Monday, September 03, 2007

On Labor Day and Back-to-School

4LAKids: Monday, Sept 3, 2007 - Labor Day
In This Issue:
MAYOR GOES BACK TO SCHOOL: As Villaraigosa tries to kick-start school reform, the L.A. Unified board stumbles over health benefits.
STATE'S API RESULTS A MIXED BAG: Schools' average scores go up, but fewer campuses meet their targets + LAUSD PRESS RELEASE
EVENTS: Coming up next week...
What can YOU do?

Featured Links:
4LAKids Anthology: All the Past Issues, solved, resolved and unsolved!
4LAKidsNews: a compendium of recent items of interest - news stories, scurrilous rumors, links, academic papers, rants and amusing anecdotes, etc.
LABOR DAY was no more intended to mark the unofficial end of summer vacation/back-to-school or the last fashionably acceptable day to wear white any more than Memorial Day was to mark the beginning of summer or the first day of white wearing. Memorial Day commemorates the ultimate sacrifices made on battlefields — today celebrates the contributions of workers in the making of America.

Labor Day had it's genesis in the heyday of the American labor movement and always had that Worker v. Management/Us v. Them/Red v. Blue back story as opposed to a celebration of the American/Puritan work ethic. International Workers (Labor) Day is May 1st …even organized labor in the 1950's couldn't accept that date with its soviet-socialist tint. America has never been kind to organized labor; the fact that Labor Day still exists is probably more of a tribute to the need for a summer ending holiday than recognition of contributions by labor to the American Scene.

Los Angeles as a town has never been organized labor friendly. When the LA Times ran this town and wrote the story thereof it was as anti-labor a publication as ever put ink to paper. During World War Two organized labor made inroads in Los Angeles in the aerospace, auto manufacturing and entertainment businesses - and in unionizing the public sector. Aerospace and automobiles are long gone - organized labor is Los Angeles today is about show biz, the public sector, service and public sector construction trades.

Probably the most powerful single union in Los Angeles is United Teachers Los Angeles. UTLA has the numbers and the clout - the Mayor of Los Angeles and the Speaker of the California Assembly are former UTLA organizers, UTLA is affiliated with both the California Teachers Association (CTA) and Unified Federation of Teachers (UFT). As the largest local of both it is a force to be reckoned with!

Post Proposition 13 - when local Boards of Education lost their ability to control their own budgets to Sacramento - teachers' unions in California saw their ability to negotiate teacher salaries abridged and they branched further afield into other workplace issues — eventually making curriculum itself a collective bargaining item. The union contract in LAUSD defines District policy and has as much clout and authority as the Ed Code — occasionally leading to hard decisions as to which trumps which.

Over the past ten years UTLA and mayors of Las Angeles have contested how LA schools should be run and by whom; arguing which should be pulling the strings and calling the shots at the school board - shortchanging the voices of parents, voters and taxpayers. Mayor Riordan campaigned against the UTLA-supported board and won and then lost a board majority. Mayor Villaraigosa attempted to bring UTLA into his camp during his takeover attempt; he succeeded with UTLA leadership but the rank and file balked - eventually the courts shot that plan down. Now that he has a board majority it remains to be seen if his re-revised plan ["Mayor To Gain Control ff Two School Clusters", below] stands a chance with the union leadership, rank-and-file or in the courts.

Lest 4LAKids be suspected of union bashing let me say that I hear and agree with the adage that classroom teachers should and do know more about curriculum than most anyone (certainly more than city hall, Sacramento or Washington politicos!) - their voice must be heard and heeded. But probably not in collective bargaining conducted behind closed doors when the issues transcend salaries and personnel matters. Teachers need an organized voice and UTLA is unquestionably that voice. Our teachers deserve salaries commensurate with their contribution and importance to society. But curriculum, educational policy, parent involvement, class size and the rest are not bargaining chips!

4LAKids is, as always pragmatic and conflicted .This Labor Day our rant is that UTLA probably does have too much to say about running LAUSD ….AND we all should all be listening much more closely to what they say - leadership and rank-and-file!

Green Dot Schools founder and anti-UTLA activist Steve Barr has proposed and started a Parents Union for LA parents - presumably to secure collective bargaining rights and other benefits for those of us yearning to be heard. Good thinking/wrong solution. If I am a union basher let me start here, my main argument being: "Pu-lease!"


