L.A. schools chief Brewer says no room for failure

first_img“I am going to come see you, the local district superintendents are going to come see you, the directors are going to come see you and when we come see you, we’re going to have a scorecard,” Brewer said. In his speech, Brewer eschewed notes and the lectern and paced confidently on stage like a motivational speaker as his “8 Steps to Change” reform plan was projected on two jumbo-size screens. Sense of urgency In a marked departure from predecessor Roy Romer’s style – which usually included cardboard charts of student test scores – Brewer forcefully prodded school leaders to establish a sense of urgency. He exhorted them to build their own teams, create a vision, communicate the vision, empower others to act, produce quick wins, not let up or give up, and create a new culture. And he emphasized that each administrator will undergo professional development courses that will guide reform along with data, innovation, engaging parents and the community and ensuring student safety. The goal, he said, is to create an environment that nurtures teachers such as Jaime Escalante, who defied expectations and taught advanced math classes to poor students at Garfield High School. Actor Edward James Olmos was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Escalante’s challenges and triumphs in the 1988 film “Stand and Deliver.” But Escalante resigned in 1991 – after 17 years at Garfield – to take a teaching post in the Sacramento City Unified School District. “All I know is that we have not recovered from that at Garfield. … In this culture, we kill our savants. We have to stop that. That is a part of the cultural revolution that is going to happen under David Brewer,” he said. “We will not kill our savants. We will model them and benchmark what they’re doing and replicate what they’re doing.” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell urged principals to continue to challenge students to higher achievement and to feel connected to their schools. “Our jobs have become more difficult because this is a new economy,” he said. “It’s a hyper-competitive global economy and it’s an economy that requires of all of us to have higher-level thinking skills and we need to impart that on our students.” Julie Korenstein, who has served on the school board for 20 years and has heard numerous back-to-school addresses, complimented Brewer’s style of speech but questioned its content. She said professional development courses are costly and may not be necessary for all administrators. “I don’t know whether or not what he is suggesting or recommending, where the teeth is in it yet,” she said. “These are a lot of hardworking administrators who have worked at their schools for a long, long time … I’m not sure if we need wholesale retraining of every administrator in the district.” Focus on students LAUSD spokeswoman Binti Harvey said Brewer will use existing funds to pay for the professional development, along with some corporate funding. For Jefferson High Assistant Principal Jose Avila, the message was clear: Focus on students and don’t deviate no matter how difficult it gets. “It was inspiring. I think it’s definitely the move that we need to make and the direction we need to take,” Avila said. “We have to focus on the child and every time that something becomes difficult, take a look at who our clients are – our children – and they’re the ones we’re here for. “They’re our customers and they’re the ones we have to serve.” naush.boghossian@dailynews.com (818) 713-3722 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Seeking to elevate performance at Los Angeles Unified schools, Superintendent David Brewer III said Friday that he will hold administrators accountable for the first time with new evaluations, dropout and test-score benchmarks, and districtwide reviews. In his first official back-to-school address to thousands of administrators, Brewer vowed a cultural revolution this year in the 708,000-student district. “Failure will no longer be an option at LAUSD,” he told nearly 2,000 principals, assistant principals and LAUSD administrators gathered at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Nearly 10 months after he took the helm of the nation’s second-largest school district, Brewer said new evaluation forms for administrators will take into account state testing performance, absentee rates and the number of ninth-graders moving to the 10th grade. And Brewer told teachers and administrators that despite the new benchmarks – and the difficulties ahead – they need to persevere. “When you feel like you want to give up, you look at a young child … to give yourself inspiration. You go out and look at some of these young people who are struggling every day walking through gang gantlets to get to school to get an education and then you say to yourself, `I will never give up,”‘ Brewer said. “When I have a bad day, I go visit a school because I have to be reminded viscerally what I’m all about, why I left my comfort zone to come here.” In a district where accountability has never been institutionalized, Brewer said directors will visit schools every month to monitor progress. The new evaluation forms, which have the support of the administrators union, will be formally introduced next year, Brewer said, but administrators will be targeted on the standards this year. last_img

