Sunday, May 12, 2013

Whereas/Therefore/Be it resolved

Onward! 4LAKids
4LAKids: Sunday 12•May•2013 Mother's Day
In This Issue:
 •  “A first-ever public accounting of the potentially career-ending behavior alleged of Los Angeles teachers”: LAUSD CRACKS DOWN ON TEACHER MISCONDUCT
 •  TED meets PBS head on: TED TALKS EDUCATION
 •  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:
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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.
From the Order of Business (ie: Agenda – never let one word suffice when you have three to use) of next Tuesday’s LAUSD Board Meeting (Available in all its verbose glory here:


52. Mr Kayser, Ms. Galatzan—Resolution Supporting AB 375 “Updating and
Streamlining Teacher Discipline and Dismissal Process”

53. Mr. Kayser – Ensuring Transparency and Effective School Choice
(Noticed March 19, 2013, 9 a.m. and Postponed from Previous Meetings)

54. Ms. Martinez, Ms. García, Mr. Zimmer – Community Partnerships to Enhance College Preparation and Career Readiness by Maximizing Linked Learning Resources
(Noticed March 19, 2013 and Postponed from the Regular Board Meeting of April 16, 2013,

55. Mr. Kayser – To Engage the Los Angeles Unified School District Community and Establish Fiscal Priorities (Noticed March 19, 2013 and Postponed from the Regular Board Meeting of April 16, 2013, 12pm)

56. Mr. Kayser – To Create Sustainable Funding for Modern Technology in Los Angeles Unified School District Classrooms (Noticed March 19, 2013 and Postponed from the Regular Board Meeting of April 16, 2013, 12pm) TO BE POSTPONED

57. Mr. Zimmer, Mr. Kayser – Opposition to Proposed Power Distribution Station Near Marquez Charter School (Noticed April 16, 2013, 9am)

58. Ms. García – Student Personal Safety and Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month (Noticed April 16, 2013, 12pm)

59. Ms. García – 2013 School Discipline Policy and School Climate Bill of Rights
(Noticed April 16, 2013, 12pm)

61. Ms. García – Beyond 180: Increasing Instructional Time to Improve Student Success (For Action June 18, 2013)

66. Mr. Kayser – Resolution Supporting the Local Control Funding Formula
(Noticed May 14, 2013, 9am)

Board Resolutions are not school district policy. They are not rules or regulations or legislation - binding on no one they express the thinking of the Board of Education.

These boardmember resolutions encompass 16½ pages of single-spaced Whereases, Therefores and Be it resolveds – instructing the superintendent to do things he probably is doing anyway, should be doing or perhaps has no intention of doing. Most of it is posturing and position taking; some of it is micromanagement – none of it is earthshaking. Most of it, when not taken in a full 16½ page dose, sounds really good …and like the quack of a duck, does not echo at all.


#52. Amends a previous resolution that supports a bill that is yet another effort to make dismissing “bad” teachers easier. Last year LAUSD sponsored SB 1350 (OK: they wrote it!), which didn’t make it out the Assembly in the waning days of the session. That bill was reintroduced this year as SB 10 – which never made it out of its first committee hearing. Now LAUSD is putting its eggs in the AB 375 basket.

#53. Attempts to correct injustice being performed by the superintendent upon the District’s Magnet School Program in the name of ©hoice+®eform. I wish the maker luck – but I suspect that the damage will have to be corrected after this superintendent is gone.

#54. We need more Linked Learning, Workplace-Based Learning and Multiple Pathways. We need fewer names for what used to be called “work experience” - and much less talk about it. We really don’t need another resolution about it.

#55. Of course LAUSD really needs to set long range funding priorities – but in a District that moves from crisis-to-crisis and budget-to-budget – and can’t even get a three-year-budget the County Office of Ed will accept - it ain’t gonna happen!