THE LABOR DAY STORY O' TH' WEEK is undoubtedly the benefits and longer hours for cafeteria workers piece, spectacularly and universally misreported in the press ("Workers get something for nothing") with a lot of organized labor topspin ("A triumph of Labor") . [see: "Mayor Goes Back to School", below]

"Kids to Get Lunch And Time to Eat It" should have been the headline!

I was there: It started with the grass roots Cafeteria Improvement Committee - made up of district folks and community stakeholders - asking: "How do we get lunch to kids?"

The need is to feed students - get them lunch and enough time to eat it. LAUSD actually leads the nation in wholesomeness and nutrition of cafeteria fare - but it is currently unable to deliver that product to schoolchildren in a timely manner as required by federal law.

The original coverage by The Times spun the story as "Part Time Workers to Get Benefits." The policy to increase hours for part-time cafeteria workers was never about the café workers - it was about the kids! The reality is that the café workers are being asked to work longer hours, the law says they must get access to health benefits if they work more than four hours a day - and all the posturing and hand wringing by labor and management is just that.

Paying cafeteria workers for working - and providing them the benefits they are entitled to - is not a union giveaway! You get what you pay for, and vice versa. The law, gentle reader, is the law - whether legislative or contractual. This is a lesson that we will be repeating in the year to come.

Welcome back to school.

Onward! - smf

MORE LABOR DAY: The LA Times own editorial apologia for its anti-labor history.

MAYOR GOES BACK TO SCHOOL: As Villaraigosa tries to kick-start school reform, the L.A. Unified board stumbles over health benefits.
LA Times Editorial

August 30, 2007 — While mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was off and running this week with a promising venture to remake a group of needy schools, his handpicked majority on the school board was stumbling through an embarrassing breach of transparency -- proving that although the ground is fertile for change at the Los Angeles Unified School District, not everything is coming up roses.

The mayor has a tentative agreement with the school district to give him about 20 low-performing schools to improve. His vision is customarily grand, encompassing school uniforms, empowered teachers and, yes, even healthcare. At least Villaraigosa has both the coalition-building and fundraising skills to make it happen.

Critics will complain, with some justification, that the mayor will be showering his affection and considerable resources on a few schools while so many are in need. But it represents a chance for real progress for more than 30,000 students -- close to 5% of the district's enrollment. At this point, anything that can radically shift the educational future of that many students is welcome.

Sadly, while the mayor was gaining union concessions so teachers can take on new roles, the new school board he helped elect was quietly handing $35 million, most of it in health benefits, to 2,000 part-time cafeteria workers.

The giveaway was hidden under innocuous wording in the board's agenda about lengthening cafeteria work shifts so kids would have more time to eat. In fact, the shifts were expanded to qualify the employees for health benefits. The district's budget is already in trouble, and neither the board nor administrators know where to find this money.

This is a bad start for a new board that ran on promises of transparency and pushing more money into the classroom. We agree that health insurance is an important social issue, and we would like to see the schools extend vital benefits to all employees. But this has to be done in a fiscally responsible manner, by first reforming the district's burdensome benefits package to free up funds.

Even worse, though, is continuing the longtime tradition of pretending that something for adults is really about the kids. This just confirms the ongoing perception that no matter who sits on the governing board, it's the union bosses who run the L.A. schools.



by Alice Walton, City News Service from LA Wave Newspaers

August 30, 2007 — LOS ANGELES — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the Los Angeles Unified School District unveiled a “historic” five-year partnership Wednesday to create a nonprofit organization giving him control over two clusters of schools.

The Partnership for Los Angeles Schools — which is subject to approval by the LAUSD Board of Education and the parents and teachers of the selected schools — would allow the mayor oversight of two low-performing high schools and the middle and elementary campuses that feed into them.

The two Los Angeles high schools are to be selected by October from among the 20 lowest-performing schools in the city.

“There have been efforts in New York, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia to impose control. But this is the first effort to challenge parents and teachers, the mayor, the school board, the entire community ... and say let’s engage in a partnership — a partnership where we’re all accountable and responsible,” Villaraigosa said.

Speaking at Liechty Middle School just west of downtown, he said the partnership’s “mission will be to cut the dropout rate, increase student safety and dramatically raise student achievement in the schools.”

Since taking office two years ago, Villaraigosa has repeatedly attempted to take control of the nation’s second-largest school district.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation last year that would have shifted some of the decision-making authority from the seven-member school board to the mayor. The law, however, was unanimously rejected this spring by a state appellate court panel, which questioned its impact on voters’ rights.

