Monday, December 13, 2010

Creating the swamp.

4LAKids: Sunday 12•Dec•2010
In This Issue:
PULLING THE PARENT TRIGGER: Parents want reform at Compton's McKinley Elementary. That's fine, but the process has flaws.
AN A IN OVERCOMING THE ODDS: California schools are not as good as they should be, but they are significantly better than their reputation.
ENRAGEMENT TO ENGAGEMENT: Towards Sustained Parent Power
HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest of the Stories from Other Sources
EVENTS: Coming up next week...
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"When there is evidence of bad public policy, you can safely assume that it took two parties working collaboratively to create the swamp."

As a lover+practitioner of hyperbole+metaphor that's a lead line that's gonna suck me in - especially if the article's about education. This time it's about public education in NYC, that faraway land of myth and Giants (football but no longer baseball ones) populated with characters like Mayor Bloomberg and Joel Klein ...and their impromptu apprentice Cathie Black.

The article "Cathie Black’s Tenure Trap" | is by a NY City Schools teacher, Marc Epstein. As Epstein is a high school history teacher I'm trusting that his history is well-researched and correct - but that really doesn’t matter. There is irony and pathos and conflict and angst; the storytelling is excellent and it has a beat you can dance to. And it contains - along with a description of the absurdity that is the NYC Schools - the best definition+puncturing-of the popular misconception of what "Teacher Tenure" is:

"Tenure for public school teachers is not a lifetime sinecure. In most respects it is no different from civil service protections for police, fire, and sanitation workers. You have to have due process in order to fire an employee."

Quoth the mad poet to his bust of Pallas: "Only this, and nothing more."

BUT NEW YORK HAS NO EXCLUSIVE CLAIM TO SMALL CHARACTERS WRIT LARGE - surpassed only by their egos - and possessed with all the answers gained without a credential to whatever ails public education.. We in L.A. have our own ...and this week saw the recharging/re-emergence/reset of The Energizer Bunny and the grand reappearance of his alter ego: The Education Mayor!

Mayor Tony was seemingly everywhere this week. see: - even The Times wonders what he's up to!

He made a self-described major policy address to the Public Policy Institute of California in Sacramento about education reform. Seeing as he was in Sacramento, the subject was the Los Angeles teachers union - which Tony is no longer a fan of. Apparently UTLA is "the one, unwavering roadblock to reform ...they have consistently been the most powerful defenders of the status quo. At every step of the way, when Los Angeles was coming together to effect real change in our public schools, UTLA was there to fight against the change and slow the pace of reform."

'Reform' being the direction the mayor wants to go; the 'status quo' being anything/anywhere else.

This is rather sad in a way - at one time Tony was an organizer for UTLA; when he attempted to unconstitutionally take over LAUSD the the current UTLA leadership supported him. Now the romance is over. Like I said: sad.

In a Huffington Post article [] Tony waxed poetic: "In the 60s, when I was in school, the California public school system was the gold standard--a national model that complemented our State's image as a land of opportunity." That overworked theme of the mythical golden age is pure balderdash. Read George Skelton's column AN A IN OVERCOMING THE ODDS below.

Tony was also there in Compton this week - speaking out for the Parent Revolutionaries and tearing down the Compton school district. Gentle readers - there is nothing so important+meaningful to local government and school district officials - and the citizens of any of the smaller cities around L.A.- than the musings of the mayor of Los Angeles on how they are running their cities and schools. They truly appreciate it that our mayor - and one of our assistant city attorneys (Parent Revolutionary-in-chief Ben Austin) are badmouthing and attempting to dismember their school system - the mayor in his spare time, Austin as part of one of his other part-time jobs. Every day I dodge the pothole-the-size-of-a-Buick at San Fernando Road and Avenue 26 I'm reminded that Mayor Tony has other things to fill his time besides running the City of LA. Every gang crime I hear of, every municipal injustice unresolved I wonder if that wasn't a case where Ben Austin might have made a difference - if he wasn't otherwise employed.

There are no magic bullets in public education, no quick fixes - no short cuts to excellence. There is no substitute for the hard work that needs to be done over time. But the 'reformers' pulled the 'parent trigger' anyway in Compton; they played the parent card in a piece of theater so elaborately choreographed it would impress Guy Laliberté, the Cirque du Soleil impresario.

