Thursday, August 18, 2011

Patt Morrison for Friday, August 19, 2011


Friday, August 19, 2011

1-3 p.m.







1:06 – 1:30




1:30 - 1:58:30

What works in education? Tests show LAUSD outperforms charters

After all the debate over teacher evaluation, class size, reading & math fundamentals, special ed, etc., what actually works in public education? New test scores released Monday revealed surprising results: that the Los Angeles Unified School District not only held its own in math and English test scores, but in most cases outperformed schools run by four charter reform efforts. What’s more, the district achieved the feat without outside funding brought in by reform groups to their schools. LAUSD is championing the results but the charters say it’s not the whole picture. They claim the numbers alone leave out important elements, like the large number of students who greatly improved their scores but still did not meet proficiency standards, school safety, and student retention to list just a few. David leads a discussion with the LAUSD and heads of some of those reform efforts about what approach they take, what works—both in the long and short term—and what the goals of public education should be.



John Deasy, superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District



Marco Petruzzi, CEO and President of Green Dot Public Schools, a charter organization that runs Watts’ Locke High School



  • Showed a 5.1 % point increase in English scores, and a 5.7% point increase in math


Marshall Tuck, head of Partnership for L.A. Schools, Mayor Villaraigosa’s education organization


  • Showed a 5.7% point increase in English and 1.5% point increate in math
  • Thinks the test results don’t take into account other evidence of improvement, like “large number” of students who made progress but still weren’t proficient.


Blair Taylor, president of the Urban League, which along with USC and the Bradley Foundation oversees Crenshaw High School


  • Fared the worst in test scores: reading scores were DOWN 2% over three years, while math score only went up .3%




2:06 – 2:30

Free debit cards swiped away: banks starting to charge monthly fees for debit cards
In an era of relentless bank fees, it seemed the one sure bet to remain free for use were debit cards.  The ATM cards that could be used like a credit card, they have become among the most used banking tools in the industry—easy, reliable and up until now, free.  Like all good things it seems like the principle of free debit cards has come to an end:  starting in October in five states, Wells Fargo will charge customers $3 per month if they use their debit card to make purchases.  Customers can avoid the fee if they don’t use their card or by signing up for certain checking accounts; JP Morgan Chase has been testing out a $3 monthly charge for its debit card customers in Wisconsin, and other smaller banks are also starting to implement similar fees.  This can all be traced back to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act, passed last year, that among other things capped the amount that banks can charge merchants in “swipe fees” for using debit cards.  Those fees are capped at about 21 cents per transaction, down from an average of 44 cents per transaction.  It’s natural for banks to go looking elsewhere to make up for that lost revenue and they have apparently turned to the pockets’ of their clients.  Free debit cards aren’t the only unpleasant change for consumers, debit card rewards programs are being eliminated.  If your bank eventually starts to charge you for using a debit card, will you close down the account or simply pay the $3/month to avoid the hassle?




Rep. Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts; ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee & co-author of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation


Representative from the Center for Responsible Lending


Representative from Wells Fargo Bank





2:30 – 2:39





2:41:30 – 2:58:30

Decision fatigue: a universal plague & the possible reason behind your regrettable behavior

Are you getting enough sleep, but still dragging? You could be experiencing a phenomenon called “ego depletion.” No, you don’t need a mega dose of self affirmations, but you may need to stop making so many decisions and give your brain some time to rest.  The condition is also termed “decision fatigue” and it can help explain why otherwise normally functioning people can become testy, shop impulsively or binge on chocolate and other sweets (and no it’s not PMS).  The researcher argues that we pay a biological price for making decision after decision after decision and unlike being physically tired, we may not recognize that our brains are burned out.  The more choices you make throughout a day, the harder each one becomes for your brain and you eventually—perhaps unwittingly—start to look for shortcuts.  Hence the tendency for recklessness, impulsiveness or the ultimate energy saver, total inactivity, as your brain starts to feel fatigued.  What’s easier than avoiding a tough decision altogether?  Naturally decision fatigue tends to happen later in the day or late in the context of stressful situations—think about the quarterback who makes a lousy throw into traffic at the end of a tense football game.  With a finite store of mental energy for self control, what can be done to combat decision fatigue or are these kinds of breakdowns inevitable?




John Tierney, reporter and author of “Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue”, New York Times

Roy F. Baumeister, social psychologist, Florida State University

Expert from USC



Jonathan Serviss
Senior Producer, Patt Morrison
Southern California Public Radio
NPR Affiliate for Los Angeles
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