Sunday, October 21, 2012

The problem we all live with

Onward! 4LAKids
4LAKids: Sunday 21•Oct•2012
In This Issue:
 •  Common Core (sub)Standards: FICTION vs. NONFICTION SMACKDOWN
 •  Prop 39 Co-location Ruling by Court of Appeals: CHARTER SCHOOL NOT ENTITLED TO PICK+CHOOSE ITS LOCATION + smf’s 2¢
 •  HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest (but not necessarily the best) of the Stories from Other Sources
 •  EVENTS: Coming up next week...
 •  What can YOU do?

Featured Links:
 •  OUR CHILDREN, OUR FUTURE: What will California schoolchildren, your school district and YOUR School get when the initiative passes?
 •  Follow 4 LAKids on Twitter - or get instant updates via text message by texting
 •  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.

1922 - 2012

The presidential debates take up foreign policy on Monday evening, having avoided education policy successfully for about two hours and fifty-eight minutes of the prior three hours of debate. We know that Barack Obama evokes Ed. policy while dodging questions about gun laws – and apparently Mitt Romney likes Arne Duncan. Reasons enough to write-in Rocky and Bullwinkle on your sample ballot.

4LAKids – which is about public education in Los Angeles - has a foreign policy - as did+do Mayors Sam+ Tony - birds of similar feather in their befouled nest at City Hall.

The story of Malala Yousufzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who campaigned for the education of girls against the Taliban proscription – and who was shot and not quite killed for that advocacy (with the promise to keep trying until they get the job done right) - resonates in the chord/cord that connects my heart and mind and soul.

To be a victim is not heroic – but this young woman was already a Hero. And if heroes must have a flaw it is this: She lives on planet earth where such evil is tolerated and promulgated by a few amongst us.

“Ironic or Orwellian?: “Taliban” means “students” in Pashto.

Public education lights a candle against the darkness of ignorance.

"On January 6, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt set forth to Congress and the people 'four essential human freedoms' for which America stands.
"In the years since then, those four freedoms: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear - have stood as a summary of our aspirations for the American Republic and for the world.
"And Americans have always stood ready to pay the cost in energy and treasure which are needed to make those goals a reality.
"Today - wealthier, more powerful and more able than ever before in our history - our Nation can declare another essential freedom.
"The Fifth Freedom is Freedom from Ignorance.
“It means that every man, everywhere, should be free to develop his talents to their full potential - unhampered by arbitrary barriers of race or birth or income. We have already begun the work of guaranteeing that fifth freedom.
"The job, of course, will never be finished. For a nation, as for an individual, education is a perpetually unfinished journey, a continuing process of discovery.”
—LBJ, February 5 - Special Message to the Congress on Education, --

FDR was speaking to the world in his speech – the abstract made visual in Norman Rockwell’s illustrations | LBJ was speaking to the nation – but it is time to embrace Freedom from Ignorance internationally and carve it in the stone alongside the other four. Rockwell even has an illustration: The Problem We All Live With - - which depicts Ruby Bridges, a six-year-old African-American girl, escorted by federal marshals to an all-white public school in New Orleans on November 14, 1960. The painting currently hangs outside the Oval Office.

WHEN MEETING WITH IMPORTANT PEOPLE it is important to control the venue.

I met with Steve Zimmer in an elevator – a small room with secure doors (guaranteeing audience captivity) at Beaudry last Wednesday, going from 1 to 24. Steve is on a mission, a seemingly-everywhere, an Energizer Bunny getting out the vote (GOTV) for the two school funding propositions on the Nov 6th ballot. | Steve had a new acronym for me: NYM – “Not Yet Mobilized” – critical of LAUSD’s not-very-committed-commitment-to GOTV. If both measures 30 + 38 fail, NYM can rank down there with DAMH – the Dog Ate My Homework! Buried two clicks into Maria Casilla’s LAUSD Parent Community Services Branch website is: “Below is the link provided for the Secretary of State’s website for individuals to register to vote”. And no mention of the funding initiatives, no attempt to educate parents. One hopes not too little/too late.