Imagine: Compton parents, all by themselves, not only identified their troubled school - but interviewed and selected the right charter operator to turn it around - and obtained the requisite number of signatures on the petition they wrote. They all but wrote the charter. This wasn't parent driven, it was chauffeured by five paid community organizers employed by Parent Revolution - an unholy-owned subsidiary of Green Dot Public Schools. It's a hostile corporate takeover right out of the corporate arbitrageur playbook - Kohlberg Kravis Roberts couldn't have done it better! And when the dust settled and the masks were off they trotted out the big guns to celebrate their victory ...or at least the scary noise they made. Tony. Ben. Arnold. Gloria Romero. Michelle Rhee. Mission accomplished.

Supermen+women? No, just the cast that proves the opening quote.
And the kids? ...still waiting.

¡Onward/Adelante! - smf

PS: Imagine my horrified delight at this headline on the education homepage at the Huffington Post: SHOCKING: L.A. SUPERINTENDENT ACCUSED OF MISSPENDING $5 MILLION | OMG! (Un)fortunately the story refers to the former Beverly Hills superintendent and alleged shenanigans in the BHUSD Facilities Division. Somehow I really don't think that Arianna & Co.suffer from mistaking 90210 for LA ...unless that's Mayor Tony's voice in their GPS.

PULLING THE PARENT TRIGGER: Parents want reform at Compton's McKinley Elementary. That's fine, but the process has flaws.
LA Times Editorial |

December 12, 2010 - If anyone has reason to overthrow the public school establishment, it's parents in the Compton Unified School District. Five of the district's 35 schools are listed among the worst 5% statewide. In July, an auditor reported that the schools were run to benefit adults more than students and that the district appeared incapable of fixing the problem. And the school board recently fired its superintendent for charging thousands of dollars of personal expenses to her district credit card.

So it's no great surprise that Compton Unified became the first school district targeted for the so-called parent trigger, which allows parents to force radical change at a particular school if 51% of them sign a petition. Among their options are replacing the school's management or most of its staff, or turning it into a charter school. Parents organized by the group Parent Revolution, the leading force behind the parent trigger movement, delivered their petition to district headquarters last week, demanding that McKinley Elementary School become part of the Celerity Education Group charter organization.

Of the various ingredients that went into California's sloppily assembled school reform bill last year, the parent trigger was the most intriguing and potentially the most transformative. When schools stubbornly resist looking for new ways to help students, when the board of education won't listen and when business-as-usual means students can pretty much count on not going to college, what are parents supposed to do, short of coming up with $28,000 a year for private school?

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The simple logic of the trigger, and its quick and direct empowerment of parents, rightly drew nationwide interest and praise from the Obama administration (which nonetheless rejected California's application for a federal Race to the Top grant, which the legislation was intended to secure). Yet there were reasons for concern. As the law is written, parents can pull the trigger on schools that are by no means those most in need of turnaround. What's more, there is little evidence that reconstituting schools or converting them into charters will appreciably improve their performance. Too little is known about how the reform will be carried out. So we're glad that the law limits the number of schools that can launch a petition drive to 75 for now. That gives reformers a chance to show what the trigger can accomplish while limiting unforeseen consequences.

As it turned out, the first pull of the parent trigger provided cause for both appreciation and disquiet. McKinley Elementary is a very low-performing school, in the bottom 10th of schools statewide and even among schools with similar demographics. Parents complain that the staff doesn't communicate with them and that students who get good grades at McKinley go on to get Ds in middle school. Celerity is a well-regarded charter operator that might make significant improvements. We're also glad to see Celerity agree, as charter schools must under the parent trigger, to enroll all students within the same attendance boundaries as the public school it would replace. Under the traditional lottery system charter schools must use to enroll students, they generally end up with fewer special-education students and children with behavior problems than similar public schools, a situation that gives them a greater chance of shining on the California Standards Tests.

Yet McKinley's teachers have clearly been working hard to improve scores. With the exception of one year, the school has brought its test scores up and met state growth targets each year since 2004, more than 100 points in six years. There's an inherent disconnect in a state law that punishes teachers — who would have to reapply for their jobs if Celerity were to take over — when they have met the state's improvement criteria.

