Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy Mid-Way Through The Year!

8-Article Newsletter Template
4LAKids: New Years Day, January 1st, 2005
In This Issue:
 •  2-count 'em-2 Op-Eds: HEALTH, FITNESS & PRETZELS
 •  EVENTS: Coming up next week...
 •  4LAKids Book Club for December & January - ALL TOGETHER NOW: Creating Middle-Class Schools Through Public School Choice by Richard D. Kahlenberg
 •  What can YOU do?

Featured Links:
 •  READING TO KIDS: Read to some kids one Saturday morning a month. Make a difference. Change some lives (including your own!).
 •  MAKING SCHOOLS WORK: Get the Book @
 •  FIVE CENTS MAKES SENSE FOR EDUCATION- Target one nickel from every federal tax dollar for Education
The New Year's "Wishful Thinking" wish list from
today's LA Times op-ed page includes the following; I
couldn't agree more:

• We wish for a backlash against the testing craze in our
schools. A child who understands the concepts of
mathematics, the principles of science, the foundation of
history, the value of the arts and the joy of reading will do
fine on the tests and, more important, on the real
challenges of life.

• We wish for a quick and cooperative resolution of labor
issues between teachers and the Los Angeles Unified
School District and a contract that reflects the needs of
students rather than the muscle-flexing of the powerful
teachers union.

• We wish the courts would strike down all further
attempts to introduce creationism and "intelligent design"
as part of the curriculum in public schools. We'll settle for
nothing less.

The New Year is often a time to look at what has
happened in the past year and to make plans for the next.
But the Academic Year (...and Los Angeles Unified's
fiscal year ...and all the flavors of the LAUSD calendar...)
run from July through June.* So rather than being at the
beginning we find ourselves at the midpoint -- and that's
probably a better place for appraisal and evaluation than
at the end anyway!

We know what we wish for, but where do we find ourselves?

Williams Settlement there will be no Concept Six/Three
Track Calendar after 2012; there is a commitment
(though not a timetable or a deadline) to end the 90-30/Four Track Calendar.

There was a more than bit of public hand-wringing ...but
the reality is that LAUSD was involved in the settlement
talks from beginning to end. District staff quietly
negotiated the whole thing out of public view because it
was legal matter and not part of the democratic process
-- a truly convenient way to avoid the inconvenience of
public input, open meetings laws, debate and the
messiness of other opinions. The deal was done, not in a
smoke filled room but seemingly in a smoke filled tent!
The reality is-and-was that Concept Six would've ended
in LAUSD and throughout the State by 2012 anyway
...the law was already on the books! But this "settlement"
makes it first priority at the expense of schools
promised to the Valley and San Pedro -- and to
elementary schoolkids throughout the District who will
now have to endure the 90-30 Four Track Calendar for a
few more years.

issues involving playground supervision and equity
between programs that have FDK and those that do not
— but these are being worked on. The District is due to
deliver its four year plan to implement the FDK in every
elementary school in LAUSD in the next months -- and
this joint instruction/construction cooperative venture
could well blaze the trail for other needed reforms
including Smaller Learning Communities!

BEING FIXED-UP as part of the District's building and
modernization program driven by the Prop BB and
Measure K and R Bonds. Schools are being built on-time
and on-budget, but there may be rough times ahead.

Material, labor and fuel cost increases threaten budgets.
The District's own Operating Budget shortfalls threaten
the Construction/Modernization Budget as District staff
and the Board of Education attempt to shift operating
expenses to the bonds. Recent Board decisions made
in spite of Bond Oversight Committee objections (or even
without BOC consultation) could result in money running
out before construction and modernization projects
promised to the voters are complete. (The argument-of-
legalisms that specific projects were never "promised" -
only "proposed" -- reside in the Neverland somewhere
between morally challenged factually limited; campaign
promises ARE promises!)

A recent plan OK'd by the Board to have the
construction bonds make up for any shortfall in
operations funding from Sacramento is particularly
egregious -- and probably downright illegal!

• THERE ARE OTHER ISSUES BESIDES MONEY AND TEST SCORES. Student safety, heath and physical well being. Parent communication. True accountability. Keeping playgrounds and libraries open after-school and
on weekends. Cafeteria food. Physical education. Good
citizenship. Playing well, fair and having fun. These are
the things we want for the children of Los Angeles along
with an education!

