Sunday, August 09, 2009

Promises unkempt

4LAKids: Sun, Aug 9, 2009 Dropout rates down 17%!
In This Issue:
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?

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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.
NOTHING IS SADDER THAN THE SENSELESS DEATH OF A CHILD …with the exception of the deaths of more than one child.

Last week we saw the deaths of Lily Burk, 17, allegedly at the hand of a parolee out on a day pass from a drug rehabilitation center. And the death of Dae'von Bailey, 6, apparently at the hand of his mother's ex-boyfriend. Both were beaten to death.

Lily was blessed with the gifts of an upper middle class upbringing: Los Feliz, White and privileged. Dae'von was the opposite: Watts, Black and challenged - abused in every sense of the word. His abuse was officially reported - including by 'mandatory reporters'and calls to the County child-abuse hotline. Allegations were recorded and investigated - and determined to be 'unsubstantiated and unfounded'. He wasn't invisible: the Department of Children and Family Services knew who Dae'von was and who his abusers were.

The man who allegedly killed Lily is a repeat offender, assaulting folks at ATM's is his modus operandi. The cops actually had him in custody on a drug bust before they knew Lily was dead. As of this writing the suspect in Dae'mons murder is still at large.

Failure is a word I don't like to use; both of these cases are failures of society.

• Dae'von slipped through the cracks at social services. Changes, we are assured, are being made.
• Our penal system didn't keep Lily safe. California has the highest per-capita rate of incarceration in the world ….and the lowest rate of school funding in the nation.

In the past 4LAKids has asked readers of these pages to connect the dots; let's disconnect those dots!

IN CASE YOU WERE ASLEEP all last week (or out of the country or otherwise unavailable for comment) the dropout rates went way down, A good thing.

THERE IS AN INTERESTING PIECE [Summer School Turns High School Students into Apprentice Researchers] in the Highlights/Lowlights below about high school Students doing research for UCLA on "Critical Pedagogy". I suspect pedagogy is a word educators use to keep parents at a distance. It sounds like a great project, but the politics here are radical. CP is more than "a vein of education theory"; it's a sort of post-Marxist political successor to liberation theology applied to public education rather than organized religion. The battle for hearts-and-minds is to be waged between the Critical Pedagogues and The Forces of Globalization. Ché and ballads of revolutionary struggle and - guided by the beauty of our weapons - images of AK-47s.

OMEGA: Rhetorical overload! Poor Harry Patch died last week, 111 years old and 91 years from the bloody trenches of Belgium. He asked that problems be solved by compromise rather than conflict. Listen to him.

Not to go all fuddy-duddy but the main apostle of CP at UCLA is Peter McLaren. Revolutionary thought is correctly welcome in ivy-clad academe but perhaps needs a filter before being offered for credit at K-12 high schools. McLaren calls his brand "Revolutionary Critical Pedagogy" and at the great risk of judging a book by its cover or an author by his jacket photo - he looks like an older Errol Flynn (…or maybe Johnny Depp) playing a young comic book revolutionary in "Young Lenin - Superstar". (I'm working on the screenplay).


HERE'S ANOTHER WAY OF LOOKING AT ALL OF THIS; there's another way forward. We are engaged in a great war against ignorance. There aren't enough of us and we don't have enough money or tools or teachers to do what needs to be done. We are not fighting over money; we are fighting over no money.

Rather than dispute our differences let's agree on what we agree on and go onward from here. It's not collective bargaining or arbitration or even negotiating. It certainly isn't in your face. The name for it is "Relational Trust". Read more about it immediately following. And keep reading 4LAKids; I'll be writing on and on in the days and weeks and months and years to come.

Superintendent Cortines says he wants to be transparent. My friend Bill Ring claims to be The TransParent®.

