Sunday, April 11, 2004

The Budget, Single Sex Schools and NCLB: Look what the Easter Bunny dragged in...

Hopefully Mr. Tokofsky was being sarcastic.

We all say dumb things, and it’s so much fun to quote ‘dumb things said out of context’ — but if the cloud is gone it’s only because the deluge is upon us!

Let me get this straight: The District is cutting nursing,
an attendance councilor and an Early Education Center
— and is moving school construction bond money (Long-Term Debt/Capital Expenses) into the general fund (Day-to-Day Operating Expenses). And we have nothing to worry about?

• LAUSD has socio-economically challenged students with no health insurance at an astronomical level. LA County has slashed its health care budget, often the only health professionals our students ever see are one-day-a-month school nurses we’re cutting there? Sick kids don’t do well in your beloved tests Governor Romer – if they show up at all! If only 2% of a school population fails to take the test the results don’t count according to No Child Left Behind!

• ‘School Attendance Councilors’ is the edu-speak
euphemism for Truant Officers. These folks insure that
students are in school, producing the Average Daily
Attendance (ADA) revenue that is this district’s only
source of general fund income! They are revenue generators: Let's get rid of them!

• Eliminate an Early Education Center? Sure, young
kids already enter LAUSD well prepared enough to

• Reducing the inflation rate for health care benefits is
laughable; when in recent memory have health care benefits costs gone down?

• “....proposals include shifting some general fund costs to the proceeds of voter-approved school-facilities bond measures” and “To create the savings, Romer also moved about $14 million from the general budget to voter-approved bonds, including $2.2 million for Measure R election costs and $3 million for leased space that is occupied by bond-funded personnel.” I’m guessing that the District’s legal counsel must have been on Spring
Break when this came down ...hopefully they’ll be
back next week - tanned and rested! I fully support
using bond funds to do things like assure adequate
maintenance of facilities, but not to pay for election
costs or to lease facilities not used for educational
purposes. And why, pray tell, wasn’t the Bond
Oversight Committee consulted on this proposal? Our
office is right down the hall from the Superintendent’s!
- smf

• Among Supt. Romer's recommendations are
trimming jobs and transportation costs. He plans no
teacher layoffs or class size increases.
By Jean Merl
Times Staff Writer

April 10, 2004

The superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School
District unveiled a new package of recommendations
Friday for closing the remaining $61.3-million gap in
the coming fiscal year's budget.

Supt. Roy Romer's 19 proposals include shifting some
general fund costs to the proceeds of voter-approved
school-facilities bond measures, cutting transportation
costs for special education students and trimming
another 19 jobs from the district payroll.

Friday's proposals total $67.4 million, allowing the
district to restore $6 million in instructional materials
cuts, or $50 per student, authorized last year.

The recommendations follow last month's round of
cost-cutting, during which the board of education
slashed $428 million, including nearly 500 jobs, mostly
from central administration and its 11 subdistricts.
District officials needed to slice almost $500 million
from their $5.7-billion operating budget before the
new fiscal year begins July 1.

Romer said his latest budget-balancing proposals are
consistent with his and the board's goal of keeping the
cuts as far from the classroom as possible, including no
teacher layoffs and no increase in class size.

"We have been creative in doing a lot of things,"
Romer said, "but we're not out of the woods yet. We
have to wait and see what the longer-term budget
implications are for this district."

Some of the earlier budget-balancing steps depend on
cooperation from the state, and about $150 million is
from one-time sources of money.

Spared for the moment are further reductions in the 11
subdistricts. Officially known as local districts, they
were created four years ago to bring services closer to
the schools and help them increase student
achievement. Critics of the local districts, however,
including the influential United Teachers Los Angeles
union, have called for their dismantling, and Romer
and some school board members have talked about
possible consolidation.

Romer said he was still working on a proposal for the
local districts, which already have been cut 20%, along
with central administration. He said he would make a
recommendation at Tuesday's board meeting, when he
also plans to present a brief report on the proposals
offered Friday. He wants the board to vote on his
recommendations during its April 22 meeting.

•19 positions are affected

By Jennifer Radcliffe
Staff Writer

Friday, April 09, 2004 -
Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Roy Romer
proposed $67 million more in cuts Friday -- the final
step in closing the school district's $536 million deficit
in the 2004-05 budget.

Nineteen more positions will be eliminated, including
two nurse coordinators and an attendance counselor.
An early childhood center in Los Angeles will also be
closed and the district will start buying its own
electricity directly.

"I feel like we did our job competently," Romer said.
"This is a very difficult challenge to keep quality and
take the cuts we're taking."

After approving $427 million in cuts last month, the
school board asked Romer to cut another $61 million
to balance the budget. His list, released Friday,
includes an additional $6 million in cuts to create a
reserve for campuses that are having a tough time
making ends meet.

"This reserve will be able to take care of those that are
hardest hit," Romer said.

To create the savings, Romer also moved about $14
million from the general budget to voter-approved
bonds, including $2.2 million for Measure R election
costs and $3 million for leased space that is occupied
by bond-funded personnel.

Another $10.7 million was saved by lowering the
projected inflation rate for health benefits from 15
percent to 14 percent.

The board will discuss the proposal Tuesday and is
expected to vote on it April 22.

Trustee David Tokofsky said he's a little disappointed
that the cuts aren't more sweeping and don't focus on
inefficient programs.

"It's very creative stuff, but what it doesn't do is cut
into the flesh of decayed programs and places that
shouldn't be preserved," he said.

But he added that "the dark cloud of the budget deficit
appears to be gone."

There is a debate on the national level on single-sex
education that LAUSD could well be joining as we
enter into the brave new world of Small School
Learning Communities. This is all a result of a
provision in the No Child Left Behind Act, of which I
am no fan. But hey ...maybe it’s not all bad! - smf

•...This from the PBS NewsHour May 19th of last year:

Bridge Middle School (Chesterfield County, VA) --
grades six through eight, with more than 1,600
students-- was like most other middle schools in the
country until last August. A glitch in the school's
computer system resulted in a random assignment of
98 percent girls to one section of the sixth grade and
98 percent to another, leaving three sections, or teams,
as they're known-- coed.

flying in my office, flying down. "I've got all boys in
this... in this first period."

JOHN MERROW: Principal Deborah Marks had just
three days to decide what to do.