#56. This is a counter to the superintendent’s Tablets-for-All/“Common Core Technology Plan”. It’s going to take a Pulitzer Prize winning series of articles in the national press – or a 60 Minutes expose starring the ghost of Mike Wallace to stop that train from leaving the station. There are two resolveds:
(A) Resolved, That the Governing Board of the Los Angeles Unified School District directs the Superintendent to develop a District-wide technology implementation plan for its students including a budget and an oversight mechanism; and, be it finally
(B) Resolved, That the Superintendent is directed to go to the voters within the District’s boundaries seeking long-term funding of said plan within one year’s time.

Even in this “TO BE WITHDRAWN” draft, Resolved B is in strikeout type. The textbook publishers and the testing companies are redesigning how education is delivered – and how - and how much - they get paid.

#57. Is a no brainer, but it pits the interests of the very unaccountable LAUSD against the interests of the even more unaccountable L.A. Department of Water and Power.

#58. Underneath the autopilot recognition that May is School Safety and Child Abuse Prevention Month - (which is what resolutions are really for) this is a resolution that creates an LAUSD Personal Safety and Child Abuse Prevention Unit under Student Health and Human Services – which may mean the Board President finally seems ready to take action on all the child abuse allegations ongoing. More than likely it’s eyewash.

#59. Shows Board President Garcia must have heard from folks in the community (besides me) who are a more than a trifle concerned about the LAUSD Operations Department’s handling of Student Discipline Policy since it was taken from Student Health and Human Services last year. That the superintendent hasn’t been able (or interested) to do a little course-correction to right this before it comes before the board is very interesting.

#61. On the face of it this seems like wonderful thinking – calling for an increase in the school year from 180 to 200 days. The last couple of years we cut days, this year we put them back – now this! What it actually signals is the end of the Fight Over No Money and the beginning of the Fight Over More Money (from Prop 30 and increased Prop 98 allotments from increased tax collections from the improving economy) and perhaps whatever windfall LAUSD might see from the Local Control Funding Formula …when-and-if. This involves an uncertain amount of wishful thinking plus some chicken counting before the eggs are even laid.

The question becomes:

1. Do we pay teachers more for working more days?
2. …or do we pay more teachers for working with fewer kids as we re-implement Class Size Reduction?

I really don’t know which is best for kids …and I suspect the answer and the question are both far more complicated than I just posed.

#66. Of course LAUSD supports the Local Control Finding Formula is it is currently proposed – but the legislature needs to tweak it and make it a little more palatable to other school districts. The Senate Democrats want to delay it for a year. And two hours before the board meeting on Tuesday Governor Brown is going to offer his new numbers in the Budget Revise – which will change much.

WHAT: The Governors May Budget Revision
WHEN: May 14, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: California State Capitol, Governor’s Press Conference Room, Room 1190, Sacramento, CA 95814 WEBCAST: The press conference will be streamed live on the California Channel at The revised budget will be posted online shortly after the news conference begins at:

But for May 14 in L.A. we have this sideshow and these resolutions. Stay tuned.

ON SATURDAY THE LAUSD BEYOND THE BELL PROGRAM HELD A TALENT SHOW AT ON THE NEW YORK STREET BACKLOT AT PARAMOUNT STUDIOS IN HOLLYWOOD. The Arts and Music are alive and well in LAUSD – in-spite-of-and despite the budget cuts practiced by the powers-that-be to those programs. There was more talent and creativity and enthusiasm and attitude and strange colored hair than one can imagine. And imagination+creativity were in full flood. And the volume of all those components was dialed to eleven.

There were about 3,000 happy young people and a huge number of adults who work-in and sponsor the BTB programs. There was a glorious sunny spring day, plenty of bottled water and the smell of greasepaint and sunscreen. There wasn't enough senior LAUSD staff to witness the good work and good vibes ...but we know who they weren't because of their unpicked-up badges at the credentialing table.

