McDonnell’s USC Visit and a Great Teacher Story

Annenberg grad student, Kevin Grant, has this well-written report of Jim McDonnell’s Tuesday night visit to our classroom

Here’s how Kevin’s report begins:

A 28-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department told a journalism class this week that he expects to step into a very difficult budget situation if he is named police chief. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he will announce his choice Monday.

First Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell spoke to the graduate newswriting class at USC’s Annenberg School of Journalism on Tuesday night, shortly after learning that the Police Commission had selected him as one of three finalists for the top job.

“It’s a tough time going in,”
McDonnell said. “When you look at the past seven years, we were fairly well resourced. We had support of the [City] Council, certainly of the mayor, to be able to do what we needed to do to drive crime down. We come to a situation now where the budget has caught up with us.”

The rest may be found at Neon Tommy.

Another Neon Tommy story well worth reading is this excellent multimedia report by grad student Julia James about a creative and dedicated Pasadena charter school teacher named Tyler Hester.

Here is the opening:

On a Saturday afternoon in early September, 26-year-old English teacher Tyler Hester finds himself in a familiar situation: building castles in the sky in outbuilding No. 2 at Blair International Baccalaureate Magnet School. The room is ordered, with tall windows stretching to a high ceiling — the kind of space that invites a wandering gaze. But Hester fixates on a single item low to the ground, almost as a point of meditation: the long and vacant gray bookshelf skirting his Pasadena classroom.

Hester faces a numbers problem. He teaches 198 seventh and eighth grade students, around 40 per class, but his classroom library contains only 100 or so novels — all purchased by him in his first year at Blair for around $500….

Read on.

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