DEBORAH MARKS: Then Anita Saunders came into
my office, and she went, "Debbie, I've got all girls
except for this one little boy. What am I supposed to
do with him?" I didn't sleep for three nights because I
had to make a decision of fixing it, so I moved just
those few.

JOHN MERROW: So you did the easy thing?

DEBORAH MARKS: Yeah. But I did the right thing.
JOHN MERROW: So began an experiment at Bailey
Bridge Middle School. For the first time, sixth graders
were offered single-sex classes in English, math,
science, and social studies.

NINA SAUNDERS, 6th Grade Teacher: I guess I
was pretty apprehensive about it because I had no idea
what it would be like, and I was never interested in
being around all girls.

STUDENT: Well, my mom thought that if we were
separated now, we might not learn to get along with
boys as much when we get older.

STUDENT: Most of my friends were in the all-girl
team, but I mean, I still got friends that are on the boy
team, but I wasn't very happy about it.

JOHN MERROW: It turns out there was no better
time for the change. The education law known as "no
child left behind" includes a provision for single-sex
education in public schools and authorizes money for
schools willing to try it.

•...and this from National Public Radio/Morning Edition April 7, 2004

BOB EDWARDS, host: The Department of
Education is considering changes that would enable
communities to operate single-sex public schools.
Some educators believe boys and girls learn better
separately. Commentator Margaret Erhart embarked
on her own research into single-sex education.

MARGARET ERHART: When I came into the
fifth-grade classroom to teach writing, it wasn't long
before I noticed the girls had nothing to say. Not that
they couldn't fill a page if I asked for one, or follow an
assignment. They could follow anywhere and write
anything as long as it had nothing to do with them.
The boys were like little James Deans. They wrote
about sports cars and space ships. Their heroes were
aliens. At every opportunity, they challenged the rules
of writing, eager to break them and come up with their

The girls used the word `nice' a lot. They wrote
descriptions of rainbows and flowers. Their questions
included the words `supposed to' and their statements
began with `I can't.' The more I stressed creativity and
non-compliance, their own smart thoughts and ideas,
the less they wrote.

When I was their age, I went to a girls' school. I didn't
worry about what boys thought of me or if they
thought of me. The two things I trusted were my
imagination and my intelligence. I was expected to be
smart and independent. It was a great gift. Now I
wanted to give these girls and boys a chance to try
something different, to be someone different if they
wished. Their classroom teachers agreed and our
experiment in single-sex education began.

My students were surprised at the new arrangement,
but within a day or two, the girls came out from
behind their hair to discover that stories and poems
were a secret way to write about themselves. For the
first time, they played with language and imagery. `I'm
the victim who wears colorful shoes,' wrote Cassie.

And Dominique confessed, `I feel as condemned as a
net of evil shovels.'

The boys stopped hiding behind aliens and machines,
finding their own sincere voices. Kim wrote, `He
stands alone, walking up and down in his new
sneakers, so young to experience the truth, the candy
held so tightly it's melting. She prances by, head high.
You can almost hear the glass shattering.'

I no longer had trouble getting my young writers to
read their work aloud. The usually shy Melanie jumped
to her feet and sang out, `I will not let anyone rest on
me. Who is brave enough to try? Only the smallest,
most innocent birds, the bees armed with stingers,
sharp and frightened as my own.' I was astonished at
their honesty, at the feeling that came out in their
poems and stories. I wondered if it made a difference,
separating the sexes, or whether we would have gotten
to that strong writing eventually, given enough time.
Alex, the only boy who seemed to have little to say,
gave me this poem the day I left: `I feel like a light
looking out at the world. I feel surprised. I see all but
know very little. I feel like a line, straight and sturdy,
yet weak and feeble. I feel dark, powerful and

EDWARDS: The comments of Margaret Erhart, a
novelist and teacher in Flagstaff, Arizona.

More of the debate: Current News Stories on Single Sex Schools

SINGLE SEX EDUCATION: the small type
On March 3, 2004, Department of Education
Secretary Rod Paige proposed new regulations
governing single-sex education in public schools.
These new regulations were required by a provision in
the No Child Left Behind Act, a provision intended by
its authors to authorize single-sex education in public
schools (specifically, sections 5131(a)(23) and 5131(c)
of the NCLB). The new regulations allow
coeducational public schools (elementary and
secondary schools) to offer single-sex classrooms,
provided that the schools:

1) provide a rationale for offering a single-gender class
in that subject. A variety of rationales are acceptable,
e.g. if very few girls have taken computer science in
the past, the school could offer a girls-only computer
science class;
2) provide a coeducational class in the same subject at
the same school;
3) conduct periodic review to determine whether
single-sex classes are still necessary to remedy
whatever inequity prompted the school to offer the
single-sex class in the first place.

Just as important, the new regulations clear the way
for single-sex schools -- schools which are all-girls or
all-boys. In fact, the new regulations provide some
incentive for school districts to offer single-sex schools
rather than single-sex classrooms within coed schools.
Single-sex schools are specifically exempted from two
of the three requirements above. They won't have to
provide any rationale for their single-sex format, and
they won't have to conduct any periodic review to
determine whether single-sex education is "necessary"
to remedy some inequity. They will have to offer
"substantially equal" courses, services, and facilities, at
other schools within the same school district -- but
those other schools can be single-sex or coed. In other
words, a school district may offer a single-sex high
school for girls without having to offer a single-sex
high school for boys. A school district can offer an
all-boys elementary school without having to offer an
all-girls elementary school.

• Charter schools are exempt from all three of the
requirements: they won't have to provide a rationale
for single-gender classes, they won't have to offer
comparable coed classes or schools, and they won't
have to do periodic follow-up to justify their single-sex

Interested parties have 45 days to respond to the
proposed regulations.

Send your comments to the Department of Education at email: at the Department
of Education. The deadline is April 23, 2004.

The complete regulations may be downloaded directlyfrom the Department of Education, in HTML format, by clicking here.

SINGLE SEX EDUCATION: NPR Analysis — Single-sex public schools
• This is edited from a transcript of the National Public Radio program TALK OF THE NATION of March 8, 2004. An audio link to the entire program segment follows.

