Sunday, December 14, 2008

It was the week it was.

4LAKids: Sunday, Dec 14, 2008
In This Issue:
MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED: How do we hire when we can’t tell who’s right for the job?
HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest of the Stories from Other Sources
EVENTS: The return of MARTINIS & MAGNETS (just in time for the CHOICES! application process) + THE BURNING MOMS GALA! coming up next week
What can YOU do?

Featured Links:
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: an investment we can't afford to cut! - The Education Coalition Website
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.
It was the week it was.

• On the first day of La Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe The Board of Education forced Superintendent Brewer out — "fired', "laid off", or my favorite Briticism: "made redundant"; "whacked" and "terminated with prejudice" are also apropos. If there was a CSI/LA the team would find the fingerprints of the mayor and billionaire philanthropists all over the deal …but if you follow the news you know the crime scene investigation team in LA is under investigation itself.

• In cosmic coincidence The New Yorker and the LA Times Sports Page both covered the same story about how the spread offense in college football fails to prepare quarterbacks for the pros. [MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED: How do we hire when we can’t tell who’s right for the job? - below] The New Yorker applied the lesson to training teachers - the LATimes didn't go that far …even though LA has no pro football team.

• Mayor Tony and Billionaire Eli's endorsed school board candidate raised enough ballot signatures to get on the ballot …unfortunately many were from the wrong school board district.

• And the Lege and the Governor and the Legislative Analyst all sang the same sad refrain: "OMG: The Deficit is Growing!" - in different keys, time signatures and tempi. "Discordant" doesn't quite do the cacophony justice -- enough lines in the sand have been drawn in Sacramento to remake "Lawrence of Arabia".

The deficit/funding shortfall is $41+ billion for this year and next …growing at $470 a second. The debt of California public education grows at $235 a second - money that must be made up entirely in program cuts if new revenues aren't identified. "No New Taxes" meets "No Cuts to Education". Remember "Tastes great" v. "Less filling"? It's like that, only dumberer.

• For good news we look to the national scene.

No, Governor Blagojevich hasn't been caught trying to sell the LAUSD superintendency; we have our own salespeople here in LA.

At a 'Coffee with the Congressman' event in Eagle Rock Congressman Xavier Becerra described a proposed legislative initiative from the Obama Administration for the feds to pay the interest on local school construction bonds. This would relieve the local property owner/taxpayers from about 50% of their obligation, expedite putting building and modernization projects (and employment opportunities) into the pipeline and free up possibilities for increasing local support of operational (classroom) funding. Becerra specifically said the relief would apply to the Measure Q bond. It could be retroactive - at least for unspent money - all the way back to BB.

• Two headlines caught our eye in passing this week -- from the Columbus Dispatch: “OHIO ISN'T THE ONLY STATE WITH BIG BUDGET WOES” and from the LATimes "MAYOR CONSIDERS VOLUNTARY L.A. RETIREMENT PLAN". The first goes on to explain that may states have budget problems (though California takes the cake). And about the second: We hope the mayor seriously considers that opportunity for early retirement.

Things could be worse ...that's what next week is for!

¡Onward/Hasta adelante! -smf

L.A. Now : Southern California -- this just in
by Jason Song and Howard Blume | LA Times/LA Now blog
1:15 PM, December 9, 2008

The Los Angeles Board of Education today has voted to buy out Supt. David L. Brewer midway through his four-year contract to run the nation’s second-largest school system.

No decision on a successor was announced, but it is widely expected that Senior Deputy Supt. Ramon C. Cortines will accept the position on at least an interim basis. Cortines relayed through a spokesperson that he would have no comment at this time on the district’s leadership situation.

Brewer, 62, announced Monday his willingness to accept a buyout, one week after Board of Education President Monica Garcia made it clear she would seek to replace him. Brewer's contract entitles him to an 18-month buyout, which apparently could cost in excess of $500,000 including salary and expenses. But no details of the cost were immediately available.

Garcia -- and some of Brewer's critics -- have said the superintendent has not moved quickly enough and effectively enough to improve the school system. Brewer has pointed out that gains on test scores this year well outpaced the state as a whole and that the district last month successfully passed its largest bond issue ever. Since coming aboard eight months ago, Cortines has managed day-to-day operations as well as long-term planning for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Cortines, 76, brings with him one of the longest resumes in education, a stark contrast to Brewer, a retired Navy admiral with a passion for helping children but no direct experience in public education.

