Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tell old Pharoah

Onward! 4LAKids4LAKids:Sunday•20•April•2014 Happy Eastover
In This Issue:
 • PUNISHED FOR TEACHING SCIENCE: Popular Teacher Suspended for ‘Research and Development of Imitation Weapons’
 • 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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The Spring "Eastover" Break is almost over – a good time to reconsider capital “B” Belief.

W.C. Fields infamously said “Everybody has to believe in something; I believe I’ll have another drink!”

Do we believe in the God of Moses – who teaches social justice and liberation from bondage …but sends His angel to smite the first born and drown Pharaoh’s army in the Red Sea?

Do we believe that Isaiah’s prediction of the Messiah was kept two millennia ago …or is it still to come?

The Passover Seder is an educational ritual, the transmission of belief from one generation to the next.

The dinner table becomes a classroom: “And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you: ’What does this service mean to you?’ that you shall say: ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of  the Lord, for He passed over the houses of the Children of Israel in Egypt, when He smote the Egyptians and delivered our houses’."

"And you shall tell your child in that day, saying: ’It is because of that which the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt’."

It comes from Exodus with an African-American melody …from the Black church:
Go down, Moses,Way down in Egypt’s land;Tell old PharaohTo let My people go!

I’ve never been to a Passover observance, whether in a church or a temple or around a Seder table where that song isn’t sung. It is as ubiquitous as Dayenu.

In my work on the Small Learning Communities Central Committee we rarely saw a school plan that didn’t include a Social Justice Academy – Social Justice is religion in the secular universe of public education. Much is made of the social justice embedded in the Restorative Justice aspect of LAUSD’s Student Discipline Policy.

Restorative justice is a theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused or revealed by bad behavior by working with the offender and the victim.

The Board of Ed passes resolutions commending Restorative Justice – and then passes resolutions reaffirming their belief. The superintendent funds it in his draft budget, community organizations endorse it – Restorative Justice is the next new thing: The quick-fix magic bullet that ends the bad old days of expulsion and suspension. A cold and broken Hallelujah.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against RJ. But the first+best thing to do is Prevent bad behavior – before there’s an offender or a victim.

Restorative Justice is the Blue Fairy – or Glinda the Good Witch - to Zero Tolerance as played by Maleficent in leather.

To embrace the seasonal metaphor: When we put all our enlightened discipline policy eggs in the Restorative Justice basket we miss this: RJ reacts to incidents that Prevention would have prevented. Discipline isn’t about punishment-of or reaction-to bad behavior – discipline should be about behaving well in the first place. The first goal of education is to teach the right thing, not remediate the wrong. The superintendent’s budget neither addresses nor funds Prevention – it continues to be reactive rather than proactive.

BUT LAUSD’s BIGGEST FAILING IN DISCIPLINE POLICY is exemplified in the way the District addresses adults who are suspected of transgressing policies+rules.

Currently about 250 LAUSD educators are being “housed” – languishing in so-called rubber rooms or teacher jails – “Deasy Jails” is the pejorative du jour. Teachers+Administrators are removed to classrooms and confined to cubicles – sent into seclusion in district offices – replaced in their jobs by often un-or-under- qualified substitutes. The “disappeared/ Deasyaparecido” educator is forbidden from communicating with his/her students, parents or colleagues – or even from transmitting a lesson plan to their substitutes. And often the housed employee is not even informed of the allegations against them.

The most notorious cases are of Iris Stevenson, the chorus director at Crenshaw High [] and Greg Schiller, the science teacher at The Arts School Formerly Known as New Central High School #9 []. Iris and Greg are two names we know, there are 248 others.

Educators are housed pending investigation – not as a punishment we are told. They are housed to protect students and to make them more readily available to investigators, investigators who rarely come. Investigations drag on for weeks. Or months. Or years.

There is no bail or bond or recourse; there is no habeas corpus. No right to face your accuser. There is certainly no promise of a speedy resolution.

And no one, from the site administrator to the superintendent and board members can-or-will talk – because it is “a personnel matter”. Lest we forget: The “Cone of Silence” on Get Smart” was a running joke about bungling bureaucratic secrecy.

The courts are loathe to intervene: the housed employees are being paid aren’t they? What’s the problem? Except for the taxpayers who are actually paying. And the students who don’t have their teachers.