Here are some proposed first stumbling steps toward transparency:

• In the lobby of the Beaudry Building, once you get past security and the phalanx of barriers, checkpoints, card readers and "Do not wait in line for elevators" signs (?) there is a large black glass display case - one that used to house the names and departments and floor numbers of all the employees and offices. Not any more.
• At at time there was a book: "Guide to Schools and Offices" available in every school office (and for sale to the oddly curious) that contained the names and addresses and phone numbers of every person and department in the District. Not any more - either cut to save money or put online to make it more accessible …depending on whose version of what story you're suspending disbelief for today.
• The online "Guide to Schools and Offices", never put names of people in the offices - so there are no names or voices or individuals to make those offices human. E-Mail addresses? Forgetabaoutit! (The Daily News can print everyone's salary - but gosh forbid we should know what they do for $118,000 per year plus benefits!)
• The "Guide to Schools and Offices" is currently "protected" behind the "Inside LAUSD" firewall. You can't get it. Luckily North Korean Intelligence can't either.
• For a truly interesting afternoon irritating bureaucrats and driving yourself crazy call the main LAUSD line at 213.241.1000 and ask a question that starts out "I don't know what office to call, but……"

Gentle reader, what's with any of that?

• The Houston and Miami School Districts put their check registers online. Every dollar spent accounted for.
• THE FIRST STEP should be a sign in front of Beaudry that says LAUSD DISTRICT HEADQUARTERS. City Hall has a City Hall Sign. The LA Times says The Times across the top - and that's after someone tried to blow them up in 1910!
• THE SECOND STEP would be to take down all those signs at schools that threaten you with arrest, fines and jail if you don't register with the Principal - and replace them with signs that that say: "Welcome Parents".
• MAYBE IT'S A TWELVE STEP PROGRAM …one step at a time.

My name is Scott Folsom and I'm a stakeholder in LAUSD.

¡Onward/Hasta adelante! - smf


►ON RELATIONAL TRUST IN SCHOOLS from the Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools.

"Trust is the connective tissue that holds improving schools together "
Trust in Schools: A Core Resource of Improvement, Anthony S. Bryk and Barbara Schneider, 2002

• Is built through day-to-day social exchanges in a school community.
• Supports a moral imperative to take on the difficult work of school improvement.
• Facilitates accountability for shared standards while also allowing people to experience autonomy and mutual support for individual efforts.
• Reduces the vulnerability that teachers feel when asked to take on tasks connected to reform.
• Facilitates the safety needed to experiment with new practices.

• Respect: the kind of social discourse that takes place across the school community, genuinely listening and valuing the opinions of others.
• Personal Regard: the willingness of members of a school community to extend themselves beyond the formal requirements of a job definition or a union contract.
• Competence in Core Role Responsibilities: recognizes the interdependence of our roles in attaining the desired outcome. When negligence or incompetence is allowed to persist in any one role in the school, it undermines trust.
• Personal Integrity: the belief or perception that a moral-ethical perspective guide's one's work.

• Centrality of Principal Leadership: Principals establish both respect and personal regard when they acknowledge the vulnerabilities of others, actively listen to their concerns, and avoid arbitrary actions.
• Authentic Parent Engagement: In most urban schools, communities remain highly dependent on the good intentions of teachers – parent vulnerabilities need to be recognized and teachers should be supported to create partnerships with parents and families to promote student learning and growth.
• Small School Size: Relational trust is more likely to flourish when there is expanded face-to-face time and limited bureaucratic relations across the organization. The work structures of small schools are less complex and its social networks are typically fewer in number – as a result relational trust is likely to be sustained more easily.
• Stable School Communities: The stability of a student body directly affects teacher-parent trust. Building and maintaining trust therefore depends on repeated social exchanges.
• Voluntary Association: Relational trust is also more likely to arise in schools where at least a modicum of choice exists for both staff and students.

"Relational trust does not directly affect student learning. Rather, trust fosters a set of organizational conditions, some structural and others social-psychological, that make it more conducive for individuals to initiate and sustain the kinds of activities necessary to affect productivity improvements."