But that being said, the current state budget picture with
it's projected $8.1 billion deficit looks extremely shaky
[see "Schwarzenegger Faces Showdown", below]
and the LAUSD Board's ability to cope is limited
...especially as almost all issues seem to split on a 4-to-3
vote! (The recent appointment of the Board of Ed's own
independent counsel [see "LA Unified Selects Special
Counsel" below] is a case in point: In my humble opinion
your attorney should be decided upon by consensus if not
by unanimity!)

Those who have read thus far into this half-way-through-
another-school-year missive, Thank you. You - who care
and think and ask and do; whether you sit up with a child
at night with their homework, bake cookies for the bake
sale, teach in a classroom, rant at the school board, work
at a school site or labor in a Beaudry cubicle - YOU are the
movers-and-shakers in public education! It is you who
push the limits of the District and see the possibilities for
the future. Our children rely on you to ask the hard
questions and require real answers of them, their teachers,
schools and the system.

This Board of Education faces a crisis - and rather than
scrambling to find that single deciding vote it is time for
the Board to rise above the fray, to make prudent and
wise decisions - to avoid contention and build consensus
among themselves, Parents, Teachers, Administrators,
District Staff, Community and local and state Political
Leadership -- with Excellence as a goal and "What's Best
for Children" as the litmus test. -smf

* Contrary to widely held opinion @ LAUSD HQ, the
school year does not start in September!


Calling the Uh-Oh Squad: THE LAUSD E-MAIL SERVERS BLOCKED ALL 4LAKids FOR DECEMBER 26th/BOXING DAY! (It wasn't even a particularly vicious issue ...viscous maybe, but not vicious!)

(Accounting for 22.4% of 4LAKids readership!) PLEASE

[Following up on stories published in 4LAKids on
December 12th]

SACRAMENTO – December 16th, 2004 – Despite an
aggressive lobbying campaign by the stateÂ’s education
lobby, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger still has not yet
decided whether to share a $2 billion windfall in
unanticipated tax income with schools.

A coalition of teachers, school administrators and parent
groups have held press conferences and issued statements
for weeks staking claim at least $1.4 billion of the money,
by right of a 1988 voter-approved funding guarantee.

But the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst has pointed out
the funding guarantee -- Proposition 98 -- was suspended
this year by agreement between schools, the governor and
the Legislature and schools are not technically owed the

By spending that money elsewhere, the analyst said, next
yearÂ’s budget deficit could be cut almost in half.

The issue has emerged as perhaps the key piece in
SchwarzeneggerÂ’s $105 billion budget puzzle that must
be delivered to the Legislature by Jan. 10. But so far, the
governor has made no final decision, said H.D. Palmer,
spokesman for SchwarzeneggerÂ’s Department of Finance.


While concerned about the uncertainty, many schools
officials said they think the governor will side with them.
They said Schwarzenegger promised as much last
December when he sought their support of the suspension
to help close what was estimated to be a $17 billion

The state still faces an estimated $6.7 billion deficit next
year, despite the improving economy and
higher-than-projected tax income.

Schwarzenegger has said often he will not raise taxes to
solve the problem. To reach the current budget,
Schwarzenegger and the Legislature borrowed billions
and used a variety of one-time solutions and accounting
gimmicks to paper over the shortfall -- options that are
less available this year.

The debate over giving the $1.4 billion to schools matters
because it not only raises state expenses in the current
budget year but increases the minimum level of support
for schools every year. The complexity of the Proposition
98 formula means that withholding the money from
schools this year will cut the 2005-2006 fiscal year deficit
to $3.9 billion.

So far, the administration and the education coalition
havenÂ’t talked about the issue. But Barbara Kerr,
president of the California Teachers Association, said
Wednesday she spoke to Schwarzenegger last week about
meeting and expects to sit down with him in the coming
days. She does not expect to hear bad news.

"We expect the governor and the Legislature to keep their
word," she said.

Some point out, however, that if the governor remains
opposed to new taxes, the school funding will come at the
expense of other programs.

"ItÂ’s absolutely true, honoring Prop. 98 will in effect
reallocate resources from other programs," said Steven
Levy, an economist with the Center for Continuing Study
of the California Economy.

But withholding the money could bring political risks,
Levy said, such as a huge political fight between
Schwarzenegger, lawmakers and the education lobby.

Still, the effects of giving the money to education would
hurt other programs, social service advocates said.