NEAL CONAN (Host): Thirty years ago, the education law
known as Title IX banned discrimination in education
based on sex and today nearly all public schools and
academic classes are co-educational. Last week, the
Bush administration proposed changes that even some
advocates describe as revolutionary. Regulations
would be eased to allow both single-sex public schools
and more single-sex classes within co-ed schools.
Supporters say single-sex education provides a more
supportive environment for both boys and girls, and
leads to better academic achievement. Critics say it
endorses segregation and perpetuates sex stereotypes.
Joining us from his office here in Washington is Ken
Marcus. He oversees the Office for Civil Rights at the
US Department of Education.

Mr. KEN MARCUS: This is a very exciting time.
There's certainly a lot of people who have been asking
for more flexibility when it comes to single-sex
education, so it's wonderful that we're finally in a
position to be able to propose some new regulations.

CONAN: So what are these new regulations? What
changes do the administration want for Title IX?

Mr. MARCUS: Sure. There are two kinds of
changes--first, for single-sex classes and second for
single-sex schools. Single-sex classes have been
essentially prohibited for the last 30 years except in
very few exceptions like gym classes that involve
bodily contact or choir or sex education. We are now
providing a much broader range of the sorts of courses
that can be provided if the school district can provide a
substantial governmental interest which could include a
desire to provide a diversity of educational
opportunities or a desire to meet the particular
individualized needs of their students. Second, for
public schools, those had been allowed, but under the
current regulations, one can only provide a boys
school if one also provides a girls school. Under the
new proposed regulations, we would allow a
single-sex school as long as the excluded sex is able to
receive a substantially equal education in either a co-ed
school or a single-sex school.

CONAN: And, again, these are proposed regulations.
What we're in right now, as I understand it, is a 45-day
period when you're gathering public comment.

Mr. MARCUS: That's right. We are just about to start
a 45-day comment period. We welcome comments
from anybody about the proposed regulations. They
can e-mail them to me at single-sex comments at We do take public comments very seriously.

CONAN: And let's see. How do these regulations
relate to the No Child Left Behind Act?

Mr. MARCUS: People have been making efforts to
reform this area for at least a dozen years during
successive administrations, and it's really been an effort
by both Democrats and Republicans.
The current effort began two years ago with No Child
Left Behind when a bipartisan group of female
senators led by Kay Bailey Hutchison, but also
including Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barbara
Mikulski and others, passed an amendment to No
Child Left Behind which had some interesting
provisions. One provision required us to provide
certain innovative funds for single-sex education, and
the other provision required us to provide some
clarification as to exactly what the law permitted when
it came to single-sex education. The department did
that in 2002, but at the same time that it provided that
clarification, we also realized that, in fact, there was
very little room, very little flexibility for school
districts to offer this. And so what we indicated at that
time was that we would develop new regulations that
would provide a greater degree of flexibility. That's
exactly what we're doing now.

CONAN: And flexibility seems to be the key word
here. None of this would mandate that any school
system do any of this.

Mr. MARCUS: There's no mandate either with respect
to the school districts or with respect to families, and I
think that's an important point. No school district will
be required to provide single-sex education, and in the
event that a school district does provide it, no parent
will be forced to send their children there. This has to
be purely voluntary.

CONAN: Is there a mechanism that's set up to review
this to make sure that if, for example, there's a boys
school set up in a district and there is no girls school
that they are getting equivalent kinds of opportunities
in co-educational schools?

Mr. MARCUS: Yes, that's right. The proposed
regulation does provide safeguards to ensure that boys
and girls really are treated equally, and the details of
that mechanism are one of the things that we would
appreciate public comment on. But in general, the
Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education
would review what's going on in terms of both any
complaints that we receive as well as potentially our
own proactive compliance reviews.
And in the event that we get a complaint arguing that
either boys are being treated better than girls or vice
versa, we would look at any number of criteria to
make sure that the districts really are treating both
equally, so that, for example, we would look at the
qualifications of the faculty and staff, we would look at
the quality and accessibility of the facilities. We would
look at the schoolbooks in terms of quality and
availability. We might look at admissions criteria. We
would look at everything from instruction to the
facilities themselves to make sure that boys and girls
are being treated equally. We want to emphasize to
school districts that while we are providing more
flexibility for educators to provide more options to
parents, we are also providing an accountability
mechanism to make sure that they're treating boys and
girls substantially equally.

CONAN: If there are advanced placement or honors
classes, would there be similar kinds of mechanisms to
ensure that if they are same-sex that there would be
equivalence provided elsewhere?

Mr. MARCUS: Yes, that's right. It's very important
that if something like an AP course is offered for one
sex that it also be offered for the other sex. In some
cases, that could be offered in a co-educational setting,
but we would insist that if the higher level courses are
provided for one, it has to be provided for the other as

CONAN: As a practical matter, there tend to be only
one AP class per grade in most courses.

Mr. MARCUS: I would expect from most districts
that that would be the case.

CONAN: OK. Let's get another caller in. This is Jo,
who's with us from Stockton, California.

JO (Caller): Hi. I am a member of the organization
American Association of University Women, and our
organization has studied single-sex academies and our
community of Stockton has also had single-sex
academies, and the position of our organization is that
when we talk about single-sex academies being better
for the sexes, we have found that the teaching methods
that are used would be better used as integrated into a
regular co-educational program. For instance, the type
of questions that teachers ask boys are different than
the kinds of questions they ask girls. And if they could
integrate that kind of questioning in a co-ed classroom,
both sexes do benefit from the intercourse from both
boys and girls.

CONAN: Why don't we call it interchange?

JO: Pardon me?

CONAN: Never mind. Go ahead, Jo.

JO: I'm sorry. I didn't hear what you said.

CONAN: That's quite all right. Go ahead.

(smf note: Ain’t live radio grand?!)

JO: OK. We have had in Stockton single-sex
academies and they actually ended up--it was under a
grant from the state of California. And they had quite a
few problems with it. One of them was that the boys
were chided for even entering a single-sex academy.
And it was very hard to recruit boys for such, whereas
girls were very anxious to participate in that. The
teachers who taught in that--for instance, a science
teacher--said that in presenting the same lessons to
both in the boys academy and the girls academy, boys
were much more ready to accept facts without
questioning them, whereas girls wanted to probe a lot
more, ask a lot more questions. And they felt that
knowing that, that when they went into their co-ed
classrooms and allowed for girls to ask those probing
questions instead of just accepting a right answer to a
question, they learned a lot more about science, and it
benefited everybody in the classroom.

CONAN: Let's get a response from Ken Marcus.