The McKinley experience also makes it clear that the parent trigger law was written with inadequate safeguards for public transparency. Apparently, neither the school district nor the teachers realized that a petition was making the rounds. Some parents have complained that they were not shown the petition or that they signed it without a clear explanation of its purpose. There was no opportunity for public discussion or for other charter operators to show interest in the school. Parents learned about Celerity because Parent Revolution staff shuttled them to visit existing Celerity schools and no others.

We sympathize with the explanation of Ben Austin, chief executive of Parent Revolution, that mounting a successful petition drive would have been difficult if the district knew in advance. Teachers, who are the most adamant opponents of the transformation of McKinley, have daylong access to students, making it easy for them to fight any attempt at change.

During the first round of Los Angeles Unified's Public School Choice initiative, which allows outside operators to apply to run low-performing schools, teacher groups engaged in appalling tactics, falsely warning that undocumented parents would be deported if they chose a charter, or that they would be charged tuition. Some charter operators disseminated inaccurate information about the schools as well. But instead of shutting off public debate, the L.A. school board set down new rules intended to tamp down unethical behavior during the second round of Public School Choice. That's what is needed for the parent trigger.

Public schools are just that — public. They shouldn't be handed over to new operators through secret agreements and petitions and campaigns that offer only partial information. All parents should have the opportunity to learn about and weigh in on any petitions, and schools should be required to notify all parents about any relevant meetings. As the movement grows, the parent trigger should not be a way for individual charter operators to take over schools by funding petition drives. And although parents should be consulted, the school district or state Board of Education should choose the reform or charter operator that would work best at each trigger school. At the same time, school staff who try to intimidate parents into rejecting the petitions should be disciplined, and reformers should be provided with a way to contact all parents at a school, something they are not allowed now.

Distaste for the messiness of democracy is an unacceptable excuse for secret proceedings. When it meets this week to consider additional regulations for the parent trigger, the state board — of which Austin is a member, though he recuses himself on this issue — should tighten the rules to ensure open proceedings. The parent trigger is a promising initiative based on the idea that parents are smart enough to have a hand in determining the future of their children's schools. If that is the case, they should be treated as though they're smart enough to engage in an open debate and make an informed decision.

For a little more depth+detail Read Patrick Range McDonald's account of the Compton School Takeover in the LA Weekly.

AN A IN OVERCOMING THE ODDS: California schools are not as good as they should be, but they are significantly better than their reputation.
By George Skelton Capitol Journal |

December 6, 2010 - From Sacramento - Truth is, California's public schools never were all that great. And today, they're not nearly as crummy as critics claim.

In fact, they're pretty good, especially given all the problems of funding and diversity. They've always been pretty good — not exactly A-1, but not failures either.

With 1,000 districts, 9,900 schools and 6 million students — the largest K-12 system in the country — there is inescapably a scattering of winners and losers.

"We're not where we ought to be," acknowledges veteran education consultant John Mockler, a Capitol legend who wrote the complex school finance law, Proposition 98.

"But the 'California schools suck' industry is just full of it," he adds. "When these guys start talking about how California's schools used to be great and today they're going to hell in a hand basket, they're just wrong. Our students are making incredibly consistent academic progress."

Outgoing state Supt. of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell says, "Student test scores have been up for eight years in a row. The achievement gap is narrowing. And that's what I'm proudest of."

The "achievement gap" is the difference between the higher test scores of whites and Asians versus the lower results of blacks and Latinos.

Mockler, a compulsive numbers-cruncher, says that the increase in black and Latino students taking algebra in the eighth grade and scoring "proficient" or "advanced" — the highest ratings — "is one of the most dramatic, positive academic changes in the history of education in this state and the nation."

I wince every time I hear some revisionist carry on about how California public schools used to be the envy of the universe and now they're not capable of teaching dogs to bark. I suspect that most of these people —the latest and loudest being Meg Whitman — never attended California schools.

I did, back in the so-called golden era after World War II. And I remember that whenever a new kid arrived from out of state, the newcomer always seemed to be way ahead of us, especially in reading.

My public schooling was in rural Ojai. It was basically cozy and comfortable. Some bright kids were teachers' pets and excelled. Some who needed encouragement and help got neither. Some of us were lucky enough to be inspired by just the right teacher or two.

