Sunday, June 29, 2014

Political futbol

4LAKids: Sunday 29•June•2014
In This Issue:
 •  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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LAUSD has a new $7.27 billion budget. It’s the best budget for kids we’ve had for years.

For comparison, the pre-recession 2007-08 budget, which was balanced, was for $19.5 billion. [] It's and apples2oranges comparison, from another time ...but those are the numbers.

More money will go this year for socioeconomically challenged students, for English language learners and for youngsters in foster care. The Local Control Funding Formula/Local Control Accountability Plan required added funding for ‘Unduplicated Pupils’ …and I secretly hope that whoever came up with that designation is taken out and silently shot.

Children are not ‘unduplicated ‘anything. They are not cells in an Excel spreadsheet or data points on a slide in a PowerPoint deck. They are unique individuals who properly nutured+encouraged grow NOT into College-Ready/Career-Prepared widgets with forever rising test scores, but into productive small ‘c’ citizens of a place we+they imagine just beyond the limb of the horizon.

This budget and the LCFF attempt to level the playing field for poor and foster children. It cannot correct those conditions – at best it can only ‘correct-for ‘them. No poor children will move from poverty into the middle class - or from foster care into familial function as an immediate result of this investment. However we can expect (and should demand) improved outcome from increased focus on English language learners – whether they came from homes where another language is spoken …or need to learn standard /academic English to succeed.

I have been asked to put a positive political spin on this budget – and I do. This is not the best possible budget or even the best possible budget in the context of the limits we find ourselves in. Superintendent Deasy himself told the board this level of spending is “woefully, woefully inadequate” – a factor that limits positive spin.

I witnessed much of the sausage making: The community meetings and the public testimony and the meetings of the LCAP Parent Advisory Committee. I never really witnessed true effective parent+community engagement – only that the requirements therefore were complied with. The PAC produced laundry lists of comments replied to boilerplate; their attempts to produce a committee report and deliver it to the Board of Ed were rebuffed.

The positive points for this budget are.

• The focus on Foster Kids – previously ignored+short-changed by the County and the District; LAUSD could actually emerge on the cutting edge on policy in large urban districts. (However we must remember that the LCFF is temporary funding fix relying upon a temporary tax increase)
• Increased investment in School Libraries.
• The last minute commitment to funding the Family Literacy program.
• And the last minute attempted fix to the Arts+Music Ed Budget – how this plays out remains to be seen.


At last Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting the following “not an amendment” to the Arts and Music Education Budget detail was offered by Boardmember Steve Zimmer and accepted by the superintendent and the Board of Education without objection.
"Adoption of the Arts Education line item in the 2014-15 budget is contingent on the submission of a revised plan from the new Executive Director in August, which includes, but is not limited to:
● A plan to add funding to the Arts Instruction implementation plan that uses District, grant and/or Foundation funds,
● A detailed budget showing how much more money would be required to expand beyond the proposed 9 week rotation arts proposal presented to the Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Committee in April to semester rotations and full year rotations,
● The creation of an Arts Equity Index indicating access to comprehensive arts education bringing the index factors to the Board in September and the Index for approval in December, and
● The formation of Arts Equity Working Group to advise the Executive Director and the Board of Education on implementation, funding and access issues."

A budget isn’t the deal, done. It is a plan. Martin Luther King said that a budget is a moral document – how moral this one is will play out as the year plays out.

As these things go this is the best woefully² inadequate budget we are going to get. (And the Board of Ed invested more time and passion in debating the start time of their meeting next Tuesday than they did on the 2014-2015 budget.) Watch this space.

A PAIR OF POLLS WERE TAKEN – one funded by Gates +Co. [], the other by the teachers’ unions [] – on what the Vergara Decision means. This may come as a surprise, but different conclusions were reached.

The LAUSD budget invests more in SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH – and as you will read below, that is a very wise investment.

And what do you know? IT’S NOT ENOUGH THAT WE FEED STUDENTS A HEALTHY AND NUTRITIOUS LUNCH. They need time to eat it!



¡Onward/Adelante! - smf

Commentary By Thomas J. Cottle and Jennifer Greif Green | Education Week

Published Online: June 20, 2014 :: The location changes, but the story is a familiar one: An angry young man*—sometimes a teenager—guns down others in a public place. Whether it's Troutdale, Ore.; Isla Vista, Calif.; or Newtown, Conn., questions soon arise about the mental health of the killer and whether treatment could have prevented a tragedy.

