Monday, June 26, 2006

Monday Special: Harmonic deconvergence.

4LAKids MONDAY SPECIAL: June 26, 2006
In This Issue:
Los Angeles Times Editorial: THE SCHOOLS' LOSS
Los Angeles Times Opinion | Roy Romer: THE MAYOR'S BAD DEAL
What else can YOU do?

Featured Links:
READING TO KIDS: Read to some kids the second Saturday morning each month. Make a difference. Change some lives (including your own!).
The Blueprint for Effective School Reform: MAKING SCHOOLS WORK — Get the Book @!
THE BEST RESOURCE ON CALIFORNIA SCHOOL FUNDING ON THE WEB: The Sacramento Bee's series "Paying for Schools."
FIVE CENTS MAKES SENSE FOR EDUCATION- Target one nickel from every federal tax dollar for Education.
Sunday's LA Times featured a face-off between the Ed and Op Pages as the Times Editorial Board and Superintendent Romer berated the Mayor/UTLA Compromise Plan.

Some say that when opposing sides both dislike a compromise the compromise is sound.

Nothing could be further from the truth here …because if this deal holds we compromise the future of our children for the very reasons both sides hate the deal - and more. This pact between the Mayor, Teacher's Union leadership, Assembly Speaker Nunez and Senate Majority Leader Romero is a "compromise" between political forces that does not involve or even take into consideration the opinion the most important stakeholders: The People of Los Angeles — taxpayers, citizens and non citizens, community members and parents, not to mention school administrators and the elected officials who under the state constitution and the city charter are in charge of LAUSD: The Board of Education. It is a back room deal struck in a back room in Sacramento, not in public discussion in greater Los Angeles.

ROMER IS RIGHT: "The mayor's compromise is about power and money, not about children — and certainly not about education reform."

THE TIMES IS RIGHT: The plan twists the mayor's politically doomed bid for control "…into a convoluted compromise that would actually lead to more confusion and less accountability … while creating an even more confused governance structure than previously existed."


Los Angeles Times Editorial: THE SCHOOLS' LOSS

June 25, 2006 - BY TRAVELING TO SACRAMENTO TO BROKER A DEAL FOR MAYORAL CONTROL OF SCHOOLS that offered something to the existing school board, teachers unions, parents and other cities in the Los Angeles Unified School District, Antonio Villaraigosa, former Assembly speaker, reminded us all of what a remarkably gifted politician he is. Too gifted, in this case.

Villaraigosa needed to go to Sacramento and play the role of strong mayor, sticking to his initially stated principles on behalf of Los Angeles students at the risk of offending powerful interests. Instead, he played the role of skilled legislator accommodating these conflicting interests. In other words, he caved.

What's attractive about mayoral control of school districts is that it tends to enhance accountability by creating a cleaner governance structure. But Villaraigosa's deft deal-making skills have twisted his original plan into a convoluted compromise that would actually lead to more confusion and less accountability.

The actual legislative language is still being hashed out, but this page cannot support any bill that remains faithful to the compromise announced Wednesday. It's a lamentable turn of events, given our enthusiasm for the concept of mayoral control. But partial mayoral oversight is not a recipe for the type of success and reform that is needed and can be attained when a visible and powerful elected official is fully in charge of the schools.

Under the deal the mayor brokered with these entrenched interests, it is not clear who will be in charge. The mayor claims that the preserved school board will make policy instead of micromanage, but there seem to be too many garbled lines of authority. The plan gives the board some power to give the superintendent marching orders — on some issues but not all — but then dilutes accountability by granting the mayor the ultimate power to hire and fire the superintendent. Again, this would be the only major city plan that moves toward mayoral control while creating an even more confused governance structure than previously existed.

It's naturally alarming that the deal was brokered with the teachers unions, which have long resisted meaningful reform and retain too strong a voice in the district's governance. As the main contributor to scarcely followed school-board elections, union interests often discourage the board from making key reforms.