The schools were good, not great. Can't believe they were the best in America.

Higher ed? That's a different story. Our excellent colleges and universities were proudly affordable and open to anyone with motivation and grades. They were a Californian's birthright. Today, they're shamefully pricey with limited space.

"We have more high school students eligible for college than ever," O'Connell says. "The bad news is we have fewer seats in college."

But this column is about California's improving elementary and high schools.

"Look at the data," Mockler urges.

For starters, one must realize that a fourth of K-12 students are English learners who go home and speak another language. "That makes it more difficult to learn," Mockler says.

Mockler has computed data comparing old test scores with the most recent. For example:

-- Seven years ago, 35% of all California students scored proficient or advanced in reading. This year, 52% did, a gain of 49%. For whites, the number rose from 53% to 69%. For Latinos, the figures doubled from 20% to 40%. For blacks, 22% to 39%.

-- During the same period, the number of math students scoring in the top two ranks rose from 35% to 48%, a 37% improvement. Whites improved from 47% to 59%; Latinos from 23% to 39% (up 70%) and blacks from 19% to 32% (68%).

-- There was a 176% increase in the number of Latinos taking eighth-grade algebra, and the percentage of these students testing in the top two ranks rose from 20 to 37. Among black eighth-graders, there was an 85% increase in algebra students, with the percentage achieving the highest rankings, rocketing from 17 to 41.

-- High school students are taking 60% more college-prep math and science courses than seven years ago, and the number testing proficient or advanced has doubled.

Credit a decade of reforms, mainly started by Govs. Pete Wilson and Gray Davis: class-size reductions, tougher curriculum, higher standards and lots of testing.

Much of that is in jeopardy, however, because of program cutbacks as Sacramento attempts to fill a seemingly bottomless budget hole. Class-size reduction is practically history.

"It pains me to see larger class sizes," O'Connell says, noting that as a legislator he wrote the class-size law and Wilson found the money for it.

"We've seen a major disinvestment in public education the last few years. Schools are operating with $21 billion less than anticipated three years ago."

Here are some other Mockler data:

-- California was spending $825 less per student than the national average two years ago. And it's undoubtedly gotten worse, he says.

-- Forty years ago, California allotted 5.6% of its personal income to K-12 schools. As of 2008, that had fallen to 3.7%.

--The average American school has 34% more teachers, 40% more administrators and 75% more counselors per student than California does.

"If California education was a baseball team, we'd be playing the other states with six players and they'd have nine," Mockler says.

Still, California's public schools have been performing far better than anyone would think from listening to the catcalls of a cranky crowd.

ENRAGEMENT TO ENGAGEMENT: Towards Sustained Parent Power
Themes in the News for the week of Dec. 6-10, 2010 By UCLA IDEA |

12-10-2010 - This week, hundreds of parents whose children attend McKinley Elementary School in Compton petitioned the Compton Unified School District to convert their neighborhood school into a charter. This petition represents the first use of California’s new “Parent Trigger” law through which a majority of parents can force a district to dramatically change a “persistently” low-achieving school—by converting it to a charter, firing its principal, replacing its staff, or closing the school outright. (Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times 2, New York Times, LA Weekly, KPCC)

The Compton action was supported by the nonprofit Parent Revolution, an organization originally created by the Charter Management Organization, Green Dot Public Schools. Over the last several months, staff from the Parent Revolution have supported the campaign for change at McKinley Elementary (LA Weekly). Together, Parent Revolution staff and McKinley parent leaders gathered signatures from more than 60 percent of the school’s nearly 500 parents. Critics have said that some parents signed the petition without full knowledge of the consequences or the ability to weigh all available options (Los Angeles Times).

The Compton parents and the “Parent Trigger” law have served a valuable purpose in focusing public attention on the meaning of “empowered parents” within education reform. But many questions remain. For example, will these parental actions accomplish something more than a singular and maybe temporary change in the structure of their local school? Will all of McKinley’s students—including English Language learners and special education students—be fully welcomed in the new charter school? Will the hundreds of parents who signed the petition be provided with an ongoing role in shaping the work of the new school? Will they be able to galvanize their community into securing the additional public resources that are needed to realize quality education in their neighborhood schools?