Three days after the mayor’s two chosen candidates won seats on the LAUSD Board of Education, giving his allies a 4-3 majority on the panel, Villaraigosa said he would not appeal the ruling.

The mayor said he will have to raise tens of millions of dollars to implement his plan by the next school year.

Partnership schools will control their own budgets and be responsible for recruiting staff and developing curriculum. The schools will also have governing councils made up of principals, teachers, staff members, students and parents.

The mayor and school district have not yet developed benchmarks to determine the success of the partnership.

“Everyone in Los Angeles has a stake in the education of our children,” LAUSD Superintendent David Brewer said. “Today, we are planting that first stake in the ground of Los Angeles, to say unequivocally we are going to transform the schools in this city.”

“We will not settle for failure every again in our schools. We’re going to work hard. Today, we thought big.”

The partnership schools will be bound by current union contracts.

A.J. Duffy, president of the United Teachers Los Angeles union, said his staff has been in talks with the mayor’s office, and expressed some hesitation on how the plan will be implemented.

“There can be no hostile takeover of schools. He cannot be given schools,” Duffy said of the mayor. “The mayor could bring considerable resources to some of these needy schools, but he’s got to be real clear that UTLA is not going to exchange one bureaucracy, LAUSD, for another bureaucracy — the city,” Duffy said.

MAYOR STEPS UP ROLE IN LA SCHOOLS The Times printed this photo showing an apparent violation of the State Open Meeting Law—but didn't post it online.

STATE'S API RESULTS A MIXED BAG: Schools' average scores go up, but fewer campuses meet their targets + LAUSD PRESS RELEASE

by Howard Blume and Mitchell Landsberg, LA Times Staff Writers

September 1, 2007 - For the first time, California has required schools to begin closing the achievement gap, and many schools, even some apparently successful ones, are not hitting the mark, according to data released Friday by the state Department of Education.

The results on this year's Academic Performance Index were a mixed bag overall, state officials and some experts said. The same held for the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation's second-largest school system.

Statewide, 1,597 schools failed to meet improvement targets because a group of students at the school did not do well enough. Some local campuses got an unpleasant surprise as result of new state rules, which seek to pressure schools to reduce the gap in standardized test scores between white and Asian students and lower-scoring groups, including Latinos, African Americans, the disabled, English learners and students from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

The stellar 858 API score of award-winning Los Alamitos Elementary School, just east of Long Beach, was insufficient because students from low-income families scored 799. That's a result most schools pine for, but it wasn't, by one point, enough of an improvement.

"This whole API thing is not about being good, it's about getting better," said Gregory Franklin, superintendent of the Los Alamitos Unified School District.

Under the state's old rules, it was possible for a school to meet its improvement targets even as the achievement gap widened, because groups of students typically had goals that were smaller than the school as a whole. Under the new system, the lower a group scores, the more it has to improve the next year; if a group of students doesn't reach this higher goal, the entire school can't either.

Dixie Canyon Avenue Elementary School in Sherman Oaks saw its overall score soar by 13 points, to 843, well past the statewide target of 800. Again, children from low-income families improved too, but fell one point short under the new, more demanding formula.

To Principal Judith Dichter, Dixie Canyon's API results don't indicate failure. "I am very pleased by the growth of the children at my school," Dichter said. "To demean someone's improvement -- that I don't agree with."

But even with the heightened focus on the achievement gap, some groups of students remain at risk of statistical invisibility either because their numbers are too low to count as a subgroup or for some other reason. As the state puts increasing attention on improving the achievement of underserved students, tens of thousands of them may be left out of the equation.

At Dichter's school, for example, only 12% of students are African American. That falls below the percentage required for them to count as a separate group at a small school.

Statewide, 44% of black students attend schools where their numbers are not large enough to count as a group that must improve, according to a Times data analysis. Black students are not alone: 68% of Filipino students, 65% of disabled students and 15% of English learners attend schools where their numbers are "not significant." And those students who belong to especially small minority groups are almost never in the game: 99% of Pacific Islanders and 95% of Native Americans..

State officials said the raw data overstate the problem because black students, for example, may fall into another group at a school, such as students from low-income families. And school districts are responsible for such students even if individual schools are not.