Disneyland Preview — Week of April 28

first_imgSatSunMonTuesWedThurFri Fantasmic!2200002 Pixar Fireworks1111111 California Adventure9-118-1110-910-910-910-98-9 As per usual, the parks will open one hour early for eligible guests at Disneyland Park Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and at Disney California Adventure Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Resort guests can take advantage of these hours every day of their stay for Extra Magic Hours, while guests eligible for Magic Mornings can use that benefit one day at Disneyland Park only. Full park hours can be found by clicking on each date in the Crowd Calendar.RefurbishmentsThe refurbishment list is thankfully pretty short right now. At Disneyland Park, Pirates of the Caribbean is closed to transition to the new auction scene, and Space Mountain will be offline very briefly on May 3 to transition to Hyperspace Mountain that evening. Over at California Adventure, the Boardwalk Games at Paradise Pier and Mickey’s Fun Wheel are closed during the area’s conversion to Pixar Pier, and World of Color is dark during Pixar Fest, but the remainder of the park is all up and running. Check out our refurbishments page for details on exactly what will be down and for how long.Looking ahead, Disney recently announced that “a bug’s land” would be closing to make way for more Marvel attractions at California Adventure. It will be going away for good towards the end of the summer, so make sure you plan ahead if you’d like to see it before it disappears.That should do it for this week’s preview. Check back next week and every week to find out what’s coming down the pike. Got questions? Aware of anything else that prospective guests should know about? Let us know in the comments. Paint The Night2211111 ShowSatSunMonTueWedThuFri Share This!This week, we see a Star Wars-themed Disneyland After Dark, and special festivities for Star Wars Day, a/k/a May the Fourth. Read on to find out about this and more in this week’s Disneyland preview.Special Events and Notes© DisneyWe still have a while before Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens, but there’s still loads of Star Wars fun to be had towards the end of this week! Thursday night is the latest installment of Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite, which will feature a meet and greet with Rey, the premiere of the March of the First Order, and the return of Hyperspace Mountain, the outstanding Star Wars overlay for Space Mountain, in addition to other Star Wars-themed merriment. You should be aware that tickets are already sold out, so if you don’t already have tickets, Disneyland Park will be closing at 9 pm on Thursday for you.The Star Wars fun continues on May the Fourth, and the good news is that many of those special events and opportunities will be available to the masses on Friday; if you’re not able to make it on Thursday, you’ll have a chance to see Rey, watch Captain Phasma, and pick up special Star Wars merchandise the following day. Hyperspace Mountain will also be available to everyone staring May 4.Friday is also Grad Nite at Disney’s California Adventure. That park will host a private party after regular park hours, but there will be more teenagers in the parks that day prior to the evening event as well.It’s also still Pixar Fest! During this festival, which runs through September 3, you’ll find Pixar-themed fireworks and the Pixar Play Parade at Disneyland Park, and the return of Paint the Night at Disney California Adventure, in addition to other Pixar-focused activities and opportunities. There will also be special dining opportunities available, as one would expect, and the Alien Pizza Planet will be launching at Disneyland Park for the occasion. Make sure you check out Rikki’s preview of the Festival!As if often the case for these events, there is a special area for Passholders. Stop by the AP Corner for Pixar decals (new ones rotating in every two weeks) and themed photo locations. The AP Corner can be found at Paradise Gardens at Disney California Adventure and runs through June 8.Finally, Cove Bar remains open through the end of May for its last hurrah, if you’d like to give it another go before it goes away for good!CrowdsThe weekend will see some pretty substantial crowds, clocking in at level 9 and 8, but the week should have average to slightly above average crowd levels.Full details, including park-by-park crowd levels, are available on our Crowd Calendar.WeatherShould be a very nice week at Disneyland! Highs mostly in the 70s, lows in the mid- to upper 50s, and only a scant chance of rain in the middle of the week.As always, it’s wise to double check the weather as the day of your visit approaches. Check out the most up-to-date forecast here.ShowsDisneyland has a special slate of shows running for a bit for Pixar Fest, with the evening fireworks at Disneyland Park being replaced by Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular (featuring a flying Buzz Lightyear!) and World of Color being replaced by the Paint the Night parade at DCA. Also, the Pixar Play Parade joins the daytime schedule at Disneyland Park. Fantasmic! will continue to run, but only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Detailed show schedules, including smaller diversions like Jambalaya Jazz, can be found here. Disneyland9-128-129-109-109-109-98-12 Pixar Play Parade2211112 Admission and HoursBlockouts are really only an issue on the weekends this time of year. Southern California Select Passholders are blocked out Saturday and Sunday, whereas Deluxe and Southern California Passholders are only blocked out Saturday. All other passes are honored every day this week. For those of you buying tickets as day guests, single-day tickets are at Regular Price ($117/$110) Saturday, Sunday, and Friday, and Value Price ($97/$91) the remainder of the week.Regular park hours (excluding Extra Magic Hours/Magic Mornings) are as follows this week:last_img read more

