Sunday, November 10, 2013

A midnight surprise

4LAKids: Sunday•10•Nov•2013 Veterans Day Weekend
In This Issue:
 •  Funding Formula+Accountability Plan sent back to drawing board: LCFF/LCAP REGULATIONS GO BACK FOR REWRITE, STAY TUNED FOR JANUARY
 •  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?

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 •  4LAKids Anthology: All the Past Issues, solved, resolved and unsolved!
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Conspiracism reigns supreme. The black helicopters. The grassy knoll. The evil plot to subvert/privatize/de-unionize/charterize public education by Broad +Gates + the Waltons. And/or Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomberg and Pearson, LLC. See and check-off the 41 enumerated clues in: “By the numbers: HOW TO TELL IF YOUR SCHOOL DISTRICT IS INFECTED BY THE BROAD VIRUS” |

A mental health professional once warned me to not be so paranoid that it shows.

• “Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you, “Joseph Heller’s Yossarian says in Catch-22.
• William S. Burroughs says that: “Paranoia is just having the right information.”
• Satchel Paige famously said: “Don’t look back – something may be gaining on you!”

The great conspiracy of the seventeenth century, The Gunpowder Plot, unraveled 408 years ago Tuesday when Guy Fawkes was discovered guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder placed under the Houses of Parliament on Nov, 5, 1605.
Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

At the time the Pope was considered a conspirator. Guy Fawkes’ masked image in the movie “V for Vendetta“tells us: “People should not fear their government, the government should fear the people.”

It’s doubtful that Guy Fawkes was that kind of Jeffersonian democrat. It’s doubtful that John Deasy plots at midnight to undo and overthrow the elected LAUSD board of education.

Doubtful …but not proven. One way or the other

Submitted for your disapproval: On Saturday morning at six minutes after midnight during a three day holiday weekend the superintendent had a surprise change to the Tuesday School Board Meeting agenda e-mailed out – calling for a new agenda item: To forward Phase 2 of the Common Core Technology Program (iPads for Everyone) - to the Bond Oversight Committee. At eighteen minutes after midnight the agenda change appeared on the bulletin board at the Beaudry School District HQ… just in time for the minimum 72 hours notice required by law -- even as the apparent consensus at last Tuesdays’ Board of Ed Meeting was to tone down the urgency and be a little more deliberate in the iPad deliberations..

Deasy is a famous early riser – the working past midnight is a new wrinkle.

• In fairness, agenda item #43 is not a new piece of business – it’s a previously offered compromise, discussed Nov. 5th and resurrected at midnight as an alternative to Monica Ratliff’s “go-slower-and-smarter plan”, agenda item #41. And Monica Garcia’s “Give Me the Money” agenda Item #42.
• In bending-over-backwards fairness: The attributed author of the zombie plan is the Office of the Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, the lame duck Dr Aquino.
• There is a job search ongoing for a new occupant for the office of DSI.
• An office is a room in a building. A deputy superintendent is a real person. Education is a people business.
• All of Phase 2 and beyond will take place under the direction of the next DSI.
• Maybe that person should propose their own plan.

A 4LAKIds reader/Ed Tech industry insider writes:

“Last night Deasy pulled a fast one.

“He changed the agenda to include the passing of Phase 2 on Tuesdays’ board meeting. He sold his Apple stock and is back in the meetings and in fact running the whole show. Vladovic is being manipulated and afraid to make a move. Galatzan and Garcia are backing him. Zimmer is the swing man and is too soft to stand up to what he ultimately knows is wrong and has drunk the Kool-Aid on the Office of Civil Rights language that Deasy, Aquino and the rest of the tribe keep throwing around.

“At this point you must know I could care less who won that RFP, but this is a Civil Rights issue when you give "every student" in the district of LAUSD something that will not take them one step forward, but rather 5 steps back. I could theorize about the incentive to do this for the next 10 years, but that's irrelevant.”