Findings from the most recent National Comorbidity Survey Adolescent Supplement, conducted from 2001 to 2004 and to date the largest nationally representative study of child and adolescent mental disorders, tell a striking story. Almost half the 13- through 18-year-olds studied met criteria for a mental disorder. Yet two-thirds of those with a disorder never received mental-health treatment. Even among those with the most severe disorders, only half reported receiving treatment for their symptoms.

There are many explanations for this gap in treatment. At the intersection of stigma, shame, budget constraints, the distances to doctors' offices, and inadequate insurance coverage stand the parents, teachers, pediatricians, psychologists, counselors, and social workers who provide the best care they can, almost always with limited resources.

Despite their many other professional burdens, teachers remain in one of the best positions to attend to children exhibiting mental distress. Parents, only naturally, are biased and emotionally invested. They surely know their children better than anyone, but have limited knowledge of typical and atypical child development. Pediatricians, on the other hand, are knowledgeable purveyors of information on children, given their experiences with hundreds if not thousands of them, but a physician is unlikely to know an individual child as well as the child's teacher does.

So it is that we turn again to teachers. The essence of school would seem to be about the wellbeing of children, helping them live their lives according to their best lights, as University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann has written. They need to be educated, as well as cared for, in ways that will help them thrive. It is not melodramatic to assert, therefore, that education is a life-or-death enterprise.

Teacher referral of children to mental-health treatment is, however, a complex matter. It requires that teachers first recognize that students need help, and, second, conceptualize that need as a mental or emotional one and not just a medical, disciplinary, or parenting problem. But that is only the beginning. Teachers need to assess risk, know whether and with whom to consult, and then be confident that there are resources available for students.

In a series of interviews that one of us (Jennifer Green) conducted with junior high and high school teachers, they described the challenges they face. A high school math teacher said: "My average student I see for 50 minutes, 55 minutes, and unfortunately based on time and the things that you're trying to get through, … I know that there are things that I missed. … I'm sure that there are people who are suffering from some sort of emotional distress or just some general dissonance and, I don’t know how to address those."

An 8th grade history teacher talked about an all-too-common challenge: "We lost our full-time counselor last year, so when I first started at the beginning of the year, we didn't have a counselor." The school has a new counselor, but the teacher added: "I'm not sure exactly what the procedure is to utilize his services. Or even what days he's exactly in."

“Some teachers welcome the student-support role, but are unsure how to help students or where to find the information they need.”

From a high school math teacher: "I'm always just wishing we could do more to support these kids better. Put them in smaller classes. Have them connected to adults. How do we have every student in the school feel connected to an adult in the building? How do you get to know 1,500 kids and make sure they’re all connected somewhere? I think really, really, really the key—whether we're talking about their emotional health or their academic ability—is that students feel personally cared about, and I don't know how we do that."

Some teachers welcome the student-support role, but are unsure how to help students or where to find the information they need to do this well. Most teachers have little or no training in the complexities of addressing student mental-health issues.

Further, how do teachers balance the needs of individual students with those of an entire class?

From a high school teacher: "Our role in society is pretty vague, and I think for some teachers, they feel more like parents and are willing to accept that added responsibility, and for other teachers, I think myself included, I don’t like that responsibility. I didn't become a teacher to also become a parent. I pursued teaching because of the subject that I love, and I wanted to share that passion with young people.

"I just think if teachers knew more about the resources out there that we could use, just to prepare ourselves. … I can go on the Internet and do a Google search, but how do I know that that’s the right thing?"

It seems essential that teachers possess an understanding of normal and abnormal psychological development. They need not become experts in diagnosis or treatment; no one is suggesting they assume the role of therapist or counselor. But if we insist that regular classroom teachers receive training in special education, then why not instruction in mental health or, at the very least, the signs of potential danger? President Barack Obama actually called for such training in 2013.

A number of programs designed to instruct teachers in identifying and responding to mental-health and behavioral challenges already exist. For example, the American Psychiatric Foundation’s "Typical or Troubled?" program trains school staff members to identify signs of trouble among adolescents. Ought not this training be universal?

The reality is that many schools and communities are sorely lacking affordable and high-quality mental-health resources for young people. Let us hold in mind that children don’t slip through the cracks; they are overlooked, neglected, or at times simply improperly cared for. The path to understanding remains today as it did for Immanuel Kant: "[T]he human being can only become human through education." But let us add that recognizing, understanding, and treating mental illness are ingredients of that education.