There are allegations that employees are housed in adminsitrivial reprisal – or for not toeing the company line.

The truth is: Employees are housed because they can be.

This all boils down to Zero Tolerance at its most Intolerant. It’s a policy that propagates The Culture of Fear+Suspicion. And it works.

This is not America.

And how can LAUSD possibly make any pretence at having a progressive discipline policy for students when they treat their employees so shabbily?

Where are the adults modeling behavior?

I heard it from a student this week; “If they can treat Mr. Schiller like that, what chance do I have?

Tell old Pharaoh
To let My people go!

¡Onward/Adelante! - smf

PUNISHED FOR TEACHING SCIENCE: Popular Teacher Suspended for ‘Research and Development of Imitation Weapons’
By Evan Bernick in The Foundry/The blog of the Heritage Foundation |

April 18, 2014 at 12:33 pm :: Greg Schiller’s classroom seems to be a fruitful learning environment. One of his students recently stated, “He’s a really great teacher, and he really cares, he really wants to teach and he loves teaching.” It’s no surprise that he’s such a popular science teacher. It is astonishing, however, that he’s now apparently being punished for making science fun.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Schiller, who teaches at the Cortines School of Visual & Performing Arts, in Los Angeles, California, is in hot water because two of his students turned in science projects designed to shoot little projectiles. One of the projects used compressed air, the other consisted of a tube surrounded by a coil and was powered by a standard AA battery.

Sounds pretty cool, and very ingenious. But an unnamed school employee caught sight of one of these devices and “raised concerns.” Officials with the Los Angeles Unified School District then reportedly accused Schiller of “supervising the building, research and development of imitation weapons.” And now he’s been suspended.

As the Times notes, President Obama not only supervised but actually operated a more powerful air-pressure device at a White House Science Fair that could launch a marshmallow nearly 200 feet. Perhaps, he, too, should be reprimanded for corrupting the youth.

We’ve written before of children who have been suspended over “level 2 lookalike firearms” made with their own thumbs and forefingers. While these suspensions are ludicrous, Schiller’s is unique, not only because it involves a teacher, but also because the harm of Schiller’s suspension will impact his students as well. For example, students in Schiller’s classes, particularly those who would like to pass AP tests for college credit, are now left with a substitute teacher.

Fortunately, Schiller’s fellow teachers and the parents of his students aren’t standing for it. “As far as we can tell, he’s being punished for teaching science,” Warren Fletcher, president of the Los Angeles teachers union, told the Times. Schiller’s suspension is now a cause célèbre, prompting rallies drawing hundreds of parents and students, a petition drive, and a flurry of social media activity.

Perhaps there is more to this story. The Los Angeles Unified School District on Thursday published a statement saying that, while it does not comment on ongoing investigations, “We will always err on the side of protecting students.” While no one wants to see another school shooting, one wonders if the “concerns” voiced about Schiller’s students were driven less by the prospect of violence than by politically correct concerns about promoting a “gun free culture.”

Educators shouldn’t be punished for doing their jobs, nor should students’ education suffer because of political correctness. Barring the revelation of damning undisclosed facts, Schiller’s suspension should be lifted.

●●smf: Just sayin’:
●The Heritage Foundation is an American conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C. Heritage's stated mission is to "formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense" …lest we be accused of knee-jerk liberality!
●And if the PC crowd is really driving this because of the gun alusion in reference to school shootings, let’s get real. And let’s get really real about the ®eformers love affair with the “Parent Trigger”.
●And lets also consider that Mr. Schiller is UTLA’s Chapter Chair (union representative) at HS#9, that he was in negotiations with the administration over the pilot schools “Elect to Work Agreement” …and apparently those negotiations weren’t going to the administration’s satisfaction.

Friday on KPCC 89.9 by Larry Mantle on AirTalk. You can hear the interview here.

by smf for 4LAKidsNews

April 18, 2014 :: Apparently the way to fund a school bond campaign to relieve overcrowded conditions and fix aging facilities is to pack too-many like-minded potential donors into a too-small room, give them wine and cheese and canapés (and diet Coke) – tell stories about the glory days of yesteryear and shake ‘em down for checks.

So it was Thursday night in when School board President Lara Calvert-York and Superintendent Jim Morris of Fremont Unified tightened the screws in an Echo Park restaurant …in a room across the hall from the bar and 349 miles from Fremont.