[Our correspondent continues:]


1) BOND MONEY: is it really legal to use for devices + software
2) PRICE: They keep repeating that the Apple option was the lowest price, but that's not true. The alternative software was the cheaper option by some $80+ million dollars
3) THE SCORING: It is still unclear that this was scored fairly. I can't find any evidence of that anywhere. Some speculate that there was one line that eliminated all the other options (like re-purposed or refurbished content being unacceptable), but I have heard from multiple sources that Pearson "digitized the text book and added video and animation" and whatever other confusing mechanisms they put in place to illustrate...acceleration for instance.
4) THE RELATIONSHIPS: Cooling off period or not, the relationship between Deasy/Gates, Aquino/Pearson, Aquino/Codding, and Codding/Deasy are undisputable. In Tokofsky's famous last words, "This was a deal looking for an RFP".
5) CONTENT! Who buys unfinished, unproven, unseen, content up-and-down K-12 for Math & ELA??? No one. This whole BS about the content being "finished and available as soon as they sign phase 2", or that they "don't want to overwhelm the teachers with too much at once", is ridiculous. If it's done, then show everyone what it looks like.

THAT’S the Civil Rights I see it”

[End quote]

Q: Was the “Midnight Posting” of the revised agenda legal?

A:The Brown Act requires a local agency to post notice and an agenda at least 72 hours in advance of any regular meeting (§ 54954.2(a)

The Brown Act INCLUDES weekends and holidays when computing the 72-hour requirement of section 54954.2. The language of that section provides that “[a]t least 72 hours before a regular meeting, the legislative body of the local agency, or its designee, shall post an agenda containing a brief general description of each item of business to be transacted or discussed at the meeting including items to be discussed in closed session.” Nothing in that section or other sections of the Brown Act indicates that holidays or weekends are excluded.

So, while this is apparently legal, the posting of these revisions at midnight of a holiday weekend demonstrates intentional minimal compliance, bad faith, and ethical turpitude.

The pending question is not about policy or process. Like comedy, it’s about timing. Maybe I make too much of a small thing, but unlike comedy – and I think Drs. Deasy+Aquino will agree - this is not very funny.

....Perhaps, gentle reader, 4LAKids is wrong to expect a higher ethical standard from the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. He is not, after all, a kosher meat packer.

¡Onward/Adelante! - smf

Associated Administrators of Los Angeles Weekly Update | Week of November 11, 2013 |

7 November 2013 :: A full-day meeting of the Board of Education was held on Tuesday, November 5, 2013, to discuss the LAUSD iPad project. Board Members asked staff pertinent and challenging questions about the massive program which aims to put an iPad in the hands of every District student. Although Phase 1 of the rollout has certainly had its share of problems and unanswered questions, the Board indicated its commitment to moving forward in a slower, more deliberate manner. After hearing glowing testimonials from those selected by Common Core Technology Project leadership, some of the more difficult issues regarding ongoing funding, depreciation, storage, parental liability, professional development, curriculum and infrastructure were raised. While staff attempted to respond, it was clear that many unanswered questions remain.

Monica Ratliff had asked AALA and UTLA to conduct surveys among the Phase 1 school staffs and the general responses from the administrators that we published last week were part of the District report. While the UTLA survey results were not available for the meeting, AALA has obtained them. It is obvious that teachers are key in the successful implementation of this project and that professional development and support for them must be addressed. The survey results clearly indicate that teachers need much more support and training on the use of the iPads in order to feel comfortable with them in the classroom. For example, only 18 percent said that the District had provided them with adequate training; 26 percent say the Pearson lessons are effective; fewer than half feel comfortable using the iPads for classroom instruction; and the bulk of teachers only use them about one hour per week. While over half of the respondents indicated they had participated in 11 – 20 hours of training, they still felt that it was not sufficient. We are concerned that ongoing professional development for teachers and administrators was conspicuously absent from the District presentation at the Board Meeting and hope that staff will look critically at the responses from the teachers. While there is no question that the iPads improve student engagement, school-site personnel must feel comfortable with both the device and the built-in lessons in order for the iPad to be an effective instructional tool. At this point, only 36 percent of the respondents agree that it is.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Ms. Ratliff made a cogent, timely and comprehensive motion that we support. The entire motion is printed below and will be voted on by Board Members at their next meeting, November 12, 2013.