Knowing what we do, how can we not act on these words from a high school English teacher: "We have to be the bridge—we know them the most, we see them the most, we see them consistently every day for however many minutes, and even though we have a lot of support systems, those people aren't going to know about it unless someone refers them."

Thomas J. Cottle is a professor of education at Boston University and the author of At Peril: Stories of Injustice (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013.) Jennifer Greif Green is an assistant professor of education at Boston University, where she studies school-based mental-health services.


* smf: In the interest of gender equality and Title IX: The authors seem to have forgotten the case of 16-year-old Brenda Spencer who shot up Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego on January 29, 1979, The principal and a custodian were killed. According to Wikipedia, Brenda, who had a history of mental illness, asked for a radio for her birthday – and instead her father gave her a semi-automatic rifle and 500 rounds of ammo.


Pia V. Escudero, Director, LAUSD School Mental Health, Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services, writes 4LAKids:

Thank you for highlighting this article.

It is very relevant for our teachers at LAUSD. This year, we are successfully launching a 5 hour training for new teachers, district interns, and new SPED teachers.

Our focus is: Shifting the Lens from What’s Wrong? …to What Happened? How to Promote Health and Wellness for Students in your classroom.

The five hour training includes:

● The connection between a student’s life experiences and their behaviors at school, including the impact of stressful/traumatic events on student’s behavior, spectrum of mental health and disorders, development, social-emotional learning, and academics;
● Protective and risk factors and how they are crucial for building resilience in the classroom;
● The 5 component of Psychological First Aid, an evidence-informed model that can be used when students are in crisis and a daily dose of improving school climate;
● The warning signs and risk factors for students who may exhibit suicidal/homicidal ideations or behaviors and what the District protocol is for responding to these situations and how to get students access to help;
● How life stressors can impact teacher’s own physical and psychological well-being; self care strategies to working with students.

The emphasis on our seminars is to empower teachers to connect with their students, setting high expectations, and ensure they access services for their students, their families, or themselves when needed.

Human Resources has been had the foresight of collaborating closely with School Mental Health for years, this new initiative is very proactive and truly welcomed by teachers who want to teach but know mental health and behavior issues impede our students ability to succeed if untreated.


►Sacramento Lawmakers in AB 2449: STUDENTS NEED 20 MINUTES TO EAT

by Alisha Kirby | SI&A Cabinet Report ::

June 26, 2014 :: (Calif.) A bill headed for a final vote in the state Senate addresses a problem many kids and parents would like to see resolved: Students not having enough time to eat lunch at school.

Twenty minutes, according to the California Department of Education, is considered the minimum “adequate time” to consume a meal once it has been served. AB 2449 would require schools not hitting that mark to coordinate with their district or county office of education on a plan to increase students’ time to eat beginning in the 2015-16 school year.

“If kids are buying lunch, they’re standing in line the entire time, and by the time they sit down to eat, they have to throw it away because lunch time is over,” said Tiffany Jensen, a parent of two who has volunteered in the cafeteria at Twin Lakes Elementary.

“If their class is one of the last ones coming into the lunchroom they’ve got probably less than 5 minutes,” she said in an interview with Cabinet Report. The kids that bring lunch get about 15 or 20 minutes,” she said.

With the passage in 2010 of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, greater focus has been placed on making sure kids are actually eating healthier foods. The goal of the law, which requires that more whole grain products as well as fruits and vegetables be served in schools, is to reduce childhood obesity by lowering calorie intake.

Research showing kids learn better when they’re rested and fed has prompted student and education advocates as well as law makers to focus on making sure that happens.

The CDE issued guidance in 2013 along with research suggesting that less time to eat discourages students from buying and eating complete lunches, and that waiting in line is the most common issue students have with lunches.

According to a staff analysis of AB 2449, less than 25 percent of elementary schools and 8 percent of middle and high schools have policies regulating the amount of time that students have to eat. The last student in line during the lunch period would only receive at least 20 minutes to eat at an estimated 28 percent of elementary schools and 45 percent of middle and high schools.

At Twin Lakes, the lunch period is 45 minutes, according to the school website. However, kids are allowed to leave the cafeteria early. Some students eager to be outside with friends spend the least amount of time they can in the lunchroom.

“[Schools] incentivize it,” said Jensen. “As soon as a kid is finished, they just sit there quietly and then [staff] lets them go to recess. Then the kids just dump their trays.”

