Sunday, April 06, 2014


Onward! 4LAKids4LAKids: Sunday 6•April•2014
In This Issue:
 • STAKES RUN HIGH IN TRIAL RUN FOR EXAMS: Field-Testing Set to Begin on Common-Core Exams
 • OKLAHOMA MOVES TO DUMP COMMON CORE: A landslide vote in the Sooner State follows Indiana withdrawal.
 • DRUG ENFORCEMENT GONE WRONG: Should we allow cops posing as students to trick kids into breaking laws?
 • 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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There’s a lot going on that I’m not going to go on about this week. Students are excelling and programs are successful. Oklahoma joined Indiana in opting out of the Common Core. iPads have been delivered. The Smarter Balanced test o’ th’ test has begun and we’ll see how that goes. The superintendent gave a speech at USC on Monday – Cesar Chavez Birthday – a speech that equated the Vergara Lawsuit (which in essence takes his union contract negotiations to the courts) with the great civil rights cases of the age. Maybe it’s his law student’s exposure to case law; maybe it was his Hollywood Moment: “But enough about the script and the cinematography …how did you like my performance on the witness stand?”

On Friday – after the deadlines for the evening news or the Saturday and probably Sunday papers – and certainly dodging the op-ed pages - the superintendent gave the press a first look at his draft proposed 2014-15 Budget Recommendations and his Formal Preliminary Draft of the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP)

Both need and will get a lot of scrutiny …as well they should.

On the LCFF budget spreadsheet [] every line item is preceded by which bargaining unit it comes under – intimating that this, like all things in his universe, is a contract negotiation. (There is a line item for salary increase; there is no money attached to it. TBD = $0). The bargaining units (besides the ones contesting that $0) Dr. Deasy needs to deal with are going to be the LCAP Parent Advisory Committee (LCAP PAC), the District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC) and the Board of Education, which begin to take up this work next week.

The product of Public Education is not balanced budgets or test scores, or the ratio of diplomas-awarded to entering-kindergartners; it is students successfully prepared for life. Not college or career: Life.

The work of the schools doesn’t happen at press conferences or in the courthouse or the boardroom or the capitol. The work happens at the schoolsite. In the front office and the classroom and hallways and playground and library.

HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL OUT THERE WAS DEALING WITH LAST WEEK – complicated by too much work, not enough time, respect, support or money.

• Seven murders in the surrounding neighborhood in the last two weeks.
• A was girl kidnapped walking home from the high school down the street. After attempting rape "they” poured gasoline on her, but she escaped. Thank God.
• One night last week “they” tried to break in and steal the school’s new computers but luckily the devices were locked behind steel doors.

And who are “they”, you ask? There’s a feud going on between the three local rival gangs – a turf war complicated by race and fueled by poverty and ignorance – a battle for the hearts-and-minds-and-lives of youngsters. “They” ultimately are the students from before that the system failed.

It doesn’t help that employee morale is low and nobody but the superintendent has received a raise in recent memory. It doesn’t help that our principal and every administrator in LAUSD got a pink slip on March 15th.Or that a school boardmember bragged no pink slips were issued “to teachers”.

Being told you may be laid off and then not being laid off is not exactly a perk!

The principal and the site council are desperately trying to up their security and add to the staff …but when push-comes-to-shove there is not enough money to work with to improve test scores and data metrics and keep kids and staff safe+learning.

The promise of Prop 30 and the LCFF is to return school districts to 2007-8 funding levels by 2018. Only this and nothing more.

So even with the Prop 30 money and the Common Core money the challenge at the schoolsite continues to be to do more with not-enough. The school started out the budget year with money earmarked for a special math program …a line item that got sucked up by things outside the principal’s control – like the District mandated copier contract. The LCFF funding should be discretionary but it’s not.