How the smart stadium will transform the smart city

first_imgFor Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… Martin Otterson Related Posts Tags:#Internet of Things#IoT#OSISoft#Qualcomm#San Diego Padres#Smart Cities#Taylor Swift center_img How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … What’s the difference between a monster truck rally and a Taylor Swift concert?Water. You can’t hold a monster truck rally without thousands of cubic meters of mud, which in turn can mean tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of gallons of water. By the same token, Taylor Swift’s ornate lighting and staging could can cause power consumption to zoom up the charts and unnaturally force a venue into the red zone for peak power charges. (The prevalence of tattoos, however, at both events is probably about even.)The ability to charge accurate “bill backs” to promoters rather than just somewhat arbitrary flat fee are one of the many drivers of the smart stadium, i.e. venues wired with predictive analytics and sensors to fine-tune costs, consumption and even the fan experience. See also: 5 key technologies of a smart cityStadiums can be extremely difficult facilities to manage. Occupancy can zoom from a handful of people to more than 100,000 and back to empty in a few hours. They can snarl traffic, create havoc between regular residents and visitors and consume more power and/or natural gas than any building in the region. No one wants a repeat of the Super Bowl blackout. At the same time they are also monuments to civic pride. IoT can help smooth out those differences and make everyone good neighbors.The Seattle Mariners, for instance, managed to cut water consumption by 10%, or 2 million gallons, over a three year period in part through IoT technology. IoT help the team pinpoint leaks in pipes. (The team also discovered it only costs around $5 in power to open and close its retractable roof.)The San Diego Padres, meanwhile, have installed LED lights, smart sensors and data management systems to better control water and power. A typical game can require 70 megawatt hours of power, 740 therms of natural gas and over 72,000 gallons of water, or about 48 hot tubs. Through IoT, the team expects to cut resources by more than 25% over the next five years. The stadium is a key “citizen” of tomorrow’s citiesBut the benefits go far beyond power. Sound abatement is increasingly one of the biggest problems for venues as stadiums and urbanites continue to flock to the heart of town. IoT gives people an objective way to monitor and better control sound. Better security and safety? IoT in one venue alerted the staff to a small fire caused by a hot dog roller that was accidentally left on after a game. Smart cameras for parking lots and surrounding streets will likely become standard to reduce the crime and vandalism that can sometimes mar public events.Want to find shorter beer lines? Avoid the bathroom with a major flood? Or figure out the best way to get home or to the airport based on anticipated traffic and public transportation options? There will be an app for that. And this is just the beginning. There are an estimated 12,216 stadiums worldwide, according to World Stadiums, and a growing number are located in megacities and emerging markets where water is scarce, power is fragile, and traffic is horrendous. Some stadiums are sparkling new, while others, date back to the 1920s. These venues can become open showcases for what’s possible. Let the games begin. The author is Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Partners at OSIsoft. Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Citieslast_img read more