1) The District should focus on Phase 1 of the Common Core Technology Project this academic year, 2013-2014. All necessary policies, protocols, and practices related to the technology project should be worked out during Phase 1, including parental liability, the development of effective parent training modules geared to each school span (elementary, middle and high school), and a detailed procedure for how school communities, including parents, make the decision whether to allow students to take the devices home.

2) Keyboards should be purchased for every Phase 1 high school student and middle school student to better inform us of the possibilities and to allow the keyboards to be used during testing. A number of keyboard sets should be purchased for the shared use of classes at every Phase 1 elementary school for the above-mentioned reasons.

3) Now that the District has hired an evaluator to evaluate the use of iPads at Phase 1 schools, the District should also analyze and evaluate the many programs that are being conducted across the District that involve other devices and curriculum such as the use of laptops for students at Ivanhoe, the use of Springboard curriculum at Francis Polytechnic High, the use of Google Chromebooks at KIPP charter middle schools in South LA and East LA and the use of ST Math at several schools.

4) Furthermore, in light of the fact that our ninth graders are now responsible for meeting the A-G requirements with a C or better, a separate pilot program should be developed in conjunction with key stakeholders, particularly parents, for several non-Phase 1 OCR high schools. The program should provide a laptop to every teacher and student; the laptop should go home if the parents agree; the program should include software chosen by teachers and administrators at the school site; and the program should include information regarding all surrounding free Wi-Fi locations and an investigation regarding the feasibility, cost, and possible benefit of also providing home Wi-Fi access or subsidized home Wi-Fi access. The BOE can then compare the lessons learned in iPad Phase 1 high schools with laptop non-Phase 1 high schools as we move into future phases.

5) The evaluator should provide the District and BOE with an evaluation at the end of the 2013-2014 academic school year related to Phase 1 at the Phase 1 schools, the many non-Phase 1 schools that use other forms of technology and curriculum across the District, and the schools in the laptop pilot described in paragraph 4. The District should use the information learned from the evaluations to draft a well-crafted, data-driven potential Phase 2 that may or may not be a continuation of the Apple/Pearson contract and that may or may not involve devices in addition to iPads if the research shows those devices are the best technology for our students at particular grade levels or schools.

6) In June or July 2014, the District should bring Phase 2 before the BOE for a vote.

By Barbara Jones, Los Angeles Daily News |

11/10 /13 :: Just two years ago, students at the Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies could get homework help, take college-prep classes, go on after-school field trips, visit the school nurse — services funded by federal money earmarked for educating low-income youngsters.

Today, those programs have been scaled back or eliminated altogether, the result of a decision by the Los Angeles Unified school board to divert the money from schools with relatively large numbers of poor kids to campuses with even higher need.

Two San Fernando Valley school board members are now trying to get that money back for SOCES and about a dozen other schools that lost their Title I funding when the district tightened its eligibility rules.

Tamar Galatzan and Monica Ratliff want to return to the previous guidelines, so schools with low-income enrollments of 40 to 49 percent could again qualify for the federal money. The guidelines that took effect last year set the threshold at 50 percent.

“That cutoff was random,” said Galatzan, the West Valley representative who has been working on the Title I issue with parents and teachers at the affected schools. “The money is supposed to go to schools to support academic achievement for students living in poverty. A school that is 49 percent low income has the same issues, and the same needs, as a school that is 50 percent.”

Ratliff, recently elected to represent the East Valley, is a co-sponsor of the plan.

Facing a 10 percent cut in the district’s $342 million Title I allocation, the school board voted in December 2011 — Galatzan voted no — to raise the threshold as a way to minimize the impact on schools with the highest need. Money that would have gone to schools in the 40-49 percent range instead went to those where at least 65 percent of the students were poor.

That meant that SOCES, with a low-income enrollment of 49.07 percent, lost $400,000. Eight other Valley campuses and 14 other schools across Los Angeles Unified lost anywhere from $100,000 to $600,000 each.

Several of those campuses subsequently converted to charter schools so they could obtain state grants that helped offset the loss in Title I money.

District officials did not respond to a request for next year’s estimates of low-income enrollment, so it was unclear just how many schools would be affected if the lower threshold is reinstated.