The principal won’t say it but allow me: There is little “Local” or “Control” or “Accountable” or “Planning” in the Superintendent’s Recommended Draft Budget/Draft Local Control Accountability Plan. Apparently it’s going to be necessary to spend the “new money” on other things – old things like the ‘structural deficit’ (ie: carried-over debt) and necessary things like paper towels and classroom supplies. More nurses and librarians and counselors and afterschool programs are bargaining chips. Salary increases are “TBD”.

And then there are the sparkly shiny things that someone in Beaudry thinks are a Civil Right.

¡Onward/Adelante! - smf


Annie Gilbertson | Pass / Fail | 89.3 KPCC |

April 5th, 2014, 1:48am :: Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy on Friday proposed spending nearly half of the district's new targeted state money on special education next year - but that's not an increase in the program, rather a recalibrating of where the funds are coming from.

The proposal is part of his recommendations for the district's $6.8 billion budget, a $332 million increase over the current year's budget. It must be approved by the school board, which will begin budget discussions Tuesday.

New state law allocated $837 million to L.A. Unified next year towards the education of students who fall into at least one of California's new categories of need: low income, English language learners and foster youth. That's about 80 percent of L.A. Unified's students.

Over half of the targeted funds - what the law calls supplemental and concentration funding - would go to special education - but that $450 million is not an increase in district's special education budget from this year.

"I think we've proposed some investments that are absolutely in line with the technical part of the law," Deasy said at a press conference at district headquarters Friday afternoon.

A portion of the remaining $387 million would go to hire 1,200 new teaching and support positions. But Deasy proposes allowing the central office, not school principals, to dictate which schools get which placements.

"You just can’t say at the moment, well, I wanted a different position," Deasy said.

Under Deasy's staffing plan, the district's more than 8,000 foster students would get 60 new counselors, for a student-counselor ratio of of well over 100-to-1.

At $35 million, funds for targeted English language learner support, such as coaches and dual language programs, would stay the same as the current school year. So, too, would the $35 million for early education programs.

Deasy proposes using about $10 million of targeted funds to pay for nearly 100 technology support positions for his iPad program.

Schools would get about 10 percent of targeted funds in cash, which principals could use for a variety of programs.

Earlier this year, Deasy advocated for giving principals more leeway in spending decisions, at a time when the state board of education was weighing if they should strictly guide how districts spent the new money.

"School communities know their students best," Deasy told a group of education advocates in January. "They should have the maximum autonomy about how to spend that within the right parameters.”

Deasy said Friday he is still committed to the idea, but said it would take a couple years to develop such parameters.

The United Way of Los Angeles has brought many community groups together around the issue in the past several weeks, demanding principals have autonomy in spending dollars meant for their high need students.

Some of the additional money coming to the school system will be used to begin to restore school libraries. But the 15 new middle school librarians Deasy proposes, while doubling their ranks, won't come close to opening all 84 middle school libraries.

District officials said they'd allocate staff to the neediest schools first, and many may not get any new positions next year.

The teachers' union has advocated that staffing be restored at all schools to pre-recession levels. Opponents to that approach say it wouldn't target high needs students as the state's new funding law intended.

Overall, almost all schools can expect more resources next year. But because of targeted funding, district officials estimate about dozen schools with very few high needs students will get less.

●●smf’s 2¢: How is supplanting $450 million to fund-but-not -enhance an ongoing program technically “supplemental”?

• QUOTE O' TH' WEEK: “Deasy said he expects each school to have complete control of its budget within the next 2 years.” 5


STAKES RUN HIGH IN TRIAL RUN FOR EXAMS: Field-Testing Set to Begin on Common-Core Exams

Published in Print: March 26, 2014 [Includes correction(s): March 27, 2014] :: This week marks a major milestone in an assessment project of unprecedented scope: the start of field-testing season for new, shared tests of a common set of academic standards.

Between March 24 and June 6, more than 4 million students in 36 states and the District of Columbia will take near-final versions of the tests in mathematics and English/language arts. Those exams—tied to the Common Core State Standards that all but a handful of states have adopted—were created by a bevy of vendors hired at the request of two groups of states: the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC.

