Friday, October 19, 2007

Saying it all, poorly.

4LAKids: Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007
In This Issue:
DE FACTO LAUSD BREAKUP - If it works, it doesn't matter what it's called
HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest of the Stories from Other Sources
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.
The headline in Friday's Times says it all, poorly: "FEWER STUDENTS ENROLLED IN L.A. UNIFIED: Classrooms shrink by the thousands for the fifth straight year as parents opt for charter campuses or to move to more affordable areas."

I have no argument with the article, it has the Who, What, When & Where right. I have miniscule differences over the interpretation the "Why?" - on what the actual numbers are and what they mean. The short Daily News info box spells these out pretty well: Are home prices and the lack of housing the culprits - or is it charter schools and falling birthrate?

It doesn't matter. What does matter is that subhead: "CLASSROOMS SHRINK BY THE THOUSANDS….."

If the size of classrooms were to shrink (class size = the pupil per classroom [or student: teacher ratio) that would be an unquestioned good thing. An upcoming article in the journal Public Health [see All The News That Doesn't Fit] will claim that Class Size Reduction (CSR) would generate more public health benefit per dollar invested than the majority of medical interventions.

But CSR will NOT be the outcome.

The number of classrooms (and teachers) will decrease, but the class size loading will stay the same. There may not be as many crowded classrooms, but they will be just as crowded — there is no danger of overcrowded classrooms becoming an endangered species! The net benefit to public education and kids will be precisely zero/zilch/nada.

Optimum class size according to the NEA is 15:1 from K–12; class sizes of 16 or less are routinely closed by District policy.

To those who would argue that somehow this 'enrollment shortfall' means we no longer need to build all the schools we are building - sometimes preposterously expressed as: "Ohmygawd: LAUSD is overbuilding!" I suggest a return to where they came in the door …apparently they checked their reality instead of their hat!

Mostly they are missing the trend: More kids are staying to graduate. The current eleventh & twelfth graders are the peak of the baby-boomlet and enrollment there is up 2.68% for high school juniors and 9.74% for seniors.

Additionally, total enrollment for this year is actually up 2,500 students from last year's projection.

Another trend to analyze is that while charters have increased their enrollment by 17.71%, they have decreased enrollment in percentage (-12.36) and in actual numbers (down 32 children) for special education students served.

The mayors of Los Angeles and the twenty-some-odd other municipal jurisdictions in LAUSD (soon to include the City of East LA!), the President of the US, the Governor, the superintendent of LAUSD, every school board member, the teachers union and the principals union and the chamber of commerce; every charter school operator — everyone in public education from Bill Gates and Eli Broad to Steve Barr and 4LAKids promise every one of you that more of our kids will stay in school, succeed and graduate.

And the economy will come around, housing prices will stabilize and LA will grow. You can put that in the bank.

That's why we say: ¡Onward/Hasta adelante! - smf

The Board Informative & The Norm Day Data.


►FEWER STUDENTS ENROLLED IN L.A. UNIFIED: Classrooms shrink by the thousands for the fifth straight year as parents opt for charter campuses or to move to more affordable areas.

by Joel Rubin and Seema Mehta | Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

October 19, 2007

The number of students enrolled in Los Angeles public schools has dropped again for the fifth consecutive year in a trend that has affected school districts throughout Southern California, education officials reported Thursday.

Driven largely by lower birthrates and a real estate market that has priced out many families, the decline in enrollment means heavy cuts in funding for public schools, officials say.

Compared with last year, 20,285 fewer students now fill Los Angeles Unified School District classrooms. With the total number of students pegged at 653,215, it is second only to New York City in national enrollment, yet stands far below where it was only a few years ago when its student body topped 700,000.

The loss for L.A. Unified again meant a gain for the explosive charter school movement; thousands of students continue to leave traditional district schools each year in favor of the independently run campuses. Twenty-three charter schools opened within the district's boundaries this year, a dramatic increase that helped boost charter school enrollment by 17%, to a total of nearly 41,000 students.

Unlike previous years, L.A. Unified officials accurately planned for this year's tally. In 2005, they were caught off-guard when 20,000 children left the district. "There are no surprises here," said Roger Rasmussen, the district's budget director.

In California, enrollment and attendance figures are the primary factors involved in determining school funding for the following school year. This year's decline will mean a roughly $100-million loss for L.A. Unified in 2008, Rasmussen said.