Say: Wait a minute, board president whom and superintendent who from where? …in Echo Park?

Here’s the story: Dr. Morris in another life was an LAUSD teacher and administrator – focused on teaching kids to read – and later a local superintendent – and ultimately chief of staff and chief operating officer to three superintendents before he left Beaudry for Fremont Unified in 2010.

Fremont serves 33,000 students in a bedroom community between San Jose and Oakland and has increasing enrollment …its older schools are bursting at the seams and the district is faced with passing a large school bond – or busing kids or going onto a year ‘round calendar.

Sound familiar? It did to Dr. Morris – who thought of his mentor and asked himself: “What would Roy Romer do?”

He didn’t just think it; he picked up the phone and called Governor Romer. And then he got together with his school board and they put Measure E - a $650 million school bond on the ballot for June 3rd. image

As Dr. Morris said on Thursday: “Not for iPads, but to upgrade and renovate facilities.”

"All 42 of our campuses are aging, out-of-date and need significant repairs," board President Lara Calvert-York said in a news release. "Upgrading our schools and classrooms will protect the quality of academic instruction in core subjects."

Fremont’s Measure E is the largest school bond in California this year; the $650 million is the maximum FUSD can ask. Keeping schools up-to-date is worth the cost, Morris said.

"Any Fremont resident knows the reason our property values are what they are is because of our schools," he said. "Our kids deserve to have a safe place where they can be educated and prepare to be the leaders of tomorrow."

All of that is press release talk.

Dr. Morris came back to Los Angeles and passed the hat in Echo Park with the human story: About kids in schools where the HVAC and elevators don’t work, the science labs are old, how five comprehensive high schools must share a athletic stadium, and how the facilities are just plain tired.

And Jim brought Roy Romer and former LAUSD Boardmembers Marline Canter and David Tokofsky and literally dozens of us who fought the fight with Prop BB and Measures K, R, and Y to build the schools L.A. needed.

And we were a team again, telling stories of how it was and how it should be – pulling together instead of apart. Sharing a vision and a goal – not for the brief shining moment that was, but for the once and future Camelot.

Romer reminded us that when he first came to Los Angeles it was to teach kids to read and write and do math – and to raise test scores. But once here he looked around and quickly realized that to do that we would have to build and repair schools. So he led that effort – and while he did kids learned to read and write and do math.

And test scores went up …more than they have since he left.

We listened to Roy Romer, man in the arena. At once teacher, captain, coach and cheerleader - always the most intellectually curious and enthusiastic and engaged scholar; always in the moment. He shared with us the book he’s reading and what he learned in the past week about the neuropsychology/neurophysiology of the act of reading and Socratic v. Platonic dialog and the difference between knowledge acquired from a page as opposed to a screen - and how he broke a rib in a ATV tumble (He’s 85 years old going on 19) …and how that didn’t keep him from this gathering of the clan that could and did and will again.

“I hadn’t had time to see that before.”

Exhibiting leadership by leading.

No one more than Romer deserved to have school named for him, a middle school with a marvelous and well stocked library. I don’t think I go too far to say he agrees with me that the library is the most important classroom in any school.

It’s too bad the library at Roy Romer Middle School is locked up because the school doesn’t have a librarian.

By Michael S. Rosenwald, The Washington Post |

●●smf: This article, and the cited book Proust and the Squid comes recommended by former Superintendent Roy Romer. [see previous] Romer and I suggest you read it deeply – and in a not-so-subtle message from the author: Proust and the Squid is not available for your e-reader!

April 6, 2014 :: Claire Handscombe has a commitment problem online. Like a lot of Web surfers, she clicks on links posted on social networks, reads a few sentences, looks for exciting words, and then grows restless, scampering off to the next page she probably won’t commit to.

“I give it a few seconds — not even minutes — and then I’m moving again,” says Handscombe, a 35-year-old graduate student in creative writing at American University.

But it’s not just online anymore. She finds herself behaving the same way with a novel.

“It’s like your eyes are passing over the words but you’re not taking in what they say,” she confessed. “When I realize what’s happening, I have to go back and read again and again.”

To cognitive neuroscientists, Handscombe’s experience is the subject of great fascination and growing alarm. Humans, they warn, seem to be developing digital brains with new circuits for skimming through the torrent of information online. This alternative way of reading is competing with traditional deep reading circuitry developed over several millennia.