"Since the passage of Proposition 98, social services and
health care have been much more vulnerable to cuts any
time the state is running a deficit," said Jim Keddy,
executive director of the Pacific Institute for Community
Organization, a statewide network of faith-based
community organizations. "ThereÂ’s just nowhere else to


Some have argued the agreement schools made last year
with the governor provides enough money to handle
inflation and growth in enrollments -- that the $1.4 billion
could be better spent elsewhere.

But Kevin Gordon, executive director of the California
Association of School Business Officials, said schools
face a variety of fast-growing expenses that are not
covered by the cost-of-living increase, such as some
salary raises, health care benefits and workersÂ’

Education supporters said that schools have given up
more than $9 billion in funding since 2000-2001.

Opinions in the Legislature also vary.

Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla, a Democrat from
Pittsburg and leader on budget issues, said he does not
believe schools are entitled to the extra money. "Unless
the governor and the Republicans agree to accept some
form of a tax increase, you cannot cut enough out of the
rest of the budget to make it up."

Schools may be asked to give up even more that just the
$1.4 billion, Canciamilla said.

Assemblyman John Laird, D-Santa Cruz, chair of the
Assembly budget committee, said he wants to see what
the governor decides. "I think you need to look at the
overall package. But the Assembly wants to be as
supportive as we can of schools, thatÂ’s a big priority."

• It can open our minds to logic and beauty.

By Arthur Michelson

December 26, 2004 - American middle school students
don't much care that they're worse at math than their
counterparts in Hong Kong or Finland. "I don't need it,"
my students say. "I'm gonna be a basketball star." Or a
beautician, or a car mechanic, or a singer.

It's also hard to get much of a rise out of adults over the
fact, released earlier this year, that the United States
ranked 28th out of 41 countries whose middle school
students' math skills were tested by the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development. So what if
we're tied with Latvia, while nations like Japan and South
Korea leave us in the dust? After all, when was the last
time you used algebra?

But math is not just about computing quadratic equations,
knowing geometric proofs or balancing a checkbook. And
it's not just about training Americans to become scientists.

It has implicit value. It is about discipline, precision,
thoroughness and meticulous analysis. It helps you see
patterns, develops your logic skills, teaches you to
concentrate and to separate truth from falsehood. These
are abilities and qualities that distinguish successful

Math helps you make wise financial decisions, but also
informs you so you can avoid false claims from
advertisers, politicians and others. It helps you determine
risk. Some examples:

• If a fair coin is tossed and eight heads come up in a
row, most adults would gamble that the next toss would
come up tails. But a coin has no memory. There is always
a 50-50 chance. See you at the casino?

• If you have no sense of big numbers, you can't evaluate
the consequences of how government spends your
money. Why should we worry? Let our kids deal with

• Enormous amounts of money are spent on quack
medicine. Many people will reject sound scientific studies
on drugs or nutrition if the results don't fit their
preconceived notions, yet they might leap to action after
reading news stories on the results of small, inconclusive
or poorly run studies.

• After an airplane crash, studies show that people are
more likely to drive than take a plane despite the fact that
they are much more likely to be killed or injured while
driving. Planes are not like copycat criminals. A plane is
not more likely to crash just because another recently did.
In fact, the most dangerous time to drive is probably right
after a plane crash because so many more people are on
the road.

The precision of math, like poetry, gets to the heart of
things. It can increase our awareness.

Consider the Fibonacci series, in which each number is
the sum of the preceding two, (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 Â… ).
Comparing each successive pair yields a relationship
known as the Golden Ratio, which often shows up in
nature and art. It's the mathematical underpinning of what
we consider beautiful. You'll find it in the design of the
Parthenon and the Mona Lisa, as well as in human
proportion; for instance, in the size of the hand compared
to the forearm and the forearm to the entire arm. Stephen
Hawking's editor warned him that for every mathematical
formula he wrote in a book, he would lose a big part of
his audience. Yet more than a little is lost by dumbing
things down.

It is not possible to really understand science and the
scientific method without understanding math. A rainbow
is even more beautiful and amazing when we understand
it. So is a lightning bolt, an ant or ourselves.

Math gives us a powerful tool to understand our universe.
I don't wish to overstate: Poetry, music, literature and the
fine and performing arts are also gateways to beauty.
Nothing we study is a waste. But the precision of math
helps refine how we think in a very special way.

How do we revitalize the learning of math? I don't have
the big answer. I teach middle school and try to find an
answer one child at a time. When I can get one to say,
"Wow, that's tight," I feel the joy of a small victory.

• Arthur Michelson teaches at the Beechwood School in
Menlo Park, Calif.