Mr. MARCUS: Well, I want to thank you for calling
in. The AAUW has been an important participant in
this dialogue. There has been a great deal of debate at
the level of academic research AAUW has been a
participant, and, in fact, we cite the work of AAUW in
our proposed regulation.
Much of the research in this field demonstrates that
there are educational benefits for both boys and girls of
both races particularly when it comes to boys and girls
from lower-income families. But this is certainly an
area where the research is at a relatively early stage
and for some reasons that are fairly easy to understand.
The research when it exists is largely done outside of
the United States or in a private school setting.
There is still relatively little research in American
public schools simply because there's been so little in
the way of single-sex public education in the last 30
years. Our hope is that as districts respond to the new
regulatory flexibility by providing new options, the
research will catch up to it and we'll have a better
sense of how single-sex education is able to benefit
children, what children will benefit most from it and
how it can be used most effectively. At this point, I
would say that there is essentially a debate on it. I
think that there's perhaps a little bit more in the way of
research indicating that it has favorable educational
benefits, but I expect that there'll be a lot more
research to come.

CONAN: Jo, thanks very much.

JO: Well, thank you.

CONAN: After this period of public comment, when
would these regulations go into effect?

Mr. MARCUS: We're about to start a 45-day
comment period, and the amount of time we'll need to
analyze the comments is going to depend on the
number and nature of the comments that we receive.
But I imagine, at any rate, that it will be a few months
down the road when we have perhaps final regulations.
CONAN: Do you anticipate any legal problems that
might stand up in court?

Mr. MARCUS: I don't expect legal problems because
we have been very careful in order to base our
proposed regulations on the Supreme Court
precedents that we've seen over the last few years, but
that doesn't mean that people won't challenge us.
There's certainly some advocacy groups that have
indicated that they will probably sue. My hope is that
they won't. I think that educational resources would
best be used in other ways rather than in litigation, but
if the department is sued, then I'm sure there will be an
appropriate defense.

CONAN: Ken Marcus, thank you very much.
Mr. MARCUS: Thank you.

CONAN: We're talking about the Bush administration's proposal to relax restrictions on single-sex public schools and single-sex academic classes.

And joining us here in Studio 3A is David Sadker, a
professor of education at American University,
co-author of "Failing at Fairness."

CONAN: Now you oppose single-sex education in
public schools. Why?

Prof. SADKER: Well, I'm for studying it and learning
about it, but this proposal is doing everything pretty
wrong. Number one, it's not using research. It's going
ahead without research. I was a big advocate of
single-sex schools in "Failing at Fairness" because I
saw what they were doing, but what they were doing
had nothing to do with the fact they were single-sex.

CONAN: Well, we heard from Ken Marcus that there
is, in fact, not a lot of research about single-sex
education in public schools 'cause they haven't been
doing it for 30 years.

Prof. SADKER: Well, and it's very mixed, and Title
IX, people have to remember, is a civil rights law.
Thirty years ago, girls and boys got inferior education.
If you look at today's public schools, you see a public
school system divided by race, divided by class, and
now with the notion of being divided by gender. There
isn't research that says this is an appropriate answer.
There is research that says that a lot of what goes on in
single-sex classes should go on in co-ed classes. For
example, smaller classes, letting girls and boys talk
freely, getting rid of sexual harassment. We have
studies that show four out of five girls and almost as
many boys are victims of sexual harassment. You don't
get rid of that in a single-sex environment, but you
could create a positive environment, and that's what
we need to do.

CONAN: So would you advocate, then, maybe some
demonstration projects to develop some research?
Prof. SADKER: Well, we are so on the right channel
right now. You don't open up to the nation and say to
parents and children, `You have some idea about a
single-sex school, go for it.' This is supposed to be an
administration based on scientifically based evidence.
The evidence isn't in on this. So what you do is you do
everything they haven't done. You invest money, you
train teachers, you look at selected schools, you see
the lessons you've learned and you see if you can move
it to co-ed schools.
You know, it's nice to call it single-sex education, but
it's really sex-segregated education, and when we had
that 30 years ago, girls lost out and I think boys lost
out, too. I think that democracy thrives when diversity
lives in a classroom, and I think we all lose out when
the classroom is all white or all male or all middle
.....I think co-ed schools today are not doing the job
they need to do, and that is because they need
resources and training in some way to deal with boys
and girls on an equitable level. That's not happening,
and I think it can happen. I would love to look at
single-sex schools and learn those lessons. And then I
would love to train America's teachers. But just
saying--look, this is the civil rights law. Imagine if we
did it with race. If we just said, `You know, if you feel
that somehow your particular race learns better
together, go do it'? That's what we're doing here with
this. We're saying you could separate for no
educational purpose.
By the way, the Education Department has currently a
report on single sex education that they have under
way. The results of that report get issued next year. So
you have to ask yourself, `Why are they doing it this
year?' And I think politics plays a role in it, and we can
go there, but...

CONAN: All right. Here's an e-mail question we have
from Craig in Sebastopol, California. `My instinct
would be to reject this segregation. However, as the
father of a girl in kindergarten and a volunteer in the
classroom at her school, there are easily observable
general differences between the way boys and girls
interact within the classroom setting. Furthermore, I
can imagine the scenario where both the boys and the
girls would benefit from different approaches.'

SADKER: I think there are times where that may
be the case. This is an exact example of how not to
find that. California's a good example. California did
this. They set up single-sex academies. The boys sent
to the single-sex schools were sent there for
disciplinary reasons. The teachers had no training, and
that experiment collapsed in a few years. I think some
single-sex schools in this program will work. I think
some will be OK, and I think some will fail. I'm not
sure I want to experiment with America's kids. Let's
have a controlled experiment where we look at what
works and what doesn't work. Let's not say civil rights
laws don't have to apply anymore.

CONAN: Let's go to Lori, and Lori's with us from
Paducah, Kentucky.

LORI (Caller): Hi.


LORI: Thank you for taking my call. Our son is in
sixth grade at the middle school here. It is a public
school and this is his first year in public school, and
they do have a single-gender program here. They have,
you know, one half of the sixth grade, the boys, are in
single-gender classrooms, the girls are in single-gender

CONAN: In all classes?

LORI: In all classes except band.


