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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Voting Rights Act Outdated in Modern Day LA (The Daily News, August 21, 2011)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
 
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Life & Times Transcript , August 23, 2006

KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "California's High School Exit Exam?"

Val Zavala>> It's settled. Students in California will have to pass an exit exam if they want a high school diploma, but that decision came after several years of lawsuits and wrangling of groups that claimed the exit exam was not fair to students who were in poor or inferior schools. But a State Appeals Court rejected that argument and upheld exit exams.

We brought three opinionated people together in the kitchen of CommUnity Advocates president, David Lehrer. Joining Lehrer are Virgil Roberts, education advisor to Mayor Villaraigosa, and John Rogers from UCLA's Institute for Democracy, Education and Access.

David Lehrer>> Virgil, as someone who's been in the civil rights business and education reform for thirty years, why do you favor the high school exit exam?

Virgil Roberts>> Well, I favor the high school exit exam because I think it really is an easy way to spotlight schools that are working and schools that are not. America is drawn to action by crisis and what the exam does is that it's really demonstrated in a very clear way the failure of a whole K-12 system of education. I think it's that failure that will mobilize people to really begin to take action and make the schools accountable. If we take away the exam, then how do we know the schools aren't working?

David Lehrer>> So you look at it as a measure or as a wakeup call to say something is wrong and let's deal with the problem.

Virgil Roberts>> That's right.

David Lehrer>> And the problem is not the exam, but the underlying deficiencies?

Virgil Roberts>> That's correct.

David Lehrer>> So why, as someone who's committed to civil rights and equity, why don't you buy that argument?

John Rogers>> Well, I buy it in part. I think it's more appropriate for the adults in the system who have not yet done well by the students to be held accountable first before we put that pressure on the students.

David Lehrer>> Does it bother you that you're giving kids high school diplomas to say they've accomplished something for thirteen years in school and they can't even pass an eighth and ninth grade test?

John Rogers>> I think the most unfair thing to those kids is to provide them with an inadequate education for years and years, which we've done. So at this point, for a young person who's seventeen or eighteen who's stuck it out under very difficult conditions for all those years, who's gone to school, done what their teachers have told them to do, I think the most appropriate thing is to give them a graduation certificate and then encourage them strongly to move on to higher education and to get those skills. I don't want young people without the skills to be successful.

David Lehrer>> Yeah, but isn't it an argument that maybe it acts as a kind of prod, the way Virgil suggested? I mean, I looked at the data. African-American students increased by almost a third their passage rates between the tenth and twelfth grade, so maybe they realize, you know, they're under the gun and maybe I really ought to crack down and figure out how to pass these exams.

Virgil Roberts>> That's what I think. You know, an interesting sort of microcosm with the story is what happened with NC2A. When NC2A began to say that you can't admit kids to Division One to participate in athletics unless they have a 2.0, guess what happened? All of a sudden, athletes start getting 2.0s because there was pressure to perform. I mean, the problem is not a lack of intelligence in kids.

In some cases, the schools are not accountable, the kids are not accountable, and I think this first year which really counts has been an eye-opener for students and an eye-opener for parents. I think this exam is bringing it home and I think you'll see kids starting to buckle down and realize, you know, I really need to study because I want my diploma.

John Rogers>> When we've gone out in the schools, there certainly is more focus on graduation and I think that's the really good thing. But I think the first step is to provide decent conditions. There's an interesting school down in San Diego that was started by a colleague of mine, Bud Meehan, at the University of California San Diego. It's a charter school called the Troy School.

In that school, the school was created to serve first generation college-going students, young people who were coming from working class or poor families. Students entered the school early on and had a lot of support. By tenth grade, almost all the students passed. By eleventh grade, all the students had passed the exit exam.

David Lehrer>> Doesn't legislation provide for remedial courses and I think now, after you leave high school, you can take courses at junior colleges? So if a kid is motivated and they felt that they were short-changed, there are avenues for them to compensate and to get the diploma.

John Rogers>> The legislation and the governor have put in money for some remediations, but it's coming in way too late. And to have remediation on top of a program that's fundamentally broken, this is not the right way to go about education reform. You want to ensure that there are decent conditions in elementary schools and middle schools so young people can enter high school ready to pass the exam.

Virgil Roberts>> See, remediation is sort of like giving somebody Vicodin for cancer. What it does is, it makes you feel better, but you're dying. What we have is a school system that basically is dying. It's failing us as a public utility. We're not producing the kinds of educated youngsters that we need for a civil society, for democracy, that can compete in a global economy.

To continue to put a few band-aids on without really fundamentally changing the system is not going to help us as a society. You know, the analogy might be that we're in a war to try and make things better. I hate to say it, but in wars, you sometimes have casualties. What we have right now is thirty years of casualties.

I got involved with the Los Angeles school desegregation case in 1978 when it was remanded back to try and implement the segregation plan. From then until now, the performance of kids in the system has gotten progressively worse and there's been no clarion call to action.

You know, we've had things in our community, you know, the LEARN school reform effort and others. We've had marches and we've had protests, but we simply have not been able to penetrate the public's understanding that we have a crisis that we have to address. I think these exams help to do that.

John Rogers>> And I think that the inequalities that have been around over the last thirty years have gotten worse because, over that period, the climate of scarcity within California schools and Los Angeles schools has grown. In 1978, we had Proposition 13 and the bottom fell out of our funding system. California moved from being in the top tier of funding to now where we're at forty-third.

As a consequence, we have forty percent more students in every high school classroom than the national average. We are not providing decent conditions to all of our students and then they get redistributed in ways that are unfair.

David Lehrer>> But I think Virgil's argument is fairly compelling. I mean, you're testing for lower level skills. You can have six times to take the exam and sometimes you only have to get half the answers right. I mean, that's kind of like a baseline and if suddenly the headlines are that, you know, eighty-five percent are passing and fifty percent aren't passing that kind of diminutive test, that something really needs to be done.

One would assume that parents would start saying, "What do we do to make these schools right?" Kids will be yelling and screaming and saying, "I didn't get a proper education." But if you didn't have the exam, let's say, you're wish was granted and didn't have the exam, what would be the catalyst for this kind of change? Virgil's been in the business for thirty years.

Virgil Roberts>> We wouldn't have this program. We wouldn't talk about the failure of the system like it's brand new. This is not a brand new problem. This is a long-standing problem, but the exam has really brought it to the headlines of the public and made people focus on it.

John Rogers>> But I think the question is not whether or not you have an exam and report on those results. The question is, who should be held accountable for the failure? I would argue that --

David Lehrer>> -- I will be held accountable for the end of this segment. Thank you very much, John. Thank you, Virgil. I think we're going to help keep this in the news and maybe we'll one day solve this problem.

 

 
   
 
 
   

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