• The Pasadena assistant city attorney specializes in
land-use law. Critics say union support influenced the

By Cara Mia DiMassa – LA Times Staff Writer

December 23, 2004 - The Los Angeles Board of
Education has chosen a Pasadena assistant city attorney
as its new special counsel, a lawyer with the backing of
union leaders and the school board president but far less
experience than others seeking the job.

According to several sources familiar with the selection
process, the school board voted 4-3 in a closed session to
offer Maribel S. Medina the position, which could pay up
to $240,000 a year. Medina specializes in land-use,
environmental and real estate law.

The vote to hire Medina is the latest in a series of board
decisions that have caused some observers to question the
members' independence from outside interests. A board
majority is frequently criticized for backing issues based
primarily on union support.

In her bid for the position, Medina was backed by Miguel
Contreras, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los
Angeles County AFL-CIO and the top union leader in
Los Angeles, among others.

"We asked some of the board members if they could be
helpful," Contreras said. "It would be nice to appoint a
minority and a woman. It would be nice to reflect the
district. I give them a lot of credit for stepping upÂ…. For
them to do that, and give her a shot, speaks volumes to
their commitment to real equality in the system."

John Perez, president of United Teachers Los Angeles,
which represents about 45,000 Los Angeles Unified
School District teachers, said that he had spoken with
"various school board members at various times in the
process Â… about various candidates." But he said that no
UTLA official had lobbied on Medina's behalf.

School board members, Perez said, "told us that this
woman was young, intelligent and had a good resume.
That sounds like the kind of lawyer the district would
want, right?"

Some board members, including President Jose Huizar,
acknowledged that there was lobbying by political and
community leaders on behalf of candidates. But they
denied that those efforts affected the decision.

"This type of jockeying occurs when there is this type of
high-profile decision," Huizar said. "I got calls not only
about her, but on a number of candidates."

Several people who applied for the job said they believed
the board's process had been rigged from the start and
that its ultimate decision was guided by politics.

But Huizar denied that charge. "In this process, I believe
it was open and transparent," he said. "I just think people
were unhappy with the results."

Medina, 36, was selected after a three-month process
during which a committee of three board members chose
four finalists from a pool of about 50 applicants, including
a former judge, an authority on education law and a
number of corporate counsels. The finalists were
interviewed by the full, seven-member school board.

The position of special counsel was created in 1999 in the
wake of a series of missteps and scandals surrounding
school district construction projects, including the
Belmont Learning Center. Distrustful of the information
they were receiving from the district's general counsel,
board members chose to appoint their own lawyer to
represent their interests in a variety of matters.

The current special counsel, Richard Sheehan, has advised
the board on real estate transactions, education law and
labor negotiations. Sheehan, who came to the school
board after a long career in corporate law, is scheduled to
retire at the end of this year, but he may stay on through a

District general counsel Kevin Reed called Sheehan, 61,
"a tremendous asset" to L.A. Unified.

"He's been unaligned with any political side on issues,"
Reed said. "He's been absolutely singular in his advice to
the board as his client, always giving the board the best
advice he could give, regardless of whether it was the
answer they wanted to hear."

Huizar, a member of the selection committee, said that he
knew Medina distantly from their days as undergraduates
at UC Berkeley and that she stood out among the

"I was looking for someone who was energetic,
aggressive, well-qualified, who knows public law, real
estate and land-use and education law," Huizar said.
"Those are the areas we deal with. To me, Maribel had all
of those packages."

Medina's biography states that she was raised at a
farmworker camp in Watsonville, in Northern California.
After graduating from UC Berkeley, she received a
masters in public administration from the Kennedy School
of Government and a law degree from UC Berkeley's
Boalt Hall.

In nine years as an attorney, she said she has gained
expertise in advising legislative bodies and negotiating
complex real estate and environmental cases.

Medina said she applied for the job because she believed
she could bring that experience to the district's work,
particularly with the spate of new construction that will
add 160 schools in the next eight years.

"This board is embarking on something that is going to be
historical," Medina said. "I would love to be part of that

• smf notes: Ms. Medina is a former attorney with the
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund;
MALDEF is a plaintiff in one of at least two pending
lawsuits involving the Ambassador Hotel property. This
poses questions of potential conflict of interest, maybe
not in law — but certainly in appearances. And $240,000
a year is ten times the salary of a school board member!

