South LA schools to benefit from $500,000 donation

imageMeg Whitman was in Los Angeles to announce her foundation was donating $500,000 to bring specialized math software to 10 schools, including six in South LA.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy joined the former California gubernatorial candidate in sharing the news during a press conference that took place on Wednesday morning at the 99th Street Elementary school.

The $500,000 donation made by the Whitman-Harsh Family Foundation will be used to deliver the ST Math visual math software program to the schools, in an effort to improve math performance among students.

ST Math was developed by the MIND Research Institute as part of their National Math Initiative. It has produced positive results in 46 Los Angeles elementary schools that already use this program, where according to MIND research, students have achieved a 13.6 point gain in math proficiency on the 2011 California Standards Test (CST).

imageThanks to the funding, three elementary schools in the South LA area will be able to renew their use of the math software. They are 99th Street Elementary, Figueroa Street Elementary, and Ritter Elementary School. It will also allow three other South LA schools to start using the program. Those schools are Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary, Samuel Gompers Middle School, and Markham Middle School.

Marshall Tuck, CEO of Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, said he was “thrilled” they were able to expand the program to more South LA schools because “young people in South LA are very talented, but have not gotten support they need to be successful.”

Tuck believes that “all students in South LA should have access to these programs.” He explained this new math software’s innovative approach makes students successful in math because it engages them with a more visual and interactive component, using “gaming logic” to complement teaching in the classroom. As a result, Tuck said, MIND’s software produces “significant success on state tests and enjoyment in math” for students. According to Tuck, incorporating MIND’s ST Math software in schools will “help prove what we all ready know – South LA students can do math.”

Gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman defends herself against allegations


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Meg Whitman denies allegations that she knew Nicki Diaz Santillan, her former housekeeper, was an illegal immigrant. Diaz Santillan’s lawyer claims that Whitman and her husband knew of Santillan’s status due to the fact that documentation from the Social Security Administration was received showing that Diaz Santillan’s name and social security number did not match up.

Whitman hired her housekeeper through an agency that took note of the legal status of its employees. Whitman fired her after Diaz Santillan confessed she was an illegal immigrant, but Whitman never reported her to the authorities.

New immigration bill reignites debate and country divide

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Supporters of the immigration bill gathered at MacArthur Park Thursday to praise Menendez, question Meg Whitman and plan what is next.

Preview of the gubernatorial debate with debate expert


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Dr. Gordon Stables is also a communications professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He said the first gubernatorial debate between State Attorney General Jerry Brown and former E-Bay CEO Meg Whitman might be the kind of vote where people choose the candidate they dislike least.

Photo courtesy of University of Southern California’s website