By Rick Orlov and George B. Sánchez, Staff Writers | LA Daily News

8 Dec 2008 -- To anyone who knows her, it is no surprise that Mónica García is in the middle of a political firestorm.

As president of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education, García has emerged as the force behind efforts to remove Superintendent David L. Brewer III in the middle of his four-year contract.

Supporters say García is a fierce advocate for the Latino community and the disenfranchised, who has never shied away from a fight. But critics say her political ambitions have made it difficult for her to act independently of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a longtime ally.

The Mayor's Office said he had nothing to do with last week's failed attempt to oust Brewer, when Garcí a could not bring together all seven board members to vote on his contract. But some school district watchers say the mayor, who is widely thought to favor hiring a new superintendent, has considerable influence with the current board.

"Had the mayor not been in favor of wanting Brewer to retire, then the board majority, starting with Mónica García, would likely not have moved to oust the superintendent," said Jaime Regalado, executive director of the Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles.

Praising García as a passionate advocate for children, Villaraigosa said he talks with her often, but he would not discuss any conversations regarding Brewer.

"This is a decision for her and her school board to make, and I trust their judgment," Villaraigosa said.

García's bungled effort to remove Brewer, who is African-American, raised questions about her political skills and drew outrage from leaders of Los Angeles' African-American community, including Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, the board's only black member.

García declined to be interviewed for this story. Her office said she would not discuss the issue because it is a personnel matter that the board will take up again Tuesday. While García is thought to have enough votes to remove Brewer, it is unclear how each member might line up.

Several sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said García approached Brewer about leaving only after other school board members pushed her to begin discussions with him about a possible buyout.

The talks apparently fell apart when García and Brewer could not agree on a departure date. The situation was further complicated when García prodded the board to discuss Brewer's removal at a regularly scheduled meeting last Tuesday when LaMotte was out of town. LaMotte has charged the board with conspiring behind her back to remove Brewer.

"This ranks with the payroll fiasco," said Scott Folsom, vice chairman of the district's bond oversight committee that oversees school construction, referring to a computer software system that issued inaccurate checks to teachers for a year or more. "It should have been handled better. This is a failure of raw politics."

Among other things, the poorly executed plan created the perception of racial politics at the top of the nation's second-largest school district. García has become the heavy in the drama, partly because she is known for stepping up when others back away to push an agenda that she says is for the kids, supporters say.

They add that her passion is driven by a genuine sense of social justice and a first-hand awareness of the value of education and the privileges it affords, having graduated from the University of California at Berkeley after growing up in East Los Angeles.

García was elected to the board in 2006 to succeed her former boss, Jose Huizar, after his election to the City Council. She became only the third Latina to serve on the board in its 155-year history.

Huizar met García at Berkeley, where she was interested in access to education for poor students. García was the first person he turned to when he was elected to the Board of Education.

"As a school board member, you don't have a big staff and Mónica did the work of three people," Huizar said. "She understood education policy, but she also could work with the community."

Huizar credits her with helping to resolve the myriad safety issues at Belmont High School and overseeing the construction of two new high schools in East Los Angeles. After he was elected to the City Council, he said he had to convince García to run for his school board seat.

"I don't believe she really has any political ambitions, although she's a natural at politics," Huizar said.

Assemblyman John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, said García is modest, a rare trait among politicians.

"She is not someone who ever needed to take center stage," said Pérez, who was endorsed by Garcia; a in his run for the seat previously held by Fabian Nuñez. "For her, the work matters more than the credit."

While Huizar was focused on many of the details involving the LAUSD's building project, it was García who was credited with developing the "diploma for all" policy of the district, to reduce the dropout rate and make sure students graduated and were prepared for the work force.

García was easily elected to the board, with the backing of Villaraigosa and Huizar, and after a year on the board, she was able to elbow Marlene Canter out of the presidency. She was re-appointed by her colleagues to head the board in July. García is running unopposed for re-election on March 3.

The school board has been the starting point for many politicians who have moved on to the City Council, the state Assembly and other state offices. There is speculation that García a has her eyes on higher office, and much of her political strength lies in her ties to Huizar and Villaraigosa. She supported the mayor's attempt to take over the district until it was squashed by the courts.

"There's no question she has a strong relationship with the mayor," said Regalado. "It was him and his allies that got her elected."

