Morning Brief: California’s Dyslexia Response, LAUSD Drops Weekly COVID Testing, Farewell Vin Scully
Good morning, L.A. It’s Wednesday, August 3.
Welcome to class, everyone!
As you already know, I have a huge soft spot for the little ones as a former teacher. And if you’ve been following along these past few weeks, you’ve read my previews on the education team’s dyslexia series. Today, the first story is fresh off the press.
My colleagues Adriana Pera and Jill Replogle explain what dyslexia is and how it impacts people who have it. These two all-star reporters also go in-depth behind California’s slow and tentative approach to a comprehensive program for students who have dyslexia.
Dyslexia is the nation’s most common learning disability. The thing is, experts believe that with proper interventions and instruction students can conquer academic barriers and go head-to-toe with their peers.
How do we get there? Adriana and Jill ask several questions that fall under that big, looming question and highlight what the state, advocacy groups, educators and parents are doing.
When we zoom into California policies, we see that our state is lacking. Lori DePole, the state co-director of Decoding Dyslexia CA, says what the state employs is a “wait-to-fail approach.”
Forty U.S. states have laws that mandate screening for dyslexia, according to the National Center on Improving Literacy.
California is NOT one of them.
There are guidelines for educators and parents who want to help students with dyslexia. But as Adriana and Jill report, schools don’t have to follow those guidelines. There’s no requirement.
There’s one quote that really stood out to me and it’s from one of YOU.
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Ingrid Calame was one of over 200 respondents who responded to queries asking for people’s stories. She says:
"This is a system that greatly privileges wealth, class, education, English as a first language, race, gender .. everyone we have worked with is well meaning ... the system that they are working in is very broken."
There is so much more to come on this issue, but start here with Jill and Adriana’s informative explainer.
As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below the fold.
What Else You Need To Know Today
- Los Angeles lost an icon Tuesday night. Vin Scully, longtime Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster, died at age 94. It was fitting the news crossed while the Dodgers played the San Francisco Giants (Ironically, Vin grew up a Giants fan as a kid in New York). Back in 2016, he called his last three games in the Bay Area, after 67 years behind the mic. Listen here to understand why Scully was the greatest broadcaster of all time. If you like, please share your memories here.
- In a major pivot, the Los Angeles Unified School District will no longer conduct weekly COVID-19 testing on campus. And though masking will be encouraged, it will no longer be required.
- After a raucous session that was preceded by protests, the L.A. City County voted 11-to-3 to ban encampments within 500 feet of schools and daycares.
- Well, it's official. L.A. voters will be able to decide this November whether the L.A. County Board of Supervisors should have the power to remove a publicly elected sheriff from office.
- The effects of heat are not created equal and some neighborhoods in L.A. feel a whole lot warmer than other parts, mostly due to lack of trees and green space. As temperatures climb due to global warming, the county and the state need to do a lot more to keep people cool during the summer.
- To help fight monkeypox outbreaks, Illinois joins California with declaring a state of emergency to help state health departments amp up their vaccinations. Los Angeles County, too, made its own proclamation on Tuesday morning.
- With California gas prices on a rise, efficient electric vehicles are the new must-have. But the question is, can Californians afford electric cars with the long waitlists for rebates and other programs shutting down?
- After a brief stalemate that got a lot of attention thanks to comedian Jon Stewart, the senate passed a bill that would improve benefits for millions of veterans who’ve been exposed to toxic burn pits on military bases.
- There’s been an influx of Americans and other foreigners traveling to Mexico City to tour or to work remotely. Locals have had enough.
- After several accusations of ableism, Beyoncé will change a lyric in her latest album, Renaissance, to remove the term.
Before You Go...Remember "Oscars So White"?
I will never forget the 2015 Academy Awards. All of the acting nominations went to white actors. April Reign, then a campaign finance lawyer, tweeted about this discrepancy and included the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. It blew up and the rest became history.
Listen to episode 9 of The Academy Museum Podcast form LAist Studios. You’ll hear from Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the former president of the academy; writer/producer/director Reginald Hudlin, who co-produced the 2016 Oscars, and April Reign, now the Senior Advisor for Entertainment and Media at Gauge as they discuss the evolution of the hashtag and the movement that developed along with it.