So it was appalling to see Villaraigosa effectively hand control over curriculum to individual schools. That's something the current board would not give up in a contract. Its insistence on central oversight of the curriculum has been a major force in what improvement the L.A. schools have made. The mayor is looking less like a reformer eager to overcome union resistance to change.

One benefit of mayoral control elsewhere has been that it changes the conversation about schools. Instead of talking school politics, the debate switches to the more fruitful topic of how to teach kids.

Villaraigosa's bill ensures the opposite. By tearing the district's structure asunder, retaining an elected board but splitting its powers and setting up an adversarial relationship between board and mayor, and board and superintendent, the main talking points of the next six years will be about who's fighting whom, and who's to blame for what. That's not what an already contentious district needs.

Los Angeles Times Opinion | Roy Romer: THE MAYOR'S BAD DEAL


By Roy Romer, Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

June 25, 2006 -- WHEN MAYOR ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA ANNOUNCED HIS PLAN TO TAKE OVER THE LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, I reserved judgment. Many people wanted me to speak out against this idea, but I resisted. Although I was disturbed by the mayor's factually inaccurate rhetoric, I listened carefully to see if any ideas emerged that would deepen and quicken the instructional reforms the district has implemented over the last six years. But last week, after waiting more than a year to see the details of the mayor's plans, I was sorely disappointed.

At the end of this year, I will leave my post of six years to embark on another chapter of my life. I have lived immersed in education and power politics. I was governor of Colorado for three terms, chairman of the National Governors Assn. and chairman of the Democratic National Committee. I also have been on the board of American College Testing for years, and I chaired the first National Education Goals Panel. President Clinton called me his "partner in educational reform."

So I am speaking from 50 years of deep experience when I say that the mayor's compromise is about power and money, not about children — and certainly not about education reform.

Education reform is about establishing clear lines of accountability, raising expectations, improving the quality of teaching and the curriculum and providing the training and support that educators need. The mayor's compromise with the teachers union not only fails to accomplish these goals, it threatens to undercut many of the reforms we've put in place and that have led to unprecedented gains in student achievement. It reflects an almost willful inattention to substance in the service of a political deal.

Take the proposal to let each school decide its own curriculum, which was announced as part of the deal last week. It sounds great until you learn that about one in four of our students change schools in any given year because of family circumstances. If a child leaves 112th Street Elementary School on Friday and enrolls at El Sereno Elementary School on Monday, his learning should be uninterrupted.

Every child should receive the best, most proven curriculum we can find. It took L.A. Times reporters one day to discover that many teachers have come to appreciate the Open Court reading program as a proven, well-implemented, common curriculum. I can't say it better than one of our thousands of motivated teachers, Grace Blanc of Cahuenga Elementary School: "We need to put the children first. I think the consistency is what the children need."

The results of our six-year effort to reform the district include test scores that have increased 150% faster than the average school in California. Under the mayor's proposed deal, our reforms would be rolled back. Bold high school reforms such as a mandatory college preparatory curriculum for all students could be lost if schools were allowed to opt out.

The mayor has said for more than a year that he feels accountability in the district is lacking. I don't agree with that statement. I am held accountable every day, and appropriately so.

But this compromise deal clouds accountability. Under the mayor's plan, the Board of Education hires (and can fire) the superintendent, but the new "Council of Mayors" — which the mayor of Los Angeles will effectively control — can veto those decisions. That means the superintendent has two bosses. The superintendent would have increased budget authority, but the mayor would review that budget, while the board would still set overall budgetary categories. And principals and teachers would have increased authority over curriculum.

So who, exactly, are parents, voters and concerned citizens supposed to hold accountable in this matrix of players?

There is not a single Fortune 500 company structured this way. I cannot imagine why we would subject our children's future to this experimental management structure.

To be clear: I'm not defending the status quo — in fact, I'm trying to ensure that we continue to reform and evolve. But this plan would turn back the clock to a system of limited accountability, chaotic inconsistency and unproven instructional methods.