“I don’t think a trial of this magnitude has been done anytime in the history of student testing in the U.S.,” said Keith Rust, a vice president at the Rockville, Md.-based Westat, where he oversees the sampling of schools and students for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP.

The exercise won’t produce detailed, scaled scores of student performance; that part is still a year away. Instead, this spring’s field-testing is a crucial part of the assessments’ design stage, undertaken to see what works and what doesn’t. Questions like these are on test-makers’ minds: Will schools’ hardware and bandwidth be able to handle large-scale, computer-based testing? Do the tests work equally well on desktops, laptops, and tablets? Which items might confuse or overwhelm students?

Immense stakes are riding on the field tests. The federal government is watching closely to see how well its $360 million investment—awarded in grants to the state consortia developing the exams—is paying off so far, especially since it has let more than a dozen states drop all or part of their current testing regimens in order to participate fully in the field tests.

States that pledged loyalty to the project need to see that they can rely on the tests, since those states plan to base crucial decisions on them—such as how to evaluate schools, teachers, and students—within a year or two after the final tests are available in spring 2015.

School districts have made massive investments in technology to manage the consortium tests, and have spent countless hours preparing teachers, students, and parents for the new system—all on the faith that enduring the inevitable problems during the transition will pay off in a much better assessment than what they’ve been using. Amid a wave of anti-testing sentiment, many parents and activists are poised to seize on problems in field-testing as one more sign that large-scale testing is misguided.

A Combustible Moment

Those elements create a combustible moment: An experiment deliberately designed to uncover weaknesses in a high-profile test takes place under intense public scrutiny.

“The consortia are going to have to be pretty confident they’ll see minor glitches, but not major problems,” Mr. Rust said. “You wouldn’t want to go into this on a wing and a prayer. If it goes badly wrong, it shakes people’s confidence that it will be right the next time.”

In fact, just days before the planned March 18 start date for field-testing by Smarter Balanced, the organization took the major step of postponing the launch by one week to allow time for what Jacqueline King, a spokeswoman for the consortium, called some final “quality checking.” She said the delay was not about the test’s content, but rather ensuring that all the important elements, including the software and accessibility features—such as read-aloud assistance for certain students with disabilities—were working together seamlessly.

Making Assessments More Accessible

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium say their computer-based tests will offer an array of accessibility features. Many of these features can be used by any student, but some are geared specifically to students with disabilities, or to English-language learners. The field tests will offer the first opportunity for students to try the accommodations in a test situation.

There are some key differences between the field tests and the fully operational assessments that will be used in the spring of 2015. Length, for instance: Students will typically be involved in three to four hours of field-testing, less than half as long as what they’ll face next spring.

In the real PARCC test, students will take both a multiple-choice, end-of-year component and a more extended and complex performance-based section. On the field test, only 25 percent to 30 percent of students will take both pieces, and only in one subject, said Jeffrey Nellhaus, the director of assessment for PARCC. The rest will take either the end-of-year or performance segment.

The Smarter Balanced operational test in 2015 will be computer-adaptive—adjusting the difficulty of questions to the student’s skill level—but the field test, for the most part, will not be. A small number of students will get the adaptive version at the end of the field-testing window, said Ms. King. That’s because test-makers will use the questions students answer earlier in the field test to calibrate the adaptivity of the test engine later in the field-testing window.

Representative Samples

While some schools volunteered to participate in the field tests, most were chosen by their state or their state’s consortium as the multistate groups sought to build demographically representative samples of students. The result is a distribution of students taking the field tests that is wide nationally but not, in general, deep in individual schools.

The PARCC field tests will involve about 10 percent of the students in the participating states and districts, but they are scattered across half the schools. That pattern is deliberate and beneficial, Mr. Nellhaus said.

“A more spread-out testing pattern,” he said, “means that you won’t get a clustering effect in the sampling” that could magnify the impact of anomalous conditions in any one place. “It also avoids a heavy impact on school life.”