Over the past decades, we’ve heard much about parents’ and the public’s voice. Reformers have spoken of participation, involvement, and choice to evoke the power of democratic action to achieve just, equitable, and excellent schools. And yet, in spite of countless community and parent efforts to reform some of the country’s lowest performing schools, these schools remain, on average, stuck at the bottom and concentrated in the poorest neighborhoods.

Public Engagement book coverA recently released book co-edited by IDEA Director John Rogers and Brown University Political Science Professor Marion Orr addresses this dilemma. In “Public Engagement for Public Education: Joining Forces to Revitalize Democracy and Equalize Schools,” chapter authors identify public engagement as a necessary condition for accomplishing meaningful and sustainable school change:

Public engagement cannot be reduced to individual acts such as voting, speaking with a teacher, or choosing a school. Public engagement emerges as parents, community members, and others identify common educational problems and work together to address them. Public engagement both builds on and seeks to foster interdependence. (Preface xiii)

Without these ties of interdependence, local reforms such as Compton’s may be isolated and may not outlive the enthusiasm and relationships of those who currently drive the reform. The book provides examples that argue for three practices of effective engagement: “First, community members join together in response to shared problems. Second, they investigate these problems and learn about possible responses. Third, they act in concert with others to address the problems and build more inclusive, participatory, and powerful publics.”

A “powerful public” builds civic capacity, bringing new resources to schools, students, and the community as a whole. Public engagement includes but is broader than simply mobilizing parents to protest or “trigger” a change. Public engagement describes a democratic and interdependent environment in which activists’ daily and yearly victories grow, influence, and merge with community-wide goals and interests. That is the test for parent mobilization in Compton and communities across California.

For more information on “Public Engagement for Public Education: Joining Forces to Revitalize Democracy and Equalize Schools,” visit Stanford University Press website.

Parents can seek transfers from under-performing schools


December 9, 2010 - Parents of Los Angeles Unified School District students interested in transferring their children out of under-performing schools have until Dec. 17 to complete the Choices application with the district.

Each year, more than 422,000 LAUSD students are eligible to transfer out of their low-performing schools through a mostly unknown federal program called the No Child Left Behind Public School Choice.

The program is available to families with students who attend local schools that have not met federally mandated targets for two consecutive years, and are designated program improvement schools or at-risk for program improvement status. The schools generally have low student scores on state standardized tests and are not improving at expected rates.

Under the program, families can transfer their children to schools that meet federal academic targets with free transportation provided by the district.

Despite the window of opportunity offered each fall through the LAUSD’s Choices program, few students participate. In fact, less than one percent of eligible LAUSD students applied for the program during the 2009-10 school year.

“Parents with children in program improvement schools need to know that they have options,” said Oscar Cruz, vice president of Families In Schools, a nonprofit organization that works to involve parents and communities in children’s education. “LAUSD and [Families in Schools] are working together to ensure that parents understand that they have options, which can have an enormous impact on their children’s future.”

According to the school district, parents are often unaware they have the choice to move their child to a school that meets academic standards.

“Knowledge is power for parents too,” said Monica Garcia, LAUSD school board president. “All parents have the right and responsibility to know what options are available for their child. We must work together to reach every family.”

The Choices brochure was mailed to the homes of LAUSD students around the second week of November. Those who didn’t receive the brochure can request a blank application at their child’s school, the local district office, or at any Los Angeles City Public Library.

“It is important for parents to identify the best learning environment for each of their children, each school year,” Cruz said. “Applying for [this program] is one way to ensure you have school options.”

Parents interested in learning more about the No Child Left Behind – Public School Choice program can visit the LAUSD website at

They can also call a toll free information line at (866) 747-2275.



Eastern Group Publications - Eastside Sun / Northeast Sun / Mexican American Sun / Bell Gardens Sun / City Terrace Comet / Commerce Comet / Montebello Comet / Monterey Park Comet / ELA Brooklyn Belvedere Comet / Wyvernwood Chronicle / Vernon Sun |

December 9, 2010 -- Dec. 17 is the last day for students interested in transferring to another school for the 2011-2012 year through Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) Magnets and Permits With Transportation (PWT) programs to apply.