I had hoped that the mayor's history with the teachers union would give him a unique opportunity to persuade the leaders of this union to embrace many of the reforms that they previously resisted. Instead, under great political pressure to come home from Sacramento with a "victory," he capitulated to the demands the union has been making on the district for years — demands that would undermine the hard-fought gains we have made.

Even as this article is being written, negotiations are continuing and the exact language of the new legislation is being hammered out. But this much is clear: The deal the mayor struck with the union — actually, with just one of the 10 unions we negotiate with — is not the right way to make public policy. It threatens to unravel the academic achievements our students have accomplished. It presents the new superintendent with a divided and unaccountable line of authority. It does absolutely nothing to improve instruction, which must always be the primary goal in education reform.

Whatever changes are made to this district deserve public debate that includes those who will be affected — parents, teachers, school administrators and students.

The Legislature should reject this proposal and send it back to Los Angeles so that everyone who has a stake in public education can participate in this discussion and together identify the actions needed to continue our efforts to give our students the education they deserve.


By Bob Sipchen, "School Me" Columnist for the Los Angeles Times

June 26, 2006 - Six weeks ago, Deshawn Hill and I walked into Pacific Dining Car and caught a glimpse of democracy in action: A.J. Duffy and Robin Kramer having a late evening chat.

Duffy's the charmingly cocky boss of Southern California's biggest teachers union. Kramer is the mayor's charmingly clever chief of staff. I'll remind you who Hill is later. For now, let's stick to the boss and the chief.

Kramer tells me the meeting was a coincidental bump-into-each-other thing. But seeing those two together at the city's power-broker steak palace resonated with a hunch I'd been harboring: All those months of teachers union squawking about Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's plans to take over the Los Angeles Unified School District were mainly for show.

Political plot lines are often convoluted, of course. But I've never believed that the mayor, a longtime friend of labor who hopes to be governor some day, would really butt heads with the unions, which not only control the schools but run the whole crazy state — not when there's such politically advantageous and potentially lucrative symbiosis at stake. Last week's deal clinches my skeptical view.

I like Antonio a lot. Until he moved into the mayor's mansion, we were neighbors. Over the years we've chatted at pancake breakfasts, BBQs and on the sidelines when our sons played AYSO soccer together — not to mention here at The Times when I was on the editorial board.

I have no doubt that he is sincere in his empathy for students, particularly the poor Latino students whom the public schools are failing. I'm sure, too, that he's telling the truth when he suggests that reforming education is as important a challenge as any a civic leader can fling himself into these days. I'm even convinced that a heartfelt desire to make society better for kids is among the reasons he wants to be governor (come on, we all know he wants it) and then — another hunch — president.

That ambition, however, is also why I've always been suspicious of the politically brilliant mayor's stated reasons for wanting to take over the career-crippling quagmire that is L.A. Unified.

Most characters in life, as in good novels, have complex and even conflicting motives. In striking that deal last week, ambitious Antonio smacked down Antonio the altruist.

I also like Duffy, who's such a character I sometimes walk away from an encounter suspecting that he's fictional. And I believe him, too, when he says he cares deeply about kids — he's a teacher, after all.

Because he's a teacher, though, his motives conflict.

Like you, I think good teachers are heroes who deserve more money and respect and smaller classes and more control over what they teach. I understand why many people have a hard time accepting that their kids' teachers' interests don't always overlap with students' interests. In protecting a teacher's interests, a union often adds to the bureaucratic bloat.

Since I began reporting this column in January (and in the 17 years I've followed my children through L.A. Unified schools) the most righteously frustrated people I've met have tended to lash out at two villains: the district bureaucracy and the union to whom so many board members and bureaucrats are beholden.

Even many teachers say privately that they're disgusted that unions erect barricades against merit pay, charter schools and administrators' ability to move experienced teachers to the schools at which they're most needed. Hear enough stories about just how hard it is to fire an utterly incompetent teacher, and you begin to wonder why the public tolerates unelected union power brokers in their children's lives at all.