DEVELOPING RELATIONAL TRUST IN SCHOOLS THROUGH A CONSENSUS PROCESS - Module by: National Council of Professors of Educational Administration

Posted on the SacBEE CapitolAlert by Kevin Yamamura

The Legislative Counsel concluded that the constitution only allows the governor to veto 'items of appropriation'. They said, based on precedent, that term does not apply to previously enacted appropriations.

August 5 - The Legislative Counsel Bureau issued a four-page opinion Wednesday asserting that the bulk of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's $489 million in budget line-item vetoes was illegal.

smf: "Bulk" is singular; "vetoes" is plural. The bulk was illegal, the vetoes were illegal.

Illegal is illegal . . .the grammar police notwithstanding.

The Republican governor last week cut various sectors of government to help balance the budget and build a $500 million reserve, focusing many of his line-item vetoes on social services such as state Office of AIDS programs and Healthy Families.

He said he was forced to do so because the Assembly at the last hour rejected $1.1 billion in solutions that would have taken local gas tax money and approved an offshore oil lease.

Democratic leaders immediately cried foul, saying the governor could not use his line-item veto authority in this situation. Their main contention was that the Legislature had passed a budget revision that cut appropriations rather than spent money as in normal budget acts. They feel the governor can only use line-item vetoes in cases where the state is spending more money, not less.

But Department of Finance Director Mike Genest insisted the governor was within his legal right to veto spending in the budget revision Schwarzenegger signed last Tuesday. His office said the state constitution allows the governor to adjust any appropriations bill.

Legislative Counsel Diane Boyer-Vine, whose office provides legal counsel to the Legislature, responded to a request from Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, on the legality of the governor's vetoes. Boyer-Vine, along with Deputy Legislative Counsel Michael P. Beaver, concluded that the constitution only allows the governor to veto "items of appropriation. They said, based on precedent, that term does not apply to previously enacted appropriations.

Bass last week charged that Schwarzenegger had taken "punitive measures against children and AIDS patients."

Assemblyman John A. Perez, D-Los Angeles, said Wednesday that lawmakers won't file suit against the vetoes, but he anticipates that "several groups" who would suffer from the cuts are preparing legal action. Perez said he anticipates that lawmakers would file amicus briefs rather than take action themselves.

Lawmakers may seek other solutions in the Capitol. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said yesterday in a statement that his first priority when lawmakers return later this month will be to restore the governor's cuts.

Genest said last week that Schwarzenegger is open to doing so if lawmakers can find new ways to replace the savings.



By Ralph E. Shaffer | Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Daily News

08/03/2009 - Nearly 40 years ago the Los Angeles Unified School District and its public schools stood at a tumultuous crossroad not unlike the current "reform" proposal that awaits unsuspecting students. Then, the issue was court-ordered busing. Today, the crisis will be self-imposed if the LAUSD board approves a resolution to surrender to outside operators fifty soon-to-be built schools.

Even those who believed that the busing for integration experiment would have a beneficial effect on the educational system were moved by one student's testimony. "I have only one eighth grade," he said, speaking in opposition to the forced busing experiment in social engineering.

Today, the Daily News, the mayor and possibly a majority on the school board are ready to make another attempt at social engineering. They admit this is an experiment but do not see that the plan is fraught with sink holes that will swallow up innocent students. This time the kids will lose more than just their eighth grade.

This proposal will destroy public education in Los Angeles. At stake are not only fifty new schools but all existing schools as well. The mayor has already called for all low-performing schools to be offered to private operators. The lust for power and profit will entice the privateers to gobble up every school in the district. For political advantage board members and other officeholders will acquiesce.

Who will run these schools? The proposal invites a variety of community organizations to apply. But it is obvious that its supporters not only expect but hope that charter operators would receive the lion's share of the fifty schools.

Which charter operator is so superior that it is the prototype for what these fifty schools should look like? Why, Green Dot, of course. The Daily News cites it as the prime example.