To vote you must be eligible and register.

• If you are ineligible find someone who is and SPREAD THE WORD.
• If you are not registered: YOU HAVE ONE DAY LEFT.

Monday is the last day to register to vote in the Nov. 6 election.

Citizens 18 or older who are not registered or who have moved can pick up applications at many places throughout the state, including post offices, public libraries, Department of Motor Vehicle offices and county election headquarters.

For the first time this year, signing up to vote may be done online by going to

Mail ballots may be requested through Oct. 30. -- []

- Cut+pasted from The Times, which may soon be purchased and published by Rupert Murdock, of Fox News, News of the World and Page Three Girls fame |* Zimmer’s not the only Energizer Bunny: Murdoch's made a speech to the G8 about Education [], invested in Wireless Education [], picked up no-bid contracts to create test-score databases for NY State and NY City Schools [ +] – and hired Joel Klien away from (Mayor) Michael Bloomberg (News) subsidiary, The New York City Department of Education.

Supt Deasy writes elsewhere: “My entire focus is about helping the community understand the impact of both Prop 30 and 38.” That focus and urgency apparently hasn’t made it to the PCSB – and “community” is their second name!

WEDNESDAY THE BOND OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE MET and had a major discussion on LAUSD’s effort to place and equip Parent Centers at all schools. The Inspector General presented a report on the efforts to date, future efforts contemplated, and what other districts and states have been doing: Best practices + Lessons Learned |

It became apparent that the District is committed to the capital improvement piece using bond money – but is not committed to funding training and staffing – in other words: Human Capital. Parent Centers become an unfunded mandate: “We will build them – but you should come up with the money to run them …but we won’t make you.” And there isn’t going to be enough money for nurses and librarians and supplies and staff and afterschool programs and art and music and cleaning and maintenance. So convert all those ‘and’s to ‘or’s and do your best as you pick+choose!

The Building of Parent Centers is a legacy of Yolie Flores’ tenure on the Board of Ed.

Yolie’s sponsorship of Public School Choice was a disastrous low point for the District; I like Yolie, I hate PSC. Much of that has been undone, more remains to be undone. Yolie must have been surprised by the greedy politics of PSC as school projects she nurtured in her district were given away as political favors against her, the superintendent’s, and the community’s wishes. And with no regard to the best interests of children. Do not doubt that Yolie was an enthusiastic supporter/true believer in the Gates/Broad/Villaraigosa/Garcia ®eform agenda …but never doubt Yolie believes first and foremost in children.

I suspect that the political ugliness and the “Monica’s-way-or-the-Highway” leadership prompted Yolie to leave the board. Her legacy is the “Parents as Equal Partners in the Education of their Children” resolution, and the commitment to Parent and Family Centers at schools. The program has been implemented in slapdash style - with leadership outsourced, established parent groups tossed out in political coups, and no commitment to current (let alone ongoing) funding and support. This is unfortunate but correctable in next election cycle.

Yolie left the board to form Communities for Teaching Excellence with funding from the Gates Foundation. Read Gates Foundation-funded Education-Reform Group to Close (below) to see how that turned out.

IN ADELANTO, the adventure of The Parent Trigger continued as only 53 parents voted on behalf of the 697 students of Desert Trails Elementary as to what outside charter operator gets to take over their school. And like the feather in Yankee Doodle’s hat, they called it democracy | Apparently having the parents and teachers form their own charter school wasn’t an option – it must be an outside operator.

THE TRADITION OF USING "TERMS OF VENERY" or "nouns of assembly": Collective nouns that are specific to certain kinds of animals stems from a courtly English hunting tradition of the Middle Ages,. Hence a Covey of Quail, a Pride of Lions, a Cete of Badgers, and famously: an Exaltation of Larks. To this we can now add a Binder of Women.

SO SCOTT …HOW’S THE RUN FOR SCHOOL BOARD GOING? I promise to keep my personal campaign out of 4LAKids as much as possible. I’m a Gemini – I should be able to maintain a duality without becoming duplicitous. There is another election coming up, two weeks from Tuesday; we need to stay focused on that. So Register by Tomorrow and Vote. Early and often.