LORI: And my husband and I both have had real
mixed feelings about it. I'm a member of the AAUW,
and, you know, so I was kind of, like, `Well, I don't
know what I think about this.' Anecdotally just for our
son, you know, we have seen it really do good things.
It really facilitated his adjustment. He appreciates not
having the distractions that can go with adolescent
maturity issues or immaturity.

CONAN: Or immaturity, depending on how you want
to look at it. Yeah.

LORI: Yeah, the whole boy-girl thing. He appreciates
not having that as an issue. And so, you know, we
have noticed that he has been able to focus more on his
academics, and it has facilitated his transition to the
new school.

CONAN: David Sadker?

Prof. SADKER: Well, you know, Title IX does allow
single-sex classes in spite of what Ken might have
alluded to. If you have--I'll give you an example of
what's totally permissible under Title IX. Boys need
help in writing; they can have a single-sex class in
writing. Girls need help in math or science; they can
have a single-sex class in science. What this law does
is open it up. It says parent preference, student
preference. You have a notion, go with it. We don't
need evidence. We don't need training, and afterwards,
we'll pick up the debris and we'll see if it worked or

LORI: My husband is a psychologist and we had some
questions about what they are basing this on, what
evidence, what research, that sort of thing. Somy point
is that certainly I don't have generalizable evidence
here, but in our situation it has proven to be something
positive. It is also something that I think is proving to
be relatively expensive because they do have to have
more teachers. And so there is a possibility for
economic reasons alone that they may not be
continuing the program.

CONAN: Joining us now with a different point of view
is Dr. Leonard Sax, executive director of the National
Association for Single Sex Public Education. He's with
us from his office in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Obviously, you support the single-sex proposal from the name of your organization. Tell us why.

Dr. SAX: Well, there are basically two advantages to
single-sex education. One applies to really all children,
girls and boys of all ages. The second advantage we
see primarily among kids in low-income areas. But the
first advantage, the most broad advantage of single-sex
education, is that it gives you the power to break down
gender stereotypes. For example, a study from the
University of Virginia published nine months ago
found that boys who attended single-sex schools,
all-boys schools, were more than twice as likely to
study subjects such as art, music, foreign languages,
compared to boys of comparable ability attending
comparable coed schools. And the largest study ever
done, looking at 370,000 students by the National
Foundation for Educational Research, found that girls
who attend all-girls schools are about 50 percent more
likely to study subjects like computer science,
advanced math and physics than are girls attending
coed schools. That study was at the high school level.
You look at the kindergarten-early elementary level
and very exciting work by Margaret Olafsdottir found
that boys in all-boys kindergarten were much more
likely to spend time drawing with crayons or
experimenting with simple sewing, whereas boys in
coed classrooms will tell you that's for girls. So that's
the first advantage of single-sex education, that you
can break down gender stereotypes.

CONAN: Well, given the paucity of research that both
Mr. Marcus and David Sadker have mentioned, might
it not be a good idea to do some demonstration
projects and see what goes on before going ahead with
the administration's scale of proposal?

Dr. SAX: Well, in the Department of Education's
preamble to these new regulations, they explain that
their purpose was to determine what was the intention
of the Title IX statute. The intention of the Title IX
statute was to equalize educational opportunity. The
architects of that statute, Senator Birch Bayh of
Indiana and Congresswoman Edith Green of Oregon,
never intended to outlaw single-sex schools; they
wanted to equalize opportunity.
Now the regulators at the old Department of Health,
Education and Welfare who went to write the
regulations in the mid-'70s looked around at what was
going on in America--and there I agree completely
with Professor Sadker, that back in the early '70s and
before that, the boys were sent to woodworking and
the girls were sent to home ec.

CONAN: Right.

Dr. SAX: You had this narrowing of educational
opportunity. And so the regulators said, `We're not
going to permit that. We're not going to allow
single-sex classrooms.'
Nowadays, though, we understand that you can use
single-sex classrooms to expand educational
opportunity. And in this country, we've got a real
problem with that. You know, the National Center for
Research on Women, NCRW, published a study
recently showing that the involvement of girls in
computer science has been dropping steadily for the
last 20 years. It peaked in 1984 and it's been
plummeting ever since. Last year, if you look at the
high school students who took the AP exam in
computer science, 90 percent of them were boys. The
involvement of girls in computer science is dropping.
Likewise, the involvement of boys in foreign languages
is dropping. I've been in coed public schools where
you walk into the AP French class and you don't see a

CONAN: Let's get an e-mail in. This is from Carol
Lawrence. `I went to a single-sex school in
Jamaica. While it does well with having people
concentrate more on their schoolwork, the social
experience was lacking. I really didn't know how to
deal with the opposite sex till late in life. To be honest,
I never would send my child to one of these schools.
She's now eight years old and can relate to the
opposite sex so well.'

Dr. SAX: Yeah. You know, that's a common concern
people have, and it's certainly understandable. How are
girls and boys going to learn to get along in any sense
if they are in school only girls with girls, boys with
boys? Kathryn Sanders studied that. She looked at 280
college freshmen, half of them from single-sex schools
and half from coed schools, and she found, to her
surprise, that the kids who'd attended the single-sex
high schools were actually more likely to have gone
out on dates than the kids who attended coed schools.
When you probe a little more deeply, though, what
you find is that boys and girls today at coed schools
don't date much anymore. They `hook up.'
Now this is a radio program; we don't want to get too
detailed about the difference between dating and
hooking up, but basically, dating means you're in an
ongoing romantic relationship, and hooking up means
you're physically intimate with the understanding that
there is no ongoing romantic relationship. Kids at
single-sex schools still date; kids at coed schools are
hooking up. That's what the evidence suggests. And I
submit that dating is certainly no more harmful than
hooking up.

CONAN: And joining us now is someone who works
every day in a single-sex setting. Winifred Todd is
principal of the Thurgood Marshall Elementary School
in Seattle, Washington. Their K-through-5 classes
have been sexually separated for three years. Ms. Todd
joins us on the line from her office in Seattle.
CONAN: So why did your school decide to implement
same-sex classes three years ago?

Ms. TODD: Well, it was pretty clear for us. Our
school is very much focused on teaching, learning and
positive social development. What we needed to do
was to ensure the success of our students by getting
them more time on task. And by doing so, by
separating kids for the majority of the day into
gender-separate classrooms, we are trying to remove
the distractions and to get kids more on task, because
it is our belief that the more you're on task, the higher
you are producing in your academics.

CONAN: Well, it's your belief. Do the results justify
that belief?