Green Dot's operation of Locke High is touted as the model of a modern public high school. What makes Green Dot Locke a model? It isn't the test scores because they aren't available yet. Apparently it's not the after-school programs either since the extracurricular activities there are no greater than they were as a traditional school.

Nor is Green Dot's success measured by anything occurring in the Locke classrooms, for no one has lauded that. No, all the model high school needs to do these days is to be safe and instill discipline, which Locke reportedly has done. Hang the test scores! If the kids learn to say "Yes, ma'am" and get home safely we've accomplished something.

Has Green Dot really tamed the Locke students? There is a mistaken assumption that the same kids who previously caused disruptions are still on campus. Since Green Dot didn't want them, they either dropped out or are causing problems at another traditional school.

Have charters proved that they are more capable at running schools than LAUSD teachers and administrators? A recent Stanford report on charter schools makes clear that charters perform no better than traditional public schools. While some students do better in a charter than they had done in traditional schools, twice as many do worse. Most charter kids perform at about the same level as before.

Last year's college readiness test given by the state university system revealed that a disproportionate number of charters are at the bottom of the list in this county.

Turning fifty schools over to private interests will Balkanize education. Each school will seek more than its share of tax dollars. Competition will not improve academic quality. It will only encourage each fiefdom to fight for a bigger cut of the pie, to cheat on test scores, or dismiss low-performing students just prior to giving standardized state tests.

Surrendering schools to charter operators is a cop-out by the LAUSD board. What is needed is for board members to do their job, encouraging innovation in traditional schools and offering both vocational education and a college prep track at all high schools. To require, as Green Dot does at Locke, all students to take college prep classes is madness.

LAUSD doesn't need charters. It needs a board that believes in public education.

* Ralph E. Shaffer is professor emeritus of history at Cal Poly Pomona.

By Ciaran McEvoy and Greg Katz, Daily Journal Staff Writers | picked up from Mayor Sam's Sister City

Thursday Aug 6, 2009 - LOS ANGELES - Federal authorities are investigating Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar and former Los Angeles Unified School Board member David Tokofsky in connection with payments they received from a nonprofit group founded by late labor leader Miguel Contreras, the Daily Journal has learned.

The heart of the probe involves what, if any, work the officials completed for the roughly $30,000 in fees they were each paid while they were both sitting school board members, three sources with direct knowledge of the investigation said. At the time, school board members were paid about $24,000 a year for their official duties.

Authorities are also investigating whether the money for payments from Voter Improvement Program Inc. originated from entities that had business before the school board that the two officials could influence, according to sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation.

It is legal for elected officials to earn outside income in addition to their public work. But it is illegal for them to receive personal income from outside sources related to the discharge of their official duties.

In an interview, Tokofsky said he was unaware that he was the subject of any federal investigation. He defended the money he received from the group, saying the work he did for VIP was legitimate. He declined to elaborate.

Huizar, who was contacted in person at his home, would not comment. He later issued a statement through a spokesman saying he "would be willing to cooperate with any inquiry."

It is unclear when or whether an indictment will come down. Some sources said criminal charges may be close, but others indicated prosecutors may ultimately decide not to file a case.

Witnesses have recently been called to testify before a grand jury. Thom Mrozek, spokesman with the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles, declined comment.

Several sources told the Daily Journal that documents were filed under seal in February and March asking a judge to remove Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig H. Missakian from prosecuting the case because of his political history as a Republican candidate for the California Assembly.

In 2000, union-backed Democrat Dario J. Frommer defeated Missakian in a hotly contested race for the 43rd Assembly District in the Glendale-Burbank area. Secretary of State campaign finance records show that the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor donated directly to Frommer's campaign -- and also made a donation to VIP for its efforts to get Frommer elected.

Frommer served in the Assembly from 2000 to 2006 and was its majority leader from 2004 to 2006.

U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder declined to disqualify the prosecutor from the case, several sources said.

LAUSD records show Huizar and Tokofsky both reported receiving payments from VIP for amounts between $10,000 and $100,000 in 2003 and 2004.