Duffy has been trumpeting the union-mayor collaboration as a way to spread decision making to all the players, making everyone a general and a soldier in this noble fight for the children.

School board member and history teacher David Tokofsky calls that wackiness a prescription for anarchy or fascism. He jokes about trying to draw the convoluted organizational chart for the redrawn district structure, with its dis-empowered board, an unequally empowered council of mayors, locally empowered teachers, overlapping budget powers and a re-empowered superintendent who answers to everyone but whom only the mayor can fire.

People I respect and who know far more about education than I do, see promise in the proposal that's supposed to start moving down the legislative conveyor belt this week.

Ramon Cortines, who by most accounts did a bang-up job as interim superintendent before Roy Romer was hired, has reservations about the bill's details. But he thinks that cooperative reform could prevail as long as there's a very strong superintendent (he now says he'd consider the job) to orchestrate the competing powers-that-will-be.

Former board member Caprice Young, the energetic queen of charter schools, thinks that the mayor grabbing even a piece of the school power pie is "huge," a hard jolt to the sleepy status quo.

Then there's Kramer. Citing the "the art of the possible," she notes that "in this world," school reform has never worked unless the prime movers of change persuaded teachers and principals (and hence their unions) that they'd be part of the process.

The mayor's proposal, she says, aims to create a "stronger, more modern management system," that reduces traditional labor-management strife. She assures me that the mayor has already told the union: "We all need to be in the flexibility business," and that that means bending on the issue of putting experienced teachers where they're needed most.

When board members first began wailing that mayoral control is an affront to democracy, I scoffed. I thought it was a reflexive aversion to the goal-oriented leadership required to cut through the muddle of horribly entangled interest groups.

But the way this deal went down gives me the willies. Please don't tell me that visions of desperate students filled people's minds as they broke out the champagne.

And that thought leads back to Pacific Dining Car.

Also known as "Scarecrow," Deshawn is a Fremont High senior I wrote about a few weeks back after he finally, and with great joy, passed the state's high school exit exam. Following an interview, we had decided to grab a bite. As we left the crowded apartment he shares with his sister and her children, he mentioned that he might want to be a chef someday. Sizzler was his idea of a fancy joint. I decided The Times could treat him to a better steak.

Duffy and Kramer were seated in the front room as we walked in, engaging in one of the hundreds of meetings, planned or serendipitous, required to make any big political deal coalesce. I understand.

I stopped to say hi, and introduced the big kid in baggy clothes beside me. The maitre d' then led us to the far reaches of the restaurant, where he seated us next to a shaved-head dude who was so drunk or drugged that he toppled onto us as he tried to stand. The service stank.

Deshawn understood what was happening, and savored his steak anyway. My enjoyment was undermined by the symbolism. Being treated as if you don't count, after all, is what too many L.A. Unified students have come to expect.

To discuss this column or debate the question, "Is the mayor's proposal good for the kids?," please visit


By Naush Boghossian, Staff Writer - LA Daily News

6/26/2006 -- Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has gambled his political career in a bold bid to take charge of Los Angeles public schools, promising to lower the dropout rate and sharply improve student achievement.

This week lawmakers will begin to debate school-takeover legislation giving form to the deal Villaraigosa cut with the teachers unions last week. The measure could get fast-track treatment in Sacramento even though, back in Los Angeles, it remains mired in controversy and a cloud of confusion.

The proposal provides a framework for reform, but there are few details on how it would be implemented and no information on how it would boost student achievement or lower the district's high dropout rate.

And dozens of vocal critics already have emerged to oppose the legislation, even while Villaraigosa stakes his reputation on being able to convince constituents that he can turn around the Los Angeles Unified School District.

"If things at the school district go well, he'll take the credit, and he would deserve it," said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a political analyst and senior scholar in the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California. "If things go badly, it offers ammunition to people who want to challenge him.