Board members Tamar Galatzan, Yolie Flores Aguilar and Marlene Canter have all said Villaraigosa's influence on the board of education is only a public perception. All say they were not contacted by the mayor regarding Brewer's removal.

Other board members did not respond to requests for comment.

Former board member David Tokofsky, who voted to hire Brewer in 2006, said outside influence on board members is normal, but it should not guide the decision of the board president.

But Maria Casillas, a veteran LAUSD educator and close friend of García's, said a relationship between the school board and local elected officials is key to real education reform.

"No matter what, you need a network between elected officials and policy makers. The education laws are not made by the board; they're made in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.," she said. "Brewer and García are restricted by the decisions of policy makers."

Recognizing García's willingness to express her opinion, appearing with Villaraigosa and lending her name to allies, such as her support for Pérez, Regalado said García embodies the "political animal."

"A lot of times, these endorsements are strategic, but hers are heartfelt and can only help her in the future," Regalado said.

Born and raised in East Los Angeles, Garc a attended Ramona Convent in Alhambra and went on to Berkeley, where she received bachelor of arts degrees in Chicano studies and political science. Later, she earned a master's in social work from the University of Southern California.

Outside East Los Angeles and its climate of Chicano activism, García said she became aware of privilege, class and culture while a Berkeley student.

At a speech earlier this year to the Studio City Chamber of Commerce, she was quoted as joking that it was at Berkeley that she realized, "I was a person of color, which I had no idea. (I was) shocked that my life was so much in peril" growing up as a Latina in a working-class family in the barrio.

Those experiences, say her advocates, resonate in her work, including the recent attempt to remove Brewer.

Noting that the Daily News and the Los Angeles Times have editorialized for the removal of Brewer, Casillas said García's move should be welcomed by the press. But the timing, many have said off the record, was poor.

With the district facing the most severe fiscal crisis in recent history, the bond committee's Folsom said Brewer is a leader among education officials in fighting budget cuts in Sacramento. To remove him now will only take district attention away from the impending budget crisis.

"I have not seen true leadership from García on the budget and this is a huge diversion from where the board's focus should be," Folsom said. "Real leaders lead from the middle and build consensus. That hasn't happened here."


by Sandy Banks | Columnist in Los Angeles Times

December 13, 2008 -- You can blame the failure of Los Angeles' latest school superintendent on racial politics, an incompetent school board or a bureaucracy impervious to reform.

But you can't sell that to Stephen Strachan.

Strachan is the principal at Jordan High in Watts. Like Supt. David Brewer, Strachan thinks big and is brimming with self-confidence.

But unlike Brewer, Strachan has managed to move beyond summits and slogans to remake a high school long considered one of the district's worst.

I met Strachan two years ago -- about the time Brewer arrived in Los Angeles. I visited Jordan High because I wanted to know what it was like running a school that bordered one of the city's most dangerous housing projects.

Back then, I found a school in the beginning stages of change, thanks to a $1.5-million Gates Foundation grant, a committed faculty and staff, and a principal who is as tough as the school's bulldog mascot suggests. This week, I went back to Jordan to find out what has happened on the campus in the two years Brewer has been at the district's helm.

:: In Alberta Henderson's math class, the window shades stay down. "You look out that open window and you see the projects," she explained. She wants her students to think of where they can go, not where they are from.

Her classroom is plastered with mathematics posters. One wall headlined "Habits of the Mind" is full of students' essays about the importance of managing impulsive behavior in class and life.

I watched her teach a ninth-grade algebra class -- an area in which Jordan students do better than the districtwide average. Last year, 78% of Jordan High ninth-graders passed algebra, compared with less than 50% of students at schools with similar demographics.

With her broad gestures and corny jokes, Henderson radiated enthusiasm from the front of the class. And if her students didn't seem quite so delighted -- it is algebra, after all -- they were polite, engaged and on-task.

Each student had a small, white dry-erase board to work equations and answer questions. When Henderson gives the cue, they raise their boards for her to check. She passes out raffle tickets at the beginning of class and when she asks a question, she reaches into a glass jar for a ticket stub, then calls out the winner's number for an answer.

Henderson came to Jordan two years ago because she wanted to teach the kind of student she once was. She grew up "in the hood" in St. Louis. "I was a teenage parent, had a husband who was in a gang, my mother got shot when I was 13," she said. "These kids are wounded. I know what that means."

A mother of two grown children, Henderson spent 21 years in middle management at Kaiser before becoming an elementary school teacher six years ago. Moving to Jordan was "a culture shock," she said.