L.A. Unified is hardly alone in feeling the pinch, however, as school officials throughout Southern California anticipate that enrollment will continue to fall for the next several years. For example, the Long Beach Unified School District lost nearly 2,000 students compared with last year, and the overall student count has dropped nearly 10% over the last four years.

In Pasadena, 700 fewer students showed up for classes this year. "There are just fewer students out there, but we also have seen an astronomically huge increase in the cost of homes," said Jacqueline Cochran, assistant superintendent of the Pasadena Unified School District.

Nearly four-fifths of Orange County's 27 school districts had declining enrollment last year, and the majority are expected to see it again this year, said Wendy Benkert, an assistant superintendent for the county Department of Education. "It affects them quite a bit," she said. "Districts have certain fixed costs that don't go away. Janitors, lights, principals, school site secretaries [must be paid] regardless of your enrollment."

Santa Ana Unified, which has lost 6,000 students over the last four years, has been hit hard. Trustees there have cut $79 million in spending since 2004, including eliminating teaching positions and closing two schools, and are expected to cut an additional $19 million next year.

Like other districts, Santa Ana is trying to squeeze as much funding out of the students it has as possible, using incentive programs such as a car giveaway to bolster attendance. Trustee Audrey Yamagata-Noji said after years of consecutive budget cuts, each round is getting more painful. "Something's got to give," she said. "You only have a few more things and they're called layoffs and cutting programs. Everybody thinks everything is essential. It's hard."

The San Diego Unified School District bucked the downward trend, posting a 1,200-student gain over last year. Supt. Carl Cohn attributed the rise to a campaign to woo families back. "Instead of saying to parents, 'This is it; take it or leave it,' we designed innovative programs from the bottom up," he said.

School systems in the Inland Empire and high desert are struggling with a different set of challenges, as many of the families leaving pricey communities to the west move inland in search of more affordable housing.

The small Victor Valley Union High School District, for example, saw its enrollment climb by 300 students this year and in the last three years has experienced a 19% jump. With almost 4,000 students in one of the district's three high schools, officials are drawing up plans to build another campus. In the meantime, the district has had to go on teacher hiring sprees and place classrooms in portable trailers. "We are bursting at the seams," Supt. Julian Weaver said.

LA Daily News
Friday, October 19, 2007

Los Angles (sic) Unified's total student enrollment continued its expected decline, dropping 2 percent from 708,461 students last year to 694,288 this year, according to figures released Thursday by the district.

About 41,000 of the students - or 6 percent of the population - are enrolled in fiscally independent charter schools. (The Times article and statistics [above] subtracts the charter enrollment - smf)

Charter schools reduced enrollment at traditional LAUSD schools by about 1 percent per year.

District officials attribute the drop to a decline in births in Los Angeles County, which have declined sharply since 1990 but have now stabilized.

Economic conditions like job availability and housing costs also contributed to the decline, officials said.


6th-8th ..........|...158,631.|..154,002.|.-2.92%
Total enrollment..|.708,461.|.694,288..|.-2%

SOURCE:.Los Angeles Unified School District

DE FACTO LAUSD BREAKUP - If it works, it doesn't matter what it's called
La Daily News Editorial

Oct 15, 2007 - Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent David Brewer's plan to create a separate district for low-performing schools and to target middle schools for reform is an acknowledgment that something drastic needs to be done to improve education.

Brewer says that this is a step toward improving the LAUSD by empowering this new mini-district of the 44 worst-performing schools to be more flexible and to have the autonomy to tailor solutions to meet the students' needs. In addition he will create "personalized learning environments" at all of the district's 92 middle schools, which he said have been long neglected.

It seems the de facto breakup of the country's second-largest school district, begun with the mayor's breaking up two school clusters, is accelerating.

No one, of course, would call it such. That word carries too much political baggage.

"It's our way to try to create more smallness out of largeness," one district official said.

Whatever. But it doesn't matter what words people use to describe this important decentralizing of the power of the LAUSD. All that matters is the principles of breakup - such as empowering schools, the principals and the communities to take charge of their schools and educational needs, and not cede them to the vast and often uncaring LAUSD bureaucracy.

When it comes to schools, smaller is always better. It's what district secessionists have been saying for years.

Still, what counts is that this carving out of special districts be more than just a public-relations stunt. There's a real danger of ghettoizing the special district full of low-performing schools once they've been removed from the rest of the district.