"He has taken a gamble; there's no doubt about that."

But while Villaraigosa has shown he can build consensus, it remains less than clear whether he will be able to hold things together to get the legislation passed and implemented.

An irate school board, which would face a significantly reduced role under the plan, is aggressively opposing the legislation. Parent groups, not consulted during negotiations, feel shunned. Six unions representing district workers other than teachers say they don't support the plan.

Although United Teachers Los Angeles leaders negotiated the deal, many teachers already have begun sending the union opposition petitions. And after a year of study, a special panel on LAUSD governance announced the opinion that any district changes should be put to a public vote.

There also are 27 other mayors of cities LAUSD serves who have hesitated indicating support for mayoral takeover.

Some wonder whether the legislation will really help the 727,000 students and 858 schools in the district.

"That's the million-dollar question," said San Fernando Mayor Nury Martinez.

"No matter what approach we take toward trying to reform education, the number one thing we need to focus on is that we have a mechanism to assure we hold people accountable. I don't know that this plan ensures that kids become successful, that they're graduating."

Martinez said she plans to talk with parents and teachers in her city before deciding whether to support Villaraigosa's plan.

Even lawmakers in Sacramento appear undecided.

Thomas Saenz, the mayor's chief counsel, said much of the confusion and concern can be attributed to the unexpectedness of the deal.

"Sometimes people react without knowing the details and act in a resistant way," he said. "But after finding out the details and what's involved, many of them will come to support this.

"We're just getting information out about this proposal and why it makes sense, and people will come to understand this is the best way of significantly affecting the education of students positively in LAUSD."

Experts in mayoral takeover of schools say there must be a clear line of authority for a plan to succeed.

And, while the negotiated legislation is a far cry from Villaraigosa's proposed complete control of the district, they note it does give him greater influence.

Under the legislation, Villaraigosa would retain 80 percent of the vote in hiring a superintendent and in ratifying the superintendent's contract.

Along with a council of mayors from other cities, he also would have input on the budget, as well as direct control over 36 of the district's lowest-performing schools.

"I think there are new opportunities even though it's not as clear as complete mayoral control. But still there's enough there that if the mayor is creative, he can strategically use some of his informal influence," said Kenneth Wong, an Annenberg professor in education policy at Brown University.

"It looks like this legislation has created enough of a formal role for the mayor to the extent he can extend a lot of informal influence on the school district, and the budgetary process is a case in point," said Wong, who co-authored a study that found school districts run by mayors do better academically.

Exercising informal influence, the mayor could use his city post as leverage to gain more state and federal aid for schools, Wong said.

"I think that will give the mayor and superintendent a lot more leverage to really move resources to target the lowest-performing schools," Wong said.

Villaraigosa has honed his skill at using influence, which could ultimately place him in the pivotal authority role.

"This particular mayor knows how to use informal influence in the most powerful way," Saenz said.

"Under this legislation, the first chance to review and comment on the budget belongs to the mayor. If you're a superintendent who's smart and the mayor is the first to review and comment on the budget, who are you going to consult with when you're putting the budget together?"

Still, because the legislation remains vague - and also seeks formal authority for other city mayors, a superintendent, a school board and teachers - some experts are skeptical it can succeed.

"The lesson is to take it all or nothing and not get caught in between," said Michael Kirst, professor of education and business administration at Stanford University. "Here, power is in four places - up to the mayor, down to schools, sideways to other mayors ... , but it's not clear who's in charge, and the risk is that everybody and nobody is in charge."

But UTLA President A.J. Duffy expressed confidence in the mayor's ability to pull off a coup.

"I believe that he understands every aspect of the risk, and that says to me - and should say to everyone else - that this man of considerable charm, charisma and ability is going to move heaven and earth to make this work, particularly in respect to the pilot districts in the neediest areas of the city."