"I wanted to quit almost every day for the first few months. I thought, 'Are they sending me all the incorrigibles?' . . . Dr. Strachan convinced me to stay."

When I left Henderson's class, I roamed the campus. That alone is a sign of Strachan's confidence; there are few things more dangerous for a principal than an unescorted reporter on a mission.

In the school's College and Career Center, I found student body President Zindy Valdovinos and yearbook editor Valeria Vega, both 17-year-old seniors with their sights on college. Valeria hopes to attend Mount Holyoke; Zindy is still deciding.

I asked what changes they'd seen in four years at Jordan.

"Now, there are a lot of teachers here who say, 'You can be something,' " said Zindy. "They encourage you to come to school, give you a reason to come to class."

Teachers are accountable to their students, Valeria added. "If they're not doing what they should, you can complain and Dr. Strachan will do something about it."

Valeria's younger sister attends Markham Middle School, where an assistant principal was charged last spring with sexually assaulting a student. "That couldn't happen at Jordan," she said. "There was this one teacher here who made inappropriate remarks. The students complained and it stopped."

Strachan told me he tries to empower teachers and students. "In assemblies, I tell the kids, 'You have a right to be respected, just as you have to respect your teachers and you have to respect each other.' "

But the principal is no miracle worker. Students told me that some classes are still rowdy, there are too many pregnant girls on campus and it's hard to get the schedule you want.

"But we have a lot more clubs than we used to, and students are more involved," Valeria said. She tutors classmates after school "and it's crowded sometimes. Kids actually want to learn. They'll say, 'Give me another problem!' because they get it. They like that."

Strachan ticked off a list of changes on campus in the last two years: Students wear uniforms. Teachers have common planning periods. It takes a grade of C -- no Ds allowed -- to pass a course. A "fifth-year senior" program is bringing dropouts back.

And the all-male academy idea that Brewer spent two years studying and planning to implement? Strachan launched his four years ago. In June, every student in the program graduated, and all but one went on to college.

But those are not just feel-good stories. Jordan's test scores are rising much faster than the district's average. Yet they still have so far to go.

In last Saturday's column, I took Brewer to task, wondering how much he really cares about the students in the district he was paid to run. I'll never really know because he will be stepping down at the end of the month. He talked a good game, but his record is painfully thin.

Yes, Brewer had obstacles: a financial crisis, a micromanaging school board, an uncooperative union and a mayor hellbent on seizing control. What he lacked was a sense of urgency.

Maybe if Brewer had seen the fallout from failing schools up close and personal, he would have realized what's at stake. If he had sat through a student's funeral, gone to court to keep a girl out of jail, counseled grieving boys after their friends got shot, or wooed back one dropout who'd given up, he would have known -- as Strachan does -- that two years is too much time to waste.

MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED: How do we hire when we can’t tell who’s right for the job?

by Malcolm Gladwell | Annals of Education in The New Yorker December 15, 2008

smf's intro: This Article by "Tipping Point" and "Blink" author Gladwell is far too long to include in this issue of 4LAKids - but it bears reading. The link follows - and also a link to the LATimes Sport Section Article on the same subject - covering the college-football-star-quarterback as dud-pro-quarterback as news - or rather, sports. - instead of metaphor

The article begins by describing in depth the challenges of a pro football scout in determining pro potential in college quarterbacks. In other skill positions the jobs are pretty much the same …but the skill set required of a QB in the pro game is as different as apples and oranges. "There are certain jobs where almost nothing you can learn about candidates before they start predicts how they’ll do once they’re hired. So how do we know whom to choose in cases like that? In recent years, a number of fields have begun to wrestle with this problem, but none with such profound social consequences as the profession of teaching.

Eric Hanushek, an economist at Stanford, estimates that :
• the students of a very bad teacher will learn, on average, half a year’s worth of material in one school year.
• The students in the class of a very good teacher will learn a year and a half’s worth of material.
• That difference amounts to a year’s worth of learning in a single year.
• Teacher effects dwarf school effects: your child is actually better off in a “bad” school with an excellent teacher than in an excellent school with a bad teacher.
• Teacher effects are also much stronger than class-size effects. You’d have to cut the average class almost in half to get the same boost that you’d get if you switched from an average teacher to a teacher in the eighty-fifth percentile.
• And remember that a good teacher costs as much as an average one, whereas halving class size would require that you build twice as many classrooms and hire twice as many teachers.