Ms. TODD: Well, our results at our school absolutely
justify that. We and the state of Washington are
measured on the Washington Assessment of Student
Learning, known as the WASL scores, and we've seen
tremendous growth in our scores from 2000 to 2003.
CONAN: Is that singularly appropriate--singularly
attributed, rather, to single-sex classrooms?

Ms. TODD: I think that is definitely a major
contribution in our success in our academics. Yes, I
think it is.

CONAN: OK. At your school, boys and girls are in
the same building. They have recess together, share the
same teachers, eat lunch together, but the core
academic classes are single-sex. Why go that route and
not have just two separate schools?

Ms. TODD: Well, in trying to take on something that
large, it was easier for us, as one school within a
district, to do that within our school rather than saying
that we were going to create two separate schools.
And also, we also give our kids time in which they do
socialize together, because, you know, you're right.
There is the recess period where there are boys and
girls out there for socialization, and also to know that
in our literacy period--and that's our reading and
writing block scheduling--we do have girls and boys
are together for that. So it's not the entire day that the
boys and girls are separate.

CONAN: What reaction have you been having from
parents and teachers?

Ms. TODD: Our parents absolutely love it. Like I said
before, we really are sincere about our commitment to
kids and our commitment to excellence, and that
includes looking at what we can do differently. And so
as we get rid of the distractions, as we continue to
focus on teaching and learning, our test scores have
steadily increased. We have got, from our parents, just
a large support group. But remember, too, Seattle is a
district of choice, and so children within our cluster
choose to come to this school.

CONAN: So self-selection, to some degree.

Ms. TODD: Yes.

CONAN: OK. Winifred Todd, thank you very much.
Ms. TODD: Thank you.

CONAN: Winifred Todd, principal of the Thurgood
Marshall Elementary School, spoke to us from Seattle,
Washington. And, David Sadker, a quick response? She's doing very well.

Prof. SADKER: I think we're confusing a few things. I
think she has a good school, and I don't know all the
things going on in that school... but I think she has a
good school going on there. The single-sex may not be
the key ingredient; there may be other things
happening. I think single-sex--there are things to learn
from that, but I don't think we're learning them, and I
don't think this proposal will allow us to learn them.
And we have time for, you know, a little bit from each
of you gentlemen. I wanted to preface it with this
e-mail from--Well, who wrote it?--W.R. `I went to an
Australian boarding school for boys only. I feel I
missed out on a lot: how to interact on a day-to-day
basis with girls, rather than regard them as exotic
beings. My children went to, are attending, mixed-sex
schools, and it genuinely delights me to see how well
the two genders get on. From personal observation, I
know that problems exist in boys-only schools, as well.
The more aggressive or assertive boys crowd out the
shy boys because--or those who choose not to be
assertive both inside and outside the classroom.'
So, Dr. Sax, it seems like there could be problems in
same-sex schools or mixed-sex schools.

Dr. SAX: Sure. And single-sex schools may not be the
best choice for every student. That's why we welcome
the Department of Education's recommendation that
this always be optional.
But I want to respond to a comment Professor Sadker
made which I think confuses race and sex. He said,
`Well, if you're going to segregate the genders, next
you're going to segregate the races.' You know, Janet
Cassidy, professor at Louisiana State University,
looked at 350 normal newborns and found that the
girls could hear at birth substantially better than the
boys could hear. Barbara Cone-Wesson and her
colleagues in Los Angeles looked at normal newborns
and the same finding. Girls at birth have a sense of
hearing that is roughly an order of magnitude more
sensitive than boys have, and that difference is very
relevant to education. And we cite those studies on
our Web site,
There are no such differences among the races. Blacks
don't hear better than whites. Asians don't hear better
than Hispanics. There are no educationally relevant
differences between races and, hence, no plausible
justification for segregating them. But there are large,
innate, hard-wired differences between how girls and
boys hear, how they see, and we cite these differences
on our Web site. The second point I want to make is
for social justice. You know, Senator John Kerry,
President George W. Bush, his father, Al Gore--all
those men attended all-boys high schools. And as
Senator Clinton said on the floor of the Senate, if rich
people have this opportunity in our country, why
should we prohibit it as a matter of law to people who
don't have $20,000 a year to spend on single-sex
education? Because the benefits...

CONAN: Dr. Sax, I'm afraid I'm--to give time to
David Sadker I'm going to have to cut you off.
Dr. SAX: Sure.

Prof. SADKER: I think if Dr. Sax and I were working
on single-sex schools, we could do a lot of
constructive things together. I don't think these
proposals do constructive things. This is an
administration that has tried to cut back Title IX in
athletics. This is an administration that has found
non-traditional job training for women objectionable
and cut the funding. This is an administration that
wiped out gender-equity training. And if you walk into
America's schools today--I actually have a doctoral
student doing this--nobody knows what Title IX is.
This administration is not Dr. Sax. Dr. Sax and I might
have some constructive things to find. But when the
administration that has been attacking Title IX and
women's rights for three years comes out with this
proposal which endangers safeguards, I worry.

Audiolink to the entire segment as broadcast

NCLB: The initials that won't go away! —


Parents, teachers and state officials are chafing under
the requirements of No Child Left Behind. The
Education secretary defends the reforms.

By Elizabeth Shogren, LA Times Staff Writer

3/29/04 - CLEVELAND — The Whitney Young
Middle School faculty was nothing if not polite when
Education Secretary Rod Paige stopped by recently on
a two-state trip to pitch President Bush's No Child
Left Behind Act.

But Susan Wander, the seventh-grade social studies
teacher whose class was the first visited by Paige, said
the educators were merely trying to be "good soldiers"
— and trying to avoid criticizing a distinguished visitor
in front of the students. In truth, she said, "there is a
great deal of frustration" with the law, which many
educators resent for forcing them to change their
approach to teaching.

Little more than two years after Congress gave Bush
his first major domestic policy success by
overwhelmingly passing the No Child Left Behind Act,
teachers, parents and state officials across the country
are balking at the law's requirements. What figured to
be an unquestioned accomplishment for Bush now
looks like it could be a liability.

Conservatives attack it as a big-government approach
to education reform. Liberals scream about what they
call inadequate federal funds to meet the law's
requirements. Legislatures are considering opting out
of the law or refusing to comply with any requirements
not paid for by Washington.