Re: “Will it help the kids?” (June 22)
From the Daily News

It appears that we elected a king instead of a mayor one year ago in the city of Los Angeles. King Villaraigosa has brokered a deal for partial takeover of the LAUSD and in doing so consulted everyone except the largest stakeholder the parents of the schoolchildren.

I guess the opinion of the teachers union and state legislators that are not from Los Angeles rank as more important than the parents that send children to local schools. King Villaraigosa needs to put the plan to the voters in Los Angeles and let us decide what type of leadership we want for our schools. If we do not get the chance to vote, then maybe it is time for the peasants to unite and revolt against the king.

John Horn
Granada Hills

Re: “Reform LAUSD's quality” (Their Opinions, June 18):
From the Daily News

Maribel de la Torre's column does not address more fundamental problems of California's public schools. A critical determinant of school quality is teaching quality. Sadly, the strength and selfishness of California teachers unions sustains an environment that protects the job security of teachers first, and encourages higher-quality teaching only second.

With these backward priorities, enforced through the sustenance of a tenure system and the explicit rejection of merit-based pay scales, it is no surprise that Los Angeles cannot rely on internal solutions to its educational ills.

Certainly, better teacher quality is not a sufficient condition for improvement. However, it is a necessary condition and a problem that has been substantially unaddressed in the discussion over how to repair a broken LAUSD.

Ray Seilie

Re "One teacher, no escape," Opinion, June 21
From The Times

Methinks Karin Klein doesn't know from hell. As a high school English teacher, I can tell her that I've had students from a rung Dante never dreamed existed. I agree with her that the notion of assigning students to the same teacher for their entire high school career is a horrible one. However, her supporting evidence — a litany of her bad teachers — is tiresome. Trust me, there are more bad students than there are bad teachers. It makes me shudder to think of dealing with certain students for four years. I feel as if I have won the lottery when certain students are absent for one day. I applaud her for speaking out against the student-teacher pairing idea. However, educational reform, which we desperately need, won't happen if we continue to blame teachers for all the system's ills.

Marita McCarthy
North Hollywood

Re "Deal Puts Mayor on Verge of Major School Control," June 22
From The Times

So, the mayor also wants to run the school district. Before he starts telling other people how to run their business, he needs to do those things in his own that will improve education. They are the city's responsibility. He needs to:

• Increase library hours and services.
• Expand park and playground programs.
• Strengthen community policing and gang suppression programs.
• Increase child health and welfare programs.

If he doesn't understand the importance of these actions to education, he knows nothing about it — or children.

Lyle N. Whited

• From The Times:

►Antonio Villaraigosa was elected mayor a year ago by residents who placed their trust in him. Since then, and regardless of his accomplishments or lack thereof, he has run a superb PR campaign. Villaraigosa is now obsessed with the inclusion of the Los Angeles Unified School District under his responsibilities and is trying to gather support from the California Legislature to achieve his goal and purposes.

Does Villaraigosa not trust the constituency that elected him mayor to support him in the takeover of L.A. Unified, an institution that serves most of the same constituency? Instead, the mayor is placing his trust in the Legislature, where most legislators do not represent Los Angeles. If Villaraigosa does not trust us, should we trust him?

Abel Plockier
Los Angeles

• From The Times:

►Re " 'It's a great deal for our kids,' " Opinion, June 22

We are concerned that the mayor has developed a plan for the reform of L.A. schools that leaves out parents. No recognized parent group has been included in the partnership touted by the mayor. Mayoral control does not address the real reasons for student failure. All recognized parent groups in the L.A. school district have been ready and able to participate in reform discussions, but none have been invited.

Almost all research has found that one of the key indicators of student success is parental involvement. We parents, as the representatives of our children, the ultimate consumer of any school district reform, often know best what our children need to succeed. To be left out of the reform plan is shortsighted and inexcusable.