Most students are taking the field tests in only math or English/language arts; a subset will be tested in both subjects. Some states, however, such as California, Connecticut, Idaho, Montana, and South Dakota, have chosen to wade much deeper into the field-test exercise. They’re involving all—or nearly all—of their students. While that takes a greater toll on schools’ time and focus, leaders in those states decided that the payoff would justify the effort.

Those states were among the ones that obtained waivers from the U.S. Department of Education to cut back or eliminate their existing state tests to free up time to try the field tests. Since the new tests aren’t final, the data they produce can’t be used for accountability purposes, so the federal government has agreed to let the waiver states hold their accountability ratings steady for another year.

“We decided that it was a great opportunity for students to experience the test when it doesn’t count,” said Deborah V.H. Sigman, the deputy state superintendent of education in California, where 95 percent of the students will answer Smarter Balanced field test items in both subjects, and the rest will take the test only in one content area.

“It’s also a way for adults in the [school] building to think about what they need to do to optimize the experience for next year.”

Some districts are doing more comprehensive field-testing than their states. The suburban system in Burlington, Mass., 15 miles west of Boston, chose to give the PARCC field test to every student in grades 3-11 in both subjects. Eric Conti, the superintendent of the 3,600-student district, said he thinks it’s good for adults and students to experience something “as close to the real thing” as possible.

A federal waiver allows Massachusetts students participating in the PARCC field test to skip the state’s regular testing under the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, although 10th graders still must take the MCAS to graduate.

Burlington was originally chosen by PARCC to do only the paper-and-pencil version of the field test, and only in some classrooms, in grades 3, 4, 8 and 10, Mr. Conti said. But he wanted to put his district’s technological readiness to the test—it has a computer for every student—so he appealed to the state for permission to use the computer-based version with all children in tested grades, he said.

The district has made a deliberate research subject of itself, not only with PARCC, but with the Cambridge, Mass.-based Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy. Working with the state teachers’ union, the superintendents’ association, and the state education department, the Rennie Center will examine what happens in different field-testing scenarios in Burlington and in Revere, a small urban district near Boston.

Burlington, for instance, will “livestream” the field test, so any loss of its network connections will interrupt the exam availability, Mr. Conti said. Revere, on the other hand, will “cache” the field test, downloading it and pumping it out locally. Burlington is trying the field test on varying devices, including iPads, Chromebooks, Mac desktops, and PCs, in a bid to see what works well and what doesn’t.

“It makes no sense to show off technologically,” Mr. Conti said. “We could probably test all our kids in three days. Our network could handle it. Instead, it will be a three-week disruption.

“But the point is to see what happens,” he said. “As a superintendent, I plan 18 months in advance. When we do it live a year from now, it will impact my budget if we have to make changes. I’d rather know that sooner than later.”

Balancing Opposition, Potential

The Nashville, Tenn., school system illustrates both the promise and the risks districts face when taking part in what the consortium test designers call “testing the test.” About 10 percent of the district’s 83,000 students will take the PARCC field test, either in math or in English/language arts.

Jesse Register, the district’s director of schools, said he thinks the experience will “take away the fear of the unknown” for teachers, students, and parents. It also complements the work the district has been doing to invest heavily in technological infrastructure and in training teachers to use technology to differentiate instruction, he said.

Since Nashville’s schools enroll one-third of Tennessee’s English-language learners, Mr. Register considers his district’s participation pivotal to ensuring the PARCC test works well for students whose native language isn’t English. “For our data to be included in how PARCC is going is important to influencing the design of the test,” he said.

Even as the Nashville schools inform a potentially better test, the district is treading on bumpy turf. Without a federal waiver for Tennessee, Nashville’s students will have to take both the PARCC field tests and the state’s regular assessments. And that likely will draw some criticism, Mr. Register said.

“We’re getting some pushback now about too much assessment,” he said. “We have to communicate very effectively with our parents and with our teachers to make sure this doesn’t become a negative.”

Looking for Weak Spots

More than a few worries are shadowing the landscape as field-testing gets underway. Technological capacity is high on the list.