Tokofsky filed his 2003 report, which disclosed his personal income from VIP, a year late, in 2005. He paid a $100 fine for the late disclosure, which he documented in his report for 2004.

While Huizar and Tokofsky were not the only consultants hired by VIP, sources said the timing and payment amounts were similar enough to arouse suspicion. It was unclear what either did for the get-out-the-vote organization.

The payments to Huizar and Tokofsky stopped after Contreras died in 2005, the same year
Huizar was elected to the city council. Tokofsky left the school board in 2007 after deciding not to seek a fourth term.

Sources said the investigation into Huizar and Tokofsky spun off from a broader look at VIP that has been going on for years.

The organization was founded in 1997 to register and educate voters as well as campaign for ballot initiatives. Contreras, head of the powerful Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, was chairman of VIP's board of directors until he died in 2005.

VIP, which identified itself as a fundraising and political advocacy organization, attracted scrutiny several years ago for its political activism on behalf of union-backed causes and candidates. It solicited money from entertainment conglomerates, energy companies, unions and others, some of whom later said they thought the funds were strictly for voter education drives.

Unions are forbidden from taking employers' money in their fundraising. VIP, which was not a union but was founded and run by prominent union organizers, raised money from employers.

The group also appears to have done political work. Antonio Villaraigosa, for instance, hired VIP to provide phonebanking for his failed 2001 mayoral run, records show.

In 2005, then-state Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, came under fire for accepting $35,000 a year from VIP for consulting work. He subsequently cut his ties to the group.

VIP dissolved in 2006 and its remaining funds were transferred to Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, records show. Among VIP's board members was Madeline Janis, LAANE's executive director.

"It was a group that had a mission and a purpose," she said of VIP. "Hundreds of volunteers knocked on doors in south L.A. and East L.A. to get people to vote."

Janis declined to comment on the investigation.

Missakian was also involved in the prosecution of former Los Angeles City Councilmember Martin Ludlow, who resigned as head of the labor federation in light of embezzlement allegations in 2006. The case was prosecuted jointly by the U.S. attorney's office and Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

Authorities accused Ludlow of scheming with the head of Service Employees International Union Local 99 to pay workers for Ludlow's city council campaign out of union coffers. The pair were alleged to have falsified union records and fabricated documents.

Ludlow, who was the federation's political director under Contreras, pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate federal labor laws that prohibit embezzling from a labor organization.



August 11-18, 2009


The Forum
3900 W. Manchester Blvd.
Inglewood, CA 90305


How to Receive Treatment:
All of our services are free and are provided by volunteers. The doctor is free; the dentist is free; the eye doctor is free. Please arrive early, bring a snack, and be prepared to wait. Your wait may be long; chairs will be provided for your comfort.


DENTAL: Cleanings, fillings, extractions, and root canals. Everyone receives a free dental exam. Pediatric dentistry is available.

VISION: Vision exam and free prescription glasses made onsite. (NOTE: May not be able to make glasses for everyone.) Cataract surgery.

MEDICAL & WOMEN’S HEALTH: Mammograms and Pap smears; pediatric exams; adult physicals & medical consults (including diabetes and hypertension); chiropractors; acupuncture; blood lab work; chest X-rays; medication assistance; and many other medical specialties available.

Services are provided by Remote Area Medical for the uninsured, underinsured, unemployed, and those who cannot afford to pay. Services are provided by volunteer doctors, nurses, dentists, dental hygeinists, dental assistants, ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians, and other trained health professionals from the State of California.

(PDF format)

Please download the appropriate form, fill out, and FAX or MAIL to RAM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to avoid delays in credentialing for the RAM-LA expedition.

Medical, vision, and non-medical volunteers

Dental volunteers

Tips for all volunteers

Volunteer Info:

MEALS: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided for our volunteers at no cost, along with vegetarian selections and drinking water.

UPDATES: Follow us on Twitter: @RamLosAngeles for RAM-LA tweets.