“The amount of 400,000 — it’s not something you can possibly do fundraising to make up,” said Hooshik Bayliss Nazarian, whose son is an eighth-grader at SOCES. “People think we’re well-off, but most of us are blue-collar workers, living paycheck to paycheck.

“A magnet school like ours, kids from poor areas make the choice to come here, and then we’re not able to help them. And they wonder if they’ve made a mistake to come.”

Nazarian said she and other SOCES parents, along with those at Dahlia Heights Elementary and Palms Middle School, plan to rally at Tuesday’s board meeting. They are expected to speak about the loss of Title I-funded tutors, counselors and other staff and how that has impacted student success.

Backers of Galatzan’s resolution also have launched an online petition, which by late Friday had some 750 signatures.

“When board members are voting, they’re thinking about what’s good for their own district,” Nazarian said. “But the boundaries shouldn’t be there when they’re voting on something that affects all of the kids.”

With the state implementing a new funding system that provides more money for poor students and English-learners Galatzan said she hopes her colleagues on the board will consider a return to the 40 percent threshold.

“Every school, no matter what their percentage, wants extra funds for summer school, for after-school tutors, for intervention — all of those academic support services,” she said. “None of the schools have enough money. But those in the 40 to 49 percent range have no other option.”


This return-to-reason is extremely good thinking – just like the previous decision to decrease participation in Title I funding – proposed by Supt. Deasy at the suggestion of Ed. Secretary Duncan – was extremely bad thinking.

Just like the 50% cut-off was random, so is 40%.

The Board of Ed could actually increase Title I participation to 35% of low income enrollment (the federal limit) serving even more youngsters!


Opinion: L.A. schools should not separate non-English-speaking children
by Raul A. Reyes, NBCLatino |

5:00 am on 11/04/2013 :: An education controversy is brewing in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is planning to separate non-English speaking elementary students from other students in core classes. These changes are to be made soon, although it is almost three months into the school year. According to the Los Angeles Times, LAUSD Superintendant John Deasy believes that too many English Learners are learning “Spanglish” from their fellow students, rather than proper English.

The move by the LAUSD has rightfully angered parents, teachers, and principals. While the district’s experts say the plan is a sound idea, common sense and past experience suggest that it may not be. It opens the door to classifying Spanish-speaking pupils as “second-class students” simply because they are not proficient in English.

“Kids with little or no English are going to be segregated and told they’re not good enough for the mainstream,” one mother of a kindergartner told the L.A. Times. ”Kids learn from their peers, and they’re not going to be able to do that anymore.” Meanwhile, 17 principals from South L.A. schools have signed a letter to their local superintendent expressing their opposition to the policy. They pointed out that Spanish-speaking students will be uprooted from their friends and familiar teachers, and that segregating students would create a “chasm” between them. These concerns are all valid. It seems illogical that schools trying to teach students English will now be forced to separate these students from their English-speaking peers.

The LAUSD is the second-largest school district in the country. It is 73 percent Latino, and contains roughly 161,000 students learning to speak proficient English. LAUSD is legally obligated to do better by these English Learners, because in 2010 the federal Department of Education launched an investigation into whether they were violating the civil rights of English Learners by not properly educating them.

Under the terms of a 2011 settlement, the district agreed to implement changes, which resulted in the new “separate learning” policy. The unfairness here is that the LAUSD has made mistakes in how it educates English Learners – yet it is students who will be paying the price for the district’s errors.

The LAUSD English Learner Master Plan states that, “…a student’s education should not be determined by his or her race, ethnicity, linguistic background, or socio-economic status.” Unfortunately, in the past reality has diverged from these ideals. A 2009 University of Southern California study found that once students were designated as English Learners and put in special classes, they remained there for too long. Almost 30 percent of the LAUSD students put in the English Learner classes during primary grades were still in them by high school. Even more surprising: 70 percent of English Learners were U.S.-born.

Although LAUSD experts believe that their plan will enable students to learn English faster, the Christian Science Monitor interviewed education experts who were divided on the issue. The U.S. Department of Education suggests that the “best practice” for English Learners is peer learning between native- and non-English speakers. So the district would be wise to come up with teaching methods for English Learners that do not set them apart from other students.