“We have 60 computers in one computer lab in our school. Our tech people are worried about our servers,” said Kristin Winder, a 6th grade teacher in Great Falls, Mont.

One district experienced such problems in the run-up to the PARCC field tests that it decided against participating. District sources said their faith was undermined by last-minute changes in test dates, student files uploaded but then lost, and other logistical and communications slip-ups.

“We simply couldn’t allow our system’s first experience with PARCC to be a negative one,” a district official said in a confidential email obtained by Education Week. “We believe it would have undermined our work and our staff. Students and parents deserve better.”

The complexity of mounting field tests on such a large scale is daunting. PARCC’s field-test-administration manual weighs in at 180 pages. The readiness exercise has spawned countless memos and staff meetings across states and districts as systems gear up for the field test. Educators have spent time trying practice tests with students, and administrators overseeing the coming exams have experimented with “training tests.”

“You can imagine the planning it takes to put something like this in place,” Ms. Sigman said of preparing for the Smarter Balanced field tests.

Some see big benefits in all that planning, as it provides a glimpse into how the common standards should inform instruction and a preview of the forthcoming tests. Others see those hours as a tragic mischanneling of education energy and resources.

“Schools are spending all this money trying to get wired and ready for PARCC and Smarter Balanced. And who’s getting that money? Corporations,” said Peggy Robertson, an Aurora, Colo., literacy coach who co-founded United Opt Out National, which seeks to eliminate high-stakes standardized tests. “The less money schools have, the more likely it is that they’ll fail. All of it is a setup for charter schools and the privatization of public education.”

Teams from each consortium will be watching many aspects of field-testing closely to figure out what works well and what doesn’t.

Questions of technology loom large: How many children can a given school test at one time? If a teacher is streaming video in her classroom while other children take the test down the hall, will it overload the system?

The teams are looking for many other outcomes as well. What kinds of answers does a given question elicit from a range of students? Test designers will have detailed student-level information—pegged to unique new identifiers to protect students’ identities—to enable them to see if some questions stump subgroups of students, such as those in a given area of the country or those from certain racial or socioeconomic backgrounds. Do students who perform well on most parts of the field test consistently trip on some items?

Those kinds of observations will lead to a weeding-out or revision of questions, typically as many as 10 to 20 percent of the total, Ms. King of Smarter Balanced said.

Other questions involve how to scale and score the tests. PARCC officials, for instance, will be considering whether to treat the end-of-year portion and the performance-task portion as separate exams, with separate scales and scores, or to combine them into “one big test,” Mr. Nellhaus said. And if they are combined, should the two pieces be weighted differently?

In the end, the two consortia are keenly aware that they’re asking a lot of participating schools and districts: major time investments and schedule disruptions for what amounts to a research project to refine the test.

“This is why we do this,” Ms. King said. “To see what works and what doesn’t.”

Even some of those most committed to the project are feeling trepidation. One district official who described himself as “knee deep” in preparations said he is bracing for blowback from his staff and his parent community if even moderate problems arise with the test.

“I just hope it’s worth it in the end,” he said.

OKLAHOMA MOVES TO DUMP COMMON CORE: A landslide vote in the Sooner State follows Indiana withdrawal.

APRIL 2, 2014 5:31 PM :: The Oklahoma state senate passed a bill Tuesday to withdraw the state from the Common Core standards. If the bill is signed by Governor Mary Fallin, Oklahoma will become the second state to withdraw from the Common Core.

Indiana withdrew last week, with Governor Mike Pence’s signature.

The bill to get the Sooner State was hugely popular in both houses. House Bill 3399 was approved by the state house in a 78 to 12 vote before being sent to the state senate for amendments. On Tuesday, the state senate voted 37 to 10 in favor of the bill. The bill will now go to the House for another vote before being sent to the governor’s desk.