If this breaku- er, reform effort, has a chance of succeeding, it needs more than just a separation. It needs sustained commitment to the ideals of smaller, more autonomous and innovative schools.

▲4LAKids 2¢ - The Daily News has made calling for the break-up of LAUSD (and the City of LA itself) ITS raison d'etre. If their editorial board wants to call Superintendent Brewer and LAUSD's effort to reform the District's most deserving schools a "break-up" - AND to stand on the flight deck and declare "mission accomplished" …go for it!

I agree: "…it doesn't matter what words people use to describe this important decentralizing of the power of the LAUSD …and empowering schools, the principals and the communities to take charge of their schools and educational needs."

LA is sometimes called is a city without neighborhoods. The emerging neighborhood council movement and the concept of schools as centers of communities begins to create the village it takes to educate a child — and the matrix for the Global Village that LA must be.

by Diana Jean Schemo | New York Times

October 16, 2007 — LOS ANGELES — As the director of high schools in the gang-infested neighborhoods of the East Side of Los Angeles, Guadalupe Paramo struggles every day with educational dysfunction.

For the past half-dozen years, not even one in five students at her district’s teeming high schools has been able to do grade-level math or English. At Abraham Lincoln High School this year, only 7 in 100 students could. At Woodrow Wilson High, only 4 in 100 could.

For chronically failing schools like these, the No Child Left Behind law, now up for renewal in Congress, prescribes drastic measures: firing teachers and principals, shutting schools and turning them over to a private firm, a charter operator or the state itself, or a major overhaul in governance.

But more than 1,000 of California’s 9,500 schools are branded chronic failures, and the numbers are growing. Barring revisions in the law, state officials predict that all 6,063 public schools serving poor students will be declared in need of restructuring by 2014, when the law requires universal proficiency in math and reading.

“What are we supposed to do?” Ms. Paramo asked. “Shut down every school?”

With the education law now in its fifth year — the one in which its more severe penalties are supposed to come into wide play — California is not the only state overwhelmed by growing numbers of schools that cannot satisfy the law’s escalating demands.

In Florida, 441 schools could be candidates for closing. In Maryland, some 49 schools in Baltimore alone have fallen short of achievement targets for five years or more. In New York State, 77 schools were candidates for restructuring as of last year.

Some districts, like those in New York City, have moved forcefully to shut large failing high schools and break them into small schools. Los Angeles, too, is trying small schools, along with other innovations, and David L. Brewer III, its schools superintendent, has just announced plans to create a “high priority district” under his direct control made up of 40 problem schools.

Yet so far, education experts say they are unaware of a single state that has taken over a failing school in response to the law. Instead, most allow school districts to seek other ways to improve.

“When you have a state like California with so many schools up for restructuring,” said Heinrich Mintrop, an education professor at the University of California, Berkeley, “that taxes the capacity of the whole school change industry.”

As a result, the law is branding numerous schools as failing, but not producing radical change — leaving angry parents demanding redress. California citizens’ groups have sued the state and federal government for failing to deliver on the law’s promises.

“They’re so busy fighting No Child Left Behind,” said Mary Johnson, president of Parent U-Turn, a civic group. “If they would use some of that energy to implement the law, we would go farther.”

Ray Simon, the deputy federal secretary of education, said states that ignored the law’s demands risked losing federal money or facing restrictions on grants. For now, Mr. Simon said, the department is more interested in helping states figure out what works than in punishment. “Even a state has to struggle if it takes over a school,” he said.

A federal survey last year showed that in 87 percent of the cases of persistently failing schools, states and school districts avoided wholesale changes in staff or leadership. That is why, Mr. Simon said, the Bush administration is proposing that Congress force more action by limiting districts’ options in responding to hard-core failure.

In California, Jack O’Connell, the state superintendent of schools, calls the law’s demands unreasonable. Under the federal law, 700 schools that California believed were getting substantially better were counted last year as failing. A state takeover of schools, Mr. O’Connell said, would be a “last option.”

“To have a successful program,” he said, “it really has to come from the community.”

Under the No Child law, a school declared low-performing for three years in a row must offer students free tutoring and the option to transfer. After five years, such schools are essentially treated as irredeemable, with the law prescribing starting over with a new structure, new leadership or new teachers. But it also gives schools the option of less sweeping changes, like reducing school size or changing who is in charge of hiring.