I suppose there are those who would say that the display of talent somehow proves that that Arts+Music Education Programs don’t need funding or support – or instruction between-the-bells – and I can’t possibly say how I feel about that sort of twisted rationale without having the LAUSD naughty-word-firewall shut down this blog. (I am adverse to use the word “Mother” inappropriately on today of all days!)
Lift up your hearts and sing me a song
That was a hit before your mother was born.
Though she was born a long, long time ago
Your mother should know.

Happy Mother’s Day everyone.

¡Onward/Adelante! - smf

“A first-ever public accounting of the potentially career-ending behavior alleged of Los Angeles teachers”: LAUSD CRACKS DOWN ON TEACHER MISCONDUCT
100 FIRED, 200 RESIGN AND 300 'HOUSED' + smf’s 2¢

By Barbara Jones, Los Angeles News Group |

Sunday, 5-12-2013 - 8:31:17 AM PDT :: LOS ANGELES — The personnel files stretched the length of the 15-foot conference table in Superintendent John Deasy's office, a chronicle of the corporal punishment, verbal and physical abuse and sexual misconduct reported in the classrooms of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Cuts and bruises. Curses and racial slurs. Caresses and pornography.

In the past, the misdeeds detailed in the teachers' files would likely have earned the offender a disciplinary memo, maybe a week's suspension, perhaps a transfer to another school.

Today, they're grounds for firing.

Under the zero-tolerance policy that Deasy enacted after a sex-abuse scandal erupted in the district in February 2012, the school board has voted to dismiss more than 100 teachers for misconduct, and accepted the resignations of at least 200 others who were about to be terminated. Nearly 300 additional teachers accused of inappropriate behavior remain "housed" in administrative offices while officials investigate the complaints.

"It feels like we're seeing more cases," said school board member Tamar Galatzan, who is working to streamline the school district's cumbersome process for investigating alleged misconduct.

"We've heard from principals that, 10 years ago, many felt that if they jumped through all the hoops to recommend dismissal, the board wouldn't back them and they would get a teacher back who not only had been reported for wrongdoing but was now hostile.

"Now, principals know that their recommendation will be supported. Once the allegations are investigated and confirmed, the board will move to dismiss teachers who shouldn't be teaching. "

Under California law, a school board's vote to dismiss a teacher takes effect 30 days later unless the educator appeals to the state Office of Administrative Hearings. District officials say they expect an appeal from every teacher dismissed since the district's crackdown on misconduct.

It's the files of those teachers that were spread out in Deasy's office after he agreed to provide a first-ever public accounting of the potentially career-ending behavior alleged of Los Angeles teachers.

"It is important for people to know that this administration will remove teachers who act like this. They should have supreme confidence that we won't ignore a complaint or over-react or under-react," he said. "Student safety comes first."

The files are crammed with paperwork from the internal investigations that can take a year or more to wrap up. There are statements from students, parents and witnesses; disciplinary memos; supporting documents like attendance sheets and gradebooks; and the paperwork formalizing the reason for their dismissal. Some include photos of injured students, copies of X-rated images found on district computers or stick-figure drawings by kids too young to verbalize what happened.

Most of the files also contain rebuttals of the allegations or explanations from teachers defending their actions.

"We get a pretty thorough written briefing," said Galatzan, a career prosecutor who represents the West San Fernando Valley, "If a board member wants additional paperwork, then we're provided with that. Several of the teachers also have voluminous e-mail correspondence with the board, so we become more familiar with some cases than others. "

What Deasy agreed to provide were the basics of the complaints. Because the files contain the names of teachers, students, classmates and parents, he read aloud from the complaints but omitted identifying details. He did provide the genders of the employees and students, the type of school and its general location in the district and, where available, the year the teacher was born.

On the advice of the district's lawyers, he did not discuss the dozen-or-so cases in which the school district is involved in active lawsuits or the teachers are facing criminal charges.

Nor did he disclose any specifics about the 44 teachers who were cleared of the allegations against them and returned to the classroom.