This is a tall order. Consider that the LAUSD is bound by the Supreme Court decision in Lau v. Nichols (1974) to provide equal educational opportunities to all students, regardless of their language abilities. Or that the LAUSD plan may have a broader national impact on other districts as well. Given such complexities, the least the district could do is delay implementation of these changes until the start of the next school year, so as to minimize disruption to students.

The LAUSD should not return to the days of “separate but equal” in education. All students deserve an equal chance to learn and succeed – together.

Opinion: L.A. schools should not separate non English speaking children raul reyes nbc final education NBC Latino News

NBC Latino contributor Raul A. Reyes is an attorney and member of the USA Today Board of Contributors.

Funding Formula+Accountability Plan sent back to drawing board: LCFF/LCAP REGULATIONS GO BACK FOR REWRITE, STAY TUNED FOR JANUARY
by Tom Chorneau, SI&A Cabinet Report |

November 08, 2013 :: Enduring one of the longest public hearings in recent years, the California State Board of Education Thursday passed on until January a decision over regulatory options for governing the state’s new school funding formula.

The marathon, six-hour debate drew nearly 200 speakers from across the state including parents, students, teachers, district superintendents, advocacy groups and even a state legislator. But in the end, the board appeared to be largely where they were at the beginning of the day – still struggling with how to provide operational governance over the landmark Local Control Funding Formula.

“I feel like this is moving very fast – that’s part of what I’m concerned about,” said board member Trish Williams. “Because this is really a different system, really different.”

Although the summer budget agreement between Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders gave significant direction on how the new funding system should work – actually defining key elements is proving politically problematic.

Brown wants local school officials – not Sacramento – to have as much authority as possible over spending decisions. But lawmakers included in the plan accountability requirements that seem to simultaneously call for spending restrictions.

Draft regulatory language offered to the board would seem to suggest that the Brown administration wants flexibility to rule the process. But there may be reason to believe the board is reconsidering its options, after hearing testimony Thursday from parents of English learners, civil rights advocates and representatives of low-income families – including state Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, who made her appeal in person.

Advocates for restrictive regulations are concerned that state money provided specifically for the educationally disadvantaged, might be spent elsewhere.

The potential shift in thinking may have been best expressed by board member Sue Burr, who previously served as executive director of the state board and as the governor’s top education staffer. “We are very open to what you had to say,” she said. “And I do expect that what you saw today will look very different from what you will see in January.”

She did not articulate what changes might be considered.

Any move away from flexibility, however, will be resisted by schools and their representatives – who were also well represented at the Sacramento hearing.

The question centers on a key phrase in the enabling legislation that requires that the targeted state grant money be used to “increase or improve” services for the educationally disadvantaged.

The draft regulations pending before the board would allow districts to satisfy this key mandate by either “spending more, providing more or achieving more.” But under this proposal, local school boards – not the state or county regulators – would be empowered to define those benchmarks.

Advocates for the disadvantaged students have pointed out that one of the governor’s motivations for pushing for the restructuring program and the targeting spending was a matter of civil justice. “These proposed regulations would do little to correct the historical inequities decried by our governor,” a coalition of civil rights and community groups led by Californians Together said in a letter to the board earlier this week.

“Rather than ensuring that the LCFF funds generated by high-needs students are spent wisely…these funds could be used to offset LEA costs in other areas and underwrite the educational programs of non-needy students.”



By John Fensterwald, EdSource Today |

November 7th, 2013 :: Staff and members of the State Board of Education promised to revise proposed spending rules for the new school funding system after hearing speed testimonies Thursday from Californians from all corners of the state. The speakers disagreed on what they wanted but largely agreed they didn’t like some of what they saw.
Sue Burr, a State Board member active in planning the funding regulations, promised speakers the board would consider their criticisms and comments.

Sue Burr, a State Board member active in planning the funding regulations, promised speakers the board would consider their criticisms and comments.