LODGING: The Radisson Westside in Culver City is giving discounts to volunteers. Use the promo code "RAM" (or call 1-310-649-1776).
The hotel address is:
6161 W Centinela Ave
Culver City, CA 90230

Free parking and shuttle service to the clinic will be provided



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Agosto 11-18, 2009


The Forum (El Foro )
3900 W. Manchester Blvd..
Inglewood, CA 90305


Cómo Recibir Tratamiento:
Todos nuestros servicios son gratuitos y son proporcionados por voluntarios. El médico es libre, el dentista está libre, el oculista es gratuita. Por favor, llegar temprano, llevar una merienda, y estar dispuestos a esperar. Su espera puede ser larga; sillas se proporciona para su comodidad.


DENTALES: limpiezas, empastes, extracciones, y de canales radiculares. Todo el mundo recibe un examen dental gratuito. Odontopediatría está disponible.

VISIÓN: Visión de libre examen y lentes de hecho el sitio. Cataract surgery. (NOTA: Es posible que no pueda hacer vasos para todos.) Cirugía de catarata.

MÉDICO Y SALUD DE LA MUJER: La mamografía y la prueba de Papanicolaou; exámenes pediátricos, físicos y médicos de adultos consulta (como la diabetes y la hipertensión); quiroprácticos, acupuntura, trabajo de laboratorio de sangre, radiografías de pecho, la medicación ayuda, y muchas otras especialidades médicas disponibles.

Los servicios son provistos por zonas remotas de las personas sin seguro médico, insuficiente, los desempleados y los que no pueden pagar. Los servicios son proporcionados por médicos voluntarios, enfermeras, dentistas, hygeinists dentales, asistentes dentales, oftalmólogos, optometristas, ópticos y otros profesionales de salud capacitados por parte del Estado de California.

For further information | Para más información

HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest of the Stories from Other Sources

Tuesday, August 04, 2009 7:15 AM
The decline is one of the largest in the state. Officials credit teams that identify and help at-risk students and the conversion of larger high schools into clusters of smaller academies. By Howard Blume and Jason Song from the LA Times August 4, 2009 -- The dropout rate in the Los Angeles Unified School District declined almost 17% -- welcome news in a school system beleaguered by budget

Friday, August 07, 2009 3:02 PM
Student Demarco Gordon: "The superintendent of LAUSD, he was saying that, said that either he had to get rid of teachers or go bankrupt, and stuff like that. I found that interesting, how the school options only have two options of going bankrupt or losing teachers, and that’s it. I found that we need more options than that. " Reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez on KPCC [ Download Audio File ]

Sunday, August 09, 2009 12:28 PM
By Louis Pugliese | Op-Ed in the Daily News Aug 9, 2009 -- Throughout the ruckus last month surrounding LAUSD board member Yolie Flores Aguilar's resolution to solicit competitive proposals for the operation of new schools, it was clear that already existing players in the new schools adventure all think they know best about schools and teaching, and learning. Well, as a teacher, let me tell

Lopez & Duffy Do Lunch: TEACHERS UNION NEEDS TO BE A LEADER - It's time to start thinking about what's best for students …plus an invitation
Sunday, August 09, 2009 11:31 AM
Steve Lopez | LA Times Columnist August 9, 2009 -- A.J. Duffy walked into the restaurant like a man on his way to a fight, with quick footwork and fierce eyes. We'd been sparring from a distance, and now here we were, face to face at a downtown eatery. I was a little nervous until I saw his feet. Who wears two-tone saddle shoes? Footwear isn't the only thing that puts Duffy in another era.