There was a Candidate Forum in Lincoln Heights Wednesday evening and six very engaged and engaging candidates showed up. The seventh candidate, incumbent Monica Garcia didn’t. She didn’t even bother to respond to the invitation A lively conversation with the community was had, good questions were asked and most were frankly and honestly answered – all except for “Where’s Monica?”

The forum, sponsored by the District 2 Community Coalition, was held at a place called El ARCA (East Los Angeles Remarkable Citizens' Association), a community based, private non-profit that provides services and special programs to the developmentally disabled population of the community. 4LAKids will return and write more about this in the future.

Monica did show up – albeit (and some would say disrespectfully) almost half-an-hour-late - for a thirty-minute candidate interview at the California School Employees Association (CSEA/classified employees) in Glendale on Thursday evening. I wasn’t in the room so I can’t report what she said. I was outside the room, it wasn’t necessary to put a glass against the door to hear – but…

IN OTHER NEWS: • The Court of Appeals ruled that charter schools are not entitled to pick+choose their prop 39 co-location. • The Common Core Standards are not proving all that popular among Special Educators, English Teachers and Librarians. • The LA Times wants to publish more names and more test scores of more teachers. • And read the letter from AALA President Perez to Supt. Deasy. And his terse reply. Last week the water cooler rumor was nothing was happening at Beaudry that wasn’t about Tablets for Everyone.

¡Onward/Adelante! – smf

*UPDATE: "Reports that News Corporation is in discussions with Tribune or the LA Times are wholly inaccurate" a News Corp spokesperson told the Hollywood Reporter on Saturday | ••smf: Murdoch owns FoxNews+the WSJ (which has been reporting this story) and he denies it to the Hollywood Reporter?



By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times |

October 19, 2012 :: The Gates Foundation, the country's most influential education-policy organization, has quietly ended financial support for a national group formed to push for favored reforms, including an overhaul of teacher evaluations.

Communities for Teaching Excellence, headed by former L.A. school board member Yolie Flores, is planning to close its doors next month. Although based in Los Angeles, the group had a presence in Hillsborough County, Fla.; Memphis, Tenn.; and in Pittsburgh — all locations where the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has funded the development of new teacher-evaluation systems.

The group was formed in 2010 to influence public opinion and exert pressure on public officials to adopt sometimes controversial policies. Since then, a number of other groups have taken up a similar mission; Gates has helped fund some of those as well.

When the organization started, Flores said, "there was not much going on in terms of advocacy. Fast forward three years, it's a pretty crowded space and it's a good thing."

But Communities for Teaching Excellence was not hitting its marks in terms of generating press coverage and building community coalitions, said Amy Wilkins, chairwoman of the board of directors. She said the board voted to shutter the organization; the Seattle-based Gates Foundation agreed with the decision.

"The field was more complex … and building these partnerships was more difficult than anybody had imagined," Wilkins said. "The inventors of this organization had envisioned more robust activity at the local level than we were achieving."

Perceptions also were an issue: The group was depending on Gates for 75% of its budget.

"Gates was such a big part of the funding," Wilkins said. "That made some of the partners and other funders nervous. How do you look like an independent actor? You have to show broad public support so you're not seen as a phony-baloney front for Gates. People criticized the organization for that and they didn't move closer to shaking that label."

Wilkins praised Flores and her staff, but said that the "model" of a national advocacy organization wasn't working and that it made more sense for Gates to support local groups engaged in comparable work. (Wilkins also has ties to Gates funding as an official with Washington, D.C.-based Education Trust, for which the foundation has provided substantial support.)

Flores' group brought together community organizations and activists in the different cities over issues including teacher tenure and seniority. Such a coalition kept pressure on the Los Angeles Unified School District to evaluate teachers on multiple measures, including students' standardized test scores. The district remains in negotiations with the teachers union over such an evaluation system.