Promising that the revision the State Board will vote on in January “will look different,” board member Sue Burr, who has worked closely on the proposed regulations, said, “This was a first shot, a draft. We are open to what you had to say today.”

There was no consensus on what the 188 speakers – school superintendents, executives of advocacy organizations, parents needing interpreters, high school students and teachers – had to say during the orderly but often impassioned one-minute testimonies that went on nearly five straight hours. But that was predictable.

The Local Control Funding Formula unknots the state-imposed rules that had restricted the use of K-12 dollars, directs more money to disadvantaged children and shifts control over spending to school districts. The tension between advocates for equity and defenders of flexibility was reflected in comments on proposed options for meeting the funding law’s key requirement – that districts provide additional programs and services for high-needs students in proportion to the additional revenue that the funding law allocates for them.

Superintendents and administrators, with few exceptions (see letter by Michael Hulsizer, chief deputy for government affairs for the Kern County Superintendent of Schools) praised the flexibility of allowing districts a choice of three options: spending more money on high-needs students; providing proportionally more services for them; or setting proportionally higher achievement goals and being held accountable for them, even if that doesn’t tie directly to more dollars for high-needs children.

“Outcomes are why we do the work we do. Outcomes should drive the accountability piece,” said Tim Stowe, chief academic officer of Torrance Unified. “We should have local flexibility that will allow us to use resources and target those who need assistance.”

But parents and advocates for low-income students are suspicious of not tying any goal directly to more money. They viewed that as an end-run around the law’s goal of giving more to students who need an extra boost.

“Don’t flex equity,” was the refrain of the day.

“Make sure money is spent on what it is meant for and not on another broken promise,” said a parent leader from San Bernardino.
Sen. Holly Mitchell said support of many legislators was based on the commitment of more spending for students targeted for more funding.

Sen. Holly Mitchell said many legislators’ support for the funding law was based on the commitment for more equitable spending.

Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, chairwoman of the Legislative Black Caucus, told the State Board “it is important to understand that for many legislators, our support (of the funding law) was based on discussion and commitments that equity for students with greatest needs will be honored.”

But representatives of teachers and districts viewed the option of strictly spending more on high-needs students as focusing on bean counting while handcuffing districts that want latitude to shift money to districtwide purposes benefiting all students.

“It starts to feel too similar to where we were with restricted categorical funds,” said Greg Magnuson, superintendent of Buena Park School District in Orange County.
Greg Magnuson said the intent of the Local Control Funding Formula is local control, and the State Board should err on that side of the law, then fix it in 3-5 years if it's not working to the benefits of disadvantaged students

Greg Magnuson said the intent of the Local Control Funding Formula is local control, and the State Board should err on that side of the law, then fix it in 3-5 years if it’s not working to the benefits of disadvantaged students

“We support efforts to protect local flexibility and resist attempts to reinstate restricted dollars,” said a representative of the California Teachers Association.
Disconnect between regs and accountability plan

The new funding law requires that districts create a three-year Local Control and Accountability Plan setting goals for meeting eight state priorities, including improving student achievement, addressing school climate, expanding access to programs and meeting goals of readiness for college and careers for all students as well as subgroups of high-needs students. Districts would have to show how they’d spend money to expand services to meet the goals.

But the proposed proportionality regulations, by creating separate options for achieving more, spending more and providing more services, failed to make clear connections with the accountability plan. That, several board members indicated after listening to the testimony, was probably a mistake.

“I don’t understand three options,” said board member Bruce Holaday. “It could help build trust to have one option: provide more services.” That’s what parents wanted to talk about at a meeting on the Local Control Funding Formula he attended in Oakland, he said, listing “after-school programs, more counselors, training sessions for parents on how to prepare children for college and careers.”

“It starts with services, then attach money and achievement,” he said.

Board member Trish Williams said, “Spending more doesn’t mean much if you haven’t gotten anything for it. You need to connect achievement goals to what you are choosing to spend money on; sometimes more is less effective than changing what you are doing through innovation.”

“Spending more is important,” responded board member Patricia Rucker. “But you are right; you can be busy doing a lot of things, but are they the right things?”