But the achievement gap applies even to black middle-class students from Baldwin Hills or Ladera Heights, said Russlynn Ali, executive director of Education Trust-West, an Oakland-based advocacy organization focused on education reform. And disabled students, she added, won't necessarily fit into another category if their numbers at a school are small, which is typically the case.

"Unless these groups of students, all of them, show up in our accountability system, they are not going to gets the tools and services they need," Ali said. Especially in Los Angeles, "there is a great fear that African Americans are becoming the invisible minority."

At Dixie Canyon, at least, Dichter said she looks up the individual scores of black students to make sure they are learning: "I want to see everyone do well."

That was also the response from Beverly Hills Unified. "All schools should be concerned about achievement gaps wherever we find them, whether they're statistically significant or not," said district Supt. Kari McVeigh. She said her district is instituting twice-monthly meetings among all teachers to discuss students' performance and help low-achieving students.

Across California, API scores rose modestly, from a median of 745 to 751. But fewer schools made all their achievement targets, 192 of them because of the new rules. The numbers of schools reaching the state's target of 800 crept up from 30% to 31%.

As in past years, scores in L.A. Unified were lower than the state average. But gains outpaced the state for elementary and high schools; achievement was flat at middle schools.

Critics of the testing system say that the state still gives schools too long to close the achievement gap. "Our API system doesn't demand enough growth, and the clock will run out on these kids," Ali said.

Others criticize the state for not offering enough help, for not delivering the right sort of help or for being too lenient.

To date, the state has not taken over a failing school, nor forced one to be reconstituted by replacing administrators and teachers.

"It's a bulldog without teeth," said Jim Lanich, president of Sacramento-based California Business for Education Excellence.

Principal Chris Herzfeld at Fountain Valley High in Orange County said he's not aware of any consequence for falling short on the API, but then his campus was named a California Distinguished School last year. By the new numbers, his disabled students and Latino students improved, but not enough.

"We're not going to sound the alarms and step in with manipulations that aren't legitimate education," Herzfeld said. "The scores aren't the be-all and end-all of education."

Fountain Valley did pass muster on the accountability system linked to the federal No Child Left Behind Law, for which reports also were released Friday. This rival system is also managed by the state. Here, the goal is to make "adequate yearly progress."

A school succeeds by surpassing performance levels that are the same for every school in the state. On this measure, the results statewide are virtually unchanged from last year, with 66% of schools passing the fixed standard.


► LAUSD Press Release: LAUSD 2007 ACCOUNTABILITY PROGRESS REPORT (APR) ANNOUNCED, Increases Reported on API Scores, Among Lowest Performing Subgroups

Aug 31 - Los Angeles—Students’ academic performance and progress in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) made steady gains with the District’s Academic Performance Index (API) score increasing nine points in 2007, according to figures released today by the California Department of Education (CDE). In addition, elementary schools outpaced the state with increased API scores and the District’s lowest performing subgroups all made significant gains.

“This report shows that academic improvements and achievements are occurring in our classrooms every day,” said LAUSD Superintendent David L. Brewer III. “It also tells us that there are many challenges before us that need to be fixed. As I’ve stated several times, this District is going to be research and data-driven and the numbers contained in this Accountability Progress Report are going to serve as a road map in directing our vision and guiding principles to ensure that our students graduate from high school college prepared and career ready.”

“We received great news for 15 schools that exited Program Improvement,” said Mónica García, President of the Los Angeles Board of Education. “However, the great majority of our secondary schools continue to need immediate, aggressive instructional reform.”

The 2007 APR provides schools and school districts with information about their progress on the state Academic Performance Index (API) and their results on the federal 2007 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

The LAUSD’s overall API jumped from 655 in 2006 to 664 in 2007, a nine point increase. Elementary schools continued their impressive academic gains, with a 13 point API increase over the previous year. By comparison, elementary schools across California increased eight points. Elementary schools in the LAUSD have increased their API from 489 in 1999 to 731 in 2007, a whopping 242 point growth, over the past eight years.

Middle schools in the District remained unchanged at 634 from 2006 to 2007, while high schools climbed 14 points from 2006 to 2007. By comparison, high schools across California increased nine points.

API measures the academic performance and progress of public schools in California with the state setting 800 as the API score that schools should strive to meet. In 2007, the number of LAUSD schools that met the state’s performance goal of 800 increased from 104 in 2006 to 111 in 2007. In all, 91 percent of LAUSD schools have an API score of 600 or higher this year. That compares to 24 percent in 1999.