Part of the problem, according to Denise Ohm, school nutrition specialist for the Enterprise Elementary School District, is what she calls “school lunch room culture.”

“It’s meal time – we’re here to eat, try new foods and take our time,” said Ohm, describing her ideal cafeteria, where an adult sits with children during the whole serving period encouraging them to eat.

“I don’t know where that kind of funding would come from,” she admitted, noting that schools would have to provide extra staff to supervise the lunchroom and playgrounds. “The intention of the bill is to ensure more eating time, but I don’t know if legislation can help us with that.”



by Carrie Marovich SI&A Cabinet Report ::

June 24, 2014 (Md.) :: Books and Baseball Night. Fiesta-val of Math. Family Digital Summit. Fish Fry and Social Hour. For schools across the nation last year these family-oriented events – and dozens like them – were more than just fun ways to promote learning.

They were all part of locally-designed, research-based plans to foster partnerships between schools and families with the ultimate goal of heightening academic achievement.

Ramping up parent involvement in their children’s learning is an emerging strategy for raising student achievement, according to Dr. Joyce Epstein, director of the National Network for Partnership Schools at Johns Hopkins University.

“Our research shows that well-designed and well-implemented programs of partnerships improve schools, strengthen families, energize communities, and increase student success at all grade levels,” said Epstein, who has been studying the impact of parent involvement at the school, district and state level for more than 30 years.

Many studies have established a connection between academically involved parents and higher achievement levels.

A 2005 study by Canadian researchers Lise Saint-Laurent and Jocelyne Giasson showed that first grade students made notable academic gains after nine parent information sessions over the course of a year. The sessions, which encouraged parents to visit libraries with their children and showed them how to lead writing and reading activities at home, resulted in significantly higher student scores on general reading and writing tests, as well as measures of sentence structure, vocabulary, spelling and written narratives.

Similarly, a study published in the School Community Journal in 2012 found that when migrant families with kindergarteners attended 25 one-hour sessions that taught them how to work with their children on specific curricular skills, those children had significantly higher reading skills in fifth and sixth grade compared with students whose families did not attend the educational sessions.

Although federal law has long required that every district and school receiving Title I funding develop a written plan for engaging parents, it’s an area that Epstein says has been largely neglected. As research reveals the academic gains that can be had by showing parents how to engage in their children’s learning, states and districts are beginning to embrace the family as an effective learning support.

In California, for example, a new mechanism for funding schools, the Local Control Funding Formula, requires districts to adopt Local Control Accountability Plans that address the state’s eight priorities for schools – one of which is parental involvement. In their plans, districts are required to show how expenditures will be used to encourage parent involvement in district educational programs.

Currently, the National Network for Partnership Schools works with 60 member districts and 600 elementary, middle and high schools across the nation to implement a research-based model for family and community involvement.

Epstein says the network helps to develop school and district leaders charged with making parents a larger part of the educational equation.

“Districts all have experts for implementing research-based programs in reading, math, and other subjects, but not on family and community engagement, she said. “Now, our studies indicate that this is something that districts must focus on."

Schools that join the network as a partnership school develop an action plan that includes all family and community involvement activities to be carried out by teachers and school groups for the year. Activities by member schools last year ranged from family math and literacy nights to surveys of parents regarding school climate, and community service efforts that brought families together to help those in need.

The success stories from the partnership schools are published each year by the network, Epstein said, to highlight the accomplishments of the participating schools and to serve as a source of inspiration for other schools hoping to get parents more involved in their children’s education. (Click here to read Promising Partnership Practices.)

In addition to organizing fun family events, partnership schools also implement a homework program called Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork, or TIPS. The interactive homework students take home in the TIPS program is done with a parent or other family member who then provides the teacher with feedback as to how the well the assignment was completed.

A three-year case study by network researchers found that when math teachers at an elementary school implemented the TIPS program most parents became more involved in their student’s schoolwork and were grateful for the additional guidance the program offered. More to the point, the student’s math scores on state tests improved over the course of the study compared to scores of students in comparison schools. Scores for fourth grade students, for example, increased from 54 percent to 66 percent, while same-grade students at a comparison school rose from 54 percent to just 60 percent.

These results were bolstered by a 2011 study of third- and fourth-grade students in the TIPS program, which showed not only that students’ enjoyment of math homework increased due to the parental involvement component, but also that TIPS students had higher standardized math scores than did a control group.