Those in charge of troubled schools in Los Angeles admit that the absence of serious penalties coupled with the growing number of schools branded as low-performing is breeding bitterness. But they are not sure what to do.

Carmen Schroeder, the superintendent of District 5 — and Ms. Paramo’s boss — has taken over hiring decisions and keeps a close watch on the lowest performing schools. Ms. Schroeder said she would like to go further and shut some down if there were any place to transfer the students.

That is not so easy when 59 of the 91 schools in her district, the largest of eight in this sprawling city, consistently fall short of standards.

Beyond that, the federal law does not trump contract agreements, and so teachers have generally not lost their jobs or faced transfer when schools stagnate.

In Los Angeles, as the law’s 2014 deadline draws nearer, the promised land of universal high achievement seems more distant than ever.

Schools that serve low-income students are packed, despite new construction. In poor neighborhoods, students are on staggered schedules, starting school in different months and scattering what was once summer vacation into smaller breaks.

Students lose momentum, forget lessons and come out with 17 fewer days of instruction a year. “That’s why our kids are not passing the high school exit exams,” said Ms. Johnson of Parent U-Turn.

Not all states are facing huge numbers of failing schools. Some were late establishing testing systems, and so lack results over five or more years. Others may have small poor populations, better teaching or easier exams.

But the tensions voiced here are echoed by parents elsewhere, as well as by school officials.

At Woodrow Wilson High one recent morning, teachers broke into small groups over coffee studying test scores for areas of weakness. But there were limits to what they would learn.

The teachers analyzed results for the entire school, not for their own students. Roberto Martinez, the principal, said he had not given teachers the scores of their own students because their union objects, saying the scores were being used to evaluate teachers.

“And who suffers?” asked Veronica Garcia, an English teacher at Wilson. “The kids suffer, because the teacher never gets feedback.”

A. J. Duffy, president of United Teachers of Los Angeles, said the union supported test score reviews provided they did not affect teachers’ jobs. Mr. Duffy said the federal law glossed over the travails of teaching students living in poverty. “Everyone agrees that urban education needs a shot in the arm, but it is not as bleak as the naysayers would have it,” he said.

That is not a view shared by many parents. Martha Sanchez, whose three children attend public schools here, said that as students grew older, the schools seemed to give up.

Her eldest, Gonzalo, attends eighth grade at John Adams Middle School, where only 22 percent of students passed the state exams in English and math this year. It is not hard for Ms. Sanchez to see why.

When Gonzalo struggled over equations, she said, his teacher called him slow rather than going over the material again. Ms. Sanchez said that she had complained, but that the teacher had denied the comment. It was only through the private tutoring, available under No Child Left Behind that he managed to pass seventh grade math, she said.

The principal, Joseph P. Santana, said he did not recall Ms. Sanchez’s complaining, but could not rule it out. “There are 1,600 of them,” he said, referring to the students, “and only one of me.”

Still, Ms. Sanchez is not a big fan of the law. Just weeks into the school year, she said, teachers are focusing almost solely on material likely to appear on state exams. Forget about igniting a passion in children, she said.

“Maybe the system is not designed for people like us,” she said.


by Rick Orlov, Staff Writer | LA Daily News

Oct 15, 2007 - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law on Sunday a measure designed to provide up to $640 million to Los Angeles schools from a voter-approved bond.

The governor signed AB 1014, authored by Assemblywoman Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, designed to fill a loophole in Proposition 1D, the school-construction measure approved last November as part of Schwarzenegger's package of bonds aimed at improving California's infrastructure.

A provision in the measure, however, would have placed severe limits on the ability of the Los Angeles Unified - the largest school district in the state - from getting its fair share of the funds.

Bass' measure changed the formula for funding from looking at new-student growth to considering traditionally overcrowded school districts, such as the LAUSD.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, school board President Monica Garcia and Superintendent David Brewer III issued a joint statement praising the governor and Bass.

"With the stroke of the governor's pen, the children in Los Angeles' public schools will receive their fair share of statewide funding to help build the safe, clean and new schools they deserve," the statement read.

"Assembly Bill 1014 will help put an end to the decades-old struggle against overcrowding in our schools and send a message to the 200,000 kids in Los Angeles who go to school in temporary classrooms each day that we will no longer shortchange their education."