Still, it took hours to pore through the files of the 58 men and 26 women, Deasy frequently shaking his head or rubbing his eyes as he recited the litany of alleged misconduct that led to the employees' dismissals.

"God, how do I even explain this?" Deasy asked, before recounting that a Westside elementary teacher in his early 60s "trained" his students to give him a full-body massage for 20 minutes every day while he "rested." Youngsters, including some special-education students, later told officials that he shouted profanities, spanked them and hit them with rolled-up papers when they misbehaved.

The initial incident was reported by a classroom aide assigned to help the special-ed students.

That's also how the district learned about a teacher at a San Fernando Valley elementary school who disciplined youngsters by locking them in a bathroom or barricading them in a corner using tables and chairs. "Maybe this will teach you a lesson," the teacher reportedly told the kids as they cried to be released.

And that an Eastside elementary teacher used clothespins to pinch the ears of youngsters who weren't paying attention to the lesson. The same teacher also discouraged thumb-sucking by putting nasty-tasting disinfectant on kids' fingers and forced students to scrub their desks using cleanser and their bare hands.

A rash of sex-related complaints were made in the weeks after the Miramonte scandal broke, including allegations of tickling and fondling, and inappropriate and vulgar comments made in class. One high school student said a female teacher inexplicably took her along when she went shopping for sex toys in Hollywood. A few months later, girls at another high school complained that their male teacher had downloaded photos of them onto his laptop, and given each a salacious name.

Nearly a dozen male teachers were fired for pornography found on their district-issued laptops.

They include an instructor at a middle school who inadvertently projected an X-rated video rather than the family-hour fare he'd planned to show his class as a "reward" after a difficult week. "You didn't see this," he told the kids, shutting down the film once he realized his mistake. Several students reported the incident, and officials found 636 pornographic images and two adult videos on his computer.

And there were dozens of reports of corporal punishment, which the school district abolished in 1984 and is also banned by state law. Some complaints came from campus nurses who treated injured students and others from parents who noticed cuts and bruises when their kids got home from school.

"I want my days spent supporting the tens of thousands of amazing teachers," Deasy said. "Instead, they're taken up by a very, very few with gross misconduct. "

Teacher misconduct became a hot-button issue after teacher Mark Berndt's arrest on charges that he'd blindfolded and spoon-fed his semen to 23 students at Miramonte Elementary. Pressure mounted with news reports that there had been prior complaints against Berndt; that he'd received $40,000 to resign; and that the district had failed to tell parents about the accusations or to report his alleged misconduct to the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

After the Daily News reported in February 2012 that Telfair Elementary teacher Paul Chapel was arrested four months earlier for molesting students, the district announced that parents would be notified within 72 hours about alleged teacher misconduct.

Deasy also ordered that all accusations of wrongdoing for the previous four years be sent to the credentialing panel - an exercise that overwhelmed the state agency with more than 500 files.

And he imposed the zero-tolerance policy, which he defended against criticism that it is too harsh and fails to distinguish between innocent and predatory behavior.

"Miramonte occurred in the middle of my first year as superintendent, and I learned a great deal about how to change the system of reporting and investigation," he said. "When we know something, we do something. "

But United Teachers Los Angeles leaders have characterized Deasy's actions as a "witch hunt," saying he's using misconduct allegations to get rid of troublesome teachers and those on the upper rungs of the experience and pay scale.

Richard Schwab, a partner in Trygstad, Schwab & Trystad, the law firm that represents the teachers' union in labor issues, said he's seen a significant shift in the types of allegations being used to dismiss teachers.

"Every case must be judged on its own merits," Schwab said. "But in a number of cases, the nature of the charges haven't been appropriately investigated or have been too vigorously pursued and the evidence never supported such allegations. "

Under current law, teachers who are fired by the school board have 30 days to appeal their dismissal to the state's Office of Administrative Hearings. It assigns each case to a panel composed of an administrative law judge and two educators - one chosen by the teacher, the other by the district - which reviews evidence and hears witness testimony before deciding whether or not the teacher should be fired. That process may take years, however, and cost the district hundreds of thousands of dollars in staff time and legal fees.