Hanushek recently did a back-of-the-envelope calculation about what even a rudimentary focus on teacher quality could mean for the United States.
• If you rank the countries of the world in terms of the academic performance of their schoolchildren, the U.S. is just below average, half a standard deviation below a clump of relatively high-performing countries like Canada and Belgium.
• According to Hanushek, the U.S. could close that gap simply by replacing the bottom six per cent to ten per cent of public-school teachers with teachers of average quality.

After years of worrying about issues like school funding levels, class size, and curriculum design, many reformers have come to the conclusion that nothing matters more than finding people with the potential to be great teachers. But there’s a hitch: no one knows what a person with the potential to be a great teacher looks like.

●●smf again: UTLA President Duffy was very hard on Superintendent Brewer in comments to the media this week about the superintendent's reliance on business books and business models applied to education reform. I can only guess how he's going to react to this article that combines sports statistics and analogies with Stanford economists in an East Coast intellectual elitist publication like The New Yorker.

But what we've been doing hasn't been working. And to continue what we've been doing and expecting it to get better faster is the definition of 'stuck on stupid'. And - to return to 'the hitch' above: "No one knows what a person with the potential to be a great teacher looks like." Perhaps cultivating the ability to recognize and cultivate the potential is a good idea …ya think?

Link to Article

HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest of the Stories from Other Sources
Statement from Superintendent David L. Brewer, III, made in the LAUSD Boardroom at 2PM on December 8th:

Statement from Scott Folsom, made to the LAUSD Board of Education at 10AM on December 9th:

B R E A K I N G . N E W S: It was reported on ABC-TV this (Sunday) morning that the LAUSD Honors Band has been invited to march in the Inaugural Parade in Washington DC on Jan 20. Congratulations!

B R E A K I N G . N E W S: from The Daily News


Sunday 14 Dec. - Monroe High School students in North Hills won $2,000 for eating more breakfast than any other school in LAUSD and are now the district's "Breakfast Champs."

The California Milk Processor Board and the Los Angeles Unified School District teamed up in October to encourage more students to start the day off with a healthy breakfast.

Under the guise of a contest, breakfast consumption at Monroe rose by 22 percent, or 7,750 more meals. Districtwide, there was a 5 percent increase in breakfast served at the 64 schools that participated in the contest, according to the California Milk Processing Board.

Along with $2,000 that will go toward student activities, Monroe students earned the title Breakfast Champs.

Bill Ring, a second Los Angeles school board hopeful was told this week that he had not gathered enough voter signatures to qualify for the March ballot.

Austin, former Deputy Mayor and Green Dot Employee, was favorite of Villaraigosa, Broad & Co.

• The impending departure of Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent David L. Brewer leaves only 13 Black superintendents in school districts across California, down from 23 in 2007.
• As L.A. school board moves to oust superintendent, African-Americans wonder how big a factor race will play in charting the district's future.
• Rush to Remove: Another Take on the Brewer Exit
• What happened to LAUSD Superintendent David Brewer wasn’t so much racist as it was a naked power play on the part of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who never liked Brewer from jump street.

Ramon C. Cortines, 76, the district's No. 2 official, who is Latino, is expected to take the post. At a news conference Thursday, a coalition of black leaders sought a role in picking the next chief.

Back when he was running for mayor of Los Angeles and calling education the No. 1 issue in the city, Antonio Villaraigosa's campaign put out a news release chiding his opponent for not being more involved with the schools.
The headline was:
"Jimmy Hahn, Please Report to the Principal's Office."
No one can dispute that Villaraigosa has been more involved in the schools, but somebody needs to call Tony V. into the principal's office too.

The school board at this hour is meeting in closed session, with the main order of business being how to terminate the employment of Supt. David L. Brewer, who is midway through a four-year contract.

The outgoing LAUSD superintendent showed signs of succumbing to pressures within a year of his taking the job.

For a week since school board members signaled they wanted him out of the job, David Brewer's defended his achievements as Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Yesterday at an L.A. Unified headquarters press conference, Brewer came closest to saying he wants out of the appointed position.

A statement released by LAUSD board President Monica Garcia indicated the panel will buy out the contract of Superintendent David L. Brewer III.
‘Although this debate is disconcerting and troubling, it must not become an ethnic issue,' says David Brewer.

