Friday, November 19, 2010

Free Art Classes for High School Students at Ryman Arts

Ryman Arts provides free, college-level studio art classes for talented High School students from across Southern California. They teach teens essential skills for art and life - from rigorous foundation drawing and painting courses to college and career preparation, helping high school-aged artists to maximize their potential. If you know a young artist who would like to take his or her artistic skills to the next level, Ryman Arts could be a good match. Applicants must be enrolled in high school. Home school and alternative school students in high school programs are eligible. Admission is competitive, please contact Ryman Arts if you have any questions.

Classes take place on Saturdays on the USC campus. Classes are 3 ½ hours long, and are taught to small groups of students by teaching artists. They are now accepting applications for the spring semester. The deadline to apply is December 3.

Click here for application.
Visit Ryman Arts website.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Diane Ravitch Reviews "Waiting for Superman"

The Myth of the Charter School by Diane Ravitch

"Ordinarily, documentaries about education attract little attention, and seldom, if ever, reach neighborhood movie theaters. Davis Guggenheim’s "Waiting for “Superman” is different. It arrived in late September with the biggest publicity splash I have ever seen for a documentary. Not only was it the subject of major stories in Time andNew York, but it was featured twice onThe Oprah Winfrey Show and was the centerpiece of several days of programming by NBC, including an interview with President Obama.

Two other films expounding the same arguments—The Lottery and The Cartel—were released in the late spring, but they received far less attention than Guggenheim’s film. His reputation as the director of the Academy Award–winningAn Inconvenient Truth, about global warming, contributed to the anticipation surrounding Waiting for “Superman,” but the media frenzy suggested something more. Guggenheim presents the popularized version of an account of American public education that is promoted by some of the nation’s most powerful figures and institutions.

The message of these films has become alarmingly familiar: American public education is a failed enterprise. The problem is not money. Public schools already spend too much. Test scores are low because there are so many bad teachers, whose jobs are protected by powerful unions. Students drop out because the schools fail them, but they could accomplish practically anything if they were saved from bad teachers. They would get higher test scores if schools could fire more bad teachers and pay more to good ones. The only hope for the future of our society, especially for poor black and Hispanic children, is escape from public schools, especially to charter schools, which are mostly funded by the government but controlled by private organizations, many of them operating to make a profit."

Read more in the New York Review of Books.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"The Dog Who Sang at the Opera" Performing Books at the Central Library

Performing Books Presents "The Dog Who Sang at the Opera," written by Jim West and Marshall Izen
Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Mark Taper Auditorium
Central Library
630 W. 5th Street
Los AngelesCA 90071
(213) 228-7000
Performing Books is funded by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles and encourages children's love of reading and the arts. For more Performing Books performance see the LA Public Library.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How We Roll at the California African American Museum

How We Roll takes the viewer through an historical step-by-step fantastic voyage of how surfing evolved into skateboarding, the kinship with roller-skating, and how “The Roll” created a cultural revolution that has influenced every corner of popular culture over the past four decades. This exciting exhibition is free to the public, and begins its six-month run on Thursday, July 22nd, 2010 at CAAM (600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, CA 90037). For more info visit the California African American Museum website.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Iridescent Science Featured in LA Times!

Nonprofit aims to engage children with science
From: LA Times
By: Scott Glover

For a kid who says he wants to build robots, 10-year-old Jabari Griffie came to the right place.

The fifth-grader was among hundreds of curious kids who turned out Saturday morning for the grand opening of Iridescent, a nonprofit science and discovery center near downtown Los Angeles.

The first exhibit Jabari saw featured something even cooler than a robot: An underwater robot.

Read more at LA Times online.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Congratulations President C.L. Max Nikias!

University installs Nikias as USC’s 11th president

From: Daily Trojan
By: Natalie Chau

President C.L. Max Nikias was sworn into office Friday morning, during a ceremony that brought together Trojans both young and old to celebrate the 11th USC presidential inauguration.

Today, we live in a time of great anxiety. The wisest experts cannot find an agreement on what the future holds for our society,” Nikias said. “Education is what helps us to be fully human and to appreciate the full range of human experience.”

The ceremony began with processions from members of the USC community, including student delegates, half-century Trojan alumni, staff and parents. Third-graders from the Lenicia B. Weemes Elementary School also marched in the ceremony.

