Tuesday, April 16, 2013

AirTalk for Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Contact: Producers Joel Patterson, Jasmin Tuffaha, Fiona Ng



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

11:06 –11:30




Topic: LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy answers questions about his controversial administration and the future of the school district

Since he was hired in 2011, LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy has shaken up the 2nd-largest school system in the nation and has thrust himself into the middle of a huge debate over how to fix the ailing school system. His biggest aim has been to go after bad teachers, and in his first year the LAUSD fired 99 tenured teachers — a 30-fold increase from five years earlier. He’s also worked to speed up the process for dismissing teachers charged with serious misconduct, and earlier this year he adopted a teacher evaluation policy that rates teachers largely on student test scores. Deasy points to improving graduation rates and API (Academic Performance Index) scores in his two years since becoming Superintendent, but the teacher’s union has taken serious issue with Deasy's cavalier approach. Recently union members voted overwhelmingly that they had "no confidence" in Deasy, and next month they plan to present to the school board demands to put less emphasis on teacher evaluations and focus instead on fully staffing schools, restoring money for preschool and adult education programs, and raising salaries. Deasy also faces a growing national wave of criticism of heavy student testing, and a recent study also reports that the level of interest in the teaching profession is in decline in Los Angeles. We’ll pose some of these issues to Deasy and see what he has to say to his critics.


Guest: John Deasy, Superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District



12:06 – 12:30



12:30 – 12:40

Topic: Movie Ratings to give more guidance on sex & violence: The Motion Picture Association of America on Tuesday rolled out a new marketing campaign aimed at getting parents to pay more attention to film ratings. "Check the Box" highlights the reasons films are given certain ratings, such as strong violence or sexual conduct. The tweaks to the ratings system were part of a promise made to Vice President Joe Biden after the fatal school shootings in Newtown, Conn. to help parents monitor violence in media. The campaign will include a tag attached to trailers explaining that the trailer is approved to play with the feature they came to see. It includes a new PSA, as well as a new poster that will be displayed at theaters across the country.


Guest:  Tim Cogshell,  film critic for KPCC and Alt Film Guide



12:40 – 1:00

Topic: How Animals Grieve: Barbara J. King's new book How Animals Grieve explores the depths of animal emotion and the fascinating question of how animals express the loss of an offspring, partner or family member.

King brings her anthropological training to answer the question of how animals, both wild and in captivity, feel and express emotion and draw parallels between the human experience of grief and that of the animal kingdom.


Guest: Barbara J. King, professor of anthropology at the College of William and Mary




Warm regards,

Jasmin Tuffaha    office: 626.583.5162 

Producer, “AirTalk with Larry Mantle” 


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