Oklahoma was one of the first states to adopt the Common Core standards in June of 2010, after a vote by the state board of education. However, the Sooner State later dropped out of the Common Core’s standardized testing consortium in the summer of 2013. Fallin then issued an executive order in December directing the Secretary of Education to make sure the federal government “does not intrude in Oklahoma’s development of academic curricula and teaching strategies.”

State representative Jason Nelson, an author and co-sponsor of HB 3399, is confident that the bill will pass its last vote and that Fallin will sign it.

“The strong votes [for the bill] are not an illusion,” Nelson tells National Review Online. “There’s really strong support in both the house and the senate.”

Fallin did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication. She has expressed reservations about a prior version of the bill.

On March 24 — on the same day Governor Pence signed legislation withdrawing Indiana from the Common Core standards — Fallin released a statement praising state authority and criticizing the Common Core.

“As we work to raise the bar in our schools, it is essential that higher academic standards are developed and implemented by and for Oklahomans,” Fallin wrote. “We have no interest in relinquishing control over education to the federal government or outside groups.”

Fallin wrote that she would support legislation repealing the Common Core, if the legislation “increases classroom rigor and accountability while guaranteeing that Oklahoma public education is protected from federal interference.” She did not consider the earlier version of HB 3399 before amendments satisfactory, but but said she hopes it will “ultimately be signed into law.”

Nelson believes the legislature has fulfilled the governor’s request. “I think she would probably sign it because we’ve addressed the concerns that the standards are not watered down,” Nelson says.

HB 3399 still allows the Oklahoma state board of education — in consultation with the state’s higher education and vocational training systems– to preserve aspects of the Common Core standards, if it so chooses.

“Specifically, the bill says that the state cannot cede its control over our standards or our student assessments,” Nelson says, “or relinquish our authority over those standards and assessments.” The bill, he says, would still leave the state free to use selected Common Core standards.

If the bill is signed into law, Oklahoma will transition away from the Common Core standards over the next few years as it develops its own standards.

DRUG ENFORCEMENT GONE WRONG: Should we allow cops posing as students to trick kids into breaking laws?

Op-Ed By Theshia Naidoo and Lynne Lyman | L.A. Times |

April 6, 2014 :: Jesse Snodgrass had recently transferred to Chaparral High School in Temecula and was feeling out of place and alone in 2012 when a boy named Dan, another newcomer, befriended him. Jesse, a 17-year-old autistic student, wasn't good at making friends and he was pleased by the overture. But there was something he didn't know about Dan: He was an undercover narcotics officer attending class at Chaparral hoping to bust student drug dealers.

Dan quickly began exerting pressure on Jesse to sneak a pill from his parent's medicine cabinet or buy him some marijuana. Jesse, whose demeanor and speech clearly signal his autism, was at first at a loss for how to meet his friend's request. But he finally sought out a homeless man near a dispensary and traded a $20 bill Dan had given him for a plastic bag containing less than a gram of marijuana leaves. A few months after the two young men met, Jesse was arrested and found himself alone and bewildered in juvenile detention.

Jesse was lucky to have parents who stood by him and helped him navigate the court system. A judge has now purged his record of the drug charge, and an administrative law judge issued a scathing ruling that the school could not expel him, saying that the evidence was overwhelming that his disability had influenced his actions.

But we as a society still have some soul-searching to do. Should we really allow adults to dress up as kids, embed themselves in school classrooms and trick children into breaking the law?

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department regularly targets high school students, sometimes, as in this case, inspiring crime where it otherwise would not have existed. In the last four years, the department has staged four undercover sting operations in which adult officers, masquerading as high school students, repeatedly pressured students to obtain illegal substances for them. Over the last four years, nearly 100 students, a number of whom were special-needs students, have been arrested.

It is unclear why the Riverside sheriff continues to use this ill-advised strategy, and why area school districts continue to allow it. Such stings have been abandoned by many law enforcement agencies and banned by school districts across the country. The Los Angeles Unified School District hasn't allowed undercover stings in its schools since 2004, when it concluded that they had the potential to harm students but had not reduced the availability of drugs on campus. The National Assn. of School Safety and Law Enforcement Officials has concluded that undercover high school operations have a high potential for bad outcomes for kids without evidence of corresponding good results for communities.