2-count 'em-2 Op-Eds: HEALTH, FITNESS & PRETZELS

• by Melinda Hemmelgarn

Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - Los Angeles Unified
School District administrators deserve applause for
prioritizing children's health and banning junk-food sales
on their campuses. Child advocates at school districts
across the country are watching closely as the LAUSD
finds alternative, healthful food products, deals with
revenue issues, and documents its successes, such as
reduced hyperactivity and discipline problems, and less
trash on campus.

Three cheers for Van Nuys Middle School Principal Tony
Delgado, who has said that the initial dip in revenue is a
"small price to pay."

Funds generated from soft-drink and junk-food sales are
only part of the budgetary equation. The January 2004
issue of Obesity Research concludes that national annual
medical expenditures attributable to obesity -- not
including gastric bypass surgery -- total $75 billion, half
of which is paid by taxpayers through Medicare and
Medicaid. In California alone, the annual cost of obesity is
$7.7 billion.

Some 60 percent of overweight children already have at
least one risk factor for heart disease, such as high
cholesterol, abnormal blood lipids, and high blood
pressure. Obesity also increases their risk for type-2

Just one soda a day makes a difference. According to the
American Academy of Pediatrics, each 12-ounce sugared
soft drink consumed daily is associated with a 60 percent
increase in risk of obesity. Soft drinks also contribute to
tooth decay and osteoporosis.

The AAP says that nearly 40 percent of peak bone mass is
accumulated during adolescence, and studies suggest that
a 5 percent to 10 percent deficit in peak bone mass may
result in a 50 percent greater lifetime prevalence of hip
fracture. As it turns out, osteoporosis is best prevented
during childhood and adolescence.

To parents who have expressed anger over the loss of
schools' financial resources, I'm furious too. I'm enraged
that public schools are so underfunded that we have to
compromise children's health to buy sorely needed school
supplies. Surely if the federal government can afford to
cut taxes while pouring billions of dollars into the war in
Iraq, we can come up with the money to support
marching bands, buy football uniforms, and send all
children on field trips.

To those who believe that it's up to parents to teach their
children healthy eating habits, I agree. The problem is, not
all parents have an understanding of what healthy eating
habits are. Many don't have access to healthful foods, nor
the resources to purchase and prepare them.

Personal food choice is only part of the obesity
prevention puzzle. We also need environmental polices
that promote safe, walkable communities; labor policies
that provide a living wage; tax policies that support public
schools and agricultural policies that make fresh fruits and
vegetables as affordable and accessible as junk.

Outgoing U.S. Health and Human Services chief Tommy
Thompson says the most effective way to bring obesity
and related diabetes epidemics under control is for
government, business, health care providers, schools,
communities and individuals to work together.

At the Time/ABC Obesity Summit this past June,
Surgeon General Richard Carmona said: "As we look to
the future and where childhood obesity will be in 20 years
... it is every bit as threatening to us as the terrorist threat
we face today. It is the threat from within."

Finally, to children who voice complaints about school
officials' attempts to regulate what they eat, I say: It is
our responsibility. Smart administrators and educators put
children's health first. It's our job to model the lessons and
values we teach in the classroom. A quote posted on the
door of an inner-city high school in Kansas City sums it
up best: "If we don't model what we teach, we are
teaching something else."

Regardless of what children bring from home, the
LAUSD teaches children that they can trust their public
schools to do the right thing. The district's premier
example is paving the way for sorely needed national
school food policy changes.

• Melinda Hemmelgarn, a registered dietitian, is a Food
and Society Policy Fellow and consultant to the Robert
Wood Johnson Active Living by Design Project in
Columbia, Missouri.


December 30, 2004 - OK, lift your right arm and bend the
elbow so your hand extends over the right shoulder
behind your head. Now bend your left elbow behind your
waist so the hand extends upward. Try to make the
fingers of the two hands touch in the middle of your back.

If your fingers are still wiggling unsuccessfully toward
each other, be glad the state isn't looking. You would be
counted among the physically unfit.

Every year, along with the saddening news about
academic test scores, Californians are treated to a
woe-fest over how few students pass the state's physical
fitness exam — 27% by this year's count. Then state
schools Supt. Jack O'Connell delivers some generalized
pronouncements on how schools "need to do more,"
without offering any specific help.

It's a curious thing. Parents spend all their free time
shuttling their kids to soccer games and basketball
practices, yet all these children are unfit? Hard to believe,
but perhaps, in this Age of Testing, we'd rather not
question the official rubric. Why deprive ourselves of our
addiction to dismal news about the state's kids?