PWT programs are the LAUSD’s two main options for students seeking integrated educational experiences, and grew out of a 1975 California Supreme Court order that required the LAUSD to take steps to “alleviate the harms of racial isolation.”

Students can apply to transfer to one of the District’s 169 Magnet schools, which offer specialties ranging from math/science/technology and architecture/digital arts to the performing arts, humanities, medical/biological or environmental sciences, music, law/police studies and more. Others include programs for gifted/high ability and highly gifted students.

Permits With Transportation (PWT), which provides school bus transportation, offers another opportunity for voluntary integration. Students applying from a specific “sending” school area in the LAUSD may be assigned by the District for integration purposes to a specific “receiving” school with available classroom space. School assignments are determined using the criteria of classroom space, integration requirements and transportation patterns.

Under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, all school districts are required to provide Public School Choice (PSC) as another educational option available for parents of students attending Program Improvement (PI) schools. NCLB-PSC offers students enrolled in a school identified as “At-Risk for Program Improvement” (PI), or a PI school listed in the CHOICES brochure, an opportunity to attend a non-PI school. District-paid transportation is provided for students participating in the NCLB-PSC program.

Full information about the District’s court-ordered voluntary integration programs Magnet and PWT, and the federally mandated NCLB-PSC Program, can be found in the CHOICES 2011-2012 brochure, which all parents or guardians of students enrolled in kindergarten through the 11th grade at an LAUSD school, should have already received in the mail. It contains printed information specific to the student, and is also available in Spanish and several other languages.

The application is located on page 17 of the booklet. Blank applications and booklets are also available at local schools, libraries and District offices for parents who did not received the booklet or who may reside in the LAUSD but do not currently have a child enrolled in an LAUSD school.

Applications must be delivered or postmarked by Dec. 17. For more information, contact your local school or go online to


By Gloria Angelina Castillo, EGP Staff Writer - Eastside Sun / Northeast Sun / Mexican American Sun / Bell Gardens Sun / City Terrace Comet / Commerce Comet / Montebello Comet / Monterey Park Comet / ELA Brooklyn Belvedere Comet / Wyvernwood Chronicle / Vernon Sun
Less Choice In This Round of LAUSD Reform


9 Dec 2010 - Only 48 groups district-wide met the Dec. 1 deadline to apply for a chance to run one of the 10 new campuses or three “focus” schools singled out for takeover as part of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s second round of Public School Choice (PSC 2.0), a reform measure aimed at improving schools and student success.

LAUSD received 188 letters of intent over the summer, leaving many to believe that the number of applications would be much higher.

“Public School Choice provides additional routes to academic success,” said LAUSD Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines Dec. 1 in a written statement announcing the applicant teams who will compete to provide the best plan for the selected schools.

Some of the new campuses contain room for more than one school, Cortines noted, and five existing schools were taken off the reform list in September after meeting academic benchmarks.

Locally, East LA Star High School Academy in Unincorporated East Los Angeles and Central High School #13 in Glassell Park (also referred to as Taylor Yard High School) are among the new schools identified for public school choice.

Of all the schools initially receiving letters of intent, Central High School #13 received the most, 16 in total. But Central HS #13 only received six proposals last week—including five from groups that participated in a recent workshop held to familiarize parents and community members with the public school choice process, and to introduce them to some of the applicants.

The campus, which has room for five schools, will relieve overcrowding at Eagle Rock, Franklin and Marshall High Schools.

At the Nov. 22 meeting held at Washington Irving Middle School, four teacher-led applicant teams announced they had formed a coalition to pool resources and operating costs; all four met the deadline. They are: Teri Klass (John Marshall HS), The Los Angeles River School (Paul Payne/Kristin Szilagyi), Tara Alton (John Marshall HS) and Meredith Reyley (Franklin HS).

Charter school operator, Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, also attended the November meeting and submitted its application on time.

The last applicant is the Partnership to Uplift Communities, which did not attend the November, but did send informational material to be distributed to those who attended the workshop.

East LA Star High School Academy, a new campus added late to the PSC 2.0 application process, received four letters of intent, but only one application from a team of LAUSD educators from Local District 5.

In October, a group of stakeholders held a meeting to oppose “privitization” of public education through charter schools and to support the application by local teachers. East L.A. Star is expected to relieve overcrowding at Garfield and Wilson high schools.