Faculty from every school in the university processed to the stage in Alumni Park, followed by Nikias, his wife, Niki Nikias, and their daughters, Georgiana and Maria.
Edward P. Roski Jr., chairman of the USC Board of Trustees, officiated the ceremony.

“This inauguration you’re about to witness is truly an historic occurrence. It’s only happened 10 times in the last 130 years,” he said. “The last time we saw a new president, there was no one texting during the ceremony or taking pictures with their cell phones. We didn’t have cell phones.”

Read More at the Daily Trojan.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Family Science Program

Iridescent's Family Science Program, funded in part by USC’s Good Neighbors campaign and also our fiscal sponsoree, gives an opportunity for families to experience science together, foster an environment of education, and encourages the possibility of higher education in under-served communities.

Learn more about Iridescent.

Opening of Iridescent's New Science Studio!

Iridescent is one of our many fiscal sponsorees who is doing amazing educational enrichment work in Central Los Angeles. Their  mission is to foster curiosity and inspire self-confidence in young people with limited access—unlocking doors to their future and preparing them to help solve the world’s most pressing issues.
Their approach is to use a three-pronged strategy of teaching about cutting edge science, using powerful mentors and enlisting strong parental involvement.

Join them in opening of their new studio!
553 W. 23rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Saturday October 16, 2010
10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

For more info click here.

Fall Workshop Series: GEMS at the California Science Center

The California Science Center offers workshops for parents, teachers and afterschool care providers!  Workshops are inquiry and researched based, and are presented by educators who are experts in their field!

The next workshop in the fall series is GEMS (Great Explorations in Math and Science) Math Academy, November 6, 2010. Participants will experience hands-on workshops led by experienced teachers and GEMS Associates and receive teacher guides for every session taken.

Registration fee is $50.00, which includes parking, materials and a Certificate of Attendance.
Space is limited!  Registration will close on October 29th.  Reserve your space today!

For more info on Professional Development Series at the Science Center click here.

If you have any questions contact:
Anna Gaiter
Director of Professional Development
(213) 744-7455

Open House- USC Master of Professional Writing Program

The Open House will be held on Monday, November 1st at 5:30 pm in USC's Doheny Memorial Library, Intellectual Commons (Room 233).  The program would also like to invite you to a panel discussion on  Faith and the Writer: Inspiration and Practice, a discussion about the link between faith and creativity in both secular and non-secular work. It's at 7:00 pm also in the Doheny Memorial Library Intellectual Commons.  

Refreshments will be served!  

Also, please come to our free events in the coming weeks at USC:
Oct. 11 - Visiting Writer lecture with Rebecca McClanahan from 7-9 pm at Waite Philips Hall B27
Oct. 12 - "True Blood" writer Alexander Woo from 7-9 pm at Doheny Memorial Library Intellectual Commons 233
Oct. 27 - "Futurama" writer Bob Odenkirk from 7-9 pm at Taper Hall 102

Please RSVP for any and all of these events by e-mailing at  

You can also watch past events on  YouTube channel and be fan the  Facebook page.

For more info contact Howard Ho, Program Specialist, (213) 740-3250

Monday, October 4, 2010

Make Your Mark in the Park! by The Big Draw LA

Join Ryman Arts, the Museums at Exposition Park and USC on a Make Your Mark in the Park activity. You will help create a continuous drawing that winds its way around the Park, drawing the exciting activities and beautiful gardens before you. Teen artists will be there to help you "make your mark", no experience required. Help us create the longest drawing of an afternoon in the Park! Later, the long collaborative drawing will be photographed and will become a scrolling panorama on the web.

October 17, 2010
Exposition Park
State Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037
About The Big Draw LA

The Big Draw LA is a city-wide celebration of the act of drawing.

Why not get young people, artists, seniors, scientists, and teens drawing together? In honor of its 20th anniversary, Ryman Arts is partnering with Los Angeles museums and other organizations to launch the first annual The Big Draw LA. Together, Los Angelenos will expand the boundaries of drawing, experimenting not only with pencils, paint, charcoal, and digital imagery, but also with sand, clay, choreographed movement, vapor trailsanything that makes a mark! Participation is open to all, and organizations of all sizes and kinds, from established institutions to small groups, are invited to sponsor, organize, or host an event during the month of October.

