RED Series on Education

Jose Lalas and Kennedy

98.7 FM DJ Kennedy and Dr. Jose Lalas, School of Education professor and director of the Center for Educational Justice, speak during the RED Series June 17.

Education was the topic at hand during the second RED Series event June 17 at the Hollywood Tower.

The RED Series is a partnership between the University and 98.7 FM, with the school providing faculty experts to speak on specific topics during three events – “R” for research, “E” for education, and “D” for discovery. Dr. Jose Lalas, a School of Education professor and the director of the Center for Educational Justice, spoke with 98.7 FM DJ Kennedy about issues facing California schools, and what students, parents and educators can do together to make things better.

“School isn’t just a concrete building,” Lalas said. “There are teachers and counselors on one side, and students on the other, and everyone has their own experiences. This whole arena is filled with people with different interests and roles, and it’s made up of social relations. You need to focus on those areas to strengthen these kids’ abilities.”

Lalas also believes that students are taking a vested interest in their success at school, both in class and during extracurricular activities.

“They’re thinking, ‘It’s cool to be smart,’” he said.

Kennedy and Lalas discussed the achievement gap, and what parents should do if they feel their child is not getting an appropriate education.

“They should definitely call their school board members and policy makers,” he said. “You have the right to talk to them.”

At the end of the event, Lalas stressed the importance of parents taking the time to work with their children, and not relying on technology to entertain them.

“You need to turn off the TV, limit iPhone use, and read,” he said. “Good old-fashioned reading is the best thing for your kids.”

The next RED Series on August 22 will feature Kennedy discussing science with Professor Tyler Nordgren.

Posted: June 21, 2013
Written by: Catherine Garcia

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