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POSTED November 19, 2012 9:07 p.m.

NEW TEACHERS GET LOW-PERFORMING MATH STUDENTS: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A new study shows inexperienced Los Angeles teachers are disproportionately more likely to be assigned low-performing math students.

The Los Angeles Unified School District study also found teacher effectiveness varies substantially.

The Los Angeles Times says top teachers are able to give students the equivalent to eight additional months of learning in a year compared with weaker instructors.

The study also found that teacher performance after two years is a fairly good predictor of future effectiveness.

Drew Furedi, who oversees the district's teacher training, says he's deeply concerned and describes the study as a call to action.

The study by the Strategic Data Project, which is affiliated with Harvard University's Center for Education Policy Research, analyzed the performance of about a third of the district's teachers.

CAREGIVER FACES ELDER:LY ABUSE CHARGES: THREE RIVERS . (AP) — A caregiver is in jail and an 88-year-old California woman is hospitalized with dislocated fingers and brain swelling.

Tulare County sheriff's deputies were called Sunday morning to investigate possible abuse at the home in Three Rivers, a community 30 miles northeast of Visalia.

The Fresno Bee reports the elderly woman was taken to a hospital and the 66-year-old caregiver was arrested and booked into jail for investigation of elder abuse. The caregiver's name hasn't been released.

8M DEAL TO SAVE OLD-GROWTH REDWOOD GROVE : BOULDER CREEK  (AP) — There's an $8 million deal to sell a Santa Cruz Mountains redwood grove to a conservation group.

The 214 acres in Boulder Creek is believed to be the third-largest old-growth redwood forest in the mountains about 70 miles south of San Francisco.

The trees are 1,000 to 2,000 years old.

Members of the Save the Redwoods League are buying the land to prevent development and timber harvesting.

But there's a problem.

The San Francisco Chronicle says the conservation group needs to raise the $2 million down payment by the end of the year or the deal is dead. The rest of the purchase price would have to be paid in a year.

MAN WHO MADE FAKE ORGANIC FERTILIZER GETS 6½ YEARS: BAKERSFIELD  (AP) — A Central California fertilizer producer has been ordered to serve 6 ½ years in prison after selling product with synthetic ingredients that he claimed were entirely organic.

A federal judge sentenced Kenneth Noel Nelson Jr. Monday in U.S. District Court in Fresno after he pleaded guilty earlier to four counts of mail fraud in the case.

The 59-year-old Bakersfield resident ran Port Organic Products Ltd., one of the largest organic fertilizer operations in the western U.S.

Prosecutors said that between 2003 and 2009 Nelson misrepresented fertilizer as organic when it in fact contained ingredients that disqualified it from that certification.

Officials found thousands of gallons of aqueous ammonia, an ingredient in synthetic fertilizers, at his factory.

The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 establishes criteria for organic products.

AUTHORITIES ID WOMAN MAULED TO DEATH BY BULLDOGS: FALLBROOK  (AP) — Authorities have identified a woman who was mauled to death by bulldogs at a San Diego County home.

The county medical examiner's office says she was 30-year-old Remedios Romero-Solares of Fallbrook.

Sheriff's officials say she was found dead on Nov. 11 in the backyard of a Fallbrook home. She'd been hired to clean the home while the residents were out of town and stayed overnight. A cousin who went to pick her up found her bloodied body.

Eight American bulldogs were loose in the backyard. Authorities say it appears one or more had mauled the woman.

Animal control officers have impounded the animals, and will investigate to determine whether criminal charges should be filed against the homeowners.

The homeowners will also be investigated for having 24 marijuana plants.

 

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