IT Best Practices: Embracing IT Marketing

first_imgProper marketing creates a connection between IT and our customers and partners. Effective marketing means connecting with customers at a personal level, transaction by transaction. The result will be delivery of the right services at the right time, based on the unique needs of the audience, and increased trust. Marketing Can’t Replace Good IT Practices and ExecutionDeveloping better relationships with our customers and using marketing techniques will not mask poor IT performance or service. However, marketing can re-enforce positive impressions and help deliver the competitive advantage our businesses want. I often hear IT professionals state, and I agree, that we must run IT as a business—optimize investment decisions, prioritize our programs like a portfolio, and monitor progress, making required course corrections. If that is the case, what business would choose toforgo marketing and miss the opportunity to understand its customers’ needs? We should embrace the concepts of marketing in IT. Four Effective Ways to Embrace IT MarketingIntel IT has embraced the importance of marketing our organization’s capability and solutions to our partners and employees. Here are a few of our “best practices.”1. Annual Performance Report. For the past 10 years, our IT organization has published an IT Annual Performance Report to communicate our operational strategies and results to our partners, employees, and other IT professionals. IT is often the silent hero, or visible to customers only when something goes wrong. People often know only the part of IT that they rely on, but don’t have an appreciation for the breadth of IT’s responsibilities. It’s easy to cry, “why aren’t you prioritizing me” when you don’t realize there are other programs on the priority list. Documenting and communicating the breadth of services we offer and the value we provide has helped uschange that perception.2. Productivity Tips for Employees. For the past five years, the Intel IT Products and Services Communications team has published an internal bi-weekly corporate-wide newsletter (we call it Digital Edge) focused on the technology and solutions available from Intel IT. Digital Edge articles educate Intel employees on a variety of information technology topics to help them improve productivity and take advantage of new IT products and services. Over time, readership of this newsletter has grown to 70 percent of its distribution, an incredibly high readership for a “pushed” communication. Some of these articles have been republished for external consumption at www.intel.com/IT.3. IT-to-Admin Audiocasts. No one markets to a homogeneous population, and therefore segmenting your customers is imperative. We found that the administrative assistant community is a key influence point that propagates awareness of IT service and perception. IT hosts a series of quarterly audiocasts for Intel’s administrative assistant community. This format provides quick, timely updates to an influential audience, with IT experts on hand to answer questions.4. Offering Information at Users’ “Point of Need.” Our IT communications and training teams develop content to help employees learn and make the most of IT solutions. Our internal IT intranet portal offers the latest “IT news,” optimized search, and a comprehensive product catalog. We monitor support calls, chats, and submitted help tickets to identify topics that warrant additional focus. A new focus for us is to deliver this content at the user’s “point of need”—for example, when an employee goes to investigate, order, or download a specific product or application, they also get theinformation, tips-and-tricks, and training on how to best use that specific product.Let’s Take Charge of Our Own Destiny through MarketingWe all seek better partnership with our business stakeholders. We want to improve IT’s ability to create a competitive advantage for our respective organizations. I believe there is a need to “market” IT. Create the connection between IT and the business – that’s marketing! Certainly, marketing is alive and well inside Intel IT.How are you working to market your department’s accomplishments and expertise?Do you have a formal plan in place? Marketing Helps Us Connect with Business Partners Every IT organization seems to be under constant performance pressure. The pace of business is increasing. Budget pressure is always present. The complexity of regulatory compliance is exploding. Employees expect full support of the latest, often consumer-orientated, technologies… yesterday.This pressure is amplified as our businesses become even more dependent on IT. The business looks to us in IT for a competitive advantage—solutions for faster product development and delivery cycles, business intelligence and automated analytics tools for better decision making, and an overall reduction in the cost of doing business. On this journey to forge a competitive advantage, we are faced with limitless challenges. To be successful, we need to market IT.Marketing is a SkillMarketing often has an undeserved negative perception as an instrument of deception and manipulation, or a creative “spin” of reality. Marketing is actually about understanding customer requirements and translating the value of a product or service into terms the user can understand and appreciate—a skill that is critical to achieving the goals discussed above.last_img read more

Top stories: A softer side to computers, fruit for thought, and home is where the mouse is

first_img Top stories: A softer side to computers, fruit for thought, and home is where the mouse is (Left to right): MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA/Newscom; ktsimage/iStockphoto; Wollertz/shutterstock Scientists turn mammalian cells into complex biocomputersComputer hardware is getting a softer side. A research team has come up with a way of genetically engineering the DNA of mammalian cells to carry out complex computations, in effect turning the cells into biocomputers. The group hasn’t put those modified cells to work in useful ways yet, but down the road researchers hope the new programming techniques will help improve everything from cancer therapy to on-demand tissues that can replace worn-out body parts. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Is fruit eating responsible for big brains?Ask any biologist what makes primates special, and they’ll tell you the same thing: big brains. Those impressive noggins make it possible for primates from spider monkeys to humans to use tools, find food, and navigate the complex relationships of group living. But scientists disagree on what drove primates to evolve big brains in the first place. Now, a new study comes to an unexpected conclusion: fruit.When did humans settle down? The house mouse may have the answerSometime about 10,000 years ago, the earliest farmers put down their roots—literally and figuratively. Agriculture opened the door to stable food supplies, and it let hunter-gatherers build permanent dwellings that morphed into complex societies. But how that transition played out is a contentiously debated topic. Now, a new study shows that our path to domesticity zig-zagged between periods of sedentary life and a roaming, hunter-gatherer lifestyle. The evidence? The presence—and absence—of the common house mouse.Underground labs in China are devising potent new opiates faster than authorities can respondThe opium poppy is no longer the starting point for many street drugs in the United States, where deaths involving natural and synthetic opiates hit 33,091 in 2015. New compounds like fentanyl—a painkiller about 100 times more potent than morphine—are coming from underground labs in China, where authorities are just beginning to cooperate with U.S. drug enforcement agencies to combat the scourge. Meanwhile, those same labs are cooking up new, unregulated versions of fentanyl, some of them even more potent than the original.Trump wants 2018 NIH cut to come from overhead paymentsThe Trump administration could slash $5.8 billion from the 2018 budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), yet still fund at least as much research by eliminating overhead payments to universities and research institutions, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tom Price told lawmakers this week. The hearing, before the appropriations subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives that oversees the HHS budget, included several questions about the 18% cut to NIH’s $31.7 billion budget that President Donald Trump has proposed. Cuts of that size have outraged biomedical research groups and drawn opposition from both Democrats and many Republicans in Congress.center_img By Rachael LallensackMar. 31, 2017 , 2:30 PMlast_img read more