And Paige, who has traveled to 46 states since taking
office, primarily to promote No Child Left Behind, is
finding it harder than ever to make his case.

The law was designed to close a long-standing
academic achievement gap, primarily between African
American and Latino children and their white peers,
and enable all children to meet high academic
standards. The goal is to wipe out what the president
calls "the soft bigotry of low expectations" by holding
schools accountable for setting high standards for all
students and testing to measure whether each student
— and the school — has made the grade.

From Wander's perspective, the law has gone too far in
forcing schools to focus on the children at the bottom.
"I've only got a certain amount of time and energy,"
she said, "so it's to the detriment of someone else."

In Wander's case, that means her strongest students.
Giving them short shrift, she says, seems doubly wrong
at Whitney, which was designed for gifted and talented

"Here's a kid who is making an effort, and he doesn't
have access to my time and energy or the resources at
the school," said Wander, who has spent 10 of her 25
teaching years at Whitney.

To Paige, such complaints show that the law is
working, making schools change the way they do their
jobs, particularly with the kids who perform poorly.

"It's an unbelievable change in the way we do
education in the United States," Paige said. "It's a

Those resisting it, he said, were clinging to the status
quo — a world in which 12% of black fourth-graders,
14% of Latino fourth-graders and 39% of white
fourth-graders read proficiently at grade level last year,
according to the National Assessment of Educational

"Let's see what has resulted from what we had before
— there is an achievement gap, and a large portion of
kids are left behind," Paige said. "Defending the status
quo is not what we want."

But rather than making the case for narrowing the gap,
Paige often finds himself responding to criticism about
the level of Washington's financial contribution.
Democrats say Bush's 2005 budget would provide $9
billion less than the $34 billion needed for states to
comply with the law.

Paige, who was superintendent of schools in Houston
for seven years before becoming secretary of
Education, says he understands that money is scarce at
many schools now because of state budget crises and
the rising costs of energy and healthcare. But he
rejected accusations that the president had abandoned
his commitment.

"It's not fair to say the bill isn't properly funded,
because we're in an environment where dollars are
tight," Paige said.

He also spends a lot of his time responding to
questions about whether he became a liability to Bush
by calling the National Education Assn., the nation's
largest teachers union, a "terrorist organization" during
a private White House address to the nation's
governors last month.

In response to questions in Cleveland, Paige did not
sound apologetic. His comment, he said, was "specific
to the organization."

"The organization is not the teachers," Paige told
reporters. "I have the highest respect for teachers."

But many teachers across the country who have close
ties to their union took the comment personally.

"Our members continue to be terribly outraged and
insulted by the comment he made," said Gary Allen,
president of the Ohio Education Assn., the
131,000-member state branch of the National
Education Assn. "I think he certainly damaged any
credibility he may have had with Ohio Education Assn.

In an interview, Paige conceded that "in today's
context, it was a poor choice of words." But his
animosity toward the group and its efforts against No
Child Left Behind was palpable.

Paige also faces credibility questions about the school
reforms made in Houston under his leadership. New
accountings show that the school system
underreported its dropout rate in the last two years of
Paige's administration.

The reports were seen as embarrassing to both Paige
and Bush, because they had touted education reform in
Texas, and Houston in particular, as a model for No
Child Left Behind.

Questioned about the reports at a meeting in Cleveland
with the editorial board of the Call and Post, one of the
nation's oldest black news groups, Paige said school
staffs had made mistakes in reporting data. But he
added, "That does not go anywhere near negating the
fact that students improved."

The whoops and cheers the children gave Paige at
Whitney Young did not suggest any lack of esteem
from the young generation.

Paige, 70, whose broad shoulders and erect bearing
belie his age, stressed that the success of No Child Left
Behind depended on the teachers. "When schools
change, they will do so by the people who look into
the eyes of the students," he said.

But getting teachers — and everyone else — to buy
into the reform plan has become particularly difficult as
the presidential campaign heats up. "It's harder to
communicate now because everything is viewed
through politics," Paige said.

The clamor about funding shortfalls and administrative
difficulties is drowning out the concern that should be
driving the reform — the huge numbers of children
who are failing to achieve proficiency in math, reading
and science, he added.

But there are signs, at least in some schools, that No
Child Left Behind is making a difference.

After his stop in Cleveland, Paige went to rural
Michigan to visit Pech Schools, a combined elementary
and secondary school with a total enrollment of 600
across the street from snow-dusted farm fields.

Huge banners in the hallways and in the gym, where
Paige spoke, proclaimed, "No Child Left Behind!" in
large colorful block letters.

Responding to No Child Left Behind, the school
launched a new tutoring program, teachers started
intervening more aggressively when students
performed poorly and a peer counseling program was
created to resolve conflicts in classes that often
distracted teachers and students. Already, the failure
rate has been cut in half, said Pech High's principal,
Dave Bush.

In words that Paige would have loved to hear, the
principal said: "Some kids who failed for years are
now doing much better."


4/4/04 — Re "Paige Finds Schools Act a Tough Sell,"
March 29: Education Secretary Rod Paige's address to
elementary school principals renewed my sense of
outrage over his labeling the National Education Assn.
a "terrorist organization." That remark was much more
than a "poor choice of words." It shows that Paige has
a disrespect for the memory of those who died at the
hands of true terrorists on and since 9/11.

I view the remark as part of a disturbing pattern the
Bush administration has for labeling anyone who
disagrees with its position as un-American, cynically
giving noble names to hateful legislation and its
willingness to exploit the events of 9/11 for political
gain. I don't want an apology from Paige, I want a

Michael Meade
San Gabriel

EVENTS: Coming up next week...
Monday Apr 12, 2004

• LACES New Sports Facility Complex
Construction Update Meeting

7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
LACES (Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies)
5931 W. 18th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90035

Community Organizer: Sofia Torres

Tuesday Apr 13, 2004
• South Region Elementary School #1
Phase II Site Selection Update – Meeting #2
Local District I

Your participation is important! Please join at this meeting where we will review:

* Criteria used to select potential sites
* Sites suggested by community and by LAUSD, and
* We will present and discuss the most suitable site(s) for this new school project

6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
75th Elementary School
142 W. 75th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90003

Wednesday Apr 14, 2004
• East Los Angeles Area New High School #1
Design Meeting

Please join us at this meeting where we will:

* Introduce the architect
* Present preliminary design for the school
* Provide an overview of the school facilities, including: number of classrooms, sports facilities, lunch area etc.
* Get feedback on the project design

6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Utah Street Elementary School
255 Gabriel Garcia Marquez St. (formerly N. Clarence St.)
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Community Organizer: Fortunato Tapia

*Dates and times subject to change.