And either the district or the teacher can appeal the administrative ruling to Superior Court, dragging out the case even longer. Over the last decade, LAUSD officials say, they've won about half of the cases that have gone to an administrative hearing and 60 percent of those appealed to Superior Court.

There have been efforts in recent years to streamline the process, but none has been successful. Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-San Ramon, has introduced a new measure that some believe has a chance of passing.

Assembly Bill 375 would set a deadline of seven months for the administrative appeal, start to finish. It has the support of UTLA and the California Teachers Association, which last year lobbied strongly against a bill that would have given a school board the final say in firing a teacher. Under heavy lobbying by the unions, that measure died in committee.

Deasy, the school board, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and some education advocates support the goals of AB 375, but say it doesn't go far enough in letting districts get rid of bad teachers. Some officials also worry that lawmakers will consider all of the problems solved if they pass AB 375, halting efforts for additional reforms.

The current dismissal process includes a mandatory settlement conference, with a mediator trying to negotiate a compromise between the district and teacher before the case goes to a hearing. It was at this point that Berndt, the accused Miramonte teacher, received a $40,000 payout to drop the appeal of his dismissal.

Deasy said he has put an end to that type of incentive.

"We're not doing that anymore," he said. "Not on my watch. "

Schwab, the UTLA attorney, said many veteran teachers opt to resign rather than pursue an administrative hearing because they fear losing their lifetime health benefits if the ruling goes against them.

"Although they may be innocent or not guilty of the offense they're accused of, they are deciding it's in their best interest to resign," he said. "This is a tool being used to attack some very, very good teachers."

If the employee prevails, however, the district must reinstate the employee and pay back wages.

Even if the district is ordered to reinstate a teacher, Deasy said he has no intention of letting employees accused of misconduct back in the classroom.

"We're ordered to keep them hired, but there are other jobs," he said. "I can't think of a case where that person should be back in front of students. "

With nearly 300 teachers still being investigated for misconduct, and new allegations trickling in, the abuse crisis in Los Angeles Unified is unlikely to end soon. While there are efforts to make the process more manageable, there's no indication that district officials or the school board plan to change their tough stance on student safety.

"The fact that the school board is dismissing teachers who are being physically abusive to students is the way this process is supposed to work," Galatzan said. "I'm certainly not going to apologize for that. "

●● smf’s 2¢: Which one is it?:

• “Even if the district is ordered to reinstate a teacher, Deasy said he has no intention of letting employees accused of misconduct back in the classroom”.
• “Nor did he disclose any specifics about the 44 teachers (accused of misconduct) who were cleared of the allegations against them and returned to the classroom”.

Today’s extra-credit homework assignment is Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”.


By Rick Rojas, LA Times |

Mayy 7, 2013, 6:30 p.m. :: Academic Decathlon teams from Los Angeles have won the state competition and, in a first, taken both first and second place at the national competition. Now, the season ends with one more distinction for L.A. Unified: Franklin High School has won a national online competition.

District officials said Tuesday that Franklin scored 38,184 points out of a possible 48,000 in the virtual battle of wits, in which students were tested in such subjects as math, science and literature. It's the third year that L.A. Unified schools have swept the state, national and online competitions, the district said.

"Franklin's tremendous victory in the online competition is the culmination of another great performance by LAUSD schools in the Academic Decathlon," L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy said in a statement.

Cliff Ker, the district's coordinator for the decathlon, added: "In a competition where expectations are always very high, this group has excelled."

Granada Hills Charter High School -- for the third year -- has taken the state and national titles. After a rule change allowed more than one team from each state to proceed to the national competition, El Camino Real Charter High School -- a longtime decathlon powerhouse, having won nationals six times in the past -- also took part, placing second at the competition last month in Minneapolis.