Building on the efforts of Jesse's family, the Drug Policy Alliance has been working to call attention to the problem in Riverside County through community education. We also recently sent a letter to the superintendents of 20 Riverside County school districts urging them not to allow undercover law enforcement operations on their campuses.

The letter noted that operations of this kind are not only ineffective in combating drug availability on campus, they also can inflict irreparable harm on young people struggling with the challenges of adolescence or special needs.

Children should receive honest drug education from their schools, not face deception and betrayal by people they think are their peers. Inevitably, as in the case of Jesse Snodgrass, high school drug stings will ensnare some students who would never have been involved in obtaining or selling drugs without being manipulated by undercover officers. Is pushing students into illicit activities really the best use of scant law enforcement resources?

Educators, parents, students and the community at large should call on law enforcement agencies to do real police work rather than targeting children in schools. Simply adding to arrest statistics, regardless of the consequences, does not protect schools or communities.

• Theshia Naidoo is a senior staff attorney at the Drug Policy Alliance. Lynne Lyman is the California state director for the Drug Policy Alliance.

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

STAKES RUN HIGH IN TRIAL RUN FOR EXAMS: Field-Testing Set to Begin on Common-Core Exams: By Catherine Gewertz ...

OKLAHOMA MOVES TO DUMP COMMON CORE: A landslide vote in the Sooner State follows Indiana withdrawal.: By Alec ...




Deasy to run his Budget+Local Control Funding Plans up flagpole today for press in advance of Bd of Ed&LCAP Committee

A2Z :: BEN AUSTIN ANSWERS STEVE ZIMMER ON VERGARA: Don't miss it unless you possibly can! |


RE SCHOOL FOUNDATION FUNDING: Where does Deasy/Chernin LA Fund – w/Century City office+$200M goal - come into this?

‘High Quality Teachers Act of 2014’: VERGARA-LIKE BALLOT INITIATIVE PULLED UNTIL 2016, REPORT SAYS: Projected ...

Deasy at USC: VERGARA IS THE NEXT BIG CIVIL RIGHTS CASE: Posted on by Vanessa Romo | LA School Report | http:...

Pencils down, iPads up! - LA SCHOOLS’ NEW EXAM STRATEGY PUT TO THE TEST + smf’s 2¢: Annie Gilbertson | Pass / ...

Nutritious but uneaten: SOLUTIONS SOUGHT TO REDUCE FOOD WASTE IN SCHOOLS: Federal rules require students to ta...

CBS: “City Council Eyes Limits On Street Sweeping Parking Restrictions Near LA Schools” |

@ladailynews LAUSD investigates as Sunny Brae Elementary principal is removed in Winnetka amid misconduct allegation

The “other” CORE: The @COREdistriWaiver: 1 No Union buy-in. 2 No Community buy-in 3 No Bd of Ed buy-in. Do we renew on May1? |

A Teacher in L.A: WHO IS JOHN DEASY??: by “Geronimo” from Diane Ravitch’s blog | March ...

EVENTS: Coming up next week...
UNITED WAY OF GREATER L.A. is planning a STUDENT RALLY in front of LAUSD Administrative Headquarters on Tuesday, April 8, 2014. The group has been issued a permit to close Beaudry Avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets from 6:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Approximately 450 participants are expected.

●●smf: APPARENTLY UNITED WAY IS ENCOURAGING STUDENTS TO BE ABSENT FROM SCHOOL FOR A PHOTO OP IN FURTHERANCE OF THEIR POLITICAL AGENDA. No permit has been granted to excuse students from school. Keeping students out of school during school hours is an act of civil disobedience and parents and community organizations who permit this activity should be held accountable.
Any parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of any pupil who fails to comply with the California compulsory attendance law , unless excused or exempted therefrom, is guilty of an infraction.


REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION - April 8, 2014 -- Start: 10:00 am
*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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