Drawing is a universal language, connecting generations, cultures, and communities. Children draw to make sense of the world before they learn to write. Yet most adults, given a pencil, claim: I cant draw! The Big Draw aims to remove this barrier and create opportunities for people of all ages to discover that drawing can make us SEE, THINK, and INVENT. The Big Draw L.A. will be the first event of its kind to take place on the West Coast and is inspired by the wildly popular Big Draw in London.
The Big Draw LA is committed to promoting inclusiveness and offering a diversity of drawing experiences. 

Presenting organizations will register events open to the public on-line at

Monday, September 27, 2010

Obama's interview with Matt Lauer for "Education Nation"

“What I Want Most that Money Can’t Buy” ECCLA/USC Fall Contest

" What I Want Most That Money Can't Buy"
Pieces of an essay
The Education Consortium of Central Los Angeles (ECCLA), with the support of USC Civic & Community Relations, invites you to submit essays on the above theme.

  • Winners in Two Categories: 6th-8th grade, and 9th-12th grade.

  • All contestants will receive a certificate of participation. Entries will not be returned.

  • School must be located roughly within the boundaries of Olympic, Slauson, Crenshaw, and Alameda for eligibility

  • Cash awards in each category are:
    First Place - $100
    Second Place - $50
    Third Place - $25

    For more information and contest guidelines please visit our website or click here.
  • Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Thousands of Teachers to Gather for Teacher Town Hall Sept 26. NYC

    Rockfeller Center, New York City. the site of the Education Nation Summit
    New York, NY -- September 15, 2010 – NBC News will convene a nationwide gathering of thousands of teachers from across the country for the first-ever televised “Teacher Town Hall”as part of NBC News’ “Education Nation,” Sunday, September 26. Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News,” will moderate the discussion, which will focus on the most important challenges and opportunities facing teachers in America today.

    “You can’t have a conversation about education, let alone a two-day summit and week of broadcasting around these issues, without the participation of teachers, parents and students,” said Steve Capus, President of NBC News. “This two-hour televised conversation will be the perfect way to kick off the week and set the tone for Education Nation.”

    While hundreds of teachers will gather in-person at
    Rockefeller Plaza, teachers from across the country are invited to join the conversation virtually by registering to take part in the conversation at During the meeting, teachers participating online and those at Rockefeller Center will together voice their priorities, brainstorm new ideas, discuss key issues, and ask questions of each other to advance the conversation about teaching in the United States. The “Teacher Town Hall,” Sunday, September 26 at 12:00 PM EST, will air live on MSNBC and streamed online at,, and

    Ask the President a Question About Education

    In an exclusive interview, Matt Lauer will sit down with President Barack Obama for a live one-on-one interview about the state of education in America. The half-hour interview will air at 8 a.m. as part of the launch of NBC News’ Education Nation, Monday, September 27 on “Today” and will be roadblocked across various NBC Networks. Education Nation is encouraging viewers to submit their questions. Fill out the form and your question might be asked on air! Click here for the form.
    Learn more about Education Nation.

    Times Festival of Books will move to USC

    USC President C.L. Max Nikias, left, and Times
    Publisher Eddy Hartenstein USC's University
    Park campus, future site of Times' Festival of Books.
    (Steve Cohn/for the Times)

    By: Larry Gordan

    The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books will move its weekend-long celebration of the written word to the USC campus next spring after 15 years across town at UCLA, officials announced Wednesday.

    The change of venue to USC's main University Park campus south of downtown Los Angeles will offer a more central location, better access to public transportation, easier parking and the use of newly expanded university facilities for the annual event, leaders of the newspaper and USC said.

    The decision came after negotiations between The Times and UCLA foundered over differences about how to reduce and share expenses, as well as some logistical issues, according to several people with knowledge of the talks. A UCLA spokesman said state budget cuts to the UC system also have made it more difficult in recent years for the campus to bear its share of festival costs.
    Read more here.

    Now Playing at 24th Street Theater: RAZON BLINDADA

    24th Street Theatre, in association with elInstituto de Cultura de Baja California(Mexico) and la Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa (Mexico), is thrilled to bring famed Latin American director, actor and playwright Aristides Vargas to Los Angeles!
    In his internationally acclaimed stage work,La Razón Blindada, Argentine-born playwright/director Aristides Vargas infuses Miguel de Cervantes’ classic novel, El Quijote with Franz Kafka’s, The Truth About Sancho Panza, and testimonies by Chicho Vargas and other political prisoners held in the 1970′s at the Rawson Prison during Argentina’s dictatorship. Two political prisoners, oppressed by physical and emotional abuse, find solace in meeting every Sunday at dusk to tell the story of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Their storytelling unravels amidst the extreme limitations imposed by their condition as inmates in a maximum security prison. The production features Jesus Castaños Chima, Tony Duran and Arturo Diaz de Sandy.
    La Razón Blindada will be performed in Spanish with English supertitles. Don’t miss this exciting U.S. premiere by one of Latin America’s most famous theatre artists!