Not connecting spending and achieving in the regulations, Rucker said, led speakers to “draw lines in the sand.” It also stirred deep-seated suspicions, noted board member Carl Cohn, a retired superintendent.

“The testimony showed a lot about people over the years feeling they got a bad bargain on a whole host of promises about serving students,” he said. “There will not only be a challenge for us, but also ACSA and CSBA” – the Association of California School Administrators and the California School Boards Association, organizations representing school administrators and school boards – “will have to step up and make sure the climate will be one of transparency, inclusiveness and participation.”
Roberto Fonseco of Los Angeles urged requiring each district to hire experts to train parents in budgets and financial information.

Roberto Fonseco of Los Angeles urged requiring each district to hire experts to train parents in budgets and financial information.

Parent after parent, some having driven from Coachella Valley, San Bernardino and Los Angeles, urged the State Board to hold districts accountable for reaching out and listening to parents. Some had specific demands. Roberto Fonseca, a parent from Los Angeles Unified, said the board should require that parents be trained and given access to budget data. “You want people to understand how things operate at a school site? You must train them at the school site.”

Cynthia Rice, director of litigation, advocacy and training with California Rural Legal Assistance, called for a complaint process for parents who have been excluded from participating in the accountability plan.

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill in September – Senate Bill 344, by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-San Fernando Valley – that laid out requirements for parent engagement, and board members have shown no intent to be prescriptive either. Draft guidelines for what will become a template for the Local Control and Accountability Plan listed issues that districts should address and questions they should answer but not specific requirements. But local control requires community engagement, board members indicated.

“We need to be clear about how transparency might look and feel,” Holaday said.

The law establishing the funding formula requires the State Board to adopt the spending regulations by Jan. 31 and the template for the local accountability plan by March 31. The board has indicated that it intends to approve both in January, leaving no meeting in between to review the next revision.

Board members took no vote, and, other than their wide-ranging discussion, gave no explicit instructions on specific revisions to staff and consultants from WestEd, the San Francisco-based education agency that drafted the proposals.

“We have provided some guidance,” Board President Michael Kirst said, hopefully. “I know you will sort through it correctly


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

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HOW TO GRADE A TEACHER: The usefulness of test scores is limited and should be treated that way + smf’s 2¢: By...

LAUSD’s COSTLY iPAD PROGRAM REASSSESED: Neon Tommy | Brianna Sacks, Sara Newman, Elisabeth Roberts, Alexa Liac...

@howardblume: Marathon meeting on iPads has reached public speaker phase. Staff worked 2 win board and public support 2 keep going.

Los Angeles moves forward with proposal for free citywide WiFi
Retweeted by Scott Folsom

@howardblume: Jaime Aquino says Pearson curriculum for iPads is complete, contrary to prior information. It's just premature to use it all.

@4LAKids Tweets: Ratliff notes and seconds Aquino's comment that the CCTP is understaffed

@4LAKids Tweets: Aquino abuses the garden metaphor ... right out of Jerzy Kozinsky and "Being There"?

@4LAKids Tweets: Aquino speaks!

@afhyslop: Guys, this is getting comical: an extension-extension for #NCLB waiver-waivers: … via @PoliticsK12

@4LAKids Tweets: @Monica4LAUSD just showed up late+loudly.

@4LAKids Tweets: @howardblume It will still require four votes to decide to decide.
@4LAKids Tweets: Re @lausd board mtg: Recusal requires no participation in debate+discussion.. Where are @Monica4LAUSD and @TamarGalatzan?

“Remember, remember, the fifth of November…”: HAPPY GUY FAWKES’ DAY: "Man is least h...



LAUSD ISSUING FAR FEWER TRUANCT TICKETS, REPORT SAYS: NIn a push to lessen police presence in schools, LAUSD i...

LAUSD’S GROUP THERAPY SESSION: By Rick Orlov, Los Angeles Daily News | 11/3/13, 11:44 A...

@4LAKids Tweets: The 'Who to follow' on my Twitter acct suggests @MarshallTuck and @SteveBarrLA. Talk about suspect advice!

@4LAKids Tweets: Q for #ewacc: What are states+school districts across the US doing to address the requirement for online connectivity for every student?

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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