• Students with disabilities and Pacific Islander subgroups recorded the greatest increase with 11 points (from 2006 API Base 696 to 707 API Growth in 2007)
• Hispanic and socio-economically disadvantaged subgroups had a nine point increase
• The African American subgroup increased by eight points.
• The Asian subgroup jumped by six points
• English learners’ score climbed five points

Despite gains made throughout the District, the LAUSD fell short of reaching its 2007 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets. The District met 43 of its 46 AYP criteria, which advances the LAUSD to Program Improvement (PI) Year 3. The LAUSD did not meet the following three criteria: the percentage of students proficient in English Language Arts for English Learners, the percentage of students with disabilities proficient in English Language Arts and mathematics, and the high school graduation rate.

Each year, the California Department of Education evaluates schools to determine their adequate yearly progress (AYP) status. Schools that do not make AYP for two consecutive years are identified for Program Improvement (PI), as required under the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

Fifteen schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, however, exited Program Improvement status after having successfully met their Adequate Yearly Progress targets for two consecutive years. Those schools are: 92nd St. Elementary School, Anatola Ave. Elementary School, Banning High School, Birmingham High School, Glassell Park Elementary School, Hobart Blvd. Elementary School, Kennedy Elementary School, Miles Ave. Elementary School, North Hollywood High School, Shenandoah St. Elementary School, Stanford Ave. Elementary School, Taft High School, Union Ave. Elementary School, Utah St. Elementary School and West Valley Special Education Center.

Another 51 PI schools in the District made their AYP for 2006-2007. Those schools are eligible to exit Program Improvement in 2008-2009 if they meet all of their AYP indicators.



by David J. Hoff and Alyson Klein | published online in EdWeek

August 28, 2007 - The leaders of the House education committee today released a draft of a plan for reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind Act, outlining proposals that would revise how adequate yearly progress is calculated and overhaul the interventions for schools failing to meet achievement goals.

In releasing the long-awaited plan, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., and Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., said that they were inviting comments from educators so that they can incorporate their ideas into the bill they hope to introduce shortly after Labor Day.

“This draft is a work in progress, subject to change over the coming weeks as the committee moves a bill through the legislative process,” Reps. Miller and McKeon wrote in a letter to “education stakeholders.” Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader

“The committee has not endorsed this staff discussion draft,” adds the Aug. 27 letter, which was also signed by Rep. Dale E. Kildee, D-Mich., and Rep. Michael Castle, R-Del., the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Education and Labor Committee's key subcommittee on K-12 education. “However, we believe it represents a starting point from which to receive input.”

Rep. Miller previously said would be included in his reauthorization proposal, such as using so-called growth models to calculate AYP, adding measures other than statewide tests to allow schools to reach their progress goals, and differentiating interventions based on schools’ achievement levels.

In outlining the use of growth models, which track individual student progress instead of comparing different cohorts of students, the document says that states would need to measure schools’ and districts’ progress toward the goal of universal proficiency in reading and mathematics by the end of the 2013-14 school year. That’s the goal set in the current No Child Left Behind Act, which President Bush signed into law in January 2002.

The draft adds a clause that could extend the deadline, saying that students in all the demographic, racial, and ethnic subgroups that the current law tracks would need to at least be “on a trajectory” toward proficiency for a school or district to be determined to be making AYP.

Although reading and mathematics scores on statewide tests would remain the key indicator for AYP purposes, under the draft plan states could choose to allow their schools and districts to earn credit for improvement on other measures. States could, for example, choose to consider a school’s or district’s results on science and social studies tests; passing rates on high school end-of-course exams; and graduation and college-enrollment rates, according to the document.

The draft also proposes a 15-state pilot project that would allow districts to create their own assessments that are “rigorously aligned with state standards to augment the adequate yearly progress determination.” If the pilot project proved successful, the U.S. Department of Education would have the authority to allow other states to adopt locally developed tests for AYP purposes.

Meanwhile, the plan would establish a maximum “N” size, or the minimum subgroup size that counts toward schools’ and districts’ accountability, of 30 students. Currently under the law, states have set, and the Department of Education has approved, N sizes ranging from 5 to 75 students.

More Details Coming

The Education Committee plan also proposes to create two separate systems for targeting interventions for schools in need of improvement.

One would be for “priority schools,” defined as those that miss AYP for one or two student subgroups and need only targeted assistance. The other would be for “high-priority schools,” which would include schools that fail to meet the law’s targets for most, if not all, subgroups and need substantial help.