REVIVING THE ART OF PUTTING PENCIL TO PAPER: At a time when many summer enrichment camps are focusing on more high-tech skills, handwriting classes are catching on.
Sunday, August 09, 2009 10:21 AM
By Carla Rivera from the Los Angeles Times August 9, 2009 -- For the past two weeks, Grace and Tess Heagy have bounded out of bed each morning anxious for camp, where they sing, paint, dance and practice their penmanship. Penmanship? At Handwriting Heroes Summer Camp, Captain Pencil is the resident superhero and mastery of r's, m's, n's, p's, and other letters earns high praise. At a time

Sunday, August 09, 2009 10:08 AM
DAILY BREEEZE EDITORIAL 08/09/2009 -- Here are two things that virtually everyone involved in education in Los Angeles agrees upon: First, that the current educational system is failing. Second, that reform is crucial. Unfortunately, that's where the agreement ends. When it comes to how to reverse Los Angeles Unified School District's years-long decline in school enrollment, graduation rates

Saturday, August 08, 2009 9:21 PM
CDE PRESS RELEASE ●●smf’s 2¢: Guideline bullet #4 is: Maintain routine cleaning. That’s not the plan in LAUSD as custodial staff has been eliminated. Routine every day classroom cleaning has been cut to once a week. Release: #09-116 August 7, 2009 Contact: Tina Jung E-mail: Phone: 916-319-0818 State Schools Chief Jack O'Connell Urges Schools to Review

DAE'VON BAILEY: A SMALL VOICE THAT GOT LOST. How do we parcel out the blame among the man accused of killing Dae'von, the system that seemed to ignore his needs, and the mother who failed at mothering?
Friday, August 07, 2009 9:54 PM
Sandy Banks: LA Times columnist Tylette Davis gets a hug next to the casket of her son Dae’von, allegedly killed by her ex-boyfriend. Photo: Christine Cotter/Los Angeles Times August 8, 2009 - I wrote about the death of Lily Burk last week because I couldn't stop thinking about the Los Feliz teenager who was doing an errand for her mother when she was abducted, killed and left in her

Friday, August 07, 2009 2:24 PM
By Lesli A. Maxwell | Education Week Published Online: August 7, 2009 | Published in Print: August 12, 2009 August 7, 2009 -- After nearly two months of political wrangling, state senators in New York gave final approval last week to a measure that will keep Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in charge of New York City’s 1.1 million-student school system. Mr. Bloomberg, whose seven-year authority over

Friday, August 07, 2009 9:00 AM
Labor nonprofit's consulting fees to officials investigated: Payments of $30,000 each to former L.A. Unified Board of Education members David Tokofsky and Jose Huizar, now an L.A. city councilman, are the focus of the federal probe. By Howard Blume, Scott Glover and David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers August 6, 2009 - Federal investigators are examining whether a

(Selections from) The Soulvine: SAY WHAT?
Thursday, August 06, 2009 9:58 PM
The Soulvine is a column by Betty Pleasant. Contributing Editor of the Los Angeles Wave. NAACP STEPS IN — Los Angeles NAACP President Leon Jenkins wrote an open letter last week to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa decrying the Spanish-language-only summer instruction that was implemented at John Ritter Elementary School in Watts. The school is one of the 10* LAUSD public schools taken over by the

AP: SELECTED RECENT CALIFORNIA NEWSPAPER EDITORIALS - "Keep CAHSEE exemption in place" + "A time for bold leadership" + "Governor plants seed of future tax increases"
Wednesday, August 05, 2009 7:10 PM
August 5, 2009 | By The Associated Press Aug. 1: Bakersfield Californian: "Keep CAHSEE exemption in place" July's state budget cuts will result in plenty of pain for California public education — with one little-noted exception. The California High School Exit Exam, a reality for the past few years on campuses statewide, will no longer be required of certain disabled students, including

Wednesday, August 05, 2009 6:54 PM
LA Times Now Blog from Jason Song 11:51 AM | August 5, 2009 -- A veteran Los Angeles Unified fifth-grade teacher is being held today on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old student. Forrest Stobbe, 39, taught at Queen Anne Elementary School in the Mid-Wilshire area for 13 years, according to a district spokeswoman. He was arrested Tuesday at his home in North Hollywood, according

