term that's used now --

Joe Hicks>> -- brainiacs.

Austin Dragon>> Then you will never, no matter how much funding, the best teachers, the best principal, small schools, large schools, whatever, if that is the mindset going in, we'll never be successful. That has to be basically addressed.

Joe Hicks>> What's wrong?

John Rogers>> I would argue, if the problem of underachievement was a problem of culture, we wouldn't see white students in California under-performing relative to white students across the country. White students ranked forty-seven out of all the fifty states in their performance in eighth grade on reading.

Is it because they have cultural problems or is it because, in California, we have more students for every teacher, we have more students for every counselor, we have more students for every librarian than in any other state? I think we're under-investing in our schools and causing inadequacies and inequalities as a consequence.

Austin Dragon>> I would say that that's the same excuse that's used all the time. Again, my number one question is, how much should we be spending?

John Rogers>> Well, I think we have some good answers to this. There was a set of studies that were done out of Stanford last year. Two million dollars was spent on these studies and, basically, they found that --

Joe Hicks>> -- they should have put that money into education (laughter).

John Rogers>> I would think so too. Basically, they found that we're dramatically under-spending relative to other states. We spend seventy-five cents on the dollar of what other high-wealth states spend. We need to spend twelve or thirteen thousand dollars per student if we want the outcomes that the state is --

Joe Hicks>> -- but, John, they're spending that in D.C. They're spending fourteen thousand per student and the schools in D.C. suck. Yet we look at parochial schools that often spend ten thousand dollars per pupil and get far more results.

John Rogers>> Joe, here's where you and I would agree, I think. The funding is necessary, but not sufficient in order to make the change. We need more resources, we need to lower class sizes, but we also need exactly what was laid out before.

We need to have small schools with a lot of support for the students, with well-trained teachers, with teachers that care about the students, with communities that are brought into play in deciding what's going to go on in the school. We can create success.

We've seen success in schools in South Los Angeles like View Park High School. We've seen success in San Diego at the school like The Preuss School. Despite that it's seventy-five percent Latino and African American students, it outperforms every school in San Diego County.

Joe Hicks>> What would be your solution, Austin, if they came to you and said, "We're going to make you Superintendent of Schools in the state of California." What would you do to try to close this "racial learning gap", you know, to try to make sure the kids are performing where they need to when they graduate? What would you do?

Austin Dragon>> Well, there are several things. One is there has to be more discipline in a lot of those schools. One of the things you'll hear from teachers and principals is that, if you don't have discipline from day one, again, everything goes out the window, so discipline has to be a factor.

Another thing that you'll hear teachers say is that, "We don't have enough of the teachers that will back us up." A generation ago, the teacher, the parent, everyone, was on the same page. Now you'll have situations where, "Oh, my child didn't do that." You know, we all heard and we've all seen that. So basically, we need everyone on the same page, teacher, principal, the parents, everyone doing the same thing.

Then the other thing is just to look at the curriculum. If we have schools that have those kinds of deficiencies, whether it's reading, writing, arithmetic, all of that, then that's where there should be more of a focus. To me, the resources is how you structure the curriculum to make up for those deficiencies. That's what we need to focus on.

Joe Hicks>> What would you do? Same question. You're made king of education in the state of California. What would the first few things be that you'd do?

John Rogers>> Focus like a laser on two different things. One is the fact that we have a climate of scarcity that needs to be addressed. We need to create conditions through more investment in the schools so that all students have decent teachers in front of them, decent school facilities and the materials that they need.

The second thing I would do is to direct the majority of resources toward Latino and African American students to ensure that we can enable all students to be successful. Right now, we're providing Latino and African American students with less. We need to provide them with more.

Joe Hicks>> Well, I'm not sure we solved it today, but we took a whack at it. Guys, thanks for coming in and talking about this today. We're just flat out of time here. Appreciate it.

Austin Dragon>> Thank you.

 

 
   
 
 
   

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