“I worry that the superficial way we read during the day is affecting us when we have to read with more in-depth processing,” said Maryanne Wolf, a Tufts University cognitive neuroscientist and the author of “Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain.”

If the rise of nonstop cable TV news gave the world a culture of sound bites, the Internet, Wolf said, is bringing about an eye byte culture. Time spent online — on desktop and mobile devices — was expected to top five hours per day in 2013 for U.S. adults, according to eMarketer, which tracks digital behavior. That’s up from three hours in 2010.

Word lovers and scientists have called for a “slow reading” movement, taking a branding cue from the “slow food” movement. They are battling not just cursory sentence galloping but the constant social network and e-mail temptations that lurk on our gadgets — the bings and dings that interrupt “Call me Ishmael.”

Researchers are working to get a clearer sense of the differences between online and print reading — comprehension, for starters, seems better with paper — and are grappling with what these differences could mean not only for enjoying the latest Pat Conroy novel but for understanding difficult material at work and school. There is concern that young children’s affinity and often mastery of their parents’ devices could stunt the development of deep reading skills.

The brain is the innocent bystander in this new world. It just reflects how we live.

“The brain is plastic its whole life span,” Wolf said. “The brain is constantly adapting.”

Wolf, one of the world’s foremost experts on the study of reading, was startled last year to discover her brain was apparently adapting, too. After a day of scrolling through the Web and hundreds of e-mails, she sat down one evening to read Hermann Hesse’s “The Glass Bead Game.”

“I’m not kidding: I couldn’t do it,” she said. “It was torture getting through the first page. I couldn’t force myself to slow down so that I wasn’t skimming, picking out key words, organizing my eye movements to generate the most information at the highest speed. I was so disgusted with myself.”


The brain was not designed for reading. There are no genes for reading like there are for language or vision. But spurred by the emergence of Egyptian hieroglyphics, the Phoenician alphabet, Chinese paper and, finally, the Gutenberg press, the brain has adapted to read.

Before the Internet, the brain read mostly in linear ways — one page led to the next page, and so on. Sure, there might be pictures mixed in with the text, but there didn’t tend to be many distractions. Reading in print even gave us a remarkable ability to remember where key information was in a book simply by the layout, researchers said. We’d know a protagonist died on the page with the two long paragraphs after the page with all that dialogue.

The Internet is different. With so much information, hyperlinked text, videos alongside words and interactivity everywhere, our brains form shortcuts to deal with it all — scanning, searching for key words, scrolling up and down quickly. This is nonlinear reading, and it has been documented in academic studies. Some researchers believe that for many people, this style of reading is beginning to invade when dealing with other mediums as well.

“We’re spending so much time touching, pushing, linking, scroll­ing and jumping through text that when we sit down with a novel, your daily habits of jumping, clicking, linking is just ingrained in you,” said Andrew Dillon, a University of Texas professor who studies reading. “We’re in this new era of information behavior, and we’re beginning to see the consequences of that.”

Brandon Ambrose, a 31-year-old Navy financial analyst who lives in Alexandria, knows of those consequences.

His book club recently read “The Interestings,” a best-seller by Meg Wolitzer. When the club met, he realized he had missed a number of the book’s key plot points. It hit him that he had been scanning for information about one particular aspect of the book, just as he might scan for one particular fact on his computer screen, where he spends much of his day.

“When you try to read a novel,” he said, “it’s almost like we’re not built to read them anymore, as bad as that sounds.”

Ramesh Kurup noticed something even more troubling. Working his way recently through a number of classic authors — George Eliot, Marcel Proust, that crowd — Kurup, 47, discovered that he was having trouble reading long sentences with multiple, winding clauses full of background information. Online sentences tend to be shorter, and the ones containing complicated information tend to link to helpful background material.

“In a book, there are no graphics or links to keep you on track,” Kurup said.

It’s easier to follow links, he thinks, than to keep track of so many clauses in page after page of long paragraphs.

Kurup’s observation might sound far-fetched, but told about it, Wolf did not scoff. She offered more evidence: Several English department chairs from around the country have e-mailed her to say their students are having trouble reading the classics.

“They cannot read ‘Middlemarch.’ They cannot read William James or Henry James,” Wolf said. “I can’t tell you how many people have written to me about this phenomenon. The students no longer will or are perhaps incapable of dealing with the convoluted syntax and construction of George Eliot and Henry James.”

