Friday, April 30, 2010

Patt Morrison for Monday, May 3, 2010


Monday, May 3, 2010

1-3 p.m.





1:06 – 1:30




1:30 - 1:58:30

Restructuring Fremont High, Part II: The Teachers

Patt continues her series looking at the restructuring of Fremont High.  In December 2009, LAUSD superintendent Ramon Cortines invited all staff, with the exception of a newly appointed principal, to reapply for their jobs at the school—one of the lowest performing in the district, with less than 2% of its students testing proficiently in math last year.  The decision is part of a process known as “restructuring,” an aggressive plan under the No Child Left Behind Act that allows districts to reconstitute a chronically underperforming school by hiring back no more than 50% of the current staff.  District officials see it as the best remedy for a school culture grown complacent with underachievement.  While not technically “fired,” teachers were outraged and felt they had no input in the decision—about 60% of Fremont’s teachers reapplied for their jobs by the March deadline.  Today Patt picks up where she left off last week with local district 7 superintendent Ramon Cortines to hear the experiences of some of the teachers at the school.



Harold Gramajo, Fremont teacher in Economics for five years at Fremont High; he is also the soccer coach and volunteers to teach a computer class to Fremont parents. He chose to reapply for his position.


-         both agrees and disagrees with the restructuring

-         Fremont needs change. But they need to not blame the teachers

-         Has been very involved in the Small Learning Communities --API scores have gone up since then

-         Works closely with the parents, who he says are very confused about what is happening there

-         Built up his SLC community, now kids don’t know what to think.

-         Talk about the partnership with Humanitas  - was at soccer practice


Matt Taylor, elected UTLA regional area chair; he’s been an English teacher at Fremont for 25 years. He chose not to reapply for his position.



- Taylor claims UTLA is officially against the restructuring process

- UTLA supports the “Committee to Save Fremont” group started by Fremont teachers, but they aren’t leading the efforts

- Claims McKenna has not had a single meeting with Fremont parents OR Fremont students.


Joel Vodka, calculus teacher and AP coordinator at Fremont; he chose not to reapply for his position


- Been at Fremont for 10 years

- Taught at regular Fremont and magnet Fremont

- Did not reapply to Fremont because he believes “we need real reform”



2:06 – 2:30

Getting smarter in the fight against terrorism

From truck bombs to shoe bombs to underwear bombs, terrorists have never shown a lack of ingenuity in plying their deadly trade.  The profile of a terrorist, and even the kind of attack that can be classified as terrorism, is a constantly moving target that continues to keep law enforcement, policy makers and the military on their toes.  But even nine years after 9/11, the millions of hours and billions of dollars thrown into combating terrorism, there still seems to be a lack of intelligence—and the practical application of that intelligence—to stop terror attacks.  One must look no further than the failures of airport security in the attempted Christmas Day underwear bombing for examples of unlearned lessons in the fight against terrorism.  Moreover, there are future lurking dangers like cyberterrorism and the very real possibility of a terror attack using a weapon of mass destruction.  Are we ready for the next 9/11?



Wesley Clark, retired General, U.S. Army; former Supreme Allied Commander, NATO



Erroll Southers, Associate Director of the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California




2:30 – 2:58:30

The price of black gold—who will pay for the Gulf of Mexico spill?

Ominous oil is spreading in the Gulf of Mexico and befouling wildlife and habitat and crippling the local fishing industry, who is to blame? BP’s shares are down but Transocean, the company that owned and operated the rig is also to blame - right? Or is Cameron International responsible because they manufactured the blowout preventer? Many say that this oil spill could be much larger than the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. In 1994 the industry adopted voluntary standards – 16 years and thousands of spilled barrels of oil later what can be done make sure this doesn’t happen again and who is gonna pay for this mess?




James Opaluch, professor of natural-resource economics at the University of Rhode Island


Geoff Parker, director of the Tulane Energy Institute; professor of economic sciences at the Tulane University School of Business

  • The Tulane Energy Institute is funded, in part, by various aspects of the petroleum industry.


Michael Ziccardi, associate professor of clinical wildlife health at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine; Director of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network


  • His organization was formed in the 1990’s as a result of the Exxon Valdeez spill; he’s a specialist on the effects of petroleum on marine birds and mammals.
  • He’s on the Gulf Coast right now organizing the animal rescue and clean-up operation.




Jonathan Serviss

Producer, Patt Morrison Program

Southern California Public Radio

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