According to Epstein, a major reason schools and teachers are often hesitant about involving parents or other family members in their practice is that teachers generally do not receive training about how to effectively work with families.

“So far, that kind of training hasn’t been typical in college courses for future teachers or administrators,” she said. “If educators are not sure of what they are doing, they are going to be wary of taking action. Our work with districts and schools across the country indicates that by providing the right training in research-based approaches to create these partnerships, the fears go away.”

● smf’s 1¢: Like, duh.

By Dennis McCarthy, LA Daily News columnist,

6/27/14, 3:50 PM PDT :: It’s been nearly four decades since Rose Horkin stood in front of a classroom of elementary school kids with a piece of chalk and a blackboard eraser in her hand.

Last week, the 96-year-old retired teacher stood in front of a classroom of her peers holding $1,000 scholarship checks for two young teachers just starting their careers.

“Every day we have new technology coming into the classroom to help us do our jobs, but you had nothing but a piece of chalk and your passion and skill,” says 24-year-old Samantha Farkas, one of those new teachers.

“I hope I can be half as energetic and helpful to young teachers as you have been when I’m in my 90s.”

Rose smiles and gives Samantha and 23-year-old Maria Arienza a hug.

“Come back in 50 years and join us,” she says, as the 40 members of the California Retired Teachers Association in attendance share a laugh.

Sure, it’s true the tools of the trade have changed a lot, but the heart and soul of being a teacher is still the same — whether you’re using an iPad or a pointer.

You still have to connect with your kids and find a way to give them every piece of knowledge you’ve learned from all those teachers who handed it down to you over the years.

If you can’t do that, quit, and find another career. If you can, please stay because we desperately need you.

Samantha is getting her master’s degree in special education at California State Northridge, while pulling a double shift teaching at a private special ed school in Culver City.

Maria graduated last year from the CSUN teaching credentials program and is a freshman teacher at San Fernando High, not far from where she grew up in Sylmar.

The scholarship money these two young women received will go toward tuition fees and putting a dent in their student loans. It’s not a lot of money, but that’s not the important thing here, Maria says.

“These teachers have been where we’re going,” she says. “To know that they feel I’m deserving of this scholarship makes it so special. It motivates me to be an even better teacher.”

During lunch, Rose took the young women by the arm to the back of the room at the Northridge Women’s Club. It’s here, at a long table covered in everything from fruit and nuts to scarves and jewelry, that she’s been able to raise scholarship money for more than 100 young teachers over the last three decades.

At 96, Rose still hits the road a couple of times a month to restock her supply, swinging by 9th and Santee downtown to buy her scarves and jewelry at wholesale, before heading over to a little spot off Van Nuys Boulevard where she picks up organic fruit and fresh bakery at a special teachers discount.

“I’m always looking for offbeat stuff because it sells,” says Rose, who began her career in elementary school education in 1941 teaching the children of GI’s stationed at Camp Roberts in Paso Robles.

“From there I taught the kids of migrant farm workers in the Central Valley before moving to L.A. and teaching for 29 years at Sherman Oaks Elementary School. I started teaching fourth grade and worked my way down to first grade by the time I retired in 1977.”

After that, she and her late husband, Jack, began delivering Meals on Wheels to shut-ins and volunteering at Olive View Medical Center making books for sick kids in the hospital.

But it was always education she cared about the most so she joined the local chapter of the retired teacher’s association, and Valley University Women — then she went shopping for scholarships.

“Without Rose and her little boutique in the back of the room we’d never have been able to raise the funds to help so many talented, young teachers just starting their careers,” says Eileen Banta, co-president of Division 19, the local chapter of the California Retired Teachers Association.

A few days after the luncheon, Samantha put it all in perspective.

“It was so motivating to walk around that room and have all these teachers and administrators with so much experience come up to you and offer their support and advice,” she said.

“I’m taking everything they said back to the classroom with me for my special education kids. It’s important that they, like all students, find that one teacher who won’t give up on them.”

And isn’t that all we ask of our teachers?

From the AALA Update of 6 23 2014 |

On Sunday, June 15, 2014, the young grandson of an AALA staff member noticed on the table an article she had clipped from the Los Angeles Times. He read the title, AN L.A. UNIFIED WATCHDOG GETS PUNISHED FOR BARKING, and said, “Well, that’s mean. Dogs are supposed to bark.”

Out of the mouths of babes!