The physical fitness exam, given to students in fifth,
seventh and ninth grades, has six parts — aerobic fitness,
body composition, flexibility, and strength of the
abdominal, back and upper-body muscles. Even a
youngster who runs several miles a day and can do a load
of one-handed push-ups will fail if he or she doesn't make
the grade on all the other parts of the test — like making
those fingers touch. True, only about 25% of the students
tested last year passed all six tests. But more than half
passed at least five.

Schoolchildren aren't the total slugs we might think. A
recent study by Public Agenda found that eight of 10
middle and high school students nationwide participated
in some type of organized activity — usually sports —
outside school on weekdays and weekends.

No one is saying the state should dump the test, which is
fine for measuring different types of fitness and can point
up areas that need work. Most worrisome: Children in
urban schools, where obesity rates are higher and
neighborhoods are sometimes too dangerous for a bike
ride, do far worse on the tests than their suburban

We can see when kids are getting too fat or too lazy.
What we seem to have lost is the ability to believe our
own eyes rather than the Official Test Score. When we
observe lean, apparently healthy kids enjoying sports,
dance or a long walk, maybe we can relax enough to
believe they're OK. Really. Even if they can't touch their
fingers in back.

Uh, if you're not frozen into an upper-body pretzel, you
can put your arms down now.

• I can't do it ...but it does offer a far more achievable new
year's resolution than figuring out two-column geometric
proofs! —smf

EVENTS: Coming up next week...
MON - FRI - Traditional Calendar Winter Break Continues
MON. Jan 3 - 90-30/4 Track - Tracks B,C & D Return
MON. Jan 3 - Concep6/3 Track - Tracks B & C Return
THURS. Jan 6th - School Board Meetings @ 333 Beaudry:
• 10:00 AM - - - - Bd. Standing Com. - Human Resources
• 01:00 PM - - - - Committee of the Whole
Phone: 213.241.4700
Phone: 213.633.7616


4LAKids Book Club for December & January - ALL TOGETHER NOW: Creating Middle-Class Schools Through Public School Choice by Richard D. Kahlenberg
• Paperback: 390 pages
• Publisher: Brookings Institution Press (Dec. 1,
• ISBN: 0815748116

All Together Now comes highly recommended by Dr. Percy Clark, Jr., Superintendent of the Pasadena Unified School District. PUSD is using an open enrollment strategy based upon ATN to socioeconomically integrate Pasadena Schools; a similar strategy is currently underway in Boston - a major urban school district. -smf

Reviewer-Midwest Book Review: In All Together
Now: Creating Middle-Class Schools Through Public
School Choice, Richard Kahlenberg (senior fellow at The Century Foundation), advocates giving every child in American the opportunity to attend a public school in which the majority of students come from middle class households. He persuasively argues that the only way to make good on the American assumption that public schools will provide equal educational opportunity is by teaching disadvantaged and advantaged children together within the same facilities, with the same faculties, the same curriculums, and the same educational resources.

The only way to achieve this socioeconomic integration is to establish a critical mass of middle-class students within all schools. The recommendations offered in All Together
Now outline a blueprint for creating middle class schools and draw upon the experiences of current experiments with economic integration in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Connecticut, and elsewhere. Based on these case examples are practical ways to bring about integrated schools for the future, and guidance for successfully overcoming political, logistical, and legal obstacles to an economic desegregation. All Together Now is informative, challenging, and occasionally inspiring
reading which is particularly recommended to education reform activists, policy makers, school administrators, faculty members, and concerned parents.

Get ALL TOGETHER NOW 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

Scott Folsom is a parent and parent leader in LAUSD. He is Vice President for Education of Los Angeles 10th District PTSA and represents PTA on the LAUSD Construction Bond Citizen's Oversight Committee. He serves on various school district advisory and policy committees and is a PTA officer and governance council member at three LAUSD schools. He is also the elected Youth & Education boardmember on the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council.
• In this forum his opinions are his own and your opinions and feedback are invited. Quoted and/or cited content copyright © the original author and/or publisher. All other material copyright © 4LAKids.
• To SUBSCRIBE e-mail: - or -TO ADD YOUR OR ANOTHER'S NAME TO THE 4LAKids SUBCRIPTION LIST E-MAIL with "SUBSCRIBE" AS THE SUBJECT. Thank you.  Â• THE 4LAKids ARCHIVE - This and past Issues are available with interactive feedback at

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