Diana Dixon-Davis
Legislation Director
31st District Parent Teacher Student Assn.
Van Nuys

• From The Times:

►There appears to me to be a sizable disconnect in Villaraigosa's crusade to take control of the L.A. school district. Whether or not the district is failing, as he has claimed repeatedly, is debatable (in some ways it comes up short; in others it does a good job). But where has the mayor shown that the cure lies in mayoral takeover? How does that radical prescription for full-scale overhaul automatically reduce the dropout rate?

I fear that like President Bush with the heavy-handed No Child Left Behind mandates of recent years, and Gov. Schwarzenegger with his failed education initiatives of 2005, Villaraigosa is the latest ambitious politician with an ax to grind but no proven educational experience, a voracious appetite for power and a trust-me message that simply does not pass muster.

Michael Lyon
Culver City

• If You Are a Teacher: Question your Chapter Chair and UTLA Leadership on the deal. Express your opinion. Call the UFT office – or teachers you know - in New York City and ask them how well Mayoral Control is working in that city and how the Teacher's Union was co-opted into agreeing to it back in the day.
• If you are a Parent: Write your State Senator and Assemblyperson, question the deal. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Talk to your child(ren)'s teachers, principal, school Chapter Chair.

■ AS OF THIS WRITING THE LEGISLATION IS NOT YET WRITTEN, if that process is not final by Friday the whole issue is moot and nothing can happen this year. That would be a good thing!

■ On WEDNESDAY THIS BILL AS AMENDED IS SCHEDULED TO BE HEARD AT THE SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE IN SACRAMENTO. It is one of a couple of dozen items on the agenda – but that is the first and best place for it to be quashed. Call, fax, e-mail or write Committee Chair Scott and Senator Romero and ask them to do the right thing. At they very least request that the committee hold a series of public meetings in Los Angeles so all voices can be heard.

■ON THURSDAY AT 6PM AT PIO PICO HOUSE ON OLVERA STREET SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER-ELECT MÓNICA GARCÍA WILL BE SWORN IN BY MAYOR VILLARAIGOSA. That is an important public event where the Mayor will focused on Education; …it is an opportunity for those on all sides of this issue to be heard

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will administer the Oath of Office to Mónica García -School Board Member of Los Angeles Unified School District’s Second District.
Remarks to Follow by Los Angeles City Councilman José Huizar
Thursday, June 29th, 2006
Reception at 5:30 in the Evening
Oath of Office at 6:00 in the Evening
Reception to follow
Placita Olvera
At the Pio Pico House
420 N. Main Street • Los Angeles, CA 90012
Please RSVP to (213) 250-0052, ext. 201 or

When SB 1381 is through being gut-and-amended it will appear HERE – click on the most recent AMENDED date.

What else can YOU do?
►CONTACT YOUR ASSEMBLYPERSON AND STATE SENATOR [link below to find them]. Tell them what you think about their wasting their time, effort and the taxpayer's money on the mayor's attempt at takeover or makeover – an effort that is patently unconstitutional and will never survive a court challenge. Their time, the mayor's time, the board of education's time – all of our time, thinking and hard work - is better spent working together rather than at odds to continue and support the very real efforts at reform already begun. Their time is better spent helping LAUSD find a new superintendent, guaranteeing an improved funding stream for all California schools and helping kids in the classroom, on the playground; during, before and after school.




• E-mail, call or write your school board member: • 213-241-6387 • 213-241-6180 • 213-241-6388 • 213-241-6382 • 213-241-6385 • 213-241-6386 • 213-241-6383

...or your city councilperson, mayor, the governor, member of congress, senator - or the president. Tell them what you really think!
Call or e-mail Governor Schwarzenegger: 213-897-0322 e-mail:
• 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.

Who are your elected federal & state representatives? How do you contact them?

Scott Folsom is a parent and parent leader in LAUSD. He is President of Los Angeles 10th District PTSA and represents PTA as Vice-chair the LAUSD Construction Bond Citizen's Oversight Committee. He serves on various school district advisory and policy committees and is a PTA officer and/or 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.
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