• Valley Region High School #5
Phase II Site Selection Update
Local District B

Your participation is important! Please join at this meeting where we will review:

* Criteria used to select potential sites
* Sites suggested by community and by LAUSD, and
* We will present and discuss the most suitable site(s) for this new school project

6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
San Fernando Middle School
130 N. Brand Blvd.
San Fernando, CA 91340

Community Organizer: Gabriela Gonzalez

Thursday Apr 15, 2004 _____________________________________________________
• Central Los Angeles Area New Middle School #4
Groundbreaking Ceremony

Please join us to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new community school!

Ceremony will begin at 1 p.m.

Central Los Angeles Area New Middle School #4
3500 South Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Community Organizer: Manuel Maldonado

*Dates and times are subject to change.

• Valley Region Middle School #3
Phase II Site Selection Update
Local District B

Your participation is important! Please join at this meeting where we will review:

* Criteria used to select potential sites
* Sites suggested by community and by LAUSD, and
* We will present and discuss the most suitable site(s) for this new school project

6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Byrd Middle School
9171 Telfair Ave.
Sun Valley, CA 91352

Friday Apr 16, 2004
• The Jack & Denise Smith Library & Community
Center — Mount Washington Elementary School
addition groundbreaking ceremony

Please join us to celebrate the groundbreaking of your
new multi-purpose building!

• smf note: This promises to be the biggest celebration
of any LAUSD groundbreaking to date!

Join LAUSD, the Mount Washington community and
the entire city of LA as we Celebrate the Lives of Jack &
Denny Smith.

The late Jack Smith celebrated LA as LA's voice and
conscience as a newspaper columnist - with quiet, wry wit, writing the truth so one could see the twinkle in his eye. His wife Denny continues his legacy in supporting, building and endowing school libraries throughout LAUSD.

The Mount Washington Community was worked long
and hard – often in opposition but ultimately together –
with district and city, county, state and national
officials to build this library and community center –
the shared vision of Jack and Denny Smith – a focus for children’s literacy and community involvement.

Ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m.
• Parking will be at a premium! Please carpool and/or
walk if you can!

*Dates and times are subject to change.
Phone: 212.241.4700
Phone: 213.633.7616


4LAKids Book Club for April & May – LETTERS TO THE NEXT PRESIDENT: What We Can do about the Real Crisis in Public Education
Carl Glickman, Editor, Prologue by Bill Cosby,
Epilogue by The Late U. S. Senator Paul Wellstone (Teachers College Press, 2004 Paperback: 272 pages)

GOTTEN US INTO - from the prologue by Bill Cosby

Dear President-to-Be,

I'm looking at the junkiest room I've ever seen. It is a classroom in an American public school; it is public education in America today. A child did not make the room junky; generations of litterers — legislators, school board members, superintendents, principals, taxpayers, teachers and presidents did.

Given the mess, it is a wonder that our children are able to do even as well as they do. We must be grateful that there always have been talented and determined teachers who find their way through the maze of rules and special interests and do what they became teachers
to do: help their students shine.

Our neighborhood schools are cluttered and
crumbling. Of course, I'm assuming that anyone
applying to be president probably never went to a poor and neglected public school where books have missing pages, walls have peeling paint and children have nothing to write with. Wealthy people comfort themselves that money is not the issue. But nothing dear to America was ever maintained without it. We need money to secure great teachers, money to update
teaching methods, money for technology and supplies, and money for time.

Time is a precious commodity and teachers need it to plan lessons and meet with students, parents and administrators.

When the junk is cleaned out of that junky room, its structure is sound: Public education is a good foundation on which to build a better life for each of us. And if we want to prove to these children who never made the mess in the first place that education is worth the trouble, our schools have to inspire them so they can do what they ought to do.

A young teacher, returning to college to hone her
skills, asks herself why she wants to teach children who do not have a safe environment to learn in and who lack resources and support from administrators and family. Besides her intrinsic love for teaching, we need to give her a reason to stay.

We must make firm commitments to educators who can show us the way, and learn from the many clear examples of their success. The media constantly focus our attention on the very worst schools when we should really have before us, like shining examples, these school success stories. Why do we accept failure as an example when we can demand that the successes be made visible?

School leaders have to be seen to be heard and to be supported. And we ought to pay them livable salaries, at least enough to afford the chalk and crayons and countless other supplies they buy out of their own pockets. I invite you to look into this room. You can say to our nation, "We must begin — we cannot wait
for someone else to clear out the mess."

• This stellar collection of more than 30 letters speaks to the heart of public education, the future of American students, and the need for an educated and engaged citizenry. Contributors include students, parents, teachers, prominent educators, and public
leaders who write to our next president, and to all fellow citizens, in an honest and direct way about the dangerous shortcomings of current state and federal policies. The letters provide provocative answers to
critical questions such as:

• What kind of education do we want for all of our children?
• What changes must we make to achieve that goal?
• How do we ensure that the voices of parents,
teachers, students, and citizens who care deeply about public education are heard at local, state, and national levels?

This timely volume provides a strong response to government intrusions that have resulted in thousands of pages of simplistic directives and under-funded requirements for local schools and districts. It offers practical and just solutions for guaranteeing higher standards with comprehensive assessments, allocating
equitable resources with responsible local control; attracting and retaining good teachers; improving school choice and the promise of small schools; providing for universal high quality early childhood education, and ensuring a rich, academically sound and engaging curriculum-both inside and outside of school—for all students.

Get LETTERS TO THE NEXT PRESIDENT from your local library, bookstore - or order it by clicking here.

What can YOU do?
• E-mail, call or write your school board member. Or your city councilperson, mayor, assemblyperson, state senator, the governor, member of congress, senator - or the president. Tell them what you really think.
• Open the dialogue. Write a letter to the editor. Circulate these thoughts. Talk to the principal and teachers at your local school.
• Speak with your friends, neighbors and coworkers. Stay on top of education issues. Don't take my word for it!
• Get involved at your neighborhood school. Join your PTA. Serve on a School Site Council. Be there for a child.
• Vote.

Contact your school board member