She explained to him the metaphor Steve Lopez, the writer of the article, was using and the grandson replied, “Then they should just let him do his job.” As Walenn ran off to do other things, she realized that he had hit the nail on the head. Why not let Stuart Magruder just do his job? Wasn’t he just carrying out his role on the LAUSD Bond Oversight Committee (BOC)?

Stuart Magruder was selected by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) two years ago to represent them in their seat on the BOC, a committee that was formed to represent taxpayers and reassure them that bond revenues were being spent wisely. The BOC is composed of a group of 15 volunteer citizens who truly have no vote on policy decisions or binding authority, but can publicly raise important questions about expenditures related to the bonds.

The story began when the LAUSD Board voted to not reappoint Mr. Magruder to his position on the BOC in May. Board Member Tamar Galatzan opposed his reappointment because she felt that he had overstepped his boundaries by questioning curriculum and policy related to the $1 billion purchase of iPads for every student, teacher and administrator in the District. She was quoted in the Times as saying, "He's an architect and ... has made many forays into telling the instructional people how to do instruction…I think it's inappropriate…”

Yes, Stuart Magruder has been one of the most vocal critics of the iPad mega-project, raising some prescient questions (some of which are loosely paraphrased below) that were timely, compelling and justified:
• Is the purchase of iPads an appropriate use of money that has been earmarked for construction?
• Why iPads versus other, possibly less expensive tablets or laptops?
• Why was the need for keyboards not determined prior to the purchase?
• Why was the software purchased sight unseen, in some cases before even being developed?
• Why was there so little teacher training?
• Who is responsible for lost and damaged tablets?

It was not that he was opposed to the use of technology or wanted to deny students access to current tools, his “…primary concern was that there clearly was no strong pedagogical idea behind this program…” He felt that the proposal was poorly planned, not enough collaboration with teachers occurred and that the District was buying an old, legacy version of the iPad that was going to be out-of-date in a few years (with more than 20 years still left to pay on the bonds). Once Magruder started asking the tough questions, the media, parents, AALA and others joined in. As a result, the District renegotiated with Apple to get a reduced price and a current version of the iPad and then voted to somewhat slow down the rollout.

These efforts cost Stuart Magruder, a parent of two LAUSD students, his position on the BOC.

But he would not go quietly. Making his removal from the BOC a public issue brought him waves of support from various organizations, blogs, the media and individuals. The LA Times ran an editorial titled LAUSD HAS ENOUGH YES-MEN; IT NEEDS STUART MAGRUDER in which it called the Board’s move terrible on several fronts, saying that the iPad proposal was passed with a disturbing swiftness and lack of critical thinking. The Times said that LAUSD should be grateful to have Stuart Magruder to protect bond dollars from misuse.

Even though the Board removed Mr. Magruder from the committee, the local chapter of AIA remained firm that he was their appointee to the committee and disagreed that the Board could reject their choice. On Tuesday, June 17, 2014, in a 4-2 vote, Stuart Magruder was reappointed to the BOC. Steve Lopez’ article on Wednesday, June 18, was titled: WATCHDOG BACK ON THE JOB. Now the AALA staff member can tell her grandson that Mr. Magruder can again do his job …at least for another two years.

AALA applauds the Board President, Dr. Richard Vladovic, and Board Members, Bennett Kayser, Mónica Ratliff and Steve Zimmer, for their thoughtful decision to reinstate Mr. Magruder to this most critical role. Welcome back, Mr. Magruder.

●● smf: This is another retelling of a story that bears retelling. To those who complain that LAUSD doesn’t offer comprehensive Civics education – or even deep discussion of ethics – we have this example. LAUSD never runs short of “Teachable Moments” and AALA staffer Walenn and her grandson shared a civics lesson, an ethical discussion and tutorial on metaphor. The danger Ms. Galatzan and her allies faced in the singling out and elimination Stuart Magruder was in creating a martyr. Now that he’s back she’s created a myth.

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




Sacramento Lawmakers in AB 2449: STUDENTS NEED 20 MINUTES TO EAT

Retweeting@HowardBlume: US STUDENTS BEST AT...oops, sorry, I dozed off... OUR KIDS ARE BEST IN THE WORLD @ BEING SLEEPY! |


Q: How much does a sign reading “CHARTER SCHOOL” reveal about the education being offered inside the building?
A: About as much as a ’RESTAURANT’ sign reveals about the food it serves.



EVENTS: Coming up next week...

Start: 11:45 am
Start:  12:00 pm
Start: 4:00 pm
Start: 4:00 pm

*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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