►L.A. UNIFIED TO GET $600 MILLION FOR CONSTRUCTION: Even with declining enrollment, the school district will receive state money for building because of a bill signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger.

by Howard Blume | LA Times Staff Writer

October 15, 2007 - Despite declining public school enrollment, Los Angeles will be able to count on more than $600 million in state school construction funds because of a bill signed Sunday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, local officials said.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, area legislators and top officials of the Los Angeles Unified School District staged a last-minute lobbying blitz to urge Schwarzenegger to sign the measure.

The money is needed to close part of an estimated $2-billion deficit in the district's $20-billion construction and modernization program, the nation's largest school building effort.

L.A. Unified had long expected to claim these funds, but the money was at risk because of declining enrollment in the country's second-largest school system. State rules, school officials said, magnify the effect of declining enrollment on eligibility, a flaw the bill aimed to address.

Even with fewer students, the district still has thousands in year-round schools and thousands more bused away from their neighborhoods, a situation the district wants to eliminate. Ultimately, enrollment is expected to rise again. Space could be tighter still with a reduction in the dropout rate, which is close to 50% by some estimates.

The goal of the building program is to allow every student to attend a neighborhood school that operates on a traditional, two-semester calendar by 2012. Even under the best scenario, thousands of students still would attend campuses with portable classrooms that limit space for recreation.

"On a scale of one to 10, this news is absolutely a 10," said school board President Monica Garcia. "This legislation was the priority for Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Unified School District."

When the school construction effort began in the late 1990s, local officials worried that there would never be enough state and local dollars to go around. That's still a concern, but declining enrollment created another crisis: L.A. Unified might not be able to touch state money that was, in essence, waiting in the bank.

The Assembly bill, sponsored by Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), gives school districts more ways to qualify for state money. Districts now can use 10-year enrollment projections, or they can look at local birth rates. They also can count how many high school students live in a particular area. Before, if a school district provided a seat somewhere for a high school student -- even if that seat was far across town -- the district didn't qualify for funding to build a seat in the student's neighborhood.

"You could never get state money to get that child off the bus," said Eric Bakke, senior legislative analyst for L.A. Unified. "But if you can base the eligibility formula on where that child lives, you can get that child off the bus."

Bill backers included the Anaheim City School District, the California School Boards Assn., the California Teachers Assn. and the Orange Unified School District.

"Other school districts are also experiencing the problems that we are," said Vernon Billy, L.A. Unified's chief lobbyist.

Resistance came from the state Department of Finance, which expressed concern over increased pressure for school bonds. Schwarzenegger did not commit to a position in advance, but a spokesman said Sunday that the governor "supports the objective of the bill."

The bill doesn't come close to erasing L.A. Unified's entire construction deficit or even all of the impediments at the state level. For example: State funds that are supposed to pay for 50% of construction don't cover nearly that much in high-cost L.A. A bill to take on that issue didn't make it to the governor's desk.

"We have a lot more work to do on this," Garcia said, "but this was a critical piece to keep our program at full speed."

HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest of the Stories from Other Sources
► In FIVE ASSESSMENT MYTHS AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES - a commentary in EdWeek, Rick Stiggins gives us a list of five myths about standardized testing. Webster's Online says a myth is "a person or thing having only an imaginary or unverifiable existence" - hardly the bedrock for scientific assessment.

Rick Stiggins is the founder of the Educational Testing Service's Assessment Training Institute, in Portland, Ore. - Stiggins is the father of Tests if not of Testing and a Trainer of Testers - he knows of which he speaks.
He concludes: Sound assessment is not something to be practiced once a year. As we look to the future, we must balance annual, interim or benchmark, and classroom assessment. Only then will we meet the critically important information needs of all instructional decisionmakers.

Of greatest importance, however, is that we acknowledge the key role of the learner in the assessment-learning connection. We must begin to use classroom assessment to help all students experience continuous success and come to believe in themselves as learners.

By Vaishali Honawar | Edcation Week

California has given the nod to a rigorous assessment created by teacher colleges that requires aspiring educators to show students are learning before they earn their preliminary licenses.
Starting next school year, all teacher-candidates will have to pass a performance assessment before they can get their teaching credentials. A state law passed in 1998 requires such evaluations take place, but a lack of state funding delayed implementation.