Franklin represented California in the online competition in the category of large schools, based on enrollment. Nine schools from across the country competed.

Unlike the typical competition -- which includes 10 subjects, including subjective portions such as giving speeches and being interviewed by judges, as well as the Super Quiz relay -- the online showdown is based on six objective tests in economics, language and literature, math, music, science and social studies.

The Franklin team, coached by Samuel C. Kullens, included Terence Tolentino, Antonio Maldonado, David Gonzalez, Czarelle Valencia, Susan Arevalo, Jessy Baltazar, Alex Moreno, Adriana Rodriguez and Aaron Flores.


Letters to the LA Times |

Re "Lawsuit: State fails some English learners," April 25 / 4LAKids - CALIFORNIA SUED ON BEHALF OF FAILING ENGLISH LEARNERS |

April 30, 2013 :: The article does not mention two approaches to help those acquiring English, both with substantial research support.

One is bilingual education, dismantled by Proposition 227 more than a decade ago. Research has shown that students in bilingual programs outperform students in all-English programs on tests of English reading. Also, studies show that Proposition 227 did not result in improved English proficiency.

Second, there is strong evidence that those who do more pleasure reading in English do better on English-language tests, and case histories reveal that those who succeeded in acquiring the English needed for school were dedicated readers. California English learners, however, have a hard time finding books: California ranks near the bottom of the country in school library quality and is dead last in the ratio of school librarians per student.

Lawsuits should include restoring bilingual education and investing more in libraries and librarians.

- Stephen Krashen
Los Angeles
The writer is a professor emeritus of education at USC.

●●2cents smf: I agree with Dr. Krashen 1000% – except that change/improvement/reform of public education should not rely on lawsuits any more than it should rely upon billionaire philanthropists, labor leaders or cranky bloggers.

Q: Where is the legislative and school district leadership?

A #1: If the answer is “in the pocket of billionaire philanthropists and labor leaders” we need to send them into the ranks of the unemployed and/or incarcerated.
A #2: If the answer is “in the pocket of cranky bloggers”, there is psychiatric help for that!

By smf for 4LAKids

The YouTube phenomenon TED Talks met the Public Broadcasting System Tuesday night and the result was not unlike a train wreck – one of those staged at the turn of the last century where two stream locomotives were run into each other on a single track at full speed. To see – and sell tickets to – what would happen.

The TED Talks are the viral progeny of The TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Conferences - annual gatherings of well-heeled/well paid folk who can afford the tariff to see+ hear their peers talk about the future. Ted Conferences are like the Bohemian Grove get-togethers of the rich and powerful; not quite the exclusivity of Davos, far from the democracy of Chautauqua.

Ted Talks are given by the likes of Bono and Bill Clinton, etc. The Ted Talks are single speakers’ holding forth from a bare stage without notes or a podium on a single subject – the well rehearsed motivational cheerleading of movers-and-shakers; secular sermons - the truth revealed in 18 minutes-or-less of talking head Infotainment. Only TED members can attend the conferences, membership is $6000 annually. The talks are available free and without copyright protection – a way to involve the hoi-polloi without actually having to share the room.

I’m going to let anecdote take precedence over real data – but the TED membership tends towards the entrepreneurial class, their philosophy aligned with the Billionaire Boys Club, the foundation philanthropies and ®eform Inc. The folks PBS rely upon as underwriters.

4LAKids is reminded of #41 in By the Numbers: How to Tell If your District has been Infected by The Broad Virus ( Broad and Gates Foundations give money to local public radio stations which in turn become strangely silent about the presence and influence of the Broad and Gates Foundation in your school district.