High-priority schools would choose at least four improvement strategies from a menu of options that includes employing proven instructional programs, adopting formative assessments, offering school choice and free after-school tutoring, and providing extra support to families, such as counseling services. Schools could also make changes to their learning environments, such as introducing dropout-recovery and credit-completion programs and 9th-grade-transition programs.

Priority schools would be required to develop a three-year plan, implementing at least two such improvement measures. The interventions could be targeted to subgroups that weren’t making AYP.

The draft released today outlines changes to Part A of the Title I program, which covers the largest appropriation under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The NCLB law is the latest version of the 42-year-old ESEA.

Later, Rep. Miller will outline his proposals for issues addressed in other sections of the law, such as teacher quality, impact aid, safe and drug-free schools, and the Reading First program.

The House education committee is expected to release its reauthorization bill in September. It plans to hold a hearing on NCLB reauthorization on Sept. 10, said Thomas Kiley, a spokesman for Rep. Miller.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?: The House Education and Labor Committee is collecting responses to the draft plan until Sept. 5 via e-mail at



by Amy Fagan - The Washington Post

September 3, 2003 - Battle lines are being drawn as the House prepares to tackle the renewal of President Bush's No Child Left Behind education law with an initial draft proposal that loosens testing requirements, allows new measuring techniques and creates a new funding stream.

Rep. George Miller, California Democrat and chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, and Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon of California, the ranking Republican on the committee, last week sent a discussion draft to various stakeholders and asked for feedback.

The 2002 law requires states to test and track students and holds schools accountable if they don't make adequate yearly progress. Because the act evokes strong opinions and produces a complex political dynamic, Mr. Miller must maintain a delicate coalition to guide a renewal bill to passage.

"Miller has a tough job on his hands," said Cynthia Brown, education policy director at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank. "Both the right and left are divided on this law."

A growing number of conservatives are signing on to two bills that would essentially nullify the law by allowing states to opt out. More than 60 Republicans back a proposal by Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, and more than 30 support a plan by Rep. Scott Garrett of New Jersey.

Some Democrats also want to eliminate the law, saying it is too onerous on teachers and falls short on funding.

They are debating a group of lawmakers from both parties and advocacy groups that want a renewal of the education act but demand a range of changes, particularly on flexibility for schools.

The initial draft proposal would maintain the requirement that students reach proficiency in reading and math by 2014. But it would allow states to use factors other than reading and math scores to determine adequate yearly progress, such as graduation rates, the percentage of students completing college preparatory courses and test scores in other subjects.

It also would allow the popular "growth model" concept to measure academic success. These models generally measure a child's individual progress over time rather than comparing groups of students from year to year.

The draft also would allow states to develop alternate tests for students with disabilities and those who don't speak English fluently, along with more flexibility in these areas.

The Education Trust complained that the proposed draft would weaken the law.

"The efforts to dumb down the definitions of progress and success by well-financed and ill-informed defenders of the status quo are gaining traction," said Amy Wilkins, vice president of the nonprofit school advocacy group.

The American Federation of Teachers seemed pleased with the proposed changes. "It's unfortunate that some are seeking to short-circuit the discussion by characterizing this draft's new flexibility as a step towards weakening the current law's accountability provisions," said union President Edward McElroy. "On the contrary, this draft is an opportunity to spark candid discussions about how to improve" them.

▼Miller-McKeon/ letter to “education stakeholders" | An 11-page summary of the draft bill | Full House education committee draft of Bill (435pp)

EVENTS: Coming up next week...
• Thursday Sep 06, 2007
Valley Region Enadia Way ES Reopening: Construction Update Meeting
6:30 p.m.
Canoga Park Elementary School
7438 Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Canoga Park, CA 91303

• Saturday Sep 8, 2007
RFK-12 — Central L.A. New Learning Center #1 (Ambassador)
Starts at 11 a.m.
Future site of RFK-12 | Central L.A. New Learning Center #1 (Ambassador)
701 S. Catalina Street
Los Angeles, CA 90005

*Dates and times subject to change. ________________________________________
Phone: 213-241-5183
Phone: 213-893-6800


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

...or your city councilperson, mayor, the governor, member of congress, senator - or the president. Tell them what you really think! • There are 26 mayors and five county supervisors representing jurisdictions within LAUSD, the mayor of LA can be reached at • 213.978.0600
• 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.
• Register.
• 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 immediate past 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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