Less than half of students meet new reading, math standards

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Less than half of all California students passed new math and English tests aligned with the Common Core standards and considered indicators of college and career readiness. Results for the Smarter Balanced assessment released Wednesday show that 44 percent of students in third through eighth and 11th grades met or exceeded […]

Teacher equity plans approved for 16 states

WASHINGTON (AP) — To ensure all students, regardless of race, ethnicity or economic background, get equal access to the best teachers, Kentucky plans to enhance mentoring for new teachers. Massachusetts will seek to raise standards for teacher education programs, and Rhode Island and Nevada are looking at financial incentives to attract and retain teachers. The […]

‘War Room’ filmmakers build on previous faith film successes

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Faith-based movies that succeed at the box office shouldn’t be a surprise anymore, but “War Room,” a Christian family drama about marriage, has proved to be somewhat miraculous. After “War Room” nearly beat “Straight Outta Compton” in its opening weekend, it defied expectations in its second week in theaters and rose […]

Ex-tennis pro James Blake wants apology for being handcuffed

NEW YORK (AP) — Former tennis professional James Blake said Thursday that he wants an apology from police after a case of mistaken identity led to him being handcuffed and taken to the ground. “I’d like an apology,” Blake said on ABC’s “Good Morning America. “I’d like an explanation for how they conducted themselves because […]

California data shows racial disparity in arrests, deaths

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Just 6 percent of Californians are African American, yet they are involved in 17 percent of all arrests in the state and a quarter of in-custody deaths, according to what officials called a nationally unprecedented release of data. The data paints a clearer picture of the racial disparity in arrests and […]

Governor’s highway plan includes $65 driver fee and higher fuel taxes

SACRAMENTO (AP) — More than two months after calling a special session to address California’s transportation funding backlog, Gov. Jerry Brown has begun circulating a list of administration proposals on how to pay for it, including a $65 annual fee for drivers and increases in the diesel and gas taxes tied to inflation. A one-page […]

Gunman sought after deadly shooting at Sacramento college

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Law officers searched for a gunman after one man was shot to death and two others wounded in a parking lot at the edge of a Sacramento community college campus, officials said. The suspect ran from the scene after the shooting near a campus baseball field on Thursday afternoon, and was not […]

Ex-NBA star Darryl Dawkins, aka ‘Chocolate Thunder’ has died

(AP) – Darryl Dawkins, whose board-shattering dunks earned him the moniker “Chocolate Thunder” and helped pave the way for breakaway rims, has died. He was 58. The Lehigh County, Pennsylvania coroner’s office said Dawkins died Thursday morning at a hospital. Later Thursday, Dawkins’ family said a heart attack was the cause of death. Officials said […]

TV academy, actors union toast diversity at pre-Emmy party

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — With hit shows like “Empire,” ”black-ish” and “How to Get Away With Murder,” diversity is the new normal in TV. That was the message at a pre-Emmy party celebrating the industry’s diverse talent on both sides of the camera. “Diversity no longer means niche,” said Jason George, head of diversity […]

Number of businesses owned by minority women are soaring

(AP) – The number of U.S. businesses owned by minority women is soaring, and outstripping U.S. business growth in general. The number of companies owned by Hispanic women rose 87 percent between 2007 and 2012, while the number of companies owned by Black women rose nearly 68 percent, according to preliminary figures released last week […]