Wednesday, August 05, 2009 6:44 PM
editorial| La Opinión 2009-08-05 -- The poor academic performance results in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) require creativity to capitalize on the resources available, for the benefit of the students. On August 25, the School Board will have an opportunity to approve one of these innovations. On that day, the Board will vote on a proposal by Vice President Yolie Flores

DO SCHWARZENEGGER'S CUTS CROSS THE LINE? With his budget vetoes, the governor may have overstepped his constitutional authority.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009 8:01 AM
●●smf's 2¢: The Times (below) lays out the legal brief with brevity. However…. (There always is a however.) Against the backdrop the national debate over the Sotomayor appointment and bogeyman 'activist judges '- judges and the courts are more and more involved in government and governance as the Executive and the Legislative branches of government 'let the courts sort it out." The

THE HIGH COST OF PARENTING ….having kids has never been a wise economic decision!
Wednesday, August 05, 2009 7:58 AM
from The LA Times National Briefings column It's no secret that raising children can be expensive, but how about nearly a quarter of a million dollars? A new government report says a middle-income family with a child born last year will spend about $221,000 raising that child through age 17. The report by the Agriculture Department's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion identified housing

MY SUMMER IS NO VACATION: By missing out on sleeping in and spending time with her friends, going to year-round school has been a real drag to Lia, 17.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009 12:39 AM
July-August 2009 Issue By Lia Dun, Senior writer, 17, Marshall HS in LA Youth I miss my summer vacations. By the time my A-track friends (and traditional calendar friends from other schools) wake up at noon, I have already sat through chemistry, English, U.S. history and a service period, and been assigned at least three hours of homework. In class, I think about my friends having fun

ASSEMBLY EDUCATION HEARING IN LA - "Cutting California's Future Short: California's Vision for Education and the Realities of State Budget Cuts" @ Berendo Middle School Wed., August 5, at 11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 10:45 PM
Dear Friend: I wanted to send you additional information about the hearings I will be helping to host in San Francisco and Los Angeles this week to examine the impact of recent state budget cuts on our kids, our schools, and California's future. The hearings, Cutting California's Future Short: California's Vision for Education and the Realities of State Budget Cuts, will bring together local

CORTINES' + MEHULA'S LETTERS RE: LAUSD'S BUILDING PROGRAM: "The District is on track to deliver the schools and modernizations promised to the community".
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 9:14 PM
Yesterday Superintendent Cortines wrote to the community: This morning Chief Facilities Executive Guy Mehula wrote to the facilities team: Dear team, I recently had the opportunity to speak with the Division leadership about the current state of the Program and the upcoming changes in Facilities and I wanted to personally share the information, as well as some new information on

Tuesday, August 04, 2009 7:09 AM
In an effort to qualify for federal 'Race to the Top' funds, the Senate's education committee plans to look at a 2006 law that bars use of test scores to evaluate teacher performance. By Jason Song - LA Times August 4, 2009 -- The state Senate will hold hearings later this month to determine if legislators need to change a California law governing the use of student test scores in order to

The news that didn't fit from August 9th

EVENTS: Coming up next week...
*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 • 213-241-6386 • 213-241-6180 • 213-241-6382 • 213-241-6388 • 213-241-6385 • 213-241-6387
...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.
• If you are eligible to become a citizen, BECOME ONE.
• If you a a citizen, REGISTER TO VOTE.
• If you are registered, VOTE LIKE THE FUTURE DEPENDS ON IT.

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

Scott Folsom is a parent leader in LAUSD. He is Past President of Los Angeles Tenth District PTSA and represents PTA on the LAUSD Construction Bond Citizen's Oversight Committee and the BOC on the Board of Education Facilities Committee. He is the president of his neighborhood council. He is a Health Commissioner, Legislation Team member and a member of the Board of Managers of the California State PTA. He serves on numerous school district advisory and policy committees and has served a PTA officer and governance council member at three LAUSD schools. He is the recipient of the UTLA/AFT 2009 "WHO" Gold Award for his support of education and public schools - an honor he hopes to someday deserve. • 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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