After a week of controversy over his future, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent David Brewer III said today he wants the LAUSD board to buy out his contract.
Brewer will ask the board Tuesday to buy out the last two years of his deal, he said during a press conference this afternoon.
"To the people of Los Angeles, demand that political and adult agendas take a back seat to student agendas," he said, calling himself "an experienced warrior that had come to battle on behalf of the students of Los Angeles."


► FROM A STATE WITHOUT A BUDGET, A GOVERNMENT WITHOUT A CLUE: 4LAKids tardy/absent excuse notes on the state budget

Bad headlines to make you feel good: “OHIO ISN'T THE ONLY STATE WITH BIG BUDGET WOES”
On Friday, December 12, 2008 3:17 AM Jim Siegel writes in THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH : “Ohio's budget misery certainly is getting plenty of company.
“State officials across the nation are facing daunting budget shortfalls and painful cuts, particularly if the federal government does not provide help.
“States face shortfalls this year of at least $32 billion, and are staring at $65 billion in funding gaps for next year's budgets, according to a report from the National Conference of State Legislatures.”
●●What’s 2¢ worth of $65 billion?: Of that $65 billion, almost $44 billion is California's. – smf
OtherState’sWoes.pdf — State Budget Update: November 2008 from the National Conference of State Legislatures
from the NCSL report:
As early as fiscal year (FY) 2008, nearly half the states faced budget gaps. That number rose to two-thirds by the time states were crafting their FY 2009 budgets. But despite closing a cumulative gap of nearly $40 billion during budget development, the states were not done addressing FY 2009 budget problems.
Another sizable gap has opened and an even bigger one looms for FY 2010. The state budget situation is grim and getting worse with each new revenue revision.


Effective Immediately

CALIFORNIA BUDGET SHORTFALL SEEN NEARING $42 BILLION: California's general obligation debt rating is paired with Louisiana's at the bottom of Wall Street's state rankings.
o Standard & Poor's Ratings Services late on Wednesday expressed its concern about California's financial condition by lowering its rating on the state's recently issued $5 billion revenue anticipation notes.
o S&P also placed $46.6 billion of the state's general obligation debt on negative credit watch for a possible downgrade, reflecting concern over the weakening finances of the biggest issuer of U.S. public debt.

Extended bickering over the California budget led Standard & Poor's on Thursday to downgrade the state's recently sold $5 billion revenue bonds and put more than $50 billion of debt on watch for a downgrade.

KPCC's Shirley Jahad talked with the Sacramento Bee's Dan Walters about the governor's dark words.

The $41 billion/growing-at-$470-a-second deficit: SCHWARZENEGGER’S FULL COMMENTS (AND LAWMAKERS' RESPONSES)

The news that didn't fit from December 14th

EVENTS: The return of MARTINIS & MAGNETS (just in time for the CHOICES! application process) + THE BURNING MOMS GALA! coming up next week
WHAT: The first annual BURNING MOMS GALA! (Or Burning Momapalooza!) -- A coming-out party for LA public school parents!

WHERE: Largo at the Coronet
366 N. La Cienega Boulevard
L.A., CA 90048
For tix, phone 310-855-0350 or e-mail

WHEN: Sunday, December 14

6:30 p.m. Martinis and Magnets with the Magnet Yentas
For parents who want to learn about the LAUSD magnet system
$10 donation

7:30 p.m. Burning Moms Gala*
$28 (proceeds benefit MOMS Clubs of LA and the Burning Moms)

Featuring "The Burning Momologues" by Sandra Tsing Loh (Vagina Monologues for moms) starring Wendie Malick, John C. Reilly, and more

With special guests Carol Muske Dukes, California’s brand new Poet Laureate, with her new Ode to Burning Moms! Robbie Conal unveiling his
brand new Burning Mom poster design! Taste of Bob Niemack’s new documentary "Burning Mom"! Marga Gomez! Free groovy stuff from sponsor Fresh and Easy Markets, and first ever Dalai Mama Awards (the
Canfield moms, the Rally Moms, and Mother Jones sensation ("Dear Barack, please consider DC public schools") Stephanie Mencimer!

*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 leader in LAUSD. He is immediate past President of Los Angeles Tenth District PTSA and represents PTA as Vice-chair on the LAUSD Construction Bond Citizen's Oversight Committee. He is a Community Concerns Commissioner, Legislation Team member and a member of the Board of Managers of the California State PTA. He serves on various school district advisory and policy committees and has served a PTA officer and governance council member at three LAUSD schools.
• 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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