The group coordinated media campaigns and, at times, helped recruit a small army of parents who descended on school board meetings. Many of these parents were recruited from independently managed local charter schools, even though those campuses can enforce their own evaluation rules and were not directly affected.

The group "was very effective at coalition building," said Ryan Smith, director of education, programs and policy for the United Way of Greater Los Angeles. "There's definitely a space that is still needed for that kind of work."

Although Flores said test results are not the only way to gauge achievement, she said other options are not generally available and that such an objective measure has a necessary role in teacher reviews.

Such positions prompted opposition from the teachers union in L.A. and others but have been supported by the Obama administration through grants and other incentives. Across the country, many school systems are revamping teacher evaluations as well as tenure and seniority rules.

In the L.A. area, Gates has pledged $60 million to a consortium of charter-school groups for new teacher evaluations. The grants for other regions totaled $230 million.

In Hillsborough County this year, new bonuses will be paid to teachers who raise the achievement of low-performing students. In Memphis, for the first time, student improvement on test scores makes up 35% of a teacher's evaluation. Pittsburgh will add such measures next year.

Flores, 49, became the founding director of Communities for Teaching Excellence after a frequently stormy, four-year tenure on the L.A. Board of Education. Flores was frequently criticized by the teachers union and hailed by charter-school advocates and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, among others. Her policy initiatives included a plan to allow charter schools and other groups to bid for control of new and low-performing campuses.

Common Core (sub)Standards: FICTION vs. NONFICTION SMACKDOWN

Jay Mathews: Columnist, The Washington Post |

October 17, 2012 :: There is no more troubling fact about U.S. education than this: The reading scores of 17-year-olds have shown no significant improvement since 1980.

The new Common Core State Standards in 46 states and the District are designed to solve that problem. Among other things, students are being asked to read more nonfiction, considered by many experts to be the key to success in college or the workplace.

The Common Core standards are one of our hottest trends. Virginia declined to participate but was ignored in the rush of good feeling about the new reform. Now, the period of happy news conferences is over, and teachers have to make big changes. That never goes well. Expect battles, particularly in this educationally hypersensitive region.

Teaching more nonfiction will be a key issue. Many English teachers don’t think it will do any good. Even if it were a good idea, they say, those who have to make the change have not had enough training to succeed — an old story in school reform.

The clash of views is well described by two prominent scholars for the Pioneer Institute, a Boston-based public policy group, in a new paper. (Executive Summary + link follows) Sandra Stotsky of the University of Arkansas and Mark Bauerlein of Emory University say the reformers who wrote the Common Core standards have no data to support their argument that kids have been hurt by reading too much fiction. They say analyzing great literature would give students all the critical thinking skills they need. The problem, they say, is not the lack of nonfiction but the dumbed-down fiction that has been assigned in recent decades.

“Problems in college readiness stem from an incoherent, less-challenging literature curriculum from the 1960s onward,” Bauerlein and Stotsky say. “Until that time, a literature-heavy English curriculum was understood as precisely the kind of pre-college training students needed.”

The standards were inspired, in part, by a movement to improve children’s reading abilities by replacing standard elementary school pabulum with a rich diet of history, geography, science and the arts. University of Virginia scholar E.D. Hirsch Jr. has written several books on this. He established the Core Knowledge Foundation in Charlottesville to support schools that want their third-graders studying ancient Rome and their fourth-graders listening to Handel.

Robert Pondiscio, a former fifth-grade teacher who is vice president of the foundation, quotes a key part of the Common Core standards making this case:

“By reading texts in history/social studies, science, and other disciplines, students build a foundation of knowledge in these fields that will also give them the background to be better readers in all content areas. Students can only gain this foundation when the curriculum is intentionally and coherently structured to develop rich content knowledge within and across grades.”

The Common Core guidelines recommend fourth-graders get an equal amount of fiction and nonfiction. Eighth-grade reading should be about 55 percent nonfiction, going to a recommended 70 percent by 12th grade.