Wolf points out that she’s no Luddite. She sends e-mails from her iPhone as often as one of her students. She’s involved with programs to send tablets to developing countries to help children learn to read. But just look, she said, at Twitter and its brisk 140-character declarative sentences.

“How much syntax is lost, and what is syntax but the reflection of our convoluted thoughts?” she said. “My worry is we will lose the ability to express or read this convoluted prose. Will we become Twitter brains?”


Wolf’s next book will look at what the digital world is doing to the brain, including looking at brain-scan data as people read both online and in print. She is particularly interested in comprehension results in screen vs. print reading.

Already, there is some intriguing research that looks at that question. A 2012 Israeli study of engineering students — who grew up in the world of screens — looked at their comprehension while reading the same text on screen and in print when under time pressure to complete the task.

The students believed they did better on screen. They were wrong. Their comprehension and learning was better on paper.

Researchers say that the differences between text and screen reading should be studied more thoroughly and that the differences should be dealt with in education, particularly with school-aged children. There are advantages to both ways of reading. There is potential for a bi-literate brain.

“We can’t turn back,” Wolf said. “We should be simultaneously reading to children from books, giving them print, helping them learn this slower mode, and at the same time steadily increasing their immersion into the technological, digital age. It’s both. We have to ask the question: What do we want to preserve?”

Wolf is training her own brain to be bi-literate. She went back to the Hesse novel the next night, giving herself distance, both in time and space, from her screens.

“I put everything aside. I said to myself, ‘I have to do this,’ ” she said. “It was really hard the second night. It was really hard the third night. It took me two weeks, but by the end of the second week I had pretty much recovered myself so I could enjoy and finish the book.”

Then she read it again.

“I wanted to enjoy this form of reading again,” Wolf said. “When I found myself, it was like I recovered. I found my ability again to slow down, savor and think.”

Louis Freedberg | Edsource Today |

April 15th, 2014 | California’s school funding reform law has triggered a burst of outreach efforts to solicit parent and community input in at least some districts – along with a plethora of suggestions about how to spend the additional education funds they will receive from the state.

But what is not clear is how these multiple recommendations – in some districts running into the thousands – will be prioritized so that they will be useful to school officials and school boards as they draw up their Local Control and Accountability Plans before the rapidly approaching deadline of July 1.

The funding law championed by Governor Jerry Brown that went into effect last summer requires parents and other key stakeholders, such as school personnel and community representatives, to provide input into the draft accountability plan. But the law is most silent on how they should provide that input. That is in line with the spirit of the new law, which is intended to shift the locus of decision-making from Sacramento to individual districts.

But some parent advocates worry that districts may have generated so much input it may not be focused enough to provide guidance to school boards and superintendents as they come up with their accountability plans.

San Diego Unified, for example, has sponsored five meetings to review its Vision 20/20 strategic plan, and is currently in the process of holding 16 smaller meetings to discuss the district’s LCAP. Lisa Berlanga, president of San Diego United Parents for Education, attended a meeting on March 20 at Patrick Henry High School – the same school where her son is enrolled. Berlanga said that all of the information collected by the district will pose a challenge for the people who end up crafting the LCAP.

“Parents are concerned about how they are going to meaningfully use all this data,” she said.

Michael Kirst, president of the State Board of Education and one of the architects of the new law, does not share those concerns.

“People are going to have to get used to a new system, and a new way of setting priorities,” he said. “I think most people realize that they are not going to get everything they want, and you can’t do it all in a year.”

He said that this is how the budget process is supposed to happen – get input from key stakeholders, then forward it to elected school boards to review what they have received and make decisions after they have done so. “The key thing is that there is an endgame here,” Kirst said. “It is the annual budget. It forces you to state your priorities.”

The Natomas Unified School District near Sacramento has generated over 3,000 suggestions from more than 1,000 people, gleaned from an aggressive effort to get community input. The suggestions are all listed on the district’s website in a file spanning 127 pages. The list is compiled from surveys of parents and teachers, community meetings, student gatherings, and a range of other sources.

The suggestions have been divided into categories such as “academic support,” “school climate and emotional support,” “college and career and student success,” “high quality staff,” and “English learners.” They include a range of ideas and suggestions, such as “better lunches,” “better Wi-fi,” and “more AP options.”