The proposals will be reviewed by LAUSD and applicants will make presentations in the upcoming month. An advisory vote will be held in January that will allow stakeholders to show support for their preferred applicant(s).

In February, Superintendent Cortines is expected to make recommendations to the Los Angeles Board of Education after each application is reviewed by two separate committees, then the school board will take a deciding vote.

More information is available online at:


9 Dec 2010 - Cuarenta y ocho aspirantes cumplieron con la fecha límite, del 1 de diciembre, para competir para la oportunidad de dirigir una de 10 escuelas nuevas y o una de tres escuelas de “enfoque” accesibles bajo el segundo año de implementación de la reforma Elección de Escuela Pública (Public School Choice, o PSC 2.0) del Distrito Unificado Escolar de Los Ángeles (LAUSD). El número de solicitantes bajo de 188 cartas de interés sometidas de originalmente durante el pasado verano a 48 propuestas sometidas la semana pasada.

“Elección de Escuela Pública proporciona rutas adicionales para el éxito académico”, dijo el Superintendente de LAUSD Ramón C. Cortines en una declaración escrita el 1 de diciembre, en la cual anunció los candidatos que competirán para presentar el mejor plan para las escuelas seleccionadas.

Algunos de los nuevos campus contienen espacio para más de una escuela, señaló Cortines.

En septiembre, cinco escuelas existentes fueron retirados de la lista la reforma después de recibir resultados de mejor rendimiento académica en los examenes estatales del año pasado.

A nivel local, la Academia Preparatoria East LA Star en la zona no incorporada del Este de Los Ángeles y la “Escuela Secundaria Central # 13” en Glassell Park (también conocida como “Taylor Yard High School”) se encuentran actualmente sujetos a la reforma educativa del distrito.

Cuando se comenzó a aceptar las cartas de interés bajo la reforma, la nueva preparatoria de Glassell Park recibió más cartas que el resto de las escuelas del distrito con un total de 16 solicitantes demostrando interés en ella. La nueva preparatoria tiene cupo para cinco escuelas pequeñas y aliviará de sobrepoblación a las preparatorias Eagle Rock, Franklin y Marshall.

La semana pasada la preparatoria nueva de Glassell Park recibió seis propuestas, y cinco de ellos recientemente participaron en un taller para familiarizar a los padres y miembros de la comunidad sobre el proceso de PSC e introducirlos a algunos de los solicitantes.

En la reunión del 22 de noviembre en la Secundaria Washington Irving, cuatro equipos de solicitantes (formado por maestros) anunciaron que ya habían formado una coalición para unir sus recursos y gastos de funcionamiento. Los cuatro equipos cumplieron la fecha reciente, son: Teri Klass (de la Preparatoria Marshall), La Escolar de Los Angeles River (Pablo Payne/Kristin Szilagyi), Tara Alton (de la Preparatoria Marshall) y Meredith Reyley (de la Preparatoria Franklin).

Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, un operador de escuelas charter, también asistió a la reunión de noviembre y cumplió con la fecha de límite.

Partnership to Uplift Communities es el solicitante final que cumplió con la fecha de limite. El grupo no asistió a la reunión reciente pero sí había dejado material informativo para los presentes.

Durante noviembre aún había otro solicitante más para la preparatoria de Glassell Park. LEMA 2.0 (Leadership in Entertainment and Media Arts) está fuera de la carrera. No cumplió con la fecha de limite del 1 de diciembre.

La Academia Preparatoria East LA Star, que entro tarde a la reforma, había recibido cuatro cartas de interés pero la semana pasada solo recibió una propuesta por un equipo de educadores del LAUSD del Distrito Local 5.

En octubre, un grupo de interesados se reunieron para oponerse a la “privitization” de la educación pública a través de las escuelas charter y para apoyar la propuesta de los maestros locales para la Academia Preparatoria East LA Star. La preparatoria aliviará la sobrepoblación en las preparatorias Garfield y Wilson.

Las propuestas serán revisadas por LAUSD y los candidatos harán presentaciones en el mes entrante. Un voto de consejo por la comunidad se realizará en enero, que permitirá que los interesados muestren su apoyo a los equipos preferido(s).

