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New CSUN program to develop urban school administrators

The need for future administrators in the Los Angeles Unified School District was addressed with plans to start a program called Project Change: A Partnership to Prepare Tomorrow’s Leaders. The program will begin in January 2006. About $740,000 from the U.S. Department of Education was given in April as a grant to fund the program after officials from the College of Education, along with other entities, expressed concern about the need for new administrators in schools, especially in urban areas, said Richard Castallo, chair of the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department. The Baby Boom generation is going into retirement, he said, adding that the next generation of administrators needs “special skill to work in urban areas.” Project Change is an off-site, two-year master’s and administrative service credentialing program that will train 25 students to learn about the urban environment and culture so they can become effective administrators and leaders, Castallo also said. Each student will have a current LAUSD administrator as a mentor when the program starts, said Deborah Leidner, the project’s director and professor in the ELPS Department. Eight local LAUSD superintendents are currently identifying at least three administrators in their district to be mentors for the students in the program, Castallo said. “We’re trying to help – people become agents of change,” Leidner said, adding that the program will give students perspective on the concept of how they make changes. The College of Business and Economics and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce are also helping with the project to give students a business and management perspective of administration. A second class of 25 students will join the project in January 2007, Leidner said. “(These students) are the future leaders,” she said, adding that she has good faith in the program’s success.

– Samuel Richard

Learning Achievement Center seeks funding for new facility

The Pathway to Children’s Success Fund program is looking for a lead donor to give a large gift donation to the development and building of a new Learning Achievement Center, according to Laura Lindberg, grant writer for the College of Education. “We are hoping to get a gift this year,” Lindberg said. Once a large gift donation has been given to the fund program, the new Learning Achievement Center will be named after that donor, she said. Funding for the new Learning Achievement Center project would also come from a $7 million donation given to the College of Education from Michael Eisner in 2001, she said. The fund program was first developed as a plan to raise $10 million to fund the Learning Achievement Center project. The new Learning Achievement Center will place several programs, such as the Los Angeles Times Literacy Lab, Mitchell Family Counseling Center and the Family Focus Resource Center, in one facility, Lindberg said. According to Sheri Tarver-Behring, the current facility in which the project is operating in is limiting the way professors train students to work in the Learning Achievement Center. “We have limited resources, because (the center) is just not big enough,” Tarver-Behring said. The Learning Achievement Center project will focus on providing reading and writing, as well as counseling services, to the CSUN community. At the Learning Achievement Center, education and psychology majors would undergo training that would enable them to work with parents and children on issues concerning education or mental health.

-Veronica Rocha

Corrections and Clarifications

In “Rwandan King Kigeli V to visit CSUN for speech,” published Oct. 26, it was incorrectly reported that the Belgian government installed the current president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame. In fact, he was democratically elected in 2003. Also, in “‘Bar Starz’ movie shoot turns campus into film set,” published Oct. 27, it was incorrectly reported that the shoot would end on Oct. 18 and cost the production company $400,000 to shoot on the CSUN campus. In fact, the production will begin to move off campus on Nov. 1 and finish on Nov. 2, and the cost to film on the CSUN campus was approximately $40,000 for Corner Stone Pictures, with some additional University Student Union facilities fees.

Education historian Ravitch to speak at CSUN on Nov. 9

Education historian Diane Ravitch will speak about the “Future of Teacher Education in a Hostile Environment” on Nov. 9 in the University Student Union Grand Salon. Ravitch is a research professor of education at New York University and a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. She is a former U.S. assistant secretary for educational research and improvement, and she served as a counselor to the U.S. Department of Education. Ravitch’s talk will center on the unique role of schools of education in the 21st century. She is also a member of the Koret Task Froce on K-12 Education, a team of education experts assembled by the Hoover Institution to work on education reform. She has lectured widely on democracy and civic education.

– Ryan Denham

– Veronica Rocha

Corrections and Clarifications

In “Rwandan King Kigeli V to visit CSUN for speech,” published Oct. 26, it was incorrectly reported that the Belgian government installed the current president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame. In fact, he was democratically elected in 2003. Also, in “‘Bar Starz’ movie shoot turns campus into film set,” published Oct. 27, it was incorrectly reported that the shoot would end on Oct. 18 and cost the production company $400,000 to shot on the CSUN campus. In fact, shooting concludes Oct. 31 and the cost to film on the CSUN campus was approximately $40,000 for Corner Stone Pictures.