The six community meetings held in January and February in the West Contra Costa County Unified School District have similarly generated hundreds of recommendations, all written down on flip charts at the meetings, but not summarized on the district’s website. The recommendations run the gamut from tablets for every child and mindfulness/peer support programs to all-day kindergarten and smaller class sizes.

The 100-plus community forums held by the Los Angeles Unified School District or community partners, along with online surveys, have spawned more than 10,000 recommendations. In its draft accountability plan released last week, the district says these have yielded budget priorities such as increased employee salaries, expanding adult education and summer schools, reducing class sizes, and increasing the number of counselors and librarians in schools, along with funding for the arts.

District officials are taking different approaches to synthesizing the materials. San Diego, for example, is working with a doctoral student from San Diego State University to compile public comments and identify themes and priorities that emerged during the district’s public meetings.

The Santa Ana Unified School District is relying on WestEd, a San Francisco-based policy and research organization, to synthesize community members’ concerns garnered at each meeting.

Following the San Bernardino City Unified School District’s final LCAP meeting on April 23, Linda Bardere, the district’s director of communications, said the school system will form a writing committee to review the public input recorded during their meetings and start developing a draft of its accountability plan.

Paul Richman, executive director of the California State PTA, said one way for parents to prioritize their input is to tie recommendations to one of the eight “priority areas” stipulated by the new funding law, including indicators of student achievement, implementation of the Common Core state standards, school climate, and levels of parent and student engagement.

In general, Richman said, the more input a school district can get the better. ”It is very positive that we are seeing districts getting overwhelming feedback, because it shows that parents want to have a voice, and want to be involved in decision making,” he said. ”But it is a whole new process and we are all going to have to learn together about how to make this work.”

In the coming months, the decision making process will shift to parent and district advisory committees that the law specifies must give input into a district’s draft Local Control and Accountability Plan before it can be adopted. These committees will have the chance to give more specific input than the more general community forums have typically done so far. However, it will be challenging even for these committees to agree on a manageable set of recommendations that districts could then incorporate into their accountability plans.

Kirst noted that even though districts may be overwhelmed by a flood of recommendations, “not everything has to be done in 2014.” ”This can be done over time,” he said. “This is what boards are all about.”

Karla Scoon Reid and Alex Gronke contributed to this story.

This report is part of EdSource’s Following the School Funding Formula project, tracking the implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula in selected school districts around the state.

2cents small from the above: “In the coming months, the decision making process will shift to parent and district advisory committees that the law specifies must give input into a district’s draft Local Control and Accountability Plan before it can be adopted. These committees will have the chance to give more specific input than the more general community forums have typically done so far. However, it will be challenging even for these committees to agree on a manageable set of recommendations that districts could then incorporate into their accountability plans.”

Superintendent Deasy has opined that the LAUSD Local Control Accountability Plan Parent Advisory Committee is purely advisory; his compliance with its mandate is obligatory+perfunctory. State Bd of Ed President Kirst is right: LCFF and the LCAP will not be totally implemented in the coming year – but the direction for the District will be established in June for this first three years of LCFF and continuing into the future. Hopefully, thankfully and realistically Dr. Deasy will not be LAUSD superintendent for the entirety of the future.

HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest (but not necessarily the best) of the Stories from Other Sources
By Jonathan Martin | New York Times |

“You have this unlikely marriage of folks on the far right who are convinced this is part of a federal takeover of local education, who have joined hands with folks on the left associated with teachers unions who are trying to sever any connection between test results and teacher evaluation” - Gov. Bill Haslam (R –Tennessee)




Cartoon: THE 20 STAGES OF READING: by Lynda Berry | The Washington Post |


SAME FIGHT, ANOTHER ARENA: By smf for 4LAKidsNews | April 18, 2014 :: Apparently the way to fund a school bond ...

1st ANNUAL FERNANDO JONES’ BLUES CAMP LOS ANGELES COMES TO LAUSD!: by smf for 4LAKidsNews At the risk of taki...


API SUSPENDED …BUT NOT ACCOUNTABILITY MANDATES + smf’s 2¢: by Kimberly Beltran, SI&A Cabinet Report ::http://...


COLLEGE BOARD OFFERS GLIMPSES INTO REDESIGNED SAT - releases sample questions and other materials from the revamp.



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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