Se espera que en febrero, después de que cada solicitud sea revisada por dos comisiones separados, el Superintendente Cortines hará recomendaciones a la Junta de Educación de Los Ángeles, entonces la junta tomará un voto final.

Más información sobre la reforma está disponible en:

HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest of the Stories from Other Sources
So…. where’s this week’s 4LAKids?: The e-mail server and publisher that distributes the 4LAKids e-mail newsletter is down for ‘routine maintenance’ – whatever that means. The articles are all written+edited and what-not – and are waiting in their little files to go out to your e-mailbox – waiting only for the programmers with their code and/or the engineers with their little green screwdrivers to work their magic. Which may not be until monday morning.

LAUSD TO CONSIDER SPONSORSHIPS: Teaming with corporations could raise $18M: By Connie Llanos, Staff Writer | Pas...

NEW DROPOUT RATE IN QUESTION: CALPADS delays complicate districts' work: By John Fensterwald - Educated Guess | ...

CALIFORNIA SCHOOLS MUST FOLLOW PHYS. ED. LAW, COURT RULES: Mark Walsh – School Law writer for Ed Week | http://b...

EFFORT TO CONVERT COMPTON SCHOOL TO CHARTER DREWS FIRE: Some are withdrawing signatures given under the 'parent-...

STUDY BACKS ‘VALUE-ADDED’ ANALYSIS OF TEACHER EFFECTIVENESS: Classroom effectiveness can be reliably estimated b...


OFFICIALS EDUCATE 5th GRADERS ABOUT THE GARDENA FAMILY OF SCHOOLS: By Melissa Pamer Staff Writer – Daily Breeze ... via twitterfeed



‘VALUE ADDLED’ in NYC: Union Fights to Block Release of Teacher Ratings + N.Y. union seeks to block disclosure o...

JUDGE BACKS PLAN ON TEACHER LAYOFFS: Ruling comes in a suit filed by the ACLU and others charging that some scho...

ICEF: L.A. charter school group secures $10.5-million bailout: -- Howard Blume – LA Times/LA Now |

JUDGE TENTATIVELY OK’s LAUSD LAYOFF CHANGES: The Associated Press | Posted: 12/09/2010 08:...

L.A. UNIFIED, CHARTERS SIGN COMPACT: One benefit is access to low-interest loans: By John Fensterwald - Educated...


MAYOR TONY CALLS ON TEACHERS UNIONS TO ENGAGE IN REFORM: Villaraigosa's speech to the Public Policy Institute of...


PARENTS PRESENT SIGNATURES TO TAKE OVER A COMPTON SCHOOL: Using the new 'parent-trigger' law, they take the firs...

TICKETING FOR TRUANCY: Improvement or Imprisonment?: by Thandisizwe Chimurenga, New America Media | http://bit.l...

MAYOR UNDER FIRE FOR CHOICE OF N.Y. SCHOOLS CHANCELLOR: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's pick to oversee New York's ...

LAUSD DROPOUT RATE IS ON THE RISE: District, however, disputes data released by the state: By Connie Llanos, Sta...

A WORKING CLASS HERO IS SOMETHING TO BE: All he was saying is give peace a chance.:

The DREAM Act—Shrinking Towards Reality / EL ACTO DEL SUEÑO—La expectativa continua: M...


25 WAYS TO REDUCE THE COST OF COLLEGE: By Daniel de Vise | College Inc./The Washington Post |

AN A IN OVERCOMING THE ODDS: California schools are not as gWednesday, December 08, 2010 4:55:27 PMood as they should be, but they are significantly be...

STUDYING LAUSD’s CALENDAR: It's unclear that students would learn more by moving the school year up three weeks....

EVENTS: Coming up next week...
*Dates and times subject to change. ________________________________________
Phone: 213-241-5183
Phone: 213-241.8700


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! • Find your state legislator based on your home address. Just go to: • 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 and is Parent/Volunteer of the Year for 2010-11 for Los Angeles County. • He is Past President of Los Angeles Tenth District PTSA and represents PTA on the LAUSD Construction Bond Citizen's Oversight Committee. 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 as 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.
• FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. 4LAKids makes such material available in an effort to advance understanding of education issues vital to parents, teachers, students and community members in a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.