Tuesday’s premiere of the TED Talks on PBS was as to be expected: one part educational philosophy, one part motivational speaking, and one part show biz glitz – shaken and not stirred. Rather than have the speakers alone on the stage supported only by the strength of their argument – it was hosted by entertainer John Legend. And if you have Legend he should sing a song [] – and to tie it together Legend must tell a joke or tug at a heartstring. …and he next thing you know you have a variety show. With guests like Geoffrey Canada [] and Bill Gates []. (The show was shot in New York City; how Mayor Bloomberg didn’t give a chat eludes me.)

The best and shortest heartstring tug was 19 year old poet Malcolm London []
“At 7:45 a.m., I open the doors to a building dedicated to building, yet only breaks me down. I march down hallways cleaned up after me every day by regular janitors, but I never have the decency to honor their names. Lockers left open like teenage boys' mouths when teenage girls wear clothes that covers their insecurities but exposes everything else. Masculinity mimicked by men who grew up with no fathers, camouflage worn by bullies who are dangerously armed but need hugs. Teachers paid less than what it costs them to be here. Oceans of adolescents come here to receive lessons but never learn to swim, part like the Red Sea when the bell rings.

“This is a training ground. My high school is Chicago, diverse and segregated on purpose. Social lines are barbed wire. Labels like "Regulars" and "Honors" resonate. I am an Honors but go home with Regular students who are soldiers in territory that owns them. This is a training ground to sort out the Regulars from the Honors, a reoccurring cycle built to recycle the trash of this system.

“Trained at a young age to capitalize, letters taught now that capitalism raises you but you have to step on someone else to get there. This is a training ground where one group is taught to lead and the other is made to follow. No wonder so many of my people spit bars, because the truth is hard to swallow. The need for degrees has left so many people frozen.

“Homework is stressful, but when you go home every day and your home is work, you don't want to pick up any assignments. Reading textbooks is stressful, but reading does not matter when you feel your story is already written, either dead or getting booked. Taking tests is stressful, but bubbling in a Scantron does not stop bullets from bursting.

“I hear education systems are failing, but I believe they're succeeding at what they're built to do -- to train you, to keep you on track, to track down an American dream that has failed so many of us all.”

All of this said, the show was+is worth seeing [], partly to see what the rascals are up, partly to witness the disaster of the pieces of the locomotives strewn across the landscape - and mostly to see and hear what Sir Ken Robinson has to say.

Robinson is the most popular and YouTube-viewed of all TED speakers ever. He mixes standup and educational philosophy. He is a star – and he has the added benefit of being right and honored by his queen for being so. Following is a link to Sir Ken’s Talk, not the edited version from the show (sacrilege!) …but the full version.

I need say no more.


HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest (but not necessarily the best) of the Stories from Other Sources


LAUSD FIGHTING FOR ZERO-TOLERANCE ON TEACHER CHEATING: The school district says a decision by a state panel — ...

SIR KEN ROBINSON FROM TED TALKS EDUCATION: “It’s a short plane ride from Los Angeles to America.” “The re...


Breakfast in the Classroom: HUNGER IS NOT AN OPTION: by UCLA IDEA | 5-03-2013 :: The...


Parent trigger: WHO’S FOR IT AND WHO’S AGAINST IT TELLS THE STORY: By Valerie Strauss, Washington Post Answer ...

HOUSE GOP LAWMAKERS WANT MORE INFORMATION ON NCLB WAIVERS: By Alyson Klein, Politics K-12 - Education Week | ...

MATH BY WAY OF ART: For Pasadena school, arts plus math is really adding up: S.T.E.A.M. – Integrating Science,...


RONALD REAGAN AND THE DECLINE+FALL OF UC: How one Golden State icon helped tarnish another: Op-Ed By Seth Rose...



L.A. UNIFIED KNEW OF ALLEGED TEACHER ABUSE 3 YEARS BEFORE ARREST: Some of the charges against Robert Pimentel,...



EVENTS: Coming up next week...

Both meetings in the Board Room, 333 S. Beaudry Ave. There is Validated Free Parking.

*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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