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    BRAVO AWARDS Nominate a Teacher for Excellence in Arts Education

    Nomination Due Date: October 4, 2010
    Music Center BRAVO Awards
    Recognizing and Honoring Outstanding Leadership in Arts Education in Four Categories:
    * Generalist Teacher
    * Arts Specialist Teacher
    * School Program
    * School
    * Fill out the form on our website to nominate an outstanding teacher, school program or school for the MUSIC CENTER BRAVO AWARDS. The nomination is open to all full time teachers and all schools in LOS ANGELES COUNTY.

    COMMUNITY - All nominees are invited to submit an application to be considered a BRAVO Candidate and will be invited to the BRAVO FORUM in the fall.


    For more information on eligibility requirements and to download a nomination form, please visit our website:
    Please call 213-972-3387 with questions or email

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    Open Call For Youth Submission: Experiences of Immigrant Children in Education

    The Harvard Educational Review (HER) is planning to publish a special issue on Diverse Experiences of Immigrant Children and Youth in Education in order to extend and reframe the dialogue on immigration issues in the United States by bringing multiple voices and perspectives of researchers, practitioners, families, and students in conversation.

    As part of this project, HER is looking for personal essays, stories, and visual art from children and youth who have been directly shaped by immigration experience. Student writers could be a child of immigrant parents or have immigrated to the with or without their families. HER is interested in publishing stories related to children and youths' educational experiences, and in particular, how these experiences are shaped by their families, communities, religious institutions, community organizations, or society at large. HER would like your help in encouraging young people you know to participate in this important opportunity.

    HER is accepting submissions from PreK–12 students whose lives have been touched and shaped by immigration experience anywhere in the U.S. HER is particularly interested in stories related to educational experience, but  realizes that "educational experiences" can occur in many locations besides schools. They are open to receiving multiple types of personal stories about growing up in immigrant homes and communities.

    More information about submission guidelines here.
    Learn more about the Harvard Educational Review.

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010

    Attention Teachers: Apply For FEDCO Grant

    Grant Purpose and Amounts

    The California Community Foundation (CCF) awards FEDCO Teacher Grants each year to fund hands-on, classroom projects or field trips that help bring learning to life. Grants range from $500 to $1,000 and support teachers of students in grades kindergarten through 12 in Cerritos, Culver City, Norwalk-La Mirada, Pasadena and Los Angeles Unified school districts.


    • You must teach K-12 full time at a public school in one of these school districts: LAUSD, ABC/Cerritos, Culver City, Norwalk-La Mirada or Pasadena Unified.
    • Your project should be connected to core curriculum standards and include all students in your class.
    • Your project should include engaging and creative experiential learning activities, such as a museum visit and/or hands-on art or science projects.
    • Your project should increase student academic achievement in one of four areas: language arts, math, science or social studies.
    • Your project may include a final group project produced by your students.
    • We will give high priority to projects that incorporate experiential learning that are linked to class curriculum or integrate community-related topics.

    For more information visit: California Community Foundation

    Monday, August 30, 2010

    Students Speak Up About Disparities Between LAUSD Schools

    From: Patt Morrison, KPCC

    Student A attends El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, one of the top-achieving public schools in the state, a school that is a regular finalist in national Academic Decathlon competitions with plenty of advanced placement classes available, located in a bucolic upper-middle class neighborhood. Student B attends Belmont Senior High School in Westlake, a struggling school with an unbelievable 60% drop out rate where 80% of its students qualify for federal free or reduced lunches and students’ proficiency rates in both math and reading hover around 50%. How can two schools in the same district produce such wildly different results? This is the tale of the Los Angeles Unified School District, which with 617,000 students is one of the nation’s largest and most unwieldy, with huge disparities in access to good classrooms, teachers and coursework. Patt and her guests hear stories from students themselves about the differing experiences of going to school in the LAUSD and what can be done to bridge the educational gap.
    Click here to listen: Patt Morrison KPCC