Bauerlein and Stotsky say that could hurt college readiness. The new standards and associated tests, they say, will make “English teachers responsible for informational reading instruction, something they have not been trained for, and will not be trained for unless the entire undergraduate English major as well as preparatory programs in English education in education schools are changed.”

Pondiscio says he admires Bauerlein and Stotsky and doesn’t see why English classes have to carry the nonfiction weight. Social studies and science courses can do that. The real battle, he says, will be in the elementary schools, where lesson plans have failed to provide the vocabulary, background knowledge and context that make good readers.

Those who want the new standards say learning to read is more than just acquiring a skill, like bike riding. It is absorbing an entire world. That is what the fight in your local district will be about.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY | How Common Core’s English Language Arts Standards Place College Readiness at Risk

A Pioneer Institute White Paper
by Mark Bauerlein and Sandra Stotsky

The aim of this paper is to convince state and local education policy makers to do two things:

• To emphasize Common Core’s existing literary-historical standards, requiring English departments and English teachers to begin with them as they redesign their secondary English curricula.

• To add and prioritize a new literary-historical standard of their own along the lines of “Demonstrate knowledge of culturally important authors and/or texts in British literature from the Renaissance to Modernism.”

Far from contradicting Common Core, these actions follow its injunction that, apart from “certain critical content for all students, including: classic myths and stories from around the world, America’s Founding Documents, foundational American literature, and Shakespeare . . . the remaining crucial decisions about what content should be taught are left to state and local determination.” In other words, Common Core asks state and local officials to supplement its requirements with their own. It also expects them to help students “systematically acquire knowledge in literature.” This paper explains why the two priorities spelled out above are necessary if we seek to use the English curriculum to increase college readiness and the capacity for analytical thinking in all students.

The paper begins by explaining why college readiness will likely decrease when the secondary English curriculum prioritizes literary nonfiction or informational reading and reduces the study of complex literary texts and literary traditions. It then shows that Common Core’s division of its reading standards is unwarranted. Common Core itself provides no evidence to support its promise that more literary nonfiction or informational reading in the English class will make all students ready for college-level coursework. In addition, NAEP’s reading frameworks, invoked by Common Core itself, provide no support for Common Core’s division of its reading standards into ten for information and nine for literature at all grade levels. Nor do they provide a research base for the percentages NAEP uses for its reading tests. Common Core’s architects have inaccurately and without warrant applied NAEP percentages for passage types on its reading tests to the English and reading curriculum, misleading teachers, administrators, and test developers alike.

The paper proceeds with a detailed description of what is present and what is missing in Common Core’s literature standards. The deficiencies in Common Core’s literature standards and its misplaced stress on literary nonfiction or informational reading in the English class reflect the limited expertise of Common Core’s architects and sponsoring organizations. Its secondary English language arts standards were not developed or approved by English teachers and humanities scholars, nor were they research-based or internationally benchmarked.

We conclude by showing how NAEP’s criteria for passage selection can guide construction of state-specific tests to ensure that all students, not just an elite, study a meaningful range of culturally and historically significant literary works in high school. Such tests can promote classroom efforts to develop in all students the background knowledge and quality of analytical thinking that authentic college coursework requires.

Common Core believes that more informational readings in high school will improve college readiness, apparently on the sole basis that students in college read mostly informational texts, not literary ones. We know of no research, however, to support that faith. Rather, the history of college readiness in the 20th century suggests that problems in college readiness stem from an incoherent, less-challenging literature curriculum from the 1960s onward. Until that time, a literature-heavy English curriculum was understood as precisely the kind of pre-college training students needed.

The chief problem with a 50/50 division of reading instructional goals in English language arts is its lack of an empirical rationale. NAEP’s division of passage types is based on “estimates” of the kinds of reading students do in and outside of school. NAEP expressly denies that its grade 12 reading tests assess the English curriculum, especially since it has (deliberately) never assessed drama. Moreover, the 50/50 division in grades 6-12 makes English teachers responsible for informational reading instruction, something they have not been trained for, and will not be trained for unless the entire undergraduate English major as well as preparatory programs in English education in education schools are changed.