By Barbara M. Stock/Ed Week
Our national obsession with standardized-test scores is dangerous. The idea that there is only One Right Answer, the answer to the test question, plants the seeds of authoritarian rule. Standardized tests encourage a standardized way of thinking. If there is only one right answer, there is no need to think, to question, to discuss. We breed compliance and complacency. We see challenges to authority as disloyal. The foundations of democracy break down. I was shocked into this realization when my grandson phoned with a homework question. “What did you learn in school that helps you be a good citizen?” he asked. His question stopped me. A good citizen?

By David J. Hoff/Ed Week
As Congress works toward reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush has said for the first time that he’s willing to reject any bill he doesn’t like. “Any effort to weaken No Child Left Behind Act will get a presidential veto,” Mr. Bush said on Oct. 15 at a town-hall-style meeting in Rogers, Ark. “I believe this piece of legislation is important, and I believe it’s hopeful, and I believe it’s necessary to make sure we got a [sic] educated group of students who can compete in the global economy when they get older.” The next day, Senate aides distributed draft language of large sections of a potential NCLB bill, the first such specific reauthorization language put forth by key lawmakers in that chamber.

By Linda Jacobson/Ed Week
As soon as they apply for it, California school districts will be eligible to receive a share of more than $70 million for supplemental instruction and counseling services targeting students who have reached the end of senior year without passing the state’s high school exit exam, under legislation signed this month by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The measure allowing students to receive up to two years of extra help beyond the 12th grade year brings to an end a lawsuit against the state, Valenzuela v. O’Connell, filed by students who had repeatedly failed the test, but had met other graduation requirements. ("California Seniors Sue Over High School Exam," Feb. 15, 2006.) In addition, the Republican governor included more than $188 million in the current fiscal year’s budget for summer and after-school programs to help students prepare for the mandated test.

WHATEVER ELSE he accomplishes, or fails to accomplish, during his topsy-turvy governorship, Arnold Schwarzenegger has served two interrelated and worthy causes very well — raising the standing of community colleges and bringing vocational training out of the educational attic. Schwarzenegger went through such training as a salesman when he was a high school student in Austria and later attended Santa Monica Community College. High school-level voc-ed, as it used to be known before being renamed "career technical education," and community colleges have been given short shrift by politicians, the education establishment and other policymakers in recent decades.

American School
A few years ago, a fourth-grade teacher in central Maine brought photographs of her classroom to our graduate research course. She’d recorded rainwater seeping through the ceiling and dripping into plastic buckets, and she’d taken close-up pictures of bare wires, broken electrical sockets, cracked tiles, and exposed insulation. I decided to see the school for myself, so I arranged a walk-through with the teacher and principal. They pointed out structural problems and health hazards throughout the school. And they introduced me to teachers who managed to teach and students who struggled to learn in those appalling conditions. A third-grade teacher and her students, suffering from burning, watering eyes, had evacuated to a makeshift classroom in a corridor.

By Cassie M. Chew/Diverse Online
Black males are discovering that they don’t need to ‘hit the books’ in order to make a living, and this is the reason behind recent statistics that report that as many as half of them drop out of high school and don’t pursue a college education. “There was a time when we were always taught that education was for us to get a good job, buy a house, raise a family — education doesn’t play the necessary role in those things any longer to young Black men,” according to poet, writer and filmmaker Malik Salaam.

Science Daily
Reducing the number of students per classroom in U.S. primary schools may be more cost-effective than most public health and medical interventions, according to a study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the Virginia Commonwealth University.The study indicates that class-size reductions would generate more quality-adjusted life-year gains per dollar invested than the majority of medical interventions. The findings will be published in the November issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

LINK TO: The News That Didn't Fit for Oct 21st.

EVENTS: Coming up next week...
• Wednesday Oct 24, 2007
Central Region High School #15: Project Update Meeting
6:00 p.m.
East Los Angeles Occupational Center
2100 Marengo Street
Los Angeles, CA 90033

• Thursday Oct 25, 2007
East LA Star Adult Education: Project Update Meeting
6:00 p.m.
Brooklyn Elementary School
4620 Cesar Chavez Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90022

• Thursday Oct 25, 2007
Valley Region Elementary School #10: Removal Action Work Plan (RAW) Meeting
Please join us at this meeting for information about the environmental investigation findings for this project.
The Removal Action Workplan (RAW) details how the site will be cleaned up to ensure the health and safety of the children and the community.
6:30 p.m.
Sutter Middle School - Auditorium
7330 Winnetka Ave.
Canoga Park, CA 91306

*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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