Monthly Archives: January 2011

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The Education Crisis at Roosevelt High School

It’s a new semester at Theodore Roosevelt High School. Lisa Alva scans the classroom full of 30 new ninth graders. She can’t help but wonder how many of them will still be here to graduate in four years. She will … Continue reading

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Dorsey: Learnin’ in a Great Big Way

There is a dead cat in front of Los Angeles’ Dorsey High School. It is unclear if this feline wretch is intended to welcome visitors or warn them. There are no obvious signs of trauma on the gray-and-white corpse, so … Continue reading

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Special Educator Arlisa Coleman

Arlisa Coleman was tired and wondered out loud if she would make it through her next class: 5th period math. This would be the toughest test of her Thursday. Coleman’s 5th period math students have been a challenge for her … Continue reading

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Teacher Finds Success With Students Despite Widely Reported Racial Tensions

While many teachers complain about ill behavior of students, often linked to racial and ethnic tensions, one teacher in the San Fernando Valley has consistently proven to be a positive force in the classroom. A little over two decades ago, … Continue reading

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No Time to Wait for Superman: The Challenge of Public Education at San Pedro High

At least once a week, Maria walks into her 8:00 a.m. Honors English class at San Pedro High School drunk.  She rarely smiles, and her sad eyes belie the fact that her angst is caused by more than teenage insecurities. … Continue reading

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The Gift of Art at the Heart of South Central

At first glance, 13-year-old Jasmine Taylor resembles a quintessential South Central Los Angeles middle school student. As she escorts a pair of captivated couples through the Hold Up Art Gallery on East 2nd Street, Taylor confidently discusses canvas choices, color … Continue reading

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Making Room For Art in Arlington Heights

Robert Bendall loves guitars.  It’s one of the first things his fifth-graders at Arlington Heights Elementary school mention about the man they affectionately call “Mr. B”.  Each day, Bendall brings one of the showpieces from his extensive and impressive collection … Continue reading

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