State law typically specifies only that state tests must be based on state standards. Since most states have adopted Common Core’s ELA standards as their state standards, and Common Core’s College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading are mainly generic reading skills, states can generate state-specific guidelines for a secondary literature curriculum addressing what we recommend above without conflicting with any of Common Core’s ELA standards.

Otherwise, state and local policy makers will see the very problems in reading that Common Core aimed to remedy worsen. The achievement gap will persist or widen; while high-achieving students in academically-oriented private and suburban schools may receive rich literary-historical instruction, students in the bottom two-thirds of our student population with respect to achievement, especially those in low-performing schools, will receive non-cumulative, watery training in mere reading comprehension.

click here for full report

Prop 39 Co-location Ruling by Court of Appeals: CHARTER SCHOOL NOT ENTITLED TO PICK+CHOOSE ITS LOCATION + smf’s 2¢


By a MetNews Staff Writer, Metropolitan News-Enterprise |

Friday, October 12, 2012 :: The Los Angeles Unified School District did not violate the charter schools initiative by offering to locate a charter school in adjoining classrooms at Belmont High School, contrary to the wishes of the charter school’s directors, this district’s Court of Appeal ruled.

While officials of Los Angeles International Charter High School preferred to be located at Franklin High School, Justice Richard Aldrich wrote for Div. Three, nothing in Proposition 39 requires the school district to accommodate that desire.

The initiative—adopted in 1992 and officially titled the Charter Schools Act—generally requires that school districts make facilities available to charter schools so that all public school students, whether in traditional or charter schools, attend school in substantially equivalent physical surroundings. LAICHS, founded in 2005, is located in the Hermon area between Highland Park and Eagle Rock, not far from Franklin H.S.

The school presently has a lease through 2020, but has expressed concern about meeting its rent, Aldrich explained. It requested facilities assistance from LAUSD under Proposition 39 for school year 2010-11, but said it did not wish to move from the area where it is now situated.

Petition for Mandate

After LAUSD concluded it could not assist the school, LAICHS filed a petition for writ of mandate and request for money damages. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge granted relief in the form of an order requiring the district to “make an offer of facilities to [LAICHS] for the 2010-2011 school year sufficient to accommodate all of [LAICHS’] 157 in-district students in conditions reasonably equivalent to those in which the students would be accommodated if they were attending other public schools in the district.”

The district then offered to locate the students in eight adjoining classrooms at Belmont. The LAICHS then returned to court, arguing that the district did not comply with the writ because the evidence did not support the decision to locate the school at Belmont.

Following a hearing, Judge Ann I. Jones ruled that the district’s offer to locate the school at Belmont complied with the charter schools legislation and with the writ, which she ordered discharged.

‘Uncontroverted’ Evidence

In concluding the judge did not err, Aldrich agreed that there was “uncontroverted” evidence the school could not be accommodated at Franklin, as it wished, and that Belmont was the best option in the northeast area because of the availability of adjacent classrooms, access to shared facilities, and the amount of money the district was putting into upgrades at the campus.

By contrast, the justice noted, placing the school at Franklin would have required spreading the students out and/or shifting Franklin students and teachers and altering schedules in mid-year.

The “essence” of the charter school’s argument, Aldrich elaborated, was that LAUSD “abused its discretion by not offering facilities at Franklin High School, the school most of LAICHS’ in-district students would attend were they not in a charter school.” But the act, he noted, only requires that facilities be shared “fairly” and located reasonably near to the school’s desired location.

In concluding that the Belmont offer met that standard, Aldrich wrote:

“Belmont is located in Local District 4, just as Franklin High School is. Belmont lies only three miles outside the geographic area identified by LAICHS in its facilities application. Belmont is closer to the geographic area LAICHS desired than Wilson High School, another comparison school, and Marshall High School, one of the schools LAICHS named as an alternative. Meanwhile, all of the high schools in the comparison group, or in Local Districts 4 and 5 near LAICHS’ requested area, were operating at or above capacity. Only Belmont met all of the Proposition 39 factors.”

In addition, he said, given the extent of the potential disruption of school life at Franklin, the district would actually be giving the charter school favorable, rather than equal, treatment if it acceded to its wishes.

Attorneys on appeal were Gregory V. Moser, Kendra J. Hall and John C. Lemmo of Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch for the plaintiff and David R. Holmquist, Mark Fall, and Nathan A. Reierson of LAUSD and Gregory G. Luke, Beverly Grossman Palmer and Byron F. Kahr of Strumwasser & Woocher for the district.

••smf’s 2¢ -- smf full disclosure: I went out of my way as a community member, Neighborhood Council Education chairperson and later President , supporter of public education and Bond Oversight Committee member arrange for Los Angeles International Charter High School’s (LAICHS) current location at a then vacant Christian school campus in Hermon. I supported their cause; I helped sponsor their fundraising,

• I find LAICHS’ directors efforts to relocate – to find a cheaper location at the expense of the taxpayers and school district - an egregious breech of faith with our community.
• I spoke at the Board of Education to oppose LAICHS’s charter being revoked when their directors had a financial hiccup - because I believed the school was a community asset.

No good deeds go unpunished.

I find LAICHS continuing attempt to secure a Prop 39 co-location – free rent - and instance upon co-locating on their own terms – a personal affront.

And hopefully the ruling of the court sets precedent on charter operator’s abuse of co-location provisions in Prop 39.


From the Associated Administers of Los Angeles Weekly Update of Week of October 22, 2012 |

As a follow-up to the resolution regarding AALA members’ working conditions that was passed at the Representative Assembly meeting on October 4, 2012, Dr. Judith Perez, AALA President, sent the following letter to the Superintendent, Dr. John Deasy, on Wednesday, October 17, 2012.

The purpose of this letter is to ask you once again to address AALA's concerns regarding the impossible workload of school site administrators. Our members are so overwhelmed by the extra demands mandated by the District that they do not have time to fulfill their primary responsibilities, to ensure school safety and focus on instructional improvement. Their stress levels are so high that their health is being affected.

You will recall that we raised these concerns during AALA-LAUSD negotiations, in regular meetings with you and the two Deputy Superintendents and at the Board meeting of October 9, 2012. We have made numerous recommendations regarding ways to alleviate our members' workload. On October l, you indicated during negotiations that you would respond to us shortly regarding these ideas. Yet we have heard nothing from you or your bargaining team.

Subsequently, a small group of elementary principals scheduled a meeting at AALA after work hours to discuss their working conditions in depth. To our surprise, 25 frustrated principals, representing several ESCs, attended. On October 4, AALA's Representative Assembly unanimously passed a resolution (attached) recommending specific changes to District priorities.

Given these facts, you will understand our disappointment yesterday when John Bowes informed us that you would have no response to our recommendations for reducing administrators' workload until sometime next month, thus forcing us to cancel negotiations previously scheduled for today. Despite the fact that not a single senior staff member has challenged AALA's assessment of our members' working conditions, we find it incredible that our concerns have been pushed to the back burner. This disregard for the working conditions of school leaders reflects a lack of respect for administrators who are holding this District together.

We urge you to address our concerns now.


Dr. Deasy responded to Dr. Perez’ letter in little more than an hour. Below is an exact copy of the response sent via his iPhone:

The actual future of this district is the number one priority of my office at moment. In care (sic) you are not aware we have the most critical election which will determine the very future of our survival in less than 3 weeks. My entire focus is about helping the community understand the impact of both Prop 30 and 38

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Prop 39 Co-location Ruling by Court of Appeals: CHARTER SCHOOL NOT ENTITLED TO CHOOSE ITS LOCATION + smf’s 2¢: ...

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: • 213-241-6386 • 213-241-6180 • 213-241-5555 • 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 Brown: 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. THEY DO!.

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 represented PTA on the LAUSD Construction Bond Citizen's Oversight Committee for ten years. 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.
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